• Why do we chant 3 Shanti at the end? Meaning of Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

    The mantras chanted in Amma’s ashrams at the end of arati and archana are called shanti mantras. Therefore to conclude each one, “shanti,” which means “peace,” is chanted three times. As a spiritual aspirant, one chants shanti in desire for the occurrence of circumstances conducive to a spiritual education. But these mantras can be chanted…

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  • Lord Ganesha: his birth story, symbolism meaning and practice

    Lord Ganesha: his birth story, symbolism meaning and practice

    If we don’t honour the Ganas, then our every action is a form of thievery, as it is unsanctioned. Therefore, instead of propitiating each Gana in order to receive their blessings, we bow to their Lord, Sri Ganesha.

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  • Arati of Amma: lyricks, meaning and commentary

    Ārati symbolizes surrender—the final relinquishment of the ego to God. Just as the camphor used in the ritual dissolves into nothingness, so too should the individual will merge in the divine will, so too should we make an offering of the only thing that is truly ours to give—the ego. Only when we give up…

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  • Sri Krishna, Amma & the cow

    Sri Krishna, Amma & the cow

    Symbolism of the cow Due to the wise example and guidance of India’s ancient Rishis (Seers), who established the habit of honouring all aspects of life, cows, through their symbiotic relationship with people, were naturally given a high place in Indian culture. This high status was reinforced and high-lighted with the advent of Sri Krishna…

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  • Meenakshi & Kannagi of Madurai

    Meenakshi & Kannagi: Madurai’s Women of Power & Grace Sthala Puranas of Bharat According to the legend, on the day the Madurai was to be named, Lord Shiva blessed the land and its people while divine nectar showered from his dreadlocked hair. The city hence came to be known as “Madhurapuri”—the City of Divine Nectar.…

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  • The life of Sri Krishna

    The life of Sri Krishna

    In 3228 BCE in Mathura, India, a child was born who was destined to reshape the spiritual and temporal destiny of mankind—Sri Krishna. In his 125 years of life, Sri Krishna made an indelible impression upon mankind’s collective consciousness—re-educating the world about devotion and dharma as well as the ultimate reality. His life was a…

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  • Navaratri Celebrations, 9 nights of Devi

    Navaratri Celebrations, 9 nights of Devi

    Among the popular festivals celebrated in India, Navaratri is among the longest. Like the other festivals of India, Navaratri is rich in meaning. At one level, Navaratri signifies the progress of a spiritual aspirant. During this spiritual journey, the aspirant has to pass three stages personified by Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Then, he or she…

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  • Gita Jayanti and the Bhagavad Gita

    Gita Jayanti and the Bhagavad Gita

    Gita Jayanti marks the anniversary of the day Lord Krishna gave his immortal message to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Bhagavad Gita is an exquisite discourse given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna, at the moment when Arjuna faced the most difficult situation of his life. Arjuna was a warrior of high repute; he…

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  • Navaratri, Dussehra and the Ramayana

    Navaratri highlights the principles elucidated by the Ramayana. This is hinted at in the other name by which Vijaya Dashami is known in India, Dussehra. “Dussehra” is derived from “Dasha-hara”, which means “victory over the ten-faced one”. This ten-faced being (Dashamukha) is none other than Ravana, Lord Rama’s adversary. His ten heads symbolise the ten…

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  • Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

    Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

    One of the most anticipated and lively festivals in India, Sri Ganesha Chaturthi is dedicated to the beloved elephant-headed god, Ganesha. Worshipped throughout the world wherever large Indian populations are found, the fervent devotion and colorful celebrations which attend this festival reveal just how vital Ganesha is to the spiritual heartbeat of India. Even though…

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