Archive for February, 2008

  • In the background…

    In the background…

    In the background of this image, you can see the main gopuram (entrance tower) to the Varadaraja Vishnu Temple. There is something very nice and timeless about being so close to such an historic site. Aside from being the second largest Vishnu temple in all of India (Srirangam being the largest), it was also the […]

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  • Dramatic fire

    Dramatic fire

    Someone pointed out today that the vast majority of the verses in the Rig Veda are about Agni (fire) or Indra. The yagya fire always has a dramatic quality to it and it is very easy to sit and watch it as the pundits make their offerings of ghee.

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  • Daily decorations

    Daily decorations

    Every day the decorations are different on the Shivalingam. Probably just for fun, but today, being Friday is associated with Venus and therefor the goddesses. Red is the color associated with Parvati/Durga/Lakshmi etc. So the malas have red flowers and there is more red kumkum powder on the lingam than usual.

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  • Cows


    This pundit is one of the senior priests at the Shankaracharya Mutt in Kanchipuram and is an expert in Rig Veda. He also happens to own 6 cows which is traditional for a vedic priest although almost no one can afford it. But he milks the cows every morning to bring the milk that is […]

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  • Decorations


    Every day, 11 fresh flower malas are delivered so that the kalasha pots always look nice and smell like jasmine flowers.  Today was Wednesday, the day of Mercury/Vishnu, so the lingam was decorated with a green dhoti.

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  • Shiva and water

    Shiva and water

    Shiva and Water.  He helps to tame Ganga so she can safely come down to Earth. Plus another water oriented story, chanting of Ganga Stotram and Moulav Ganga Slokam.

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  • Fire yagya

    Fire yagya

    After the abishekam all the priests go up on the roof for a vedic fire yagya called Rudra Havan. The abishekam is very soothing and calm. The havan is powerful; a great combination!

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  • Rudra Abishekam

    Rudra Abishekam

    The essence of the Shiva yagyas is the process called Abishekam where 11 different ingredients are poured over the Shiva lingam.  The old stories are that because Shiva is the god of destruction, he is always hot and the different baths are cooling to him (at least symbolically). The above photo shows the final shower […]

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  • Shiva as Kala Bhairava

    Shiva as Kala Bhairava

    Shiva as Kala Bhairava.  Includes several stories about Shiva as Lord of Dance and Time, plus how he teases his wife Parvati. Chanting of Kala Bhairava Stotram and a melodic devotional song.

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  • Birthday Yagya

    Birthday Yagya

    On your birthday, the tradition is to perform an Ayush Yagya for long life and then Mrytunjaya Yagya for health, peacefulness and enlightenment.  Finally, at the end of all that, the priest takes the kalasha pot with water which has absorbed all the goodness of the mantras, and pours the water over your head. It […]

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