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Eid-ul-Fitr: Feast of Fast-Breaking

8/17/2012 1:01:00 AM

Eid-ul-Fitr also known an Eid marks the end of Ramadan which continues for 29 or 30 days. It is one of the important festivals amongst the Muslim community. The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 624 CE and the place of origin was Madinah. It is believed at that time he with his friends and relatives got the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar. The entire month of Ramadan constitutes dawn to sunset fasting. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated all around the world. Preparations of Eid start ten days before starting Eid. People start cleaning their houses. People start visiting the local market to buy new clothes, grocery and sweets. On Eid people clean themselves, dress with new clothes, take a light breakfast and then go to offer prayers. On this scared day people greet other by saying Eid Mubarak. This is a common practice in India. In many countries a holiday is observed. People attend we

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Eid-ul- Adha: Festival of Sacrifice

8/18/2012 7:45:00 AM

It is one of the religious festivals celebrated by the Muslims which remind us about Abraham. He obeyed the order of God and without no doubt got ready to sacrifice his son. Four thousand years ago Abraham used to live in Canaan with his wife Hagar and his son Ishmael. One day he dreamt that God has ordered him to move to Arabia. He has full faith in God. He immediately executed his order. After they reached Arabia he decided to go back to Canaan. He told her wife that he is going back to Canaan. He told her that there is an ample quantity of food for two persons to survive. Her wife knew that it was an order of God and she allowed him to go away.   After a couple of months the food finished. They started starving. They prayed Lord for help. The Lord replied the prayer by pouring water from a spring. The spring is known as Zamzam Well. This is how Hagar and Ishmael were saved. Many years passed away. Everybody was happy. One day God came in the dream of Abraham. He dreamt

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Sri Satyanarayana Puja Stories - 3 The Story of a Wood-cutter

8/20/2012 7:54:00 AM

There was a Brahmin who performed Satyanarayan Puja with full faith and pure mind. His fate was changed. He transformed into a rich man from a poor beggar. People in Kashi were amazed by his overnight fate. A woodcutter used to live there. He was very poor. He used to work all day just for a few pennies. He always thought how he can change his life but he could not find a solution. One day he decided to go to the Brahmin who was now a rich man. He went to him and asked for the secret. The rich man told him to perform Sri Satyanarayan Puja. He also told him the procedure to perform the Puja. In addition to that he told him the effect of the Puja. Furthermore he told him to perform the Puja with a pure mind. He also told him that whatever he earned in a day he can use the money for performing the puja. The woodcutter thanked him and went home. He told his family members that in a few days he was going to perform Sri Satyanarayan Puja. Next day he went to work and earned a few penni

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Sri Satyanarayana Puja Stories - 4

8/21/2012 5:14:00 AM

In the ancient times a thief named Ghatam used to live in Rajpur which was ruled by Brahmapur. He used to steal things from people’s houses for his living but he had one good habit. He used to attend Satsang once in a while and listened to the disclosures of the Saint.   One day he called him and asked him to leave his current job. Ghatam told him that he is illiterate and stealing is the source of bread and butter for his family. In addition to that if he quits his job what he would do to earn his living. The Saint told him to do three things. First, he had to always tell the truth no matter what happens. Second, he had to pray daily to Sri Satyanarayana before going to the work. Third, either he has to attend a satsang daily or remember God for a few minutes daily. In addition to that he told him that if he follows these instructions, this would bring peace and happiness in his life. Ghatam agreed to follows these instructions. The Saint used to travel to different

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Onam: A festival of rich festivities

8/22/2012 9:39:00 AM

Onam is a Hindu festival which is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in the state of Kerala, India. It is also known as Vamana jayanthi because on this day the Emperor Mahabali returned home. It starts in between August and September. This year it falls in August. It lasts for ten days. It is also a harvest festival. During this time rice is harvested. It is also known as festival of rain flowers. This festival is full of fun and playfulness. It includes large banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali etc. People wear new dresses, visit the temples and perform dances like Thiruvadhira kali Thumbi Tullal etc. People also put colourful flower mats in front of their houses to welcome King Mahabali. People make Pookkalam from Various kinds of flowers. Pookkalam is the symbol of secularism. The swing is another integral part of Onam, especially in the rural areas. A feast called onam sadya is also observed during this festiva

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Lord Vishnu and Mahabali

8/24/2012 7:02:00 AM

In the ancient time Mahabali ruled Kerala, India. He was a great ruler. The subjects were very happy with him. Kerala was prospering day by day. It is assumed that Mahabali was the grandson of Prahlada who was the son of Hiranyakashyapa. Hiranyakashyapa tried to kill Prahlada in numerous ways but at last he was killed by Lord Vishnu in Nirshima avatar. Mahabali was influenced by Prahlada. He also started worshiping Lord Vishnu. Under the influence of his Guru Shukracharya, he started a war against the Gods. He defeated the Gods and became the king of the three worlds. Seeing his success Guru Shukracharya persuaded him to perform Aswamedha Yagam. The speciality of this sacrificial rite was that if it was performed in an ordered manner he would become the strongest person in the world. Nobody would be able to defeat him. Shukracharya started the Aswamedha Yagam. Before it Mahabali announced that he would give the person whatever he asked for. The Gods became frightened. They went t

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Facts about Onam

8/25/2012 4:10:00 AM

1. The word Onam or Thiruvonam is derived from the Sanskrit word Shravanam. Thiruonam is one among the 27 nakshatras or constellations. The word ‘Thiru’ is used to address places and activities associated with Lord Vishnu. Thiruvonam is also believed to be the nakshatra of Vishnu. 2. It marksthe beginning of a new life. That is why it is celebrated by wearing new clothes and resolving to lead a new life. 3. Onam was declared as the national festivalof kerala in 1961. 4. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was so impressed by this race that he announced a trophy for this race known as Nehru Trophy Boat Race. It is the biggest team sport event in the world today. 5. The harvest festival of Onam corresponds with the Malayalam New Year. 6. Record of celebrations can be found from the time of Kulasekhara Perumals (800 AD). At that time Onam celebrations continued for a month. 7. A procession of decorated elephants is carried out in Trissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. Bejeweled el

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Onam and the Snake Boats

8/26/2012 1:19:00 AM

People believed that many years ago a Brahmin used to live near Aranmula temple whose name was Katoor Mana. He was a good person. He used to visit the Aranmula temple and Pamba river for worship daily. One day after finishing his prayers he decided to do a noble thing. He decided to find a poor person whom he can feed. After waiting for many days he was not able to find one. He continued going to the temple to offer his prayers. One day after finishing his prayers he opened his eyes. He saw a poor boy standing right in front of him. He was happy. He went to the boy and asked him to have a meal with him. When they finished eating he started searching for the boy. He could not find him anywhere. The boy disappeared. He decided to search the boy in his locality but there were no traces of him. A strange thing started to happen with Katoor Mana. Whenever he used to visit the temple he used to see the glimpses boy. He started searching for the boy around the temple but he could not fi

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Atham: The first day of celebration

8/27/2012 4:33:00 AM

Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala. Onam is celebrated in honour of the homecoming of King Mahabali. It is also known as Vamana Jayanthi. In addition rice is harvested at the time of Onam. It is also known as harvest festival in Kerala. The festival lasts for ten days. Atham marks the start of celebrations of the ten day festivity of Onam. Each day has its own impotance. It is the first day of celebration. Atham is considered as a holy and fortunate day by the people of Kerala. It is believed that King Mahabali started his preparations to descend from heaven to earth on this day. One of the impotant activities on the day of Atham is to make Pookalam. It is also known as Athapoo. Pookkalam is the symbol of secularism. It is a carpet made up of yellow flowers. It is placed outside the house to welcome the great king Mahabali. These carpets enhance the beauty of the veranda and the wall of the house. Another important event which marks this day is the great colourful procession

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Onam and the Ritual of feeding poor people

8/28/2012 12:19:00 AM

Once upon a time some men were travelling in a boat named Palliyodam. The boat was filled with goods. The goods consisted mainly of food items. They were sailing effortlessly. Suddenly a strange thing happened to their boat. The boat got stuck in the river. Efforts were taken to take out the boat from the lock down. The efforts went in vain. A kind hearted and spiritual man named Bhattathiripad was the in charge of the boat. He ordered the oarsmen to push the boat from behind. They got down and tried to push the boat from behind but the efforts did not paid off. Now everybody in the boat were sad and depressed. They were worried about the eatables because it would perish soon. After a few hours Bhattathiripad called the crew. He told them that he would go to the bank and return with whatever help he can get. Everybody agreed with his plan. He took a small boat and sailed to the river bank. He reached to the river bank. He could see a maiden hut there. He decided to go there an

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