Shubho Bijoya Greetings

snap1543 On Wednesday, it was Mahanabami of Durgotsav or pujo as we Bengalis refer to it in short. I went to check out some puja in the neighborhood with a friend Sudipta and his wife Suvagata. We first went to the Bay Area Durga Utsav Santa Clara, and then to the Paschimi Durga Puja at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds. Both were done quite nicely. The crowds were reasonably large, all dressed up and excited to be there. Pujo is always fun.
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Guru Purnima

Of all the Sanskrit sholkas I know, the Guru Mantra resonates most with me. It says —

ॐ Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Shakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruvey Namaha ॐ

Here it is in Devanagari:

guru-brahma

And my interpretation of the mantra follows.
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Buddha Purnima Greetings

It was Buddha Purnima yesterday. I was driving to get some dinner last evening around 8 PM and saw the beautiful full moon racing over the treeline. It didn’t realize it then that it was Buddha Jayanti. I realized it this morning but I am totally unprepared to write a new post. Here’s a recycled post from 2011.
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Pohela Boishakh, Vishu, and Puthandu Greetings

It’s a new year for the people of Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Happy New Year wishes.

ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

Om, may all become happy,
All be free from illness.
All see what is auspicious,
May no one suffer.
Om peace, peace, peace.

Winter Solstice Greetings

The (northern) Winter Solstice was on Sunday. On that day, the sun appears to stand still for a moment in the sky as it reverses it direction across the sky. This happens on the shortest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere.) For details, check out the wiki.