Krishna Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth Divine Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It falls on the 8th day of the dark half of the month (in the waning part of the lunar cycle between the full moon and the new moon) of Bhadrapada (August-September). It is a festival celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by Krishna devotees all across the world. But why did Lord Krishna incarnate into the physical realm anyway? Read more…
On the one hand, we have Brahma the creator – he, looking in all four directions, creating the three universes, with the five elements at his disposal. He is said to create all that exists. On the other hand, we have Shiva, the destroyer. He, of the long-matted hair through which the Ganga is said to have come down upon earth. He, the one with the blue throat, who voluntarily drank all the poison during the initial stages of Samudra manthan (the churning of the oceans). He, who is said to have spent eons on Mount Kailash in meditation, whose power became so exalted and refined, that the rest of the Gods worried enough to send apsaras to try and disturb his state of samadhi. Shiva, the destroyer.
We begin the New Year with a prayer to Lord Vishnu, the preserver and purveyor of all that is good for our body, mind and spirit. This four line shloka is also sometimes referred to as stuti – something which is said in the highest praise of the Lord. Sashankha Chakram, Sakiriita Kundalam…
The mere mention of Lord Vishnu can get rid of all our ailments. There is great power and healing conveyed to those who remember the Lord’s name with faith and devotion. Such is the strength conveyed in the following shloka which is found in the concluding verse of the Vishnu Sahastranaam (thousand names of Vishnu):
The concept of submitting oneself completely to a higher power is perhaps one of the most fundamental acts of true faith in any religion. Hinduism has several instances of this concept (see earlier post on Gita Summary). One of the slokas that is often recited in this context is as follows:
Tulsi Vivah is considered the beginning of the wedding season in India in the month of Kartik, which occurs in October/November every year. Tulsi vivah is conducted on the day after Kartik Ekadashi (the eleventh bright day of the new moon, Amavasya). According to Hindu mythology, Tulsi is ceremonially married to Lord Vishnu on this day. The festival continues for five days and concludes on the full moon day of Kartik Poornima.
Lord Vishnu is one of the principal Hindu deities (regarded as “the preserver”), and with Brahma “the creator” and Shiva “the destroyer”, constitutes the well-known tri-murti or triad of Hinduism. The Vaishnava sect of Hinduism considers him to be the foremost deity, worthy of total devotion and reverence. This article discusses three mantras for Lord Vishnu – guru mantra, mantra for invocation and mantra for meditation.