Meera says: Shubh Deepavali – Happy Diwali

pic of Meera celebrating Diwali Deepawali in Boston by Arun Shanbhag(more Meera pics below)


On this joyous festival of Diwali,
Let divine grace light your hearts and
enlighten you minds.

Wishing you and all your loved ones
Shantih! Shantih! Shantih!

Happy Diwali!
Meera, M & A


Continue reading “Meera says: Shubh Deepavali – Happy Diwali”

Ram Navami – battle against terror continues

Frieze of Shri Ram killing Ravana at the Khetapai Narayana Temple in Bhatkal by Arun Shanbhag

Wishing All
A Wonderful Rām Navamī
Bliss in Śri Rām’s Grace

M&m and A


The frieze above is from the outer wall of Khetapai Narayan Temple in Bhatkal, which I recently visited. This tiny stone temple was built ca 1546 when Konkani traders escaped Portuguese persecution in Goa and settled in Bhatkal. The Bhatkal port had become the primary port for trade by the Vijayanagar empire with its capital in Hampi. Continue reading “Ram Navami – battle against terror continues”

Krishna Janmashtami – Shri Krishna Muth Udupi

Murti of Udupi Shri Krishna with Alankar during Paryaya

Greetings for Krishna Janmashtami!

The Shri Krishna Muth in Udupi, Karnataka was founded by Sant Madhvāchārya, a Vaishnava Saint (1238-1317) who also propounded the Dvaita philosophy of Vedanta.
Continue reading “Krishna Janmashtami – Shri Krishna Muth Udupi”

Makar Sankranti – To Brighter Days

Makar Sankranti 2012 Greetings drawn by Chitra Ulhas Nayak pics by Arun Shanbhag

Praise be to Surya, the Sun God
As he starts his Northerly trek

Grace us with Warmth and Light

Happy Sankranti to All!

Continue reading “Makar Sankranti – To Brighter Days”

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”

Diwali: Madurai Meenakshi Temple

photos of Lighting Oil Lamps at the Meenakshi Temple Madurai by Arun Shanbhag
Lighting Oil Lamps at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai

On this joyous Diwali,
Wishing you and all your loved ones
God’s amazing grace.

Coz, with it comes
Peace, Good Health and Success!

Happy Diwali
Meera, M & A


Continue reading “Diwali: Madurai Meenakshi Temple”

Ganapati and Gauri Puja

Aarti of Ganapati Mumbai Arun Shanbhag

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra tarakam
nema vidhyuto bhanti kutoyamagnihi |
tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati ||

Sun cannot illumine him, nor the moon, nor the stars
Lightning cannot, much less this little flame I wave |
Verily, when he shines everything is illuminated
By his light alone all of us shine ||

~ Kathopanishad II v 15


Continue reading “Ganapati and Gauri Puja”

Krishna Janmashtami: Celebrating Krishna

drawing of Radha krishna in Vrindavan celebrating Gokulashtami by Arun Shanbhag

Whenever there is a decay of dharma (righteousness), O Bharata
and good people are persecuted,
then I will manifest myself.
~ Shri Krishna to Arjuna in the Srimad Bhagvad Gita: 4:7

Wishing you all a
Joyous Krishna Janmashtami!

M&m&A

Continue reading “Krishna Janmashtami: Celebrating Krishna”

Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers


During recent travels, I was visiting relatives in Honavar, Karnataka – a sleepy coastal town south of Kumta (see google map below). I had stopped by a family store to add money to my pre-paid cell phone. There, this older gentleman was weaving these delicate pink buds called jaaii-che kaLo. These buds only sprout after the monsoon rains (June – August), have a delicate fragrance and are highly sought after during the festival season in July-September. It was a simple, yet mesmerizingly beautiful weave and he agreed to let me record it on my flip video. Continue reading “Video: Weaving Jaaii Flowers”

Makar Sankranti: Here’s To Longer Days

Makar Sankranti Happy Sankranti Laddoo pics by Arun Shanbhag

To Surya, the Sun God as he starts his Northerly trek

Grace us with Warmth and Light

Happy Sankranti to All!

Tiil gool ghya, goaD goaD bola!


Notes:


Flower Sellers at Dadar

pictures of Young girls selling roses at the Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Few years ago I wrote about the Dadar Flower Market, in Mumbai. Tucked under the bridge next to the Dadar train Station, like alien slime it oozes into adjoining alleys and walkways, filling every doorway and cranny. So jam-packed, my cousin cautioned, “don’t even try to put your hand in your pocket, it will go in someone else’s.” Aaargh! Only in Mumbai. Continue reading “Flower Sellers at Dadar”

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali Deepavali Greetings

On this festive occasion of Deepavali,
May the Gods grace you and your loved ones
with
Peace, Good Health and Success!

Happy Deepavali!
Meera, M & A


Previous Greetings:

Video: Making Puran Polis

When in Mumbai, we attended a puja at my aunt’s place in Jogeshwari. There we enjoyed a delicious south india lunch, served on banana leaves. Freshly made, warm puran polis, dribbled with home-made tuup (clarified butter), was one of many desserts. The catering crew were making it in the back. Enjoy the video.

puran poli sanzori konkani foodsAnd see this older post, where I describe how our extended family comes together to make Sanzori, a variant of the puran poli. So much fun.

Here is Shilpa’s (Aayis Recipes) excellent recipe for puran poli (also called Obbattu).

And another recipe for Puran Poli from Sailu’s Kitchen.



Some of my Other Videos:



Ganesh Chaturthi – The Day Before

Picture photograph of Ganapati murthy, Ganesh utsav murthy during Ganesh Chaturthi by Arun Shanbhag
After a few days respite in Goa and Kumta, we returned home for the Ganesh Chaturthi Utsav (festival). Over the next few days, our extended family home transformed into a festive temple. Resident cooks arrived and made traditional Konkani snacks (chivda, mando, shankar paLLan, masala shaenga, chuklee, etc). Siblings and cousins descended on our home. Professional flower stringers decorated our main hall in elaborate arrangements of plump marigolds. Humongous pots and pans, giant oil lamps and other puja accompaniments were retrieved from storage and polished to a high gleam. Continue reading “Ganesh Chaturthi – The Day Before”

Diwali: Tribute to Lakshmi

picture of Devi Lakshmi Mahalakshmi Diwali by Arun Shanbhag

On this Wonderful Diwali,
May the Grace of Lakshmi bring you and your loved ones
Peace, Health and Prosperity!

Happy Diwali!
Meera, M & A


Notes are excerpted from my book, Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms;
© Arun Shanbhag

Mahalakshmi

As Goddess of Good Fortune and Wealth, Lakshmi embodies abundance and prosperity. She is eternally benevolent and adored as the shakti or power of Vishnu.
Continue reading “Diwali: Tribute to Lakshmi”

Ganesh Chaturthi

Picture Ganapati Ganesh Chaturthi painting by Arun Shanbhag

vakratunda mahaakaaya kotisurya samaprabhaa |
nirvighna kuru mae deva sarvakaaryeshu sarvadaa ||

With a curved trunk and generous form
Whose splendor matches ten million Suns
Remove obstacles Deva!
In all that I do!

_____
Ganapati Bappa, Mowrya!
M & A

Ganesh Vandana – Tribute to Ganesh

The light of the Sun imbues our existence with life and summons our gratitude and reverence. Daylight breaking over the horizon is a very auspicious time for all Hindus, and heralds the start of a new day. A time for new beginnings, new hopes and possibilities. A pristinely beautiful time to thank the Supreme Being for our good fortune, to pray for the courage and fortitude to face old and new challenges; and to uncover our kinder and compassionate souls in dealing with his children.

What better way to start the day than by appealing to Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Beginnings. Ganesha, the pot-bellied darling of children all over, is also identified as Vignesh, the Remover of Obstacles, and Vakratunda, One with the curved trunk.

Notes are excerpted from my book, Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms, from the prayer Ganesh Vandana. © Arun Shanbhag 2007


Earlier Ganesh Chaturthi Posts:

Ganapati Flower Sellers:

Deepavali Wishes 2007

May the Purifying Lights of Deepavali
Guide you to an Inspiring Life.

Wishing you Good Health, and
Success in the New Year!

Happy Deepavali!
M & A
(now Meera joins us)


Other Diwali Greetings and Posts:

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”

Ganesh Chaturthi

Painting of Dancing Ganesh Chaturthi by Arun Shanbhag

On Ganesh Chaturthi
Wishing you all
A Blessed Ganesha’s Grace!

M&A

Notes are excerpted from my book, Prarthana: A Book of Hindu Psalms;
© Arun Shanbhag 2007

Ganesha Stotram – Hymn to Ganesha
The visage of Gaṇeśa (or Gaṇapati) is easily recognizable as the elephant-headed God of Knowledge and Wisdom. Gaṇeśa is very popular in all parts of India, and amongst all sects: Vaiśnavās, Śaivās, Śaktās, Buddhists and Jainās. He is considered the controller of, and thus remover of, all obstacles (Vighnéśwar), thus he is remembered at the beginning of all religious services. The likeness of Gaṇeśa in the form of artwork, sculptures or murtī adorn many homes and offices. Tiny Gaṇeśa figurines also grace dashboard of cars, and Gaṇeśa icons in a variety of poses is a popular gift for family and friends (from Prarthana).
Continue reading “Ganesh Chaturthi”

Gokulashtami Food Spread

Over the last several weeks I have found scores of excellent Indian Food Blogs. These are not written by celebrity chefs, but by regular, albeit very talented women cooking everyday meals at home for their families. And many are based in the US and use locally available ingredients. The collection is truly spectacular and makes me drool.

Even M has taken to following their recipes and trying them at home!

Many of these home chefs also organize ‘Round-ups’ with a theme such as ingredients (Rice, Banana, etc) or festivals; and have others submit their related posts. Latha from the Yum Blog recently compiled a virtual gathering of Janmashtami foods. She had more than 30 submissions and they are all posted in this Janmashtami Round-up.

Browse, link through and revel in these beautiful culinary creations. A lot of easy to make desserts!!! Of course, I was thrilled she highlighted my Gokulashtami post. 🙂

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