Three years ago today Ram Mohan Das departed from this world. He had spent a few of his last years staying in our Panchamukha Hanuman temple in Chennai, though for the last few months of his life he went to stay in Kumbhakonam.
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These pictures are of a sadhu named Harinama Pracharaka Baba. He was 106 years old when I met him in 2014. Recently I heard that he had entered samadhi two or three years back in Jharkhand.
Last week was the famous Ratha Yatra chariot festival, which is held each year for Lord Jagannatha in Puri. At first the government had cancelled the religious festival, but as the deadline approached the Supreme Court relented and gave permission for the Puri temple to conduct the festival without the presence of the public. Likewise, Jagannatha temples throughout the state were informed to conduct all the rituals for the festival within their respective temple compounds in a scaled down manner, without the presence of the public.
A few days ago when posting a picture of Arunachala hill in Tiruvannamalai (shown above) I had mentioned a saint who used to live on top of the mountain, who had stayed there for 18 years without taking food.
Mazar-i-Sharif will probably be familiar to those who are old enough to remember the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It was the first Taliban city to fall to the US army, and subsequently became famous for a prison uprising in which a CIA officer was killed and an American named John Walker Lindh was found fighting with the Taliban.
In a previous article (The Vedic People of Scandinavia) we highlighted the very clear Vedic connections in Scandinavia. Without repeating those details, we know that the Aesir (Norse gods) are etymologically connected to the Vedic Asuras. But how did these traditions arrive in such a remote place? There is one highly controversial theory worth exploring.
On December 25th we celebrated Hanuman Jayanti at our ashram in Chennai, where the presiding deity is of Sri Panchamukha Hanuman. From morning till evening thousands of devotees visited for darshana of Lord Hanuman. Bhajans were sung by devotees, and prasadam was distributed to all of the guests throughout the day.
Here is a small story of an interesting meeting we recently had with a sadhu from Jharkhand named Hari Baba. He stays in a small village in Jharkhand, and was attending the annual Gita Yagya at Rambaba Ashram, near Jamshedpur. He is a very unique sadhu, always in a type of inner trance, not very aware of the outside around us.
Ma kichakeswari temple mentioned in the Mahabharata. It was destroyed completely to the ground by muslim invaders along with a number of other temples located together in the same temple complex. It lay in ruins for four hundred years and finally was rebuilt with pieces of the broken temples in the last century.
This is the amazing temple tank of the ancient Shiva Temple at Thiruvarur, location of the famous Tyagaraja Swamy deity which was brought from Indraloka by King Muchukunda. I have never seen a temple tank as large and beautiful as the one at Thiruvarur. Even though it is off the usual path of travel, anytime I go South I make an effort to visit this temple.