29 June 2009

Seemandam Function

I was away for a week to attend my seemandam function at Coimbatore. Read the following write-up to know what this function is all about.

In the Brahmin tradition, one of the important function is known as Seemantham or Bhumsavana Seemantham during the 8th month of pregnancy of a woman. Though, in the olden days, this auspicious seemandham was celebrated for each issue, nowadays, this is just simply performed only for first issue. Prior to this 8th month function, they used to perform a function namely "Poochoottal" meaning decorating the pregnant would be mother with floral decorations; this function would be attended by a large gathering of women, who too would be offered all the auspicious items viz. Bangles, (of course, glass or plastic made only!), Haldi, Kum Kum and flowers with betel leaves & nuts. The timing of this Poochoottal functions varies from family to family, some performing on the 4th month and some on the 6th month and a few conducting on the day prior to Seemantham.

From the day of formation in the mother's womb, a child grows in different steps, each within a stipulated time frame. According to the Vedic scripts, the birth and death is a pre-planned one by the almighty. And as pre-planned, the child grows in a way that is linked to many factors, which include a genetically considered factors. I.e. the child should have the nose like so and so, brain and intelligence like father or mother or even great grand father, height and weight of the child at birth and even its future growth plans that are stored into the genetic chip! Accordingly, though brain formation takes much earlier, the memory cells are said to begin its activities on the completion of full seven months of pregnancy. Then onwards, a child can record the sounds and vibrations from the surroundings and hears every spell around it.

The word seemandham or Seemantham literally means the hair parting just above the eye brow. It is said that the Goddess of Wealth, Sri Mahalakshmi resides in that parting. This is one more reason to mention why the practice of applying Kumkum on the parting, as a manner of propitiating Goddess Sri Lakshmi. And when a woman delivers a child, she is considered the embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi Herself.

So as to format the brain in a fittest condition, they used to perform Vedic recitals of relics and verses named "Udhagasanthi" or "Uthakashanthi" Japam, a soft but powerful mantra recital for about 1 and half hour. This they do by keeping a copper or brass vessel known as Kumbam in which fesh water is poured in, a bunch of mango leaves kept with a coconut covering it and also a bunch of Holy Grass known as Dharbam inserted. It is believed, that a kind of aquatic vibration that is caused during the Vedic Recital and chanting, this holy grass absorbing the vibration and transmits it to the water in the vessel. The water in the vessel gets a highest value, a combination of phonetic + aquatic vibration.

This chanting of mantra is done at a pre-fixed Muhurtham known as auspicious time. Normally a day prior to the main function of Seemantham or in some cases done on the same day of Seemantham function, they arrange to perform and recite the Udhakashanthi Japam. Then immediately completing this Japam, they used bathe the pregnant woman with the said holy water. The child in the womb shakes and jerks on this stimulation, that's felt by every seemandham adorned women!) This specific function of Japam is to give a solid state of mind for the child to be born, a positive vibration from the recited Mantras that give enough strength to the child in the womb, and create an atmosphere conducive to the earthly possessives on his/her birth! Yes, this much is practically carried out even today!

Each Vedic Mantra is of for a specific stimulation, the phonetic vibration has to attain its fullest value. To gain this specific value, for each function, they had discovered the merit of a specific recital. And the Udhakasanthi Japam too has its own potential values, in addition to giving confidence to the pregnant women. This also increases the mental strength of the would be mother, encouraging her with the system, with the supportive gathering members blessing the child and mother for a normal delivery. Also, during this function, the presentations given to the would be parents, just to meet the extra burden of bringing up a child! Gifts of valuables and cash would suffice for them to meet the demands!

Now, for the main function known as "seemandam" performed on a pre-fixed Muhurtham, an auspicious time is chosen to conduct this ritual. After the usual chores of house cleansing act known as punyavachanam and routine Agni Santhanam performance, the main function is held at the specified Muhurtham.

On this specific occasion, they used to grind the tender leaves of Banyan tree which is in its formation, mixed with raw cold milk and make it to a paste. (This banyan leaves should be of fresh, tender in its cone shaped and not opened as a leave fully. At some places, they add a few fresh tender fig tree leaves to this). The grinding of these leaves is to be done by two young girls below the age of 9 years known as Kanya - to state, the young girls who have not attained the puberty stage} This concoction essence would then be dropped in the pregnant would be mother's right nostril just by dropping through a silk cloth and the mother to be is asked to inhale instantly. Once inhaled, then a needle/quill of porcupine animal is taken from the head downward the navel, just slightly touching/lightly scratching the body portion.

It is believed, this supposed to make the marking line for the inhaled (the banyan leave juice + the cow's raw milk) gum to travel to the womb. At this junction, a specific mantra is recited, which makes the route to the tube perfect as the vibration + the porcupine quill acting as nodal guiding act. Thus the inhaled essence of milk and banyan leave juice, forms like a paste and straightly carried to her womb. Because of some unknown chemical proposition and the dirt gathered inside from her last menstrual course, this paste settles in the child's stem cell and surrounds, that begin from the naval part. This paste is gradually become like a protective mask for the stem cell tube and strengthens its tube bottom base. As long as in the womb, it settles there till the child is born. Once out in the open air, the same gum getting dried very quickly in the open air, thus causing easy and automatic separation of the stem cell tube from the naval portion! And mostly, no scissors used to cut the stem cells, if the seemandam was performed with authentic and ritual way! It is also widely believed that the above is symbolically cleaving the delivery passage to open for an easy downward movement of the child and for a normal delivery.


22 June 2009

Japa Seminar: Symptoms of Inattention

  • Indifference to chanting. This will lead to indifference to devotees and consequently indifference to Krishna.
  • Boredom of routine. Variety is the mother of enjoyment. Hence seeking variety is simply sense gratification.
  • After initial 4-5 years of enthusiasm devotees lose interest to chant because there is no determination. Srila Prabhupada says that without determination we are like animals.
When we fall down from our regular 16 rounds routine of chanting we should repent for it.

Srila Prabhupada says 'Repentance should lead to increase in devotional service.' "If you are fallen, get up and fight'

'The secret of Japa is STRUGGLE, STRUGGLE and STRUGGLE!'. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!!!

19 June 2009

Japa Seminar: The Tenth Offense

Inattentiveness in Chanting

  • This is called the mother of all offenses.
  • For the inattentiveness we show to the Holy Name we will have to pay for it in compound interest later.
  • All our misfortune stems from inattentiveness in chanting
Types of inattentiveness

  • Negligence
  • Carelessness
  • Chanting unconsciously
Consciousness mean 'present'. Chanting is the present. We should not be thinking about the past or future while chanting.

Take shelter of the holy name while chanting. If we chant with a focused mind we will be able to see results like how a magnifying glass focuses light rays to produce fire.

By chanting casually we are in fact feeding our anartas. Put your heart and soul into chanting as though this is your last chance to chant.

The sastra says the 16 syllable Hare Krishna Mahamantra is our deliverer. But due to negligence if do not chant the 16 syllables properly we cannot get the promised result.

Inattentiveness is like slow poisoning. It kills the soul's natural propensity to serve. Chant one mantra at a time giving attention to all the 16 syllables.

18 June 2009

Japa Seminar contd...

  • Harinama is like chintamani, touch stone but we are in constant chinta for money.
  • Every day we are on a war with our beads to some how complete 16 rounds.
  • Most often we feel that before taking to chanting we were experiencing less anxiety. Now we are constantly feeling anxiety to chant. An unused room looks seemingly clean but when you start cleaning it you can see dust and dirt come out of it. Similarly we may feel we were better when we were not chanting. After chanting, all the anartas are coming out of us. Like when the milk ocean was churned by the devas and asuras, at first the deadly kalakuta poison came out then came Nectar. Likewise when we chant, first our anartas will come out then the sweetness of the Holyname can be relished.
  • Chanting should be done in LCD process
  • L- Loudly
  • C- Clearly
  • D- Desperately and Distinctly.

17 June 2009

Japa Seminar

I attended a Japa seminar for three days last week. It was conducted by devotees from ISKCON Choupatty temple, Mumbai. Wish to share the inspiring experience here in my blog. I will be posting a few points everyday on this topic to share the inspiration I recieved from this seminar.

  • Holy name is the umbilical cord that connects us to the Lord.
  • Only when we attentively hear and chant, we can get to realise the glories of devotees.
  • But due to Vaishnava apparadha ( offending devotees) we donot relish chanting.
  • Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that there are only two realities in life 1). Jiva atma 2). Holy Name.
  • Always think of Krishna and Never forget Krishna.
I will post some more nectar in my next post.

14 June 2009

Ways to Be a Better Dad

Have a great relationship with your child’s mother.

Research shows that children do best when their loving, biological parents raise them. If you are married, make your relationship the best it can be. Read books on marriage, take seminars, join a couple’s support group, or get counseling from a professional.

If you are no longer married to your child’s mother, then work on having a positive relationship with her. Children identify strongly and feel loyalties with both parents. When there is conflict, children are often caught in the middle and pressured to take sides. This harms the children’s
sense of self and their ability to have healthy relationships. If your relationship is strained, do whatever works to improve it.

Spend quality and quantity time with your child

Both you and your children benefit when they are a priority in your life. You will feel the satisfaction of seeing them develop and your children will feel valued and encouraged to develop well. Some fathers say their children are important, but this means little if they have no time for them.

Spending time with our children when they are small is like depositing money in a relationship bank account. When they reach adolescence, the bond wehave built will protect our children from negative activities, make them more likely to succeed in their education and will help them have positive relationships with their peers.

Do things together that foster God consciousness

There are many activities we can do with our children that will help them to become conscious of the Lord and to respect His magnificent creation. Here are some ideas:

  • Recycle together
  • Pick up trash together
  • Plant a garden together
  • Dance and chant together
  • Milk a cow together
  • Make a garland for the Lord together
  • Serve people sanctified vegetarian food together
  • Read and tell stories about the wonderful and loving Lord
  • Take a nature walk together
  • Cook and offer food to the Lord
  • Fix something together
  • Build something together
  • Be a good role model

A famous cliché says that behavior speaks louder than words. Once in India, a mother brought her child to see a saint and asked him to tell her child to stop eating sugar. The saint told the mother and child to return in a week. When they did so, the saint said to the child, “Stop eating sugar.” The mother thanked him and asked why they had to come back before he would instruct. He said, “First I had to stop eating sugar myself.”

To effectively teach our children positive behavior, we must first set a good example for them to follow.

Show your love

Physical affection is essential for the psychological and physical well being of your child. It is well documented that infants die and children fail to thrive without enough physical touch. Lots of hugs, handholding and pats on the head are important non-verbal ways to express love. These
gestures communicate how special and valuable your child is to you.

Ways to Be a Better Dad is written by Arcana-siddhi dasi

09 June 2009

Akshaya Patra Mysore

Mysore, June 7 (DV&MTY)- Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa yesterday inaugurated the well-equipped new kitchen constructed under latest technology by ISKCON at Jayanagar here under its 'Akshaya Patra' scheme for the preparation of midday meals to school children.

The Chief Minister also launched the new mini tempos arranged by ISKCON to transport midday meals to the schools.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said ISKCON is the only organisation in the world supplying midday meal in large quantities under aid from Akshaya Patra Foundation. ISKCON has opened 17 centres in seven States in the country and is supplying midday meal to one million children of 5700 government and aided schools and Anganavadi centres.

The service being rendered by ISKCON in preparing the midday meal giving preference to hygiene is an example to other organisations. It is a matter to be lauded that the organisation with its expanded activity has constructed a new kitchen sufficient to prepare food to 30,000 children at a time.

In order to extend the Akshara Dasoha prog. to high schools, Rs. 480 crore has been earmarked in the budget. With this, 70 lakh children of 55,000 high schools will get the benefit of midday meal, he said

Case Against Easter

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was....it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s).

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, “Case dismissed.” The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter & others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur & Hanukkah. Yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.” The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.” The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.” The judge said. The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.” Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.

08 June 2009

Anarta Nivriti for Chanting

Most often we feel discouraged that in spite of chanting for so many years we have not developed any taste for chanting. Some also give up chanting due to this. The reason why we have not yet got the taste for chanting due to our anartas.

Everyone of us is full with six anartas (contamination) that is blocking our progressive path in chanting of the holy name.

They are:
  1. Kama - Lust - strong desire to enjoy with our senses
  2. Krodha - Anger - when we donot get what we desire anger arises
  3. Lobha - Greed - Greed not only for material pocessions but also greed for name, fame and recognition
  4. Moha - Illusion - not realising everyone is a spirit soul part and parcel of Krishna
  5. Madha - Madness - intoxicated by pride of achievement
  6. Matsarya - Enviousness - not realising everyone belongs to Krishna and that everyone is to be enjoyed only by Krishna.
Unless we realise that we have these anartas in us and work towards minimising them we will not develop nishta(determination) or ruchi(taste) in chanting.

03 June 2009

Little Krishna on Television

Little Krishna

Little Krishna is the latest rockstar on television!

Little Krishna debuted on Monday, May 11, 2009 exclusively on Nick, India's leading kids' entertainment channel. Since the content can be enjoyed by one and all in the family, the series is aired at four time slots – 12:30 pm and 6:30 pm, for the kids; 3:00 pm for the housewives and 9:30 pm for the working members of the family (all times IST).

Each episode delivers 23 minutes of enthralling entertainment, showcasing an amalgamation of both, the lighter humorous antics of Krishna as well as his prowess as a warrior. Using the traditional tales of Krishna’s childhood adventures as a foundation for morally inspiring children’s entertainment, the tonality of the stories is light-hearted, energetic and gripping.

Following is the description of the primary characters in Little Krishna.


No human being could perform the wonderful acts that Krishna performed while He was present on this earth. The Lord's appearance as a man bewilders the foolish. When Krishna appeared before His father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaki, He appeared with four hands, but after the prayers of the parents He transformed Himself into an ordinary child. He became just like an ordinary child, an ordinary human being.

Krishna is the baby who feeds on the breast milk of Mother Yasoda. He is the son of Maharaja Nanda, dark blue like an indra-nila gem (sapphire), and the life of the residents of Vraja.

He likes to steal butter, and is an expert thief of yogurt. He is the keeper of the cows and calves of Vrindavana. He dresses in yellow silk cloth, wears peacock feathers on His head, and He always holds a flute. He is the best of dancers, He wanders in the caves of Govardhana Hill, and He enjoys various amorous pastimes in the autumn season. He is the lover of the young cowherd maidens, He possesses the lovely complexion of a fresh raincloud, He is the bewilderer of Cupid, and is always garlanded with fresh forest flowers. His face is full of sweet smiles and laughter, and He is the wealth of the lives of all the young cowherd maidens in Vraja.

The darling, the prankster, the savior – Krishna comes across as a wonder boy with his mesmerizing flute in one hand and the ultimate power to destroy evil on the other dressed up in his shining warrior armor, he is a timeless appeal, a favorite of kids and adults like beyond borders and genders.

Read More.. Sixty-four qualities of Krishna



Of all the gopis, Radharani is the dearmost. Her name means that She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna.

The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord. She is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature.

The beauty of Srimati Radharani's eyes forcibly devours the beauty of newly grown blue lotus flowers, and the beauty of Her face surpasses that of an entire forest of fully blossomed lotuses. When one sees the face of Radharani, he immediately hates the beauty of the moon. Her bodily luster seems to place even gold in a painful situation. Thus the wonderful, unprecedented beauty of Srimati Radharani is awakening Vrindavana.

The Vraja-devis or gopis are Her expansions and assist in the increase of rasa, or the divine loving pastimes.


Balarama is the divine son of Vasudeva and Rohini. He is also known as Rohini-nandana, the beloved son of Rohini. He was also entrusted to Nanda Maharaja along with His mother, Rohini, when Vasudeva embraced imprisonment by mutual agreement with Kamsa. So Nanda Maharaja is also the foster father of Baladeva along with Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna and Lord Baladeva were constant companions from Their very childhood, although They were stepbrothers. He is the plenary manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore He is as good and powerful as Lord Krishna. He was actually the seventh son of Devaki prior to the birth of Lord Krishna, but by the will of the Lord He was transferred to the womb of Rohini to escape the wrath of Kamsa. Sri Baladeva was also a class friend of Lord Sri Krishna as a student of Sandipani Muni. In His childhood He killed many asuras along with Sri Krishna.


Krishna had one brahmana friend whose name was Madhumangala. This boy would joke by playing the part of a greedy brahmana. Whenever the friends ate, he would eat more than all others, especially laddus, of which he was very fond. Then after eating more laddus than anyone else, Madhumangala would still not be satisfied, and he would say to Krishna, "If You give me one more laddu, then I shall be pleased to give You my blessings so that Your friend Radharani will be very much pleased with You."

His father is the saintly Sandipani Muni, his mother the chaste Sumukhi devi. An expert comedian who always plays the buffoon, Sri Madhumangala is the constant companion of Lord Krishna.


Subala is one of the cowherd boyfriends of Krishna and out of all of the friends of Krishna, Subala is the most intimate in Vrajabhumi.

He is very, very dear to Krishna and he is so intelligent that by his talking and his moral instructions all the other friends take the highest pleasure. The degree of intimacy shared by Krishna and Subala can be understood by the fact that the talks between them were so confidential that no one else could understand what they were saying.

When Krishna left Vrndavana, Subala, His intimate friend, decided to leave also. While leaving, Subala was contemplating that without Krishna there was no longer any pleasure to be found in Vrindavana. The analogy is given that as the bees go away from a flower that has no honey, Subala left Vrindavana when he found that there was no longer any relishable transcendental pleasure there.

Nanda MaharajNanda Maharaj

When the best of the Vasus, of the name Drona, along with his wife Thara were ordered to increase progeny by Lord Brahma they took benediction from Brahma that in the future -- when they would take birth again within the universe-the Supreme Lord Krishna in His most attractive feature of Childhood would absorb their whole attention. Their dealings with Krishna would be so attractive that simply by hearing Krishna's Childhood Activities with them anyone can very easily cross over the nescience of birth and death. Lord Brahma agreed to give them the benediction, and as a result the same Drona appeared as Nanda Maharaj in Vrindavan, and the same Thara appeared as Mother Yasoda, the wife of Nanda Maharaj.

In this way, Nanda Maharaj and his wife, Mother Yasoda, developed their unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, having gotten Him as their Son. And all the gopis and cowherdsmen who were Associates of Krishna naturally developed their own different feelings of love for Krishna.

Lord Krishna appeared as a Child, the Son of Vasudeva and Devaki, and was transferred to the home of Nanda and Yasoda so as to escape being killed by Devaki's brother, the demon Kansa.

Nanda Maharaj was a Vaishya king, or landholder, and his main business was cow protection. It is understood that he had 900,000 cows, and Krishna and Balaram used to take charge of them, along with Krishna’s many cowherd boy friends.

YashodaMother Yashoda

Lord Krishna displayed a unique picture of subordination before His foster mother, Yashoda. The Lord, in His naturally childish playful activities, used to spoil the stocked butter of mother Yashoda by breaking the pots and distributing the contents to His friends and playmates, including the celebrated monkeys of Vrindavana, who took advantage of the Lord's munificence.

Yashoda was not conscious of the exalted position of Krishna. Therefore Yashoda's position was more exalted. Mother Yashoda got the Lord as her child, and the Lord made her forget altogether that her child was the Lord Himself.

Mother Yashoda was made to forget this situation because the Lord wanted to make a complete gesture of childishness before the affectionate Yashoda. This exchange of love between the mother and the son was performed in a natural way. Yashoda was such an advanced devotee that she never regarded Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but simply loved Him as her own child.


Lalita is the most important friend of Srimati Radharani. Srimati Radharani would do everything by first consulting Lalita Sakhi.

Of the eight sakhis, Lalita-devi is the foremost. She is a very dear friend of Radha-Krishna and she is 27 days older than Srimati Radharani.


Visakha is the second most important of the eight varistha-gopis. Her attributes, activities and resolve are all much like those of her friend Lalita. Visakha was born at the exact same moment as her dear friend, Srimati Radharani, appeared in this world. She was one of Radha’s closest friends and a trusted follower. She accompanied Radha almost everywhere and was among her favorite playmate.


A demoniac king of the Bhoja dynasty and maternal uncle of Krishna. Kamsa, son of Ugrasena imprisoned his father and became the King of Mathura.
At the time of the marriage of Vasudeva and Devaki, a voice from the sky foretold that the couple’s eighth son would kill King Kamsa, Devaki’s evil brother. Kamsa therefore imprisoned Vasudeva and Devaki and placed guards to watch over them closely.
Later, sage Narada visited Kamsa and informed him that in his past life he had been killed by Vishnu and that the prediction of the child who would kill him referred to Lord Vishnu, who was to take birth as the son of Devaki.
Kamsa then decided to imprison both Devaki and Vasudeva. Within the prison shackled in chains, Vasudeva and Devaki gave birth to a male child year after year, and Kamsa, thinking each of the babies to be the incarnation of Vishnu, killed them one after another.
Lord Krishna was born as the eighth son of Devaki and Kamsa was killed by Krishna and Ugrasena was reinstalled on the throne.

02 June 2009

Sri Krishna Balaram Deities and Sri Gaura Nitai Installation

We had a wonderful Krishna Conscious weekend celebrating the grand installation of Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Gaura Nitai deities in our neighbourhood Hare Krishna temple. Here are some pictures and video of the festival.

Jaladivas Ceremony: The deities were immersed in the water after a yajna.

After the abhishek

The Deities taken to the Beach
Palaki Utsav
Beach Sankirtan

I made these malas to be offered to Their Lordships Sri Krishna Balaram and Sri Gaura Nitai. You can see the Lordships wearing them after the abhishek(above pictures)