Beetroot 2 whole
Rock Sugar powder 50 gms or as per taste
Cow milk’s cream 30 gms
Cardamom 2 pieces
Nutmeg a pinch
Cashew 4-5 pieces
Finely grate the beetroot and sprinkle rock sugar powder. Steam for 8-10 minutes.
In a pan add the steamed beetroot, cardamom powder, Nutmeg powder and finely chopped almonds Cook for 3 minutes or till it becomes thick like halwa. Turn off the gas.
Spread on a greased plate and decorate with pista and serve.
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Kaamana Habba, as children that is how we knew Holi that falls on full Moonday in phallgun. Growing up in Mysore, I did not know there was anything called Holi.
Kaamana Habba was celebrated in an unique way in Mysore. Custom had it that boys should ‘steal’ logs and cow dung cakes from neighbours during the day. The girls stayed home helping mothers make holige which would be offered to Kamadeva in a big agnikund. The boys would have all the fun in the evening by setting the ‘ stolen goods’ to fire and dance around it singing ‘kaamana kattige, Bheemana berani’! All in all, it was a Boys Day Out and I remember being envious of my younger brother.
The story behind kaamana Habba goes like this. Kaama means desires, the main impediment for our progress on the path of spirituality. Once Lord Shiva was in samadhi and all the Devas felt threatened. They somehow wanted to stop him from becoming all powerful. So, they send Manmatha and Rathi to disturb His samadhi by their sensual song and dance. Lord shiva gets angry at this impudence and opens his third eye. Manmatha who symbolises Kaama is burnt to ashes immediately. It probably means with awareness all of us can destroy desires.
However, the story goes that Rathi implores lord shiva to restore her husband to her which He does but with one condition, that he will be physically available and visible only to Rathi. Manmatha pervades everyone even today and for ages to come but he is not visible, ‘ ananga’ , formless.
As Sadhaks we must watch out on this day whether our kaamanas are an impediment; if found yes, burn them in the fire of knowledge.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s message for Holi:
The Narada Bhakti Sutras (aphorisms of Divine Love) were first expounded by Devarishi Narada, thousands of years ago, on request from Maharishi Ved Vyas in Badrikashrama. Maharishi Ved Vyas asked Narada, “Man seeks freedom. This seeking without devotion is dry. Many paths lead to freedom but they have importance only in so far as they are auxiliary to devotion. I, therefore humbly ask you to me the virtue of devotion.”
In reply Sage Narada explained all aspects of the Path of Divine Love through 84 sutras (aphorisms). These aphorisms are referred to as ‘Narada Bhakti Sutras’. The Bhakti Sutras of Sage Narada, considered to be the best guide on the path of devotion, stand out for their clarity, simplicity and internal coherence.
Art of Living Blog presents the English translation with the original Sanskrit Sutras on Bhakti as expounded by sage Narada. (For a deeper understanding do check out a deeply moving series of talks by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji on the path of Love)
The first 24 sutras deal with the nature of Bhakti
Next 9 sutras (25-33) explain why the path of Bhakti is superior
Next 17 sutras (34-50) describe the methods by which bhakti can be cultivated and practiced
Next 16 sutras (51-66) gives the sign of true devotion
Last 18 sutras (67-84) glorify those who have reached the pinnacle of devotion.