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The Vedas

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Sreyas - A Great Spiritual Resource

I stumbled upon a great online resource for Hindu spiritual resources. In fact the majority of the site is in malayalam. But there is a lot of content in English too. You can download a lot of ebooks, audio and videos which are of excellent quality. What I liked the most is the excellent satsanga audio resources which can be downloaded. Nowadays it is very difficult to find satsanga sessions and listen to the vedic wisdom. Information technology is helping to cover up the distances by enabling us to download and listen to the great spiritual gurus. 

The site is maintained by Sreekandakumar Pillai (Sree). He had worked with Infosys Technologies at offshore and various foreign locations. Later he quit his full-time job and founded Zetta Technologies and working as a project manager and blogger. The english version of the site can be accessed at the following link.
Link: http://en.sreyas.in/

Open Source Community for Vedic Audio Resources

Wisdomspeak is an open source community collection of audio resources on Vedic culture. You can listen to mantras, bhajans, spiritual discources etc 24x7 via online radio. If you are a shoutcast radio user, you can easily find the streams by searching for the word "hindu". Shoutcast player is included in Winamp, Songbird and the playlist can be played by most media players like VLC. It is inspired by open-source technology and the emerging mobile internet media, it was thought to utilize audio streaming, wordpress CMS and various useful plugins for spiritual progress of seekers. The community aspires to engender more communication and collaboration between vedic/hindu organizations and spiritual-minded people.

Link: http://wisdomspeak.org/

Goddess Saraswati - Legends

The Goddess of learning and speech is Saraswati, also known as Sarada, Bharati, Brahmi etc. I've always been confused about the origins of this white complexioned goddess dressed in white or yellow and accompanied by a swan as her vahana. Even though most people consider her as Brahma's consort, there are many who worship her as Vishnu's consort and some consider her as Brahma's daughter! Her origin is also connected to the lost vedic river, Saraswati. She is the manifestation of wisdom, intelligence, speech, thought etc. It is only after I read the article at Vishwarupa.com, I got a more clear picture of the myths and legends about the origin of the Goddess of Learning, who revealed language and writing to mankind.

Link: http://www.vishvarupa.com/print-information-about-saraswati.html

Kerala's Carnatic Music Learning Programme in Malayalam

In today's hectic world, it is very difficult for a common man to find enough time to master the fine arts like carnatic music. Also it is not possible everywhere to find a suitable guru to learn it from. It is in this scenario the electronic media is of a great boon to satisfy the yearning to learn the art of classical music.

Pen Books in association with Music Zone has bought out a set of 7 instructional audio CDs along with a 200 page book for those craving to learn the basics of Carnatic music. The gurus offering music lessons in the CDs include Prof. Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma, Prof. Thripunithura K. Lalitha, Prof. Mavelikkara Subrahmaniam, Dr. Malini Hariharan and M. K. Shankaran Namboothiri.


I'm not sure about the extent to which the CDs will help a person to become a singer. But it is sure to help one to understand and appreciate the beauty of carnatic music. I wish they bring out video CDs instead of audio CDs and make classes more realistic.

Sacred Saligramam ( Saligrama )

If you ever happened to have a look inside a Vaishnavite's Pooja room, you might have had a glimpse of a black stone called Saligramam being worshipped. It is usually black in color with the symbol of sudarshana chakra. The chakras can be seen both outside and inside. The Saligrama stone is not believed to be just another stone found in the nature. It is found only at Gandaki River situated high in the Himalayas in Nepal. It is believed that the chakra symbols are formed by river worms called Vajra Keeta. It is believed that these worms drill the stones, get inside and use the stones a dwelling place.

There is a legend behind the origin of Saligramam. Once upon a time, Lord Siva was waging a war with an asura called Jallundhara. The war seemed to be between two equals and not just another war of a God with a demon. It was in fact a test of chastity of their consorts. (It is a Hindu belief that chastity of the wife protects her husband even from death) Lord Siva knew that unless th…

Namakarana - Naming ceremony

Naming a baby is a religious ceremony for the Hindus. In Kerala, usually a baby boy is named on the 27th day after birth and a girl is named on the 28th day after birth. The right day for the ceremony is defined by Gruhyasutras and there are different opinions for the same. Even these dates were to be postponed if there is any lack of religious propriety as in events like a Sankranti, Sraddha ceremony etc. On that day, the baby is given a bath and a black thread is tied around the waist. There will be a feast and distribution of sweets like "payasam". Later, either the father, uncle, grandma or the most senior person of a household whispers thrice into the right ear of the baby, his or her name for the first time.

But according to Sastras, the naming ceremony is supposed to be conducted on the 11th day or 101the day. Different kinds of pujas and homams are conducted on that day. After whispering the name three times into the ear of the baby, the person who conducts the nami…