Dussehra: Glory to Durga Devi 2011

Durga Devi preparation, Mumbai 2011 by Arun Shanbhag

Shristhī-sthīthī-laya kārinī
Cause of this creation, sustenance & dissolution

Wishing you all a Wonderful Dassara.
M&M & A

Continue reading “Dussehra: Glory to Durga Devi 2011”

Gita Press Bookstore: Karma Yoga in Action

Gita Press Gorakhpur Bookstore

Tucked away on gritty Princess St and across from Parsi Dairy Farm is one of my favorite book stores: Gita Press Ki Dukan (Bookstore of the Gita Press).

See, I came late to this genre of Hindu scriptures. Educated in a convent school, I drank deeply of the Kool-Aid that western writers were the axis around which the Universe rotated. We studied Browning, Byron, Keats and O’Henry, and passed on Dnyaneshwar, Eknath, Kanaka Dās and Tukaram. I knew more about priests and nuns, and zilch about Alvars and Nayanmars. Romeo & Juliet was a Classic, Ramayana a myth. We doted on Shelley, Hemingway and Shakespeare, but skipped Tulsidās, Mirābai, Tyāgarājā and Kālidās. I knew more about St Peter than Bhagwān Ādi Shankarāchāryā or Swami Madhvāchāryā.

Thankfully I graduated and real education could begin. A tiny booklet of Swami Vivekananda’s lectures bought at a railway station was the spark. And what a roaring fire it kindled. Was engrossed in it for days. Followed hungrily by the Bhagavad Gitā, Upanishads, Purānās, commentaries of various masters and Bhakti poetry. I had just scratched the surface. Continue reading “Gita Press Bookstore: Karma Yoga in Action”

Bookseller in Goa

shyamsundar desai bookseller mardol goa Arun Shanbhag
With M & m in Mumbai, I stay at work longer, workout harder and run further. With friends, I laze around more; that means less blogging. But I want to share this beautiful pic of a bookseller I met in Goa.

We were on our way back to the Ramnathi Devasthan after visiting some Konkani temples. On the rural stretch, the driver pulled over to a roadside bookstall for a newspaper. I followed, wondering if here in the heart of Konkani Goa, I could find some of our Hindu scriptures. For long I wanted a “loose-leaf” version of the Devi Mahatmyam – the popular scripture detailing the genesis of the mother goddess, Devi. The kind used by priests for parayaN (chanting) in temples.

Here, a priest at the Ramnathi Devasthan recites the Devi Mahatmyam from a loose-leaf manuscript. Continue reading “Bookseller in Goa”

Dassara: Celebrating Devi’s Grace

Kamakshi Devi at the Ramnathi Devasthan in Ponda Goa by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing you all a Wonderful Dassara
May you and your loved ones
Be blessed by
Devi’s Grace!

M&M & A

Continue reading “Dassara: Celebrating Devi’s Grace”

Dassara, Dussehra: Celebrating Devi’s Grace

Devi Kamakshi at the Ramnathi Devasthan by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing you all a Wonderful Dassara.
All year around,
We are blessed by
Devi’s Grace!

M&M & A

Continue reading “Dassara, Dussehra: Celebrating Devi’s Grace”

Durga Devi – All Powerful Shakti

Durga Devi the all powerful Shakti by Arun Shanbhag
After my earlier post on the Chicago Balaji Temple, reminded me about the Balaji Temple in Atlanta, GA. I was fortunate to visit the temple in Dec of last year. More than the main deity, “Durga Devi” in the seconday shrine intrigued me. Durga manifests the fertile woman, as the all powerful shakti, full of energy and ever in action. The earth is her body, and its regenerative ability and energy are apparent to even the common farm worker.

When Shiva, Vishnu and the other Gods were threatened by the demon mahisa, it is Durga, endowed by their weapons and her many arms to yield them, who slays the demon and restores the cosmic equilibrium. Durga is usually depicted as being calm and serene, with the demon trapped under her feet with its throat pierced by her javelin. The depiction of red represents the spilt blood and also alludes to her fertility.

Sri Venkateshwara (Balaji) Temple in Atlanta
Balaji temple in Atlanta pic by Arun Shanbhag


See Balaji temple in Chicago, IL.


Other Durga Devi posts:

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