Tag Archives: Lord Ganesh

Nirbuni for my nephew (second birthday)

I swear it feels like yesterday that I told you I had a new man in my life (my li’l nephew) and gosh it has been two years now. Even though he was born in 18 July, we celebrated his birthday on 26th of July which was determined by his birth chart and our own Nepali calendar.

Since his birth, he has given joy to everyone including his parents, us, my parents and my sister in law’s parents. When he was visiting last month to Nepal, he was the apple of the eye and was spoiled rotten by everyone.

Strangely, for reasons unknown and out of traditions handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated by Newars. When a child is born, he will have chhaiti, nawaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni in Newari.

According to tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2, 4, 6, 8, 12) until a child turns 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses).

yomari

During Nirbuni, a big puja is performed and the child is given a garland made out of two yomaris. The child is also given tika and sagun and prayed to ward off evil spirits from the child’s body. If we were in Nepal, relatives would come along with gifts and sweets for the kid. Therefore, this birthday was a big deal for us.

We started Saturday making yomari and sagun. With the help of our cousin it was done and then the puja started. My nephew was good during the puja as he sat on his dad’s lap while I perform the puja.

Nirbuni  (12)I am not expert on performing the puja but this is what I did.

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my nephew to sprinkle some into his mouth and the rest over his body for purification.
  • Then I put tika on Lord Ganesh with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder as well as a plate of sagun in front of him.
  • Then I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my nephew to worship the Lord Ganesh and also to all the God and Goddess by throwing the rice towards the ceiling.
  • Then I placed tika on his forehead and put a flower on his head.

Nirbuni  (14)Nirbuni  (11)

  • Then I placed the Yomari mala followed by flower mala.

Nirbuni  (13)

  • After that I put bits of rice, radish, coins, cucumber in a small container and poured them on his head. This is believed to take all the evil spirits away from him. I did this three times.

Nirbuni  (8)

  • Then,I gave Sagun to him. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of giner and fish in the right hand and yogurt in the left hand.

Nirbuni  (9)Nirbuni  (15)

  • Once the process is finished with my nephew, I gave tika to the rest of the family, followed by sagun.

My parents and my SIL’s parents were on skype watching the ceremony. They were happy to watch all the ceremony even though they are so far away.

I also took tray of fruits, biscuits and a three piece suit for him as a birthday gift.

Nirbuni  (10)

He looked really adorable in the suit.

Nirbuni  (5)Then there was a party in the evening. I did the decoration and was happy with the result. It was a fun party with lots of kids.

Nirbuni  (7)

The house was chaotic in a good way for the rest of the evening where kids ran, laughed , danced and played.

Nirbuni  (3) Nirbuni  (2)We had a nice cake for him and the food was catered so everyone enjoyed the day. It was such a fun day and the little man was very happy with all the attention and gifts.

Nirbuni  (1)

On Sunday, I baked cupcakes for him to take to his childcare to celebrate his birthday. The childcare request simple individual cupcakes so I baked them myself.

Nirbuni  (6) Nirbuni  (4)Overall, it was a great nirbuni celebration for my nephew.

Wishing little man all the happiness of this world.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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My long weekend in picture

Last weekend, we had a long weekend as it was Labour Day on Monday. There is so much happening in Sydney right now that we had busy weekend. I am so tired now but glad I managed to do so much. Here are some of the photos from the weekend.

On Saturday, it was the start of Dashain, our biggest festival (for details click here). So in the morning I had to plant my Jamara to start the festival. To learn how to plant your own Jamara, please click here.

Jamara

Around 10am, we headed to Wattamolla Beach to enjoy picnic with family and friends. Wattamolla Beach is located within the Royal National Park and have nice beach perfect to go with family. It was awesome sunny day and we had heaps of fun in water.

Wattamolla Beach  (4)Wattamolla Beach  (3)Wattamolla Beach  (1)Wattamolla Beach  (5)Wattamolla Beach  (7)Wattamolla Beach  (6)Wattamolla Beach  (8)

On Sunday, we went to Helensburgh temple (details here) as it is Dashain now and it seemed like a great idea.. We went there with some of our friends and his family. As always, we had breakfast there, yummy vegetarian South Indian dishes.

temple

From there we drove for over an hour and was in Parramatta, enjoying Parramasala (details here). Like every year, it was fun with lots of food and music.

Parramasala (1)Parramasala (5)Parramasala (4)Parramasala (7) Parramasala (12) Parramasala (11) Parramasala (10) Parramasala (9) Parramasala (8)

On Monday, we went and saw the war ship at International Fleet Review. The review is a celebration marking 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy fleet first entered Sydney Harbour. It was worth the visit as we got to see so many navy ship from many different countries.

International Fleet Review (1) International Fleet Review (20) International Fleet Review (18) International Fleet Review (17) International Fleet Review (16) International Fleet Review (14) International Fleet Review (13)

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Griha pravesh and rudri puja

As Hindus, we do a puja and blessing for everything in life so when we move to our new place, we need to perform a puja too. Before entering a new house, a ceremony known as Griha Pravesh ceremony is performed.

Griha means house and pravesh means entry in Sanskrit so this puja is house-entry puja. Generally, in Nepal once the house is ready to be moved into, the family moves in on an auspicious day that is determined by the astrological charts by a priest. But for us, we had to move into our new place according to our contract so we decided to do it on the first day when we were going to spend the night there.

We had a priest who is a friend of my cousin and he offered to do our Griha pravesh puja.

DSC07869It was a very simple puja. The priest put two pitchers on either side of the main door then he put the idol of lord Ganesh on the doorway.

DSC07890He said some mantras blessing us and the house and then we just offered Sindoor, rice and flower first to the Lord Ganesh and then to the pitchers.

DSC07886Also we offered some coins and then lit some tea light candles. After that he went through all the rooms and sprinkled some water all around and blessed each room of our place.

DSC07889After that we established the idols we had brought from our old apartment and lit a candle for the gods.

As a part of moving into a new place,  we needed to turn on the stove and cook something. As we hadn’t unpacked properly, we didn’t have anything to cook so we just boiled water and made coffee and offered to all present.

Rudri Puja is an ancient practice followed by Hindus to bless the house once you move in. Rudri is also done on many other occasions like beginning new things like business , marriage, job etc.

‘Rudri’ means ‘Shiva – the Benevolent’, ‘ the Destroyer of Evil’ and ‘Puja’ means that which is born out of fullness. Through this Puja one can aim for inner peace and fulfilment. In this Puja, Lord Shiva is worshipped in his Rudra form. The reason Rudri puja is done because the world is a play of energy: negative and positive. When we pray to Shiva – the Lord of transformation – the entire negative energy around us in form of disease, depression, and unhappiness gets transformed into peace, prosperity and joy. Then peace surrounds us in body, mind and soul.

For the puja, the priest gave me a list. Here is the list if anyone wants to do the puja.There are still few stuffs missing but most of them are in the list.

Puja saman for rudriThere were many things to be bought but we are lucky that we have Nepali stores here so I went there and bought most of the stuff from there.

rudri puja (8)So on the day of the puja, I woke up early and had a shower, wore my fresh Sari and went straight to prepare for the puja. I made sure everything the priest asked were in order so when he comes in , the puja can be started straight away. AS also had a shower to cleansed himself as he would be sitting for the puja. Neither AS or I were to eat or drink before the puja.

rudri puja (7)Then I made apungo ,halwas and Kheer for Prasad . In the meantime, the priest came and started making different mandpas on the floor.

rudri puja (9)He told us that it would take 3-4 hours for the puja and AS would be sitting on the puja with him the whole time while I would be be called as required, which was a good things as I had so much to do in the kitchen.

rudri puja (10)So while they were doing puja, I tried to prepare other stuffs like cuts the fruits for puja and make the mango leaf garland to put on the door.

rudri puja (2)Each ancient mantra that is chanted gets absorbed in materials like curd, milk, ghee, honey etc. which are used as offerings in the Puja.

rudri puja (14)It is then offered to Lord Shiva with reverence, love and gratitude. The chanting of the mantras is so pure and meditative that it takes one to a different place. This puja was performed with a Shiva ‘linga’ that we had brought from Pashupatinath temple from Kathmandu.

rudri puja (1)I am sure lots of things were done in the puja which I missed but here are some of the pictures of the day.

rudri puja (11) rudri puja (12) rudri puja (13) rudri puja (15) rudri puja (16)I was called twice during the puja to do some praying and blessing.

rudri puja (17) rudri puja (18)In the meantime, with the help of my cousin and my friend we cooked food for the guests. I had around 25 people invited to share the day with us.

rudri puja (6)The food for the day had to be pure vegetarian with no meat, no onion, no garlic and no tomatoes. So we cooked Chana (chick peas), aloo tama, aloo ko achar, cauli aloo . Then we had Kheer, sweets (lal mohan and rash bhari) and yogurt for dessert. It was not an easy task to cook without onion, garlic or tomatoes but it was accomplished and if I say so myself, it was quite tasty. Therefore, by the time the puja was over, the food was ready.

rudri puja (20)Once the puja was over, the priest put tika on the foreheads of everyone present then AS put tika on the the small kids.

rudri puja (3)As my parents were not here, my brother and sister in law prepared sagun for us and brought some fruits and clothes.

Rudri (5)-tileThen AS hung the mango-leaf garland on the door.

rudri puja (4)After the initial process, it was pass mid-day. AS and I had been fasting since the morning so when the puja finished, we were allowed to eat. Everyone including us enjoyed the food and the puja was concluded. We had visitors coming throughout the day from morning to evening but we are just happy that there were so many people here for us to share our happiness with.

rudri puja (5)In addition, I am happy that we were able to perform the puja and get blessing even though we are so far from the Nepal. Both our parents are really glad that we could follow our tradition and culture with our new place too.

Happy weekend everyone and Happy 4th of July to everyone in US.

Take care

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Helensburgh Hindu temple

I am sure you get the vibe from my blog that I am not a very religious person but I do enjoy going to the temple occasionally. My husband always reminds me how religious my mum is and he finds it a bit surprising that I am not like my mum in the religion department. I always tell him, “If I have a clean heart and make sure that I am not hurting anyone in my day to day life, God will consider me as a good citizen and will be happy with me. There is no need to really visit a temple all the time or pray for hours :)”.

There are not that many Hindu temples in Sydney and most of them are not close to where I live so planning is required to visit one.

From time to time I feel like I should go to the temple and pay my respect so I drag my husband along for some prayer. Last weekend we managed to go to a temple in Helensburgh called Sri Venkateswara Temple. It is around 45 minutes’ drive from my apartment or an hour from Sydney city center (55km). The temple is built on top of a hilly area 400 feet above sea level. It has four ‘praharam’ (encircling corridors). Sri Venkateswara Temple was built in 1978 by the Indian people in Australia as a South Indian-style Hindu temple.

So far there is no Nepali temple in Sydney but they are planning to build a version of Nepal’s famous Pashupathi in Sydney.

At the temple devotees are supposed to leave their footwear outside and wash their hands and feet before they enter the temple. The temple area inside has small shrines for each of the Gods. There are priests performing rituals at each of the shrines at a pre-determined time.

There is a temple counter inside which provides visitors with more information about temple rituals and prayers.  They also sell puja for $15 which goes towards maintenance of the temple. You get a plate of puja which has Sindoor, flowers, dhup and fruits. Also, you can buy diyo (oil lamp) if you want to light just the diyo.

The temple has deities like Lord Venkateswara, Goddess Mahalakshmi ,Lord Chandramouleeswarar, Goddess Thripurasundari , Lord Ganesh, Lord Subrahmanya , Lord Navagraha, Goddess Durgambika , Lord Rama , Goddess Andal , Lord Krishna, Lord Brahma , Lord Hanuman, Lord Garuda  , Lord Sudharsana , Lord Viswakshena , Lord Dhakshinamurthy and Lord Chandikesa.

I have seen lots of South Indian weddings being performed inside the temple in my previous visits.

I know it doesn’t sound so right but I love to go to this temple because they serve a great Indian food in their canteen during weekends. I always have Masala Dosa (made by stuffing a lightly cooked filling of potatoes, fried onions and spices in a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils) and Vada (a donut  shaped dish made from lentils and gram flour or potato) . They are so cheap but so yummy. They do sell other South Indian vegetarian dishes as well but those two are my favourite especially with masala tea (spiced Indian style milk tea).

The temple opens 8am – 7pm, week-ends and public holidays; 8.00am to 12.00pm and 4.00pm to 7.00pm on weekdays.