Periya Azhwar – Bhakti as Maternal Love ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

This article was first published in the ‘Speaking Tree’ section of the Times of India newspaper. Your relationship with the Divine is your prerogative; and every devotee’s bhava or emotions is unique. One can relate to Him as a friend as in sakhya bhava, as a servant in dasa bhava, as a lover in madhurya … Continue reading Periya Azhwar – Bhakti as Maternal Love ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Temples of Bangalore- Andal Rangamannar Temple©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Andal Rangamannar Temple (Andavan Ashramam) We are nearly at the end of the Tamil month of Margazhi, also known as Dhanur Masa or the month of Margashirsha. In the Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Sri Krishna says 'Maasanam Margashirshoham', which translates to 'Among the months, I am Margashira'. The Dhanur masa represents the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. … Continue reading Temples of Bangalore- Andal Rangamannar Temple©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Temples of Bangalore- Suryanarayana temple ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Suryanarayan Temple, Domlur: This temple is fairly new and was built in 1995. It is one of the few temples in the world that has been dedicated to Lord Surya and Bangalore is indeed lucky to have this. It was the brain-child of Shri Patel Krishna Reddy, who was a freedom fighter and a patel … Continue reading Temples of Bangalore- Suryanarayana temple ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Invoking the Sun God for Life and Sustenance- the Chhath Pooja ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Our first lessons in school told us that everything on Earth depends on the extent of Sun rays that falls on a particular place. This further determined the flora and fauna of the region and whether water flows in a river or is part of a glacier. No wonder then, that the Vedic texts consider the Sun as … Continue reading Invoking the Sun God for Life and Sustenance- the Chhath Pooja ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Thondanur/ Tonnur Kere; Walking on spiritual soil ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

This was the first outbound trip after ‘lockdown’ and boy was I happy to hit the road. It was my husband’s birthday and we decided to do a day-trip from Bangalore. Amidst all the uncertainties that has been going on the world, I really wanted to visit a temple. Thondanur or Thonnur Kere as it … Continue reading Thondanur/ Tonnur Kere; Walking on spiritual soil ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Festivals of India; KarvaChauth©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Like many festivals in India, Karwa Chauth is based on the Lunisolar calendar which is based on astronomical positions of planets, especially positions of the moon and is used as a marker to calculate important dates. This festival falls on the fourth day after the full moon, in the Hindu month of Kartik. Most of North India celebrates the … Continue reading Festivals of India; KarvaChauth©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Ashoka Pillar- the iconic landmark of South Bangalore ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Back in 1969, my father built a house in South Bangalore in the residential area of Jayanagar. However, my parents started living there only after my father's retirement from the Indian Army in 1986. Jayanagar back then was considered the southern end of Bangalore and was one of the first planned neighbourhoods of Bangalore- and … Continue reading Ashoka Pillar- the iconic landmark of South Bangalore ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

SriVilliputtur and the Birth of Andal ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

(Note: The story about how she got the sobriquet ‘Soodikodutha Sudarkodi' (the one who wore the garland and then offered it to the Lord) used to thrill me every time when my maternal Paati/ grandmother used to narrate it. Paati herself was an epitome of bhakti and was it a coincidence that she was also … Continue reading SriVilliputtur and the Birth of Andal ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Udupi: Dwaita philosophy, Krishna and beyond ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

I had written about Sri Ramanujacharya and the philosophy of Vishishtha Advaita in a previous article and also about Adi Shankaracharya’s life and the Advaita philosophy in my travelogue on Kalady. On this auspicious day of Guru Purnima (5th July, 2020), I would like to complete this triumvirate, by including Madhvacharya and the Dvaita philosophy … Continue reading Udupi: Dwaita philosophy, Krishna and beyond ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

Alavandar- The Glory of a King and a Saint ©Sangeeta Venkatesh

During the 10th century A.D, in a town called Viranarayanpura in Tamil Nadu, a learned teacher called Maha Bhashya Bhattar would guide his students on various subjects. A scholar called Akkiyalwan from the king’s court had the arrogance to challenge other intellectuals and also collect money from them. When Maha Bhashya Bhattar received summons to pay … Continue reading Alavandar- The Glory of a King and a Saint ©Sangeeta Venkatesh