Tag Archives: Hindu Mythology

Vara Mahalakshmi Vratham

Goddess Lakshmi has a spiritual significance also

Namastestu Mahaamaaye Shreepeete Surapoojite
Shankha Chakra Gadaa Haste Mahaalakshmi Namostute.

Vara Mahalakshmi is the festival of goddess Lakshmi celebrated in the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra mainly by women folk on the second Friday in the month of Shravana . As the name suggests Vara Mahalakshmi is the one who grants Vara (boon). The festival is observed by the married woman for the well being of all family members, especially husband.

It is believed that worshipping goddess varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalakshmis, the 8 forces or energies namely Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Saraswati (learning), Preeti (love), Keerti (Fame), Shanti (Peace), Tushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength). Each force is considered as Lakshmi and all 8 forces as Ashta Lakshmis. Lord Vishnu is also considered as the asylum for the Ashta Lakshmis (Eight-Lakshmis or forces).

Puja ceremony at homa for health and happiness

Ashtadala Padma Rangoli (Ashta is 8, dala is leaf, padma is lotus) is drawn on a wooden plank (peeta in kannada) which is tied with thorana (mango leaves) and bale kandu (banana stems) on both the sides. A Kalasha is kept on a plate spread with rice. Lamps are lit on the either sides of the kalasha. Kalasha is filled with little rice, water, beetel nuts, beetel leaves, Kharjura(dry dates) and one coin. Turmeric n kumkuma is applied evenly to a coconut without husk and is kept on the kalasha with mango leaves surrounding it. Face of goddess(eyes and nose) can be drawn on the coconut or the ready silver faces are available which can be tied to the coconut. Arishina dara (Yellow thread) with nine knots are kept on beetle leaves to the right of kalasha. First Lord Ganesha is worshipped. Ganapati Ashotthara is read. Then the Varalakshmi Puja is performed in the  prescribed manner. After puja Sumangalis (Married Women) tie the yellow thread to their right hand. Katha (Story) is read by the elderly person of the family.

After Lakshmi Puja for health and happiness

Kalasha with Lakshmi face – Alankar and Post Puja

Vara Mahalakshmi Vratham Story

According to Hindu mythology, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about a vratha that will be beneficial to women. Lord Shiva then mentioned the importance of Varalakshmi Vratha. The conversation on Varalakshmi Vratha between Parvati and Shiva takes place in the Skanda Purana. To illustrate the importance of the Vratha, Lord Shiva narrates the story of Charumati.

The story happens in a beautiful town located in the Kingdom of Vidarbha (Vidarba Rajyam). Pleased with Charumati’s devotion to her husband and family, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to perform the Varalakshmi Vratha. The pious Charumati invited all her neighbors, friends and relatives and performed the Varalakshmi puja as directed by Goddess Lakshmi. Soon after the puja, all the people who participated in the puja where blessed with wealth and prosperity. She recites the following sloka along with other women with utmost faith and devotion.

Lakshmi Ksheerasamudra rajatanyam sri rangadhameswareem
Dasibootha samastha devavanitham lokaika deepamkuram
Sri manmanda kataksha labdhivibhat brahmendra gangadharam
Twamtrayamlokyakutumbhineem sasijavandemukunda priyam

Meaning: Goddess Lakshmi, who is the daughter of the king of the ocean of milk, whose abode is Srirangam (with Lord Ranganatha), who is served by all the divine ladies in heaven, who is the guiding light for the world, who has obtained the sustained (continued, everlasting) glance (Grace) from Brahma, Indra and Shiva, whose abode is the three worlds (Bhu, Bhuva, Suvaha) – I offer my prostrations to Thee, the beloved of Lord Krishna (Mukunda).


I  wrote this blog after attending the Lakshmi Puja performed by HH Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar in Art of Living ‘s International Ashram in Bangalore , which made it the second puja that I attended on this auspicious day


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Higgs boson God Particle : End of Quest?

Science and Spirituality take different routes to understanding the Truth. In its quest to understand the Universe Science has sought to go all the way back to when matter was created at the moment of creation of the universe, namely the Big Bang.

Spirituality on the other hand is concerned with the basic question, “Who am I?” and “Where did I come from?,” going back all the way to the time of creation of universe and from then on.

The enquiry into the moment of Creation is what creates the convergence point of Science and Spirituality.  The news of finding the imprint of the God particle has been so thrilling that it has created a new buzz around particle physics.

The God particle – What and Why
The naming of the God particle is a quirk of fate. The story goes that the Nobel laureate physicist Leon Lederman while, writing about this elusive particle, was so exasperated that he wrote it down as ‘Goddamn particle’. The editor toned down the exasperation and changed it to ‘God particle’. And that is how it came to be called in common parlance. Formally, the scientists call it the Higgs Boson particle. It was Prof Peter Higgs who had first proposed that such a particle should be existing to create mass in Creation.  The Boson comes from the name of the Indian Scientist Satyendra Nath Bose, in recognition of his contribution.

God particle discovered

In the finding of the imprint of this particle now, it is this earlier postulate of Prof Higgs that is being scientifically alluded to. It is interesting to note that this sequence of scientific postulate being placed in a scientific paper and the actual discovery happening much later, has been one of the features of advancement of science.

Postulated first, discovered later 

For Instance, before the planet Neptune was physically observed in the skies, it was mathematically calculated in a scientific paper, that such a planet should exist because of the gravitation tug of planet Uranus. Similarly, the Russian scientist George Gamow had postulated the existence of Cosmic Micro Wave Background Radiation (CMBR) which was later recorded by the two scientists Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson

Is it really the God Particle?

In the case of the God Particle, this particle has been elusive for, it self-destructs itself after one trillionth of a second after coming into existence. In this brief existence, it helps the other particles create the mass that this universe is made of. Which is why, an understanding of this particle is considered a major scientific breakthrough in understanding the universe.

If it were really a God particle as touted in common parlance, why should it self destruct itself within a flash of a moment of its creation? A God particle should exist from before the Creation, to after dissolution of the Universe and not be in existence for just a fleeting moment. Calling it a God particle would not be apt. Anyway, let us see, what the Higgs Boson Particle exists for?

Higgs Boson – the elusive trigger 

The Universe came into existence from the Cosmic Egg after the Big Bang, the Cosmic Egg’s dimension being just a point. How could such an infinitely small speck create this infinitely huge universe with all its mass? It needs a trigger. The search for this trigger is the search for this elusive Higgs Boson Particle. Since life of this particle is only one trillionth of a second, it is not possible to capture the particle. What is possible through the advance scientific practices at CERN and other scientific establishments is to get a glimpse of an imprint of this Higgs Boson Particle. Getting a glimpse of this imprint is a major breakthrough in itself.

Large Hadron Collider at CERN to detect the God Particle

How Higgs Boson adds mass to things

This Higgs Boson adds mass only when three quark particles get together. Just two are not found to form a stable proton with mass. These three quarks that group together are said to possess different colours. The term colour has been used by the physicists to denote that they possess distinct traits, qualities, characteristics.

Three Quarks coming together

Three Quarks forming Stable Protons with Mass in Higgs Field

Immediately after its function of adding the mass, Higgs Boson ceases to exist. This is the nature of Nature! This concept of the need for the basic three to create matter, has been discussed in Indian knowledge system which describes the Universe as being created from TrigunathmikaPrakrithi. Prakrithi is the nature of the Creation of this Universe and Triguna are the three characteristics which help in this Creation process. The process itself is called Trivrtitkaranam, “the act of the three when they come together.”

The Yoga, or coming together, of the three gunas

Satva, Rajas and Tamas,  the three characteristics

Not Really Parallel But Synergized Systems

Like this there are many interesting parallels between the Indian knowledge system and the modern research of Creation of the Universe carried out at CERN.

In the Indian knowledge system, the Cosmic Egg is known as Hiranyagarbha, meaning “a golden hued womb” and the Big Bang is expressed as Brahmanda Visphotak, Universal explosion. The Cosmic Soup has been described as one in which the sub atomic particles such as quarks and gluons are floating freely without the influence of any force upon them until the presence of a God particle, Higgs Boson creates an energy field in which they interact and gain mass.

In the Indian traditional Narayana is depicted as resting calmly in the Primordial Waters similar to the state of inertness and equilibrium as found in the cosmic soup before the presence of God particle. Narayana is symbolically depicted with a consort, Lakshmi, who arises from the same primordial waters. Lakshmi denotes the source of all matter and material wealth and is the bi product of the churning of these primordial waters. We see here a striking similarity in the way the early stage of universe transmutes from an inert state to a material form, the difference being in the styles of expression.

The concept of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMBR) is akin to the OM which pervades through the Universe. There are numerous parallels between modern science and ancient traditional Indian knowledge system.

Om and Cosmic Microwave Function

OM and the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

In fact, the Indian knowledge systems offer deeper insights into aspects of Creation going to stages even before the Big Bang and into the process of creation of matter.  All this has been discussed in detail in our book and film, Creation – Srishti Vigyana.

Book by Bharat Gyan on Creation

by Art of Living and Bharat Gyan

One of the senior physicists of CERN Geneva, Dr. Archana Sharma, the only Indian, permanent scientist member in CERN, found the parallels interesting enough to come to Bangalore, India and make a significant contribution to the documentary film made by Art of Living and Bharath Gyan.

Modern science and ancient wisdom reaching the same goal

Synergy of science and ancient knowledge systems

The finding of God Particle at CERN has triggered a spate of discussions on the convergence of science and spirituality in recent times.

In India, what is interesting to note is that each time there is a breakthrough in science, people see parallels in traditional Indian thought which goes back well over 7000 years of knowledge compilation. Some recognize the convergence of the two at every stage. It is pertinent to ask, “Why is it that every time a new discovery in the frontiers of science is made, there is already a pre-existing parallel opinion in the Indian thought that is uncovered?

If such a match is being found on every such occasion, which has been the case so far, then why can not the people working in the frontiers of science draw inspiration from this vast ancient Indian body of knowledge to cross the bridge from gross to subtle and merge both aspects that parallely exist in this universe?”.

As we take this crucial step forward, it will be a proud, synergized march of human civilization and science, hand in hand.

D.K. Hari and D. K. Hema Hari are authors, research collators and founders of Bharath Gyan.They may be contacted on and followed on twitter on @bharathgyan 

Editor’s Note: Click here for A beautiful Talk on God Particle by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


Posted by on July 22, 2012 in Art of Living Wisdom, Others


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