Category Archives: DOWNLOADS

Audio of Vishnu Sahasra Namavali Uploaded !

Dear All,

Hari Om.

We had been getting many requests about audio of Vishnu Sahasra Namavali – Names of Lord Sri Vishnu with “Om” in the beginning and “Namah” at the end.

PDF of Vishnu Sahasra Namavali has been posted on this website in the Vishnu Sahasra Nama Page. Please click here to download the Vishnu Sahasra Nam PDF file:

We are happy to make the in-home recorded audio of Vishnu Sahasra Namavali available to you !

You can hear Namavali by clicking the play button below:

http://ia700805.us.archive.org/12/items/VishnuSahasraNamavaliAudio/Sri_Vishnu_Sahasra_Namavali_Audio.mp3%20

You can also listen to the audio on Archive.org here.

We are also working on putting audio of each Name recitation in the online pages of Vishnu Sahasra Namavali on this website.

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari

New Year Message by Swami Tattvavidananda

Dear All,

Namaste. Hari Om.

We received a DVD three days back from Arsha Vidya Gurukulam which consisted of the New Year Worship in the DakshinaMurthy temple at the Ashram and message from Swami Dayananada and Swami Tattvavidanananda.

Swami Dayananda did not come to Pennsylvania this time for conducting the christmas retreat and was not in person here to deliver new year message. It was delivered remotely, short and powerful as usual.

Swami Tattvavidananda gave a motivating message and I felt it reveals the urgency for us to exert to Know oneself.

Please listen to the audio here:

http://avgsatsang.org/hhstvs/mp3/General%20lectures/New_Years_Message_2012.mp3%20

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari.

28-Day Meditation Challenge !!

Dear All,

Hari Om.

On 30th Jan, I received a newsletter in my Google Inbox. I subscribed two years back to Sharon Salzberg website. Sharon is founder of Insight Meditation Society in Masaachusetts and conducts workshops & retreats all over North America, focusing on developing “Loving Kindness” or “Metta”. The Loving Kindness meditation is something I have been thinking of taking up myself too.

So, when I opened the newsletter, it read “28 day Meditation Challenge”. I felt intrigued and read the post. It is an invite for all interested seekers to take up 28-day meditation challenge. Actually Sharon Salzberg has written a book called “Real Happiness – The Power of Meditation. A 28 Day Program.” The 28 day meditation challenge is actually derived from the week-by-week meditation practice outlined by Sharon in her book.

I went through the First Chapter which was available for Download on their website. Since Sharon Salzberg’s background is Vipassana meditation and the Metta or Loving kindness that is derived from it, this book also follows Vipassana in essence. For those of you who have taken Vipassana meditation course before or who have been doing meditation regularly, this 28-day meditation should be smooth.

For others who do meditation regularly, you may feel that taking this practice up is not necessary; but nonetheless, it gives an opportunity to get insight into Vipassana and Metta meditation if you want to explore. For others who are new to meditation or for those who want to meditate, I think this is a good opportunity to start the practice and set aside sometime daily for this practice.

Please click on the below link for the Sample first chapter in the “Real Happiness” book.

You can find more information on the 28-day Meditation Challenge here:

Almost 3-4 years back, I came across a nice website called BuddhaNet which is a resource of good materials related to Buddhism and downloaded a very useful book on Metta Meditation. I read and re-read it at that time and liked it immensely and was all set to practice. But ufortunately I did not sincerely practice.

You can download it by clicking the image below:

I have signed up for this challenge. My objective was not to get too fussy with the details of meditation technique, but I want to use this opportunity to sit, observe and improve my awareness. I missed my meditation today 😦 but I hope to continue till end of this month.

If you take up this challenge, Good Luck !

Yours,
In Service of The Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari

Ratha Saptami Festival – Salutations to the Brilliant Sun

Dear All,

Hari Om.

The auspicious day of Ratha Saptami falls on 30th January (tomorrow) in the year 2012. Ratha Saptami falls on the seventh day in the Shukla Paksha of Magha month. This day is marked by Sun’s northerly movement (Uttarayana) of vernal equinox starting from Capricorn (Makara). It is symbolically represented in the form of the Sun God Surya turning his Ratha (Chariot) drawn by seven horses (representing seven colours) towards the northern hemisphere, in a north-easterly direction.


Sun is the life-source for all life on this earth. It is auspicious to daily do salutation to Sun who is the life-giving Source of brilliance and light.

On Ratha Saptami day, a stotra in praise of Sun called “Aditya Hrudayam” is chanted. This Stotra was taught to Lord Rama by Sage Agastha on the battlefield. This Stotra is known for its extreme power in bestowing good health and brilliance in life. In our childhood, I clearly remember taking a special head bath with Jilledu leaf on head along with 2 paise coin 🙂 on this Rathe Sapatmi day. Jilledu leaf is supposed to take off heat from the body and restore balance.

Watch Youtube Video containing a nice rendition of this Stotram.
Please download the PDF of Aditya Hrudayam (in Sanskrit with English Translation obtained from http://sanskrit.safire.com/) by clicking below:

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari.

Insights and Inspiration by Swami Venkatesananda

Dear All,

Hari Om.

I came across a Daily reading from the works of Swami Venkatesananda and liked it. I thought I will share that article with all of you:


“Any motivation in the practice of yoga becomes almost immediately counter-productive. Indeed, it is obvious that it is some sort of a motivation that brings the student to yoga in the first place. But a wise teacher would do well to point out immediately that yoga is the antidote to the ills caused by motivation and a goal-oriented life, and therefore seeking a goal for the practice of yoga defeats its
purpose.

People are ill, physically and mentally, because instead of living they are constantly struggling for something. Living does not involve struggle, contrary to popular misconception. The simplest form of living is joyous and blissful, and life is intelligent, wise and alert enough to avoid pain and unhappiness instantly. It is some sort of twisted motivation that causes pain and suffering, and then rationalises such pain and suffering even to the point of exalting them.

Right from the very beginning of the practice of yoga the student discovers that the intelligence in the body is capable of meeting every situation that arises in life from moment to moment. This is the purpose of the yoga asanas (postures). During pranayama the yogi again discovers the great power and vigilance of the life-force which is beyond the ego-sense and which alone enables us to live. In meditation the yogi discovers (uncovers) self-ignorance. Then, self-knowledge (knowledge as the self or self as pure knowing) alone is. This is kaivalya, freedom, liberation – which ever is and should, therefore, be treated neither as the goal nor as an idea.

There is not even a rejection of pain, but the realisation that such rejection makes pain painful! It is not pursuit of pleasure, but the realisation that it is the pursuit that makes pleasure pleasurable (and as its inevitable reaction, painful). When there is neither rejection nor pursuit, life is liberated from the haunting shadows of ignorant notions. There is enlightenment. All life becomes divine life.”

Yours,
In Service of Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari

Sandhya Vandanam in Daily worship

Dear All,

Hari Om.

In our tradition, there is a ritual of “Upanayanam” or thread ceremony when a boy is initiated into Gayatri Mantra and is taught the process of Sandhya Vandanam – invoking the Divine and peforming oblations at dawn, mid-noon and dusk. I think most of the men in Indian Hindu families perform this, though now-a-days the situation might be different. Sandhya Vandanam, if sincerely performed, is an integral part of Sadhana and reconnects one with the Divine. We need to understand the essence of any ritual which we perform, otherwise it becomes monotonous and routine and limits the benefits we may reap out of it.

I was reading a book last year called “Brahmanubhuti”. It is originally in Hindi written by Puja Sri Swami Akhandananda ji Maharaj – a great renowned sage and contemporary of Swami Sivananda ji Maharaj. It is a collection of articles focusing on Vedanta, Sadhana, Spirituality, Brahman etc. This book has been translated into Telugu by Sri Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji.

I don’t know where the Telugu or original Hindi book are available. You may need to contact the Swami Akhandananda Maharaj ashrama in Vrindavan for Hindi copies, or contact the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam if they have copies of the telugu books.

When I last met Swamiji, he blessed me with that book. I really liked it.


In this book, there is a chapter dedicated to “Sandhya Vandanam”. It is a very valuable chapter which in detail covers the process of Sandhya Vandanam, its purpose and necessity and also inclused some techniques and secrets that Pujya Swamiji himself has learnt from elderly saints etc. If you want to learn the intent of the ritual or expand on your knowledge of Sandhya Vandanam, it is very beneficial to read this chapter.

Part of SandhyaVandanam is the prayer called “Aghamarshana Suktam” which literally means prayer to destroy impure and sinful tendencies, mistakes etc. It is a very powerful Suktam which invokes Divine blessings and which when recited daily removes impurities from one’s mind and makes it pure. This prayer is an important part of Sandhya Vandanam.

I was inspired after reading the book to learn the Aghamarshana Suktam and recite it daily. Though as a woman I don’t have the Sandhya Vandanam ritual, I can still chant it.

I am still learning the Suktam and I hope in this year, this Suktam will form an integral part of my daily prayers.

You can download the Text (PDF) by clicking below and also listen to the rendition of this Suktam:

Yours,
In Service of the Lord and Gurudev,
Aparna Hari

 

Inspirational Spiritual Calendar

Dear All,

Hari Om. Namaste.
Happy New Year to all of you !

I have taken up a personal project of preparing a Spiritual calendar with daily inspirations, spiritual techniques and instructions which we can use for growing spiritually and strengthening our sadhana. I am very happy to have completed this project and bring before you this calendar which I think will be very valuable to all the sincere spiritual seekers.

I mainly gathered the wisdom from Swami Sivananda ji’s books “Precepts for Practice”, “Divine Nectar” and “Concentration and Meditation” books which I think are extremely valuable. I have tried to put the daily wisdom as I thought would be fit for all of us.

All the images I have used in this calendar are public and open source, so there are no copyright violations.

I am attaching the whole calendar here. Click on the below image to download the PDF. (Please be patient as it is a file of 43 MB and may take some time to load).
Download Spiritual Calendar here:

You need to do some work to make these PDFs into a physical calendar that you can put it on your desk or mantelpiece and flip it daily. This calendar format is meant to look in this way.
Sample Appearance of the Calendar:

You can give this PDF to any printing company who have experience with making calendars (spiral bounding) and ask them to prepare it for you.
Or, for your personal use, you can follow the below simple process to make one:

1. Print the full PDF with 2-sided printout (color or grayscale, according to your choice). Totally you will have 31 sheets.
2. Cut each page along the lines that you see on the printed paper. Each paper (with 2-sided print) should give you 6 pieces of paper after cutting along lines (that is 12 sayings).
3. You need to have certain materials to punch holes in each cut paper.
4. Arrange with “Daily Inspirations” page as 1st and “happy New Year” page as 2nd, and then “Jan 1” as the 3rd page, then continue arranging.
5. Have a thick cardboard backing for these pieces of paper so that it can support the calendar to stand.
5. You need to spirally bind all these pieces together.

I know it sounds like a lot of procedure. You can follow the procedure if you have the capability and materials with you. It is easy to get it done if you are in India. In US, I think you can take these printed sheets of paper to OfficeMax or some company like that and they will charge some money to make this for you.

I hope you like this calendar and make use of it.

In Service of the Lord and Gurudev,
Yours,
Aparna & Hari

Today is Dattatreya Jayanthi !

Dear All,

Om ! Jaya Datta Digambara.

Today on the Full Moon is the auspicious Dattatreya Jayanthi. Five years back, we were in Sivananda Ashram, Rishikeh during this time when Dattatreya Jayanthi celerations happened in the Datta temple in Ashram premises.

In Swami Sivanandaji’s words:
Dattatreya, regarded as God and the Guru of Gurus, considered Nature Herself as His Guru, and learnt a number of lessons from Her twenty-four creatures, and hence he is said to have had twenty four Gurus. The silent, all-enduring earth with its lofty forbearance, the shady fruit-bearing tree with its willing self-sacrifice, the mighty banyan tree reposing with patience in the tiny seed, the drops of rain whose persistence wears away even the rocks, the planets and the seasons with their orderly punctuality and regularity were all divine Gurus to him.

Meditation On Lord Dattatreya
Maalaakamandalu dharah karapadmayugme
Madhyastha paaniyugale damarutrishoolam;
Adhyastha urdhva karayoh shubha shankhachakre
Vande tamatrivaradam bhujashatkayuktam.

MEANING: I meditate on Lord Dattatreya, the son of Atri, who has six hands, who holds the rosary and water-vessel in two hands, with damaru and spear in the other two hands, and with conch and discus in the upper two hands.

If you have time, please go through this Article on Dattatreya Jayanthi from the book “Hundu Fasts and Festivals” by Swami Sivananda.

Yours, In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari.

Bhagavad-Gita Recitation by Swami Venkatesananda

Dear All,

Namaste.

Swami Venkatesananda ji, disciple of Swami Sivananda ji is an amazing personality. Ofourse, I did not get to meet him at all, as I was barely 1 year old by the time he passed away. In my later years, I got to read his books like Yoga Vasishtha and also his compilations of day-to-day wisdom with Swami Sivananda ji. He has made remarkable contributions to the wealth of spiritual knowledge and carried Swami Sivananda ji’s message far and wide to places like South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius. I have great admiration for him and simply feel spell-bound looking at his photo for his appearance radiates knowledge and peace.

I came across his recitation of all the 18 chapters of Bhagavd Gita including the Gita Dhyanam (meditative prayers on Gita) and Gita Mahatmyam (the significance of chanting Gita). I listened to these slokas sung by him many times and I feel very elevated.

For a person who is familiar with sanskrit and Gita and want to have a rendition to listen and ponder, this is very appropriate. For someone who may not be faimiliar with sanskrit and want to learn Gita chanting along with the audio line by line, then you may think this to be a little quick-paced.

You can download all 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita here.

I enjoyed it and hope you enjoy it too !

Yours, In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari

Manache Shlok – Verses addressed to the Mind

Dear Friends,

Namaste.

I first heard about Manache Shlok when I read in some book that Swami Chidananda ji (Late President, Divine Life Society) was very fond of this little book and always carried in his pocket. At that time, I was driven by inspiration to know what this Manache Shlok is. I had knowledge about Samarth Ramadas by that time as one of the greatest saints and gurus of our India, and that he was the guru of the greatest warrior and hero of our country, Chatrapathi Sivaji. Somehow, whenever I think of Samarth Ramadas, I am attracted and inspired by his whole being. And on another occasion when I was attending a Satsang with Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania, Swamiji mentioned about Dasabodha written by Samarth Ramadas and how it is packed with highest knowledge of vedanta.

My brother was living in Pune at that time, and on my request, he got Manache Shlok, Dasbodha, Atmaram and Karunashtake of Samarth Ramadas. My happiness knew no bounds when I received the books. Since I am not Marathi by birth, my brother also purchased translations which I could use in my study. Fortunately, I came across a book called “Verses Addressed to the Mind” which are compilation of series of lectures that Swami Chidananda ji gave in Rishikesh Sivananda Ashram on Manache Shlok. I bought that book as well.

I started with Manache Shlok. It is at this moment I realized how fortunate I was to have learnt Hindi in my school years and get good speaking and writing knowledge ! Because of this, I was able to read great works of great masters in the upper and middle Indian geographical regions, and have the ability to read and understand languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi etc.

Manache Shlok is a beautiful work consisting of very simple verses with 4 lines in each verse. The presentation is simple, in that a simple person with simple knowledge can follow and grasp the sublime meaning that the author is presenting. As the title suggests, all these verses address the mind – teach it what is right and what is wrong, how one should live this life, how one should be devoted to Iswara, what qualities have to be cultivated, what tendencies and inclinations are to be avoided, what is auspicious and what is inauspicious, and throws light on the compassionate nature and glories of Iswara. Though I started from the first sloka, I would wander sometimes and pick up some verse from some page and it would be so nice and so connected.

I also read the book by Swami Chidananda ji, and felt extremely happy to read his exposition and the way his love and his passion for reciting the name of the Lord is expressed. I derived so much of inspiration from these two books. When Swami Prakashananda of Chinmaya Mission, Toronto came to visit us, he liked these two books and he took them. We also came across the audio of the rendition of manache shlok on youtube and liked it very much. Please find it below.

“Manache Shlok” book in Marathi can be purchased anywhere in India, I think. “Verses Addressed to the Mind” by Swami Chidananda ji can be bought from here

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari