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Indian Festivals
isnt it also true that Garbha festival, Durga puja and Dussera....are actually the same festivel....celebrating a successful harvest?
durga puja worldwide.

Happy Ugadi to all especially to our friends from Andhra and Karnataka (March 30,2006)

A very happy and festive Ugadi (i am missing the food already)

Ugadi is the festival of the first day of the new religious year according to the Hindu Chandramana (Lunar) calendar. In the Telugu and Karnataka communities, Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of month of Chaitra (March-April). The origin of the name Ugadi has been derived from the Sanskrit words "Yuga Adi" (yuga + adi meaning "beginning of a new age"). It is believed that Brahma started creation on this day, the Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Symbolically, Ugadi signifies a giving of thanks for bounteous crops and the beginning of a new era. It marks the onset of spring, of new life, and new possibilities. This is the date of the lunar new year and is widely celebrated in asia
Happy Ugadi to everyone.
Happy Ugadi. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Andhariki "Vyaya" nama noothana Samvatsara shubaakaankshalu.

I definitely miss the Panchanga Patanam and the Ugadi Pacchadi.
A very happy ugadi to everyone!

<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Noothana Samvatsara Shubaakaankshalu (happy new year) to everyone.
A very happy Ugadi & Gudi Padwa to all.
Best Wishes.
Happy Ugadi to all.
Maharastrians celebrate it as Gudi Padwa

Sunder<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ugadi Pacchadi<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Some details here:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This day is known for its 'Ugadi Pacchadi' preparation comprising of <b>six tastes (shadruchi sammelan), each standing for a special character a man experiences in life</b>. The ingredients of this preparation, though of different tastes or characters when mixed in definite proportions result in a delicious dish. The underlying idea conveys that the six faces of life mentioned underneath, should be handled by man and balanced in such a way as to make his life a beautiful one on earth.

Ingredient Taste Message
1. Jaggery Sweet Adds happiness to life
2. Salt Salty Adds taste to life
3. Neem flowers Bitter Unhappy moments in life
4. Tamarind  Sour Disgraceful sad moments in life
5. Raw Mango Pieces Sour Disgraceful sad moments in life
6. Chilli powder Hot Angry moments in life

Happy New year Yugadi/Guidi Padawa/Polia Baishakhi, Bihu for Andhra/Maharastraa/Bengal/Asam/ friendns ...

Yes Happy new year for otheres two (even if they wait for 15 days or so for Basikhi and Tamil/Kerala friends ..

Mahavir Jayanti, If I am not mistaken, comes around this time too (April 11 ?)..
Greetings on Ugadi!

Is the Ugadi celebration connected to the Vernal Equinox?

This year the Vernal Equinox fell on Mar 20.

Was Ugadi orignally celebrated on the Vernal Equinox?

Also I heard the Winter Solstice used to be a celebration in Vedic times. Is this true?
yes winter solstice has been celebrated since ancient times all over the aryan world. thats where chrismas comes from - winter solstice - celebrated in germanic lands as the "feast of the invincible sun". in india the winter is not so severe and thus the winter solstice - which marks the coldest and/or longest night of the year is not of much consequence (viv.a.vis, in north european countries, where it signals the beginning of the end of the severe winter).

the europeans also had a lot of regard for the spring/vernal equinox (and so did we). for them it marked the begging of the summer and the plants bearing fruit. they used to worship the germanic dawn godess of fertility called Eostra or something if i remember right. ofcourse that pagan festival has now been replaced by Easter. the godess of fertility was symbolised by eggs and rabbits/bunnies - which are potent symbols of fertility - and have survived to this day in their mickey mouse versions as easter eggs and playboy bunniesWink

now i want to ask - whats the origin of Ugadi.

i know the origin/concept behind the diwali, dussehera, durga puja, garbha festival (the last 3 are essentially the same), baisakhi etc.
Another point to remember is that at least in Tamil Nadu, the period between mid-december and mid January is regarded as the time when the Devas are supposed to come down to Earth.

So the lamps are lit for them in the temples. Since the Winter Solstice falls in the middle of this period, there must have been a Vedic festival associated with it, which is now mostly lost. (Which may have become the root of Christmas later)

There may still be some very orthodox people who may know the significance of this, which is why I asked.

Another guess is that Makara Sankranti may be that festival. Due to the shifting of the planets the winter solstice may have moved back from January 14 to Dec 21 and we may have forgotten to update our calendar!

Although one guy I talked to denied this and said Makara Sankranti is different than the winter solstice.

The Kanchi Sankaracharya mentioned that the original Vedic new year began somewhere around the Winter Solstice to Jan 1 period and that we changed our calendars while the Europeans retained the older calendar.

The new year was called Agrahayani (spelling?), with some Havir yajna being perfomed on that day.
Yesterday it was Hanuman Jayanti.. <!--emo&:felx--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/flex.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='flex.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Happy Raksha Bandhan and a very happy Avani Avittam to all of you. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
courtsey: www.hinducounciluk.org via mail

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>KARVA CHAUTH-TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST? </b>

In the Hindu calendar, the month of Kartik (October-November) is a time of both physical and spiritual purification and as such, for centuries, Hindus have undertaken various acts of piety to achieve this end.

Why is it then that Kartik has this pre-eminence over the other months of the year? The testimony given in the Bhagavad-Gita by Lord Krishna that he is manifest in the year as the month of Kartik, is an unequivocal endorsement of this. However, older scriptures such as the Puranic texts mention numerous observances and festivals celebrated at this time of the year.

We must investigate the importance of physical and spiritual purification. The former is common sense, as if we did not observe this, our bodies would harbour disease and deteriorate quickly and that is why many Hindus undertake “Kartik Snaan” and bathe in holy rivers and lakes. Hours are spent grooming the body and then replenishing it with lavish meals and numerous feasts! Although this is important, <b>we often neglect to ‘feed’ the soul or Aatma</b>. It is accepted that the mind, body and spirit are interconnected and therefore for a harmonious existence, it is imperative that we tend to all three entities.

In the Gita, Bhagavan Krishna states that the wise have described three main paths to achieving purity- ’<i>Yagyo daanam tapaschaiva, paavnaani maneeshinaam</i>’. <b>Yagya </b>relates to sacrifice, whereby an individual relinquishes something in the name of the Almighty. <b>Daan </b>(charity), may be described as a charitable act or donation of something for a good cause. These methods require the individual to have something in the first place to be able to undertake them. The last way described is <b>Tapa</b>, or penance, which may be observed in various ways regardless of an individual‘s circumstances. The most common and widely followed act in this category is Vrat or fasting. <b>On the day of the fast, one takes a firm resolution to abstain from a particular activity such as speaking or eating food. Vrats that restrict the diet have many merits and have been proven to increase vitality</b>. They vary in their intensity and may be classified as follows:

a) Eating one meal a day.

b) Consuming a small amount of food and drink.

c) Partaking of only fruit or certain vegetables and liquids, abstaining from grains or pulses.

d) Restricting salt from the diet.

e) Abstaining from all food and drink for a specified duration of time.

The fast of <b>Karva Chauth</b> (Karak Chaturthi) falls under type ’e’ and is a popular tradition observed conventionally <b>by married women </b>(Suhaagans) for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands. However if we refer to the Padma Puran, it is mentioned that all those who are able, should undertake this fast as it bestows immeasurable merit, regardless of their marital status. It is common knowledge that the ‘Chauth’ or fourth day of the lunar fortnight is sacred to Lord Ganesh, so although married women venerate the female aspect of the Almighty in the form of Gauri/Parvati Mata, it is quite acceptable for men to observe this fast meditating on Lord Ganesh.

In order to gain the utmost benefit from this fast, it is imperative that we observe it at the correct time of year and in the appropriate manner. As most fasts in Sanatan Dharma are determined by the sun and the moon, it is important that we accurately verify when the auspicious time ensues. Many Suhaagans in the UK were plunged into a dilemma this year when they were unsure of whether to keep the fast of Karva Chauth on 9th or 10th of October. The predicament was further fuelled by conflicting reports from our UK based temples and clergy, relying on panchangs (almanacs) and jantris based on Indian time. Once and for all let us set the record straight in order to avoid such discrepancies and conflicting information.

The conclusion of Karva Chauth involves the offering of sanctified water (arghya) to the moon, as it represents Shiva and Parvati. The fast is therefore a ‘Chandranakta’ vrat, concluding at moonrise. The Shastras (law books) advise that at the time of concluding the fast the lunar day (tithi) must be prevailing. In the case of Karva Chauth, the lunar day must be the Chauth (i.e. fourth) at the time of concluding the fast and giving ‘arghya‘. In the UK on 9th October 2006 at the time of moonrise (18.58hrs in London), it was the Chauth and therefore those observing the fast on this date would have fulfilled the criterion. On 10th October 2006 in the UK, the Chauth expired at 15.50hrs and the moonrise was at 19.28hrs. Therefore those observing the fast in the UK on this date would not have fulfilled the decisive factor, inadvertently failing to observe the fast at the correct time.

The individual keeping the fast on the incorrect day is not to blame as they were misinformed. There are schools of thought that would advocate, timing does not effect the keeping of a fast. I would argue that timing is of the essence and moreover, it is the resolve of the individual, which is the determining factor. The power of the female (Shakti) is unfathomable and the Suhaagan even more so. What is noteworthy is the selfless sacrifice a married woman makes for her partner and family. <b>It is for the men folk to reciprocate this act by honouring our Shaktis, recognising their true value in our society and intrinsic power.</b>

In conclusion, I would propose that our Faith is ancient yet highly evolved over the centuries, based not on unsubstantiated dogma, but logic and science. It is important in this age of technology with the vast resources of data at hand , that our religious scholars determine the correct days for observance of fasts in the UK and not jeopardise the destiny of the followers of the Faith.

Happy Pongal!!

<b>Meaning & Significance of Pongal</b>
<b>Lakhs witness Makarajyoti</b>
Har Har Mahadev !!!

<img src='http://im.rediff.com/news/2007/feb/16shiv.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

For a screwed up Shivratri description read. http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/feb/16look1.htm

It doesnt even mention Bhang <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Happy Shankara Jayanthi to one and all.. On this Vaishaka Shukla panchami day (21 April 2007) I wish you all a very happy Sankara Jayanthi.

In this context I organize a celebration at the local temple every year with a whole day event involving the community and is open to all. What started as a small 105 ppl gathering and a 4 hour event in 2005 has grown to over 400 people and a whole day event with over 3 months of preparation time in the last two years.

We have kids as young as 5 years old to as old as 68 years old singing Nirvana Shatkam, Gurvashtakam, and other compositions BY or ON Sri Shankaracharya.

In addition there is also a skit on the 'Message of Shankaracharya' that is in English and Samskritham enacted by youngsters and teens on the message of Advaita.

It is quite exciting to see how one such event can inspire many people into learning the works of Sri Shankaracharya.

Happy Shankara Jayanthi again.. I am now off to the temple to begin the festivities.. shall post more later.. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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