The Jai Jais Blog

Why Do we Worship Tulsi?

Why Do we Worship Tulsi?

Tulsi symbolises purity.  The humble Tulsi also has its own festival.  This is called Tulsi Vivah, (Tulsi is the plant and Vivah means marriage) and this year is celebrated on the 26th November 2020. It has been interesting writing this blog, as I have never grown up celebrating Tulsi Vivah.  A few years ago when I lived in London, I had gone to the temple and its was super busy.  Ladies were dressed in their finest sarees the temple was full of music and laughter. It seemed a wedding was happening…I thought I had gate crashed a wedding!, when I asked someone what was happening they said “Today is Tulsi Vivah”. So why is Tulsi Vivah celebrated?
Days of Diwali with The Jai Jais

Days of Diwali with The Jai Jais

Light is one of the oldest and most meaningful symbols, found in cultures and religions worldwide. Deepawali, Deepavali, or Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It is the festival of lights: deep means "light" and avali "a row" to become "a row of lights." The Festival of Lights, is the most popular Hindu festival of good overcoming evil. The triumph of light over darkness is celebrated with Divas, lamps and fireworks. Diwali is composed of five days, each with its own story. 

Kali Ma A Goddess Misunderstood

Kali Ma A Goddess Misunderstood

Kali Ma… Visually a scary looking goddess with her tongue protruding, large shimmering eyes, skulls around her neck, a skirt of arms, holding a severed head! Kali Ma the goddesses of time and change.  Kali Ma has been misrepresented into a scary tantric goddess, but what are the truths behind the goddess? Kali comes from the Sanskrit root word ‘Kal’ which means time. Her symbols are flowers, dance, iron, swords, peacock feathers and honey.  Even in destruction, she reminds us that good really can come of bad situations. If you find your hopes and dreams have been crushed, Kali can change the cycle and produce life out of nothingness. Where there is sorrow, She dances to bring joy. Where there is fear, She dances in courage.
What is Karva Chauth?

What is Karva Chauth?

In a religion, where festivals form the essence of life. The colour and the vibrancy. The deep
and meaningful symbolism behind the festivals we celebrate, Karva Chauth is no exception. The word Karva Chauth has a specific meaning. Karva means earthen pot while chauth means fourth. Karwa Chauth is about making offerings to the moon using Karva. Karva Chauth the festival of happiness and togetherness celebrated by married as well as unmarried women, for the long life of their husbands and partners. As per the Hindu traditions in any
festival that celebrates the bond of marriage or love, worshipping Lord Shiva and Goddess Paravti is an essential part of the rituals. Unlike other festivals, this festival is more about following rituals, observing fasts and the best part is dressing up like a newly-wed bride and worshipping the moon. All these together make this festival a celebration of the bond of love
and marriage.
A Bond between Generations with The Jai Jais. One from the heart

A Bond between Generations with The Jai Jais. One from the heart

One things that has been absolutely magical and so precious to me has been testimonials of parents that have said how their children have always taken the books to share with their grandparents.  What a perfect way to bridge a generation gap and let those stories live on through generations. One parent told me she had to buy extra sets to keep at each of the grandparents houses!  One of my most cherished moments is when my eldest son sat and did Jai Jai with his great grandfather and they spent time laughing, talking and reading my books.  It was amazing to see a 100 year old great grandfather and his 3 years old great grandchild have something in common, sharing the most treasured times and beloved memories
The meaning behind Sharad Purnima & Recipe for Kheer

The meaning behind Sharad Purnima & Recipe for Kheer

The mystical moon, the circle of hope, light and power. The moon is a symbol, universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolise immortality and eternity, enlightenment. 

It is the harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin. Sharad Purnima marks the end of monsoon. Devotees observe fast on Kojagiri Purnima and break the fast at the end of the day by eating Kheer, which is offered to the moon-god. According to the Puranas, Goddess Lakshmi takes the rounds of Earth to watch the actions of human beings. 

When Rama met Sita.

When Rama met Sita.

With Diwali round the corner I couldn’t help turning to the epic love story of ancient Hindu Legend, “The Ramayana”.  Again a beautiful love story of the fight of good over evil. The stories of Rama and Sita are famous throughout the world and their tales are told in the Ramayana. Rama and Sita are husband and wife. Sita is kidnapped by the demon king Ravan and Rama goes to rescue her. They have many adventures and troubles along the way. In the end, Rama and Sita are reunited.

So how did Rama meet Sita?... Here is an extract from the Jai Jais Legends Series “ The Ramayana”, Page 9-10.  Find out more in our blog.

Dusshera

Dusshera

With the Diwali upon us, let your child connect to super heroes in true festive spirit, with ‘The Jai Jais’. The Indian tradition understands the power of storytelling to ignite the curiosity of young minds in exploring the hidden depths of our religion, culture and roots. Who doesn’t love super heroes? For a child or a teenager… even as an adult, I am learning so much with this journey with ‘The Jai Jais’. Super-heroes are awesome! and festive occasions offer parents a unique opportunity to sit down and just enjoy the good times with their little ones. Now, what about festivals like Dussehra and Diwali? Well, these festivals too have ‘super-heroes’, in a way that children may not know…. The Jai Jais certainly have a whole host of super heroes. Come and join our adventures.  
Maha Navami & Durga Ashtami

Maha Navami & Durga Ashtami

On 24th October 2020, Hindus will be celebrating its most popular festivals- Durga Ashtmi and Maha Navmi pooja. Usually, Maha Navami pooja is celebrated on the next day of Durga Ashtami. However, this year, the two festivals are occurring on the same day. “Ashtami” and “Navmi” mean the eighth and the ninth day of Navratri that is dedicated to Goddess Durga.

How Is It Celebrated?

‘Maha Navmi’ pooja is considered to hold so much value that the worship on this day is equivalent to all the nine days of  ‘Navratri’. Traditionally every state in India has different and unique ways to celebrate the festival but what remains common is the worship of the mighty Goddess Durga.

The Meaning Behind Mataji Aarti & Translation

The Meaning Behind Mataji Aarti & Translation

Arti, (Hindi “the ceremony of lights”) Sanskrit “Aratrika”, in Hindu rituals is the offering of lighted divas before an image of a god or goddesses. In performing the ritual the worshiper circles the diva in a clockwise direction while chanting a prayer or singing a hymn. Aarti is one of the most frequently observed parts of both temple and home pooja. The god or goddess is honoured by the lighted ghee (clarified butter) or camphor and is protected by the invocation of the deities of the directions of the compass. 

Interview with a Hindu Priest Sagarbhai Shukla

Interview with a Hindu Priest Sagarbhai Shukla

We have been so lucky with ‘The Jai Jais’ that our paths have crossed with the wonderful Sagarbhai Shukla, Hindu priest, Wembley.

His understanding of Hinduism and scriptures make it so relatable to the modern generation. We have been so blessed to spend time with him, and understand how our generation, and our children can continue to maintain and grow our cultural and religious roots.

He explains so well the reason behind certain poojas, vrats and festivals and you will see his wisdom in our joint blogs. 🙏🏼