December 18, 2012

About Thirukkadaiyur

Thirukkadaiyur is a temple town on the east coast of Tamil Nadu situated in Nagapattinam district, close to Karaikal.

This is the place Lord Shiva bestowed immortality to Sri Markandeya (rishi/sage). The original temple Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam now called Thirumeignanam built in 11th Century AD was ravaged by sea and is in ruins now.

One other temple with an identical plan was built and is now visited by people praying for long life.

The boy named Markandeya (ancient rishi/sage from Hindu tradition) grew up to be an ardent devotee of Shiva. Yama (the lord of death) tried to snatch the life of the boy. Markandeya went to the temple and clutched at the Shiva Lingam in a bid to escape death. Lord Shiva pleased by boy's belief rescued him from death, incarnating him as Kalantaka (ender of death). 60th, 70th and 80th birthday worships are very famous in the temple. Abhirami Amman temple is located inside the Amrithakadeswar temple. Amman facing towards east. 

August 13, 2011

About WWW (World Wide Web)

It is nothing less than breathtaking to note that the World Wide Web (WWW) has grown at a frenetic pace over the past 20 years of its existence. 

After it was launched in August 1991, although it was first conceived in 1989, the applications of the Web have been almost doubling every passing year. The Web impacts most of us in a way that not many other applications can ever do.

At its 20th year, here are some little-known facts about the World Wide Web and its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee: 

1. The birth name of the founder of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee is Timothy John Berners-Lee


2. A Britisher, Berners-Lee graduated from the Queen's College at Oxford University, UK and later, went on to work at the University of Southampton 


3. Tim Berners-Lee was a physicist and also a computer scientist working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland 


4. Contrary to popular perception, he didn't link all the computers with an Internet connection from across the world


5. Tim Berners-Lee is credited for evolving three technologies – uniform resource locators (URLs), HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – that brought WWW alive 


6. Robert Cailliau, a Belgian informatics engineer and computer scientist, collaborated with Berners-Lee in developing the WWW 


7. Cailliau, and not Berners-Lee, was the first surfer of the Web 


8. According to Berners-Lee, the WWW project was started to allow (only) high energy physicists at CERN to share data, news, and documentation and it was subsequently decided to extend it to other general users 


9. He used a NeXT system by Steve jobs to write the programme code 


10. World Wide Web was finalized as the name of the project, after it was preferred over Information Mesh, Mine of Information and Information Mine 


11. Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever website and web server and the first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html 


12. The first-ever Web page was just about the information on the World Wide Web project 


13. The World Wide Web and the Internet are not the same, but related. While the Internet is a networking infrastructure involving a lot of smaller networks, the World Wide Web is a tool to access from and share information on it 


14. The use of 'www' as a subdomain name is not required by any technical or policy standard. In fact, the first ever web server was called nxoc01.cern.ch 


15. Considered in popular terms as the Web and WWW, the World Wide Web is also known as W3 


16. According to worldwidewebsize.com, the Web contains about 19.68 billion pages – more than three times the world's population 


17. Across the globe, the number of Web users is over two billion, and India alone has more than 100 million users 


18. The first website on the .xxx domain (meant for adult websites) went online only this year, though a major portion of the Web is crowded by porn sites 


19. In the mid-90s, Microsoft founder Bill Gates reportedly remarked in an interview that an Internet browser was a trivial piece of software. Later, he would launch Internet Explorer 


20. On the abbreviation WWW, English writer Douglas Adams once wrote in The Independent on Sunday, "The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it's short for". 

***Article was publised in/by CIOL

May 30, 2010

The 7 Main Chakras

Chakra pronounced in Hindi as Pali, in Chinese as Chakka and in Tibet as Khorlo is a sanskrit work meaning "Wheel".

Chakras are depicted as flower like or wheel like. When it is depicted as flower like, a specific number of petals are shown around the circle.


It is said that human body contains hundreds of chakras that are key to the operation of our being. According to ancient scriptures, a chakra is where 216 nadis (energy channels) cross over each other, forming energy spirals.

The 7 main chakras in human body refer to the 7 energy centers of which our consciouness and energy system is composed. The 7 chakras are aligned along the spinal column. Each of the 7 main chakras is their own intelligence center. It means each chakra is not only associated with our physical health but also controls aspects connected to our physical, emotional, mental and belief system.


1.Muladhara/Base Chakra (last bone in spinal cord)

2.Svadhisthana/Sacral Chakra (ovaries and prostrate)

3.Manipura/Sola Plexus Chakra (navel area)

4.Anahanta/Heart Chakra (heart area)

5.Vishuddha/Throat Chakra (throat and nect area)

6.Ajna/Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland)

7.Sahasrara/Crown Chakra (top of the head)



*********** click on the picture to enlarge

March 13, 2010

Astrology

Astrology is the science of patterns and relationships – of planets in motion (moving planets), birth chart and make-up of elements (earth, air, water and fire). In Sanskrit, it is called HORA SASTRA. It is also called JYOTISHA (knowledge of light).

Indian astrology is divided into 3 parts – SIDDHANTA, HORA and SAMHITA.
  • HORA tells us information about individuals.
  • SAMHITA tell us about happenings in the world.
  • SIDDHANTA about the basic information on which Hora and Samhita are based.
Astrology’s premise is that the planetary movements influence the MOMENTS in time.

The 9 planets are,
  • Surya or Ravi - SUN
  • Soma or Chandra - MOON
  • Kuja or Mangala - MARS
  • Budha or Soumya - MERCURY
  • Guru or Brihaspathi - JUPITER
  • Sukra or Bhargava - VENUS
  • Sani or Manda - SATURN
  • Rahu or Thama - DRAGON’S HEAD
  • Ketu or Sikhi - DRAGON’S TAIL
All the planets except Surya, Chandra, Rahu and Ketu move in retrogression or vakra.

The Panchanga has five (pancha) parts (anga), includes five basic elements,
VARA, THITHI, NAKSHATRA, YOGA & KARANA

Vara or Week-day
The days are named after Sun, Moon and five principal planets. 7 such days form a week. A Vara begins at sunrise.

Thithi
A Thithi in Hindu calendar is a Lunar day, the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the sun to increase by 12 degrees. Thitis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 18 hours to 26 hours. There are 30 thithis in each lunar month.

The moment of new moon or that point of time when the longitudes of the sun and the moon are equal is called AMASVAYA.

The moment of full moon or that point of time when the moon is farthest from the sun when the longitudes differ by 180 degrees is called PURNIMA.

Nakshatra
Nakshatra or lunar mansion is one of the 27 divisions of the sky. Each nakshatra represents a divison of the ecliptic (is the apparent path sun traces out in the sky during the year) similar to the zodiac (ring of constellations that lines the ecliptic). Constellation is a group of celestial bodies, usually stars that appear to forma pattern in the sky.

There are 27 nakshatras, with Lord and Deity. 


1 Ashwini, Ketu, Ashwini Kumaras - physicians to god
2 Bharani, Venus (sukra), Yama - god of death
3 Kritika, Sun (soorya), Agni - god of fire
4 Rohini, Moon (chandra), Brahma - the creator
5 Mrigashira, Mars (kuja), Chandra - the moon god
6 Aridra, Rahu, Rudra - the storm god
7 Punarvasu, Jupiter (guru), Aditi - mother of the gods
8 Pushya, Saturn (sani), Brishaspathi - priest of the gods
9 Aslesha, Mercury (budha), Sarpa - the snake
10 Magha, Ketu, Pitru - family ancestors
11 Poorvaphalguni, Venus (sukra), Bhaga - god of marital bliss
12 Uttaraphalguni, Sun (soorya), Aryaman - god of favours
13 Hasta, Moon (chandra), Soorya - the sun god
14 Chitra, Mars (kuja), Vishvakarma - celestial architect
15 Swati, Rahu, Vayu - the wind god
16 Vishaka, Jupiter (guru), Indira - chief of the gods
17 Anuradha, Saturn (sani), Mitra - friendship
18 Jyeshta, Mercury (budha), Indira - chief of the gods
19 Moola, Ketu, Nirrti - god of dissolution/destruction
20 Poorvashada, Venus (sukra), Apah - god of water
21 Uttarshada, Sun (soorya), Vishveda - universal of gods
22 Shravana, Moon (chandra), Vishnu - preserver of universe
23 Dhanishta, Mars (kuja), 8 vasus - deities of earthly abundance
24 Shatabisha, Rahu, Varuna - god of cosmic waters
25 Poorvabhadra, Jupiter (guru), Ajikapada - ancient fire dragon
26 Uttarabhadra, Saturn (sani), Ahir Budhyana - serpent or dragon
27 Revati, Mercury (budha), Pushan - the protective deity

Yoga
Yoga is the name of a particular division of time. The period of time during which the joint motion in longitude or the sume of the motions of the sun and moon is increased by 13o20’, is called Yoga. Yoga refers to the planetary combinations and their special results, which affect the life of an individual.

Karana
Karana is half part of the Thithi. A Karana is the time required for angular distance between the sun and the moon in incrased in steps of 6o starting from 0o. There are 11 Karanas. Of the 11, 4 are fixed and occurs only once in a cycle. The remaining 7 karnas repeat 8 times to cover the remaining 56 steps.

March 05, 2010

Golden Temple & Namdroling Monastery



Golden Temple and Namdroling Monastery is in Bylekuppe, Mercara. It is better known as the ‘Little Tibet’. 

The Golden Temple has a 60 feet statue of Gautam Buddha, flanked by 2 other grand images of Buddhas. Namdroling Monastery was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet.

March 06, 2009

Ratha Sapthami

Ratha Sapthami comes on maaga shudda sapthami. Ratha means chariot and Sapthami means 7th day. This festival is in the month of January-February. It is the day when Sun God will ride on the chariot drawn by 7 horses. On this day, Sun moves from Southeast to Northeast. The day is also known as Surya Jayanthi as it celebrates the power of Sun God, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

On Ratha Sapthami day, people take bath with 7 leaves of Ekka or Arka or Jilledu or Erukku (Calotropis Gigantea). Place 1 on head, 2 on shoulders, 2 on knees, 2 on foot. Perform puja to Lord Sun/Surya and do 12 surya namaskaras. The worship of Sun on Ratha Sapthami signifies the spread of energy and light from Sun God. Sun is the ruler of all planets and it is he who disburses energy. The Sun is approximately 149,600,000 kilometers from earth and sunlight takes 8.3 minutes to reach the earth.

Mantra chanted while taking bath,
Saptha Saptha Maha Saptha
Saptha Dweepa Vasundara
Saptharka Parna Madaya
Sapthamyam Snana machareth

Arka leaf is used in worshipping Lord Ganapati and Lord Hanuman. The stem of Arka tree is used for performing homa. Arka is a Sanskrit word. Means a ray, flash of lightning. Arka plant has very good medicinal value in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Arka is used in curing skin diseases, leprosy, tumors, joint pains, wounds etc.

The foodgrain associated with Sun is the Wheat and Beaten Rice/Avalakki. So, on this day, Wheat/Avalakki payasa/kheer is prepared and allowed to overflow in the pan that is used for preparation.

January 05, 2009

Sudharshana Chakra

The Sudharshana Chakra spins/revolves on the tip of index finger of the right hand of Lord Vishnu, also called Narayana. According to mythology, Lord Vishnu has used the Sudharshana Chakra (carries in his right hand) to protect his devotees from danger, evil, fear and death.

Sudharshana is derived from 2 words, Su (auspicious) and Dharshan (vision). Chakra means movement. Sudharshana Chakra was created by Vishvakarma, architect of Gods. 

Viswakarma's daughter Sanjana was married to Surya, the Sun God. Due to Sun's blazing power, she was unable to go near the Sun and she complained to her father about this. Viswakarma made Sun shine less and thus his daughter was able to go near the Sun. 

The left over Sun-"dust" was collected by Viswakarma and he made 3 things out of it.

The 1st one was the famous aerial vehicle Pushpaka Vimana
The 2nd was the Trishula
The 3rd was the Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu

In another version, the chakra was given by Lord Shiva. Once Vishnu was worshipping Shiva with 1008 lotus flowers. Wind blew one of the flowers. Vishnu offered his eye which was like a lotus. In appreciation Shiva gave him back his eye, as well Sudharshana Chakra.

The chakra comprises 10 million spikes in two rows. One row of spikes moving in the opposite direction to give it a serrated edge.

Sudharshana Gayatri Mantra is a powerful prayer used to invoke Lord Sudharshana, the holy wheel which Lord Vishnu uses as his main weapon, to be chanted with purity of mind and body.

Om Sudharshanaaya Vidmahe
Mahaa Jwaalaya Deemahi
Thanno Chakra Pracho Dayath

December 28, 2008

Sricharanam

Sricharanam is the name given to the namam used by Iyengars (caste name given to Hindu/Tamil Brahmins who follow Visistadvaita philosophy propounded by Sri Ramanujacharya), members of Sri Vaishnava tradition.

Sri could be a prefix or it could refer to Lakshmi, while Charanam refers to feet.

Sricharanam consists of single, thin, vertical red or yellow line in the middle of the forehead. The full Sricharanam, also called Thiruman Sricharanam includes a white U mark.

Sricharanam represents the feet of Vishnu and the red/yellow line in the middle represents Lakshmi. The Sricharanam signifies devotion to Vishnu.

The red namam is made out of Sindoor, red powder.
Yellow namam is Sandal wood (Chandan) paste.
Thiruman is made out of clay.

The two iyengar sub-sects, Thengalai and Vadagalai wear the Thiruman Sricharanam in different ways.

Thiruman in the case of Thengalai extends to the bridge of the nose, forming a Y shape. 
Vadagalai wear the U namam.

December 14, 2008

Lakshmi Hayagriva

Hayagriva in Hinduism is considered to be an incarnation of Vishnu. Haya means Horse and Griva means Neck. The horse faced form of Vishnu is the god of Gnana (knowledge) and Prosperity. One who prays Hayagriva will be blessed with knowledge and wisdom.

Legend has it that during the creation, the demons Madhu and Kaitabha stole the Vedas from Brahma and Vishnu took the Hayagriva form to recover the Vedas from the demons. Another legend says, Vishnu compiled the Vedas in the Hayagriva form and that the Hayagriva Avatara precedes the Matsya Avatara wherein he recovered the stolen Vedas from the demons Madhu and Kaitabha.


There are believed to be 108 forms of Hayagriva. Hayagriva is the presiding deity of Parakala Mutt, Ahobila Mutt and Andavan Ashram.


The very first stothram on Lakshmi Hayagriva is ==> Gnanananda Mayam Devam Nirmala Spatikakruthim Aadharam Sarvavidyanam Hayagrivam upasmahe.


Hayagriva is worshipped in Tibet by those who own horses, because he is believed to frighten away demons by powerfully neighing (characteristic sound of a horse).