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Stotra on Devi Kamakshi

The goddess Kamakshee is the form of Tripura Sundari or Parvati or the universal mother … The main temples of Kamakshi Devi in Goa are the Kamakshi Rayeshwar temple

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Well, there are many reasons why people ask this  question and there are many answers to the question. People ask this question out of  genuine interest, genuine curiosity, genuine confusion and even out of meanness. So, here are the many answers for why are there many Gods in Hinduism.

Lalbaug Cha Raja
Lalbabu Cha Raja Ganpati and His Millions of Followers

1. There are ‘no-god’ religions, ‘one-god’ religions and ‘many-gods’ religions in this world. ‘Many-gods’ religions are as natural as the  ‘no-god’ religions and ‘one-god’ religions. They just evolved, because God / Nature loves variety. As simple as that.

2. Let us turn this question around. If you are asking  why there are multiple gods in Hinduism, you should also ask why there is only one-god in Abrahamic religions? Why? Why? Why only one God?

3. The ‘one-god’ religions truly do not have one-god. They had many gods and the followers of each God fought with the followers of other gods literally to establish their own superiority  and they made their god as the ‘only available  God’ and called it ‘One-God’. And the story doesn’t stop  there. Whenever there is in-fighting, a new branch of the religion gets created. All the hundreds of branches have different  notions of the same God and fight over their differences. Major branches actually kill and heap abusing each other.

4. The One-God religions are like political parties. The followers rally behind  their God like captive voters of political parties follow their leaders. They want to argue that their God is ‘true’ God and everyone else’s God is ‘false’. How can there be ‘true’ or ‘false’ Gods, if there is only one God?

5. Hinduism is not like a political party. Hindu Gods do not ask for  ‘acceptance’ or ‘belief’, just like Sun, who doesn’t need your or my acceptance or belief for his existence. There is no ‘true’ Sun or false ‘Sun’.   Hinduism is about contemplating and understanding  the oneness of Universe. It is called Brahman, Tat or Aum and by  many other names. But you may ask, why so many names? Because all Natural  objects have multiple names. Sun has many names in many languages. Water has many names in many languages. Only man-made objects have ‘one’ name. For example, Coke, a man-made name is same in  every language.  Toyota, a man-made entity, is the same in every language. The religions that have only one-God that goes by only  one-name must have been man-made religions.

6. The Universe is big. It is not only big in  size, but also in its aspects and  qualities. Each aspect is deep in itself to understand.  For example, the universe regenerates itself continuously. That is one aspect. The universe maintains itself in a state of equilibrium. That is another aspect. The universe gives raise to a diverse set of organisms. That is yet another aspect. The  universe has energy and it moves. That is one more aspect. But also the  universe stays as is  for long time. That  is another aspect. Each God of Hinduism represents one aspect of the Universe.

7. Since our minds are small, we cannot hold the full image of God. Therefore the god you see and the god your brother or sister sees is  going to be different. In stead of fighting over and branch out into multiple religions and denominations, Hinduism says that your image of God is what you can relate to, so go with it. And similarly your brother’s image of God is what he can relate to, so he will have to go with it. You have no business about  your brother’s image of God and your brother has no business about your image of God. You can leave it at that. But if you are a friendly person and if you value your brother as much as you value yourself, you would be curious about his image of god and he would be curious about your image of god. When you exchange each other’s image of God, you will both see a ‘bigger picture’ of God. So for the sake comfort, keep your image of God. For  the sake of  growing, gain a better image of God, by exchanging your ideas of God with your brother. Once you keep growing and your brother keeps growing, both of your images converge to the  same infinite god. No need to fight. Just keep all the Gods. This is the most beautiful and open concept about gods that mankind has ever created. It is free for you to take. What are you waiting for ?

Do read our post: Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism?

karna from Mahabharata

Karna attaches an arrow to his bow, pulls back and releases – the arrow is aimed at Arjun’s heart.  Krishna, Arjun’s Charioteer, drives by sheer force the chariot into the ground several feet.  The arrow hits Arjun’s headgear and knocks it off. Missing its target – Arjuna’s heart.
Krishna yells, “Wow! Nice shot, Karna.”
Arjuna asks Krishna, ‘Why are you praising Karna?’
Krishna tells Arjun, ‘Look at you! You have Lord Hanuman on the flag of this chariot. You have me as your charioteer. You received the blessings of Ma Durga and your Guru, Dronacharya before the battle, have a loving Mother and an aristocratic heritage. This Karna has nobody, his own charioteer, Salya belittles him, his own Guru (Parusurama) cursed him, his Mother abandoned him when he was born and he has no known heritage.  Yet, look at the battle he’s giving you. Without me and Lord Hanuman on this chariot, where would you be?’

karna
Comparison between Krishna and Karna
on various occasions. Some of them are Myths while some are pure facts.


1. Immediately after Krishna’s birth, he was transported across the river by his father, Vasudeva to be brought up by his step-parents – Nanda & Yasoda
Immediately after Karna’s birth, his Mother – Kunti placed him in a basket on the river. He was transported to his step-parents – Adhiratha & Radha – by the watchful eye of his father, Surya Dev

2.  Karna’s given name was – Vasusena
– Krishna was also called – Vasudeva

3. Krishna’s mother was Devaki, his Step-Mother – Yasoda, His Chief Wife – Rukmini, yet he is remembered mostly for his lila with Radha. ‘Radha-Krishna’
– Karna’s birth mother was Kunti, and even after finding out she was his mother – He told Krishna that he will not be called – Kaunteya – son of Kunti, but will be remembered as Radheya – Son of Radha. Till date, the Mahabharata refers to Karna as ‘Radheya’

4.  Krishna was asked by his people – Yadavas- to become, King. Krishna refused and Ugrasena was King of the Yadavas.
– Krishna asked Karna to become Emperor of India (BharataVarsha- Extending to Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan at the time), thereby preventing the MahaBharat War.  Krishna argued that Karna being elder to both Yudhisthira & Duryodhana – he would be the rightful heir to the throne. Karna refused the Kingdom on account of principle

5. Krishna broke his vow of not picking up a weapon during the War, when he impulsively rushed at Bhishma Dev with his Chakra.

Krishna rushing towards Bhishma with his Chakra

6. Krishna vowed to Kunti that all 5 Pandavas were under his protection
–          Karna vowed to Kunti that he would spare the lives of 4 Pandavas and battle Arjuna (In the War, Karna had a chance to kill – Yudhisthira, Bhima, Nakula & Sahadeva at different intervals. Yet, he spared their lives)

7. Krishna was born in the Kshatriya caste, yet he played the role of Arjuna’s charioteer in the War
–          Karna was raised in the Suta (Charioteer) caste, yet he played the role of a Kshatriya in the War

8. Karna was cursed to his Death by his Guru – Rishi Parusharam for deceiving him for being a Brahmin (In actuality, Parusharam knew about Karna’s true heritage – however, he also knew the big picture that was to be played out later. Aside from that – along w/ Bhishma Dev, Karna was his favorite disciple)
–          Krishna was cursed to his Death by Gandhari as she felt he allowed the War to unfold and could have done more to prevent it.

9. Draupadi called Krishna her Sakha (Brother) & loved him openly. (Krishna cut his finger from the Sudarshan Chakra and Draupadi immediately tore a piece of cloth from her favorite sari that she was wearing, soaked it in water and  rapidly wrapped it around his finger to stop the bleeding. When Krishna said, ‘That is your favorite Sari!’. Draupadi smiled and shrugged her shoulders as if it was no big deal. Krishna was touched by this – hence when she was being stripped by Dushashana in the Assembly Hall – Krishna by his maya supplied Draupadi with never ending Saris.)
–          Draupadi loved Karna secretly. He was her hidden crush. When Dushashana strips  Draupadi of her sari in the Assembly Hall.  Which Krishna replenished one by one (Bhima had once told Yudhisthira, ‘Brother, do not give Krishna your sins. He multiplies everything.’)

10. Prior to the War, Krishna was looked upon with great respect and reverence.  Even among the Yadavas, they knew Krishna was great, nay The Greatest…yet, they didn’t know his Divinity.  Very few knew for sure who Krishna was. After the War, many Rishis and people were angry with Krishna as they felt he could have prevented the atrocity and millions of deaths.
–          Prior to the War, Karna was looked upon as an instigator and right-hand man of Duryodhana – jealous of the Pandavas. After the war, Karna was looked upon with reverence by the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra & Gandhari. For his endless sacrifice & they were all sad that Karna had to face such ignonimity his whole life

11. Krishna/Karna had an enormous amount of respect for each other.  Karna somehow knew about Krishna’s divinity and surrendered himself to his Lila.  Whereas, Karna surrendered to Krishna & gained glory – Ashwattama could not accept the manner in which his father, Dronacharya was slayed and unleashed a vicious guerrilla warfare against the Panchalas – men, women & children. Ending up being a bigger villain than Duryodhana.

12.  Krishna asked Karna how he knew the Pandavas would Win the MahaBharat War.  To which Karna responded, ‘Kurukshethra is a sacrificial field. Arjuna is the Head Priest, You-Krishna are the presiding deity. Myself (Karna), Bhishma Dev, Dronacharya and Duryodhana are the sacrifice.’
Krishna ended their conversation by telling Karna, ‘You are the best of the Pandavas.’

13. KARNA is the creation of Krishna to show the world the true meaning of sacrifice and to accept your fate. And in spite of all the bad luck or bad times you come across maintain: Your Spirituality, Your Generosity, Your Nobility, Your Dignity and Your Self- Respect and Respect for others.

Arjuna killing Karna Arjuna killing Karna

Post Credits: Aman Bhagat
Image Credits: To the Owner

1. “We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”

2. “He alone sees truly who sees the Lord the same in every creature…seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others.”

3. “It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.”


4. “No one should abandon duties because he sees defects in them. Every action, every activity, is surrounded by defects as a fire is surrounded by smoke.”

5. “Reshape yourself through the power of your will…
Those who have conquered themselves…live in peace, alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, praise and blame…To such people a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same…Because they are impartial, they rise to great heights.”

6. “The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results.”

7. “It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

8. “The demonic do things they should avoid and avoid the things they should do… Hypocritical, proud, and arrogant, living in delusion and clinging to their deluded ideas, insatiable in their desires, they pursue unclean ends… Bound on all sides by scheming and anxiety, driven by anger and greed, they amass by any means they can a hoard of money for the satisfaction of their cravings… Self-important, obstinate, swept away by the pride of wealth, they ostentatiously perform sacrifices without any regard for their purpose. Egotistical, violent, arrogant, lustful, angry, envious of everyone, they abuse my presence within their own bodies and in the bodies of others.”

9. “Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace.”

10. “Those who eat too much or eat too little, who sleep too much or sleep too little, will not succeed in meditation. But those who are temperate in eating and sleeping, work and recreation, will come to the end of sorrow through meditation.”

12 common characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata

Jayadratha was the son of Vridhakshtra, king of Sindhu (present day Pakistan) and was the brother in law of the Kaurava prince, Duryodhana. He had married Dushshala, the only daughter of Dhritarastra and Gandhari.
One day when the Pandavas were in their vanavaas, the brothers went into the forest to collect fruits,wood, roots etc. Seeing Draupadi alone and enamored by her beauty, Jayadratha approached her and proposed to marry her even after coming to know that she was the wife of the Pandavas. When she refused to comply, he took the hasty decision of abducting her and started moving towards Sindhu. The Pandavas in the meantime learnt of this ghastly act and came in for Draupadi’s rescue. Bhima thrashes down Jayadratha but Draupadi prevents Bhima from killing him as she doesn’t want Dushshala to become a widow. Instead she requests that his head be shaved and he be set free so that he doesn’t dare ever commit an act of transgression against another woman.


To avenge his humiliation, Jayadratha conducts severe penance in order to please Lord Shiva, who granted him a boon in the form of a garland which will hold all the Pandavas at bay for one day. While this was not the boon that Jayadratha wanted, he accepted it nevertheless. Not satisfied, he went and prayed to his father Vridhakshtra who blesses him that whoever causes the head of Jayadratha to fall on the ground will be immediately killed by having his own head burst into a hundred pieces.

With these boons, Jayadratha was an able ally to the Kauravas when the Kurukshetra war began. Using the powers of his first boon, he managed to keep all the Pandavas at bay, except for Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna who were battling Trigartas elsewhere on the battlefield. On this day, Jayadratha waited for Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu to enter the Chakravyuha and then blocked the exit knowing fully well that the young warrior did not know how to exit the formation. He also prevented mighty Bhima along with his other brothers from entering the Chakravyuha for Abhimanyu’s rescue. After being brutally and treacherously killed by the Kauravas, Jayadratha then goes on to kick the dead body of Abhimanyu and rejoices by dancing around it.

When Arjuna returns to the camp that evening and hears of his son’s death and the circumstances surrounding it, he becomes unconcious. Even Krishna could not check his tears, hearing about the death of his favourite Nephew. After gaining conciousness Arjuna vows to kill Jayadratha the very next day before sunset, failing which he would kill himself by entering into blazing fire along with his Gandiva. Hearing of this vow of Arjuna, Dronacharya arranges a complicated battle formation the next day to achieve two objectives, one was to protect Jayadratha and two was to enable Arjuna’s death which so far none of the Kaurava warriors had even gotten close to achieving in normal battle.

The next day, despite a full day of fierce fighting when Arjuna is unable to get to Jaydratha, Krishna realizes that he would need to resort to unconventional tactics to achieve this objective. Using his divine powers, Krishna masks the sun thus creating a solar eclipse in order to create the illusion of sunset. The entire Kaurava army rejoiced at the fact that they had managed to keep Jayadratha safe from Arjuna and also at the fact that Arjuna now would be forced to kill himself to follow his vow.

Elated, Jayadratha also appears in front of Arjuna and laughs at his defeat and starts dancing around joyously. At this moment, Krishna unmasks the sun and sun appears in the sky. Krishna points Jayadratha to Arjuna and reminds him of his vow. In order to prevent his head from falling to the ground, Krishna asks Arjuna to shoot cascading arrows in a sustained manner so that Jayadratha’s head is carried over from the battlefield in Kurukshetra and travels all over to the Himalyas such that it falls on the lap of his father Vridhakshtra who was meditating there.

Disturbed by the head falling on his lap, Jayadratha’s father gets up, the head drops to the ground and immediately Vridhakshtra’s head bursts into a hundred pieces thus fulfilling the boon that he had given his son years ago.

Also Read:

The Complete Story Of Jayadratha (जयद्रथ) The King Of Sindhu Kingdom

Credits:
Image Credits: to the original Artist
Post Credits: Varun Hrishikesh Sharma

Jaya and Vijaya are the two gatekeepers (dwarapalakas) of the abode of Vishnu (Vaikuntha Lok). According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Four Kumaras, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara, who are the manasaputras of Brahma (sons born from the mind or thought power of Brahma), were wandering across the worlds, and one day decide to pay a visit to Narayana – the form of Vishnu that rests on Shesh naga.
The Sanat Kumaras approach Jaya and Vijaya and ask to be let in. Now due to the strength of their tapas, the four Kumaras appear to be mere children, though they are of great age. Jaya and Vijaya, the gate keepers of the Vaikuntha stop the Kumaras at the gate mistaking them as children. They also tell the Kumaras that Sri Vishnu is resting and that they cannot see him now. The enraged Kumaras tell Jaya and Vijaya that Vishnu is available for his devotees any time, and cursed both of them that they would have to give up their divinity, be born as mortals on Earth and live like normal human beings.
jaya and vijaya
When Vishnu wakes up, he learns what has happened and is sorry for his two dwarapalakas, who are cursed by the great Sanat Kumaras just for doing their duty. He apologizes to the Sanat Kumaras and promises to his doorkeepers that he will do his best to help them go through the cycle of Life and Death. He cannot lift the curse of the Sanat Kumaras directly, but he puts in front of them two options:

The first option is that they could either be born seven times on Earth as devotees of Vishnu, while the second options is that they could be born three times as His enemy. After serving either of these sentences, they can re-attain their stature at Vaikuntha and be with Him permanently.

Jaya-Vijaya cannot bear the thought of staying away from Vishnu for seven lives, even as his devotees. As a result, they choose to be born three times on Earth even though it would have to be as enemies of Vishnu. Vishnu then takes Avatars and releases them from their lives.

In the first birth as enemy to Vishnu, Jaya and Vijaya were born as Hiranyaksha and Hiraeyakasipu in Satya Yuga. Hiranyaksha was an Asura the son of Diti and Kashyapa. He was slain by the god Vishnu after he (Hiranyaksha) took the Earth to the bottom of what has been described as the “Cosmic Ocean”. Vishnu assumed the Avatar of a boar (Varaha Avatar) and dove into the ocean to lift the Earth, in the process slaying Hiranyaksha who was obstructing Him. The battle lasted one thousand years. He had an elder brother named Hiranyakashipu, who after having undertaken penances which made him incredibly powerful and invincible unless several conditions were met, was later slain by the lion-headed Narasimha, another avatar of Vishnu.

In the next Treta yuga, Jaya and Vijaya were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and were killed by Lord Vishnu in His form as Ram.

At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, Jaya and Vijaya were born their third birth as Sisupala and Dantavakra and Vishnu appeared as Krishna and again killed them.

So as they move from one life to another, they move more and more closer to God … (Asuras being the worst, then rakshasa, then humans and then devas) finally going back to Vaikuntha.

More on each yug and each incarnation of Vishnu in comming posts.

Credits:Post credit: Vishwanath Sarang
Image Credit: to the original Artist

The city of Kashi is famous for the shrine of Kaal Bhairav, the kotwal of Kashi or the policeman of Varanasi. His presence evokes fear, no different from some of our policemen. He has a thick moustache, rides a dog, wraps himself in tiger skin, wears a garland of skulls, has a sword in one hand and in another, holds the severed head a criminal.


People go to his shrine to do jhaad: sweeping of hex. Hex means the disruption of one’s aura through witchcraft (jadoo-tona) and malefic gaze (drishti or nazar). Black threads and iron bracelets are sold in shops around the temple, offering Kaal Bhairav’s protection to the devotee.
The story goes that Shiva took the form of Bhairava to behead Brahma who became arrogant after creating the world. Brahma’s head seared into Shiva’s palm and he wandered the earth chased by Brahma-hatya, the infamy of killing the creator.


Shiva finally descended from Kailas southwards along the river Ganga. A point came when the river turned north. At this point, he dipped his hand in the river, and Brahma’s skull became undone and Shiva was thus liberated form Brahma-hatya. This became the site of the famous city of Avimukta (site where one is liberated) which is now called Kashi. It is said that the city stands on Shiva’s trident. Shiva stayed here as the guardian, driving away all those who threaten the city, protecting its inhabitants.

The idea of eight Bhairavs guarding the eight directions (four cardinal and four ordinal) is a common theme in various Purans. In the south, many villages have the shrine of 8 Vairavar (local name for Bhairav) in the eight corners of the village. Bhairava is thus acknowledged as the guardian god.

In many Jain temples, Bhairav stands along with his consort, Bhairavi, as a guardian god. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, one hears of Kala-Bhairav and Gora-Bhairav, the black and white guardians, who watch over shrines of the Goddess. Kala-Bhairav is more popularly known as Kaal, the black (Kala) referring to the black hole of time (Kaal) that consumes everything. Kaal Bhairav is associated with alcohol and wild frenzy. By contrast, Gora Bhairav or Batuk Bhairav (the small Bhairav) is visualized as a child who likes to drink milk, maybe laced with bhang.

The name Bhairav is rooted in the word ‘bhaya’ or fear. Bhairav evokes fear and takes away fear. He reminds us that fear is at the root of all human frailties. It is fear of invalidation that made Brahma cling to his creation and become arrogant. In fear, we cling to our identities like dogs cling to bones and their territories. To reinforce this message, Bhairav is associated with a dog, a symbol of attachment, as the dog wags its tail when the master smiles and whines when the master frowns. It is attachment, hence fear and insecurity, that makes us cast hexes on people and suffer from hexes cast by people. Bhairav liberates us from all.

Credits: Devdutt Pattnaik (Seven secrets of shiva)

Fascinating Stories about Lord Shiva Ep II - Parvati once donated Shiva - hindufaqs.com

Parvati once donated Shiva to Brahma’s Sons on Narad’s advice.

This happened when their second child, Ashokasundari, left home (Kailasha) for meditation.

This is the story: When Kartikeya, their first child, was born, he was given to the Kritikas (some women from Kritika place). This was done because Shiva believed that by growing in that place, he would imbibe skills that would help in warfare later. After coming to Kailasha, he immediately went to train to fight Tarakasura, one of the strongest daemons in the Hindu mythology. Shortly after killing him, he was sent to another kingdom for its protection. So Parvati was not given much opportunities to enjoy the company of her son.

Similar things happened with Ashokasundari. She was shortly motivated to go for meditation.

So Parvati was very upset because her family was never together. Menavati, her mother, tells her that in order to take care of this, Shiva himself should spend more time at home. So now the problem was how to make this happen.

Narad to the rescue! He tells Parvati that when Sachi, the wife of Indra, was having similar problem, she donated Indra to Narad. But Narad gave Indra back to her as he couldn’t see any advantage of keeping him. Since then Indra used to spend most of the time at home. So both Menavati and Narad convince Parvati to adopt a similar method. Narad tells Parvati that she could donate Shiv to the 4 Brahma sons – Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara.

(Brahma sons taking Shiv along with them)

The donation actually happened, but contrary to their expectation, the Brahma sons did not give Shiv back (who would, eh?).

Then there was a massive uproar everywhere as Shiva was no longer taking care of the worldly affairs – he was now a “property” of the Brahma sons and had to obey their orders. So Parvati assumes a form of an old lady and tries to show them how the world would get devastated if Shiva was not freed. They were convinced and let go of Shiva.

Creits: To original post by Shikhar Agarwal

Fascinating Stories about Lord Shiva Ep I - Shiva and Bhilla - hindufaqs.com

The series ‘Fascinating Stories about Lord Shiva’. This series will be focusing on many known and unknown stores of Shiva. There will be a new story per episode. Ep I is a story about Shiva and Bhilla. There was a sage named Veda. He used to pray to Shiva every day. The prayers lasted till the afternoon and after the prayers were over, Veda used to go to the nearby villages to beg alms.

A hunter named Bhilla used to come to the forest every afternoon to hunt. After the hunt was over, he used to come to Shiva’s linga (image) and offer to Shiva whatever it was that he had hunted. In the process of doing this, he often moved Veda’s offerings out of the way. Strange though it might seem, Shiva was stirred by Bhilla’s offerings and eagerly used to wait for it every day.

Bhilla and Veda never met. But Veda noticed that every day his offerings lay scattered and a little bit of meat lay by the side. Since this always happened when Veda had gone out to beg for alms, Veda did not know who was responsible. One day, he decided to wait in hiding so as to catch the culprit red-handed.

While Veda waited, Bhilla arrived and offered what he had brought to Shiva. Veda was amazed to discover that Shiva himself appeared before Bhilla and asked, “Why are you late today? I have been waiting for you. Did you get very tired?”
Bhilla went away after making his offerings. But Veda came up to Shiva and said, “What is all this? This is a cruel and evil hunter, and yet, you appear before him. I have been performing tapasya for so many years and you never appear before me. I am disgusted at this partiality. I will break your linga with this stone.”

“Do it if you must,” replied Shiva. “But please wait till tomorrow.”
Next day, when Veda came to present his offerings, he found traces of blood on top of the linga. He carefully washed away the traces of blood and completed his prayers.

After some time, Bhilla also came to present his offerings and discovered traces of blood on top of the linga. He thought that he was in some way responsible for this and blamed himself for some unknown transgression. He picked up a sharp arrow and began to pierce his body repeatedly with this arrow as punishment.
Shiva appeared before both of them and said, “Now you see the difference between Veda and Bhilla. Veda has given me his offerings, but Bhilla has given me his whole soul. That is the difference between ritual and true devotion.”
The place where Bhilla used to pray to Shiva is a famous tirtha known as bhillatirtha.

Credits : Brahma Purana

hindufaqs.com Most Badass Hindu Gods- Krishna

Most Badass hindu God which I would love to mention about is Lord Krishna. Starting right from his childhood. As a kid growing up in Brindavan, he sent a whole lot of  Asuras sent by Kamsa to their death. Then he dances on the hood of  the mighty serpent Kaliya, forcing him to leave the Yamuna.

Krishna Conquers the Serpent Kaliya

And if that is not enough, he advises the villagers to worship Govardhana mountain, since that is the real life giver, instead of Indra.  And when Indra unleashes his anger, sending a huge thunderstorm, he lifts up the entire mountain on his finger, protecting all the villagers, making Indra eat humble pie there.

When he goes to meet Kamsa, his maternal uncle who had been trying to kill him from long, he  first gets rid of the wrestlers Chanura and Mushtika, along with brother Balaram. And then throwing down Kamsa from the throne, strangles him to death.

He cleverly gets rid of Shishupal, making him exhuast the “100 mistakes I spare his life”  promise he had given to the latter’s mother. And earlier he had eloped with Rukmini who was betrothed to Shishupal, but  had her heart on Krishna.
Krishna lifts Govardhan Parvat

He did not lift a single weapon during the Kurukshetra war, yet he managed to outsmart the entire Kaurava army, though he only was Arjun’s charioteer. He knew the weak points of  Bheeshma, Drona, Duryodhan,Karna and smartly used it against them. He was the reason why the Pandavasa managed to win against a vastly larger and superior Kaurava Army.
Krishna as saarthi in mahabharata

He Stole clothes of Gopis and asked them to come out of water one by one to get cloths back

Made sure Bhishma won’t kill the Pandavas by asking Draupati to go to his camp in disguise of a common woman. Bhishma blessed her “deerga sumangali bhava” (long marriage). She then revealed her true identity and demanded that Bhishma cannot kill her 5 husbands (the pandavas) because he cannot break his own blessing. (Simply brilliant ahh?)

Engineered killing of Drona. He knew no one can kill Drona as long as he holds a weapon, and only way to make him drop it is to emotionally break him down by telling that his son died. There is no way anyone would disbelieve Yudhishtira as he is the “king of dharma”. So Krishna named an elephant as “ashwtthama” (name of Drona’s son) and asked Bhima to kill it, and then asked Yudhishthira to shout “Ashwatthama, the elephant is dead..” but “the elephant” part of the sentence in a low voice. So Drona, who was at a distance could hear only “Ashwatthama is dead“. As expected, Drona dropped weapons heart broken and Pandavas killed him with ease. (So technically, Yudhishthira the “king of dharma” didn’t lie. Hmmm..)

Made sure Bhima could kill Duryodana. Here is the story. When the war was around the corner, Duryodana was once asked by his mother Gandhari to come to her room fully naked. Duryodana didn’t know why but to carry out his mothers order, he decided to do as asked. But Krishna brain washed him to cover at least the private parts (including thigh).
Duryodhan
In her room, Gandhari (who blindfolded herself forever after marrying blind Dritarashtra), opened her eyes to see her son for the first time. She transferred all her powers into Duryodana’s visible part of the body, making them as strong as iron. During the final duel, Krishna instructed Bhima to hit Duryodana on thighs to kill him

Engineered killing of Jarasandha: Here is the story from wiki
Bheema did not know how to defeat Jarasandha. Since, Jarasandha was brought to life when the two lifeless halves joined together, conversely, he can be killed only when these his body was torn into two halves and find a way as how these two don’t merge. Krishna took a stick, he broke it into two and threw them in both directions. Bheema got the hint. He tore Jarasandha’s body into two and threw the pieces in two directions. But, these two pieces came together and Jarasandha was able to attack Bheema again. Bheema got tired after several such futile attempts. He again sought the help of Krishna. This time, Lord Krishna took a stick, broke it into two and threw the left piece on right side and the right piece on the left side. Bheema precisely followed the same. Now, he tore Jarasandha’s body into two and threw them in opposite directions. Thus, Jarasandha was killed as the two pieces could not merge into one.


Saved Bhima fom Dritarashtra’s hug: Yeah literally! Here is the story:
Dritarashtra was blessing Pandavas after war. He hugged them one by one. When it was Bhima’s turn he remembered that Bhima killed most of his 100 sons. He was furious and wanted to kill Bhima. Krishna knew this and pushed a metal statue to blind Dritarashtra instead of Bhima. Dritarashtra crushed that metal statue into powder with his hug (what a sweet embrace)

He took Pandavas away the night Ashwatthama destroyed Pandava camp after they won the war. He knew it was going to happen. Ashwatthama, with KalBhairav entered into his body, burned the Pandava camp into ashes killing every single person.. But Krishna saved just the Pandavas & Draupati.. Why didn’t he save others? No idea! Might be that he wanted to do a balancing act.
Some more stories of Shri Krishna in short:

1. Putana

She disguised herself as an angelic woman and offered Yashoda a brief respite by volunteering to nurse baby Krishna (with her poisonous milk).  Can we say Krishna “sucked the life out of her?”

2. Trinavarta

the Tornado Demon!  Trinavarta is probably the most unique rakshasa-form – ruthlessly sabatoging everything in his path.  He whisked Krishna off his feet…but Krishna blew him (and his pride) away.

3. Bakasura

Bakasura – the Crane Demon – simply got greedy.  Lured by Kamsa’s promises of rich and swanky rewards, Bakasura “tricked” Krishna to come close – only to betray the boy by swallowing him.  Krishna forced his way out of course and put an end to him.

4. Aghasura

This giant Serpent Demon slithered his way to the outskirts of Gokul, opened his mouth wide and had all the kids squealing in delight by thinking they had discovered a brand new “cave.”  They all hopped inside – only to be trapped.  Some versions of the story explain Aghasura to have once been a handsome king who was cursed by a crippled sage for laughing at the poor man’s disability.

5. Dhenukasura

This Donkey Demon was a real pain-in-the-Ass.  Even Mother Earth trembled under Dhenukasura’s stampede.  This was a true joint venture between Balaram and Krishna – with Balaram taking the credit for the final blow.

6. Aristasura

A true bull-y in every sense of the word.  Aristasur the Bull Demon stormed into town and challenged Krishna to a bull fight that all the heavens watched.

7. Vatsasura

Another story of deception:  Vatsasura disguised himself as a Calf, mixed himself into Krishna’s herd and tricked him into a duel.

8. Keshi

This Horse Demon was apparently mourning the loss of so many of his fellow rakshasa friends, so he approached Kamsa to sponsor his battle against Krishna.

Credits:
Ratnakar Sadasyula
Gireesh Puthumana
Image credit to the original Uploader
Short stories credit : Gnaana.com

hindufaqs.com Shiva- Most Badass Hindu Gods Part II

Shiva One of the most Badass Hindu GOD, also referred to by names like Rudra, Mahadev, Trayambak, Natraja, Shankar, Mahesh, etc. is considered the personification of the Masculine element of the universe. In the holy trinity of Hinduism, he is considered the ‘destroyer’ of cosmos.
Origin of Shiv shown in a graphic novel

Such is the scale of his wrath, that he had cut off, one of the heads of Brahma, who is a major god and also happens to be part of the trinity. Hindu mythology is loaded with his exploits.

The nature and character of Shiva is marked with simplicity, yet there are unpredictable, contradictory and complex philosophical traits in his personality. He is considered the greatest dancer and musician, yet he prefers to stay away from the pomp of the heavens. Shiva is a hermit, lives a secluded life and enjoys the company of heinous and outcast creatures like Pisachas (vampires) and Preta (Ghost). He dresses himself with tiger hide and sprays human ash all over himself. Shiva loves intoxication (opium, cannabis, and hash are openly offered to him in hindu temples to this day!)however, he is known for being kindhearted, selfless and a maintainer of cosmic balance.  Not only did he slay demons and egotist demi-gods, he has beaten the hell out of all major Heroes of Indian Mythology like Arjuna, Indra, Mitra etc. at some point to destroy their ego.

In contemporary Hindu religion, Shiva is one of the most revered gods. But he is also the most feared.

There are many versions of this story. However in all of them, there are certain common observations. Brahma was a conformist, brahmanical god. A critical study of his character would reveal his prejudice and unfair bias towards Rakshas, Gandharva, Vasu, non-human races and lower forms of creation. Brahma is not immortal. He sprang out of Vishnu’s navel and was entrusted the responsibility of creating mankind. Shiva on the other hand is something different and beyond Brahma. As the omnipresent present manforce of the cosmos, Shiva adored all forms of creation without any bias and prejudice. There are no sacrifices allowed in Shiva temples. Even breaking coconuts (which is symbolic of human sacrifice) is forbidden, despite sacrifice being an essential element of Vedic/brahmanical culture.
Shiva's Rudra avtar shown in a TV serial

Shiva’s boons to rakshasas were the root cause of all major disturbances and invasion on paradise (Swarga). Brahma’s four heads were representative of four dimensions of his thinking. One of it looked down upon of Shiva, and was purist and Devkula (Aryan stock convieniently!) supremacist. Brahma had some grudge against Shiva, for he had slayed one of Brahma’s biological sons Daksha (who also happened to be Shiva’s father in law!!).
Still in his Shankara (cool) form, Shiva had requested Brahma on various occasions to be more kind and inclusive, but that was all in vain. Finally succumbing to his anger, Shiva assumed the dreaded form of Bhairava and chopped off the Brahma’s fourth head that represented his egoist side.

Shiva is representative of the egalitarian and all-inclusive spirit of Hinduism. He was on the verge of supporting Ravana against Ram, if not for Ravana’s towering ego. Though the list of his victims includes the who’s who of Indian mythology (He didn’t spare even his own son Ganesh!), Shiva is considered the easiest god to be pleased.

shankar Idol in Uttarakhand

Some More Info

Symbols of Shiva

1. Trishul : knowledge, desire and implementation

2. Ganga : flow of wisdom and spiritual teachings

3. Moon : Shiv is Trikal-Darshi, master of time

4. Drum : words of vedas

5. Third Eye : destroyer  of evil, when it opens it destroy anything that comes in vision

6. Serpent : ego as ornament

7. Rudraksh :  creation

Bhasm on body and rudraksh never dies like flowers and does not have any distraction (smell)

8. Tiger skin : no fear

9. Fire : destruction

Credits: Post credits Ashutosh Pandey
Image credits to the original post.

vishnu - vishwaroop - hindufaqs.com - Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism

Are there really 330 million Gods in Hinduism? A million dollar question about 330 million Gods of Hindus. The general terminology is “33 koti deva” or Trayastrimsati koti as we call them. In hindi, Marathi and many Indian regional language, koti means crore or 10 million. But, as we say English is a funny language, then well, Sanskrit is a tricky language.

Koti in Sanskrit has many meanings like ‘highest point’ , ‘Excellence’ , ‘Edge’ , ‘Point’ , ‘Pitch’ , ‘Alternative’ etc. It is not necessarily crore. The most important of the meanings is ‘pinnacle’, signifying, core devtas. Second, devta also does not necessarily mean gods, it’s alternative meanings are ‘King’ , ‘God on earth among men’ , ‘divine’ , ‘heavenly’ , ‘cloud’ etc. Its most important meaning is the divine souls.

vishnu - vishwaroop - hindufaqs.com - Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism
vishnu – vishwaroop – hindufaqs.com – Are there really 330 million Gods in hinduism

Lets simplify, Koti here means Types. So there are 33 types of Gods in Hinduism as we can say. These doesn’t include the Hindu Trinity i.e. Brahma , Vishnu and Mahesh.

These 33 Koti Devas are :
08 Vasus
11 Rudras
12 Adityas
02 Prajapati

  • 8 Vasu

1Drav Vasu
2. Adhva Vasu
3. Som Vasu
4. Jal Vasu
5. Vaayu Vasu
6. Agni Vasu
7. Pratyuvash Vasu
8. Prayaas Vasu

  • 11 Rudra

9. Veerbhadra Rudra
10. Shumbh Rudra
11. Gireesh Rudra
12. Ajaik paat Rudra
13. Aharbudhyat Rudra
14. Pinaaki Rudra
15. Bhavaanishwapar Rudra
16. Kapaali Rudra
17. Dikpati Rudra
18. Sthanu Rudra
19. Bharg Rudra

  • 12 Aditya

20. Dhata Aditya
21. Aryamaa Aditya
22. Mitr Maditya
23. Vatun Aditya
24. Anshu Aditya
25. Bhag Aditya
26. Vivasvan
27. Dandadi Aditya
28. Poosha Aditya
29. Par-jaya Aditya
30. Twa’nashtaan Aditya
31. Vishnu Aditya

  • 2 Prajapati

32. Prajapati
33. Amit Shatkar

Some other Info from Hinduism Literature:

“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]

“Ekam evadvitiyam”
“He is One only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2]

“Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]

“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no likeness of Him.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]

“shudhama poapvidham”
“He is bodiless and pure.” [Yajurveda 40:8]

“Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.”
“His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]

Sanskrit     :  “Ekam evadvitiyam”
Translation:  “He is One only without a second.”

God is one, but he has many names and forms. Since God is omnipresent, omnipresent and omniscient, should not He be present everywhere and in all the existence?

Just like electricity flowing in our homes – it becomes cool air flowing through the AC, becomes light glowing in the bulbs, becomes heat in the kitchen, becomes music through the speakers, dances as pixels on our computer screen – one energy is blissfully dancing through this creation ; ‘The Universal Law’ or ‘The Cosmic Celebration’ whatever one can call.

God is the substratum of this existence. Everything is inside God, because there is no outside at all!

God is one, yet He is many – this is the highest secret, they say, which needs to be experienced and lived as it cannot be understood!

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