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Lord  Vishwakarma is known as the Lord of arts, architecture, crafts and

Lord Vishwakarma
creation in general. He is known as the son of Lord Brahma in some Puranas, while others refer to him as a supreme independent deity.

Lord Viswakarma is described as having 5 heads and 4 hands. The following 5 prajapathis are said to have originated from the 5 heads of Lord Vishwakarma : Manu, Maya, Twosta, Silpy and Viswajna.

It is said that all architects and artists should pray to Lord Vishwakarma before they start any new projects or ventures.

The following is a simple mantra of Lord Vishwakarma:
Om shree shrishtinathaya sarvasidhhaya vishwakarmaya namo namah

COURTESY: www.onlyhinduism.com

Here are photos taken on the occasion of  Vishwakarma Puja at Vivekananda University, Kolkata

Lord Vishwakarma


Vishwakarma Puja 

Vishwakarma Puja Decoration



Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar.

Carnival of Onam lasts from four to ten days. First day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all. Popularity and presentation of rich culture of the state during the carnival made Onam the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of the dynamic festival called Onam.
Onam Celebrations

Rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten day long festival. It is indeed a treat to be a part of the grand carnival. People of Kerala make elaborate preparations to celebrate it in the best possible manner.

The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.

Another enchanting feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators.

There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations.

Government of India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colorful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates 'Tourist Week' for Kerala during Onam celebrations. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam.

The Legend:
Story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Everybody in the state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali's character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali's growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached.

It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.

Right from day one of the festival, called Atham colours begin to emanate from this ebullient festival. Making of Pookalam, the exquisite flower mat starts from this very day and continues till Thiruvonam when the Aththa Poo reaches an overwhelming size and most elegant design.


COURTESY: onamfestival.org



Vinayaka or Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is worshiped as the Lord of beginnings and as the Lord of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, and the God of intellect and wisdom. This year Ganesha Chaturthi  falls on Monday, the 9th of September.

May Lord Ganesh bless you with Devotion, Knowledge and Prosperity.

Ganesha Mantra Chanting 

Ganesha Tales:
There is a story behind the symbolic snake, rat and the singular tusk. During one of the birthdays of Ganesha, His mother, Parvati, cooked for him twenty-one types of delicious food and a lot of sweet porridge. Ganesha ate so much that even his big belly could not contain it. Mounting his little mouse, he embarked on his nightly rounds. His mouse suddenly stumbled upon seeing a huge snake. To adjust His belly, Ganesha put the snake on as a belt around his stomach. All of a sudden, he heard laughter emanating form the sky.

He looked up and saw the moon mocking him. Ganesha infuriated, broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at the moon. Parvati, seeing this, immediately cursed the moon that whoever looks at it on Ganesh Chaturthi will be accused of a wrong doing. The symbology behind the mouse and snake and Ganesha's big belly and its relationship to the moon on his birthday is highly philosophic. The whole cosmos is known to be the belly of Ganesha. Parvati is the primordial energy. The seven realms above, seven realms below and seven oceans, are inside the cosmic belly of Ganesha, held together by the cosmic energy (kundalini ) symbolized as a huge snake which Ganesha ties around Him. The mouse is nothing but our ego. Ganesha, using the mouse as a vehicle, exemplifies the need to control our ego. One who has controlled the ego has Ganesha consciousness or God-consciousness.

Who is Elder?
Ganesha and His brother Lord Subramanya (Kartikya) once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to Lord Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize of His victory.
Lord Shiva said, "Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize; you did not go around the world?"
Ganesha replied, "No, but I have gone around my parents. My parents represent the entire manifested universe!"
Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers. Mother Parvati also gave Him a fruit as a prize for this victory.

Courtesy: hinduism.about.com, knowmyindia.com
Symbolism of Ganesha:

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