Apr 17, 2010
It is mentioned of the Kalpavriksha and Chaityavriksha in the ancient scriptures indicating that the worship of the tree is indeed an ancient Indian practice. The Ancient Aryans worshiped nature. Plants, Trees and the other elements were always revered and several rituals were connected to them. Tree worship continues to be an element of modern Indian traditions. There are many trees which are considered Sacred. Some of the Sacred Trees are as follows :
The Ashoka Tree is one of the most sacred and legendary trees of India, and one of the most fascinating flowers in the Indian range of flower essences. The beautiful, perfumed flowers of the Ashoka Tree are used in temple decoration. Prized for its beautiful foliage and flowers, the Asoka Tree has many religious significances. This tree is revered by the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is said that Lord Buddha was born under this tree in Lumbini. Some says that Lord Mahavira renounced the world under the Ashoka tree in Vaishali. The Hindus worship this tree because it is dedicated to "Kama Deva" (God of Love). The Ashoka tree gets a mention in the epic Ramayana as the "Ashoka Vatika" (garden of Ashoka trees) where Hanuman first meets Sita. Literally meaning "the "sorrowless tree", it is believed that drinking the water in which the flowers have been washed is widely considered a protection against grief among the Indians.
Like the Peepal Tree, the Banyan Tree also symbolizes the Trimurti-Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. The tree also symbolizes life and fertility in many Hindu cultures. That is the reason, banyan tree is worshiped by those who are childless and this tree should never be cut. The tree can grow into a giant tree covering several hectares. The Great Banyan in the Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, is considered to be the largest tree in the world. Lord Dakshinamurthy, who is worshiped as the "ultimate guru", is usually depicted beneath a banyan tree. He symbolizes Lord Shiva and is seen as the the destroyer of ignorance and embodiment of knowledge.
In India, Bael tree is considered to be very sacred because it is associated with Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva is pleased by offerings of leaves from the Bael Tree, also known as bilva or bel tree. Thus, the Brahmanas worshiped Lord Shiva by for a period of one fortnight by offering bel leaves and that way satisfied Lord Shiva greatly. The fruit, flowers and leaves of the tree are all sacred to Shiva. Planting these trees around home or temple is sanctifying and is equivalent to worshiping a Linga with bilva leaves and water. The trifoliate leaf or tripatra of the bael tree is believed to symbolize the three functions of the Lord-the creation, preservation and destruction as well as his three eyes. The offering of the leaves is a compulsory ritual while worshipping Lord Shiva all over India. The Beal tree is also sacred to the Jains. It is said the 23rd Tirthankara, Bhagwan Parasnathji attained "Nirvana" enlightenment under a Bael tree. Besides religious significane, almost all parts of the tree have medicinal qualities Bael is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic and Siddha formulations.
The common names of Lord Krishna-Venugopal, Bansilal, Murali and Muralidhar reflect His association with Bansuri or Venu, His constant companion. Bansuri is actually a flute made of bamboo. That is the reason, bamboo is revered in India because it is associated with Lord Krishna.
Though banana is not a tree but it is considered a tree because of its structure and size. It is a very sacred tree and all parts of the tree are used for some purpose or the other. For example, the trunk of banana is used to erect welcoming gates. The leaves are used to make the ceremonial pavilion. In some pooja, the leaves are used to serve "prashad". Just as leaves of bel tree are customarily offered to Lord Siva, it is believed that offering of the leaves of banana pleases Lord Ganesa. Banana as a fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Laksmi. Infact, the eleventh day of the bright half of Pausa (December-January) is considered to be very auspicious to offer banana to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi and sixth day of the bright fortnight of Kartika (October-November) is considered auspicious to offer banana to the Sun god. In some regions, banana tree is worshipped while performing Kadali Vrata or fast. According to tradition, during Vaisakha, Magha or Kartika sukla caturdasi, a banana tree is planted and nurtured till it bears fruit. It is said that worshiping the tree with flowers, fruit, etc. will help in the welfare of one's family.
To all Hindus, the Bhang Tree is a very Holy Tree. There are many beliefs associated with the Bhang Tree. It is believed that a guardian lives in the Bhang leaf. To see in a dream the plant or water or leaves of Bhang is considered lucky as it brings wealth and prosperity into the dreamer's power. To meet someone carrying Bhang is a sure sign of success. Bhang is a popular drink made of the leaves and flowers of the Bhang tree and considered to be a "prashad". It is must for every devotees to have bhang on Mahashivratri. It is also said that nothing good can come to the man who treads underfoot the holy Bhang leaf. A longing for Bhang is a sign of happiness. Since ancient times, Yogis take deep draughts of Bhang so that they can center their thoughts on the Eternal without any disturbance because bhang has that intoxicating power in it. Infact, the students of ancient scriptures at Benares are given Bhang before they sit to study. Bhang has also many medicinal virtues. It is also believed that no god or man is as good as the religious drinker of Bhang. It is also said that to restrict the use of such a holy and gracious herb as the hemp or Bhang would cause widespread suffering and annoyance.
In Sanskrit, the name for the coconut palm "Kalpa vriksha", which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life" or "wish-fulfilling tree". The coconut tree is given a special place in most Hindu households and great care is taken to nature the tree. In the southern part of India, it is a must for every household to plant coconut trees. There is a popular saying, "Water the plant for five years, reap coconuts for life" . The coconut is used for all religious purposes. Infact, it represents the main "sthapana" of any pooja. The whole pot filled with water, mango leaves and coconut, also known as "Purnakumbha" is a symbol of Goddess Laksmi or Fortune and the coconut represents divine consciousness. To break a coconut in the beginning of any event is considered to be very auspicious. Coconuts are offered in Temples to worship to various Gods and Goddesses. The fruit is also believed to represent Lord Shiva and the three black marks on the coconut shell, symbolizes his eyes.
The Lotus is always considered as an evocative symbol of beauty, purity and divinity and a highly revered flower by all Hindus. In Hinduism many of the deities are pictured sitting upon a lotus or holding a lotus flower. Rising up pure and unsullied from the depths of the muddy swamp, the lotus represents the manifestation of God. The pure white lotus flower is the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously. The flower is a symbol of Goddess Laxmi. One of the incarnations of the Mother-Goddess or Devi and wife of the Hindu god Vishnu, Laxmi is the goddess of fortune and prosperity as well as the epitome of feminine beauty. According to Hindu mythology she was born radiant and fully grown from the churning of the sea. Lakshmi is always portrayed as sitting on a lotus flower which is her traditional symbol. That is why this flower held in high esteem. The Lotus flower has also symbolized spiritual enlightenment. It is said that the Lotus in Eastern Culture has a similar symbolism to the Rose in Christianity.
The mango tree is another sacred tree of the Hindus. The significance of this finds mention in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. The mango as a fruit is a symbol of love and fertility. The leaf of the tree is used during most religious and social ceremonies of the Hindus. A "Purnakumbha" is a pot filled with water and topped with fresh mango leaves and a coconut and considered to be the "staphna" of the puja. The pot symbolizes Mother Earth, water is the life giver, coconut the divine consciousness and the mango leaves symbolizes life. The whole "Purnakumbha" is symbolizes Goddess Lakshmi and good fortune. On various auspicious occasions, mango leaves are used to adorn entrances at home to signify good fortune. Mango blossoms are used on Basant Panchami day in the worship of Goddess Saraswasti. The tree is also sacred to the Buddhists because it is believed that Lord Buddha performed during his lifetime the instantaneous creation of a large mango tree from the seed at a place called Shravasti.
It is said that on the first day of Chaitra, after Amavasya, it is very essential to worship the neem and eat its leaves, mixed with pepper and sugar, as a safeguard from fever. The neem tree besides having various medicinal benefits is a highly revered tree among the Hindus because it is a manifestation of "Goddess Durga" or "Maa Kali". That is why the tree is sometimes referred to as Neemari Devi. The Tree is worshiped very intensely. Tamil Ladies, while worshiping Maa kali dress in red, carry branches of the Neem tree, and dance in public places swishing the branches as an act of exorcism and to purify the world. The multi-headed occult goddess Yellamma (a highly revered goddess in south Indiai) sometimes assumes the appearance of a young neem tree. Young maidens worship this Goddess by cladding themselves all over in neem branches. In Bengal, neem is considered to be the tree which is the abode of "Sitala" (the great Pox-mother who can cause or cure disease). The customary treatment of pox is therefore to rub the body with neem leaves while making prayers to Sitala. It is also said that the smoke of burning neem protects both the living and the dead from evil spirits.
The Peepal Tree also known as "Ashvattha" in Sanskrit, is a very large tree and the first-known depicted tree in India. A seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, one of the cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation depicts the peepal being worshiped. According to the Brahma Purana and the Padma Purana, when the demons defeated the gods, Lord Vishnu hid himself in the Peepal Tree and that is why it is believed that the Peepal Tree is a symbol of Vishnu and is worshiped since a long period of time. There is another belief that the tree represents the Trimurti-the roots being Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva. Some says that Lord Krishna is believed to have died under this tree, after which the present Kali Yuga started. According to another belief, Goddess Lakshmi also inhabited the tree, specially on Saturday and hence it is considered auspicious to worship it. Infact women worship the tree to bless them with a son tying red thread or red cloth around its trunk or on its branches. According to the Skanda Purana, to cut down a peepal tree is considered a sin. Even Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under the peepal tree and the peepal is also sacred to Buddhist. Hence it is also called the Bodhi tree or "tree of enlightenment".
Red Sandalwood Tree
Besides being used in fragrance industry, fine woodworking and aromatherapy, Sandalwood is commonly used for incense and religious ceremonies. The Red Sandalwood Tree is considered to be a very sacred tree and is like a sage among many people. It is said that all other trees are considered ordinary trees and are like ignorant men in front of a Red Sandal wood. Popularly known as Chandan, Sandalwood has an extraordinary fragrance. Sandalwood paste is used in all religious rituals. The paste is smeared on the foreheads of devotees of Vishnu and Shiva and it is said that the sandalwood paste is meant to cool and protect the "Agna chakra" present between the eyebrows. In India, the death pyre is made using sandalwood branches for centuries. According to legend, Lord Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. According to Indian mythology, sandalwood tree is depicted as being entwined with serpents. Sandalwood remains cool and aromatic even when the poisonous serpent coils around it. This also has another meaning that the basic nature of an individual cannot change because of outer effects.
Tulsi is always associated with purity and a highly revered and used for all religious purposes among the Hindus. It is considered very auspicious to have a Tulsi plant in the front courtyard of many Hindu households. Tulsi beads can always be seen around the necks of serious yogis and mystics in India, worn to purifying the mind, emotions and body. Dispelling the unwanted influences of others, gross and subtle, is one of the many benefits bestowed by Tulsi plant and hence worshipped by all. Tulsi plants are also prized in Ayurveda, where they are considered an integral part of that sophisticated healing system. In practically every temple in India, no puja can be started without few Tulsi leaves. There is always a special place reserved for this sacred plant. The qualities and amazing powers of this plant are found throughout the oldest writings on Earth, the Sanskrit Vedas of ancient India, where it is stated that simply touching the wood is purifying at many levels. Tulsi plant is most loved by Lord Vishnu and Vrinda Devi, the Goddess ruling Tulsi is known as the personification of bhakti or devotion to the Supreme Being.
Amazing Isnt it!!!
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I rarely find myself recommending a Microsoft product to people, but Windows Live Writer certainly bucks the trend here. As a desktop application for blogging, it’s powerful, simple to use and set up.
If you’re a blogger and you’re not convinced, here are 7 reasons why you should try out Windows Live Writer 2009.
1. Much faster than writing your post online
Being a blogger for several years now, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out both the Blogger and Wordpress platforms with my websites – and while they were relatively easy to update, just like most web services at this point – I’ve always felt that they just lacked the speed and smoothness of a desktop application. Windows Live Writer fills this gap by taking everything blog related offline. Tasks like inserting pictures into posts, and previewing posts, which used to take time to load up online, now happen instantaneously. Not only do you speed up your work, but you can take more time to play around and edit your post without having to wait every time you make some changes.
2. Ability to import your blog theme so you preview your post as you write
Windows Live Writer has an excellent feature called ‘Edit Using Theme’ which allows you to download and incorporate your existing blog theme so that when you write your post, you’ll see it as it would appear in your real blog. Think of it as a real-time preview as you write so you don’t have to keep hitting the preview button to see how your post would actually turn out.
3. Extendible and Customizable
As most Firefox or Wordpress users would testify, having a community which builds up plug-ins and extensions which make a product better is very important. Windows Live Writer allows for such customization and has a gallery for such plug-ins for you to browse. Granted, the amount of plug-ins aren’t fantastic at this point, but with the release of the 2009 edition of the Windows Live Writer, you can see Microsoft making an effort to take this community up a notch by releasing official plugins for Twitter, Digg, and Flickr as well as tutorial videos on their blog.
4. Switch between blogs at a click of a button
Write for more than one blog? With Windows Live Writer you can easily switch between blogs in an instant. All login details are stored in the application so everything is incredibly snappy. The picture below says it all.
5. Easily insert rich media
Inserting rich media like videos and maps are a walk in the park with Windows Live Writer. For example, if you want to upload the latest video in your YouTube account, rather than copying and pasting large chunks of code, you can login directly to your YouTube account from Windows Live Writer, and pick your videos to insert.
6. Immediate access to drafts
Windows Live Writer allows you to store post drafts either locally on the client side, and have them displayed on the sidebar. This option of local drafts allows for instant access to any posts you’ve been working on so all your most recent work is only a click away.
7. Superior image handling and effects
When it comes to handling images, Windows Live Writer comes with a plethora of options so you can do all your image editing right there and then within the application. You can handle everything from adding borders, and resizing images, and even adding watermarks to your photos.
…and there you have it, 7 excellent reasons why you should consider trying out Windows Live Writer 2009 to update your blog.
Apr 15, 2010
Last saturday i happened to see the class of the titans in devi theatre with my friend Sathya .The movie was really good., pacca entertainer .Though the graphics was not as good as expected it was fine . Hades’ intro and the cg for him is the best and is really majestic .But the big “awe” factor was not the movie but the theatre as that was my first time in Devi . We saw the movie in a 10 Rs/- ticket which we booked in the net and was really amazed to find how good the experience was even at that ticket range ,which most other theatres do not provide you.Then we decided that we will think about sathyam or Inox only for 3-D movies .Such a nice comfortable experience for the rate of an empty DVD.,Awesome!!!
The ancient Thamils lived in close touch with nature. Astronomy and astrology very much influenced their lives. With regard to the year, the Thamils started it with the Vernal Equinox. Astronomers have determined the sun transiting Aries at 0 degree as the Vernal Equinox, that is the day when the sun rose exactly in the east, coincided. This was about the year 285AD. With the lapse of centuries, the New Year falls now, about three weeks after the Vernal Equinox. The Hindu solar year is sidereal, and since it is in excess of the tropical year by 20 minutes and 24.00 seconds, it does not keep step with the seasons. The seasons fall back one and half days for every hundred years or one day every 71.6 years.
It is not correct to say that Chiththirai has always been the beginning of Thamil New Year. Nachchinarkiniyar who wrote a commentary to Tholkaappiyam says Thamil New Year started in August (Aavani) and ended in July (Aadi). This demonstrates the fact that Aeries (Medam) is not the start of the reference point in the Zodiac during Tholkappiyar’s time.
The Thamils/Hindus divided the year into “Uttarayanam” the first six months after the winter solstice and “Dhadshanyam” the second six months after the summer solstice. The former was considered health-giving, bright period for man and animals for during that period the days became longer and longer. Thus “Uttarayanam” was celebrated by Thaipongal and Paddippongal (the cattle festival). Most of the temple festivals in the Thamil country were also fixed for this bright period. The beginning of the “Dhadshanayam” was marked by “Adipirapoo” (July 1-Hindu calendar). These six months were considered not a very bright period for men and animals because the days became shorter and shorter.
One of the major drawbacks in counting Chiththirai is that it is not a continuous year. Its cycle consists of 60 years. This cycle of years is useless to record historical events. And their (so are some of the months) names are not Thamil. They are in Sanskrit. The mythological story attached to the birth of the years is extremely vulgar and obscene. As usual with Hindu mythologies a perverted mind must have invented the story.
A close look at the six seasons given in Thamil literature reveals that they are out of sync with the actual seasons experienced at the equator.
Ilavenil Kaalam : mild sunny period : Chithirai, Vahasi – Thingal
(mid April to mid June)
Muthuvenil Kaalam : intense sunny period : Aani, Aadi – Thingal
(mid June to mid August)
Kaar Kaalam : cloudy rainy Period : Aavani, Purataasi – Thingal
(mid August to mid October)
Kuthir Kaalam – cold period : Iyppassi, Kaarthihai – Thingal
(mid October to mid December)
Munpani Kaalam – early misty period (evening dew): Maarkali, Thai Thingal
(mid December to mid February)
Pinpani Kaalam – late misty period (morning dew): Maasi, Panguni Thingal
(mid February to mid April)
Definitely Mid June to mid-August is not the rainy season in Northeast of Ceylon or Thamil Nadu. They are in fact hot and humid months. The rainy season is from October to November (Iyppasi to Kaarthikai) and not from mid August to mid October.
The coolest months are December – January (Maarkali – Thai). It is in January (Thai) the farmer harvest the first sheaves of a harvest. They are grinded and mixed with old rice and used for Pongal. The actual harvest season does not take place in January. It takes place in February and March. This is due to change in seasons due to precession.
January 14th too has astronomical significance, in that, the Sun (Earth) commences its Northerly transit.
In fact there are four (not three) transits of significance by the Sun in its journey from south to north and north to south. They are:
Winter Equinox-March 20/21
Summer Solstice-June 21
Autumn Equinox-December 22
Spring Equinox-March 20/21
This is true only in regard to the Northern hemisphere. It will be the exact opposite of those living in the Southern hemisphere. When it is summer in the Northern hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern hemisphere. So in regard to spring and autumn.
As already mentioned, the arrivals of the seasons have been changing at the rate of 1 degree per 71.6 years. Westerners found spring coming earlier (March 10) than the Julian calendar showed viz March 21. To adjust the extra days Pope Gregory ordered the deletion of 10 days i.e. October 5th was followed up with October 15th. The Gregorian calendar still has a few seconds difference. But the calendar can hold good fairly accurately for the next 1000 years!
And pls donot think it was Dr.Karunanithi who is the reason behind this change. In 1951, 1957, 1970 & 71 efforts were made to change the new year from chitirai thirunaal to Thiruvalluvar's Birth day in Jan.
Also pls note there has been no change in the Panchangam.