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H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji | | Holidays
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Holidays Tag

Guru Purnima Blessings from Pujya Swamiji

Dear Divine Souls, I hope that — by God’s grace — this finds you and all your loved ones in the best of health and happiness. It is the divine time of year when we celebrate Guru Purnima, the day in which we offer our thanks, love and devotion to the Guru. The Guru Gita says that the Guru is Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Verily, the Guru is the Supreme Brahman itself. But what is a guru in practical terms? While in the West, the term has taken on myriad, frequently derogatory connotations, the...

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Focusing on God

Once a woman was standing outside in the street searching and searching for something under the bright street lamp. A wise man walked by and asked her, “Mother, what are you searching for?” She replied, “I have lost my needle and I am looking for it.” The man helped her search for quite sometime, all to no avail.  Finally, he asked, “Mother, where exactly did you lose your needle?” She replied, “I was sewing inside on the chair and the needle was lost there.” The wise man queried, “But Mother, if...

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Navratri – Worship of the Mother Goddess

The festival of Navaratri is a glorious time of the year, filled with joy, celebration, and also with great lessons for our lives. Navaratri means “nine nights.” This festival occurs twice a year, at the change from winter to summer in the Spring, and again at the change from summer to winter in the Autumn. The Autumn festival is celebrated from the first day to the ninth day of the bright half of Ashvina/Aswayuja (September-October), while the Spring Festival is celebrated in Chaitra (April – May).  The two Navaratri celebrations are known...

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Rakhsha Bandhan – A Festival of Love, Affection & Protection

The holiday of Rakhsha Bandhan, or Rakhi, is a celebration of the bond of love and the bond of family. On this day, sisters tie sacred threads around their brothers’ wrists, symbolizing their love and affection. In return, the brother promises to protect his sister and to always be there for her. Rakhsha means protection or security and bandhan means a bond or relation. Thus, Rakhsha Bandhan symbolizes the bond of security and protection between brothers and sisters. Indian Culture – the world is one family However, on Rakhi, the brothers and sisters do...

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Peace for the New Year

At this time of the New Year, most people are closing their balance sheets, closing their accounts and their books. However, the time of the New Year should actually be a time of opening our accounts and opening our balance sheets. I don’t mean our financial balance sheets, rather I mean the balance sheets of our lives, our inner accounts. It is a time in which we must ask ourselves, “Where do I stand?” Is the world a better place now because I have lived? Have I improved the life...

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The Power of Love

I heard a beautiful story of a college professor in New York who gave his business-economy students the assignment of going into the slums and finding 10 students each to interview. Then, the university students had to prepare reports on each of the 10 children they had interviewed. The final item of the assignment was for the students to rate each child’s chance of success in the world. So, the students all completed their assignments. With 20 students in the class, the professor ended up with 200 papers on 200 different...

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The Real Meaning of Diwali

Diwali is a glorious time of year. Families, friends and communities come together in a spirit of celebration, jubilance and joy. Message of Lord Rama’s Life: Sacrifice and DharmaThere are so many meanings to Diwali, so many stories associated with this auspicious holiday.Diwali is the time when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years in exile. However, the holiday celebrates not only Lord Rama’s long-awaited homecoming, but it celebrates something larger, something deeper, something even more meaningful. It is also the celebration of the message of Lord Rama’s life: sacrifice...

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Holi & Valentine’s Day – External Actions Versus Internal Transformation

Divine Souls, This month, I want to talk about the difference between what we do on the outside and how we really are on the inside.  I want to talk about external actions versus internal transformation. In the Western world, February is the month of love, the month of Valentine’s Day. Across the world, people spent billions of dollars on cards, chocolates, flowers, balloons and other external expressions of their love. Although Valentine’s Day is not a traditional Indian holiday, it has become almost universal these days. So, since it has become such...

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New Year Blessings

Dear Divine Souls, The new year, new century and new millennium are now upon us. So many people made vows, cherished ideals in their hearts of what the new Millennium would bring. I have been hearing – a lot more so recently than usual – a despair from many people, due to their perceived lack of ability to effect real change, due to their perceived helplessness and futility in this vast universe. Yet, I say “perceived lack of ability” and “perceived helplessness and futility,” because that is exactly what the problem is: an...

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