24 Feb

Top 5 Questions about Holi-The Festival of Colors

Holi-The Festival of Colours

Holi is a major festival in India and most known as Festival of Colors celebrated all over India.
People send emails, text messages (sms) to wish Holi and use artificial (and sometimes natural – abir, gulaal) colors and meet our friends and relatives.

There prevails many stories behind the festival of Holi. The major was that of Holika and Bhakta Prahalad.

Here are Top 5 Questions you might be wondering about Holi.

1. Who actually was Hiranyakashipu?

Hmmm so it’s a story from Bhagavata Purana.

The Four Kumaras (Sons born from the mind or thought power of Brahma) were once visiting Lord Vishnu.
Jaya & Viajaya, the gate-keepers of Vaikuntha (abode of Lord Narayana) interrupted them to meet to Lord Vishnu.
Resulting in to the Four Kumaras’ curse to Jaya & Viajaya for giving up their divinity; be born on Earth, and live like normal human beings.
Now appears the Lord Vishnu, who gave the keepers two choices in reply of their request of lifting up the curses:
1. Take seven births on Earth as a devotee of Vishnu. OR
2. Take three births as his enemy.
Devotee keepers chose lesser time period to stay away from Vishnu and take birth as an enemy of Lord Vishnu for 3 births.

Life-1: Hiranyakashipu – Hiranyaksha.
Vishnu’s Varaha avatar kills Hiranyaksha.
Vishnu’s Narasimha avatar kills Hiranyakasipu.

Life-2: Ravana and Kumbhakarna
Vishnu’s Rama avatar took care of them [According to Hindu epic Ramayana during the Treta Yuga.]

Life-3: Sishupala and Dantavakra
Vishnu’s Krishna avatar killed them. [According Mahabharata epic during the Dwapara Yuga.]

2. If Prahalad was born to the Danava (Hiranyakashipu) home how he is so devotee of Vishnu?

When hirankashipu was doing extreme Tapa to achieve boons from Lord Brahma on mountain Mandara, Gods seek this opportunity to attack on Danava’s city.

Devendra (Indra) was finally dragging Kayadhu (Hiranyakashipu’s Wife) as a war prisoner to kill her child as he suspected him to be a Danava as well.

That was the time when Narada appeared before and explained the birth cause of Prahalad to Indra, ultimately Indra let go Kayadhu by touching her feet giving atmost respect wih Narada.

Narada took Kayadhu to his ashrama and taught her Bhagavata Dharma (The way of winning the love of God), when Prahalad was present in his mother’s womb.
And thus Prahalad become devotee of Lord Vishnu / Shri-Hari / Narayana.

3. Why holika died?

As per Hindu mythology Holika had a special gift that prevented her from being harmed by fire. But still she died due to severe burns in medical terms. But why?

The reasons I could found are either of these:

  • Vishnu stepped in and hence Holika burnt.
  • Holika’s power given by Brahma was on the understanding that “It can never be used to bring harm to anyone” – She broke the rule!
  • It were Holika’s clothes with anti-fire power which she gave them to Prahlad to save him, as she was internally a good person.
  • Holika wore a shawl that would protect her from fire. Holika wore it, took Prahlad down in her lap and the fire was lit. Now Lord Vishnu with his powers summoned a gust of wind which ultimately blew that shawl off of Holika on to Prahlad.

4. What was the boon Hiranyakasipu had achieved?

Hiranyakasipu had received from Lord Brahma the benediction:
1. He would not die any creature born created by Lord Bramha,
2. He would not die on the land or in the sky,
3. He would die neigher indoor nor out-door,
4. He would not die either during the day or at night,
5. He would not die from any weapon or be killed by any person, dead or alive.

5. How Lord Vishnu “hacked” the Hiranyakasipu’s boon to kill him, keeping promises of Lord Brahma intact?

Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Narasimha (Half-man and Half-Lion) appeared from a pillar not born.
Narasimnha Avatar placed Hiranyakasipu’s body on His lap, which was neither land nor sky.
He killed Hiranyakashipu on the threshold of a courtyard, which is neigher in-door nor out-door.
Lord Vishnu’s Narasimnha Avatar killed Hiranyakasipu in the evening, which is neither day nor night.
Lord Nrisimhadeva perforate Hiranyakasipu’s body with His nails, which were not weapons and were neither living nor dead.

🙂 And now…

Bonus Que.: Why Holi is known as festival of colors?

In Vrindavan and Mathura (Where Lord Krishna grew up) the festival is celebrated for 16 days in remembrance of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. Krishna is believed to have complained to his mother(“Radha kyon gori, me khyon kala”) about his dark skin complexion and Radha’s fair. That’s when Krishna’s mother decided to apply colour to Radha’s face.

Holi-The Festival of Colours

Almost all over the India (specifically North India) the festival of Colors is celebrated with great fanfare. People visits the neightbourhoods and relatives and exchage colors with traditional Abir and Gulaal and at places it’s also been enjoyed with Water using Pichkaris.

Happy Holi!

19 Feb

codeorgan-give sound to your webpage-website

Today I found an interesting site which plays your website!!

Yep… it’s codeorgan.com.

The codeorgan analyzes the body content of any website / webpage and translate that in to music.

It uses complex algorithm helps it in defining key, synth style and drum patterns as per page content.
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Steps it follow to play your website / webpage:

– It scans page contents, removes all characters not in musical scale (A to G) and then uses remaining to find most commenly used “note”.

– It also defines synthesizer to use based on number of charcter on webpage.

I gave it a try; I found it pretty interesting idea 🙂

Check how this page sounds.

17 Feb

Ash Wednesday:Repent, and believe the Gospel and MySQL

It’s Ash Wednesday today (Feb 17th 2010) !!

I learnt that Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes as a Sign of the Cross on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of repentance.

It’s ritual to celebrate this day as a reminder of mortality.

Dusting oneself with ashes was the penitent’s way of expressing sorrow for sins and faults.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty-six days (forty days not counting Sundays) before Easter. Ash Wednesday is a moveable fast, as it is dependent on the date of Easter.

While administering ashes priest / minister recites the words:

“Remember (O man) that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”

or

“Repent, and believe the Gospel.”

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What people do on Ash Wednesday:

  • Considers attending a church for an Ash Wednesday service. In a Catholic church, the priest will dip his thumb into previously blessed ashes and mark your forehead in the shape of a cross.
He speaks the words: “Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.”
  • Ash Wednesday is a good time to think about significant things in your life and to try to set your priorities. Regret your mistakes, purify yourself and prepare for holy Ester.
  • Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. You can simply think about Ash Wednesday as the beginning of a time of remorse for your past conduct and prayer and getting preparing for the Ester. It’s a period of purification and renewal.
  • As it’s a fasting day on Ash Wednesday, so you may think of doing it whole day/ one time.
  • People obtains the “lenten regulations” from respective church / priest, to get the Lenten season off to a good start.
  • Have a Bible.

So how about using an MySQL query to find an Ash Wednesday!!??

It’s quite simple as follows:
select date_add(str_to_date(‘April 4 2010′,’%M %d %Y’),interval -46 day)  `Ash Wednesday` ;
———————
Ash Wednesday
———————
2010-02-17
———————
Just replace Ester Day’s date in above query to get the Ash Wednesdays of any other year!
Simple enought 🙂
15 Feb

Buzz: Google buys Aardvark for Social Questioning

Google announced acquisition of Aardvark – The new kind of social search.

Through the “social search” term I thought it has to do something with what Google’s has said earlier in google’s official blog “social search getting more social” !

But that was actually in your google search, you get a saperate result from your social circle on the same page.

Aardvark is different and have a “New” concept!!

At vark.com you ask questions and system finds the person who can answer your question from your social group.

Aardvark actually analyzes questions to determine what they’re about, matches each question to people with relevant knowledge and interests to give you an answer quickly.

While sigining up you’re asked about your interests – area of knowledge

[ I think they must be matching questions against those tags – lazy programmer’s logic! 🙂 ]
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After that you’re asked to add it to your Google Chat to get instant(IM) answers otherwise you’re intimated through mail as well.

To me vark.com looks pretty promising though, which is why Google invested! right? 🙂

Well I tried to ask a question: “Where is my pen that was there in my computer table with blue ink?” and in return I got ping back and mail with some pretty cool answers – as my question was nice.

It’s like twitter without @ in conversations, Orkut’s comments replaced with question and answers form and more closely to facebook where you comment just below the main post / question / status.

So it’s a new tool to play with – lets see where it leads though.

Refer:
http://vark.com
http://googleblog.blogspot.com

-- Kedar Vaijanapurkar --