Best Wishes on Mahavir Jayanti

Bhagavan Mahavir, the last of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras, was born in 599 BCE in the kingdom of Vajji (somewhere in present-day Bihar.) Much of the biographical details of his life are, of course, disputed by various scholars but they are not really important. What’s important are his teachings.

It is believed that he was a contemporary of Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha. Maybe they were contemporaries or maybe they were not. Again it does not matter.

Their are parallels in their lives. Like the Buddha, Mahavir was born and raised in a royal family, renounced his family and wealth when he was around 30 years old, and went in search of truth and spiritual awakening. He became an ascetic, gave up all his possessions (including clothing) and meditated under a tree. He even lived in Rajagriha for many years, the same place that the Buddha lived in for a while. Rajagriha appears to have been a special place. It was also the birthplace of the the 20th Jain Tirthankara Munisuvrata. Continue reading “Best Wishes on Mahavir Jayanti”

Happy Dhanteras and Diwali

Dhanteras and Diwali Greetings to all.

First order of business. Have lots of fun eating sweets, bursting crackers, lighting lots of diyas and sparklers.

Diwali, or Deepavali, is the Hindu festival of lights. It is also the festival of wealth. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth is worshiped on Diwali. Among Bengalis, Ma Kali is worshiped during Diwali. The tradition is attributed to a number of occasions.

The first day of Diwali: Dhanteras

The first day of Diwali is called Dhanteras — the thirteenth lunar day of the month of Kartik. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari came out of the ocean with amrut — the nectar of immortality — for the Devas. This day marks the beginning of Diwali celebrations. Continue reading “Happy Dhanteras and Diwali”

Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings

After quite a few years, I find myself in India on Ganesh Chaturthi. At my friend’s place in Mumbai where I am staying, today (Thursday 13th Sept) we had Ganesh puja in the morning. There’s Shri Ganesh and of course his favorite modaks (left foreground). I have some videos too which I will upload to Youtube in a bit.

Here’s the invocation to Ganesh: Continue reading “Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings”

Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings

श्री वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्य कोटी समप्रभा निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्व-कार्येशु सर्वदा॥
Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam KuruMe Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥
“O one with the curved trunk and immense body, one with the brilliance of ten million suns, please do remove obstacles to all my actions always.”
The translation lacks the poetry of the Sanskrit verse but it would have to do.

Continue reading “Sri Ganesh Chaturthi Greetings”