Archive for September, 2008

  • Navaratri – Day 0 – VKTK

    Navaratri – Day 0 – VKTK

    No trip to Kanchipuram is complete without a trip to the VKTK dhoti store. The selection of dhotis, saris, and beautiful silks is truly amazing. Each day of the Navaratri celebration will include a Suvasini Puja during which a younger and older woman will receive traditional gifts of a sari and other items. It is […]

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  • Navaratri – Day 0 – Ganesha Yagya (fire ceremony)

    Navaratri – Day 0 – Ganesha Yagya (fire ceremony)

    After breakfast we start to do mantra japa (repetition) for Ganesha. 7 priests chanting and it is hard work! Not only are these guys fast, but they chant loudly, and while I can keep up, my throat quickly goes dry. But I struggle through and it is actually rather exhilarating to experience the power of […]

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  • Navaratri – Day 0 – Ganesha Yagya

    Navaratri – Day 0 – Ganesha Yagya

    Technically today is not part of Navaratri (thus Day 0) but we are spending the time doing a big Ganesha Yagya. He is, after all, the remover of obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings. So we are going to begin the Navaratri program in the best way possible, with an entire day for Ganapati. The […]

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  • India – Day 3, a cruel irony!

    India – Day 3, a cruel irony!

    In the afternoons everything is pretty much closed and everyone enjoys the fine tradition of an afternoon siesta. The problem is that there are frequent power outages during the afternoon and today was no exception.  It was hot, and the lack of a fan in the room made it hotter still.  So here i am, […]

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  • India – Day 3

    India – Day 3

    Today is Amayasya, the day of the New Moon, and a day for performing special pujas for ancestors.  All the temples are full of people doing the pujas for their previous generations.  Seetharam made arrangements for me to perform this for my family and for participants, at a very nice Shiva temple nearby.  Unfortunately […]

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  • India – Day 2, evening

    India – Day 2, evening

    In the evening, as is the routine, we went what I call “temple hopping”, and Kanchipuram is certainly the place to do it. Fortunately Seetharam is a fantastic guide and knows so many great places to visit. This temple above is very ancient and is made primarily of sandstone. The Indian government manages the temple […]

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  • India – Day 2

    India – Day 2

    It is always a good thing when jet lag diminishes. Life is much more enjoyable and breakfast this morning looked especially delicious. The restaurant in the hotel has superior food. Today was dosa, a thin pancake served with coconut, tomato, and green chutneys to dip it in. I ate two. Plus the south indian coffee […]

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  • India – Day 1, evening

    India – Day 1, evening

    We ended day one with visits to the Kamakshi temple (seen below) and the huge Kapileshwara (Shiva) temple. In both cases we were able to go right in and it was fantastic to see the evening aarti with all the big camphor lamps being waved in front of Kamakshi Devi.  Afterwards we sat outside and […]

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  • India – Day 1

    India – Day 1

    It is good, really good, to be back in India for Navaratri. Even that first moment when you walk out of the Chennai airport at 1 AM and feel the humidity and smell the exhaust…it is still India and the excitement is never diminished. Of course reaching Kanchipuram, which is fairly rural, is even better. […]

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  • #10 Divisional Charts

    #10 Divisional Charts

    We examine various Jyotish techniques used to analyse specific areas of life through the use of Divisional charts, or amshas. The birth chart (rasi) is used to see overall areas of life, but if you divide each sign into 9 parts, then you can derive another chart called the Navamsha to see marriage, or you […]

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