ABERDEEN HINDU ASSOCIATION

Registered Charity Number:  SC041762

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SIGNIFICANCE OF KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI - 27th AUGUST 2013
 

Humble Prenalms at the Lotus feet of our Beloved Lord. 

Birth of Lord Krishna

It was a time when Mother Earth was burdened with Adharma/Unrighteousness. Unrighteousness had moved in from the forests into the cities and families.

Kings were fighting amongst themselves and had become very selfish and were causing harm to their subjects. Vedas had become more as a ritual and was being ignored. 

To uproot the wicked, to protect the virtuous, uphold Dharma, to foster the Vedas  and to re-establish Dharma in the society, our beloved Lord decided to descent as a Krishna Avatar. 

The scene --family chosen was in prison and in the midst of trouble and calamity.  

Kamsa, Prince of Mathura, loved his sister Devaki very much. On the day of the wedding, as the procession was going on  an Ethereal voice proclaimed that he (Kamsa) would be killed by the eighth son of the very sister whom he is giving in mariage. Kamsa immediately  puts  the couple, Devaki and Vasudeva in prison. He  kills all her 7 children as soon as they are born. Now the birth of the 8th child is immanent ..... more.

 
SIGNIFICANCE OF UGADI - 11th APRIL 2013

UGADI is a festival celebrated by the Telugu and Kannada speaking people to signify start of the New Year.  This is also the start of New Year for people from Maharashtra, who refer it as Gudi Padwa (gudi= Pole). Here, a bamboo pole covered with a piece of silk cloth is worshipped.  Pole in this instance signifies success.   

Yuga Aadhi means NEW AGE.  This day falls on the first day of the lunar calendar (the day after no moon or Amavasai).   

According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma created this universe on this day (chaithra shudhdha prathipaadhe), which is the reason to celebrate this day as the start of the New Year.  The Hindus also believe that after destroying Raavana, Lord Rama began his rule in Ayodhya, on this day.  

This day also signifies the start of the spring season (vasanth ruthu) that symbolically brings in freshness to life.   

The rituals followed in the celebration include exchange of Bevu- Bella; a combination of sweet and sour, signifying that one should accept with grace and equanimity, sweet and bitter things which is part of one’s life.

People decorate the entrances of their homes with Rangoli[1] (decorative design using colour powder) and wear new clothes to mark this occasion.  Ugadi Pachidi is prepared on this day using the following ingredients to symbolize the six tastes: 

Ingredients

Significance

Corresponds to

Neem leaves

Bitterness

Anger

Jaggery

Sweet

Happiness

Raw mango

Tang

Disgust

Tamarind juice

Sourness

Sadness

Green chilli

Heat

Fear

Salt

Saltiness

Surprise

 On this day let’s wish our brothers in sisters in Aberdeen a Happy UGADI.

[1] Rangoli

 
SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHASHIVRATHRI - 10th MARCH 2013

MAHA SHIVRATHRI (MAHA= Grand; SHIV= Lord Shiva; RATHRI= Night) is one of the most sacred Hindu festivals. Hindus mark this day (and most importantly, the night) worshipping Lord Shiva the destroyer. Maha Shivrathri falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun1.  Devotees generally observe fasting and stay awake the whole night, chant the PANCHAKSHARA manthra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” and sing devotional songs and hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. 

According to the Hindu mythology, Maha Shivrathri celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva with goddess Parvathi and on this moonless night, Lord Shiva performed the Aanandha Thaandava (Dance of Bliss) that signifies creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. Astrologically, the planetary positions on this night are in such a way that they result in a natural upsurge in energy in all living beings, especially the human body.  Hence it is believed that staying awake and singing and dancing all night on this occasion, results in physical and spiritual wellbeing2 and also liberated from the cycle of birth and death and thereby attain Moksha or salvation. The Lingam3 is worshiped using Bael leaves4, cold water, milk and panchamrutham (Milk, yogurt, Ghee, Honey, Sugar mixed with fruits). These dhravyas (liquid) represent the follows5: Milk: purity and piousness; Yogurt: prosperity and progeny; Honey: sweet speech; Ghee: victory; Sugar: happiness; Water: purity. 

There are several stories about the significance of maha Shivrathri. One such story says that, once a tribal man (a shiva devotee) went into the forest to collect firewood.  He wandered deep into the woods, got stuck and couldn’t return home before the fall of the night.  He got lost in the woods and unfortunately was chased by a hungry tiger. To escape the tiger, the man climbed up a bael tree.  He stayed awake all night to avoid falling asleep and thereby falling down the tree and eaten by the tiger.  During that process, be plucked the leaves from the tree one by one and dropped them chanting OM NAMAH SHIVAYA.  After daybreak, when the tiger was gone, the man descended from the tree and noticed a Lingam.  Unknowingly he has been praying to the Lingam all night.  Then it is believed that God appeared before the man and blessed him.  Thus the man attained MOKSHAM

[1] Phalgun (Hindi); Maasi (Tamil) is the month of the year in the Hindu calendar

[2] www.ishafoundation.org

[3] “Mark” or “sign” representing the Hindu deity Shiva

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bael

[5] http://www.mahashivratri.org/shivaratri-pooja.html

 
SIGNIFICANCE OF NAVRATHRI - 13th OCTOBER 2013

It is important to understand the significance of our many Hindu celebrations, as I believe there is more to our customs and traditions than meets the eye. It is easy to disregard the greatness of our Hindu religion by using the blanket term,” Hinduism is a way of life.”  It would be in our best interest to search and understand the true meaning of Hinduism.

When we consider religion and religious practices as old as Hinduism there is ofcourse one major shortcoming – any idea, concept or practice is open to interpretation on so many different levels and there are many different variations of the same explanation. It takes much patience and wisdom to filter and sieve through this information overload and to imbibe the true essence.  So I request you, our readers, to correct our many mistakes and to share your expertise with all of us. Let us make this a platform for exchanging interesting ideas.

Navrathri, literally translated means “Nine nights”, Nav – nine and rathiri – “nights”. This is a celebration of the Goddess in Her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. We offer our prayers to Durga on the first three nights, to Goddess Lakshmi on the next three nights and to Goddess Saraswathi on the last three nights. The tenth day is called Vijayadasami, which means victory over our minds and this is significant because we can achieve this internal victory over our minds only after we have addressed and worshipped the three forms of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi.

On the outset one would assume that Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi are Goddesses and female counterparts of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Let’s take a closer look at these three forms of the Goddess.

Durga: To inherit and display noble virtues, one must overcome all evil thoughts and tendencies. The destruction of all these evil tendencies is represented by Goddess Durga. She is referred to as Mahishasura mardini, Mahisha meaning “Buffalo”. We all have many buffalos in our mind, a few of which are laziness, darkness, and ignorance.  So in the first three days of Navrathri we invoke the divine power within us to destroy our animalistic tendencies.

Lakshmi: The first thing which comes to mind when we speak of Goddess Lakshmi is wealth and especially money. However this Goddess represents not just money and riches but the Wealth of Virtues. If we have no self discipline or self control, love, kindness, respect or sincerity all our material wealth will be destroyed or lost. The real wealth is the inner wealth of spiritual values that we practice in our lives. We are preparing ourselves for the victory over our mind during Navrathri and we discipline our mind not to get disturbed by every change that takes place in our lives. The mental preparation of the mind to achieve this is the purpose /symbolism of Lakshmi pooja on the 4th, 5th and 6th day of Navrathri.

Saraswathi: We always associate Goddess Saraswathi with learning and knowledge. Victory over the mind can only be achieved through knowledge and understanding. Though there are many different areas in which one can exhibit excellence and expertise the greatest and the most important knowledge is the knowledge of Self. We pray to Goddess Saraswathi on the last three days of Navrathri to help us achieve this.

Therefore at Navrathri, Goddess Durga is worshipped at the outset to remove all obstacles of ignorance in the mind. Then Goddess Lakshmi is invoked to bless us with noble values and virtues. Finally Goddess Saraswathi is called upon to reside within us and bless us with the greatest understanding of all – the knowledge of self. When all these aspects are realised in this order, then Vijayadasami, will represent a day of true victory.

We have explained the nine days and their significance, what then is the idea behind celebrating this festival during the night?  The spiritual message behind this suggests that we have lived so far in sleepy ignorance; it is now time to wake up and prepare ourselves to receive God within us.

 
THANK YOU MESSAGE FROM AHA FAMILY - 12th SEPTEMBER 2010

 

The Aberdeen Hindu Association was officially launched on the 11th September 2010. We have been overwhelmed by the immense support shown by the members and wish to express our gratitude.

The venue was packed with devotees and the positive energy and feedback that flowed has been an inspiration for us to continue our journey with added enthusiasm. We wish to thank all our sponsors and volunteers who put in a tremendous effort and were selfless in their service to God.

Our regular poojas will be held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 2.00 to 5.00 pm at Queen's cross church, AB10 1YN. The next pooja will be on the 19th September. 

We humbly request you to continue to support us by participating in the regular pooja and to help us raise funds in order to achieve our goal of building a temple for the community in Northeast Scotland. We are now a Registered Scottish Charity and have applied for tax exemption.  

For those who wish to set up a standing order for regular payments, please email donations@aberdeentemple.org.uk

You can also make cheques payable to Aberdeen Hindu Association and hand in at Queen's cross church at the regular pooja session or post to Aberdeen Hindu Association, 145 Links Road, Aberdeen, AB24 5EH.

You can sponsor poojas, please click here or email pooja@aberdeentemple.org.uk

 
LAUNCH OF ABERDEEN HINDU ASSOCIATION - 27th JULY 2010

 

The Inaugural Pooja will be held on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi, 11th September 2010 from 1.30-5pm at Hilton Community Centre, Hilton Road, Aberdeen, AB24 4HS.This will be lead by Dr Prabakara Bhatt who is instrumental in leading the Hindu worship in Glasgow and will include Archanai, Milk Abhishekam, Darshan and the distribution of Prasadam/Prashad. Entry is free and open to all.

Following the inaugural pooja on the 11th of September regular poojas will take place on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month in the Session Room at Queens Cross Church, AlbynPlace, Aberdeen AB10 1YN between 2-5 pm starting from 19th September 2010. The structure of the pooja will include Archanai, Darshan, Individual prayer time and distribution of Prasadam/Prashad. There will be special poojas organized for religious festivals, auspicious occasions, and family events.

 

Our ultimate goal is to have a place of worship (temple) for ourselves in the Northeast of Scotland.

 

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