Yajur Upakarma 2015 procedure in Tamil, Sanskrit, English


Avani Avittam (ஆவணி அவிட்டம்) or Upakarma in 2015 for Yajur Veda practitioners is on 29 August 2015, the coming Saturday.   This year around too, the three Upakarmas for Yajur, Rig and Sama Vedas fall on 3 different dates.
  • The Yajur Upakarma or Avani Avittam (ஆவணி அவிட்டம்) occurs on 29 Aug 2015.
  • The Sama Veda Upakarma is as usual falls around the Ganesh Chaturthi day, on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2015, two days before Ganesh Chaturti.
  • The Rg Upakarma is scheduled on Thrusday, 24 Sep 2015.
However, the Gayathri Mantra Japam is to be performed by all the 3 Veda practitioners on 30 Aug 2015, the coming Sunday, which is one  after the Yajur Veda Upakarma.

We have already uploaded the Gayathri Japam procedure in Tamil before.  Now here is the Yajur Upakarma or Avani Avittam 2015 procedure in Tamil, for free.

Update 26 Aug: We have posted Yajur Upakarma in Sanskrit and English too.  Just select which language you want in the download link (Google Form) :-D

Here is the snapshot



The Yajur Upakarma procedure in Tamil as PDF file is available for free at:
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Downloads page
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The Yajur Upakarma procedure in Sanskrit, English and the Gayathri Japam procedure in Sanskrit and English will be uploaded in next two days.

Have nice weekend, and express your thanks in comments.

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Gayathri Japam 2015 procedure in Tamil, Sanskrit, English


The Rg, Yajur, Sama Upakarma is the act of purifying the Brhman within oneself, and the Gayathri Manthra Japam (usually) on next day renews the shield.  This year, Gayathri Mantra Japam is on sunday, 30 Aug 2015, one day after the Yajur Upakarma or Avani Avittam.  The Sama Upakarma is on 15 Sep 2015 and the Rg Upakarma is on 24 Sep 2015.  But the Gayathri Japam day is same for all.

Though it is usual practice to include the Gayathri Japa Sankalpam within that leaflet, as a paragraph, I chose not to do it. For long, we have been treating Gayathri Manthra Japam as an addendum of the Upakarma or Avani Avittam.  In truth, Gayathri Mantra Japam is something special on its own.

Please do read important tips for observing Avani Avittam here and for Gayathri Japam here.  A full Gayathri Japam is not just a 2 line sankalpam alone.  It consists of:
  1. ஆசமனம், த்யானம், ப்ராணாயாமம் (आचमनम्, प्राणायामम्)
  2. ஸங்கல்பம் (संकल्प:))
  3. ப்ரணவஜபம், ப்ராணாயாமம் (प्रणवजप:-प्राणायाम:)
  4. காயத்ரி ஆவாஹனம் (गायत्री-आवाहनम्)
  5. காயத்ரி நியாஸம் (गायत्री-न्यासः)
  6. காயத்ரி ஜபம் (गायत्री-जपम्)
  7. ப்ராணாயாமம், காயத்ரி-உபஸ்தானம் (गायत्री-उपस्थानम्)
  8. ஸூர்ய-உபஸ்தானம் (सूर्य-उपस्थानम्)
  9. ப்ரஹ்மார்பணம், ஆசமனம் (ब्रह्मार्पणम)
Please note a couple of points:
  • A proper 108 Gayathri recital would take about 25 minutes and a 1008 recital upto 3.5 hours or more.
  • The procedure given only details the Gayathri Mantra Japam, and does *not* include the procedure for Gayathri Japam as SamithaDhaan.  That procedure is completely different.  Do not confuse between the two.
Now, we are happy to post the same Gayathri Japam 2015 procedure for Avani Avittam in Sanskrit and English scripts for those who cannot read Tamil.

Of course, the non-Tamil (and non-Keralite) people will have to amend the names of year-month as per their tradition – exactly one place in the Gayathri Japam.  But that is all there is to do.  Anyone can download it for free and use it.

The link at the Downloads page will open up a Google Form, where you can select either Tamil, Sanskrit or English.

The Gayathri Japam procedure in Tamil (as well as Sanskrit or English) as PDF file is available for free download at:
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Downloads page
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Varalakshmi Vratam 2015 Pooja Procedure in Tamil


The Wikipedia states Varalakshmi Vratam (வரலக்ஷ்மி வ்ரதம்) is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, in her form of the boon giver – the name ‘Vara-Lakshmi’ literally means ‘boon (granting) Lakshmi’.  The pooja is practiced by many women in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.  A main feature of this pooja is that is performed by womenfolk, and the 9 knotted yellow thread (சரடு) which the women folk wear on their right hand after the pooja.  If nothing else, it looks … divine. ;-)

In 2015, the Varalakshmi Vratam occurs on the coming Friday, 28 August 2015.  For the first time, we are listing out the complete procedure for the Varalakshmi Vratam Pooja in Tamil.  Unlike other blogs and websites which do not list out the full procedure – for e.g., the mantras for the yellow sacred thread (சரடு) – in this free download, the complete procedure is listed out.

Aspects which differ like
  • using only the kalasam;
  • kalasam accompanied by a photo;
  • kalasam accompanied by a idol face;
  • placing the kalasam at Isaniya (North East) or Agni (South East) sides;
  • placing the kalasam at the usual Pooja room;
  • filling the kalasam with rice or water; et al,
depend on the family customs and procedure and hence are not elaborated on.  Like so many things in Hinduism, Varalakshmi Vratam has also slight variations, from people to people.

Here is the snapshot of the mantras for the yellow sacred thread (சரடு).

The full 8 page (version 2), digitally signed, encrypted PDF file ‘Varalakshmi Vratam 2015) can be downloaded for free from the:

Downloads page.

Version 2 uploaded 23 Aug 2015.  Corrected some spell errors, converted to the GPL IndiUni Font and reduced file size from 470 kb to ~150 kb.

varalakshmi-vrata-pooja-2015


PS:  Check back in a few days for the Yajur Upakarma 2015 & Gayathri Japam 2015 procedure in Tamil.

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Even Pinterest got the right ‘wrong’, not only Smriti Irani


Yesterday, the Indian Higher Education Minister, and self-touted 6-day-Yale-Graduate Smriti Irani was caught in a faux pas.  A congratulatory letter sent on her behalf by her Ministry to a Teacher, had the word ‘Minister’ misspelt in English, and ‘Resources’ misspelt in Hindi.  But then, why blame her or the Ministry?  Even Social Media, which was used to poke fun at her, have their own bloopers – for e.g., Pinterest.

Yesterday I noticed the info message pop-up in Pinterest, which tells us that with Pinterest we can start pinning ‘right’ from the browser has a misspell.  Wonder how long Pinterest has been doing the right thing ‘wrong’?

BTW was that a coincidence that I noticed the wrong-right, when I pinned to the Humour board?  And the error is still there, as of the Madras Day post share.

pinterest-spells-right-wrong
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376th year–Happy Madras Day


The first city of modern India, Chennai, which was originally called Madras, is celebrating its 376th birthday today, as Madras Day.  Perhaps it is inappropriate to note that the first zoological garden or zoo of India, was also established in the City of Madras.

The Madras Zoo was situated within the People’s Park, a 116 acre recreational park, constructed between 1859 and 1861, and was arguably one of the oldest parks too.  Present day Park Town is the reminiscent of the People’s Park which has all but disappeared.  As for the Madras Zoo, it was shifted to Vandalur in 1985 and was renamed as Aringar Anna Zoological Park.  And later, the city itself was renamed as Chennai, but Madras Day is what it is called, and will be.

I remember visiting the old zoo in the People’s Park for the last time before the animals were shifted sometime in 1982-83.  The Sambar deer enclosure was the last one abutting the approach to the Central Station, and it was a pleasure to watch the deer racing (within the enclosure) the approaching trains.

Gone are those days of a laid back, conservative, less polluted, and cleaner, less congested Madras. 
Almost gone is also the ‘Madras Bashai’, that quaint slang of Tamil spoken only in Madras, which had adopted words from 10 different languages. 

Very few are these catamarans – at the very Marina Beach which gave the word ‘catamaran’ to English - from the Tamil word ‘kattumaram’ (கட்டுமரம்), literally meaning ‘wood-tied-together’.  Here is an old one which I could spot (artist/photographer unknown).

chennai-marina-beach-catamarans

For today, enjoy the Madras Day on the city celebrating 376th year of establishment.
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The egg and the Cockatiel


The Cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) are natives of Australia.  And they are dumb.  I do not know the actual reason – because they were Australians once, or the reality they have been raised by a dumbo like me.  And this is the second instance of their lack of intelligence on display.  Have you read about the first instance?

The cockatiels are not only indigenous but they are also endemic to Australia, meaning they were originally found only there.  But both of my two pairs of Yellow Cockatiels were born in India, for certain.  The two younger mating pair are actually from the same brood.  So unless there is some inherent genetic condition – like what the PM Narendra Modi implied about people from Bihar and their DNA – there is no reason for them (the cockatiels, I mean) to be so stupid.

So, what happened to reinforce the thought that they are bird-brains?  Yesterday morning, I heard some strange chirping by the 2 pairs.  When I looked through, I could spy a lone egg inside the cage.  And the cockatiel mother proudly sitting inside the nest pot and presumably incubating the egg.  All fine and nice, one would say.

Except the stupid cockatiel had laid the egg ‘on’ the cage floor, all the while warming up the ‘empty’ nest pot.  Here, look at the scene, reminiscent of the famous Akbar and Birbal story – cooking with the rice pot 10 feet from the fire.

cockatiel-incubating-nest-pot-egg-outside-cage

The picture is shaky because I could only shoot from a distance.  Any nearer and the mother cockatiel attempted to get out of the nest pot.  Ultimately, get out she had to – because I picked up the egg and gently placed it into the nest pot, for her to truly incubate.  Though I have very low hopes for this egg.

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