Saturday, January 31, 2015

Home Decoration Ideas | Decorating Your Floors With The Art of Rangoli

Home Decoration is an art. You can decorate your home in many ways with various appealing techniques.

Decorating with furniture, decorating with lights, with wall hangings, sceneries, dolls, or decorating with any artwork or designs on walls and, with rangoli on floors.

Each one of these is a superb idea for decorating your home and making it a beautiful and appealing place to live.

If you own a spacious flat or home with much spare space in your drawing room or hall, you can allocate a corner of it for creating some very beautiful scenery with a combination of wall hangings, paintings, rangoli designs, and dolls.

Decorating the floors of your home with colorful rangoli designs is one best method of making your rooms beautiful as well as hygienic and eco-friendly.

What is Rangoli

Rangoli is the art of drawing or making designs and patterns using the rangoli powder, or chalk, or paints on the floors.

You can use the floor space inside your living rooms, hall, pooja-room, or at the entrances to the home.

It can be done at the front side main entrance of the house, at the back door entrance of the house and also in your alleys and courtyards; thereby turning the entire atmosphere into an awesome place of art and culture.

Rangoli is a great tool for Home Decoration.

Rangoli ensures keeping your home and environment neat and clean as well as hygienic. Further, it boosts your spirit and talents by engaging you in a daily touch of art and drawings.

Rangoli is a Hindi word. It is also known as "Kolam" in Tamil language and "Muggu" in Telugu language.

Rangoli Powder

Rangoli powder is made up of either rice flour or chalks powder or white stone powder or a mixture of all these items and which can be also mixed with other synthetic color-powders and petals of flowers. It is widely available in all markets in India and at some of the other southeast Asian countries. It can be prepared at home also by mixing the above-mentioned items.

How to Make Rangoli Patterns and Designs

There are many ways of drawing the patterns and designs.

1) Patterns and Designs with Simple Lines and Dots (for those who are interested in the daily making of rangoli or kolam / muggu)):

These designs and patterns get erased and new ones prepared daily on a temporary basis.

  • Make dots of any design and link the dots with white rangoli powder. For example, you can make round shapes, squares, stars, leaves, corn shapes or any pattern and designed shapes as per your imagination and skills.
  • Or, if you are good at drawing and art, you can straight away draw the designs and patterns with the rangoli powder or thick wet chalk.
  • You can fill some of the portions of the design with rangoli powder and flower petals also to make it more appealing and visible as shown in the right-side first image. 
  • You can make colorful designs also using colored powders and chalks and colorful flower petals as shown in the other image in front of the door which also gets erased and a new one is prepared daily.
These designs can be made outside your door entrances or alleys and backyards also on daily basis.

2) Permanent Designs and Patterns (inside rooms with paints):

  • Draw and make designs with paints on the lines or patterns and designs instead of spreading or filling with your rangoli powder to make them permanent for many months You can make any pattern or design of flowers, leaves, vines and of paddy/wheat/cereal corns, etc or whatever design you may like.
  • Use different colors of paints with beautiful combinations for each part of the designs showing your skills.
  • These designs can be made in all four corners of the room with a large design in the center of the room as shown in the images below. The left side image is meant for the four corners of the room and the right side image is for the center of the room.
  • Make matching designs when decorating all four corners and the center of the room. 
  • You may also like to draw lines or chain-like designs joining the four corners alongside the wall border to make it a complete whole floor design. 
  • These designs will not erase for many months and even years unless you erase them. You can clean the floors with a damp cloth without hampering the designs.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

12 Alwars (Saints) of Sri Vaishnava Sampradayam in Hinduism

Who are Alwars?

Alwar was a title in the Tamil language given to Seers.

Alwar or Azhwar is one who is immersed in the Almighty's devotion, and thereby, setting an example to people as to how to attain the self-realization. They can be classified as Saints.

The Vaishnavas of the Vaishnava Sampradayam, the followers, and worshippers of God Vishnu, (popularly known as Srivaishnavas), boast of their 12 Alwars as the great seers of enlightenment.

Alwars are those who preached and practiced the lifestyle of Sri Vaishnava sampradaya and showed to people how to reach God through their unconditional devotion.

Each Alvar is an embodiment of a certain part or element of Lord Vishnu. So, the Alwars represent God's own form in human form.

They were sent to this world to restore dharma and spirituality among people.

The Alwars stressed the importance of surrendering before the Almighty with pure devotion as the only way of attaining moksha or Salvation.

The title "Alwar" or "Alvar" (sometimes written as 'Azvar' to stress its Tamil pronunciation) refers to people (saints) immersed in God - in God's bhakti and knowledge. Alwars wrote songs showing their utter, pure devotion and profound love towards God. They practiced everything they preached and got themselves reunited with God after leaving their body.

To know more about them, click here.

Twelve Alvar Saints and One Sage/ Guru

There are 12 Alwars according to this Sri Vaishnava sampradaya.

A poetic verse or stanza (in Sanskrit) designed for prayer describes the names of these Azvars and one more sage or Guru as follows:

"Bhutam Sarascha Mahadahvaya Bhattanatha
Sri Bhaktisara Kulasekhara Yogivahan
Bhaktanghrirenu Parakala Yatindra Mishran
Srimat Paramkusha munim pranatosmi nityam"

So, the twelve names according to above verse are as follows:

Sanskrit Name                                  Dravida (Tamil) Name

1) Bhuta Yogi                                             Poothatta Alwar
2) Saro Yogi                                               Poigai Alwar
3) Mahadahvaya  Yogi                                Peyalwar
4) Bhattanatha  (Vishnu Chitta)                    Periyalwar
5) Sri or Andal (Goda Devi)                        Andal (Chudi Kodutha Nachiyar)
6) Bhakti Sara                                             Tirumozhi sayyalwar or Thirumalisai Alvar
7) Kulasekhara                                            Kulasekhara Alwar
8)Yogi Vahana                                            Thiruppani Alwar
9) Bhaktan Ghrirenu (Vipranarayana)             Thondaradippodi Alwar
10)Parakala (Kalivairi)                                Thirumangai Alwar
11)Mishra Kavi (Madhura Kavi)                  Madhura Kavi
12)Parankusa (Satakopa)                            Nammalwar (Karimaran)

In the above verse, one more name "Yatindra" is also mentioned (after Parakala in the third line). This "Yatindra" refers to Sri Ramanujacharya, the great sage, and preacher of srivaishnavism. But his name is not included in the 12 Alwars. In the above verse, it is stated that we are bowing with great devotion and respect to all these 12 alvars and also to the great sage Ramanujacharya. Yatindra means the great sage.

Chronological Order
The names in the above verse have been placed to rhyme for prayer purpose even though all of them have been mentioned in the serial order.

But, the exact chronological order of these Alwars or saints has been established by many seers as follows:

1)Poigai Alwar:
He lived during 4200 BCE and believed to have lived for 3000 years along with Poothatta and Peyalvar. He rendered 100 verses in praise of God Vishnu.

2)Poothatta Alwar:
He is also believed to have lived during Poigai Alvar time for 3000 years and rendered 100 verses in praise of God Vishnu.

Lived along with Poigai Alwar during the same period for 3000 years. He also rendered 100 verses.

4)Thirumalisai Alvar:
He also lived round about the same period of 4200 BCE but for how many years not confirmed. He created 96 verses and another 120 verses.

5)Madhurakavi Alvar:
He lived during 3100 BCE for about 450 years and created Kanninun Siruthambu 11 verses. He got drawn by some amazing light and went in search of that light crossing hills and forests through thousands of miles. There he met Nammalvar under a tree and was inspired by him and became his disciple.

Nammalvar lived also during 3100 BCE but he lived only for 32 years. He spent most of his life from early childhood without eating anything and sitting under a tree in meditation. Madhurakavi Alvar reached him and tested his knowledge and became his disciple. Nammalvar composed the most number of hymns and verses and was the topmost contributor for spreading the Vaishnavism. He is the author of Thiruvaimozhi with 1102 verses. He also wrote many other works like Thiruvasinyam,  Periya Thiruvandhadhi, Thiruvirutham.

7)Kulasekhara Alvar:
He was a Chera dynasty king who lived during 3075 BCE for about 67 years and developed love towards Lord Vishnu in the form of Sri Ram and renounced the kingdom. He composed Perumal Thirumozhi with 105 verses.

Periyalvar lived around 3050 BCE and is the father of Goda Devi or Andal. He was also known as Vishnu Chitta. He lived for 87 years. He was a priest in Villiputtur temple. He found Goda Devi in his Tulasi plants and brought her up. He composed Periyalvar Thirumozhi with 473 verses.

Andal previously known as Goda Devi appeared as a baby to Vishnu Chitta in 3005 BCE in his tulsi plants and was brought up by him. She developed utter love towards Sri Krishna and worshipped Him and determined to marry Him. She used to wear the flower garlands that she made for God to test them and then offer to God. God also liked those garlands and insisted that Vishnu Chitta should bring only those garlands worn by her for his worship. Andal composed Thiruppavai with 30 verses in praise of God which are recited by people during the Pongal month culminating into Makar Sankranti for attaining the blessings of God and attain moksha. She also composed some erotic verses in love of God known as Nachiyar Thirumozhi numbering to 143 verses. She united with God by marrying Him after completion of the Thiruppavai and settled in the temple with God as an idol. To read the full story of Andal or Goda Devi click here.

10)Thondaradippodi Alvar:
Thondaradippodi Alvar lived around 2800 BCE. He composed Thirumalai and Thirupalliezhuchi.

11)Thiruppan Alvar:
Thiruppan Alvar lived around 2760 BCE and composed 10 verses.

12)Thirumangai Alvar:
Thirumangai Alvar lived around 2700 BCE for 108 years. Just like Nammalvar, he also contributed much to the Vaishnavism literature by composing many works. He composed Periya Thirumozhi with 1084 verses and some other verses.

All these compositions of these Alvars are combinedly known as "Nalayira Divya Prabandham" meaning a holy book of 4000 verses. This Nalayira Prabhandam is the sacred epic book for all the Vaishnavites. These verses are recited at all important festivals and spiritual ceremonies of the Vaishnava community.

You can view these verses at this Link of Ramanuja Organisation website.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Peeing at Public Places? Your "Big Brother" is Watching

Yes. Be careful!

Our "Big Brother" is watching you. He will not spare you, wherever you are, peeing at public places. He will catch you red-handed in your spree with his camera and immediately let the whole world know about your act. He is not bothered by your whatever problems and helplessness.

He will catch you in the remotest of the remotest corner to dismay you and enjoy the occasion.

You might be unable to control your urgency.

You might be unable to find any public urinal point in-spite of your great search.

And, at last, with no other option, you had to get to a very remote place where nobody is in your visibility and which is not on the main route of the public.

You might be very honest in finding the remotest place to meet the urgency and you might not be willing to do the act but unable to resist.

So you will sleekly begin releasing yourself taking God's name.

But, you, poor chap!

Without your knowledge, you might have been captured on a camera by the Big Brother.

For some glimpses, see these links to know how they are working:

Reasons For Peeing in Open or At Public Places

There are many reasons for the acts of people peeing at public places - both unavoidable and avoidable. Let us look at those reasons.

Unavoidable Reasons for Peeing
  • You have to travel long distances to reach destinations and feel the need to relieve yourself.
  • No toilets are available during your journey.
  • If, any available, they are too far for you to reach.
  • Health problems cause frequent urge to pee.
  • Winter cold atmosphere makes you unable to control the urge.

Avoidable Reasons for Peeing

  • Lack of civic sense.
  • Lack of awareness about hygienic life.
  • Careless attitude.
  • Not meeting urge before starting a journey.

What About The Big Brother?

Does the Big Brother think of these issues, while he is clicking the photos?

Does he care for those unavoidable and uncontrollable circumstances that lead to their behavior?

No, he is simply interested in clicking and getting it published for some self-interests.

He can not think of addressing their problems. What has he done to solve their problems or provide them awareness? On the reverse side, he is humiliating them by publishing the acts. Not aiding to solve the issues. Only complicating the problem.

People like me can control urges and hold it for 4, 5 hours.

But, I am worried for those who are unable to do so. What else can they do?

What About Our Administration?

If anything happens, the first thing administration thinks of is to impose fines and erect banners warning not to urinate there.

But where should he go?

Does the administration provide any proper alternatives?

Can they provide toilets at each half-a-kilometer distance to meet their needs?

Until they can provide such alternative arrangement, they have no morality to restrict people.

Even though this problem may be very serious from the health and the civilization point of view.

Some Tips to Public to Avoid Peeing at Public Places

  1. Visit your bathroom before starting your journey.
  2. Avoid drinking water before starting, especially in winter and rainy seasons. You can have it on reaching your destiny.
  3. Try to relieve yourself on the way when you find a toilet, even though you may not feel the urge.
  4. Practice controlling to hold the urge till you reach your destination. It can be of much help to you always.
  5. And, the more important advice is not to release yourself at dirty and unhygienic places. It is more dangerous as you can contact diseases. Often, people think it is already rubbish there and so nobody will object to your releasing there. But you are endangering yourself by doing so.
Advice to Big Brothers and Media

Try to solve the problem instead of running behind helpless people peeing at public places to make them dismayed.

If you can, give some awareness to the person about hygienic habits and how to face the situations.

Put up the issues before the administration instead of troubling people. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Makar Sankranti Greetings

Hi, friends.

It's festival time for four days continuously from today 14th January to 17th January 2015.

The harvest festivals and the cattle festivals.

Bhogi Festival

Makar Sankranti Festival

Mattu Pongal

Kanum Pongal

Enjoy the season with family members and relatives happily.

Wish You All

A Happy

Holiday Season

Wish You All
A Very Happy & Prosperous
Bhogi and Makar Sankranti

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Hope this New Year 2015 will bring lots of happiness and fortunes to you all.

The year 2014 has been a year of much destruction and bad luck to many of us. The horrible Peshawar school attack by Taliban militants, Malaysian and Indonesian planes going missing or crashing with hundreds of passengers on board are very terrific incidents.

Added to these human-made tragedies were the natural calamities of cyclones like Hudhud in India & Nepal, and some other severe cyclones in Australia, US, and Canada combined with ice storms left many people disturbed and homeless along with huge destructions to properties.

Some pleasant and great events in 2014 also took place like Narendra Modi becoming PM of India with a thumping majority which was a record break event.

Further Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl getting the Nobel Peace Prize was a great happy news to all

Other great events in 2014 include the sending of Mars Orbiter Mission by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) most successfully at a budget cost is a very great event of the year.

Let us hope the year 2015 brings much more successes to the betterment of our world.

And let there be Peace and Happiness all over the world in coming days.

Once again wish you all