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Dr K K Aggarwal

What is the significance of a Tilak?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The Tilak is not merely a beauty-enhancing mark, or a sign of religiosity. Hindu cultural traditions have given a significant place to wisdom in life. Life’s journey is guided by wisdom, which leads us through evolution of life towards salvation. If a man loses everything in his life but has his wisdom, he can recreate everything he has lost.

In Gayatri Mantra we chant, “May my Wisdom be enlightened and purified”. The worship that has been revered in the Vedas is symbolized in the Tilak. The seat of wisdom is the head and since the forehead is its front part, we worship wisdom by placing the Tilak on the forehead.

A Tilak is the ‘third eye’ in a manner of speaking. It is a divine eye which when ‘opened’ by divine knowledge shows the way to self-realization. Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva with his third eye, so too, we may destroy our desires and evil elements by striving for knowledge.Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

What is the significance of a Tilak?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on What is the significance of a Tilak?

The Tilak is not merely a beauty–enhancing mark, or a sign of religiosity. Hindu cultural traditions have given a significant place to wisdom in life. Life’s journey is guided by wisdom, which leads us through evolution of life towards salvation. If a man loses everything in his life but has his wisdom, he can recreate everything he has lost.

In Gayatri Mantra we chant, “May my Wisdom be enlightened and purified”. The worship that has been revered in the Vedas is symbolized in the Tilak. The seat of wisdom is the head and since the forehead is its front part, we worship wisdom by placing the Tilak on the forehead.

A Tilak is the ‘third eye’ in a manner of speaking. It is a divine eye which when ‘opened’ by divine knowledge shows the way to self–realization. Lord Shiva destroyed Kamadeva with his third eye, so too, we may destroy our desires and evil elements by striving for knowledge. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are entirely my own

What is the significance of the Swastika (Sathiyo)?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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During a marriage ceremony, the swastika is painted on the wall or entrance of the house to wish for the well-being and happiness of the newlyweds. The word swastika means auspicious in the Sanskrit language. It is regarded as a divine sign by Hindus and is usually found in temples, symbolizing the four directions, thus making it a universal symbol. It sends out pure vibrations for universal peace and prosperity. The lines turning inwards tell us that each individual being a part of the Universe has to turn inwards in order to attain salvation. Each person has to strive for his or her self-realization by turning inwards.

Significance of Lighting a Lamp in Any Worship?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Prayer

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah
Deepo harati paapaani
Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance & by which all can be achieved in life.

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain some knowledge.

Vedic literature recommends lighting of lamp daily as a part of pooja ritual. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk and remaining continuously (akh anda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without lighting of the lamp and the same is to be maintained right through the occasion.

Knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished.
By lighting the lamp we bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of mind full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vasanas (lust) and negative tendencies (the wick & the ego). When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that the only those knowledge should be acquired that take us towards higher ideals.

What is the significance of the Swastika (Sathiyo)?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on What is the significance of the Swastika (Sathiyo)?

During a marriage ceremony, the swastika is painted on the wall or entrance of the house to wish for the well–being and happiness of the newly weds. The word swastika means auspicious in the Sanskrit language. It is regarded as a divine sign by Hindus and is usually found in temples, symbolizing the four directions, thus making it a universal symbol. It sends out pure vibrations for universal peace and prosperity.

The lines turning inwards tell us that each individual being a part of the Universe has to turn inwards in order to attain salvation. Each person has to strive for his or her self–realization by turning inwards.

Significance of Lighting a Lamp in Any Worship?

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Significance of Lighting a Lamp in Any Worship?

Prayer

Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa Jyotir Janaardanah
Deepo harati paapaani
Sandhyaa deepa namostute ||

I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance & by which all can be achieved in life.

Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The purpose of any ritual is to remove internal darkness and attain some knowledge.

Vedic literature recommends lighting of lamp daily as a part of pooja ritual. Some do it once at dawn, others twice a day – at dawn and dusk and remaining continuously (akh anda deepa). No auspicious function can commence without lighting of the lamp and the same is to be maintained right through the occasion.

Knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished.

By lighting the lamp we bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Knowledge about the self is the greatest wealth. It goes around achieving inner happiness by burning the negativity of mind full of lust and ego.

The traditional oil lamp defines this spiritual significance. The oil or ghee symbolizes our vasanas (lust) and negative tendencies (the wick & the ego).  When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes.

The flame of a lamp always burns upwards signifying that the only those knowledge should be acquired that take us towards higher ideals.

What is the significance of Satvik food?

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We follow a ritual of offering ‘bhog’ to the deity we worship. The ritual also involves sprinkling water all around the place where we sit down to eat food. The sprinkling of water prevents ants and insects from approaching the food, says one school of thought. But in spiritual terms, there is a deeper meaning .

Bhagwad Gita and Yoga Shastras categorise food into three types corresponding to their properties termed as gunas. Depending upon satoguna, rajoguna and tamoguna, the food items are categorized as satvik, rajsik or tamsik.

Satvik food provides calmness, purity and promotes longevity, intelligence, strength, health, happiness and delight. The examples of satvik food items are fruits, vegetables, leaves, grains, cereals, milk, honey, etc. These items can be consumed as they are. One can live on satvik food for life.

Rajsik food items possess attributes of negativity, passion and restlessness. Hot, spicy and salty food items with pungent, sour and salty taste promote rajas qualities.

Tamsik food has attributes of inducing sleep, ignorance, dullness and inertia. The examples of tamsik food are meat, onions, garlic, left-over food, etc.

Only satvik food is offered to God. Rajsik or tamsik food is never offered as Bhog. The only persons who were offered tamsik and rajsik food in Ramayana are Ahi Ravana and Kumbhkaran. Both of them were of an evil nature. Kumbhkaran signified tamas and Ahi Ravana, rajas or aggression. Tamsik and rajsik food can be converted into satvik by slow heating, sprouting or keeping them in water overnight. The examples are sprouted wheat and chana (chickpeas), etc.

A mixture of honey, milk, ghee, curd and sugar is called panchamrut and is a routine offering to God. All the five components have satvik properties and their consumption promotes health.

In Ayurveda, there is a saying that any food item, which grows under the ground, is tamsik in nature and one, which comes from the top of the tree or plant like leaves, flower and fruits are satvik in nature. Satvik food is usually fresh, seasonal and locally grown.

Human beings are made up of body, mind and soul and soul is equated to consciousness or God. If whatever is offered to the external God is also offered to the internal God or consciousness it leads to inner happiness. The ritual, therefore, of offering food to God before eating forces us to either eat only satvik food or to include a substantial portion of satvik food in our meals. It helps a person convert his meal into a pure satvik one or at least adding satvik items.

Sprinkling water around the plate is considered an act of purification.

Many people confuse bhog with chadhava or offerings to the deity. While bhog is shared with God, chadhava is the offering of your illness or negative thoughts to the God and you go back with prasada of inner happiness. Many people counter the above argument by saying that alcohol is offered to Bhairon, viewed as a demon God, which means alcohol, is good for health. I personally feel that alcohol is offered to Bhairon not as bhog but as an offering which means that people who are addicted to alcohol go to Bhairon and give their share of alcohol to him so they can de-addict themselves.

What is the significance of the Swastika (Sathiyo)?

By
Filed Under Spirituality - Science Behind Rituals | Tagged With: , , | | Comments Off on What is the significance of the Swastika (Sathiyo)?

During a marriage ceremony, the swastika is painted on the wall or entrance of the house to wish for the well-being and happiness of the newly weds. The word swastika means auspicious in the Sanskrit language. It is regarded as a divine sign by Hindus and is usually found in temples, symbolizing the four directions, thus making it a universal symbol. It sends out pure vibrations for universal peace and prosperity.

The lines turning inwards tell us that each individual being a part of the Universe has to turn inwards in order to attain salvation. Each person has to strive for his or her self-realization by turning inwards.