Jagannatha Puri Ratha Yatra 14th July 2018

By: Madya Lila

May the Lord’s blessings be upon you on the auspicious day of Puri Ratha Yatra. In the holy city of Jagannatha Puri, the Supreme Lord resides within His ancient temple by the shores of the sea. Once every year, during the rainy season, Lord Jagannatha (Lord Krishna), along with His elder brother Balarama and His younger sister Subhadra come out of the temple to ride on magnificent chariots in a grand parade to the Sri Gundicha temple.

This festival is called Ratha Yatra, the journey (yatra) of the chariots (ratha) and it has been celebrated in Jagannatha Puri for many hundreds of years. It commemorates the occasion when Krishna, accompanied by His brother and sister, travelled by chariot from Dvaraka to Kuruksetra to meet their dear friends and family members from Vrindavan, fulfilling their wish to see Him again after many years.

In the 16th century, the great saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, devoted 20 years of His life to worshipping Lord Jagannath and propagating the sankirtan movement in Puri. Due to His influence, millions of pilgrims from around the world visit Jagannatha Puri for the Ratha Yatra festival to gain darshan of the Lord. It is said that simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement towards liberation from the wheel of birth and death. Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a prominent scholar and devotee in the line of Lord Chaitanya, inaugurated the international Ratha Yatra festivals that are now held in more than 100 cities around the world.

An important element of the festival is called Chera Pahara (sweeping with water). The Gajapati King, ruler of the medieval kingdom of Odisha, humbly and with great devotion sweeps the road in front of the chariots with a gold handled broom and sprinkles sandalwood powder and water. By the Gajapati’s performing this menial service, we learn that no matter how exalted a person one may be, we are all the servants of the Lord. For this reason, it is recommended that at least once a year, we should engage ourselves in cleaning the temple of the Lord to help to remind us of our position as a servant of the Lord and to taste the happiness of humility.

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Fifth Hindu Dham in Combodia, proposed

You are all familiar with chaar dham or four dhams (must pilgrimage sites) yatra in India. Well, it is now being proposed to build a fifth dham in Cambodia.

The Char Dham (“four abodes”) is a set of four pilgrimage sites in India. Vaishnavite Hindus believe that visiting these sites helps achieve “Moksha” (salvation). It comprises BadrinathDwarkaPuri and Rameswaram. It is considered by Hindus that every Hindu must visit the char dhams during one’s lifetime. The Char Dham as defined by Adi Shankaracharya.

Badrinath Dham – courtesy : wikipedia

According to Hindu Dharma, Badrinath became prominent when Nar-Narayan, an avatar of Vishnu, did Tapasyathere. The second place, Rameswaram got its importance in the Tretha-Yuga when Lord Rama built a Shiva-Lingam here and worshiped it to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. The third Dhaam Dwarka got its importance in the Dwapara Yuga when Lord Krishna made Dwarka His residence instead of Mathura, His birthplace.[7]  The fourth one i. e. Puri Dhaam has got its own significance. Lord Vishnu getting worshiped here as Jagannath which is his Avtar for Kali yuga.

Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar said that Angkor Vat shrine and Mountain Kulen in Cambodia deserve to be the Fifth Dham for Hindus. The RSS has launched a worldwide campaign to complete this Fifth Dhan Project in Angkor Vat.

Angkor Wat temple Cambodia. courtesy:wikipedia

Cambodia was first influenced by Hinduism during the beginning of the Kingdom of Funan. Hinduism was one of the Khmer Empire‘s official religions. Cambodia is the home of the holy temple of Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu temple in the world. The main religion adhered in Khmer kingdom was Hinduism, followed by Buddhism in popularity. Initially the kingdom revered Hinduism as the main state religion. Vishnu and Shiva were the most revered deities, worshipped in Khmer Hindu temples. 

RSS scholar Shailesh Vats who visited Cambodia along with Indresh Kumar, Shyam Parande and Rajiv Ranjan, told One India, “Time has come to link scattered patches of Indian culture to link them with one thread. Relations are strengthen and go on based on faith so 500 acres of land has been acquired in Cambodia. Such a place will be developed out of the present structure that from mental peace to healing everything will be available here.

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Take a quiz on Hindu Rituals

Please enter your email:

1. Which of the following are places of pilgrimage?

 
 
 
 

2. Kumbhmela held at the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna rivers is attended by a hand full of people? Yes/No

 
 

3. Puja (worship) can only be performed by a Brahmin priest only? Yes/No

 
 

4. Every Hindu must perform Rituals? Yes/No

 
 

5. Hindus in ancient time used to carry Ganga water with them for drinking when travelling overseas? Yes/No

 
 

6. There are only 4 rites of passage and every Hindu must follow them? Yes/No

 
 

7. Food offered to God in a puja worship is only meant for God and cant be consumed by devotees? Yes/No

 
 

8. Samskara (rites of passage) celebrate major life events? Yes/No

 
 

9. Yajna (fire-oblation) can only be performed during a marriage ceremony? Yes/No

 
 

10. Puja should have either mantra or bhajans sung in the praise of the Lord? Yes/No

 
 

11. A Hindu pilgrimage can only be done by visiting a holy place? Yes/No

 
 

12. In a Yajna, oblations are offered into the fire? Yes/No

 
 

13. A Hindu must do all the rituals inside a temple only? Yes/No

 
 

14. A Hindu Aarati must have a lamp or a flame? Yes/No

 
 

15. Which of the following paths can lead to Moksha (salvation)?

 
 
 
 

16. Which of the following are samskars (rites of passage)?

 
 
 
 
 
 

17. Each festival has some story and rituals associated with it? Yes/No

 
 

18. A Hindu Aarati always has song accompanying the waving of a flame or a light?

 
 

19. Darshan of a Hindu God is an act of devotee seeing the Lord as well as Lord seeing the devotee? Yes/No

 
 

20. Aarati can be offered to multiple Gods at the same time? Yes/No

 
 

21. Japa requires you repeat a mantra over and over?

 
 

22. Those following the path of Gnan (knowledge) do not have to do any Yajna? Yes/No

 
 

23. In most Hindu temples, deity is woken up in the morning and set to sleep in the evening? Yes/No

 
 


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Can Hindus be accorded minority status in seven states and one Union Territory in India

Report on Hindus in seven states soon: National Commission for Minorities

By Sana Shakil| Express News Service | Published: 26th May 2018 01:55 AM

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM), which was assigned the task of examining if Hindus could be accorded minority status in seven states and one Union Territory, is nearly ready with its report on the issue. A subcommittee set up by the NCM, which is examining the issue, has called the petitioner on June 14 to discuss the matter. Sources said that petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, a politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been called for a “final clarification” on the issue, following which the NCM will soon submit its report to the government. 

The three-member subcommittee was formed in January, based on a plea by Upadhyay in the Supreme Court for granting minority status to Hindus. The court rejected his petition in November and asked him to approach the minorities commission. Headed by NCM Vice Chairman George Kurian, the subcommittee includes NCM members Sulekha Kumbhare and S Manjit Singh Rai.

NCM Chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi confirmed the development and said Upadhyay had been invited to take part in the subcommittee’s meeting on June 14 so that the “points made by the petitioner can be heard in detail”. Rizvi, however, refused to comment on possible recommendations of NCM in the matter. “The matter is being examined by the subcommittee. We cannot say what will be our final recommendations until the report is absolutely ready,” Rizvi said.

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Source includes wikipedia and wikicommons also.

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Famous Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh reopens

Fifty years ago, the Beatles arrived at an unlikely location in Rishikesh at the invitation of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The visit has passed into rock’n’roll legend even as the ashram has fallen into ruin. Much of the fabled White Album was composed in these now-derelict halls and bungalows.

Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia, is an ashram close to the north Indian city of Rishikesh in the state of Uttarakhand. It is located on the eastern bank of the Gangesriver, opposite the Muni Ki Reti area of Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training centre for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. The ashram gained international attention between February and April 1968 when the English rock band the Beatles studied meditation there, along with celebrities such as DonovanMia Farrow and Mike Love. It was the setting for the band’s most productive period as songwriters, where they composed most of the songs for their self-titled double album, also known as the “White Album”.

The site was abandoned in the 1990s and reverted to the local forestry department in 2003, after which it became a popular visiting place for fans of the Beatles. Although derelict and overrun by jungle, the site was officially opened to the public in December 2015. It has since become known as Beatles Ashram and held an exhibition in February 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in Rishikesh.

The Maharishi’s lease on the ashram’s land expired in 1981 and the yogi decamped to the Netherlands in 1992. But certain followers remained until the early 2000s, when India’s Supreme Court ordered them to leave. Everything is crumbling, overgrown: the kitchen, the printing press, the post office where John Lennon waited for daily postcards from Yoko Ono even though he was travelling with his wife.

In 2017, the Uttarakhand Forest Department announced a $20 million renovation for the ashram, including a souvenir store and educational areas. “We plan to develop Chaurasi Kutia as an eco-tourism centre,” says Sanatan Sonker, director of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve. “Our aim is to link the ashram with local villagers and help them earn their livelihood through tourism.”

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#Beatels #Rishikesh #Maharishi #Yoga #Music #Meditation

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