Home Blog Page 116

The Night of Krishna’s Birth

Because of the Lord’s presence within the womb of Devaki, all the demigods came to offer the Lord their prayers. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohini was predominant. This star is considered to be very auspicious and is under the direct supervision of Brahma.

At the time of Krishna’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious. At that time, in all directions there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. There were auspicious stars visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages and pasturing grounds and within the minds of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of waters, and lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers.


All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance along with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing. In the Heavenly planets, the Gandharvas began to sing and dance in great joy.

When things were adjusted like this, Lord Vishnu, who is residing within the heart of every living entity, appeared in the darkness of night as the Supreme Personality of Godhead before Devaki, who appeared as one of the demigoddesses.

Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Shrivatsa wearing the jeweled necklace of Kaustubha gem stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the Vaidurya-mani, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body, and beautified by an abundance of hair on His head. Due to the extraordinary features of the child, Vasudeva was struck with wonder. How could a newly born child be so decorated? Vasudeva could therefore understand that Lord Krishna had now appeared, and he became overpowered by the occasion.

At the request of His father and mother, who feared Kamsa might hurt Him, He turned Himself into an ordinary child in their presence and remained silent. Being ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead earlier, Vasudeva prepared to take his son from the delivery room. Exactly at that time, a daughter was born to Nanda and Yashoda. She was Yogamaya, the internal potency of the Lord.

By the influence of this internal potency, Yogamaya (Nidra Devi), all the residents of Kamsa’s palace, especially the doorkeepers, were overwhelmed with deep sleep, and all the palace doors opened, although they were barred and shackled with iron chains. The night was very dark, but as soon as Vasudeva took Krishna on his lap and went out, he could see everything just as in the sunlight.

When Vasudeva was carrying Krishna, the darkness of the night disappeared. All the prison doors automatically opened. At the same time there was thunder in the sky and severe rainfall. While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Ananta-Shesa in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf.

In this way Vasudeva crossed the river Yamuna. On the other side, he went to the place of Nanda Maharaja, situated in the beautiful town of Gokula, where he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. He took the opportunity to silently enter the house of Yashoda, and without difficulty he exchanged his son for the baby girl newly born there. Then, after entering the house very silently and exchanging the boy for the girl, he returned to the prison of Kamsa and silently put the girl on the lap of Devaki. He again clamped the shackles on himself so that Kamsa could not recognize that so many things had happened.

Mother Yashoda understood that a child had been born to her, but because she was very tired from the labor of childbirth, she fell fast asleep. When she awoke, she could not remember whether she had given birth to a male or a female child. Thus it was that the Lord, who was born as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, would exhibit eight years of His sweetest childhood pastimes in the house of His foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda.

The Metaphor of Dahi Handi


The pot of curd hung high represents all the good things this world has to offer and getting to it shows the struggles one must endure to get to it, a struggle where you may fail time and again; But the point is to never give up, for in the end the rewards are great and worth it.

Happy Dahi Handi to All!

May Krishna be wih us all during our struggles 😁

Dahi Handi

Dahi Handi  is an Indian festival, celebrated every August/September, that involves making a human pyramid and breaking an earthen pot filled with curd tied at a convenient/difficult height. This event is based on the legend of the child-god Krishna stealing butter. A participant in this festival is called a govinda or govinda pathak. It is mostly popular in the state of Maharashtra. It is part of the main festival Gokulashtami, which is known as Krishna Janmashtami in the rest of the country, and celebrates the birth of Krishna. This is celebrated on the next of Krishna Janmashtami.



With the month of Shravan bringing in freshness, celebrations and a joyous ambiance, the entire society gears up for the various festivals during this time. Dahi Handi is one such festival, which is eagerly awaited by all and is celebrated with lot of gusto and enthusiasm. It is also called as Govinda in Maharashtra, or Gokulashtami in many other parts of the country this is a day when Lord Krishna is revered and worshipped.

Dahihandi is a popular aspect of Janmashtami, a Hindu festival, marking the birth of Lord Krishna. It is celebrated amidst great revelry and essentially involves the construction of a human pyramid to break the curd pot that is hung at a considerable height above the ground. The festival promotes teamwork and the importance of physical fitness, agility, concentration, and psychomotor skills. Across India, the festival is celebrated with lot of colour and pomp. Mumbai city is the best place to enjoy the celebrations.

Mathura in India is a synonym for such celebrations as this is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. This city in the northern part of India is a symbol of peace and harmony with its bright decorations and innumerable displays of scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. There are walking tours in Jaipur and many such programmes in places like Vrindavan and Mathura, which would surely make your Dahi Handi experience a memorable one.

Dahi Handi celebration commemorates the way of living of Lord Krishna. In His childhood, young Krishna was very fond of the curd and the butter. While growing up the fondness of curd and the butter increased and young Krishna became notorious for stealing it. When Krishna and His troop started eyeing neighborhood homes to quench their thirst for milk products, female folks in the entire neighborhood became cautious and started hanging milk products from the ceiling like a chandelier. The idea was to take advantage of short height of young Krishna and His troop and keep Dahi Handis out of reach of small hands.

To defeat the idea of female cowherds, Krishna devised the idea of forming human pyramid. Human pyramid was used as the ladder to climb up and reach the Handi. Since then it has become part of Indian folklore. Every year during Janmashtami this event from the life of Lord Krishna is played by the young troop of boys. To make the task challenging Handi is kept at several floors high at the open ground or at the street crossing. Dahi Handi could be up to several floors high in the sky. Women folks who represent female cowherds from the tale of Lord Krishna thwart any attempts to create human pyramid by throwing the water or some slippery liquid on the pyramid formation.
In Mumbai Dahi Handi is getting emerged as a competitive sport. Hundreds of team participates every year in the event. Famous celebrities are invited to promote the event. In recent years the prize money has reached to one crore which is equivalent to 10 million of Indian Rupees.

The terms govinda (also another name of Krishna) or govinda pathak are used to refer to the people who participate in forming this human pyramid. They practise in groups weeks before the actual event. These groups are called mandals and they go around the local areas, attempting to break as many pots as possible during the event. Pyramid formation needs coordination and focus; the lowest layers consist of the most number of people, preferably sturdy, while the middle layer players need to pay attention to those below as well as the others standing on their shoulders. The outer layer individuals need to focus on maintaining balance. As lighter people are needed higher up, the topmost layer usually has a single child. Breaking the pot usually ends up with the contents spilling over the participants. Traditionally, spectators threw water on the participants to deter them and people chant in Marathi “Ala re ala, Govinda ala” (govindas have arrived). The pyramid formation is often accompanied by crowds, music and dancing.

In 2012, a mandal called Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak from Jogeshwari, Mumbai, made an entry into the Guinness World Record by forming a human pyramid of 9-tiers 43.79 feet (13.35 m) at the Dahi Handi event held in Thane; the previous record was held by Spain since 1981.

So get ready for this great event and do not miss this massive event.

|| Hare Krishna ||

Significance of Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami is a very popular Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna the most revered God in this Universe. It is celebrated with all gaiety and religious fervor across the country by one and all irrespective of the caste and creed. As per Hindu lunar calendar it occurs during the auspicious month of Sravana Masam on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the dark fortnight. It is also known as Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Gokulaashtami and Janmaashtami.

Happy Janmastami

Sri Krishnaavathara took place during the sandhi kala (transit time) in Dwapara Yuga in the 28th Maha Yuga of Vaivaswatha Manvanthara. Lord Sri Krishna considered as the Paripoorna Avathara of Lord Sri ManNarayana, took birth in Chandra Vamsam in Yadu dynasty in the clan of Vrushni. He was born to the noble couple Vasudeva and his consort Devaki Devi as their eighth child. Devaki and Vasudeva in their previous birth had performed severe penance for several thousands of years to have Lord Sri Maha Vishnu as their child for three lives. As a result, Lord Sri ManNarayana took birth as Prusnigarbha in Krutha Yuga to the Divine couple Prusni and Suthapa, as Lord Vamana to the Divine Sage couple Kashyapa and Aditi in Vaamana Avathara and thirdly as Lord Sri Krishna to Devaki and Vasudeva in Sri Krishnaavathara thus, fulfilling the boon given to them. Sri Krishna was born in the prison of his maternal uncle Kamsa and soon after birth He was moved to Gokula by his father Vasudeva carrying him on his head. Before taking birth, He gave darshan to His parents in his original form of Lord Sri ManNarayana and reminding of their lineage and the boon given to them.

Since He was born in Yadu dynasty His clan came to be known as Yaadavas. Being the son of Vasudeva, He is also known as Vaasudeva and Sri Krishna says in Bhagawadgeeta that He is Vaasudeva among the Yadavas. Though born to Devaki and Vasudeva, His foster parents were Nanda and Yashoda and Sri Krishna was brought up in Gokul near Brindavan. Nanda was one of the Ashta Vasus (Drona) in his previous birth and his wife Yashoda was Dhara in her previous birth.

Significance of the word Krishna

Though Sri Krishna was called by several other names like Kesava, Govinda and Damodara etc… He was and is very popular as Krishna. It is said that the name Krishna was suggested by Sage Garga who had earlier meditated on this name before Sri Krishna’s birth. We find Lord Sri Krishna’s name as a last one in 24 Kesava Namas – Sri Krishnaya Namaha. We find reference to the word Krishna in sloka # 7 of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama Sthothram (Agraahyah shaashvathah Krishna lohitaakshah pratardanah). The word Krishna is actually pronounced as Krushna or Krshna meaning dark in colour or all attractive. In the word Krushna, Krush refers to everlasting (Saaswatha) and Na refers to Sath swaroopa. Krushna means Sat-Chit-Ananda, complete and blissful happiness. Karshatheethi Krushnah, meaning one, who has the character, capacity and capability of attracting others with his beautiful, charming, delightful, every smiling and fascinating figure. Krishnasthu Swayam Bhagavan – Lord Sri Krishna on several occasions had revealed that He is the Paramatma, the ultimate reality.

Lord Sri Krishna the slayer of all demons, the remover of all obstacles and sole guardian of his countless devotees, guiding them towards salvation by washing away all their accumulated sins. Main purpose of His Avathara was Dusta Sikshana and Sishta Rakshana and to uplift the Dharma. Right from the infant stage Lord Sri Krishna started eliminating the Demonic forces to begin with Poothana. Sri Madbhagavatham considered as the King of all Puranas covers exclusively about Lord Sri Krishna in the10th Canto. Lord Sri Krishna physically lived on this Earth for 125 + years before His niryana took place at Prabhasa Kshethra near Somanath in Gujarat.

Astrological significance

As per astrological estimates it is said that Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 19th day of July 3228 BC about 5238 years ago at Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on the banks of holy river Yamuna. He was born at midnight (00.00 hrs) in the constellation of Rohini (4th charana) in Vrushabha Raasi (Taurus) and it was Ashtami thithi in Bahula Paksha (dark fortnight) as per the lunar calendar. Moon gets exalted in Vrushabha Raasi and is the star Lord for Rohini constellation. Sri Krishna was born in Chandra Vamsam and Moon God is said to be the Paramatma amsa of Lord Sri Krishna. Astrologically Rohini star is considered as a Shanti Nakshatra and the native will have Balaarishta Dosha. Accordingly Lord Sri Krishna had threat to His life till 12th year, during which time He killed several demons. The star Rohini is also considered as malefic to the maternal uncle and accordingly Kamsa the maternal uncle of Lord Sri Krishna got killed at His hands.

Sri Krishna and # 8

Number eight has lot of association with Lord Sri Krishna. He was born as the 8th child of his parents, as the 8th Avathara of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu among the Dasaavatharas, born on the 8th Lunar day Ashtami, and had eight Prime Queens known as Ashta Mahishis. The presiding deity of Ashtami thithi is Lord Shiva and Lord Sri Krishna says in Bhagavat Geeta that He is Shankara among the Ekadasa Rudras. Vaasudeva also means the Lord of Vasus (Ashta Vasus) and Sri Krishna says in Bhagawadgeeta that He is Pavaka among the Ashta Vasus. Sri Krishna further says in Bhagawadgeeta that He is Meru Parvatha (mountain) among the eight great mountains.

Nand Yashoda and baby krishna:

Temples of Lord Sri Krishna

There are several temples of Lord Sri Krishna in India and abroad. Among them, some of the very prominent temples are located at Mathura, Brindavan, Dwaraka, Bhet Dwaraka, Dakor (Gujarat), Udupi, Guruvayur, Tiruchanoor (Tirupathi), Puri (Orissa), Nathdwara near Udaipur and Triplicane (Chennai). At Udupi Sri Krishna temple, the idol of Sri Krishna was installed and worshipped by Sri Madhvacharya, the founder of Dvaita Philosophy.

Sri Krishnaavathara has gained unique prominence and significance among the several avatharas of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. It is a Paripoorna Leela Maanusha Avathara. Sri Krishna was and is a towering and multifaceted personality in Hindu philosophy and Epics ever to remain as a role model. His preachings through Bhagawadgeeta is a Divine gift to the mankind which is accepted across the world as a Universal Bible. The story of Lord Sri Krishna never ends. Our capacity to describe him is limited and when our limit is reached we abandon it half way. Worship of Lord Sri Krishna was prevalent right from His avathara days. Best examples are Akrura, Vidura, Kunti Devi, Sudhama (Kuchela), Rukmani Devi etc… It is our ardent duty and highly auspicious to worship Lord Sri Krishna on the day of Janmaashtami and seek the blessing of the Supreme Lord.

Namo Brahmanya Devaaya Gho Braahmana Hitaayacha
Jagaddhitaaya Krsnaaya Govindaaya Namo Namaha

|| Sri Krishnaarpanamasthu ||

Dwaraka Kshetra – Adobe Of Sri Krishna


Dwaraka also spelled as Dwarka is one of the most important and holy places of India situated on the western coast of the country on the banks of sacred river Gomati where it meets the Western Sea. It is located in the Sourashtra region of Gujarat state in Jamnagar District. It is in existence since Vedic and Pouranic days with great mythological significance. It is held in high esteem as one of the seven most sacred places called as Sapta Puri in the Indian Sub-continent. The seven sacred places are Ayodhya, Mathura, Kasi, Kanchi, Avantika (Ujjain), Puri (Jagannathapuri), and Dwaraka. These seven places are said to be the most holy and religious places attached with great spiritual importance that leads one towards salvation. It is also called as one of the Char Dhams, the four abodes of God in four directions viz. Badari in the North, Rameswaram in the South, Puri Jagannath in the East and Dwaraka in the West. These are said to be the most revered sites for Hindus to be visited at least once in their life time.

The word Dwaraka is a combination of two words Dwara + Ka = Dwaraka. It is a Sanskrit word wherein, Dwar means a gate or a door or an entrance and Ka has a mystic meaning suggesting Brahma the Supreme Being. Hence, Dwaraka means the gateway to Brahma – the Supreme Being. Dwaraka also means the gateway to liberation of soul from actions that is liberation from Karma. Hence, Dwaraka is also referred to as the Mukthidham or Mokshapuri. Dwaraka is also called as Dwaravati or Dwarakavati. Reference to Dwarka can be found in many Pouranic scripts like Skandha Purana, Maha Bharatha, Srimad Bhagavatha, Vishnu Purana, and Harivamsa Purana etc…

It is said that Brahma Manasa Puthras (mind born sons), Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana, Sanatkumara, assuming Dwarka as the seat of liberation, did severe penance at this place for several thousands of years on the banks of the ocean worshipping Lord Sri Maha Vishnu. As a result of which Sudarshana Chakra the disc of Lord Maha Vishnu appeared first and later Lord Maha Vishnu himself manifested here. Hence, the Lord at this place is called as Chakra Narayana and the entire area of pilgrimage is known as Chakra Theertha. Thereafter the sages invited Ganga (Ganges) to come there and Ganga descended there along with the sage Vasishta. The river Ganges flowing here is referred to as Gomati and hence, Dwaraka is also referred to as Gomati Dwaraka. The river Gomati merges with the ocean (Arabian Sea) at this place and the point where the river merges with the ocean is known as Gomati Sangam and hence, the Lord at this place is also referred to as Sangam Narayana or Samudra Narayana.

Dwaraka Kshetra

There is a great significance for taking holy bath and performing sacred rites to forefathers at this Sangam point of sacred river Gomati, as it will liberate one from the sins committed in the previous births and is regarded as the gate way to salvation. His ancestors belonging to three generations go to the abode of Vishnu and his accumulated sins of thousands of years get destroyed. Mere darshan of Gomati at Dwaraka destroys all the sins, which are committed by thoughts, words and deeds.

It is said that during Dwapara Yuga, sage Durvasa came to this place to have Darshan of the Lord Chakra Narayana who got manifested there and for a holy bath in the sacred river Gomati. But he was obstructed by the demons there. It is said that the sage went straight to Pathala Loka and informed the same to Lord Trivikrama who was fulfilling the boon given to his ardent devotee King Bali. Soon the Lord Trivikrama came to the rescue of Sage Durvasa at Dwaraka and hence, this place is also known as Trivikrama Kshetra. It is also significantly holy place where prominent sages like Athri, Marichi, Durvasa and Angirasa etc… made it as their abode and performed sacred penance and austerities.

Dwaraka is also called as Kushasthali the place where Kusa (Dharbha) used by Lord Brahma fell on the earth while He was taking measurement of the Earth. There is also another version of Kushasthali. It is said and believed that there used to live a demon called Kusha at this place which is known as Kushasthali and later Lord Sri Krishna killed him at this spot.

The coastal area of western region of which Dwaraka forms a part of it was the kingdom of Lord Sri Krishna’s forefathers belonging to Yadu lineage. Later on, during the end of Dwapara Yuga Lord Sri Krishna migrated to this place and made Dwaraka as his abode and capital of his kingdom.

Migration of Lord Sri Krishna to Dwaraka


Lord Sri Krishna migrated to this place in order to protect his people in Mathura from the frequent attacks of Jarasandha and Kalayavana. After the killing of Kamsa (maternal uncle of Lord Sri Krishna) by the Lord Sri Krishna, Jarasandha the father-in -law of Kamsa in order to take revenge against Lord Sri Krishna, attacked Mathura as many as 17 times. Every time he used to get defeated at the hands of Lord Sri Krishna and Balarama. On the 18th occasion, Jarasandha took the help of Kalayavana who also got provoked from the words of Sage Narada and joined Jarasandha in attacking Mathura. By that time Sri Krishna had pressure to move out of Mathura and already had planned to shift to Dwaraka considering it as the safest place.

When Mathura was thus attacked by both Jarasandha and Kalayavana, Lord Sri Krishna overnight moved all his people from Mathura and made them comfortable at Dwarka. His move from Mathura was quite dramatic. He came back to the war field at Mathura and while Balarama was confronting with Jarasandha, Lord Sri Krishna took on Kalayavana. He faced Kalayavana without carrying any weapon and came to the war field by foot. Instead of fighting with him, he pretended as if He is running away from the war field and provoked Kalayavana to catch him. Kalayavana chased Sri Krishna assuming that He was really running away from the war. Sri Krishna in the process was moving towards Dwaraka, entered into a cave on the way and hided himself behind a Sage who was in deep slumber. The sage was none other than King Muchukunda. Sri Krishna pulled his upper cloth (Pitambara) and spread it on Muchukunda.

Chasing Sri Krishna, Kalayavana entered the cave and mistook the person sleeping there as Sri Krishna and hit him with his leg disturbing Muchukunda from his sleep. When Muchukunda got disturbed, he got up from his sleep and opened his eyes. Soon Kalayavana standing in front of him got burnt in the fire emanated from his eyes and became ash within no time. Thus, Lord Sri Krishna got rid of the mighty Kalayavana with his trick and in the process crossed the border and migrated to Dwaraka once for all. Since the mode of his migration was a pretended running away from the war field Lord Sri Krishna is also called as Ranchodrai (one who fled from the war) in Dwaraka. It was only a Leela of Bhagavan Sri Krishna apart from Kalayavana also had a boon from Lord Shiva that, he would not get killed by Yadavas. Knowing this, Sri Krishna had to adopt Muchukunda and also utilized his boon in getting Kalayavana killed.
Dwaraka Ji Old

Story of Muchukunda

Muchukunda was belonging to Ikshvaku Dynasty in which Lord Sri Rama was born and was the son of King Maandhatha. Muchukunda during his time had helped a lot to the Deities in their war against Asuras. As a result of which the Deities wanted to give him a boon. Muchukunda wanted Moksha as a boon which the Deities expressed their inability. Only Lord Sri ManNarayana is capable and empowered to give Moksha to anyone. Then, Muchukunda asked for a boon of deep and undisturbed sleep for a long time which was accorded on him. Besides he was also blessed that whoever disturbs him in his sleep would get reduced into ashes from his glance. During the course of his deep slumber Muchukunda got disturbed by Kalayavana and his glance reduced Kalayavana into ashes. In the process Muchukunda had the darshan of Lord Sri Krishna, the Paripoorna avathara of Lord Sri ManNarayana, the Supreme Being. Lord Sri Krishna blessed him with Moksha in his next birth and advised him to take up penance and accordingly he went to Badarikasrama for performing penance. We find this story of Muchukunda and Kalayavana in Sri Mad Bhagavatham in the 10th chapter (Dasamaskhandam).

When Lord Sri Krishna wanted to move to Dwaraka and construct a city there, there was water and forest all around. Then He requested Samudra (Lord of the ocean) to move back 12 yojanas (approx 108 square miles). Then, Viswakarma the Divine architect constructed a beautiful, magnificent, glorious and majestic city on this land within no time where, Lord Sri Krishna settled along with his people. It is said that Lord Sri Krishna lived in Dwaraka for 100 years with all his majesty and prowess till his Niryana. Sri Krishna’s era in Dwaraka was considered as the Golden period and Dwaraka was called as the Golden city. Dwaraka was considered as the capital of Lord Sri Krishna’s kingdom from where He used to administer his government, while Bhet Dwaraka an island 35 km way from Dwaraka was considered as His residence where He used to live with all his Queens. With the Niryana of Lord Sri Krishna the legendary city of Dwaraka got submerged along with its glory more than 5000 years back.

It is believed that since then due to the damage and destruction by the sea Dwaraka has submerged six times and the present city of Dwaraka is the 7th such version built in the area. Though the original Dwarka is not present today it is said to be the same land where the legendary Dwaraka existed. It is believed and said that the remains of the original Dwaraka are still present deep in the ocean. Lot of research work has been done in this regard and some of the evidences have been unearthed.

Dwarka is surrounded by many other sacred and celestial places like Bhet Dwaraka, Nageshwar, Somnath, Harsiddhi Mata temple etc… Sun set view at Dwarka is worth seeing. Dwaraka is also the seat of one of the four spiritual centers “Sharada Peeta” established by the great Hindu Philosopher and Saint Sri Adi Sankaracharya.

Mere thought of going on a pilgrimage to Dwarka in a person’s mind is said to liberate his ancestors from their sins and hell. Providing food to a person going on a pilgrimage to Dwaraka is said to give virtues similar to that of performing Shraaddha at Gaya. Giving Charity at Dwaraka or on the way to Dwaraka, listening to the divine stories or songs in praise of Lord Sri Krishna is highly meritorious and one will surely receive the blessings of Lord Sri Krishna known as Dwarakadheesh. Donation of cow (Go-Dana) at the banks of river Gomati is said to yield highly meritorious results.

It is said that Gomati darshanam, Gomati Snanam(bath), Go-daanam (donation of cow), Gopichandanam and Gopinatha (Lord Sri Krishna) darshanam at Dwaraka are very rare, sacred, celestial and highly meritorious. Blessed are those who live in Dwaraka and one who gets an opportunity to see the face of Lord Sri Krishna (Dwarakadheesh) at Dwaraka at least once in their life time. With all its grandeur Dwaraka is standing as an epitome of Hindu Dharma, religion and culture attracting pilgrims from across the globe.

|| Sri Krishnaarpanamastu ||

Goddess Kali Mantras


 Baisa Akshari Shree Dakshina Kali Mantra (22 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं हूँ हूँ ह्रीं ह्रीं दक्षिणे कालिके क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं हूँ हूँ ह्रीं ह्रीं स्वाहा॥
Om Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Dakshine Kalike
Kreem Kreem Kreem Hum Hum Hreem Hreem Svaha॥
Kali Mantra

1. Ekakshari Kali Mantra (1 Syllable Mantra)

ॐ क्रीं
Om Kreem

2. Tin Akshari Kali Mantra (3 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रीं॥
Om Kreem Hrum Hreem॥

3. Panchakshari Kali Mantra (5 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रीं हूँ फट्॥
Om Kreem Hrum Hreem Hum Phat॥

4. Shadakshar Kali Mantra (6 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ क्रीं कालिके स्वाहा॥
Om Kreem Kalike Svaha॥

5. Saptakshari Kali Mantra (7 Syllables Mantra)

ॐ हूँ ह्रीं हूँ फट् स्वाहा॥
Om Hum Hreem Hum Phat Svaha॥

6. Shree Dakshina Kali Mantra

ॐ ह्रीं ह्रीं ह्रुं ह्रुं क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं दक्षिणकालिके क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रुं ह्रीं ह्रीं॥
Om Hreem Hreem Hrum Hrum Kreem Kreem Kreem
Dakshina Kalike Kreem Kreem Kreem Hrum Hrum Hreem Hreem॥

7. Shree Dakshina Kali Mantra

क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रीं दक्षिणेकालिके क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रीं स्वाहा॥
Kreem Hrum Hreem Dakshine Kalike Kreem Hrum Hreem Svaha॥

8. Shree Dakshina Kali Mantra

ॐ ह्रुं ह्रुं क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रीं ह्रीं दक्षिणकालिके ह्रुं ह्रुं क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रीं ह्रीं स्वाहा॥
Om Hrum Hrum Kreem Kreem Kreem Hreem Hreem
Dakshina Kalike Hrum Hrum Kreem Kreem Kreem Hreem Hreem Svaha॥
The mantra is preceded by ‘om’ or ‘aum’. It consists of three ‘bija’ or seeds, krim, hum and hrim, and the name ‘dakhshinA kAlike’ and ‘swaha’ signifying offering. The Sanskrit script shows the first seven terms of the mantra preceded by the ‘Aum’ on the first line. The ‘dakh-shi-nA-kA-lI-ke’ (six syllables) on the second line. The last line shows the last nine syllables ending in ‘swA-hA’. The end sound of the seeds are between ‘m’ and ‘ng’ and are nasalized; krIm ~ krIng, hUm ~ hUng, hrIm ~ hrIng.

9. Shree Dakshina Kali Mantra

ॐ क्रीं क्रीं क्रीं ह्रुं ह्रुं ह्रीं ह्रीं दक्षिणकालिके स्वाहा॥
Om Kreem Kreem Kreem Hrum Hrum Hreem Hreem Dakshina Kalike Svaha॥

10. Bhadrakali Mantra

ॐ ह्रौं काली महाकाली किलिकिले फट् स्वाहा॥
Om Hraum Kali Mahakali Kilikile Phat Svaha॥

11. Shree Shmashan Kali Mantra

ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं क्लीं कालिके क्लीं श्रीं ह्रीं ऐं॥
Aim Hreem Shreem Kleem Kalike Kleem Shreem Hreem Aim॥
Kali Bija Mantra
god_kali Maa

Kali काली is the Guardian. also known as Kālikā (कालिका)

The Protectress. The Mother. Kali is Dharma and Eternal Time. Kali shines with the brilliance of a Million Black Fires of Dissolution and Her body is bathed in vibuthi (sacred ash). She is also revered as Bhavatārini (literally “redeemer of the universe”).Just as the night sky appears black due to it’s fathomless depth and as the ocean appears deep blue due to it’s fathomless depth~ so too Kali appears dark due to Her Infinite depth. Kali assumes the form that reflects the attitude and bhava (emotion) of the person who approaches Her. If Kali is appraoched with the bhava of Motherly Love, She assumes the form of Lakshmi. If Kali is approached as the Guru, embodying Wisdom, Art and Education, She assumes the form of Saraswati. The demons approached Kalika with the bhava of destruction and evil. Consequently, the Divine Mother assumed the form of their Destruction by reflecting, in form, their own Evil.

The Tantras mention over thirty forms of Kali. The Divine Mother is also known as Kali-Ma, the Black Goddess, Maha Kali, Nitya Kali, Smashana Kali, Raksha Kali, Shyama Kali, Kalikamata, Bhadra Kali, Ugra Chandi, Bhima Chandi, Sidheshvari, Sheetla and Kalaratri.

Goddess Kali Mantras in hindi and english

Powerful Bhadrakali Mantra


Bhadrakali is one of the powerful forms of Great Goddess Parvati or Devi as mentioned in the popular stories related to Devi. The Sanskrit meaning of Bhadra means the one who is full of blessings and good fortune and prosperity. Maha Maya Bhadrakali is the most popular form of Devi worshipped before the war by Rajputs and for black magics.


ॐ ह्रौं काली महाकाली किलिकिले फट् स्वाहा॥

Om  Hraum Kali MahaKali KiliKile Phat Swaha॥

Best days to initiate this mantra is on Fridays or tuesdays, Ashtami thithis, Navami thithis , Amavasya or on Purnima days. One can chant or recite this mantra for 9, 27, 45 or 108 times. One can use Rosary beeds made out of Rudraksha as Japa mala.


Bhadrakali is the popular form of Devi worshipped in Kerala as Sri Bhadrakali and Kariam Kali Murti Devi. In Kerala she is seen as the auspicious and fortunate form of Kali who protects the good. This goddess is represented with three eyes, and four, twelve, or eighteen hands. She carries a number of weapons, with flames flowing from her head, and a small tusk protruding from her mouth. Her worship is also associated with the Tantric tradition of the Matrikas as well as the tradition of the ten Mahavidyas and falls under the broader umbrella of Shaktism.

Some communities, like the Kodavas and Nairs, worship this deity as family deity. They worship certain weapons at their temples which they believe to be the weapons used by the goddess. The Kuladevata or community deity of Kudumbi community is Kodungalluramma,the mother goddess of kodungallur.

Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother or Kali herself or Devi. The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity (Shakti) .

Kali काली, Tara तारा, Tripura Sundari त्रिपुरसुन्दरी(Shodashi) , भुवनेश्वरी, Cchinnamasta छिन्नमस्ता, Bhairavi भैरवी, dhumavati धूमावती, Bagalamukhiबगळामुखी, Matangi मातंगी , and Kamala कमला. These ten aspects of Shakti are the epitome of the entire creation.

Kāli conveys death, destruction, and the consuming aspects of reality. As such, she death itself. In the Pancatattva ritual, the sadhaka boldly seeks to confront Kali, and thereby assimilates and transforms her into a vehicle of salvation.

Kali appears as a symbol of triumph over death. Pray to Kali for liberation/salvation/God realization not for siddhis.

Kali, the Goddess of energy and transformation. The thunderbolt or vajra that destroys the serpent of the ignorance and releases the light of absolute truth.

Kali wields the sword of knowledge, which cuts through ignorance, a severed head, which symbolizes letting go of rational mind and ego; and the lotus, which represents spiritual fulfillment. She wears a garland of skulls around her neck, which represents the wisdom and memory of human existence.”

When we honour Kali, we honour the changes in our lives. She shows us the cycles in everything – nature, seasons, our relationships, our moods – reminding us that these aspects of ourselves are part of nature – everything must keep changing, evolving to go on being vital.

Kali teaches that pain, sorrow, decay, death, and destruction are not overcome by denying or explaining them away. These are inevitable parts of life and denying them is futile. For us to realize the fullness of our being and to realize our potential, we must accept these parts of existence. Kali’s gift is freedom. The freedom of the child to reveal in the moment, obtained only after confrontation with or acceptance of death. Kali is Mother, not because She protects us from the way things are, but because She reveals our mortality to us and releases us to act fully and freely.

Meditate on Kali and honour ourselves in all aspects – not simply the positive but ready to accept our shadow side. Eliminating the negative aspect of ourself which doesn’t do us any benefit. When you invoke Mahakali you are calling her to liberate you from your restrictions and own negative aspects.. Her tongue hanging out denotes she is teasing you ..its the brutal way of awakening depending upon your mistakes. She dwells in cremation grounds because she brings death.. the old dies and rebirth occurs ..

भद्रकाली, Bhadrakali in Sanskrit means “blessed, auspicious, beautiful and prosperous” and she is also known as “Gentle Kali”.

Kali is Chinnamasta छिन्नमस्ता, Chinnamasta is the Hindu the Goddess of Great Wisdom; She is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice and the awakening of the kundalini, our spiritual energy. She is the embodiment of sexual energy.

Chinnamasta is the shakti or power of Indra or Lightning, the electrical energy of transformation and spreads Herself along myriads of channels enveloping the who of the cosmos. She helps to free from the limitations of the mind, helps successful meditation, improves perception, free from troubles or find solutions to problems. She diminishes negative or dark energies and gives victory over enemies.

She is shown feeding others with her own blood symbolizes .. dropping own ego and feeding other egos .. she represents tolerance..

Chinnamasta who helps the sincere and devoted yogi to dissolve his or her mind, including all the ideas, attachments, habits, preconceived ideas into the Pure Divine Consciousness, helping him or her to transcend the mind and to merge with the supra-mental state (unmana) of the Divine Beatific Void.

This is why we need not fear the loss of our head or of time, because sooner or later death takes us all through the great passage, regardless whether we want it or not. The renunciation at the complicated mechanism of attachment and possession thoughts, of which the most persistent is the idea “I am the body”.

Kali is about going beyond yourself – dropping your ego doesn’t mean destroying it but making it divine, your limitations, your masks – coming back to your divine nature. There is no need of destroying the ego for spiritual evolution, ego can be made divine, tolerance, compassion, unconditional love and forgivness makes the ego divine ..

In the stories of the Hindu pantheon, Kali kills the demons that try to thwart her. One interpretation is that our demon is our negative ego.

Negative Ego stands in the way of spiritual progress, selfishness, jealously, hate, lust for power etc – of our own spiritual evolution but there is no need of destroying the ego for spiritual evolution. And interestingly, the ego can be well fortified by our own spiritual successes.

Murudeshwara : World’s Second-tallest Shiva Statue

Murudeshwara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, lies in the holy beach town in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. Situated between the Honnavar and Bhatkal town(about 12kms) The statue of Shiva here is the world’s second tallest (as claimed) and it lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea.
The Statue of Shiva with Ravana handing Atma Linga to Bramhin boy(Lord Ganesha)
The name “Murudeshwara” means Shiva or Eeshwara. The significance of this holy town dates to the time of Ramayana. By penance dedicated to the AtmaLinga, the divine Lingam of Shiva procures invincibility and immortality to the Hindu Gods. Ravana, the Lanka King worshipped Shiva with devotion to attain immortality by obtaining the AtmaLinga. Lord Shiva appeared before Ravana and asked him what he wanted. By this time Lord Vishnu to change Ravana’s mind on behest of Narada. As a result of this plot, Ravana asks for Goddess Parvathi, and Lord Shiva offers him.
On his way back to Lanka Narada tricks Ravana that the real Parvathi was in Pathala. So Ravana lets off Parvathi and went to Pathala and marries a king’s daughter thinking that she was Parvathi. When he returns back to Lanka his mother then asks for linga. Ravana knowing that he was tricked is angry with Vishnu and meditates to please Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva appears and Ravana asks for His forgiveness. And this time, Ravana requests the AtmaLinga as his boon. Lord Shiva agreed to give him the boon with a condition that it should never be placed on the ground. It is believed that the AtmaLinga was ever placed on the ground, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva again. Having obtained his boon, Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka.
Sage Narada, realised that with the AtmaLinga, Ravana may obtain immortality and create havoc on earth, approached the Lord Ganesh to help him. As Ravana was nearing Gokarna, Lord Vishnu blocked the sun to make it appear as dusk. Ravana now had to perform his evening rituals but was worried because with the AtmaLinga in his hands, he would not be able to do his rituals. At this time, Lord Ganesh, disguised as a Brahmin boy came near him.
Ravana requested him to hold the AtmaLinga until he performed his puja, and told him not to place it on the ground. Ganesh struck a deal with him saying that he would call Ravana thrice, and if Ravana did not return within that time, he would place the AtmaLinga on the ground.As predicted, before Ravana could return after completing his rituals, Ganesh had already placed the AtmaLinga on the ground. Vishnu then removed his illusion and it was daylight again.
Ravana got really angry that he was tricked and tried to uproot the AtmaLinga and destroy it but could not. In a fit of rage he threw the case covering it to a place called Sajjeshwara, 23 miles away. Then he threw the lid of the case to a placed called Guneshwara (now Gunavanthe)and Dhareshwara, 10-12 miles away. Finally, he threw the cloth covering the AtmaLinga to a placed called Mrideshwara in Kanduka-Giri (Kanduka Hill). Mrideshwara has been renamed to Murudeshwara.
At Murudeshwar: Saint Bhagiratha awaits as Goddess Ganga lands on Lord Shiva’s Jata (locks of hair) from Heaven.

Murudeshwara Temple and Raja Gopura : This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea. It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and a 20-storied Gopura is being constructed on the temple. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. The entire temple and temple complex, including the 249 feet tall Raja Gopura, which is considered the tallest gopura in the world, was constructed to its present form by businessman and philanthropist Mr R N Shetty.

Murudeshwara Fort :
 A fort present behind the temple is said to have been renovated by Tipu Sultan. including the 249 feet tall Raja Gopura, which is considered the tallest gopura in the world, was constructed to its present form by businessman and philanthropist Mr R N Shetty.

The Beach :
 One can relax on the pristine sands, swimming, water sportsand boating can be enjoyed. One can take a long walk or trek along beach line. Handicraft articles made of special type of grass is unique and worth shopping.
Best time to Visit: November to February.
How to reach: From Bangalore take the NH-206 to reach Honnavar and then take NH-17 to reach Murudeshwara. From Mumbai and Mangalore one has to take the National Highway NH-17 between the towns of Honnavar and Bhatkal
Nearest Road : From Bangalore 455 km, from Mangalore 165kms.
Nearest Railway Station : Murudeshwara station lies on the Konkan Railway. Some trains from Mumbai and Mangalore stop here. To reach from Bangalore on has to take train to Bhatkal station.
Nearest Airport : Mangalore International Airport, 165 km away. Hubli and Panaji airports are other alternatives.


Located in Bhatkal taluk in Karnataka, Murudeshwar is known to have the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva. The Murudeshwar Temple lies on a hill known as Kanduka Giri and the western most point of the town is a landmass that juts out of the mainland to form a small peninsula about two km west of the temple. A popular pilgrimage town, legend has it that Ganesha tricked Ravana into giving up the lingam he had received as a gift from Shiva for his penance and planted it at Gokarna. Angered by this, Ravan tried to uproot the lingam, in the process, breaking pieces of it. One of the pieces fell at Kanduka Giri where the Murudeshwar temple was eventually built. The statue is placed in such a way that the back of Shiva is towards the Arabian Sea. Towering at 249 ft, the statue is the tallest structure in the town. Besides being a pilgrimage site, the Murudeshwar beach that stretches for a few kilometers north of the temple is a popular picnic spot. With silvery sand and the western ghats as a backdrop, it is a sight to look at. Murudeshwar Temple is the most spectacular shore temples in India.

Jog falls, Prayaana.in India's cheapest tourism site

Apart from the temple, other attractions include exciting seaside activities like swimming, snorkeling and boat rides, as the sea is particularly calm and beautiful here. The area close to the temple has good walkways close to the beach, enabling visitors to enjoy a relaxing stroll and spectacular sunsets from the hillock of the temple. Travel Talk Other water attractions for families include the hugely popular wave pool where they can spend hours with their children enjoying themselves. You can come across beautiful multi-storey restaurants right on the water and dining here can be an unforgettable experience. And we include everything in one, book a trip to murudeshwar and have cherishing moments for your life.

15 Famous Landmarks Zoomed Out To Show Their Surroundings


We are so used to seeing the traditional photographs of a monument that we are unaware of its surroundings. Below is the collection of images of famous monuments zoomed out which gives us a different perspective of the monument.

1. The Great Pyramids of Giza

2. Stonehenge

3. Taj Mahal

Aside from the composition of these images, some of them also show just how misleading photography can be. Most of us probably imagine that the Taj Mahal is surrounded by pristine gardens because it’s always photographed from the same angle. But the squalid garbage dumps behind it tell another tale. Anyone who hasn’t been to Niagara Falls might think that they’re surrounded by a beautiful national forest instead of a series of tall buildings built on the lip of a nearby cliff.

Of course, not all of these photos reduce the landmarks’ grandeur. The Acropolis, the Arc de Triomphe and New York City’s Central Park all arguably look even better or at least look great in a different way in their second photos. The zoomed-out photos of the Acropolis and the Arc only serve to highlight how those landmarks are focal points of their cities.

4. The Brandenburg Gate

5. Sagrada Familia

6. Niagara Falls

7. The Acropolis

8. Mount Rushmore

9. The Forbidden City

10. Hollywood

11. Santorini

12. Mona Lisa

13. Central Park, New York City

14. The Arc de Triomphe

15. Little Mermaid

Pradakshina : Circumambulation


Pradakshina (Sanskrit), meaning circumambulation, consists of walking around in a ‘circle’ as a form of worship in Hindu ceremonies in India. The devotees walk around the garbha griha, the innermost chamber of the shrine housing the temple deity. It is done around sacred fire (Agni), trees and plants as well. Thus Pradakshina is done around Tulsi plant and Peepal tree. Pradakshina or Parikrama is done in pilgrimage centres also.

Pradakshina literally means: to the right (Dakshina means right). So in Pradakshina, one goes to the left hand direction to keep the deity around the Sanctum Sanctorum on one’s right side. Pradakshina is one of the customary aspects of going to a temple. Typically, Pradakshina is done after the completion of traditional worship (pooja) and after paying homage to the deity. Pradakshina is supposed to be done with a meditative mood.

From the Rig Vedic verses Rig: 2.42.3 and 2.43.1 –” Pra as an adjective means very much. Pra can also come as a prefix to verbs and take on the meaning of onward, forward. Onward to Dakshinam or south is pradakshina . When one does that, one’s right side is facing the deity inside the garbhagraham and the circumambulation is Dakshinacharam or auspicous as recommended by the Veda. ”

Skanda Purana Ch.9 v.68 -In the word Pra-Da-Ksi-Na the syllable Pra dispels sin, the syllable Da bestows what is desired, the syllable Ksi causes the destruction of Karman and the syllable Na is the bestower of salvation.

Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?

Hindus go round the sanctum sanctorium in the temples and sometimes the deities in the pujas or yajnas at home in a clockwise direction..We always assume God is the center of our existence. He also exists everywhere. So when we do Pradakshina or circumambulation, we accept that our actions and thoughts are always centred around God. The center point is always fixed and remains the same at whatever distance we do the pradakshina. So we are reminded of the eternal truth that God is the center of gravity and the main focus of our existence. This is the main principle of Pradakshinam.

The world is always rotating around itself on its own axis as well as around the sun. All the planets also rotate on their own axes. This is called rotation and their rotation on their orbits is called revolution. Just like in solar system, the sun is at the center around which the planets rotate, our pradakshinams should be done with god at the center. The Pradakshinam should be done slowly and never in a hurry, Our thoughts and actions must dwell on God.
It is normal to do Pradakshinam always in a clockwise direction. This is because we assume that Lord is always on our right side. This reminds that we must always lead a righteous life , in the right path called Dharma.
Skanda Purana Ch.9 v.28The sins committed by the mind are destroyed by the first step (of pradaksina), the sins committed in speech by the second and the sins perpetrated by the body by the third step…

Accordingly the number of pradakshinas are one for Ganapathi, two for Soorya (Sun), three for Siva, four for Devi and Vishnu and seven for Arayaal (sacred fig), generally there padakshinas are done in a temple in Kerala. Accordingly the first padakshina destroys all sins including brahmahathya papa (sin due to slaying of Brahmins), the second makes the worshipper an adhikaari (qualified person for material and spiritual pursuits) and the third helps the person in obtaining naindra-sampaada (pleasures of life which lead to final liberation). A number of twenty one pradakshinas in a day is considered most beneficial as per Swayambhoo aagama.

Further he makes pradakshinas (devotional rounds) slowly with folded hands and visualizing the deity in his mind all the time. All these actions knowingly or unknowingly have salutary effect to ward off the ego from the mind of the devotee. It is noteworthy that the purpose of temple worship is never achieved unless one understands that visits to temples are temples are meant to help the devotee to shed his ego. The purpose of visits to temples is one’s own cultural emancipation which functions on functions on fundamental values known as dharma.

Significance of doing Pradakshina

We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. We acknowledge this by performing Pradakshina. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of Pradakshina.

Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the centre. This means that wherever we may be or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality.

According to Adi Sankaracharya, real Pradakshina is the meditation that thousands of universes are revolving around the Great Lord, the unmoving centre of all forms.There is a popular legend about the significance of Pradakshina. Once Lord Shiva wanted his two sons, Ganesha and Subrahmanya, to get “worldly experience” and asked them take a “tour of the universe”. While Subrahmanya spent decades traveling the world on his peacock, Ganesha just walked a full circle around his mother and father and is believed to have explained “since the world is contained within you, I have already encircled the world”!

Shayana Pradakshinam

Shayana Pradakshinam is done in a lying posture. It starts with a Sashtanga Namaskara in front of the sanctum sanctorum. In Sashtanga Namaskara, the devotees have eight parts of their bodies touching the ground. Thus forehead, chest, shoulders, hands and knees touch the ground. The folded hands will be directed always towards the deity.

In this pose, the devotees circumambulate on the Pradakshina path. The relatives and friends of the devotees help them to roll around. This is a tedious ritual.

The pradakshinam of the Supreme Lord with different Veda manthrams ( in different metres) and circumambulating Him in Aathma Pradakshinam and Bhahya Pradakshinams in a clockwise manner is indicated here.

Why do we do Atma Pradakshina?

At the end of the pujas , it is a custom to do pradakshinam around ourselves three times & this is called “Atma Pradakshinam”. The proper pradakshina is going round the Self (Atma Pradakshina) or more accurately, to realize that we are the Self and that within us all the countless spheres revolve, going round and round. We bow to the supreme divinity within us, chanting
Yani kani cha paapaani janmanthara kruthaani cha
Thaani thaani vinas(h)yanthi pradakshina padae padae
May those omissions and commissions done in this life and also in the previous births and the resulting afflictions perish with every pradakshina.

Why it is saying that to do not complete a full PRADHAKSHINAM in Lord Siva Temples? (we are not permitted to take a full circle, normally we are doing half-circle in clockwise and half circle in anti-clockwise)

Somasooktha (Soma-moon)Pradakshinam..

Pradosha pooja is one of the most sacred and important among the poojas performed by Shivites to the Graceful Lord Shiva. In Shukla Paksha (15 moon days from new moon to full moon) and Krishna Paksha (15 moon days from full moon to new moon) the evening of the Trayodasi (thirteenth moon day) between 4.30 pm to 6.00 p.m. is called Pradosham. It comes once in fifteen moon days. Pradosha time is to pray Lord Shiva and invoke His Blessings. Praying in this time will free us from sins and gives Moksha (hence the name Pradosha). During Pradosha time, a special type of circumbulating called “Somasooktha Pradakshinam”

The story behind Pradosha is one often heard, beginning with the churning of the milk ocean by the devas and the asuras on a holy Dwadasi day. The very first product which came out of the milk ocean was the deadly poison, HalaHala. The devas and asuras were now in a fix. The poison from the sea came rushing after them, scaring them out of their wits. Vishnu was already holding the Meru mountain from below in his Kurma form, and unless the poison was removed from the milk ocean, the churning could not be resumed. It was while pondering over a possible solution, did Indra remember his grave folly No. 1. He had not seeked the blessings of Maheshwara prior to the commencement of the churning. He felt like kicking himself with the Vajraayudha. He was sure that SarpaBhooshana (The one who uses serpents as ornaments) would be the one who could pull them out of this mess. With fear clinging onto him like death and the poison chasing after them, he ran towards Mount Kailash with the rest of the devas in tow. “Namah Shivaya Om, Shivaya Namah Om”, they chanted on their helter skelter mad run towards Kailash. Kailash drew nearer and so did the gap between the poison and the devas. Finally, huffing and puffing, they made it to the foot hills of the Himalayas, and there what a sight awaited them.

A very angry Nandi stood at the gates to Kailash, looking close to murderous. “Go back, you filthy unloyal scums. You dont seek the blessings of Eashwara when you start on this earth wrecking experiment, but now in a time of difficulty you come running here”, he roared.”Go back before I gore you to death with my horns”, he warned. Having warned, he lowered his sharp tipped horns.

Flabbergasted, the devas retreated, only to be met by the rippling waves of hala hala behind. Shocked to death and having no other go, Indra and the devas ran towards the left of the mountain, chased by the Poison. They circumambulated the Holy Kailasa and came back to the starting point, where, at the entrance they were once again met by Nandi, his sharp horns glinting in the sun. “Back up”, shouted the devas all over, and they turned around, running back around the mountain once again to be driven forward by the poison. This very funny running-around-the-mounttain game went on, leaving the devas (who were already weak) totally exhausted. Shiva finally decided to have pity on them and came down from his divine abode, shining like a thousand majestic suns.

Nandi,” he commanded,”bring me the hala hala”. Nandi immediately collected the poison and gave it to Shiva. With a smile on his lips, he rolled all the poison into a single ball and swallowed it. The Lord of the universe had swallowed the deadly poison, forgetting that all of creation was sustained within him. The three worlds were now open to the deathly effects of Hala Hala. Parvathi, the mother of all creation, sensing imminent danger to all her children, came thundering down the steps of her mountain palace and gently held up ther hands against Shiva’s neck, forcing the poison to stay there. Shiva’s neck turned violently blue and the poison started taking its toll on Him. Beckoning Parvathi, he said, “Oh Gauri, dont panic. I had to do this. I now feel light headed… Maybe its the poison…. May I rest on your lap, divine mother?”

Parvathi sat down, and gently took Shiva’s head into her lap. What a sight it was, Parameshwara, his neck all blue, resting on the lap of Jagathjanani. The devas, thanked Shiva in their hearts and waited with bated breath for the lord to show signs of normalcy. The whole of Kailash was engulfed in a deathly silence, waiting for its lord to revive. One and a half days passed, and the thithi of Thrayodasi on Saturday was nearing its end and still Shiva showed no signs of motion. The devas grew worried and their feeling of guilt increased.

The sun was sinking low on the horizon on the sacred thrayodasi day, when the anklets of Shiva moved around producing the ever resonant Om. Shiva sat up, as though from a blissful sleep and cast an eye full of grace on the devas. “Namah Parvathi pathaye”, Indra praised, immediately followed by all the devas resonating, “Hara Hara Mahadeva”. The lord was back to normal.

Nandi, was overjoyed and kept shaking his head like an adamant small child. When he had carried the poison over to Shiva, the fumes of the deadly halahala had entered him and had slightly damaged his senses. The joy that he felt now was not due to the recovery of Shiva, but rather due to a baseless pride that the poison which had affected even Shiva had done nothing to him. But ofcourse, it was only due to the damage of his senses that Nandi ever had let such blasphemous thoughts enter his head.

Parvathi threw a concerned glance at Nandi and then turned back to Neelakantha (The blue throated one), her eyes full of question. Shiva decided to to cure Nandi of his current head weight and at the same time show all of the world that he was indeed alright and that nothing could destroy him. Summoning Nandi, the God of Dance placed his tender feet on Nandi’s head and stood on his forehead. Then, with Vishnu blowing the panchajanya, Indra at the mridangam, Saraswathi playing the veena, Lakshi clanging the cymbals, Brahma clicking the nattuvangam and Gauri herself leading the vocals, Nataraja, sounding his drum all by himself, danced over the head of Nandi, between the two horns, to show to the world that he was just as normal as ever. The whole world watched this divine dance with absolute raptness. They had seen nothing as beautiful as this before. For the next one and a half hours leading to sunset, Shiva performed his Sandhya Thandava (evening dance), his lotus feet hitting on Nandi’s head, driving out his insanity. What an awesome sight it was. The world was indeed blessed.

These one and a half hours, spanning from 4:30 PM to 6 PM in normal human days, form the period of pradosha everyday. However since Bhagawan had danced on the thithi of Thrayodashi, these one and half hours on thrayodashi are observed as the time of pradosha in all the shiva temples in the world. There are five types of pradoshas known. They are:- Nithya pradosha (Daily), Paksha Pradosha (Every Thrayodashi), Maasa Pradosha (thrayodashi of Krishna paksha), Maha pradosha (when pradosha falls on a saturday) and Pralaya Pradosha (At the end of all times, when all creation will recede into shakthi and shakthi herself will recede into Shiva). There are people who observe pradosha every day too.

Pradosha vratha has a number of unique observances and was preached by Sandilya Maharishi to a woman, her son Suchivratha and an orphaned prince Dharmaguptha. It is said that after 8 pradoshas, Suchivrata got to drink the amrutha and Dharmaguptha married a celestial princess and by the grace of Shiva was able to regain his kingdom. Such is the power of the vratha.

The general procedures of the vratha match closely to the other vrathas and should essentially include Ahimsa, Sathya (truthfulness), Daya (compassion), kshama (forgiveness) and brahmacharya. The vratha is ended in the evening with the visit to a Shiva temple during pradhosha kalam and taking part in the worship there. Over the one and half hours, the lord is bathed in various substances and special pooja is offered. Nandidevar gets equal importance and is given special abhisheka in milk, sandal, water, fragrant fluids among others. He is offered a special dish made out of red rice (Puttarisi) and worshipped by everyone. People even take the liberty of whispering their wishes into his ears to pass them onto Shiva, for during pradhosha, Nandi is said to be closest to the Lord. It is also customary to have a darshan of the shiva linga through and in between the horns of Nandi, just the way he had danced at the very first pradosha.

The highlight of every pradosha is the Soma Sooktha Pradakshinam. The Pradosha Nayakar is a small statue of Shiva and Parvathi, standing on Nandi. He comes out only during the pradosha and hence the name. The Pradosha Nayakar is carried in a procession around the temple three times, followed dutifully by all the devotees in what is called the Somasooktha pradakshinam. But the order of the pradakshinam is the weirdest ever. The pradakshinam starts at the Kodimaram, behind Nandi. Having a darshan of the linga through Nandi’s horns, the procession goes around the temple anti-clockwose until it reaches the Gomukhi (the spout from which the abhisheka waters come out). There the procession turns back and comes back to the Kodimaram and continues its clockwise rotation until it reaches the Chandikeswara shrine. Once again the direction of travel is reversed and the procession ends up at the kodi maram. This bizzare circumambulation is repeated three times with the Pradosha Nayakar in the lead. This is called the Somasooktha pradakshinam because while doing it, the lord and the devotees describe the shape of a crescent moon (Soma-moon). And if you have been thick enough not to unravel the reason behind this odd form of pradakshinam, then here it is. It is done to commemorate the circumambulation of the Devas around Mt Kailash when they came for help. They kept running between Nandidevar and the poison, denoted respectively by the Nandi mandapam and the gomukhi, in a similar fashion until Shiva decided to sort things out. The Somasooktha pradakshinam is infact a re-enactment of the devas pleading to Shiva for help.



Indians make an offering of food to the Lord and later partake of it as prasad – a holy gift from the Lord. What we offer to God is Naivedyam. When it comes back to us, it becomes Prasada.

Literally, a gracious gift. Anything, usually edible, given by a saint, Perfect Master or the Avatar to their followers. Anything, usually edible, that is first offered to a deity, saint, Perfect Master or the Avatar and then distributed in His name. The prasad has the deity’s blessing residing within it.


In its material sense, prasada is created by a process of giving and receiving between a human devotee and the divine god. For example, a devotee makes an offering of a material substance such as flowers, fruits, or sweets — which is called naivedya. The deity then ‘enjoys’ or tastes a bit of the offering, which is then temporarily known as bhogya. This now-divinely invested substance is called prasāda, and is received by the devotee to be ingested, worn, etc. It may be the same material that was originally offered, or material offered by others and then re-distributed to other devotees.A flower accepted for one’s sense gratification is material, but when the same flower is offered to the Supreme personality of Godhead by a devotee, it is spiritual. Food taken and cooked for oneself is material, but food cooked for the Supreme Lord is spiritual prasäda. This means the mercy of the Lord. Thus, the food we eat after it is offered to the Lord becomes a means for our purification and spiritual development.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, “All that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.”So offering what we eat to the Lord is an integral part of bhakti-yoga and makes the food blessed with spiritual potencies. Then such food is called prasadam, or the mercy of the Lord.

The Lord says in the Gita :

“Patram Pushpam Phalam Toyam Yo Me Bhaktya Prayacchati;
Tadaham Bhaktyupahritamasanami Prayatatmanah” –
Whoever offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water with devotion, that I accept, offered as it is with a loving heart”.

Thus, we can see that the Lord does not need anything, but if one offers fruits, grains, and vegetarian foods, He will accept it.

Prasadam is also called Bhagwan Bhog or Sacred food which we offer to god and then distribute to every one for blessings.

To most of us, prasada means something edible and that is all ! But the real meaning of prasada is “purity, cheerfulness, bliss, joy, peace”. This is our true gain upon tuning our minds with the Lord during the worship. The real prasada is the feeling of peace we experience in our hearts while looking at the idol of the Lord after we have performed our daily puja with love and devotion. Experiencing the peace and joy is how we tune our minds to the Lord.There is a Bhavana, an attitude involved in it. This attitude is born of the vision of God. Prasada is not an object. It is purely born of understanding. The understanding of the reality is the basis for prasada.
Now, let us go a little deeper. The result that an action produces, whether it is more or less, or equal or opposite, comes from God. This is the appreciation of God and that is maturity. So we accept that God is the author of the result of our actions. The result thus becomes prasada since it comes from God. Thus result of every action must be looked upon as prasada from the Lord, irrespective of whether it is what we expect or opposite. This is Sameness of mind (called samatvam in the Gita). This is born of understanding and cannot be forced upon anybody. It is always born in the wake of some knowledge of reality. So we have to be alive to the reality of our being the doer of action and God being the giver of the result. Therefore, even if I do not get what I expected, I still accept the result as prasada and having become wiser, work harder. A person ultimately becomes wiser by the attitude of prasada. We welcome whatever comes to us and our whole life becomes a learning experience.
Thus we arrive at the meaning of prasada as the cheerful acceptance of the situation as it comes to me. Thus prasada-buddhi becomes the attitude of glad acceptance.

Anything that comes from the Lord is Grace or Prasada. Let us learn to look upon the results of out actions given to me by the Lord as prasada.When a ceremony is performed all the devotees should share the prasad and thus receive the blessings of the Deities. There is no restriction of any kind in taking prasad. Time, place or condition does not affect one. Prasad is all purifying. Prasada is the most sacred object for a devotee. One should consider himself lucky to take the Prasada, and there is no restriction of any kind in taking Prasada.

Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?

According to Hinduism, food is verily an aspect of Brahman (annam parabrahma swaroopam). Because it is a gift from God, it should be treated with great respect. The gross physical body is called annamayakosh or the food body, because it is nourished by food and grows by absorbing the energies from the food. Traditional Hindus offer food to God mentally before eating.

Food is identified with the element of earth. According to Prasna Upanishad, “Food is in truth the Lord of Creation (Prajapathi). From food is produced retas (the sexul energy or semen) and from it beings are born.” According to Manu, “Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigor; but eaten irreverently, it destroys them both.” Food should be eaten for the survival and strength of the body, with a religious attitude, to practice austerities and gain self control, but not for pleasure. Eating is therefore any other human activity which can be made into either a sacrificial act that would help in the liberation of soul or a mere pleasure activity that would lead to bondage and suffering.

The Bhagavad-gita (17.8-10) divides foods into three classes: those of the quality of goodness, those of the quality of passion, and those of the quality of ignorance. The most healthful are the foods of goodness. “Foods of the quality of goodness [milk products, grains, fruits, and vegetables] increase the duration of life; purify one’s existence; and give strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction. Such foods are sweet, juicy, fatty, and palatable.”

Foods that are too bitter, sour, salty, pungent, dry or hot, are of the quality of passion and cause distress. But foods of the quality of ignorance, such as meat, fish, and fowl, described as “putrid, decomposed, and unclean,” produce only pain, disease, and bad karma. In other words, what you eat affects the quality of your life. There is much needless suffering in the world today, because most people have no other criterion for choosing food than price and sensual desire.

Bhagavad Gita (3.13):

Yajna-sistasinah santoMucyante sarva-kilbisaihBhunjate te tv agham papaYe pacanty atma-karanat

“The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sin because they eat food, which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin”.

The Lord is fully satisfied in Himself. He is the creator of all so everything is already His. He supplies us with food through nature, but we give thanks to Him by offering it back in a mood of loving devotion. So if His devotee offers something with love, out of His causeless mercy God accepts it. This is exemplified by the Hindi words “tera tujko arpan”– I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift to us, graced by His divine touch.

Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the act of eating changes. The food offered will naturally be pure and the best. We share what we get with others before consuming it. We do not demand, complain or criticise the quality of the food we get. We eat it with cheerful acceptance (prasaada buddhi).

Before we partake daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the table acknowledging the debt owed by us to the : Divine forces (devta runa) for their benign grace and protection. Our ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and the family culture. The sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been “realised” maintained and handed down to us by them. Our fellow beings (manushya runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not live as we do and Other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us selflessly.

The purpose of food, however, is not only to increase longevity and bodily strength, but also to purify the mind and consciousness. Therefore the spiritualist offers his food to the Lord before eating. Such offered food clears the way for spiritual progress.

What is Prasad?

Prasad is an offering made to a Hindu deity, usually eatable food items, which is distributed to the devotees as the deity’s blessings.

As a general rule “no onion, no meat, no garlic, no fish, no egg, no mushroom” policy is followed in all the holy centres and Hindu temples. They are strictly vegetarian. There may be exceptions. For instance Sri Lankan Tamil temples use garlic and onion. Indian temples won’t use them. In villages there are some strange customs of offering even toddy and meat to Grama Devatas (Village Goddesses).

Hindu Prasads: It is a billion dollar business.US temples sell Prasad. Tamil temples in Britain distribute free meals like Hare Krishna (Iskcon) temples and Sikh Gurdwaras. Hare Krishna people visit even universities and distribute food to students. I have seen long queues of students in London University.

Six types of Hindu Prasad

There are six types of Prasads:

1.Edible/ Cooked: Sweets, Different types of cooked rice, Sundal (boiled pulses mixed with spices).

Cooked Samba rice with Jeerak, Ven Pongal (cooked rice with pepper, butter and nuts), Sarkkarai Pongal (Rice Pudding), Payasam, (Liquid Rice Pudding) Puliyodharai (Tamarind Rice), Thayir sadham (Curd rice), Vadai (fried lentil snack), Modakam (Rice+ Sweet Coconut), Pittu (Rice+jiggery), Full  square meal

2.Edible/ uncooked: Milk, Water, Panchamirtham(fruits, honey, jaggery, nuts, spices mixture), fruits, sugar candy, nuts, pepper, salt, sand from ant hill, Tulsi leaves, Powa (pounded rice mixed with coconut and sugar)

In Sankarankoil and Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamil Nadu, people collect sand from anthill in the temple and eat it in minute quantities as Prasad and medicine.

Tamil Hindus take Coconut, Bananas, betel leaves and flowers into temple and take them home after offering it to God.


3.Applied on Body : Vibhuti, Kunkum, sandal, burnt Yaga ash, Bilva leaves  and Yellow powder.

In all south Indian temples Vibhuti (holy ash), Kunkum (red powder made up with turmeric etc), Sindhur (Red powder), Sandal paste, Homa pasmam (holy ash from the fire pit), Bilva leaves, yellow powder are offered as Prasad. If it is a Vishnu temple Tulsi leaves are offered to devotees from the feet of the statue.

All temples give flowers to women which they wear it in their hair. Flower industry is also a billion dollar industry in India. In Western countries flowers are offered to women. In India it is first offered to Gods and then women get it from there. No Hindu women wear it straight from the basket.

4.Worn on body: Talisman, medals, holy thread (kaappu on wrists), Kasi thread (black), Flowers, Garlands, Silk, rosaries (Rudraksha or Tulsi seeds).

Special Prasads like Rudraksha Malas, Tulsi malas, silk from the Gods’ statues, talismans are obtained with special arrangements.

In South Indian Temples, used sarees from statues are sold in auction to women. They buy it as good luck symbol or auspicious items.

Pictures and books are given in some places such as Ashrams, Holy Centres, which can be kept at home as Prasad.

Metal objects such as rings, talismans etc come under this category.

5.Sold Prasad: Nowadays Prasad is sold in big temples; but simultaneously free Prasad is also distributed. Whoever needs more than that have to buy it.

After seeing the demand for Prasad, South Indian temples also started selling special prasads in special counters.

6.Free Prasad: Flowers, Vibhuti, Kunkum, Sandal or the fruits, coconuts we take it into the temple are returned to us; but yet there is a small fee for that service.

So we can broadly classify the Prasad into Sold and Free Prasads. In the same way, we can broadly classify them into cooked and not cooked Prasads.

There is a pattern in Prasad distribution:

In village temples they offer gruel made up of rice or millets

In Vishnu temples, they give Tulsi+water from a copper pots or silver vessels.

After the main Arti, they distribute Tamarind rice or Curd rice.

In Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu they distribute plain cooked rice with Jeera or Ven Pongal.

In Goddess Temples they offer Sweet Pongal, particularly Fridays.

But each temple has got something unique to offer.

As a student I used to go to the world famous Madurai Meenakshi Temple and get Samba rice or Ven Pongal in the day time and Sundal and milk after the last Arti (Palli Arai Deeparadhana).

In Krishnan temple,Madurai run by the Yadava caste, I used to queue up for tamarind rice or Curd rice.

On Fridays, they offer sweet Pongal to goddesses in the South Indian temples, Goddess statues are inside both the Vishnu and Shiva temples.

13 miles from my home town Madurai is Azakarkoil. They used to make unique ADAI (looks like Dosa but much thicker made up with grains,pulses and spices) two or three people can share it.

When we go to Tirupati we used to buy Ladoos and a small Adai like spicy snack. They do distribute rice items as well.

In the North Indian temples they distribute small sugar balls, sugar candy, nuts or coconut sweets as Prasad. In Swami Narayan temples, they offer sweets during Deepavali in huge quantity (Annakut festival).

Kerala temples are famous for the sweet liquid called Payasam. This is rice based item but can be made with jack fruit or sago or vermicelli or pounded rice.

In south India Tirupati (in Adhra Pradesh) laddu is the most famous Prasad. In Tamil Nadu, Panchamirtham of Palani Murugan temple is unique. Both these prasadas give work to lot of people.

Equally famous is the Mahaprasad of Puri Jagannatha Temple. It has fifty six cooked and non- cooked items in its menu.

Mahalaxmi Temple (Mumbai), Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Shirdi), Viswanatha temple (Kasi) are offering sugar balls as prasad. In many of the temples people buy it from outside shop and offer it to God and take it back.

How to take Prasad?

Always take the Prasad with your right hand. Never use left hand.  Both hands may be used but place your right palm over left palm, bow your head, and then receive it. You should not throw anything on floor even if you don’t want it. You have to dispose them in the containers for it.

List of Unique Hindu Prasads:

  1. Puri Jagannatha Temple: Maha (great or big) Prasad with 56 items
  2. Tirupati Balaji temple:Ladoo and Appam
  3. Palani Dandayutha pani Temple: Fruit Mixture (Panchamirtham)
  4. North Indian Temples: Sugar Balls or sweets
  5. Maharastrian Temples: Powa +Sugar+Coconut
  6. Kerala Temples: Ney Appam (fried sweet flour item with butter)
  7. Ganesh Temples: Modaka on special days
  8. Hanuman Temples: Vada (made up of Urad Dal) in South India or Boondhi in North India.
  9. Sabari Malai Ayyappan Temple: Aravanai sweet, Appam, Ghee from Cow’s butter
  10. Sri Rangam: Coconut, Butter, Spinach
  11. Tiruvarur Temple: Ney Murukku ( Fried Rice snack)
  12. Tirukkannapuram: special Pongal (rice item)
  13. Kancheepuram Varadaraja Perumal: Kanchi Type Idli (boiled rice cake with pepper)
  14. Kollur Mookambika and Kutralam: Medicinal concoction with herbs
  15. Chidambaram, Madurai Temples: Cooked Rice with Jeeraka
  16. Irinjala kuda Bharatha Temple: Brinjal/Aubergine preparation
  17. Vaishnava Devi in Kashmir: Puffed rice+coconut+sugar balls
  18. Ambalapuza in Kerala: Milk Payasam.
  19. Pongal to goddess in Kerala.
  20. In Tamil Nadu, during Navaratri festival and Markazi (Month Margsirsha) Bhajans, Sundal is distributed. On the Saraswati Puja/Vijayadasami day Sundal+Vada+ Sweet Pongal are distributed.

This is not a comprehensive list. Each temple has got its own Madappalli (kitchen) and its own traditional menu. Anything can be a Prasad once it is offered at the feet of God. Hinduism is a colourful religion. There is no place for monotony. Variety is the spice of life (loko binna ruchi:), says Kalidasa. Hindus see god even in variety of food items.