Mahasivaratri with Arunachala: By Richard Clarke

The night of March 6 – when there was no moon – was Mahasivaratri this year. This night honors Siva, seen in nonduality as Being-Consciousness absolute. It is the association with Siva that makes Arunachala such a holy mountain.

Instead of going into town to a temple, or doing pradakshina – walking around Arunachala – we decided to hold a Siva Puja at our house. Here are some photos.

The Altar set up near sun down

Mahasivaratri altar

The altar has a picture of Siva, a lingam, a photo of Nome, and various puja materials.

Arunachala is is the background.

Puja Materials

Puja materials

Fruit and a coconut are common offering.

For Sivaratri it is important to have Bilva leaves as an offering.

Camphor is there for later use.

Puja at midnight

Richard at Mahasivaratri Puja

Richard is offering Puja to the Sivalingam.

Coconut milk, cows milk, ghee, bilva leaves and flower petal are offered in turn.

Richard at Puja

Lingam after Puja

lingam after Puja

After the Puja here is the broken coconut.

The lingam is covered with bliva leaves and flowers.

Dawn over Arunachala after Mahasivaratri night

Arunachala Sunrise after Mahasivaratri night

Richard and Carol were up most of the night, listening to recordings of chants, and spiritual discourses from their teacher, Nome.

In quiet times we meditated. For us this is a most holy night.

Altar at dawn

Mahasivaratri altar after Pjua at dawn

Here is the altar at dawn. The lingam has been put back in its usual place, and wrapped with a flower mala.

Now we will go downstairs and go to sleep. This is along night, but spiritually fulfilling.

Why are there Ads on my WordPress Site?: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

I looked at my blog from another computer where I was not logged on. I was shocked to see ads on my wordpress blog. Really awful ads for things I would never endorse. I did not notice these before. Evidently, these ads appear at random based on some keywords.

I pay for space on So why are there ads on this space. Are there any solutions to this other than moving my blog to another host? Can I pay WordPress not to put ads on my blog?

UPDATE (August 15, 2008): I moved the blog to a private server to have more control over it. We are still using wordpress but no longer hosted on This was a tough decision because I really admire the folks at and wanted to stay there. When offers more flexibility and VIP hosting for a reasonable price, I will consider moving this blog back there. I don’t know why it is taking them so long to pick up on this obvious demand from paying customers that is out there for premium hosting.  Anyway, that is how it is.