If you are one of the millions of people around the world, who have reaped the benefits of the ancient Indian physical-discipline of Yoga, here is a perfect New Year Gift idea for you. Or if you are just looking forward to a healthier new year, or looking to inspire someone to take up a healthier lifestyle and get back in shape, you could check out this selection of Yoga Calendars for 2014.
Here's our list of the top 5 yoga calendars for the coming year.
- Yoga 2014 Wall Calendar
- Yoga Dudes 2014 Calendar
- Yoga Dogs 2014 Calendar
- Yoga Kittens 2014 Calendar
- Yoga Puppies 2014 Calendar
As you see, the above list is a mix of both serious and funny take on Yoga poses, but they are beautifully captured and presented. These wonderful Yoga Calendars will surely deepen your connection with this timeless path toward self-awareness, health and peace -- each day of the year, and inspire you to build in the power of Yoga into your daily life. Check them out now...
The Hindu ceremony, a rite known as 'samskara', has many components and it is quite beautiful, specific and filled with chanting, Sanskrit blessings and ritual that is thousands of years old.
In India, it can last weeks or days. In the West, it typically is at least two hours long. It is the role of the Hindu priest or 'pandit' to lead a couple and their families through the sacrament of marriage.
An important aspect of the Hindu ceremony is to light a sacred fire, created from 'ghee' (clarified butter) and woolen wicks, to evoke the God, Agni (Fire God), to bear witness to the ceremony. The highlight is 'Saptapadi', also called the 'Seven Steps'. Read more about the 7 blessings...
While various regional steps are followed by different sects of Hindus across India, there are 13 steps form the core of a Vedic wedding ceremony. Read about all the 13 Steps...
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The word 'mangalsutra' is derived from the two words, mangal meaning holy or auspicious and sutra meaning thread. It is a sacred necklace that the groom ties around the bride's neck on the day of the wedding in a ceremony called Mangalya dharanam (meaning - wearing the auspicious), thereby giving her the status of his wife and life mate.
Thereafter, the wife wears the mangalsutra all her life or till the time the husband is alive as a sign of their marriage, mutual love and goodwill, understanding and faithful commitment to one another...Read Full Article
Is the mangalsutra losing its meaning? Nowadays, it is more of a fashion statement than a symbol of love and marriage. Rarely does a working woman don a mangalsutra over her party dress or business suit. Is it relevant for the modern day woman? Please feel free to post you comments below...
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A yoga master made a startling statement: that Abraham Lincoln had been a Himalayan yogi in a past life. Lincoln delivered a proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as an American holiday in 1863. Research sheds light on a possible Hindu origin for the American celebration of Thanksgiving.
"The holiday of Thanksgiving has a Hindu origin," says Richard Salva, author of a book on the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln entitled 'Soul Journey: From Lincoln to Lindbergh' which is based on a statement by the great master of yoga, Paramhamsa Yogananda, who declared that Abraham Lincoln had been a Himalayan yogi in a past life.
"During my search for signs of a past-life yoga practice," Salva said, "I noticed that President Lincoln repeatedly chose Thursdays - the holiest day in the week for Hindus - as national days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving.
The world renowned temple is open for visit or 'darshan' only during certain specific periods in a year. It is open for monthly worship for five days from the first of Malayalam month on all months in year. But Sabarimala remains continuously open only during the famous Makaravilaku - Mandala Puja season (November 15 - January 14). See schedule below.
This two-month period is peak time for pilgrims and attracts millions of devotees to this hill shrine. It's an arduous trek through forests and hills, and pilgrims are sometimes faced by inclement weather. In 2011, over 100 people were killed in a stampede.
People from all religions, caste, and creed are welcome to the Sabarimala temple. So, the pilgrimage also draws many international visitors. Read about the Russian pilgrims, who completed their annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala for the 12th consecutive year in 2013.
The Kerala Police plays an important role in conducting the Sabarimala festival season, during which nearly 3,000 police personnel are deployed to take care of the area spanning 100 square kilometers of uneven terrain. The police have set up a virtual temple queue system which can be accessed online. The state government also has an official site containing all info regarding the temple and pilgrimage.
A pilgrim visiting the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple during this time observes severe to moderate austerities for 41 days. Abstaining from non-vegetarian food, and wearing a special Rudraksha necklace is common. Many devotees don't shave or trim their hair, refrain from sex, wear only black or saffron clothes, and remains bare foot throughout this period.
Sabarimala Temple Schedule for the 2013 - 2014 Pilgrimage Season:
- November 2013: The temple opened on November 15, 2013, which marks the beginning of Mandala Kalam. It will remain open for the following 41 days.
- December 2013: The temple will be open every day until the night of December 26, 2013, the date of the Mandala Puja. Temple reopens for Makaravilakku Puja on December 30, 2013.
- January 2014: The temple will be open every day until the night on January 20, 2014. Makaravilakku Puja falls on January 14, 2014. Temple closes January 20, 2014.
Despite the myriad controversies surrounding him, Sri Sathya Sai Baba continues to be one of the most popular Hindu Gurus with a huge number of followers around the world.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba was born in Puttaparthi, a small village in South India, on November 23, 1926. As a child, he demonstrated exemplary qualities of compassion, generosity, and wisdom, which clearly distinguished him from the other children of his village.
At the age of 14, he declared to his family and to the people of his village that he would henceforth by known as Sai Baba and that his mission was to bring about the spiritual regeneration of humanity by demonstrating and teaching the highest principles of truth, righteous conduct, peace, and divine love.
Sai Baba passed away after prolonged illness on Easter Day 2011 at the age of 84. He has been an inspiration to people of all faiths for his mission of love and humanitarian service.
On the occasion of his 87th birth anniversary, here's a short profile of the Sai Baba of our times. Read Full Bio
The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization, and the most sacred books of India. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, and contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Vedic literature with its philosophical maxims has stood the test of time and is the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus in particular and for mankind in general.
They are arguably the mother of all scriptures. They form the bedrock of the universal religion or "Sanatana Dharma" that all Hindus follow. The Vedas have guided our religious direction for ages and will continue to do so for generations to come. And they will forever remain the most comprehensive and universal of all ancient scriptures.
"Veda" means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it manifests the language of the gods in human speech. The laws of the Vedas regulate the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of the Hindus to the present day. All the obligatory duties of the Hindus at birth, marriage, death etc. owe their allegiance to the Vedic ritual. They draw forth the thought of successive generation of thinkers, and so contain within it the different strata of thought.
The sound of mantras can lift the believer towards the higher self. These sound elements of Sanskrit language are permanent entities and are of everlasting significance. In the recitation of Sanskrit Mantras the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you to power and strength, writes broadcaster, scientist and columnist Gyan Rajhans.
Mantras are Vedic in origin. The teachings of the Vedas consist of various Mantric chants or hymns cognized by different seers or Rishis from the Cosmic Mind. Since the Vedas are impersonal and eternal, the exact historical date of the origin of Mantra chanting is hard to arrive at... Read Full Article
QUICK POLL: Do You Chant?
The 'tulsi' or holy basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition and is worshiped in the morning and evening by Hindus at large. A Hindu household is considered incomplete without a tulsi plant in the courtyard. Vaishnavites or believers of Lord Vishnu wear beaded necklaces made of tulsi stems.
According to Hindu mythology, Tulsi was the incarnation of a princess who fell in love with Lord Krishna, and so had a curse laid on her by his consort Radha. Tulsi is also mentioned in the stories of Meera and of Radha immortalized in Jayadev's Gita Govinda. The story of Lord Krishna has it that when Krishna was weighed in gold, not even all the ornaments of Satyabhama could outweigh him. But a single tulsi leaf placed by Rukmani on the pan tilted the scale.
In the Hindu scriptures, tulsi is very dear to Lord Vishnu. Tulsi is ceremonially married to Lord Vishnu annually on the 11th bright day of the month of Kartik in the lunar calendar. This festival continues for five days and concludes on the full moon day, which falls in October-November. This ritual, called the Tulsi Vivaha inaugurates the annual marriage season in India. This year this auspicious occasion falls on November 13, 2013.
Read more about Tulsi, the sacred plant of the Hindus
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The 'Holy Basil' or tulsi is a medicinal plant with a long history of herbal remedies. Tulsi has healing properties, mostly due to the hundreds of phytochemicals it contains, that together support health in a variety of ways, including helping the body adapt to stress, cleansing, and relieving congestion.
We have four videos that tell you how to benefit from these properties of this 'Power Plant' called tulsi.
Video 3: How to Treat Respiratory Problems with Tulsi: Jen D'Amore on how to make a decoction of tulsi leaves to treat respiratory distress - bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough, and cold... View Video
Video 4: How to Treat Insect Bites With Tulsi: Tulsi has anti-bacterial properties and is known to cure skin infections. Reetu Rudra from Rudra Ayurveda, New York, tells you how to use tulsi juice or a tulsi paste to treat insect bites, painful rashes and irritations... View Video
I hope you will benefit from these videos about tulsi. Please feel free to post your comments and have your say!