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Author: Jayanthi Created: Saturday, April 28, 2007

Discussions about world spirituality or religions and sharing of how we express the same in our family. Focus on Hinduism, Christianity and spirituality in general.

By Jayanthi on Friday, March 26, 2010

Are you buying and moving into a new house in 2011? Are you thinking of arranging a Hindu Housewarming or Griha Pravesh Puja  for your home? This post will share some general dates for house blessings for 2011 along with other relevant information.

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By Jayanthi on Monday, February 22, 2010

Waching Kerala news on Kairali TV in America a few years ago during Holi season, I saw a news piece that attracted my attention. The celebrations looked kind of like a Holi celebration, but it couldn't be as Holi is not really famously celebrated in South India, in Kerala. After some research and translations of the Malayalam newscast, I formed some opinions of my own on the connection between this mysterious regional Kerala holiday, Porramkuli, and North Indian Holi.

Intersted to know your thoughts or experiences regarding these festivals.

Thank you for spending your time on my blog!

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Indian and Hindu social and spiritual guides such as the Thirukkural, Manusmriti, Mahabharata as well as respected spiritual leaders such as Swami Dayananda Saraswathi (Arsha Vidya Gurukulam), are quoted in this article that explores the spiritual side of vegetarianism.

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By Jayanthi on Monday, November 30, 2009


Tomorrow, December 1, 2009 is Karthigai Deepam, 'the festival of lights'. These lights, one can say, are burning as thousands of 'birthday candles' to celebrate the birthday of Lord Murugan, the brother of Lord Ganesh.

Guest blogger, Abhilash has graciously donated this article from his blog to be shared among readers here at Alaivani. Learn about a few reasons, legends, stories and myths of Karthigai Deepam. Fascinating stuff! Thanks, Abhilash.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

tulasi up close by anonymous

Tulasi is a holy plant in many parts of India. In this annual ritual, the Tulasi plant is worshipped for the goddess among the many communities in India, including the Kannadigas - or those who lives in Karnataka state- in South Central India.

One of my 'Facebook Friends' has donated this article and few photos, and remains to wish anonymous. Thank you to my Facebook friend, you have really taught me something in a thorough way!


Tulasi plant photo, right submitted by Anonymous Facebook friend. Read More »

By Jayanthi on Monday, October 05, 2009

Often God only knows (GOK) what will happen: when, where and how. The beauty of life is in the journey, destinations sometimes are determined only by the journey alone. This is indeed the case with this year's Ganesh Chathurthi Celebrations.

Click in to view videos and photos of our celebrations that took us three-quarters across the continental US to relieve Ganesh of his earthly visit with us this year.


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By Jayanthi on Friday, October 02, 2009


Lord Ganesh inspires the creative artist within us during Ganesh Chathurthi. This year, I wanted to make a different kind of handmade murthi (idol) and while doing some internet research, found a wonderful collection of handmade Ganeshas on a blog authored by Roopashri. With her and her friend's permission, this post of inspirational handmade Ganesh murthis is possible.

Thank you. Hope all browsers enjoy and are equally inspired!


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By Jayanthi on Monday, September 28, 2009

Padmini shares sweet memories of her navarathri and kolu celebrations over the years. She has summed up nicely all parts of the celebration from brining out hidden treasures from the attic, how the kolu padi (steps for dolls) was created and the festivities.

Thank you for sharing, Padmini.


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By Jayanthi on Monday, September 28, 2009

After a day of resting eduational and utility items, Vidyarmbam initiates these items back into proper use. The ritual of Ezhuthiniruthu on this day intiates the youngest into the world of letters, reading, and studies.

Submitted by guest blogger Saju at traveltokerala.blogspot.com.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Golu is one of my favorite Tamil Navarathri traditions that I have been doing in my home since 2002. Something fascinates me about Golu and compells me to do it every year.

I like to see images of others golus to get inspiration and ideas. In this post, I will share a few YouTube videos of others Golu displays that have left an impression on me.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Attending celebrations is exciting. But what if it's a new festival for you and you have never attended Varalakshmi Vratham at someone's home or a temple?

In this series of two posts, I attempt to introduce you to this festival from a practical perspective so a newbie can  have some idea what to expect of the flow of celebration, what to wear, bring and and how to interact with the others in attendance.


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By Jayanthi on Friday, July 17, 2009

A busy month for many women in south India, the fourth month of the Tamil Calendar, known as Adi is jam-packed of auspicious prayer activites to the Goddess. It is also during Adi Masam that the yearly Varalakshmi Puja happens.

This post details the spiritual calendar for the month of Aadi in 2009, plus some related cultural facts.

Photo, left. "Lakshmi by Dad", Maitri Erwin.

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By Jayanthi on Monday, July 06, 2009

Many Malayalee families continue to consult the family priest or astrologer to calculate special days. Many holy-days are now transcribed into a Western calendar format for easier reference, though these dates change yearly in the Western calendar. Many who want to follow the Malayalee calendar more closely for the appearance of certian stars (nakshatras) would be curious on the basics on how to read a Kerala calendar.

Others may be intrigued to follow the Malayalam calender to celebrate not one, but two birthdays a year! Click inside to find out more!

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By Jayanthi on Monday, June 15, 2009

Palm Sunday Leaves By Fred Dawson

Binu shares his thoughts and experiences about Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a goat, heralded in by the local villagers with the fanning of palm leaves, days before Easter.

The interview also provides links to games, crafts and songs for children, videos about Palm Sunday and links to bible scriptures that can be read on this holy day.


Photo: Fred Dawson at Flickr (used under creative commons& Read More »

By Jayanthi on Monday, June 01, 2009

Short introduction to the holy Puranas. The Puranas (of ancient times) are narratives of the history of the Universe. They are perhaps the most important or commonly used scriptural texts of the Hindus and are even today used as guide books for the whole of life and society.

Padmini shares answers to frequently asked questions about the Puranas, short summaries of a the Puranas in this post. Enjoy!

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By Jayanthi on Monday, May 18, 2009

Padmini shares with us a timeless spiritual parable and life lesson that all can relate to. Read, enjoy and be enlightened!

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By Jayanthi on Monday, May 04, 2009

Ramanavami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, the epitome of a virtuious man on earth. The festival of Rama's birth is celebrated on the day of the star Punar Poosam in the bright fortnight of the month of Chithirai or Panguni (March-April-May). Poosam is Lord Rama’s star. On this day the holy epic Ramayana is read and Rama’s virtues are extolled.

In some parts of India, Lord Rama's birthday also coincides with the last day of the spring Navarathri or Vasanta Navarathri more commonly celebrated in North India. In 2009, Vasantha Navarathri and Lord Rama's birthday, or Ramanavami have already passed.

In this article, contributing author, Padmini shares the story of Lord Rama and some common ways of celebrating Ramanavami in Tamil Nadu, South India

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By Jayanthi on Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vishu 2009

Today marks the new year in the South Indian calendars for Tamils and Keralites. Happy New Year!!

This article discusses Tamil New Year. Submitted by Padmini Natarajan.


To the left, close and cover your eyes, then surprise! It's the good luck as seen in Vishukkani as ritualistically celebrated in Kerala!


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By Jayanthi on Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thaipusam is a south Indian festival celebrated to attone from sins of the previous years through rituals and self-sacrifice. Arun shares with us his celebrations of this holiday in Singapore.

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By Jayanthi on Sunday, February 08, 2009

Happy Thaipusam. It is today that people will undertake rituals to rid of sins, burdens and hurts inflicted on others during the past year.

Read about Thaipusam

Part 1: Exploring Reasons and Meanings behind the rituals of Thaipusam

Part 2- Stories and Legends of Thaipusam.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Drawn by my friend, Kamatchi in MS PaintWho is Lord Ganesha? He is the most adored and loved god. Son of Siva and Parvathy, and brother to Murugan, Lord Ganesha is worshipped before all endeavors. He removes all obstacles. But many wonder, why does he have an elephant's head?

In part one of three, I will share a mythological story detailing how Ganesha got the head of an elephant.

Keep tuned in for parts two and three- meaning of this story and questions about Ganesha. Thank you for visiting.


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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Karthigai Deepam, the Tamil festival of lights is a sight to be seen, especially in Thiruvanmalai where a ghee fire is lit that is seen for kilometers on end!


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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Onam is a grand festival occuring in August - September in the state of Kerala. Diwali is the festival of lights occuring in October - November. I was always curious why Onam won out in grandeur to Diwali in Kerala. Click in to read my observations.

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By Jayanthi on Sunday, October 26, 2008

Across the U.S.A., India, Canada, Oman, in their cities, remote villages, tourist locations and unexpected side stops has introduced me to a wide repertoire of spiritual havens. Share in my spiritual journeys with me!

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rendition of Swami Sivananda's guidelines of living a good life. Though many of these guidelines have details supporting Hindu lifestyles, any spiritual tradition can benefit from this by modifiying into your own spiritual habit.

Submitted by Arun.

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By Jayanthi on Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saptashrungi Devi is Durga Devi, she is located at Vani a place near the city of Nashik in the state of Maharashtra. This place is one of the 51 shakti peeth of India and Pakistan.

Read more about Devi, learn a devotional hymn to Devi and see some amazing photos!

Originally submitted by Ajoy in 2004 to my old site.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Navarathri holds different meanings for different people in different parts of India. Navarathri holds a special meaning for me as well. I enjoy placing dolls on the golu, I enjoy observing Saraswathi and Ayuda pujas in my own way. I enjoy the spirit of this season. This article is all about what Navarathri means, and what it means to me as an American who has fallen in love with Navarathri.

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By Jayanthi on Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Picture 006
May Lord Ganesh Bless you and your family on this day, his Birthday, and everyday!!
Happy Ganesh Chathurthi!

More Photos here

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By Jayanthi on Monday, September 01, 2008

In celebration of Lord Ganesh's birthday in less than two days time, I am sharing with you a very special article that I have written, submitted to a friend in Mumbai and after translating it into Marathi, has been published in Marathi daily Loksatta. Enjoy the story of how I came to celebrate Ganesh's birthday in a unique way! Thank you for reading!

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By Jayanthi on Friday, August 22, 2008

Every year, eight days after Rakhi in August or September is the birthday of Lord Krishna, known as Krishna Jayanthi in South India and Janamasthami in North India.

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