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Who Founded Hinduism? The Origin Of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma-hindufaqs

Introduction

What do we mean by Founder? When we say a founder, we mean to say that someone has brought into existence a new faith or formulated a set of religious beliefs, principles and practices which were not in existence before. That cannot happen with a faith such as Hinduism, which is considered eternal. According to the scriptures, Hinduism is the religion of not just humans. Even gods and demons practice it. Ishwar (Ishwara), the Lord of the universe, is its source. He also practices it. Hence, Hinduism is God’s Dharma, brought down to the earth, just as the sacred River Ganga, for the welfare of the humans.

Who is then the Founder of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)?

 Hinduism is not founded by a person or a prophet. Its source is God (Brahman) himself. Hence, it is considered an eternal religion (Sanatana dharma). Its first teachers were Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma, the creator God revealed the secret knowledge of the Vedas to gods, humans and demons in the beginning of creation. He also imparted to them the secret knowledge of the Self, but due to their own limitations, they understood it in their own ways.

Vishnu is the preserver. He preserves the knowledge of Hinduism through countless manifestations, associated gods, aspects, saints and seers to ensure the order and regularity of the worlds. Through them, he also restores the lost knowledge of various Yogas or introduces new reforms. Further, whenever the Hindu Dharma declines beyond a point, he incarnates upon earth to restore it and revive its forgotten or lost teachings. Vishnu exemplifies the duties which humans are expected to perform upon earth in their individual capacity as householders within their spheres.

Shiva too plays an important role in upholding Hindu Dharma. As the destroyer, he removes the impurities and confusion that creeps into our sacred knowledge. He is also considered the universal teacher and the source of various art and dance forms (Lalitakalas), Yogas, vocations, sciences, farming, agriculture, alchemy, magic, healing, medicine, Tantra and so on.

Thus, like the mystic Ashvattha Tree which is mentioned in the Vedas, the roots of Hinduism are in heaven, and its branches are spread out on earth. Its core is divine knowledge, which governs the conduct of not only humans but also of the beings in other worlds with God acting as its creator, preserver, concealer, revealer and remover of obstacles. Its core philosophy (the shruti) is eternal, while it changing parts (smriti) keep changing according to the time and circumstances, and the progress of the world. Containing in itself the diversity of God’s creation, it remains open to all possibilities, modifications and future discoveries.

Also Read: Prajapatis – the 10 sons of Lord Brahma

Many other divinities such as Ganesha, Prajapati, Indra, Shakti, Narada, Saraswati and Lakshmi are also credited with the authorship of many scriptures. Apart from this, countless scholars, seers, sages, philosophers, gurus, ascetic movements and teacher traditions enriched Hinduism through their teachings, writings, commentaries, discourses and expositions. Thus, Hinduism is derived from many sources. Many of its beliefs and practices found their way into other religions, that either originated in India or interacted with it.

Since Hinduism has its roots in the eternal knowledge and its aims and purpose are closely aligned to those of God as the Creator of all, it is considered an eternal religion (Sanatana dharma). Hinduism may disappear from the face of the earth due to the impermanent nature of the world, but the sacred knowledge which forms its foundation will remain forever and keep manifesting in each cycle of creation under different names. It is also said that Hinduism has no founder and no missionary goals because people have to come to it either by providence (birth) or personal decision due to their spiritual readiness (past karma).

The name Hinduism, which is derived from the root word, “Sindhu” came into usage due to historical reasons. Hinduism as a conceptual entity did not exist until the British times. The word itself does not appear in literature until the 17th Century A.D. In medieval times, the Indian subcontinent was known as Hindustan or the land of Hindus. They were not all practising same faith, but different ones, which included Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Brahmanism and several ascetic traditions, sects and sub sects.

The native traditions and the people who practiced Sanatana Dharma went by different names, but not as Hindus. During the British times, all the native faiths were grouped under the generic name, “Hinduism” to distinguish it from Islam and Christianity and to dispense with justice or settle local disputes, property and tax matters.

Subsequently, after the independence, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were separated from it by enacting laws. Thus, the word Hinduism was born out of historical necessity and entered the constitutional laws of India through legislation.

Hinduism - Core Beliefs, Facts & Principles -hindufaqs

Hinduism – Core Beliefs: Hinduism is not an organised religion, and its belief system has no single, structured approach to teaching it. Nor do Hindus, like the Ten Commandments, have a simple set of laws to obey. Throughout the Hindu world, local, regional, caste, and community-driven practices affect the understanding and practice of beliefs. Yet belief in a Supreme Being and adherence to certain principles such as Reality, dharma, and karma is a common thread across all these variations. And belief in the power of the Vedas (sacred scriptures) serves, to a large degree, as the very meaning of a Hindu, although it can differ greatly in how the Vedas are interpreted.

The major core beliefs that Hindus share includes the following listed below;

Hinduism Believes that Truth is Eternal.

Hindus are seeking knowledge and comprehension of the facts, the very existence of the world and the only truth. Truth is one, according to the Vedas, but it is expressed in a number of ways by the wise.

Hinduism Believes that Brahman is Truth and Reality.

As the only true God who is formless, infinite, all-inclusive, and eternal, Hindus believe in Brahman. Brahman which  is not an abstract in notion; it is a real entity that encompasses everything in the universe (seen and unseen).

Hinduism Believes that The Vedas are the Ultimate Authorities.

The Vedas are scriptures in Hindus containing revelations that ancient saints and sages have got. Hindus claim that the Vedas are without beginning and without end, the believe is that Vedas will remain until all else is destroyed in the universe (at the end of the period of time).

Hinduism Believes that Everyone Should Work Hard to Achieve Dharma.

The understanding of dharma concept allows one to understand the Hindu religion. No single English word, sadly, adequately covers its context. It is possible to define dharma as right conduct, fairness, moral law, and duty. Everyone who makes dharma central to one’s life seeks to do the right thing at all times, according to one’s duty and skills.

Hinduism Believes that Individual Souls are Immortal.

A Hindu claims that there is neither existence nor destruction of the individual soul (atman); it has been, it is, and it will be. The soul’s actions when living in a body require the same soul in a different body to reap the effects of those actions in the next life. The process of movement of the atman is known as transmigration from one body to another. Karma decides the kind of body the soul next inhabits (actions accumulated in previous lives).

The individual soul’s objective is moksha.

Moksha is liberation: the release of the soul from the death and rebirth period. It happens when, by recognize its true essence, the soul unites with Brahman. To this awareness and unification, many paths will lead: the path of obligation, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion (unconditionally surrender to God).

Also Read: The Complete Story Of Jayadratha (जयद्रथ) The King Of Sindhu Kingdom

Hinduism – Core Beliefs: Other beliefs of Hinduism are:

  • Hindus believe in a single, all-pervading Supreme Being, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality, who is both immanent and transcendent.
  • Hindus believed in the divinity of the four Vedas, the most ancient scripture in the world, and as equally revealed, venerate the Agamas. These primordial hymns are the word of God and the cornerstone of the eternal faith, Sanatana Dharma.
  • Hindus conclude that infinite cycles of formation, preservation and dissolution are undergone by the universe.
  • Hindus believe in karma, the law of cause and effect by which each human, by his thoughts, words and deeds, creates his own destiny.
  • Hindus conclude that, after all karmas have been resolved, the soul reincarnates, developing over multiple births, and moksha, freedom from the rebirth cycle, is achieved. There will not be a single soul robbed of this destiny.
  • Hindus believe that there are supernatural forces in unknown worlds and that with these devas and gods, temple worship, rites, sacraments and personal devotionals create a communion.
  • Hindus believe that understanding the Transcendent Absolute is necessary to an enlightened lord, or satguru, as is personal discipline, good behavior, purification, pilgrimage, self-inquiry, meditation, and surrender to God.
  • In thought, word and deed, Hindus believe that all life is sacred, to be cherished and respected, and thus practice ahimsa, nonviolence.
  • Hindus believe that no religion, above all others, teaches the only way to redemption, but that all true paths are facets of the Light of God, worthy of tolerance and understanding.
  • Hinduism, the oldest religion in the world, has no beginning—it is followed by recorded history. It doesn’t have a human creator. It is a spiritual religion that leads the devotee to experience the Reality personally inside, eventually achieving the peak of consciousness where one is man and God.
  • There are four major denominations of Hinduism—Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism.
How old is the word Hindu? Where does the word Hindu comes from? - Etymology and History of Hinduism

We want to build on the ancient word “Hindu” from this writing-up. The Communist historians of India and the Western Indologists say that in the 8th century the word “Hindu” was coined by the Arabs and its roots were in the Persian tradition of replacing “S” with “H. The word “Hindu” or its derivatives were, however, used by many inscriptions over a thousand years older than this time. Also, in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat in India, not in Persia, the root of the word most probably lies. This particular interesting story is written by the uncle of Prophet Mohammed, Omar-bin-e-Hassham, who had written a poem to praise Lord Shiva.

There are so many websites saying that Kaba was an ancient temple of Shiva. They are still thinking what to make of these arguments, but the fact that the uncle of Prophet Mohammed wrote an ode to Lord Shiva is definitely incredible.

The anti-Hindu historians like Romila Thapar and D.N. The Antiquity and Origin of the Word ‘Hindu’ In the 8th century, Jha thought that the term ‘Hindu’ was given currency by the Arabs. However, they do not clarify the basis of their conclusion or cite any facts to support their argument. Not even Muslim Arab writers make such an exaggerated argument.

Another hypothesis advocated by European authors is that the term ‘Hindu’ is a ‘Sindhu’ Persian corruption arising from the Persian tradition of substituting ‘S’ with ‘H.’ No proof is cited even here. The word Persia itself actually contains ‘S’ which, if this theory was right, should have become ‘Perhia’.

In the light of epigraph and literary evidence available from Persian, Indian, Greek, Chinese and Arabic sources, the present paper discusses the above two theories. The evidence appears to support the hypothesis that ‘Hindu’ has been in use since the Vedic period like ‘Sindhu’ and that while ‘Hindu’ is a modified form of ‘Sindhu’ its root lies in the practice of pronouncing ‘H’ instead of ‘S’ in Saurashtran.

Epigraphic Evidence of the word Hindu

The Persian king Darius’s Hamadan, Persepolis and Naqsh-I-Rustam inscriptions mention a ‘Hidu’ population as included in his empire. The date of these inscriptions is between 520-485 B.C. This reality indicates that, more than 500 years before Christ, the word ‘Hi(n)du’ was present.

Xerexes, successor of Darius, gives names of countries under his control in his inscriptions at Persepolis. ‘Hidu’ requires a list. Xerexes ruled from 485-465 B.C. There are three figures above on a tomb in Persepolis in another inscription attributed to Artaxerexes (404-395 B.C.), which are labelled ‘iyam Qataguviya’ (this is Satygidian), ‘iyam Ga(n)dariya’ (this is Gandhara) and ‘iyam Hi(n)duviya’ (this is Hi(n)du). The Asokan (3rd century B.C.) inscriptions frequently use phrases such as ‘Hida’ for ‘India’ and ‘Hida loka’ for ‘Indian country’.

In the Ashokan inscriptions,’ Hida’ and her derived forms are used more than 70 times. For India, the Ashokan inscriptions determine the antiquity of the name ‘Hind’ to at least the third century B.C. The king has the titles shakanshah hind shakastan tuxaristan dabiran dabir, “king of Shakastan, minister of ministers of Hind Shakastan and Tukharistan,” in the Persepolis Pahlvi inscriptions of Shahpur II (310 A.D.).

The epigraphic evidence from the documents of the Achaemenid, Ashokan and Sasanian Pahlvi established a condition on the hypothesis that in the 8th century A.D. the word ‘Hindu’ originated in Arab use. The ancient history of the term ‘Hindu’ takes literary evidence back to at least 1000 B.C. Yeah, and maybe 5000 B.C.

Evidence from Pahlvi Avesta

Hapta-Hindu is used for Sanskrit Sapta-Sindhu in the Avesta, and the Avesta is dated between 5000-1000 B.C. It means that the word ‘Hindu’ is as old as the word ‘Sindhu.’ Sindhu is a concept used in the Rigveda by the Vedik. And thus, as old as the Rigveda,’ Hindu’ is. Veda Vyas talks of the visit of Veda Vyas to the court of Gustashp in the Avestan Gatha ‘Shatir’ 163rd verse and Veda Vyas introduces himself in the presence of Zorashtra saying ‘man marde am Hind jijad.’ (I am a man born in ‘Hind.’) Veda Vyas was an elder contemporary of Shri Krishna (3100 B.C.).

Greek Usage (Indoi)

The Greek word ‘Indoi’ is a softened ‘Hindu’ form where the original ‘H’ was dropped as there is no aspirate in the Greek alphabet. Hekataeus (late 6th century B.C.) and Herodotus (early 5th century B.C.) used this word ‘Indoi’ in Greek literature, thereby indicating that the Greeks used this ‘Hindu’ variant as early as in the  6th century B.C.

The Hebrew Bible (Hodu)

For India, the Hebrew bible make use of the word ‘Hodu’ which is a ‘Hindu’ Judaic type. Earlier than 300 B.C., the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is considered Hebrew spoken in Israel today uses Hodu for India as well.

The Chinese Testimony (Hien-tu)

The Chinese used the word ‘Hien-tu’ for ‘Hindu’ around 100 B.C.11 When explaining the Sai-Wang (100 B.C.) movements, the Chinese annals note that the Sai-Wang went south and entered Ki-Pin by passing Hien-tu. Later Chinese travellers Fa-Hien (5th century A.D.) and Huen-Tsang (7th century A.D.) use a slightly changed ‘Yintu’ word, but the’ Hindu’ affinity is still retained. Until today, this word ‘Yintu’ continues to be used.

Also Read : https://www.hindufaqs.com/some-common-gods-that-appears-in-all-major-mythologies/

Pre-Islamic Arabic Literature

Sair-ul-Okul is an anthology of ancient Arabic poetry from the Makhtab-e-Sultania Turkish Library in Istanbul. A poem by Uncle Omar-bin-e-Hassham of the Prophet Mohammed is included in this anthology. The poem is Mahadev (Shiva) in praise, and uses ‘Hind’ for India and ‘Hindu’ for Indians. Here are some verses quoted:

Wa Abaloha ajabu armeeman Mahadevo Manojail ilamuddin minhum wa sayattaru If, with dedication, one worships Mahadev, the ultimate redemption will be achieved.

Kamil Hinda e Yauman, Wa Yakulam na latabahan foeennak Tawajjaru, wa sahabi Kay yam feema. (Oh Lord, grant me a day’s stay in Hind, where spiritual bliss can be attained.)

Massayare akhalakan hasanan Kullahum, Summa gabul Hindu najumam aja. (But one pilgrimage is worthy of all, and the company of great Hindu saints.)

Another poem by Labi-bin-e Akhtab bin-e Turfa has the same anthology, which is dated 2300 years before Mohammed, i.e. 1700 B.C. ‘Hind’ for India and ‘Hindu’ for Indians are also used in this poem. The four Vedas, Sama, Yajur, Rig and Athar, are also mentioned in the poem. This poem is quoted in columns in New Delhi’s Laxmi Narayan Mandir, commonly known as Birla Mandir (Temple). Some verses are as follows:

Hinda e, wa aradakallha manyonaifail jikaratun, Aya muwarekal araj yushaiya noha minar. (O Hind’s Divine Country, blessed art thou, thou art the chosen land of divine knowledge.)

Wahalatjali Yatun ainana Sahabi akhatun jikra, Hindatun minal Wahajayahi yonajjalur rasu. (That celebratory knowledge shines with such brilliance in the fourfold abundance of the words of the Hindu saints.)

Yakuloonallaha ya ahlal araf alameen kullahum, Veda bukkun malam yonajjaylatun fattabe-u jikaratul. (God enjoins all, follows the direction shown by Veda with divine awareness with devotion.)

Wahowa alamus Sama wal Yajur minallahay Tanajeelan, Yobasshariyona jatun, Fa e noma ya akhigo mutibayan. (Sama and Yajur for Man are filled with wisdom, brothers, following the path that leads you to salvation.)

The two Rigs and Athar(va) also teach us brotherhood, sheltering their lust, dissipating darkness. Wa isa nain huma Rig Athar nasahin ka Khuwatun, Wa asanat Ala-udan wabowa masha e ratun.

Disclaimer: The information above is collected from various sites and discussion forums. There are no solid evidences which will back any of the above points.

Significance Of Akshaya Tritiya, Most auspicious days in Hindu Calendar - HinduFAQs

Akshaya Tritiya

The Hindu and Jains celebrate Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akti or Akha Teej, every spring. The third Tithi (lunar day) of Vaisakha month’s Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) falls on this day. Hindus and Jains in India and Nepal celebrate it as the “third day of unending prosperity,” and it is regarded as an auspicious moment.

“Akshay” means “never-endingness” in the sense of “prosperity, hope, joy, and accomplishment” in Sanskrit, while Tritiya means “third phase of the moon” in Sanskrit. It is named after the “third lunar day” of the Hindu calendar’s spring month of Vaisakha, on which it is observed.

The festival date changes each year and is determined by the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in April or May on the Gregorian calendar.

The Jain tradition

It commemorates the first Tirthankara’s ( Lord Rishabhdev ) one-year asceticism by drinking sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands in Jainism. Varshi Tapa is the name given to the festival by some Jains. Jains observe fasting and ascetic austerities, especially at pilgrimage sites such as Palitana (Gujarat).

On this day, people who practice Varshi-tap, a year-long alternate day fasting, finish their Tapasya by doing parana, or drinking sugarcane juice.

In the Hindu tradition

In many parts of India, Hindus and Jains consider the day auspicious for new projects, marriages, large investments such as gold or other lands, and any new beginnings. It’s also a day to remember loved ones who have passed away. The day is important in the area for women, married or single, who pray for the well-being of the men in their lives or for the man they may in the future get an affiliated to. They distribute germinating gramme (sprouts), fresh fruits, and Indian sweets after the prayers. When Akshaya Tritiya happens on a Monday (Rohini), it is thought to be even more auspicious. Another festive tradition is fasting, charity, and supporting others on this day. The presentation of Akshaya Patra to Draupadi by God Krishna during the visit of Sage Durvasa is very important, and is connected to the festival’s name. The princely Pandavas were hungry due to a lack of food, and their wife Draupadi was distressed due to a lack of food for customary hospitality to their numerous saintly guests during their exile in the forests.

The oldest, Yudishtira, did penance to Lord Surya, who gave him this bowl that would stay full until Draupadi ate. God Krishna made this bowl invincible for Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas, during sage Durvasa’s visit, so that the magical bowl known as Akshaya Patram will always be filled with food of their choosing, even enough to satiate the entire universe if necessary.

In Hinduism, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated as the birthday of Parshuram, Vishnu’s sixth incarnation, who is worshiped in Vaishnava temples. The festival is often referred to as ParshuramJayanti by those who celebrate it in Parasurama’s honour. Others, on the other hand, devote their worship to Vishnu’s avatar Vasudeva. On Akshaya Tritiya, Ved Vyasa, according to legend, started reciting the Hindu epic Mahabharata to Ganesha.

On this day, according to another legend, the Ganges river descended to earth. After closure during the Himalayan winters, the Yamunotri and Gangotri temples are reopened on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, during the Chota Char Dham pilgrimage. On Abhijit Muhurat of Akshay Tritiya, the temples are opened.

Sudama is also said to have visited his childhood friend Lord Krishna in Dwarka on this day and earned limitless money. Kubera is also said to have earned his wealth and title of ‘Lord of Wealth’ on this auspicious day. In Odisha, Akshaya Tritiya marks the beginning of paddy sowing for the upcoming Kharif season. Farmers begin the day by performing ceremonial worship of Mother Earth, bullocks, and other traditional farm equipment and seeds in order to obtain blessings for a successful harvest.

Sowing paddy seeds as a symbolic start for the state’s most significant Kharif crop takes place after the fields have been ploughed. This ritual is known as Akhi Muthi Anukula (Akhi – Akshaya Tritiya; Muthi – fistful of paddy; Anukula – commencement or inauguration) and is widely observed throughout the state. Due to ceremonial Akhi Muthi Anukula programmes organized by farmers organisations and political parties in recent years, the event has received a lot of attention. The building of chariots for the Jagannath Temple’s Ratha Yatra festivities begins on this day in Puri.

God Vishnu, the Hindu Trinity’s preserver God, is in charge of Akshaya Tritiya Day. Treta Yuga started on Akshaya Tritiya Day, according to Hindu mythology. Usually, Akshaya Tritiya and Parshuram Jayanti, Lord Vishnu’s 6th incarnation’s birthday anniversary, fall on the same day, but depending on the Tritiya Tithi’s starting time, Parshuram Jayanti will fall one day before Akshaya Tritiya.

Akshaya Tritiya is also considered an auspicious day by Vedic astrologers, as it is free of all malefic effects. According to Hindu Astrology, the three lunar days of Yugadi, Akshaya Tritiya, and Vijay Dashami do not need any Muhurta to begin or complete any auspicious work because they are free of all malefic effects.

What People Do on The Festival Day

Since this festival is being celebrated as the festival of unending prosperity, people do set aside the day to buy cars or high-end household electronics. According to scriptures, chanting prayers dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, or the household deity brings ‘eternal’ good fortune. On Akshaya Tritiya, people also perform Pitra Tarpan, or pay homage to their forefathers. The believe was that the god they worship will bring evaluating and an unending prosperity and joy.

What is the Importance of the Festival

This festival is significant since it is commonly believed that Lord Parshuram, Vishnu’s sixth incarnation, was born on this day.

Due to this believe, that was why people buy expensive and household electronics, Gold and lots of sweets on the day.

Gold vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire

What is Holika Dahan?

Holi is a colourful festival that celebrates passion, laughter, and happiness. The festival, which takes place every year in the Hindu month of Phalguna, heralds the arrival of spring. Holi Dahan is the day preceding Holi. On this day, people in their neighbourhood light a bonfire and sing and dance around it. Holika Dahan is more than just a festival in the Hindu religion; it symbolises the victory of good over evil. Here’s what you need to hear about this critical case.

Holika Dahan is a Hindu festival that takes place on the Purnima Tithi (Full Moon Night) of the Phalguna month, which typically falls in March or April.

Holika was a demon and the granddaughter of King Hiranyakashipu, as well as Prahlad’s aunt. The pyre is lit the night before Holi, symbolising Holika Dahan. People gather around the fire to sing and dance. The next day, people celebrate Holi, the colourful holiday. You might be wondering why a demon is worshipped during the festival. Holika is thought to have been created to fend off all fears. She was a sign of strength, riches, and prosperity, and she had the ability to bestow these blessings on her devotees. As a result, before Holika Dahan, Holika is worshipped alongside Prahlada.

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire
People walking in circle, praising the bonfire

Story of Holika Dahan

According to the Bhagavat Purana, Hiranyakashipu was a king who, in order to fulfil his wish, performed the requisite Tapas (penance) before Brahma granted him a boon.

Hiranyakashyapu received five special abilities as a result of the boon: he could not be killed by a human or an animal, could not be killed indoors or outdoors, could not be killed at any time of day or night, could not be killed by astra (launched weapons) or shastra (handheld weapons), and could not be killed on land, sea, or air.

As a result of his wish being granted, he believed he was invincible, which made him arrogant. He was so egotistical that he ordered his entire empire to worship him alone. Anyone who disobeyed his orders was punished and killed. His son Prahlad, on the other hand, disagreed with his father and refused to worship him as a deity. He continued to worship and believe in Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyakashipu was enraged, and he attempted to kill his son Prahlad several times, but Lord Vishnu always intervened and saved him. Finally, he sought assistance from his sister, Holika.

Holika had been given a blessing that made her fireproof, but she was burned to death because the boon only worked if she joined the fire alone.

Holika with Pralhad in holi bonfire
Holika with Pralhad in holi bonfire

Prahlad, who kept chanting Lord Narayana’s name, emerged unscathed, as the Lord rewarded him for his unwavering devotion. Lord Vishnu’s fourth Incarnation, Narasimha, destroyed Hiranyakashipu, the demon king.

As a result, Holi gets its name from Holika, and people still reenact the scene of ‘Holika’s burning to ashes’ every year to commemorate good triumphing over evil. According to legend, no one, no matter how strong, can harm a true devotee. Those who torment a true believer in God will be reduced to ashes.

Why is Holika Worshipped?

The Holika Dahan is an important part of the Holi festival. People lit a massive bonfire known as Holika Dahan the night before Holi to celebrate the burning of the Demoness Holika, Demon King Hiranyakashyap’s niece.

It is believed that performing Holika puja on Holi bestows strength, prosperity, and wealth in Hindu religion. Holika Puja on Holi will help you overcome all kinds of fears. Since it is believed that Holika was made to ward off all kinds of terror, she is worshipped alongside Prahlada before Holika Dahan, despite the fact that she is a Demon.

Significance and Legend of Holika Dahan.

The legend of Prahlad and Hiranyakashipu is at the heart of Holika Dahan celebrations. Hiranyakashipu was a demon king who saw Lord Vishnu as his mortal enemy because the latter had taken the Varaha avatar to destroy Hiranyaksha, his elder brother.

Hiranyakashipu then persuaded Lord Brahma to grant him the boon that he will not be killed by any Deva, human or animal, or by any creature that takes birth, at any time of day or night, by any hand-held weapon or projectile weapon, or within or outside. The demon king began to believe that he was God after Lord Brahma granted these boons, and demanded that his people only praise him. However, his own son, Prahlad, disobeyed the king’s orders because he was devoted to LordnVishnu. As a result, Hiranyakashipu devised a number of schemes to assassinate his son.

One of the most popular schemes was Hiranyakashipu’s request that his niece, the demon Holika, sit in a pyre with Prahlad in her lap. Holika had been blessed with the ability to escape injury in the event of a burn. When she sat with Prahlad in her lap, Prahlad continued to chant the name of Lord Vishnu, and Holika was consumed by the fire while Prahlad was rescued. Based on the evidences from some legends, Lord Brahma bestowed the blessing on Holika with the expectation that she would not use it for evil. This storey is retold in Holika Dahan.

 How is Holika Dahan celebrated?

People light a bonfire on Holika Dahan, the night before Holi, to represent the pyre used to destroy Prahlad. Several cow dung toys are held on this fire, with cow dung figurines of Holika and Prahlad at the end. Then, as a recreation of Prahlad being rescued from the fire due to his devotion to Lord Vishnu, the figurine of Prahlad is easily removed from the fire. It commemorates the victory of good over evil and teaches people about the importance of sincere devotion.

People also throw samagri, which includes products with antibiotic properties or other cleaning properties that can help keep the environment safe, into the pyre.

Performing Rituals on Holi Dahan (Holi Bonfire)

Holika Deepak, or Chhoti Holi, is another name for Holika Dahan. On this day, after sunset, people light a bonfire, chant mantras, sing traditional folklore, and form a circle around the holy bonfire. They put the woods in a spot that is free of debris and is surrounded by straw.

They place roli, unbroken rice grains or akshat, flowers, raw cotton thread, turmeric bits, unbroken moong daal, batasha (sugar or gur candy), coconut, and gulal where the woods are stacked before lighting the fire. The mantra is chanted, and the bonfire is lit. Five times around the bonfire, people pray for their health and happiness. On this day, people perform a variety of other rituals in order to bring wealth into their homes.

Things to do on Holi Dahan:

  • Place a ghee diya in the northern direction/corner of your home and light it. It is thought that by doing so, the house would be blessed with peace and prosperity.
  • Turmeric mixed with sesame oil is also applied to the body. They wait a while before scraping it and tossing it into the Holika bonfire.
  • Dried coconut, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, 5 or 11 dried cow dung cakes, sugar, and whole wheat grains are also traditionally offered to the sacred fire.
  • During the Parikrama, people also give water to the Holika and pray for the family’s well-being.

Things to avoid on Holi Dahan:

This day is associated with a number of beliefs. Here are a few examples:

  • Avoid accepting water or food from strangers.
  • In the evening of Holika Dahan or when performing the puja, keep your hair tired.
  • On this day, do not lend money or any of your personal belongings to anyone.
  • When performing Holika Dahan Puja, avoid wearing yellow-colored clothing.

The Important of Holi Festival to the Farmers

This festival is very much important to the farmers because the time to harvest new crops as the weather transitions as come. Holi is known as the “spring harvest festival” in certain parts of the world. Farmers rejoice because they have already restocked their farms with new crops in preparation for Holi. As a result, this is their relaxation period, which they enjoy when surrounded by colours and desserts.

 How to Prepare Holika pyre (How to prepare Holi Bonfire)

People who worshipped the bonfire began collecting wood and combustible materials for the bonfire some days before the festival began in notable areas like the parks, community centres, near temples, and other open spaces. An effigy of Holika, who lured Prahalad into the flames, stands atop the pyre. Color pigments, food, party drinks, and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas, and other regional delicacies are stocked within homes.

Also Read: https://www.hindufaqs.com/holi-dhulheti-the-festival-of-colours/

HISTORY OF CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ - Chapter 4- BATTLE OF UMBERKHIND - Hindufaqs

The Battle of Umberkhind took place on February 3, 1661 in the Sahyadri mountain range near Pen, Maharashtra, India. The war was fought between the Maratha army led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Mughal Empire’s General Kartalab Khan. The Mughal armies were decisively defeated by the Marathas.

This was an outstanding example of guerrilla warfare. Shahista Khan dispatched Kartalab Khan and Rai Bagan to assault Rajgad Fort on the orders of Aurangzeb. The men of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj came across them in the Umberkhind forest, which was located in the mountains.

Battle

Following Aurangzeb’s accession to the throne in 1659, he appointed Shaista Khan as viceroy of the Deccan and dispatched a huge Mughal army to implement the Mughal treaty with the Adilshahi of Bijapur.

This region, however, was fiercely contested by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a Maratha ruler who gained notoriety after killing an Adilshahi general, Afzal Khan, in 1659. Shaista Khan arrived in Aurangabad in January 1660 and advanced rapidly, capturing Pune, the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s kingdom.

After hard combat with the Marathas, he also took the forts of Chakan and Kalyan, as well as the north Konkan. The Marathas were forbidden from entering Pune. Shaista Khan’s campaign was entrusted to Kartalab Khan and Rai Bagan. Kartalab Khan and Rai Bagan were dispatched by Shaista Khan to capture Rajgad Fort. As a result, they set out with 20,000 troops for each of them.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj wanted Kartalab and Rai Bagan (Royal Tigress), the wife of Deshmukh of Mahur Sarkar of Berar Subah Raje Udaram, to join Umberkhind so that they would be easy prey for his guerilla tactics. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s men began blowing horns as the Mughals approached Umberkhind, a 15-mile passage.

The Mughal army as a whole was shocked. The Marathas then launched an arrow bombardment against the Mughal Army. Mughal soldiers like Kartalab Khan and Rai Bagan tried to retaliate, but the forest was so thick and the Maratha Army was so quick that the Mughals couldn’t see the enemy.

Mughal soldiers were being killed by arrows and swords without even seeing the enemy or knowing where to aim. A significant number of Mughal soldiers perished as a result of this. Kartalab Khan was then told by Rai Bagan to surrender himself to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and beg for mercy. “You made a mistake by putting the whole army in the lion’s jaw,” she said. The lion is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. You should not have assaulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in this manner. You must now surrender yourself to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in order to save these dying soldiers.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, unlike the Mughals, grants amnesty to all who surrender.” The fight lasted about an hour and a half. Then, on the advice of Rai Bagan, Kartalab Khan dispatched soldiers bearing a white flag of truce. They yelled “truce, truce!” and were encircled by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s men within a minute. Kartalab Khan was then allowed to return on the condition of paying a large ransom and surrendering all of their weapons. If the Mughals returned, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj stationed Netaji Palkar in Umberkhind to keep an eye on them.

HISTORY OF CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ - Chapter 3- THE BATTLE OF CHAKAN

In the year 1660, the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire fought the Battle of Chakan. According to the Mughal-Adilshahi agreement, Aurangzeb ordered Shaista Khan to assault Shivaji. Shaista Khan captured Pune and the nearby fort of Chakan with his better equipped and provisioned army of 150,000 men, which was several times the size of the Maratha armies.

Firangoji Narsala was the killedar (commander) of Fort Chakan at the time, which had 300–350 Maratha soldiers defending it. For one and a half months, they were able to fight off the Mughal assault on the fort. The Mughal army numbered over 21,000 soldiers. Then explosives were used to blow up a burj (outer wall). This resulted in an opening in the fort, enabling hordes of Mughals to penetrate the outer walls. Firangoji led a Maratha counter-offensive against a larger Mughal force. The fort was finally lost when Firangoji was captured. He was then brought before Shaista Khan, who admired his courage and offered him a jahagir (military commission) if he joined the Mughal forces, which Firangoji refused. Shaista Khan pardoned Firangoji and set him free because she admired his loyalty. When Firangoji returned home, Shivaji presented him with the fort of Bhupalgad. Shaista Khan took advantage of the Mughal army’s larger, better-equipped, and heavily armed forces to make inroads into Maratha territory.

Despite keeping Pune for nearly a year, he had little success after that. In the city of Pune, he had set up residence at Lal Mahal, Shivaji’s palace.

 In Pune, Shaista Khan maintained a high level of security. Shivaji, on the other hand, planned an assault on Shaista Khan in the midst of tight security. A wedding party had received special permission for a procession in April 1663, and Shivaji plotted an assault using the wedding party as cover.

The Marathas arrived in Pune dressed as the bridegroom’s procession. Shivaji had spent most of his childhood in Pune and was well-versed in the city as well as his own palace, Lal Mahal. One of Shivaji’s childhood friends, Chimanaji Deshpande, aided him in the attack by offering his services as a personal bodyguard.

The Marathas arrived in Pune in the guise of the bridegroom’s entourage. Shivaji had spent the majority of his childhood in Pune and was familiar with both the city and his own palace, Lal Mahal. Chimanaji Deshpande, one of Shivaji’s childhood friends, aided him in the attack by offering his services as a personal bodyguard.

 According to Babasaheb Purandare, it was difficult to differentiate between Shivaji’s Maratha soldiers and the Mughal army’s Maratha soldiers because the Mughal army also had Maratha soldiers. As a result, Shivaji and a few of his trusted men penetrated the Mughal camp, taking advantage of the situation.

Shaista Khan was then directly confronted by Shivaji in a face-to-face assault. Meanwhile, one of Shaista’s wives, sensing risk, switched off the lights. As he fled through an open window, Shivaji chased Shaista Khan and severed three of his fingers with his sword (in the darkness). Shaista Khan narrowly avoided death, but his son, as well as many of his guards and soldiers, were killed in the raid. Shaista Khan left Pune and moved north to Agra within twenty-four hours of the assault. As a punishment for causing the Mughals humiliation with his ignoble defeat in Pune, an angry Aurangzeb exiled him to distant Bengal.

HISTORY OF CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ - Chapter 2- The Battle of Salher - Hindufaqs

The Battle of Salher took place in February 1672CE between the Maratha Empire and the Mughal Empire. The fighting took place near the Salher fort in the Nashik district. The outcome was the Maratha Empire’s decisive victory. This war is important because it is the first time the Mughal Dynasty has been defeated by the Marathas.

According to the Treaty of Purandar (1665), Shivaji had to hand over 23 forts to the Mughals. The Mughal empire took control of strategically important forts such as Sinhagad, Purandar, Lohagad, Karnala, and Mahuli, which were fortified with garrisons. The Nashik area, which included the forts Salher and Mulher, had been firmly in the Mughal Empire’s hands since 1636 at the time of this treaty.

Shivaji’s visit to Agra was triggered by the signing of this treaty, and after his famous escape from the city in September 1666, two years of “uneasy truce” ensued. However, the destruction of the Viswanath and Benares temples, as well as Aurangzeb’s resurgent anti-Hindu policies, led Shivaji to declare war on the Mughals once more.

Shivaji’s power and territories expanded significantly between 1670 and 1672. Shivaji’s armies successfully raided Baglan, Khandesh, and Surat, retaking over a dozen forts in the process. This resulted in a decisive victory on an open field near Salher against a Mughal army of over 40,000 soldiers.

The Battle

In January 1671, Sardar Moropant Pingle and his army of 15,000 captured the Mughal forts of Aundha, Patta, and Trimbak, and attacked Salher and Mulher. With 12,000 horsemen, Aurangzeb dispatched two of his generals, Ikhlas Khan and Bahlol Khan, to recover Salher. Salher was besieged by the Mughals in October 1671. Shivaji then ordered his two commanders, Sardar Moropant Pingle and Sardar Prataprao Gujar, to retake the fort. For more than 6 months, 50,000 Mughals had besieged the fort. Salher, as the main fort on key trade routes, was strategically important to Shivaji.

In the meantime, Dilerkhan had invaded Pune, and Shivaji was unable to save the city because his main armies were away. Shivaji devised a scheme to distract Dilerkhan’s attention by pressuring him to travel to Salher. To relieve the fort, he ordered Moropant, who was in the South Konkan, and Prataprao, who was raiding near Aurangabad, to meet and assault the Mughals at Salher. ‘Go to the north and assault Salher and defeat the enemy,’ Shivaji wrote in a letter to his commanders. Both Maratha forces met near Vani, bypassing the Mughal camp at Nashik on their way to Salher.

The Maratha army had a combined strength of 40,000 men (20,000 infantry and 20,000 cavalry). Since the terrain was unsuitable for cavalry battles, the Maratha commanders agreed to entice, break, and finish the Mughal armies in separate locations. Prataprao Gujar attacked the Mughals with 5,000 cavalry, killing many unprepared troops, as anticipated.

After half an hour, the Mughals were completely prepared, and Prataprao and his army began to escape. The Mughal cavalry, numbering 25,000 men, began pursuing the Marathas. Prataprao enticed mughal cavalry into a pass 25 kilometres from Salher, where Anandrao Makaji’s 15,000 cavalry was concealed. Prataprao turned around and assaulted the Mughals once more in the pass. Anandrao’s 15,000 fresh cavalry blocked the other end of the pass, encircling the Mughals on all sides.

 In only 2-3 hours, the fresh Maratha cavalry routed the exhausted Mughal cavalry. Thousands of Mughals were forced to flee the war. With his 20,000 infantry, Moropant surrounded and attacked the 25,000 strong Mughal infantry at Salher.

Suryaji Kakde, a famous maratha sardar and Shivaji’s childhood friend, was killed in the battle by a Zamburak cannon.

The fighting lasted an entire day, and it is estimated that 10,000 men from both sides were killed. The light cavalry of the Marathas outmatched the Mughal military machines (which included cavalry, infantry, and artillery). The Marathas defeated the imperial Mughal armies and handed them a humiliating defeat.

The triumphant Maratha Army captured 6,000 horses, an equal number of camels, 125 elephants, and the entire Mughal train. Aside from that, the Marathas confiscated a significant amount of goods, treasures, gold, gems, clothing, and carpets.

The fight is defined in the Sabhasad Bakhar as follows: “As the battle began, a (cloud of) dust erupted to the point that it was difficult to say who was friend and who was foe for a three-kilometer square. Elephants were slaughtered. On both sides, ten thousand men were killed. There were too many horses, camels, and elephants (killed) to count.

A river of blood gushed out (in the battlefield). The blood transformed into a muddy pool, and people started to fall in it because the mud was so deep.”

Outcome

The war ended in a decisive Maratha victory, resulting in Salher’s liberation. This war also resulted in the Mughals losing control of the nearby fort of Mulher. Ikhlas Khan and Bahlol Khan were arrested, and 22 wazirs of note were taken as prisoners. Approximately one or two thousand Mughal soldiers who were held captive escaped. Suryajirao Kakade, a famous Panchazari Sardar of the Maratha army, was killed in this battle and was renowned for his ferocity.

A dozen Maratha sardars were awarded for their outstanding performance in the battle, with two officers (Sardar Moropant Pingle and Sardar Prataprao Gujar) receiving special recognition.

Consequences

Up until this battle, most of Shivaji’s victories had come through guerilla warfare, but the Maratha’s use of light cavalry against the Mughal forces on the Salher battlefield proved successful. The saint Ramdas wrote his famous letter to Shivaji, addressing him as Gajpati (Lord of Elephants), Haypati (Lord of Cavalry), Gadpati (Lord of Forts), and Jalpati (Lord of Forts) (Master of the High Seas). Shivaji Maharaj was proclaimed Emperor (or Chhatrapati ) of his realm a few years later in 1674, but not as a direct result of this war.

Also Read

HISTORY OF CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ – Chapter 1: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj The Legend

HISTORY OF CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ - Chapter 1 Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj The Legend - HinduFAQs

The Legend – Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

In Maharashtra and across Bharat, Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosle, the founder and ideal ruler of the Hindavi Empire, is revered as an all-inclusive, compassionate Monarch. He clashed with the regimes of Adilshah of Vijapur, Nizam of Ahmednagar, and even the most powerful Mughal Empire at the time, using the guerrilla war system, which was suitable for mountainous regions in Maharashtra, and sowed the seeds of the Maratha Empire.

Despite the fact that the Adilshah, Nizam, and Mughal empires were dominant, they were completely reliant on local chiefs (sardars) – and killedars (Officers in-charge of Forts). The people under the control of these sardars and killedars were subjected to a great deal of distress and injustice. Shivaji Maharaj rid them of their tyranny and set an example of excellent governance for future kings to obey.

When we examine the personality and regime of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, we learn a lot. Bravery, might, physical capacity, idealism, organising abilities, strict and expected governance, diplomacy, bravery, foresight, and so on defined his personality.

Facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

1. During his childhood and youth, he worked very hard to develop his physical strength.

2. Studied various weapons to see which were the most effective.

3. Gathered simple and sincere mavlas and instilled faith and idealism in them.

4. After taking an oath, he committed himself completely to the establishment of Hindavi Swarajya. Conquered major forts and built new ones.

5. He vanquished several foes by cleverly using the formula of fighting at the right time and signing a treaty if the need arose. Within Swarajya, he successfully combated treason, deception, and enmity.

6. Attacked with a deft use of the guerrilla tactic.

7. Proper provisions were made for common citizens, farmers, brave troops, religious sites, and a variety of other items.

8. Most significantly, he created an Ashtapradhan Mandal (cabinet of eight ministers) to oversee Hindavi Swarajya’s overall governance.

9. He took Rajbhasha’s development very seriously and patronised a variety of arts.

10. Attempted to reawaken in the minds of downtrodden, depressed subjects the spirit of self-respect, might, and devotion to Swarajya.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was responsible for all of this within fifty years in his entire lifetime.

Self-respect and confidence in Swarajya, which were sparked in the 17th century, continue to inspire Maharashtra today.

Sanskrit:

 पृथ्वि त्वया धृता लोका
देवि त्वं विष्णुना धृता ।
त्वं  धारय मां देवि
पवित्रं कुरु चासनम् ॥

Translation:

Om Prthvi Tvayaa Dhrtaa Lokaa
Devi Tvam Vissnnunaa Dhrtaa |
Tvam Ca Dhaaraya Maam Devi
Pavitram Kuru Ca-[A]asanam ||

Meaning:

1: Om, O Prithvi Devi, by You are borne the entire Loka (World); And Devi, You in turn are borne by Sri Vishnu,
2: Please hold me (on Your lap), O Devi, and make this Asana (seat of the worshipper) Pure.

Sanskrit:

पृथ्वि त्वया धृता लोका
देवि त्वं विष्णुना धृता ।
त्वं च धारय मां देवि
पवित्रं कुरु चासनम् ॥

Translation:

Om Prthvi Tvayaa Dhrtaa Lokaa
Devi Tvam Vissnnunaa Dhrtaa |
Tvam Ca Dhaaraya Maam Devi
Pavitram Kuru Ca-[A]asanam ||

Meaning:

1: Om, O Prithivi Devi, by You are borne the entire Loka (World); And Devi, You, in turn, are borne by Sri Vishnu,
2: Please hold me (on Your lap), O Devi, and make this Asana (seat of the worshipper) Pure.

Source – Pinterest

Sanskrit:

समुद्रवसने देवि पर्वतस्तनमण्डले ।
विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्वमे ॥

Translation:

Samudra-Vasane Devi Parvata-Stana-Mannddale |
Vissnnu-Patni Namas-Tubhyam Paada-Sparsham Kssamasva-Me ||

Meaning:

1: (Oh Mother Earth) The Devi Who is having Ocean as Her Garments and Mountains as Her Bosom,
2: Who is the Consort of Sri Vishnu, I Bow to You; Please Forgive me for Touching You with my Feet.

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 All images, designs or videos on this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.
Devi Sita (Wife of Shri Ram) is an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Lakshmi is Vishnu’s wife and whenever Vishnu incarnates she incarnates with him.

Sanskrit:

दारिद्र्यरणसंहर्त्रीं भक्तानाभिष्टदायिनीम् ।
विदेहराजतनयां राघवानन्दकारिणीम् ॥२॥

Translation:

Daaridrya-Ranna-Samhartriim Bhaktaana-Abhisstta-Daayiniim |
Videha-Raaja-Tanayaam Raaghava-[A]ananda-Kaarinniim ||2||

Meaning:

2.1: (I Salute You) You are the destroyer of Poverty (in the battle of life) and bestower of wishes of the Devotees,
2.2: (I Salute You) You are the daughter of Videha Raja (King Janaka), and cause of Joy of Raghava (Sri Rama),

Sanskrit:

भूमेर्दुहितरं विद्यां नमामि प्रकृतिं शिवाम् ।
पौलस्त्यैश्वर्यसंहत्रीं भक्ताभीष्टां सरस्वतीम् ॥३॥

Translation:

Bhuumer-Duhitaram Vidyaam Namaami Prakrtim Shivam |
Paulastya-[A]ishvarya-Samhatriim Bhakta-Abhiissttaam Sarasvatiim ||3||

Source – Pinterest

Meaning:

3.1: I Salute You, You are the daughter of the Earth and the embodiment of Knowledge; You are the Auspicious Prakriti,
3.2: (I Salute You) You are the destroyer of the Power and Supremacy of (oppressors like) Ravana, (and at the same time) fulfiller of the wishes of the Devotees; You are an embodiment of Saraswati,

Sanskrit:

पतिव्रताधुरीणां त्वां नमामि जनकात्मजाम् ।
अनुग्रहपरामृद्धिमनघां हरिवल्लभाम् ॥४॥

Translation:

Pativrataa-Dhuriinnaam Tvaam Namaami Janaka-[A]atmajaam |
Anugraha-Paraam-Rddhim-Anaghaam Hari-Vallabhaam ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: I Salute You, You are the best among Pativratas (Ideal Wife devoted to Husband), (and at the same time) the Soul of Janaka (Ideal Daughter devoted to Father),
4.2: (I Salute You) You are very Gracious (being Yourself the embodiment of) Riddhi (Lakshmi), (Pure and) Sinless, and extremely Beloved of Hari,

Sanskrit:

आत्मविद्यां त्रयीरूपामुमारूपां नमाम्यहम् ।
प्रसादाभिमुखीं लक्ष्मीं क्षीराब्धितनयां शुभाम् ॥५॥

Translation:

Aatma-Vidyaam Trayii-Ruupaam-Umaa-Ruupaam Namaamyaham |
Prasaada-Abhimukhiim Lakssmiim Kssiira-Abdhi-Tanayaam Shubhaam ||5||

Meaning:

5.1: I Salute You, You are the embodiment of Atma Vidya, mentioned in the Three Vedas (Manifesting its Inner Beauty in Life); You are of the nature of Devi Uma,
5.2: (I Salute You) You are the Auspicious Lakshmi, the daughter of the Milky Ocean, and always intent on bestowing Grace (to the Devotees),

Sanskrit:

नमामि चन्द्रभगिनीं सीतां सर्वाङ्गसुन्दरीम् ।
नमामि धर्मनिलयां करुणां वेदमातरम् ॥६॥

Translation:

Namaami Candra-Bhaginiim Siitaam Sarva-Angga-Sundariim |
Namaami Dharma-Nilayaam Karunnaam Veda-Maataram ||6||

Meaning:

6.1: I Salute You, You are like the sister of Chandra (in Beauty), You are Sita Who is Beautiful in Her entirety,
6.2: (I Salute You) You are an Abode of Dharma, full of Compassion and the Mother of Vedas,

Sanskrit:

पद्मालयां पद्महस्तां विष्णुवक्षःस्थलालयाम् ।
नमामि चन्द्रनिलयां सीतां चन्द्रनिभाननाम् ॥७॥

Translation:

Padma-[A]alayaam Padma-Hastaam Vissnnu-Vakssah-Sthala-[A]alayaam |
Namaami Candra-Nilayaam Siitaam Candra-Nibha-[A]ananaam ||7||

Meaning:

7.1: (I Salute You) (You as Devi Lakshmi) Abide in Lotus, hold Lotus in Your Hands, and always reside in the Heart of Sri Vishnu,
7.2: I Salute You, You reside in Chandra Mandala, You are Sita Whose Face resembles the Moon

DISCLAIMER:
 All images, designs or videos on this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.
Bhima trying to lift hanuman's tail

The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious.

Krishna as saarthi in mahabharata
Krishna as saarthi where as Hanuman on Flag in mahabharata

Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present.

Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.

Hanuman, decorating the chariot’s flag, was ready to shout his war cries to help Bhima terrify the enemy. Earlier, the Mahabharata had described a meeting between Hanuman and Bhima.

Once, while Arjuna was seeking celestial weapons, the remaining Pandavas wandered to Badarikashrama, high in the Himalayas. Suddenly, the alakananda River carried to Draupadi a beautiful and fragrant thousand-petaled lotus flower. Draupadi was captivated by its beauty and scent. “Bhima, this lotus flower is so beautiful. I should offer it to Yudhisthhira Maharaja. Could you get me a few more? We could take some back to our hermitage in Kamyaka.”

Bhima grabbed his club and charged up the hill where no mortals were permitted. As he ran, he bellowed and frightened elephants and lions. He uprooted trees as he pushed them aside. Not caring for the ferocious beasts of the jungle, he climbed a steep mountain until his progress was blocked by a huge monkey lying across the path.

“Why are you making so much noise and scaring all the animals?” the monkey said. “Just sit down and eat some fruit.”
“Move aside,” ordered Bhima, for etiquette forbade him to step over the monkey.

The monkey’s reply?
“I am too old to move. Jump over me.”

Bhima, becoming angry, repeated his order, but the monkey, again pleading the weakness of old age, requested Bhima to simply move his tail aside.

Proud of his immense strength, Bhima thought to pull the monkey out of the way by its tail. But, to his amazement, he could not move it in the least, though he exerted all his strength. In shame, he bent down his head and politely asked the monkey who he was. The monkey revealed his identity as Hanuman, his brother and told him that he stopped him to prevent him from the dangers and rakshasas in the forest.

Bhima trying to lift hanuman's tail
Bhima trying to lift hanuman’s tail : Photo by – VachalenXEON

Transported with delight, Bhima requested Hanuman to show him the form in which he crossed the ocean. Hanuman smiled and began to increase his size to the extent Bhima realized he had grown beyond the size of the mountain. Bhima bowed before him and told him that inspired with his strength, he was sure to conquer his enemies.

Hanuman gave parting blessing to his brother: “While you roar like a lion in the battlefield, my voice shall join yours and strike terror into the heart of your enemies. I shall be present on the flag of the chariot of your brother Arjuna. You will be victorious.”

He then offered Bhima the following blessings.
“I shall remain present on the flag of your brother Arjuna. When you roar like a lion on the battlefield, my voice will join with yours to strike terror into the hearts of your enemies. You will be victorious and regain your kingdom.”

Hanuman on flag of Arjuna's Chariot
Hanuman on flag of Arjuna’s Chariot

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What is the story of Panchamukhi Hanuman

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12 common characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata

 

There are many characters who appears both in Ramayana and mahabharata. Here it the list of 12 such characters who appears in both Ramayana and Mahabharata.

1) Jambavanth: who was in Rama’s army wants to fight with Rama in Tretha yuga, fought with Krishna and asked Krishna to marry his daughter Jambhavathi.
the king of bears in Ramayan, who plays a major role, during the building of the bridge, appears in the Mahabharat, technically speaking the Bhagavatam I would say. Apparently, during Ramayan, Lord Ram, was pleased with Jambavanth’s devotion and told him to ask for a boon. Jambavan being of slow understanding, wished for a duel with Lord Ram, which he granted, saying that it would be done in his next avatar. And that is the entire story of Symanthaka Mani, where Krishna goes in search of it, meets Jambavan, and they have a duel, before Jambavan finally recognizes the truth.

jambavantha | Hindu FAQs
jambavantha

2) Maharishi Durvasa: who predicted the separation of Rama and Sita was the son of Maharishi Atri and Anasuya, visited the Pandavas in exile.. Durvasha gave a mantra to Kunti, the mother of eldest 3 Pandavas for getting children .

Maharishi Durvasa
Maharishi Durvasa

 

3) Narad Muni: Comes in many occasions in both stories. In Mahabharata he was one of the Rishis attended to Krishna’s peace talks in Hastinapur.

Narad Muni
Narad Muni

4) Vayu Dev: Vayu  is father of both Hanuman and Bheema.

Vayu Dev
Vayu Dev

5) Vasishtha’s son Shakthi: had a son called Parasara and Parasara’s son was Veda Vyasa, who wrote the Mahabharata .  So this means Vasishtha was the great grandfather of Vyasa.  Brahmarshi Vasishtha lived from the time of Satyavrata Manu, to the time of Sri Rama.  Sri Rama was Vasistha’s student.

6) Mayasura: the father of Mandodari and Ravan’s father in law, appears in the Mahabharat too, during the Khandava Dahana incident. Mayasura was the only one to survive the burning of the Khandava forest, and when Krishna finds this out, he lifts his Sudarshan Chakra to kill him. Mayasura however rushes to Arjun, who gives him refuge and tells Krishna, that he is now sworn to protect him. And so as a deal, Mayasura, himself an architect, designs the entire Maya Sabha for the Pandavas.

Mayasura
Mayasura

7) Maharishi Bharadwaja: Drona’s father was the Maharishi Bharadwaja, who was the pupil of Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana.

Maharishi Bharadwaja
Maharishi Bharadwaja

 

8) Kubera: Kubera, who is the elder half brother of Ravana, is also in Mahabharata.

Kubera
Kubera

9) Parshuram: Parushuram, who appeared in Ram and Sita marriage, is also Guru to Bhishma and Karna. Parshuram was in the Ramayan, when he challenged Lord Ram to break the Vishnu Dhanush, which also in  a way, quelled his anger. In the Mahabharat he initially has a duel with Bhishma, when Amba seeks his help in taking revenge, but loses to him. Karna later poses as a Brahmin in order to learn about weapons from Parashuram, before exposing himself, and being cursed by him, that his weapons would fail him when he needed them the most.

Parshuram
Parshuram

10) Hanuman: Hanuman being the Chiranjivi( blessed with eternal life), appears in the Mahabharat, he also happens to be Bhim’s brother, both of them son of Vayu. The tale of Hanuman quelling Bhim’s pride, by appearing as an old monkey, when he was on the journey to get the Kadamba flower. Also another tale in the Mahabharat, of  Hanuman and Arjun having a bet of who was stronger, and Hanuman losing the wager thanks to help of Lord Krishna, due to which he appears on Arjun’s flag during the Kurukshetra war.

Hanuman
Hanuman

11) Vibheeshana: Mahabharata mentions that Vibheeshana sent Jewell and Gems to Yudhisthira’s  Rajasuya sacrifice. That is the only mention about Vibheeshana in  Mahabharata.

Vibheeshana
Vibheeshana

12) Agastya Rishi: Agastya Rishi Met Rama before the war with Ravana. Mahabharata mentions that Agastya was the one who gave the weapon “Brahmashira” to Drona. (Arjuna and Aswatama had obtained this weapon from Drona)

Agastya Rishi
Agastya Rishi

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Goddesses in Hinduism

Here is the list of 10 prime Goddesses in hinduism (no particular order)

Lakshmi:
Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी) is the Hindu goddess of wealth, love, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty. She is the wife and active energy of Vishnu.

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth

Saraswati :
Saraswati (सरस्वती) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively

Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge

Durga:
Durga (दुर्गा), meaning “the inaccessible” or “the invincible”, is the most popular incarnation of Devi and one of the main forms of the Goddess Shakti in the Hindu pantheon.

Durga
Durga

Parvati:
Parvati (पार्वती) is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of Hindu goddess Shakti. She is the mother goddess in Hinduism and has many attributes and aspects.

Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion.
Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion.

Kali:
Kali also known as Kalika, is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati).

Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment
Kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment

Sita:
Sita (सीता) is the consort of the Hindu god Rama  and is an avatar of Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and wife of Vishnu. She is esteemed as a paragon of spousal and feminine virtues for all Hindu women. Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.

Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.
Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice, courage and purity.

Radha:
Radha, which means prosperity and success, is one of the Gopis of Vrindavan, and is a central figure of Vaishnava theology.

Radha
Radha

Rati:
Rati  is the Hindu goddess of love, carnal desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure. Usually described as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Rati is the female counterpart, the chief consort and the assistant of Kama (Kamadeva), the god of love.

Rati  is the Hindu goddess of love, carnal desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure.
Rati is the Hindu goddess of love, carnal desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure.

Ganga:
the river Ganges is considered sacred and is personified as a goddess known as Ganga. It is worshipped by Hindus who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates Moksha.

Goddess Ganga
Goddess Ganga

Annapurna :
Annapurna or Annapoorna is the Hindu goddess of nourishment. Anna means “food” or “grains”. Purna means “ful l, complete and perfect”. She is an avatar (form) of Parvati, the wife of Shiva.

Annapoorna is the Hindu goddess of nourishment.
Annapoorna is the Hindu goddess of nourishment

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Image credits to Google images, the real owners and artists.
(The Hindu FAQs does not owe any of these images)

Throwing colour on the crowd

Holi ( होली) is a spring festival also known as the festival of colours or the festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
As discussed in previous article (Significance of bonfire for Holi and Story of Holika) , Holi is spread out over two days. On the first day, bonfire is created and on the second day, holi is played with colors and water. In some places, it is played for five days, the fifth day is called Ranga Panchami.
Playing Colurs on holi The second day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, or Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other, laugh and celebrate, while elders tend to smear dry coloured powder (Abir) on each other’s face. Visitors to homes are first teased with colours, then served with Holi delicacies, desserts and drinks. After playing with colours, and cleaning up, people bathe, put on clean clothes, visit friends and family.

Like Holika Dahan, Kama Dahanam is celebrated in some parts of India. The festival of colours in these parts is called Rangapanchami, and occurs on fifth day after Poornima (full moon).

It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. The festival has, in recent times, spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.

Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where participants play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water, with some carrying water guns and coloured water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw colours on each other, laugh and chit-chat, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. Some drinks are intoxicating. For example, Bhang, an intoxicating ingredient made from cannabis leaves, is mixed into drinks and sweets and consumed by many. In the evening, after sobering up, people dress up, visit friends and family.

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

Kids Playing Colurs on holi
Kids Playing Colurs on holi

Holi frolic and celebrations begin the morning after Holika bonfire. There is no tradition of holding puja (prayer), and the day is for partying and pure enjoyment. Children and youth groups form armed with dry colours, coloured solution, means to fill and spray others with coloured solution (pichkaris), balloons that can hold coloured water, and other creative means to colour their targets.

Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colours such as turmeric, neem, dhak, kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used. All colours are used. Everyone in open areas such as streets and parks are game. Inside homes or at doorways though, only dry powder is used to smear each other’s face. People throw colours, and get their targets completely coloured up. It is like a water fight, but where the water is coloured. People take delight in spraying coloured water on each other. By late morning, everyone looks like a canvas of colours. This is why Holi is given the name “Festival of Colours.”

colours in Holi
colours in Holi

Groups sing and dance, some playing drums and dholak. After each stop of fun and play with colours, people offer gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other traditional delicacies.Chilled drinks, including adult drinks based on local intoxicating herbs, is also part of the Holi festivity.

In Braj region around Mathura, in north India, the festivities may last more than week. The rituals go beyond playing with colours, and include a day where men go around with shields and women have the right to playfully beat them on their shields with sticks.

In south India, some worship and make offerings to Kaamadeva, the love god of Indian mythology, on Holi.

Throwing colour on the crowd
Playing Colour on Holi

After a day of play with colours, people clean up, wash and bathe, sober and dress up in the evening and greet friends and relatives by visiting them and exchange sweets. Holi is also a festival of forgiveness and new starts, which ritually aims to generate harmony in the society.

Credits:
Image credits to the owners of the images and the original photographers. Images are use for article purpose and are not owned by Hindu FAQs

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire

Holi is spread out over two days. On the first day, bonfire is created and on the second day, holi is played with colors and water. In some places, it is played for five days, the fifth day is called Ranga Panchami. Holi bonfire is known as Holika Dahan also Kamudu pyre is celebrated by burning Holika, the devil. For many traditions in Hinduism, Holi celebrates the death of Holika in order to save Prahlad, and thus Holi gets its name. In olden days, people use to contribute a piece of wood or two for Holika bonfire.

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire
Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire

Holika
Holika (होलिका) was a demoness in Hindu Vedic scriptures, who was burnt to death with help of God Vishnu. She was the sister of King Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahlad.
The story of Holika dahan (Holika’s death) signifies the triumph of good over evil. Holika is associated with the annual bonfire on the night before Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

Hiranyakashipu and Pralhad
Hiranyakashipu and Pralhad

According to Bhagavat purana, there was a king named Hiranyakashipu who, like a lot of demons and Asuras, had the intense desire to be immortal. To fulfill this desire he performed the required Tapas (penance) until he was granted a boon by Brahma. Since the God’s do not usually grant the boon of immortality, he used his guile and cunning to get a boon which he thought made him immortal. The boon gave Hiranyakashyapu 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 (weapons that are launched) nor by any shastra (weapons that are hand held), and neither on land nor in water or air. As this wish was granted, Hiranyakashyapu felt he was invincible, which made him arrogant. Hiranyakashyapu decreed that only he be worshiped as a God, punished and killed anyone who did not accept his orders. His son Prahlad disagreed with his father, and refused to worship his father as a god. He continued believing and worshipping Lord Vishnu.

Holika with Pralhad in bondife
Holika with Pralhad in bondife

This made Hiranyakashipu very angry and he made various attempts to kill Prahlad. During a particular attempt on Prahlad’s life, King Hiranyakashyapu called upon his sister Holika for help. Holika had a special cloak garment that prevented her from being harmed by fire. Hiranyakashyapu asked her to sit on a bonfire with Prahlad, by tricking the boy to sit on her lap. However, as the fire roared, the garment flew from Holika and covered Prahlad. Holika burnt to death, Prahlad came out unharmed.

Hiranyakashipu is said to be the brother of Hiranyaksha.  Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha are Vishnu’s gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya, born on earth as the result of a curse from the Four Kumaras

Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Vishnu’s 3rd Incarnation which was Varaha. and Hiranyakashipu was later killed by Lord Vishnu’s 4th Incarnation which was Narasimha.

Tradition
The night before Holi pyres are burnt in North India, Nepal and parts of South India in keeping with this tradition. The youth playfully steal all sorts of things and put them in Holika pyre.

The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of Spring. In 17th century literature, it was identified as a festival that celebrated agriculture, commemorated good spring harvests and the fertile land. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring’s abundant colours and saying farewell to winter. Holi festivities mark the beginning of new year to many Hindus, as well as a justification to reset and renew ruptured relationships, end conflicts and accumulated emotional impurities from past.

Prepare Holika pyre for bonfire
Days before the festival people start gathering wood and combustible materials for the bonfire in parks, community centers, near temples and other open spaces. On top of the pyre is an effigy to signify Holika who tricked Prahalad into the fire. Inside homes, people stock up on color pigments, food, party drinks and festive seasonal foods such as gujiya, mathri, malpuas and other regional delicacies.

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire
People walking in circle, praising the bonfire

Holika dahan
On the eve of Holi, typically at or after sunset, the pyre is lit, signifying Holika Dahan. The ritual symbolises the victory of good over evil. People sing and dance around the fire.
The next day people play Holi, the popular festival of colors.

Reason for Holika burning
The burning of Holika is the most common mythological explanation for the celebration of Holi. In different parts of India varying reasons are given for Holika’s death. Among those are:

  • Vishnu stepped in and hence Holika burnt.
  • Holika was given the power by the Brahma on the understanding that it can never be used to bring harm to anyone.
  • Holika was a good person and it was the clothes that she wore that gave her the power and knowing that what was happening was wrong, she gave them to Prahlad and hence died herself.
  • Holika wore a shawl that would protect her from fire. So when she was asked to sit in the fire with Prahlad she put on the shawl and sat Prahlad down in her lap. When the fire was lit Prahlad began praying to Lord Vishnu. So Lord Vishnu summoned a gust of wind to blow the shawl off of Holika and on to Prahlad, saving him from the flames of the bonfire and burning Holika to her death

The next day is known as Color holi or Dhulheti where people play with colors and water spraying pichkaris.
The next article will be on second day of Holi …

Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire
Holi Dahan, Holi Bonfire

Credits:
Image credits to the owners of the images and the original photographers. Images are use for article purpose and are not owned by Hindu FAQs