Hanuman Jayanti, April 2015

Shiv Shakti Mandir celebrated Hanuman Jayanti at 5 a.m. on Saturday 4 April 2015 and more than 100 devos attended despite the early time.  Enthusiasm and faith was high and all contributed towards offerings, be in terms of puja saamaan or chanting and prayers.

Hanuman Chalisa recitation was phenomenal and the vibes in the Mandir were incredible, with both young and old participating under the guidance of Pandit Ji.


All pictures and videos are shared by volunteers and all can be seen on our facebook page.

GOVARDHAN PUJA – Friday 24 Oct. 2014

Origin of Govardhan:

In the western coast of India, in the island of Salmali, lived Dronachala, the king of the mountains. Once a sage by the name of Pulastya Muni, came to him to take his son Giriraja with him to Kashi (Varanasi). After offering some initial resistance, Giriraja, somehow agreed to go with him only on condition that he should not put him down on the earth in between. If he does so, he would stay there forever.

When they were flying over the Vraja bhumi, Giriraja increased his weight to the extent that Pulastya had no option but to put him down. Pulastya understood the mischief of Giriraja. He became furious and cursed him that he would decrease by a grain every day. But then repenting on the curse he gave to Giriraja, he assured him that he would be blessed in the Dvapara Yuga and everybody would start worshipping him since then.

This happened in the Satya yuga. Brahmaji wished to create the Dvapara Yuga but because of the portentous phenomenon of Ravana, he had to create the Treta Yuga. In this yuga, Hanumanaji on the instructions of Lord Rama, came to take Giriraja for the cause of constructing a pull on the ocean.

Giriraja at once agreed to go for the service of Lord Rama. But before they reached, the pull was ready and there was no need of additional stones. Giriraja was very disappointed on not having the darshana of Lord Rama.

On knowing the sorrow of Giriraja, Lord Rama sent a message saying that, “…by the end of the Dvapara Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna will Himself appear and play on you and will also worship you. In the Kaliyuga, the devotees shall attain numerous divine supernatural powers by worshipping you.”

In Sarasvata Kalpa, i.e. the end of the Dvapara Yuga, Bhagavan Sri Krishna stopped the worship of  Indra and started the Govardhana Puja by doing Himself. It was a wonderful sight. Being worshipped by Sri Krishna, Giriraja himself became like Sri Krishna. It was like He (Sri Krishna) worshipping Himself. Since then all the six seasons resided permanently on Giriraja.

Besides this, the eight gates of the Asta Sakha’s from where they entered the nitya lila, are also on the Govardhan hill. The Asta Sakha’s, who reside on the Govardhan hill are in different places, each of which were passionately attached to their respective Deities of those places.

DEEPAVLI UTSAW – Thursday 23 Oct. 2014

Diwali (also spelled Divali in other countries) or Deepavali is popularly known as the festival of lights. It is an important five-day festival in mid-October and mid-November. For most Hindus. Diwali is the most important festival of the year and is celebrated with families performing traditional activities together in their homes.

The name Diwali is itself a contraction of the word “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvali), which translates into row of lamps. Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas) (or Deep in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. During Diwali celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends. Some  business communities begin the financial year on the first day of Diwali, hoping for prosperity the following year.

Spiritual Significance

While Deepavali is popularly known as the “festival of lights”, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”. Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. Just as we celebrate the birth of our physical being, Diwali is the celebration of this inner light, in particular the knowing of which outshines all darkness (removes all obstacles and dispels all ignorance), awakening the individual to one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With the realization of the Atman comes universal compassion, love, and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings Ananda (joy or peace). While the story behind Deepavali and manner of celebration varies from region to region (festive fireworks, worship, lights, sharing of sweets), the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atman) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman).


Deepavali is celebrated for five days according to the lunisolar Hindu Calendar. It begins in late Kartik (between September and October)  The first day is Dhanteras. The last day isYama Dvitiya, which signifies the second day of the light half of Kartika. Each day of Deepavali marks one celebration of the six principal stories associated with the festival.

Krishna and Satyabhama fighting Narakasura's armies -Painting from the Metropolitan Museum

Krishna and Satyabhama fighting Narakasura’s armies -Painting from the Metropolitan Museum


Hindus have several significant events associated with Diwali:

  • The return of Sri Ram after 14 years of Vanvas (banishment). To welcome his return, candles were lit in rows of 20.
  • The killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi, one day before Deepavali, it commemorates the killing of the evil demon Narakasura, who wreaked havoc. Krishna’s wife Satyabhama killed Narakasura during the Dwapara yuga. In another version of the belief, the demon was killed by Krishna or Krishna provoked his wife Satyabhama to kill Narshna, defeating Indra.
  • Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Deepavali and is the day Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain. According to the story, Krishna saw preparations for an annual offering to Lord Indra and asked his father Nanda about it. He debated with the villagers about what their ‘dharma’ truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He said that all human beings should do their ‘karma’ to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan and held to protect the people and cattle from the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme. Although this aspect of Krishna’s life is sometimes ignored it sets up the basis of the ‘karma’ philosophy later detailed in the Bhagavat Gita.

Diwali being festival of lights, across India people celebrate it via symbolic diyas or kandils (colourful paper lanterns) as an integral part of Diwali decorations.

Rangoli, decorations made from coloured powder, is popular during Diwali

Rangoli, decorations made from coloured powder, is popular during Diwali


Lakshmi Puja

Deepavali marks the end of the harvest season in most of India. Farmers give thanks for the bounty of the year gone by, and pray for a good harvest for the year to come. Traditionally this marked the closing of accounts for businesses dependent on the agrarian cycle, and is the last major celebration before winter. Lakshmi symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and her blessings are invoked for a good year ahead.

There are two legends that associate the worship of Lakshmi on this day. According to the first legend, on this day, Lakshmi emerged from Kshira Sagar, the Ocean of Milk, during the great churning of the oceans, Samudra manthan. The second legend (more popular in western India) relates to the Vamana avatar of the big three Vishnu, the incarnation he assumed to kill the demon king Bali. On this day, Vishnu came back to his abode the Vaikuntha; so those who worship Lakshmi receive the benefit of her benevolent mood, and are blessed with mental, physical and material well-being.

As per spiritual references, on this day “Lakshmi-panchayatan” enters the Universe. Vishnu, Indra, Kubera, Gajendra and Lakshmi are elements of this “panchayatan” (a group of five). The tasks of these elements are:

  • Lakshmi: Divine Energy (Shakti) which provides energy to all the above activities.
  • Vishnu: Happiness (happiness and satisfaction)
  • Kubera: Wealth (Generosity; one who gives away wealth)
  • Indra: Opulence (satisfaction due to wealth)
  • Gajendra:(Ganesh) Carries the wealth


Saman needed for the puja:

  • 6 chawmukha diyas (4 wigs lamp) (ghee)
  • 26 small diyas (oil)
  • Lota water, chandan
  • Coumcoum, rice
  • Flower, sandal wood,
  • Prashad, fruits
  • Supari, money (some coins)


  1. Place murtis or photo of Lakshmi Mata, Saraswati Mata, Ganesh, Kuber and Vishnu bhagawan.
  2. Put 6 chawmukha diyas in 2 different thari {3-3} in front of the murtis.
  3. Then place the other 26 diyas in front of the 2 tharis.

Puja Vidhi with Mantras:

  1. Sprinkle water around the diyas.( Mantra jalam smarpayaami)
  2. Put clothes or offer a piece of suta to mata.(mantra-vastram samarpayaami)
  3. Apply  tilak to mata.(mantra-chandanam samarpayaami)
  4. On a pan leaf offer sindoor,(mantra sindooram samarpaayami)
  5. Kumkum,(mantra- kumkumam samarpaayami)
  6. Rice(mantra-akchataam samarpayaami
  7. Offer some flowers.(mantra- pushpam samarpayaami)
  8. Perform artee with sandal wood.(mantra-dhupam samarpayaami)
  9. Offer prashad (mantra-naivedyam samarpayaami)
  10. Offer fruits (mantra-phalam samarpayaami)
  11. Suparee (mantra-tambulam samarpayaami)
  12. Money / coins (mantra- dakshinaam samarpayaami)
  13. Then perform artee with camphor
  14. Finally do prathna, some astuti and bhajan