Devi Karumariamman

Once this Goddess decided to marvelously appear in the world. She performed magic and took a form of an older lady and visited the Sun (the Sun God) with a wish to predict him the future. He, however, did not realize that this was Devi and actually did not even notice Her. Immediately after Her attempt to contact the Sun, Devi Karumari disappeared. The Sun, however, soon did realize his mistake, because, owing to his lack of interest, his effulgence weakened, thus he asked for forgiveness in fear that his effulgence would never come back. He also asked that Sunday would become Her date. She accepted his plea for forgiveness and also agreed about Sunday.

Subhadra and Karumari are Krishna’s sisters. However, there is only a little information about this Goddess. What we know is that She is very ancient – the prehistoric form of Shakti. Karumariamman is therefore the only Goddess (I at least believe) that is as close as possible to Aditi, the Vedic mother of the gods of the heavens.

Five snakes rise above Her head. On the one hand, they represent the most ancient times, as snakes (and reptiles) were the first bigger creatures that appeared on the Earth’s surface after the life had evolved in the ever-present ocean. On the other hand, five snakes represent five elements (Panchabhuta): 1) the Earth (Prithvi); 2) Water (Jal); 3) Fire (Agni); 4) Air (Vayu) and 5) Heavenly Sound (Akash).

This Goddess has Her typical attributes such as Kathavarayan, a rural god (a village deity) who always accompanies Her. Shiva created him from His third eye. Kathavarayan was the guardian of Her garden. Her other attribute is the lion, the means She transports Herself (Durga has the same vehicle). But Karumariamman is without more idiosyncratic attributes (Durga’s specific attribute is that She is war Goddess). Her most typical symbol is the lamp, thus the best way to approach Her is to have a lamp near Her statue or picture. Prayers to Karumariamman near such a lamp are believed to be very effective. Agasthiar, one of the seven great sages (Saptarishis), worshipped Her during the full moon in the month of Thai (January-February in the Tamil calendar).

According to Her words, the best way of worshiping Her is to pour the milk into the anthill, or to pray to the idol of snake under the tropical tree from the Meliaceae family. Her other attribute is that She is the Goddess of the South, therefore you will find Her temples in the southern part of India mostly and then in South Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, etc.).

The interesting thing about this Goddess is that Her name is pronounced almost exactly the same as Mary (the mother of Jesus), as people use several names for Her (Mari, Karumari, Mariamman, etc.). The similarity in pronouncing Her name with Christian Virgin Mary is amazing.

In Hinduism, this Goddess is Mother Divine, but without more specific attributes (Parvati’s role is closely related to Shiva, Karumariamman does not have this specific connection; Kali’s role is destruction, Karumariamman’s attribute to destroy and bring a better world is not so tangible).



Source by Juraj Sipos

Leadership Qualities of Mother Teresa

If not for her leadership qualities the Albania born Mother Teresa would not have risen to great heights to win the hearts of the millions of people worldwide. She served the poor, orphaned and dying people for more than forty-five years and never ever was tired of her service. When the people affected with leprosy were considered as untouchables, she extended her service to them and cared for them by starting many homes.

When she started her missionary work she had only three saris and a five rupee note in her hand. She proved to the world that one can achieve anything in this world even without money. When she saw orphan children dying out of hunger she went to a bakery man and begged him to give some bread. The enraged man spit on her hand. But Mother Teresa told him softly that she would keep the spit for herself and begged him to give something to eat for the poor and orphaned children holding out her other hand. The man realized her gentle character and later donated her with bread whenever she needed. This incident shows her magnanimity, one of the wonderful leadership qualities in her.

She was so simple and humble that she never cared for her own comforts. The sari she wore costs only one Us dollar. The white sari with blue border has become a symbol of peace and solace to the poor and destitute. She knew very well that if she should heal other people she must suffer herself and this was what she stated to Princess Diana once when she met her. She took initiatives during a famine in Ethiopia, spread the message to the then Us President Ronald Reagan and he sent his help to the place with food and medicine.

Mother Teresa was very humble and never cared about her own image, a rare quality that could hardly be seen in any leader around the world. Whenever she happened to travel in flights, she used to collect the leftover food from all the travelers on the plane and distributed the collected food to the hungry and needy people. Though she had no money many times, she never hesitated to beg to help people.

She was extremely courageous in helping people suffering from leprosy. She never was tired in helping the refugees, blind, homeless, flood and famine victims and lepers. The poor and forlorn people were brought to the homes and they were given medical attention. They were given an opportunity to die with dignity and during their last moments, the Muslims were read the verses from Quran, the Hindus received holy water from the Ganges and the Christians received the last Rites. Though she was a Christian, this is just enough to portray the best leadership quality of generosity in her.

After her death on 5th September 1997 she has been memorialized through museums, educational institutions, films on her life, Mother Teresa photos and Mother Teresa videos. Though this world lost a great leader, she left thousands of followers to spread her message and take up her service.



Source by Suhaina Mazhar Sumazla

I Shall Not Hear The Nightingale – Khushwant Singh: A Story Of Baptism In Blood

Sher Singh killed a crane. He wanted to be a terrorist. But there was baptism in his blood. He felt for the crane. If one crane is killed, the other dies of grief. His instigator is Madan. Madan feels if there is baptism in blood that blood should be shed. Sher Singh and Madan were training to shoot Englishmen. This short novel by Khushwant Singh is about the Sikh community who created a military brotherhood to fight against the British. The Sikhs were defeated by the British in six successive battles. Having been defeated the Sikhs however were recruited in the British army for their valour and honour. The Sikhs believed that ‘God is truth’.

The story is ultimately about love, kindness and peace in spite of terrorism, revolt and militancy. This is depicted by the symbol of the angry crane who loses its mate. Even as Sher Singh stuffs up hand grenades and rifles he thinks of the wounded bird. So the story is ultimately about the inefficacy of terrorism and violence and the message of peace.

Sher Singh was the son of a senior magistrate as well as the head of a band of terrorists. He had so long reveled in both identities but now he had to make a choice. The concern was what to choose, security or terrorism.

Sher Singh’s home was a haven of comfort and security. His mother and sister represented feelings of comfort and security. But Sher Singh was policywise at odds with his father Buta Singh. They differ in their opinions regarding the British. Buta Singh is basically a supporter of the British. He believes in mutual help between British and Sikhs. On the other hand Sher Singh thinks there are plenty of Gandhis and Nehrus whom they should follow, not the British. Buta Singh cannot change his loyalties at his age. But he is realizing that the nationalists need to be supported. In fact his loyalty to the British was being taken as servility. He was being accused of double facedness.

The story is thus basically about the tension between the British and Sikhs which the author has brought out through a vivid charting of conversations, revolutionary speeches, meetings and such. It emerges that there are two parties, the anti-British and the Pro-British. The old generation of Sikhs are pro-British. The younger generation are trying to do away with the British. There were Hindus like Madan who were instigators of terrorism. Young aspirants for leadership were dancing to the songs of Madan and bundling up handgrenades.

Along with the general background of politics the story charts very simplistically the private lives of Sher Singh, Beena, Champak and Madan. Sher Singh being a failure at his marital relationship tries to please his wife by aspiring a high position in politics, by becoming a political leader, a hero and a terrorist. Bina his sister is passionately in love with the tall, handsome, charming Madan from whom she gets a stinker. Madan a married man pretending to be very worried about the country carries on a passionate illicit relationship with his friend’s wife Champak and instigate his friend Sher Singh to become a hero and a terrorist.

Terrorist attacks are planned, few bridges blown up, few roads barricaded, few scintillating speeches given and finally a murder committed. Sher Singh is arrested and put to prison. There the pampered boy of the family is tortured, beaten up and taunted by the Anglo Indians. The aspiring hero commits some foolish trifles and ends up in prison.

Sher Singh’s mother a deeply dignified lady in spirit and soul fasts herself to near death praying for her son’s release. John Taylor, the British ICS and his wife both a bit different type of British, sympathetic towards Indians, representatives of British solidarity feel veneration for Sher Singh’s mother and release her son. Thus ultimately they story proves that terrorism, violence, heroism are just a child’s fancies. What really resolves is the beauty of spirit, the spirit of love and prayer, the belief ‘God is Truth’. The short novel of Kushwant Singh under the garb of politics, murder, terrorism, revolution and heroism teaches the inefficacy of all these and the triumph of peace and God.



Source by Anuradha Basu

How to Make Natural Candles – Choosing the Best Wax For Making Candles at Home

There are several natural waxes to choose from for your homemade candle.

While paraffin may be natural in that it’s a petroleum-based wax it has been shown to be not so healthy & doesn’t burn clean so I think we can eliminate this wax.

Healthier natural candle waxes are Palm, Beeswax, and Soy & Ghee.

Let’s check out some pros & cons of each of these waxes.

Palm in made from the wax of the berry of the Palm tree. It’s white, all natural, renewable & clean burning.

Palm wax has a unique crystalline structure that is very attractive.

It can hold a very high scent load. Some palm waxes can hold up to twice as much scent as paraffin or soy wax.

Palm wax comes in granular form, is very easy to work with & it pools evenly when lit. It doesn’t need any additives & it cleans up easily with soap & warm water.

Cons of palm wax; the cost of palm wax is a slightly more than Soy wax.

Turning to Soy candle making, this wax has lots of Pros too. It burns long, cool & clean.

Here is a list of advantages a manufacturer gives about their soy wax:

o Made with pure, 100% natural soybeans

o Longer, cooler and cleaner burning without soot buildup

o Made in the USA with domestically grown crops

o Produced containing NO Genetically Modified Material

o Manufactured meeting FDA and Kosher standards

o Easy to clean up with soap and hot water eliminating solvents

o Renewable sustainable resources requiring plant growth

o Biodegradable and free from pesticides and herbicides

o Very stable allowing for long shelf life

o Not subject to animal testing

Cons of soy candles:

It’s stated by some manufactures that soy candles are produced containing no Genetically Modified Material. For most soy waxes this is only true because after processing there is no DNA in the wax left to assess whether the soy beans used were GMO or not. In the United States in 2002, 98% of the soybean harvest was either genetically modified (GMO) or non-GMO mixed in with GMO soybeans. The only reliable source of non-GMO soybeans are Identity Preserved or Certified Organic, these are very few. This means buying soy wax that is not Identity Preserved or certified organic is supporting the biotech industry. This is a disadvantage of soy wax in my opinion. Also I feel soy candles made from GMO soybeans can’t really be called “natural” as their DNA was humanly modified, the fact that the DNA was later removed doesn’t negate that.

Now lets look at Beeswax which has been used for candles since ancient times.

It burns slow & clean & has its own sweet fragrance.

It gives of more light & heat than other waxes & is virtually drip less.

Beeswax is the only fuel to emit negative ions when burning & this process cleans the air of positive ions such as dust, odors, toxins, pollen, mold, dust mites feces, and viruses.

Lighting a beeswax candle inspires a spiritual feeling; they have traditionally been the candles of choice in many churches.

Using a sheet of beeswax & rolling it up with a wick inside is such a simple way to start making candles, a pair of scissors are the only equipment needed. Beeswax candle making with sheets is child’s play.

Poured beeswax candles are just as easy to make as candles make with other waxes.

One con for beeswax is that the price is significantly more than other waxes but this is balanced by the quality it has of burning slower & lasting longer than other waxes. Beeswax can be added to other waxes to increase their burn time. Beeswax candles have their own natural sweet fragrance with which only some aromas will nicely blend. Beeswax can be bought in either a yellow or white color. Some white beeswax may have been bleached & have chemicals added, best check with the supplier.

Bayberry wax is an aromatic greenish vegetable wax that is removed from the surface of the Bayberry by boiling the berries in water and skimming the wax from the surface. Burning a Bayberry candle to the nub during the holidays is a 300-year tradition supposed to bring good luck in the coming year. Bayberry wax is recommended for making dipped tapers only & may not burn well as votive, tea-light or pillar candles.

Bayberry wax costs about 4 times that of Beeswax. It takes 15 pounds of Bayberries to make one pound of wax. It has a warm, earthy fragrance reminiscent of newly mown hay, and dries to a lovely olive green color. A small amount can be added to other waxes to make them harder & impart its green color. This is a pro as there are no other natural colorants for candles apart from the yellow of the beeswax. All natural candles, that is totally natural candles, are white unless they have beeswax or bayberry wax added.

Ghee lamps have traditionally been used by Sikhs & Hindus for thousands of years as a spiritual practice. Lighting the light dispels darkness & brings comfort, hope & peace. Lighting a light with cow ghee specifically is said to ensure radiance & heavenly bliss, prosperity, health & happiness.

Ghee is made from unsalted clarified butter. It is easy to make for one’s self at home or one can buy it from the grocery store. Organic ghee is available. Once one learns to make a container candle one can make a ghee candle. Securing the wick in the middle of the container without glue is the trick. Traditionally the receptacle of the ghee is earthen mud, silver, gold or brass, never stainless steel. The wick traditionally is laid on the bottom of the container & is propped up on the side of the lamp rather than standing up straight in the middle. I have bought a ghee candle made in a small glass jar with a lid that has a central wick & it works fine. I would be very careful about propping the wick on the side of a glass container. Ghee is very soft at room temperature & a liquid when heated so it needs a container. My ghee candle burns without a ghee smell & gives a very sweet feeling. Now I know how to wick the jar I can keep renewing the candle by adding ghee & wicks or I can make a much bigger one that burns longer for the same price as my little store bought candle.

Whichever material you use for your candle, don’t let having to decide which wax delay you making one! Choose a wax & make a candle, its fun, can save you money & using the candles brings bliss.



Source by Jess Woods