Bhadrachalam deities arriving in Sydney soon

By: Sai Pravastu.
It is of great joy and delight to let everyone know that the utsava moortis Lord Sri Rama along with Sita Devi, Lakshamana and Anjeyanaya swamy are for the first time coming to Sydney from the ancient and famous Sri SitaRama temple of Bhadrachalam which is on the banks of mighty Godavari river. 
 
On this festive occasion two significant events are planned – SitaRama Kalyanam and SriRama Pattabhishekam. 
 
While Sri SitaRama Kalyanam is a blessing for every household, Sri Rama Pattatbhishekam is a blessing for entire world. Please do participate in large numbers along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri SitaRama and get filled with joy and happiness.

Significance of Sri Sitarama Bhadrachalam

रामो रामो राम इति प्रजनामभवन् कथााः | रामभूिं जिभूद्रमे राज्यं प्रशासति ।
तनत्यपश्ु पा तनत्यफलास्िरवस्र तनर्व्नर ााः | कामवशी च पजन्र याः सखु स्पशश्र च मारुिाः ।
Sri Vaalmeeki Ramayana – Yuddha Kanda – CXXVIII. 103, 104

Under Sri Rama’s rule, people rejoiced everywhere hailing Rama ! Rama! Rama! in jubilation
and recounting his deeds; it looked as if the entire universe was infused with Sri Rama naama;
nature was always in full blossom; rains were plenty and timely; weather was pleasant with
soothing wind breeze .
***
It is of great joy and delight to let everyone know that the utsava moortis Lord Sri Rama along
with Sita Devi, and Lakshamana are, for the first time, coming to Sydney from the ancient and
famous Sri SitaRama temple of Sri Bhadrachalam which is on the banks of mighty Godavari
river. On this festive occasion two significant events are planned – SitaRama Kalyanam and
SriRama Pattabhishekam. While Sri SitaRama Kalyanam is a blessing for every household, Sri
Rama Pattatbhishekam is a blessing for entire world. Please do participate in large numbers
along with your family and your friends, praise, pray, sing and dance in the name of Sri
SitaRama and get filled with joy and happiness.

To better appreciate the significance of the event we bring you a brief blurb on the temple
town of Bhadrachalam,rom where the moortis are coming, and the significance of utsava
moortis.

About Bhadrachalam

Bhadrachalam has a unique history. The mountain Bhadra-Adri or Bhadra-achalam, from
which the place derives its name, is part of India’s gigantic mountain range popularly eastern
ghats. In treta yuga Sri Sita Rama along with Lakshmana stayed in the jungles of Dandakranya
( part of eastern ghats) as part of their eleven year vanavaasa. The mighty Godavari river and
the beautiful and bountiful dandakaranya served as his abode during the period. The
parnashala where Sita was abducted is also on the same hills. The mountains were also home
of Rishi Bhadra who worshipped Lord Rama and conducted an intense penance. Rama pleased
with Bhadra promised he would visit on the way back to Ayodhya. However this visit was not
materialized in Rama avatara’s time. However, Rishi Bhadra continued his tapas and his prayers
reminded Lord Vishnu of his promise to Rishi Bhadra. True to his nature, Lord Vishnu rushed
to his devotee in the form of Vaikuntha Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana and blessed Rishi
Bhadra and manifested themselves as moortis on the mountain. The mountain got to be known
as Bhadraachalam after the Rishi Bhadra since.

These moortis, per legend, were revealed themselves to a tribal woman named Pokala
Dammakka who was an ardent devotee of Rama. She preserved the idols and waited for the
blessed one to construct a proper temple.

That blessed was Kancharla Gopanna(1621-1680) popularly known as Bhakta Ramadasu. When
Ramadasu, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, found out about the Sri Rama moortis in the
remote tribal lands he moved heaven and earth to build temple at the Bhadrachalam temple
in 1674 AD. His devotion on Lord Rama was outpoured in 300 odd exquisite devotional songs
set in Carnatic style. Later in the century these compositions inspired in Sri Thyagaraja and
improvised on the krithi form introduced by Ramadasu.

Thus the Bhadrachalam was home to three spiritual gaints – Rishi Bhadra, Pokala Dammakka,
and Bhakta Ramadaasu. It is from this sacred site that the utsava moortis are coming to Sydney.
Significance of Utsava Moortis

According to the Shilpa Shastra ( the engineering principles of sculptures ) the moorthis in
temples are broadly classified into two – achala ( immoveable) and chala (movable). The moorti
of the principal diety is usually acahala (immovable) and is called Dhruva bera. Dhruva bera
resides in the sanctum ( garbha gruha) and is the recipient of the main worship. The chala –
bera ( movable moorthis) are of five types hence the name pancha bera. These five chala-beras
moortis are used in various ceremonial forms of worship in and around the temple.

These are:
• Kautuka (कौिकु ) bera is a miniature replica of the dhruva bera and is used in nitya (
daily) pooja
• Snapana (स्नपन) bera receives the naimittika (special occasion) poojas and
adbhishekams
• Shayana (शायन) bera receives the resting upacharas
• Utsava (उत्सव) bera receives the pooja when taken out in procession
• Bali (बतल) bera is taken out when offerings are made to gods and to the pancha bhoota
( elements)

All the above pancha bera are considered as an integral part of the main moorti – dhruva bera
and are deemed as emanating from it. These chala bera moortis in the temple that are
worshipped each day during the ritual sequences are but the variations of the adi murti. As
per shashtras each of the pancha bera map to five types of sacred vedic agnis and also
correspond to the five primordial elements – aakasha, vaayu, agni, aapah, pruthivi.

Therefore these different moortis represent unique aspects of the dhruva moorti, in various forms. The tejas of the main moorti steps into each of the chala moorti during various stages of worship. Though When worship sequences are conducted the tejas moves into kautuka and snapana and so on. The tejas takes a symbolic stride into utsava moorti and reaches us all when they are taken out in procession. On a lighter note it is said, because we are so mired in our daily vocations and have no time to time to go the temple, Lord himself comes out in procession and enquires about our well being.

All of us may not be fortune enough visit Lord Rama at Bhardrachalam, therefore make use of this splendid opportunity to pray, rejoice and submit ourselves at the feet of Sri Bhadrachala Rama who is coming for us all the way from Bharata Varsha. His mere presence is ‘jagadananda karaka’.

JAI SREE RAM

Be a Yajmann for Sri Sitarama Kalyanam

By:Sai Pravastu.

This year during Deepavali celebrations at Parramatta on 3rd & 4th November, we are blessed by Sri SitaRama, Lakshmana and Anjaneya Swamy from Bhadrachalam (India), As you may know this year is Vilambi nama samvatsara i.e  the year Lord Sri Rama was born and and it comes every 60 years. we will be celebrating  Kalyanam (celistial wedding) and Pattabhishekam (coronation) with the vigrahas and priests from Bhadrachalam. We have a very special coin of Sri Ram Darbar minted to mark this special occassion by ABC Bullion for this Deepavali.
 
We are limiting to 1000 families to participate in donating towards the expenses for this events.  The donation includes a special limited edition silver coin minted by ABC Bullion. 4 entry tickets and a bag with Akshitas , Rama koti book , Shawl and prasadam.  Above all the blessings of Sri Rama Pariwaram and watch the traditions followed for centuries in Dakshin Bharath right in our backyard. A truly mesmerising experience not to be missed.
 
 
 

Deepavali in Australia

Diwali 2018 celebrations in Australia

Ganesha Puja held in Adelaide Zoo

Hindu Council of Australia performed Ganesh Chaturathi festival in Adelaide Zoo on 13th September 2018.

 

Happy Raksha Bandhan

By:Madya Lila.

Happy Raksha Bandhan! Also known as Rakhi, this is a special occasion to celebrate the love between brothers and sisters. On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie an amulet around their brother’s wrist and wish him a long and healthy life. In return, he gives her a small gift, pledging to always protect and care for her. “Raksha Bandhan” means bond of protection and it signifies the bond of love between brother and sister.

 

One of the most famous histories in connection with Raksha Bandhan is from the Mahabharata.  Once, Krishna cut His finger and Draupadi quickly tore a strip from her sari to bind it. Krishna was so grateful for this simple act of love,  that He promised He would take care of Draupadi forever. Throughout her life, whenever Draupadi was in danger, she would call Krishna and He would come to wherever she was and give her protection.   In the Mahabharata, Krishna said, “When I was away from Draupadī, she cried with the words, ‘Hey, Govinda!’ This call for Me has put Me in her debt, and that indebtedness is gradually increasing in My heart.”

 

Happy Varalakshmi Vrat

By:Madya Lila.

Best wishes on Varalakshmi Vrat, the festival honouring Srimati Varalakshmi the Goddess of Fortune and consort and shakti (potency) of Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva himself is said to have recommended the observance of Varalakshmi Vrat to his wife, Parvati. Commemorating Parvarti’s devotion and love for her consort, married women fast and worship Goddess Lakshmi, offering flowers and sweets and praying for Her blessings upon their family members.  Saints teach us that the best boon we can pray for is the blessing of love for the Lord. This divine love will fill our hearts with a deep inner happiness that goes far beyond any material benediction and brings the greatest benefit to our loved ones.

 

In the Bhagavat Purana we find this beautiful prayer to Lakshmidevi

 

viṣṇu-patni mahā-māye

mahāpuruṣa-lakṣaṇe

prīyethā me mahā-bhāge

loka-mātar namo ‘stu te

 

O wife of Lord Vishnu, O internal energy of Lord Vishnu, you are as good as Lord Vishnu Himself, for you have all of His qualities and opulences. O goddess of fortune, please be kind to me. O mother of the entire world, I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

 

 

 Image by BG Sharma

Happy Onam

By:Madya Lila.

Happy Onam! The joyful festival of Onam originates in Kerala. It celebrates the auspicious appearance of the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of Mahabali and it also marks the Malayalam new year. Onam is enthusiastically celebrated with worship ceremonies, beautiful flower arrangements, boat races, traditional dance performances, martial arts, music and elaborate vegetarian feasts.

 

According to the Bhagavat Purana, Mahabali was the grandson of the saintly devotee Prahlad Maharaj. Mahabali was a mighty warrior who conquered the devas (demigods)  and ruled the three worlds. The devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who descended in the form of a gloriously effulgent dwarf brahmin boy, Vamana.

 

At an opportune time, Vamana approached Mahabali asking for alms. Mahabali promised to give Vamana anything He wished for – land, gold, jewels – but Vamana said that greed destroys a person and He would only take three paces of land from him.

 

After Mahabali had made the promise to give Him the three paces of land, Vamana expanded in size revealing His cosmic form. With His first step He covered all the lower planets up to the earth, and with His second step He reached all the way to the top of the universe. His toenail pierced the universal coverings and the water of the Causal Ocean surged in, washed the Lord’s lotus feet, and descended into our universe as the celestial Ganges. Mahabali then placed his head at the feet of the Lord and offered himself as the place for Vamana’s third step.

 

For this act, Mahabali has become renowned throughout the ages as the devotee who exemplifies full surrender to the Lord. Vamana was extremely pleased with Mahabali and gave him the celestial planet, Sutala, to live on. Vamana also resides there with him. Onam celebrates this glorious event and is also the time that Mahabali returns to visit Kerala.

 

The twelfth-century poet and devotee Jayadeva Goswami writes:

 

chalayasi vikramane balim adbhuta-vamana 

pada-nakha-nira-janita-jana-pavana 

keshava dhrita-vamana-rupa jaya jagadisha hare

 

“O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana! All glories to You! O wonderful dwarf, by Your massive steps You deceive King Bali, and by the Ganges water that has emanated from the nails of Your lotus feet, You deliver all living beings within this world.”

Happy Nag Panchami Day

By:Madya Lila.

Warm greetings on the festival of Nag Panchami! Hindu culture has always placed great importance on living in harmony with nature. Planet Earth is revered as our mother, Bhumidevi, and Hindus recognise a sacred connection between all living creatures. According to Vedic teachings, the soul in each body is an equal spark of life and should be respected.

Nag Panchami festival honours snakes and it is celebrated around India in a huge variety of interesting ways according to the local culture and family traditions. At the peak of the monsoon season, when snakes are at their most active, Hindus offer respect to snakes in the Nag Panchami festival.

Nag Panchami is also the auspicious day that Lord Krishna subdued the black serpent Kaliya.

Once, the serpent, Kaliya, who possessed many hoods and was extremely venomous, polluted the water of the Yamuna River. The trees and plants on the river banks dried up. Even the birds flying over the river were overcome by the poisonous vapours and fell into the water and died. The whole river that ran before Vrindavan village was deadly. Krishna decided the serpent needed to be tamed and the environment needed to be purified so that it was fit to drink and bathe in. He dove into the water creating great waves that enraged the serpent. Kaliya emerged and enveloped Krishna in his powerful coils but Krishna broke free and leapt onto Kaliya’s vast, spreading hoods. Then Krishna, who is celebrated as the original artist of all fine arts, began to dance on the hoods of the serpent. As each hood rose to strike Krishna, Krishna would press it down firmly with His lotus feet. Eventually the serpent became exhausted and humbly submitted himself to Krishna, realizing Krishna’s position as the Supreme Lord. Krishna then ordered Kaliya to leave the Yamuna river and move to the ocean so that the river water would once again become clear and clean. It is declared in the Bhagavat Purana that anyone who hears the narration of Krishna and Kaliya need not fear the activities of snakes. Happy Nag Panchami!

Happy Guru Purnima 2018

By:Madya Lila. 

Happy Guru Purnima! Celebrated as the appearance day of Srila Vyasadeva, one of the most revered Gurus and the compiler of the Vedas, Guru Purnima is the auspicious day to honour our spiritual guides. 

Throughout India and in Hindu communities around the world, disciples offer Guru Puja (worship) and express their gratitude to their Guru. Special celebrations are held to recite the scriptures authored by Vyasadeva, accompanied by the singing of hymns, bhajans and kirtan. The system of Guru Sishya Parampara is also followed in the traditional schools of Indian classical music and dance. In India and Nepal, school students honour their teachers on this day, expressing their gratitude and presenting gifts.

Artwork by BG Sharma

In the Vedic system, accepting a guru is considered to be crucial for advancement in spiritual life. The human form of life is sometimes compared to a boat, and the guru is the expert captain who can guide the boat across the ocean of birth and death. It is not possible for a boat to cross the vast and treacherous ocean without a captain, and similarly, it is not possible for a person to solve the problems of life unless he takes shelter of a genuine guru. The word “guru” is composed from two words, gu and ru. The Sanskrit root gu means darkness or ignorance, and ru denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore, a Guru is one who removes the darkness of our ignorance.

Sri Guru Pranama
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya 
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.

Artwork by BG Sharma