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Gayatri Pariwar, Edmonton stores numerous books written by our Guru Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. These books are available free of charge. Please contact us to get the free books.

Any literature written by our Guru can be arranged in bulk with advance information at nominal cost. Books are also available to read online free of cost in Hindi, English, Gujarati and Marathi. You can also read our monthly magazine 'Akhand Jyoti' (a magazine that contains articles on scientific spirituality) in many languages online free of cost. Subscribe to Akhand Jyoti and purchase books from our online bookstore.

Hindu Festivals

Maha Shivratri

Mahashivratri is famous for gaining blessings of Lord Shiva. Shiva means auspicious, good – and Shankar means – the one who does well. To please Shiva one has to become like him, meaning work for the wellbeing for others. There is a shloka – Shivam Bhutva Shivam Yajet – meaning worship Shiva by being Shiva only then you will get his blessings.

There is a widespread attraction for Shiva and his worship among people but there are lots of misconceptions regarding ways to worship him. On the occasion of Shivratri community puja should be performed to clear these misconceptions and establish lord Shiva’s faith among people as per his dignity. The purpose of Shivratri celebration should be to teach the worshippers the true meaning of Shiv and the true method of worshipping and pleasing Shiva.

Shiva means auspicious and Shankar means one who does good. Developing good thinking, good characteristics and good intentions is the true path to prepare yourself for Shiv worship and getting close to Shiva.

Shiva linga means the seed of auspiciousness and wellness. The way a small seed when sowed properly, gradually grows into a big tree and covers a huge area similarly establish Shiva in your life as a seed and then by practicing the good deeds and welfare for all you can grow Shiv bhakti.

Shiva is harsh on himself but generous to others. This spiritual path is the best formula for worshippers. Living on minimum resources while providing the best for others. Being happy with minimum is the righteous key to Shivatva.

There is a tradition to offer narcotic substances to Shiva. Consuming narcotic substances is not good but they have medicinal properties too. To offer these substances to Shiva means to accept their good use only, leaving the bad, addictive, inauspicious use of these substances.

The image or Shiva or Shiva murti itself is source of countless inspirations. Trinetra shows burning of desires, the moon on his forehead is for mental balance, Ganga denotes the flow of knowledge, bhoot and scary figures surrounding him inspire to accept all, and giving love to the socially backwards.

Shiva Pariwar – Shiva’s family is an ideal family each and every member reflects great personality and is of great importance independently as well. His wife – Goddess Parvati is the destroyer of evil demons and worshipped as Bhavani, elder son Kartikey is the commander of Divine army, younger son is Ganesha who is remover of all obstacles and is always worshipped first. Shiva’s worshippers should strive for creating a family that has good values and character. While worshipping Shiva’s family have a feeling in your heart that the good characteristics of this ideal family are flowing to your family.

Gana awahan – Shiva’s Gana’s or helpers are personalities that are devoted to his mission. His Gana’s include the bhoot pishacha and the Gods as well. The main gana is Virbhadra. Bravery should not be ill-mannered, politeness should not be cowardice only then Shivatva will be established. All the good and bad should come together for the greater good that is the inspirtation provided by Shiva’s Ganas

Have this feeling that the flow of good habits is coming to you and it’s making you Shiva’s followers. The Gana’s will become useful for us when we worship them.

Ashiva tyag Sankalp – Ashiva abandon pledge –It is possible to convert bad elements into good. Some medicines have narcotic affects and poisonous properties too. They are allowed for medicinal purposes only. Don’t let them become an addiction. Leave the additions and offer them to Shiva. Take a pledge to leave the intoxicating things for any purpose other than the medicinal purposes.


Holi is a festival of color, joy and merriment in which people join each other and celebrate forgetting the differences of social status or class and without any barriers of big or small.
This is a Yagyiya festival (Kind of Group Yagya). It’s celebrated at the time of year when new crops are almost ready in the fields and farmers are delighted with good harvests. Holi is a community festival, celebrated by lighting the bonfire as a group yagya and offer the new grains to the fire before using them. India is a mainly farming country this practice is established keeping the culture and traditions in mind.
Holi is celebrated as a festival of triumph of good over evil in the honor of Hindu god Vishnu and his devotee Prahlada. As described in Chapter 7 of Bhagwat Puran King Hiranyakashipu, was the king of demonic Asuras, and had earned a boon that gave him five special powers: he could be killed by neither a human being nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day nor at night, neither by astra (projectile weapons) nor by any shastra (handheld weapons), and neither on land nor in water or air. Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him.
Hiranyakashipu's own son, Prahlada, however, disagreed. He was and remained devoted to Vishnu.[19] This infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika, Prahlada's evil aunt, tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her.[5] Holika was wearing a cloak that made her immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada, who survived while Holika burned. Vishnu, the god who appears as an avatar to restore Dharma he, took the form of Narasimha - half human and half lion (which is neither a human nor an animal), at dusk (when it was neither day nor night), took Hiranyakashyapu at a doorstep (which was neither indoors nor outdoors), placed him on his lap (which was neither land, water nor air), and then eviscerated and killed the king with his lion claws (which were neither a handheld weapon nor a launched weapon). The Holika bonfire and Holi signifies the celebration of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, and of the fire that burned Holika.
This festival is an occasion of awakening national consciousness. Where there is difference between the classes there will always be struggles and incompetence. Communities that have equality and brotherhood as their core values are happy and they thrive even with minimal resources. Therefore Holi is also symbolic of a festival of equality where all people of society regardless of their caste and class come and celebrate together. The Shudra class is given main importance in this festival.
It can also be used as an occasion to discard the malpractices that have developed over time in the name of holi. In movies and media we see people getting intoxicated and misbehaving with each other in the name of holi. The main purpose of festivals is celebration but be mindful of our core values when celebrating. You can use this occasion to take pledge to burn bad customs in the society or your own bad habits by symbolically offering them in the Holi bonfire.

Three special pujas are done on holi –

  • 1. Narsinghpujan – Narsingh is one who frees people from the injustice and cruelties of the bad people. We should raise our voice against cruelties, injustice in the society and provide support to the subdued ones. With this feeling in the heart we worship Narsinghdev to give us inspiration and strength to fight against the evil.
  • 2. Matrubhumi Pujan – This is also an occasion to express our gratitude and loyalty to our motherland where we are born, who has nurtured us by providing all the resources.
  • 3. Tridha Samta devi poojan – eliminating the inequalities in society and embracing equality is important for development and wellbeing of a society. The more united a society is the more it will move on the path to progress. On the other hand a society that is divided can be destructed easily. The power of society lies in its unity , equality and harmony. Keeping that in mind we worship Tridha Samta devi to eliminate the inequalities in our societies that come in the form of – gender bias, caste bias and financial bias.