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HANUMAN CHALISA

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Hanuman Dhyanam

adhulitha baladhamam swarna sailaaba dheham
dhanu jvana krusaanum jgnaninaa makrakanyamõ
sakala gunanithaanam vaanaraannamatheesam
raghupathy priyabakthim vaadha jaadham namaami

koshpatheekrutha varasim masakeekrutha rakshasam
ramayana mahamalarathnam vandheh anilaathmajam
yathra yathra raghunatha keerthanamthathra thathra kruthamathookanjjalim
bashbaqwari paripoorna lochanammaruthim namatha raksha-shanthakam
Shreeguru charana saroja rajanija manu mukura suDhaari
varanoun raghuvara vimala yasujoa dhaayaku phala chaari
budhdhiheena thanu jaanikaesumirou pavana kumaarae
bala budhdhi viDhyaa dhaehu mohiharahu kalesa vikaara

jaya hanumaan nyaan guna saagara
jaya kapeesa thihoon loka ujaagara 1
raama dhootha athulitha bala Dhaamaa
anjani puthra pavanasutha naamaa 2
mahaveer vikrama bajrangee
kumathi nivaara sumathi kae sangi 3
kanchana varana viraaja suvaeshaa
kaanana kundala kunchitha kesha 4
haatha vajra ou dhvajaa biraajai
kaanDhae moonja janaeoo saajai 5
shankara suvana kesari nandhana
thaeja prathaapa mahaa jaga vandhana 6
vidhyavaana guni athi chaathur
raama kaaja karibae koa aathur 7
prabhu charithra sunibae koa rasiyaa
raam lakhana seethaa mana basiyaa 8
sukshma roopa Dhari siyahin dhikhaavaa
bikata roopa dhari lanka jaraavaa 9
bheema roopa Dhari asura samhaarae
raamachandhra kae kaaj sanvaarae 10
laaya sanjeevana lakhana jiyaayae
shree raghuveer harashi ur laaye 11
raghupathi keenhee bahutha badaayee
thum mama priya bharathahi sama bhaayee 12
sahasa vadhana thumharo jasa gaavain
asa kahi Shreepathi kanta lagaavain 13
sanakaadika bramhadhi muneesaa
naaradha saaradha sahitha aheesaa 14
jama kubaera dhigapaal jahaan thae
kavi koavidha kahi sakae kahaan thae 15
thum upkaara sugreevahin keenhaa
raam milaaya raja pada dheenhaa 16
thumharo manthra vibeeShan maanaa
lankaeshwar bhayae sab jaga jaanaa 17
yuga sahasra yojana para Bhanoo
leelyo thaahi maDhura phala jaanoo 18
prabhu mudhrikaa maeli mukha maahin
jalaDhi laanDhi gaye achraja naahin 19
dhurgama kaaja jagatha kae jaethae
sugama anugraha thumharae thaethae 20
raam dhuaarae thum rakhwaarae
hoath na aagnyaa binu paisaarae 21
sab sukh lahai thumhaari charanaa
thum rakshak kaanhoo koa darnaa 22
aapana thej samhaaroa aapai
theenon loaka haank sae kaampae 23
bhooth pishaash nikata nahin aavai
mahaaveer jab naam sunaavai 24
naashai roga harai saba peedaa
japatha niranthara hanumatha veera 25
sankata sae hanumaan chudaavai
mana krama vachana dhyaana joa laavai 26
sab para raam thapasvee raajaa
thinakae kaaj sakala thum saajaa 27
aura manorath joa koee laavai
soayi amitha jeevana phala paavai 28
chaaron jug parathaapa thumhaaraa
hei parasidhdhi jagatha ujiyaaraa 29
saaDhu santha kae thum rakhwaarae
asura nikandhana raam dhulaarae 30
ashta sidhdhi nava nidhi kae dhaathaa
asa bara dheen jaanakee maathaa 31
raam rasayana thum rae paasaa
sadha rahoa raghupathi kae daasaa 32
thumharae bhajana raam koa bhaavai
janma janma kae dhukh bisraavai 33
antha kaala raghupathi pura jaayee
jahaan janma hari bhakth kahaayee 34
aura dhaevathaa chiththa na Dharayee
hanumatha saeyeesarba sukh karayee 35
sankata katai mitai sab peeda
joa sumirai hanumatha bala veeraa 36
jai jai jai hanumaana goasaayeen
krupaa karahu gurudaeva kee naayeen 37
joa sath baar paaTa kara koiyee
chootahi bandhi mahaa sukh hoayee 38
joa yaha padai hanumaan chaaleesaa
hoya sidhdhi saakhee goureesaa 39
thulalaseedaasa sadhaa hari chaeraa
keejai naaTha hrudhaya maham daeraa 40

bhavana dhanaya sankata harana mangala moorthy roop
raam lakhana jaanaakee boaloa jai hanumaan kee

VARANASI - KASI VISWANATH TEMPLE

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Standing on the western bank of India's holiest river Ganges, Varanasi is the oldest surviving city of the world and the cultural capital of India. It is in the heart of this city that there stands in its fullest majesty the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in which is enshrined the Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishweshwara or Vishwanatha. Here gravitate the teeming millions of India to seek benediction and spiritual peace by the darshan of this Jyotirlinga which confers liberation from the bondages of maya and the inexorable entanglements of the world. A simple glimpse of the Jyotirlinga is a soul-cleansing experience that transforms life and puts it on the path of knowledge and bhakti. 

Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India. Tradition has it that the merits earned by the darshan of other jyotirlinga scattered in various parts of India accrue to devotee by a single visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Deeply and intimately implanted in the Hindu mind, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a living embodinent of our timeless cultural traditions and highest spiritual values. The Temple has been visited by all great saints- Adi Shankaracharya, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanand, Goswami Tulsidas, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, Gurunanak and several other spiritual personalities. 

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple attracts visitors not only from India but abroad as well and thereby symbolises man's desire to live in peace snd harmony with one another. Vishwanath being a supreme repository of this spiritual truth thus strengthens the bonds of universal brotherhood and fellow feeling at the national as well as global levels. On January 28, 1983 the Temple was taken over by the Govt. of Uttar Pradesh and it's management ever since stands entrusted to a Trust with Dr. Vibhuti Narayan Singh. Former Kashi Naresh, as president and an Executive Committee with Divisional Commissioner as Chairman. 

The Temple in the present shape was built way back in 1780 by Late Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore. In the year 1785 a Naubatkhana was built up in front of the Temple by the then Collector Mohd. Ibrahim Khan at the instance of Governor General Warren Hastings. In 1839, Two domes of the Temple were covered by gold donated by Punjab Kesari Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Third dome but was remained uncovered, Ministry of cultures & Religious affairs of U.P. Govt. took keen interest for gold plating of third dome of Temple.

RITUALS

The Temple opens daily at 2.30a.m. in Mangala Aarati 3 to 4 a.m. ticket holders are permitted to join. From 4 to 11 a.m. general Darshan is allowed. 11.30 to 12 a.m. mid day Bhog Aarati is done. Again 12 noon to 7 p.m. devotees are free to have darshan. From 7 to 8.30 p.m. evening Sapta Rishi Aarati is done after which darshan is again possible uptill 9 p.m. when Shringar/Bhog Aarati starts. After 9 p.m. Darshan from out side only is possible. Shayana Aarti starts at 10.30p.m.The Temple closes at 11p.m.

MAHA NANDI

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Mahanandi is located to the east of Nallamala hill ranges in Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a picturesque village surrounded by thick forests. About 15 km radius from Mahanandi, you can see nine Nandis known as "Navanandis" and Mahanandi is one of the Nava Nandis. The Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple, an important shrine, is located here. A famous festival is held here annually during February and March to celebrate Shivaratri.

The ancient temple dates back to over 1500 years. The inscriptions of 10th century tablets speak of the temple being repaired and rebuilt through successive ages by many kings.

The temple is famous for its fresh water pools. The main temple is surrounded by three pools. Two small pools at the entrance and one big pool inside the temple premise. This Holy tank is of sixty square feet with a Mantapa in the centre. The inlets and outlets of the tank are so arranged that the depth of the water is constantly kept at five feet, thus enabling all pilgrims to have a plunge. The source of supply of water to this tank has not been traced until now. The water is seen flowing into the tank through some inlets that have been built. But their exact location is still a mystery. The water is famous for it's crystalline pure and healing qualities and is ever tepid. The outlet of the water feeds 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of fertile land surrounding the Mahanandi village. The surrounding areas are green and lively with rice fields, fruit, vegetable and flower gardens.

The specialty of the water source is, it has a constant flow irrespective of change of seasons. The water source originates at the Garbhagruha just below Swayam Bhu Linga. One can touch the water near the Shiva linga.

The best part is, the devotees can offer prayers and touch the Shiva Linga. (Traditionally at temples, the main deity will be kept out of touch for the devotees.)

Mahanandi is about 16 km from Nandyal. The nearest airport is at Hyderabad, which is about 219 km from Kurnool and the nearest railway station is at Nandyal.

KANAKA DURGA DEVI - AMMA VARU

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Durga's story appears primarily in the Skanda Purana, in Chandi, itself a part of the Markandeya Purana, but very similar stories are told in the Brahmanda Purana and also in the famous epic, the Mahabharata. She also appears elsewhere in tantrik texts, including as Mahishamardini (killer of the demon Mahisha) in the Kalachudamani Yantra. The gods lost their empire to two great antigods (asuras), Shumbha and Nishumbha, and prayed to the Goddess for help.

Needless to say, the ever compassionate Devi took on these proud antigods and vanquished them utterly. To this end, she assembled an entire army of Shaktis similar to her and when things became very tough, projected Kalika out of her third eye. She is called Durga because she slayed the son of the arch-demon Durga, son of Ruru.

As the Matrikabheda Tantra points out, the names of the goddess are really adjectives, and she is one, under these different descriptions. For example, the goddess in Chandi takes the forms of Kali, Sarasvati and Vaishnavi, representing the three gunas, to subdue the host of demons.

As Lalita, she subdued the demonic Bhandasura at the request of the gods, who then built the Shri Yantra to celebrate her greatness.

The metaphor is that she is cruel to the demonic; that is to say to the proud ego of man.

SRI KEDARNATH TEMPLE - 8th CENTURY

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Lord Shiva manifested in the form of Jyotirlingam or the cosmic light. Kedarnath is highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas. This ancient and magnificient temple is located in the Rudra Himalaya range. This temple, over a thousand years old is built of massive stone slabs over a large rectangular platform. Ascending through the large gray steps leading to the holy sanctums we find inscriptions in Pali on the steps. The present temple was built by Adi Shankaracharya.The inner walls of the temple sanctum are adorned with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology.

The origin of the revered temple can be found in the great epic - Mahabharata. According to legends, the Pandavas sought the blessings of lord Shiva to atone their sin after the battle of Mahabharata. Lord Shiva eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull. On being followed, he dived into ground leaving behind his hump on the surface. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form. The temple, believed to be very ancient, has been continually renovated over the centuries. It is situated at an altitude of 3,581 mt. It is a 14 km trek from Gaurikund.

At the approach of winters in the month of November, the holy statue of Lord Shiva, is carried down from Kedarnath to Ukhimath, and is reinstated at Kedarnath, in the first week of May. It is at this time, that the doors of the temple are thrown open to pilgrims, who flock from all parts of India, for a holy pilgrimage. The shrine closes on the first day of Kartik (Oct-Nov) and reopens in Vaishakh (Apr-May) every year. During its closure the shrine is submerged in snow and worship is performed at Ukhimath.

Location

Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the devout Hindu. It is set amidst the stunning mountainscape of the Garhwal Himalayas at the head of the Mandakini River. Kedar is another name of lord Shiva, the protector and the destroyer. Shiva is considered the embodiment of all passions - love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through his various forms.

The shrine of Kedarnath is very scenically placed, and is surrounded by lofty, snow - covered mountains, and during summer grassy meadows covering the valleys. Immediately behind the temple, is the high Keadardome peak, which can be sighted from great distances. The sight of the temple and the peak with its perpetual snows is simply enthralling.

The Mythological Past

There are more than 200 shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in Chamoli district itself, the most important one is Kedarnath. According to legend, the Pandavas after having won over the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war, felt guilty of having killed their own Kith and Kin and sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for redemption. He eluded them repeatedly and while fleeing took refuge at Kedarnath in the form of a bull.

On being followed he dived into the ground, leaving his hump on the surface. The remaining portions of Lord Shiva appeared at four other places and are worshipped there as his manifestations.

The arms appeared at Tungnath, the face at Rudranath, the belly at Madmaheshwar and his locks (hair) with head at Kalpeshwar. Kedarnath and the four above mentioned shrines are treated as Panch Kedar.

An imposing sight, standing in the middle of a wide plateau surrounded by lofty snow covered peaks. The present temple, built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Shankaracharya, stands adjacent to the site of an earlier temple built by the Pandavas. The inner walls of the assembly hall are decorated with figures of various deities and scenes from mythology. Outside the temple door a large statue of the Nandi Bull stands as guard.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the exquisitely architectured Kedarnath temple is considered to be more than 1000 years old. Built of extremely large, heavy and evenly cut grey slabs of stones, it evokes wonder as to how these heavy slabs had been handled in the earlier days. The temple has a Garbha Griha for worship and a Mandap, apt for assemblies of pilgrims and visitors. A conical rock formation inside the temple is worshipped as Lord Shiva in his Sadashiva form.

Best Time to visit:- The ideal time or peak season to go for a Char Dham Yatra is from May to October, except monsoons. This is because; all the four sacred sites are perched in Garhwal Himalayas, which is prone to heavy snowfall. As a result, all the passage leading to the shrines are blocked. Moreover, during the monsoon season, there is undue threat of having landslides, which can further disrupt the journey. For safety reasons, the gates of the temples are also closed for this period of time and the idols are shifted to nearby pilgrim points

SRI MATA VAISHNO DEVI - THE HOLY CAVE

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A pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji is considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimages of our times. Popular the world over as Moonh Maangi Muradein Poori Karne Wali Mata, which means, the Mother who fulfills whatever Her children wish for, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji resides in a Holy Cave located in the folds of the three peaked mountain named Trikuta (pronounced as Trikoot). The Holy Cave attracts lakhs of devotees every year. In fact, the number of Yatris visiting the Holy Shrine annually now exceeds 5 million. This is due to the unflinching faith of the devotees who throng the Shrine from all parts of India and abroad.

The Holy Cave of the Mother is situated at an altitude of 5200 ft. The Yatris have to undertake a trek of nearly 12 km from the base camp at Katra. At the culmination of their pilgrimage, the yatries are blessed with the Darshans of the Mother Goddess inside the Sanctum Sanctorum- the Holy Cave. These Darshans are in the shape of three natural rock formations called the Pindies. There are no statues or idols inside the Cave.Darshans are open round the clock throughout the year.

Since the year 1986, when the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (commonly called Shrine Board) was formed (under “The Jammu & Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986’), the management of the Shrine and regulation of the Yatra has been vested in the Board. The Board has undertaken a number of developmental activities aimed at making the Yatra a comfortable and satisfying experience for the Yatris. So far, over 125 crores of rupees have been invested by the Board for providing various infrastructural and other facilities. The Board continues to reinvest the offerings and donations received in carying out improvements in various kinds of Yatri facilities.

The journey to the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji starts with the Call of Mata. It is not only a belief but also a strong experience of one and all that the Divine Mother sends a call to her children. And once a person receives it, wherever he is, is bound to visit the Mother to receive Her unbounded love and blessings. A popular slogan in the local folklore beautifully expresses it- Maan Aap Bulandi - which means that The Mother Herself Calls! It is also a matter of experience by almost all those who visit the Holy Shrine that upon the Call of Mata, a person needs to just take one step and leave the rest to Her and his journey gets completed with Her divine blessings. Simultaneously, it is also believed that unless there is a call or Bulawa no one can visit the Shrine or have Her blessings, howsoever high or mighty one may be.

History of the Holy Shrine...Like with most old Shrines, it is not possible to ascertain when exactly the pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine started. A geological study of the Holy Cave has indicated its age to be nearly a million years. Vedic literature gives no reference to the worship of any female deity, although the mountain Trikuta does find its mention in Rigveda, the oldest of the four Vedas The practice of worshipping Shakti, largely started in the Puranic period.

The first mention of the Mother Goddess is in the epic Mahabharat. When the armies of Pandavs and Kaurvas were arrayed in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Arjun, the chief warrior of Pandavs upon advice of Sri Krishna; meditated upon the Mother Goddess and sought Her blessings for victory. This is when Arjun addresses the Mother Goddess as ‘Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye’, which means ‘you who always dwell in the temple on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo’ (probably referring to the present day Jammu).

It is also generally believed that the Pandavs were the first to build the temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan in reverence and gratitude for the Mother Goddess. On a mountain, just adjacent to the Trikuta Mountain and overlooking the Holy Cave are five stone structures, which are believed to be the rock symbols of the five Pandavs.

Perhaps the oldest reference of the visit of a historical figure to the Holy Cave is that of Guru Gobind Singh who is said to have gone there via Purmandal. The old foot track to the Holy Cave passed through this well-known pilgrimage centre.

Some traditions believe this Shrine to be the holiest of all Shaktipeeths (a place where the Mother Goddess, the Eternal Energy has Her abode) since the skull of Mata Sati fell here. Others believe that her right arm had fallen here. But some scriptures do not agree with it. They do agree that at a place called Gandarbal in Kashmir, the right arm of Sati had fallen. Nevertheless, in the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji, one does find stone remains of a human hand, popularly known as Varad Hast (the hand that grants boons and blessings).
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