According to Hindu mythology there are 5 classes of warrior excellence.
Rathi: A warrior capable of attacking 5,000 warriors simultaneously.
Atirathi: A warrior capable of contending with 12 Rathi class warriors or 60,000
Maharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Atirathi class warriors or 720,000
Atimaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Maharathi warriors simultaneously
Mahamaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 24 Atimaharathi’s simultaneously
Famous Rathis in hindu mythology are
1. Somadatta – Father of Bhurishrava
2. Shakuni – Kaurava’s maternal uncle and a master mind behind Kurukshetra war.
3. Shishupala – Shri Krishna’s cousin
4. Vrishasena – Son of Karna
Famous Atirathis in Hindu mythology are
1. Shalya – The fourth commander-in-chief of the Kaurava alliance
2. Kripacharya – Teacher and family priest of Kuru dynasty.
3. Yuyutsu – The only son of Dhritarashtra who survived the Kurukshetra war.
4. Drishtadyumna – Commander of the Pandava army during the Kurukshetra War
5. Ghatotkacha – Son of Bhima
6. Angada – Most feared warrior in Ramayana, He was son of Bali and Tara and nephew of Sugriva.
7. Duryodhana, Jayadhradha, Dusassana, Vikarna, all 97 brothers of Duryodhana, Yudhishtir, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva
Famous Maharathis from Hindu mythology are:
1. Parshurama – Sixth incarnation of Lord vishnu.
2. Lord Rama – King of Ayodhya
3. Kumbhakarna -Brother of Ravana
4. Lakshmana – Brother of Lord Rama
5. Ravana – King of Lanka
6. Arjuna – He is the third of the five Pandava brothers
7. Lava & Kusha – Sons of lord Rama
8. Hanuman, Sugriva, Jambavan, Vali, Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Abhimanyu, Lord Krishna, Balrama, Lord Narasimha.
Famous Atimaharathis from Hindu mythology are:
1. Indrajeet – Son of Ravana
Famous Mahamaharathis from Hindu mythology are:
1. Lord Brahma – The creator
2. Vishnu – The preserver
3. Shiva – The destroyer
4. Durga – The warrior goddess
5. Ganesha & kartikeya – Sons of Shiva and Parvati
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Samudra-vasane Devi Parvata-sthana-mandale | Vishnupatni namas-tubhyam Paada-sparsham kshamasva me ||
Vasudeva-sutan Devam Kansa-Chaanura-mardanam | Devaki-paramaa nandam Krushnam vande jagad-gurum ||
Meaning: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmee resides at the fingertips, the Goddess of knowledge, Sarasvatee resides at the base of the palm and the Lord Krishna (Govida) resides in the middle of the palm and therefore we must look at our palm every morning.
Oh! Mother Earth, oceans are your clothes, mountains are your bosom, wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to thee. Please forgive me for the touch of my feet. Son of Vasudev, the destroyer (demons) Kansa and Chanura, Supreme bliss of Devaki (mother), the guru of the world, Lord Krishna, I Salute thee.
Om saha naa-vavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viryam karavaa-vahai | tejasvi naa-vadhi-tamastu maa vidvishaa-vahai || Om shaantih shaantih shaantihi
Meaning: The devotees of God are freed from all sins because they eat food which is offered (to God) first for (Yagna) sacrifice. Others who cook food only for themselves truly “eat sin.”
O! Kaunteya (Arjun), son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, offer it as a sacrifice. Whatever austerity you perform, do it as an offering to me. “I reside in humans and also animals, I am the fire which digests the four kinds of food and I control the breathing and other functions of the body.”
Oh! Lord, protect and defend us both. Let us do divine work together. Let our knowledge be radiant. Let us not envy each other, and let us always live in peace and harmony.
कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय हरये परमात्मने। प्रणतक्लेशनाशाय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः॥ करचरणकृतं वाक् कायजं कर्मजं वा श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वाअपराधम्। विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत् क्षमस्व जय जय करुणाब्धे श्री महादेव शंभो॥ त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव। त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणं त्वमेव त्वमेव सर्वं मम देवदेव॥
Krushnaaya Vaasudevaaya haraye Parmaatmane | Pranata-klesha-naashaaya Govindaaya namo namah ||
Tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva tvameva bandhush-cha sakhaa tvameva | Tvameva vidyaa dravinam tvameva tvameva sarvam mama deva-deva ||
Meaning: I bow and pray to Lord Krushna, son of Vasudev, he who takes away sorrow, suffering and troubles of those who ask for his protection.
Oh! Mahadev, the Ocean of Compassion, please forgive me if I have done anything wrong, knowingly or unknowingly by my hands, feet, by my speech, body, by my actions, by my ears, eyes, by my mind. Let victory be yours.
Oh! God! (Oh Supreme Being) You are my mother, you are my father, you are my brother, you are my friend, you are the knowledge, you are the wealth, and you are everything to me.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 .
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.
4) Vayu Dev: Vayu is father of both Hanuman and Bheema.
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.
7) Maharishi Bharadwaja: Drona’s father was the Maharishi Bharadwaja, who was the pupil of Valmiki, who wrote Ramayana.
8) Kubera: Kubera, who is the elder half brother of Ravana, is also in Mahabharata.
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.
10) Hanuman:Hanumanbeing 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.
11) Vibheeshana: Mahabharata mentions that Vibheeshana sent Jewell and Gems to Yudhisthira’s Rajasuya sacrifice. That is the only mention about Vibheeshana in Mahabharata.
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)
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The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. They are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 CE by the Chandela dynasty. Historical records note that Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 20 temples have survived, spread over 6 square kilometers. Of the various surviving temples, the Kandariya temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art.
1) Khajuraho Temple
2) Erotic carvings on a wall of Khajuraho temple
3) More beautiful carvings
4) Detaile carvings showing body postures
5) Incredible detailed carvings on one of the wall
6) Some carvings are damaged with time
7) Carvings showing various position of intimacy
8) A visitor admiring the carvings
9) Carving showing love relation in a couple
10) Carving also shows some animals
11) one of the Kamasutra position
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At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahma creates the four Kumaras or the Chatursana. However, they refused his order to procreate and instead devote themselves, to Vishnu and celibacy.
He then proceeds to create from his mind ten sons or Prajapatis, who are believed to be the fathers of the human race. But since all these sons were born out of his mind rather than body, they are called Manas Putras or mind-sons or spirits.
Brahma had ten sons and one daughter:
1. Marichi Rishi
Rishi Marichi or Mareechi or Marishi (meaning a ray of light) is the son of Brahma. He is also one of the Saptarshi (Seven Great Sages Rishi), in the First Manvantara, with others being Atri Rishi, Angiras Rishi, Pulaha Rishi, Kratu Rishi, Pulastya Rishi, and Vashishtha. Family: Marichi is married to Kala and gave birth to Kashyap
2. Atri Rishi
Atri or Attri is a legendary bard and scholar. Rishi Atri is said to be ancestor of some Brahmin, Prajapatis, kshatriya and Vaishya communities who adopt Atri as their gotra. Atri is the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages Rishi) in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara. Family: When the sons of Brahma were destroyed by a curse of Shiva, Atri was born again from the flames of a sacrifice performed by Brahma. His wife in both manifestations was Anasuya. She bore him three sons, Datta, Durvasas, and Soma, in his first life, and a son Aryaman (Nobility), and a daughter, Amala (Purity), in the second. Soma, Datta and Durvasa, are the incarnations of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra (Shiva) respectively.
3. Angirasa Rishi
Angirasa is a rishi who, along with sage Atharvan, is credited to have formulated (“heard”) most of the fourth Veda called Atharvaveda. He is also mentioned in the other three Vedas. Family: His wife is Surupa and his sons are Utathya, Samvartana and Brihaspati
4. Pulaha Rishi
He was born from the navel of Lord Brahma. He was burned due to a curse made by Lord Shiva, then was born again in Vaivasvata Manvantara, this time from Agni’s hair. Family:During his birth in the first Manvantara, Rishi Pulaha was married to another of Daksha’s daughters, Kshama (Apology). Together they had three sons, Kardama, Kanakapeetha and Urvarivat, and a daughter named Peevari.
5. Pulutsya Rishi
He was the medium through which some of the Puranas were communicated to man. He received the Vishnu Purana from Brahma and communicated it to Parashara, who made it known to mankind. He was one of the Saptarishis in the first Manvantara. Family: He was father of Visravas who was the father of Kubera and Ravana, and all the Rakshasas are supposed to have sprung from him. Pulastya Rishi was married to one of Kardam ji’s nine daughters named Havirbhoo. Pulastya Rishi had two sons – Maharshi Agastya and Visravas. Vishravaa had two wives: one was Kekasi who gave birth to Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana; and another was Ilavida and had a son named Kuber.
6. Krathu Rishi
Kratu which appears in two different ages. In the Swayanbhuva Manvantara. Krathu was a Prajapati and a very dear son of Lord Brahma. He was also the son-in-law of Prajapati Daksha. Family:His wife was named Santhati. It is said that he had 60,000 children. They were named as included in the Valakhilyas.
Rishi Kratu was again born in the Vaivaswata Manvantara because of Lord Shiva’s boon. In this Manvantara he had no family. It is said that he was born from the hand of Lord Brahma. As he had no family and no children, Kratu adopted Agastya’s son, Idhvaaha. Kratu is considered as one of the Bhargavas.
Vashistha is one of the Saptarishis in the seventh, i.e. the present Manvantara. He had in his possession the divine cow Kamadhenu, and Nandini her child, who could grant anything to their owners.
Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda. Vashistha and his family are glorified in RV 7.33, extolling their role in the Battle of the Ten Kings, making him the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him. Another treatise attributed to him is “Vashistha Samhita” – a book on the Vedic system of electional astrology. Family: Arundhati is the name of the wife of Vashista.
In cosmology Mizar star is known as Vashistha and Alcor star is known as Arundhati in traditional Indian astronomy. The pair is considered to symbolise marriage and, in some Hindu communities, priests conducting a wedding ceremony allude to or point out the constellation as a symbol of the closeness marriage brings to a couple. Since Vasishta was married to Arundathi, he was also called Arundathi Natha, meaning the husband of Arundathi.
Prachetasa is considered to be one of the most mysterious figures of Hindu mythology. According to the puranas Prachetasa was one of the 10 Prajapatis who were ancient sages and law gives. But there is also a reference to 10 Prachetas who were sons of Prachinabarthis and great grandsons of Prithu. It is said that they lived for 10,000 years in a great ocean, very deeply engaged in meditation upon Vishnu and obtained from Him the boon of becoming the progenitors of mankind. Family: They married a girl named Manisha, a daughter of Kanclu . Daksha was their son.
Maharrishi Bhirgu is the first compiler of predictive astrology, and also the author of Bhrigu Samhita, the astrological (Jyotish) classic.The adjectival form of the name, Bhargava, is used to refer to the descendants and the school of Bhrigu. Along with Manu, Bhrigu had made important contributions to ‘Manusmriti’, which was constituted out of a sermon to a congregation of saints in the state of Brahmavarta, after the great floods in this area, nearly 10,000 years ago. Family:He was married to Khyati, the daughter of Daksha. He had two sons by her, named Dhata and Vidhata. His daughter Sri or Bhargavi, married Vishnu
10. Narada Muni
Narada is a Vedic sage who plays a prominent role in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Ramayana and the Bhagavata Purana. Narada is arguably ancient India’s most travelled sage with the ability to visit distant worlds and realms. He is depicted carrying a Veena, with the name Mahathi and is generally regarded as one of the great masters of the ancient musical instrument. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous, creating some of Vedic literature’s more humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti yoga.
Brahma had one daughter Named Shatrupa- (one who can take hundred forms) born from various parts of his body. She is said to the first woman created by Lord Brahma. Shatarupa is the female portion of Brahma.
When Brahma created Shatarupa, Brahma followed her wherever she went. To avoid Brahma following her Shatarupa then moved in various directions. In whichever direction she went, Brahma developed another head until he had four, one for each direction of the compass. Shatarupa tried every way to stay out of Brahma’s gaze. However a fifth head appeared and this is how Brahma developed five heads. At this moment Lord Shiva came and cut off the top head of Brahma as it is misdeed and incestuous of Brahma to become obsessed with her, as Shatarupa was her daughter. Lord Shiva ordered that Brahma would not be worshipped for his offence. Since then Brahma has been reciting the four Vedas, one from every mouth in remorse.
The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.
The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning ‘great’ and vidya meaning, ‘revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom
Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother Durga or Kali herself or Devi in Hinduism. The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.
Shaktas believe, “the one Truth is sensed in ten different facets; the Divine Mother is adored and approached as ten cosmic personalities,” the Dasa-Mahavidya (“ten-Mahavidyas”). The Mahavidyas are considered Tantric in nature, and are usually identified as:
The ultimate form of Brahman, “Devourer of Time” (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems)
kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati). The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death
Tara: The Protector
The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves.Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation (also known as Neel Saraswati).
tara meaning “star”. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.
Tripura Sundari (Shodashi):
The Goddess Who is “Beautiful in the Three Worlds” (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems) or Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities; the “Tantric Parvati” or the “Moksha Mukta”.
As Shodashi, Tripurasundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (panchadasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable. Bhuvaneshvari: The Goddess Whose Body is the Cosmos
The Goddess as World Mother, or Whose Body is the Cosmos.
The Queen of the Universe. Bhuvaneshwari means the Queen or ruler of the Universe. She is the Divine Mother as the Queen of all the worlds. All the Universe is her body and all beings are ornaments on her infinite being. She carries all the worlds as a flowering of her own Self-nature. She is thus related to Sundari and to Rajarajeshwari, the supreme Lady of the Universe. She is capable of turning situations according to her wish. It is considered that even the navagrahas and Trimurti cannot stop her from doing anything. Bhairavi: The Fierce Goddess
She is also called Shubhamkari, good mother to good people and terrible to bad ones. She is seen holding book, rosary, and making fear-dispelling and boon-conferring gestures. She is also known as Baala or Tripurabhairavi. It is believed that when Bhairavi entered the battle field, her horrible appearance made the demons become weak and very feeble, and it is also believed that most of the demons started panicking as soon as they saw her. Bhairavi is seen mainly as the Chandi in the Durga Saptashati version of slaying Shumbha and Nishumbha. However, she kills and drinks the blood of Chanda and Munda the Chieftains of asuras, so the Goddess Parvati gives her a boon that she would be called Chamundeshwari. Chhinnamasta: The self-decapitated Goddess.
Chhinnamasta can be easily identified by her fearsome iconography. The self-decapitated goddess holds her own severed head in one hand, a scimitar in another. Three jets of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her severed head and two attendants. Chhinnamasta is usually depicted standing on a copulating couple.
Chhinnamasta is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation. She symbolizes both aspects of Devi: a life-giver and a life-taker. Her legends emphasize her sacrifice – sometimes with a maternal element, her sexual dominance and her self-destructive fury. Dhumavati: The Widow Goddess,or the Goddess of death.
She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism, such as the crow and the Chaturmas period. The goddess is often depicted on a horseless chariot or riding a crow, usually in a cremation ground.
Dhumavati is said to manifest herself at the time of cosmic dissolution (pralaya) and is “the Void” that exists before creation and after dissolution. She is often called tender-hearted and a bestower of boons. Dhumavati is described as a great teacher, one who reveals ultimate knowledge of the universe, which is beyond the illusory divisions, like auspicious and inauspicious. Her ugly form teaches the devotee to look beyond the superficial, to look inwards and seek the inner truths of life.
Dhumavati is described as a giver of siddhis (supernatural powers), a rescuer from all troubles, and a granter of all desires and rewards, including ultimate knowledge and moksha (salvation). Bagalamukhi: The Goddess Who Paralyzes Enemies
Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee’s misconceptions and delusions (or the devotee’s enemies) with her cudgel. Matangi: – the Prime Minister of Lalita (in Srikula systems)
She is considered to be the Tantric form of Sarasvati, the goddess of music and learning. Like Sarasvati, Matangi governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Her worship is prescribed to acquire supernatural powers, especially gaining control over enemies, attracting people to oneself, acquiring mastery over the arts and gaining supreme knowledge. Kamalatmika: The Lotus Goddess; the “Tantric Lakshmi”
Kamalatmika has a golden complexion. She is being bathed by four large elephants, who pour kalashas (jars) of amrita (nectar) over her. She has four hands. In two hands, she holds two lotuses and her other two hands are in abhayamudra (gesture of giving assurance) and varamudra (gesture of conferring boons) respectively. She is shown as seated in padmasana (lotus posture) on a lotus, symbol of purity.
The name Kamala means “she of the lotus” and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is linked with three important and interrelated themes: prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck during the coming year.
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The Tridevi (त्रिदेवी) is a concept in Hinduism conjoining the three consorts of the Trimurti (Great Trinity), that are personified by the forms of Hindu Goddesses: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati or Durga. They are the manifestations of the Adi Parashakti, the Supreme Being and Divine Mother in Shaktism.
Saraswati is the goddess of learning and arts, cultural fulfillment (consort of Brahma the creator). She is the cosmic intelligence, cosmic consciousness,and cosmic knowledge.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and fertility, material fulfillment (consort of Vishnu the maintainer or preserver). However, she does not signify mere material wealth like gold, cattle, etc. All kinds of prosperity, glory, magnificence, joy, exaltation, or greatness come under Lakshmi.
Parvati or Durga:
Parvati/ Mahakali (or in her demon-fighting aspect Durga) the goddess of power and love, spiritual fulfillment (consort of Shiva the destroyer or transformer). She also depicts the transformational power of divinity, the power that dissolves multiplicity in unity.
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Rudraksha, also rudraksh, (“Rudra’s eyes”), is a seed is traditionally used for prayer beads in hinduism . The seed is produced by several species of large evergreen broad-leaved tree in the genus Elaeocarpus, with Elaeocarpus ganitrus being the principal species used in the making of organic jewellery or mala.
Rudraksha, being organic, is preferentially worn without contact with metal; thus on a cord or thong rather than a chain. Mukha:
Naturally grown grooves, starting from the natural vertically or horizontally stalk* point reaching the opposite point, are termed as Mukhi/Face.
Some say there are 21 different types of rudraksha, “21 mukhi or 21 face” some say there are 14.
We are presentiny ten types of rudraksha in this article.
Ek Mukhi (One Face) It is known to bring luxury, power, wealth, and enlightenment.
Dwi Mukhi (Two Face) It helps in building healthy relationships. It is believed to control all negativities.
Tri Mukhi (Three Face) It aids in boosting the confidence of the wearer, thus enabling him to cope with tough situations.
Chatur Mukhi (Four Face) It helps a great deal in developing the power of speech. It is very beneficial for treating the problem of stammering.
Pancha Mukhi (Five Face) It raises the concentration level and power of gaining knowledge.
Shan Mukhi (Six Face) It is known to bring wealth, power, name and fame. It helps the wearer in achieving eternal bliss.
Sapta Mukhi (Seven Face) It helps a person achieve what he desires. It enables a person to prosper academically.
Ashta Mukhi (Eight Face) It brings wealth and luxury. It helps to ward off evil spirits and get rid of various forms of diseases.
Nava Mukhi (Nine Face) It is said to be associated with confidence, good character, happiness and sound health.
Dasha Mukhi (Ten Face) It enables a person to earn loads of wealth. It is said to be associated with vigor and vitality.
For someone who is constantly on the move and who eats and sleeps in various places, rudraksha is believed to be a very good support because it creates a cocoon of your own energy. It is said that if the situation around one is not conducive to one’s kind of energy, it will not let one settle down. For sadhus and sanyasis, places and situations could trouble them because they were constantly moving. One of the rules for them was never to put their head down in the same place twice. Today, once again, people have started eating and sleeping in different places because of their business or profession, so a rudraksha can be helpful.
Sadhus or sanyasis living in the forest would have to resort to naturally available water sources. It was believed that if a rudraksha is held above the water, if the water is good and drinkable, it would go clockwise. If it was unfit for consumption, it would go anti-clockwise. This test was also believed to be valid for other edibles.
When worn on a mala, it was also believed to ward off “negative energies”.
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These photos are not owned by us in any way.
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. 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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Sri Hanuman assumed Panchamukhi or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war.
In the Ramayana, during the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed, Ravana calls his brother Ahiravana for help. Ahiravana, the king of Patala (the Underworld), promises to help. Vibhishana somehow manages to hear about the plot and warns Rama about it. Hanuman is put on guard and told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. Ahiravana makes many attempts at entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman. Finally, Ahiravana takes the form of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Ahiravana quickly enters and takes the “sleeping Rama and Lakshmana” away.
When Hanuman realizes what has happened, he goes to Vibhishana. Vibhishana says, “Alas! They have been abducted by Ahiravana. If Hanuman does not rescue them fairly quickly, Ahiravana will sacrifice both Rama and Lakshman to Chandi.” Hanuman goes to Patala, the door to which is guarded by a creature, who is half Vanara and half reptile. Hanuman asks who he is and the creature says, “I am Makardhwaja, your son!” Hanuman is confused since he did not have any child, being an adept Brahmachari. The creature explains, “While you were jumping over the ocean, a drop of your semen(veeriya) fell to the ocean and into the mouth of a mighty crocodile. This is the origin of my birth.”
After defeating his son, Hanuman enters Patala and encounters Ahiravana and Mahiravana. They have a strong army and Hanuman is told by Chandrasena that the only way to vanquish them is by blowing out five different candles located in five different directions, all at the same time in return for a promise to be Lord Rama’s consort. Hanuman assumes his five-headed form (Panchmukhi Hanuman) and he quickly blows out the 5 different candles and thus kills Ahiravana and Mahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered unconscious by a spell by the demons.
The five faces with their directions are
Sri Hanuman – (Facing East)
The significance of this face is this face removes all blemishes of sin and confers purity of mind.
Narsimha – (Facing South)
The significance of this face is this face removes fear of enemies and confers victory. Narasimha is the Lion-Man avatar of Lord Vishnu, who took the form to protect his devotee Prahlad from his evil father, Hiranyakashipu.
Garuda – (Facing West)
The significance of this face is this face drives away evil spells, black magic influences, negative spirits and removes all poisonous effects in one’s body. Garuda is Lord Vishnu’s vehcile, this bird knows the secrets of death and the beyond. The Garuda Purana is a Hindu text based on this knowledge.
Varaha – (Facing North)
The significance of this face is this face wards off the troubles caused by bad influences of the planets and confers all eight types prosperity (Ashta Aishwarya). Varaha is another Lord Vishnu avatar, he took this form and dug up land.
Hayagriva – (Facing Upwards)
The significance of this face is this face confers knowledge, victory, good wife and progeny.
This form of Sri Hanuman is very popular, and is also known as Panchamukha Anjaneya and Panchamukhi Anjaneya. (Anjaneya, which means “son of Anjana”, is another name of Sri Hanuman). These faces show there is nothing in the world which does not come under any the influence of any of the five faces, symbolic of his all around security to all devotees. This also signifies vigilance and control over the five directions – north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith.
There are five ways of prayer, Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces depict these five forms. Lord Sri Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Rama. He also begged (yachanam) Sri Rama to bless him the undivided love.
The weapons are a parashu, a Khanda, a chakra, a dhaalam, a gada, a trishula, a kumbha, a Katar, a plate filled with blood and again a big Gada.
1. Shiva’s Trishul or Trident symbolizes the unity of 3 worlds of a human being-his inside world, the immediate world around him and the broader world, a harmony between the 3. The crescent moon on his forehead that gives him the name of Chandrashekar, dates back from the Vedic age when Rudra and Soma, the Moon God, were worshipped together. The Trishul in his hand also represents the 3 Gunas-Sattva,Rajas and Tama, while the Damaru or the drum represents the sacred sound OM from which all languages are formed.
2. Bhagiratha prayed to Lord Shiva for getting the Ganga to earth, which would flow over his ancestor’s ashes and grant them salvation. However when Ganga was descending to Earth, she was still in a playful mood. She felt she would just rush down and sweep Shiva off his feet. Sensing her intentions, Shiva, imprisoned the falling Ganga in his locks. It was again on Bhagiratha’s plea, that Shiva let Ganga flow from his hair. The name Gangadhara comes from Shiva carrying Ganga on his head.
3. Shiva is represented as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance, and there are two forms, Tandava, the fierce aspect representing destruction of universe, and Lasya, the gentler one. The demon being surpressed under Shiva’s feet is Apasmara symbolizing ignorance.
4. Shiva along with his consort Parvati is represented in the Ardhanarisvara form, which is a half male, half female icon. The concept is of the masculine energy(Purusha) and feminine energy( Prakrithi) of the universe in a synthesis. At another level, this is also used to symbolize that in a marital relationship, the wife is one half of the husband, and has an equal status. That is the reason why Shiva-Parvati are often held as examples of a perfect marriage.
5. Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love, Cupid’s equivalent albeit clothed, was burned to ash by Shiva. This was when Devas were waging a war against Tarakasur. He could only be defeated by Shiva’s son. But Shiva was busy in meditation and well, no one procreates when meditating. So Devas asked Kamadeva to pierce Shiva with his love arrows. He managed except Shiva woke up in rage. Apart from Tandava, the other thing that Shiva is known to do in anger is open his third eye. If he views anyone from his third eye, then the person is burned down. This is exactly what happened to Kamadeva.
6. Ravana was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees. Once he tried to uproot Mount Kailasa, Shiva’s abode in the Himalayas. I cannot remember the exact reason why he wanted to do so but anyway, he could not succeed in this endeavour. Shiva trapped him beneath Kailasa. To redeem himself, Ravana started singing hymns in praise of Shiva. He cut off one of his heads to make a veena and used his tendons as the instrument’s string to make music. Eventually, over many years, Shiva did forgive Ravana and freed him from under the mountain. Also, post this episode, Shiva was so moved by Ravana’s prayer that he became his favorite devotee.
7. He is known as Tripurantaka because he destroyed the 3 flying cities Tripura with Brahma driving his chariot and Vishnu propelling the warhead.
8. Shiva is a pretty liberal God. He allows everything which is otherwise considered unconventional or taboo in religion. One need not follow any set rituals to pray to him. He is not a sucker for rules and is known to grant wishes to anyone and everyone. Unlike Brahma or Vishnu who want their devotees to prove their mettle, Shiva is fairly easy to please.
This question has bothered more and more people in ‘recent’ times, women in particular because they feel abandoning a pregnant wife makes Shri Ram a bad husband, sure they do have a valid point and hence the article.
But passing such grave judgments against any human let alone God cannot be without the totality of the Karta (Doer), Karm (Act) and Neeyat (Intention).
The Karta here is Shri Ram, the Karm here is that he abandoned Mata Sita, Neeyat is the one we would explore below. To consider the totality before passing judgments is important because killing someone (Act) becomes valid when done by a soldier (Karta) because of his Neeyat (Intention) but if done by a terrorist (Karta) the same act becomes horrendous.
So, let us explore in totality how Shri Ram chose to lead his life:
• He was the first King and God in the whole world, whose first promise to his wife was that all through his life, he would never even gaze at another woman with ill intent. Now, this is not a small thing, while many beliefs allow men of polygamy even today. Shri Ram had set this trend thousands of years ago when it was common to have more than one wife, his own father Raja Dashrath had 4 wives and I hope people do give him the credit for understanding pain of women when they have to share their husband with another woman, also the respect and love that he showed towards his wife by making this promise
• The promise was the starting point of their beautiful ‘real’ relationship and built a mutual love and respect for each other, for a woman the assurance from her Husband, a Prince that he is hers for the rest of his life is a very big thing, this might be one of the reason why Mata Sita chose to go along with Shri Ram to Vanvas (Exile), for he had become the world for her, and the comforts of the kingdom were pale in comparison to the companionship of Shri Ram
• They lived affectionately in the Vanvas (Exile) and Shri Ram tried to provide all the comforts he could to Mata Sita, he genuinely wanted her to be happy. How else would you justify God himself running like an ordinary man behind a deer to please his wife? Even then, he had asked his younger brother Lakshman to take care of her; this shows that though he was acting in love he still had the presence of mind to make sure his wife would be safe. It was Mata Sita who got worried out of genuine concern and insisted Lakshman to search for his brother and ultimately crossed the Lakshman rekha (despite having been requested not to) to be abducted by Ravan
• Shri Ram got worried and cried for the first time in his life, the man who didn’t feel an iota of remorse for leaving his own Kingdom behind, only to keep the words of his father, who was the only one in the world to not only tie Shivji’s bow but break it, was on his knees pleading like a mere mortal, because he loved. Such anguish and pain can come only of genuine love and concern for the one you are worrying about
• He then got ready to take on the most powerful person in the world in his own backyard. Supported by vanar-sena, he defeated the mighty Ravan (who by many till date is considered to be the greatest Pandit of all time, he was so powerful that the Navgrahas were totally under his control) and gifted the Lanka which he had fairly won to Vibhishan saying,
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
(Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi) Mother and Motherland are superior to heaven; this shows he was not interested in being a King only of the land
• Now, it is important to note here that once Shri Ram frees Mata Sita, he not even once questioned her “Why did you cross the Lakshman Rekha?” because he understood how much pain Mata Sita had been through in Ashok Vatika and how much faith and patience she had shown in Shri Ram when Ravan used all sorts of tricks to scare her. Shri Ram didn’t want to burden Mata Sita with guilt, he wanted to comfort her because he loved her
• Once they got back, Shri Ram became the undisputed king of Ayodhya, probably the first democratic King, who was a clear choice of the people, to set up RamRajya
• Unfortunately, like some people questions Shri Ram today, some very similar people questioned the sanctity of Mata Sita in those days. This hurt Shri Ram very deeply, especially because he believed “Na Bhitosmi Maranaadapi kevalam dushito yashah”, I fear dishonor more than death
• Now, Shri Ram had two options 1) To be called a great man and keep Mata Sita with him, but he would not be able to stop people from questioning the sanctity of Mata Sita 2) To be called a bad husband and put Mata Sita through Agnee-Pariksha but make sure that no questions would ever be raised on the sanctity of Mata Sita in future
• He chose option 2 (as we know this is not easy to do, once a person is accused of something, whether he committed that sin or not, the stigma would never leave that person), but Shri Ram managed to wipe that off Mata Sita’s character, he made sure that no one ever in future would dare to question Mata Sita, for him the honor of his wife was more important than him being called a “good husband” the honor of his wife was more important than his own honor. As we find today, there would be hardly any sane individual who would question Mata Sita’s character
• Shri Ram suffered as much as Mata Sita after the separation if not more. It would have been very easy for him to marry someone else and lead a family life; instead he chose to keep his promise to not marry again. He chose to stay away from the love of his life and his children. The sacrifices of both are exemplary, the love and respect they showed for each other is unparalleled.
The Buddha is viewed as an avatar of the god Vishnu in Vaishnava Hinduism although the Buddha himself denied that he was a god or an incarnation of a god. Buddha’s teachings deny the authority of the Vedas and consequently Buddhism is generally viewed as a nastika (heterodox school) from the perspective of orthodox Hinduism.
He expounded the four noble truths (Arya Satya) concerning suffering, its cause, its destruction and the way to the elimination of sorrow. He was against the extremes of both self-indulgence and self-mortification. A Middle Path was advocated consisting of right views, right aspirations, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right contemplation. He rejected the authority of the Vedas, condemned ritualistic practices, especially animal sacrifice, and denied the existence of gods.
The Buddha is described in important Hindu scriptures, including almost all the major Puranas. It is considered that ‘not all of them refer to the same person: some of them refer to other persons, and some occurrences of “buddha” simply mean “a person possessing buddhi”; most of them, however, refer specifically to the founder of Buddhism. They portray him with two roles: preaching Atheistic Vedic views in order to restore Dharma, and criticizing animal sacrifice. A partial list of major Puranic references of the Buddha is as follows:
Vishnu Purana (3.18)
Bhagavata Purana (1.3.24, 2.7.37, 11.4.23) 
Garuda Purana (1.1, 2.30.37, 3.15.26)
Agni Purana (16)
Narada Purana (2.72)
Linga Purana (2.71)
Padma Purana (3.252) etc.
In the Puranic texts, he is mentioned as one of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, usually as the ninth one.
Another important scriptures that mentions him as an Avatar is Rishi Parashara’s Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra (2:1-5/7).
He is often described as a yogi or yogacharya, and as a sannyasi. His father is usually called Suddhodhana, which is consistent with the Buddhist tradition, while in a few places the Buddha’s father is named Anjana or Jina. He is described as beautiful (devasundara-rupa), of yellow skin, and wearing brown-red or red robes.
Only a few statements mention the worship of Buddha, e.g. the Varahapurana states that one desirous of beauty should worship him.
In some of the Puranas, he is described as having taken birth to “mislead the demons”:
Translation: To delude the demons, he [Lord Buddha] stood on the path in the form of a child. The foolish Jina (a demon), imagined him to be his son. Thus the lord Sri Hari [as avatara-buddha] expertly deluded Jina and other demons by his strong words of non-violence.
In the Bhagavata Purana, Buddha is said to have taken birth to restore the devas to power:
tatah kalau sampravrtte sammohaya sura-dvisam ।
buddho namnanjana-sutah kikatesu bhavisyati ॥
—srimad-bhagavatam , 1.3.24
Translation: Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, for the purpose of confusing the enemies of the devas, [he] will become the son of Anjana, Buddha by name, in the Kikatas.
In many Puranas, the Buddha is described as an incarnation of Vishnu who incarnated in order to bring either demons or mankind close to the Vedic dharma. The Bhavishya Purana contains the following:
At this time, reminded of the Kali Age, the god Vishnu became born as Gautama, the Shakyamuni, and taught the Buddhist dharma for ten years. Then Shuddodana ruled for twenty years, and Shakyasimha for twenty. At the first stage of the Kali Age, the path of the Vedas was destroyed and all men became Buddhists. Those who sought refuge with Vishnu were deluded.
As an avatara of Vishnu
In 8th-century royal circles, the Buddha started to be replaced by Hindu gods in pujas. This also was the same period of time the Buddha was made into an avatar of Vishnu.
In the Dasavatara stotra section of his Gita Govinda, the influential Vaishnava poet Jayadeva (13th century) includes the Buddha amongst the ten principal avatars of Vishnu and writes a prayer regarding him as follows:
O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Buddha! All glories to You! O Buddha of compassionate heart, you decry the slaughtering of poor animals performed according to the rules of Vedic sacrifice.
This viewpoint of the Buddha as the avatar who primarily promoted non-violence (ahimsa) remains a popular belief amongst a number of modern Vaishnava organisations, including ISKCON.
Additionally, there is the Vaishnava sect of Maharashtra, known as Varkari, who worship Lord Vithoba (also known as Vitthal, Panduranga). Though Vithoba is mostly considered to be a form of the little Krishna, there has been a deep belief for many centuries that Vithoba is a form of Buddha. Many poets of the Maharashtra (including Eknath, Namdev, Tukaram etc.) have explicitly mentioned him as Buddha., though many neo-Buddhists (Ambedkaries) and some western scholars often tend to reject this opinion.
As an inspirational figure
Other prominent modern proponents of Hinduism, such as Radhakrishnan, Vivekananda, consider the Buddha as an example of the same universal truth that underlies religions:
Vivekananda: May he who is the Brahman of the Hindus, the Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrians, the Buddha of Buddhists, the Jehovah of the Jews, the Father in Heavens of Christians, give strength to you to carry out your noble ideas!
Radhakrishnan: If a Hindu chants the Vedas on the banks of the Ganges… if the Japanese worship the image of Buddha, if the European is convinced of Christ’s mediatorship, if the Arab reads the Koran in the mosque… It is their deepest apprehension of God and God’s fullest revelation to them.
A number of revolutionary figures in modern Hinduism, including Gandhi, have been inspired by the life and teachings of the Buddha and many of his attempted reforms.
Steven Collins sees such Hindu claims regarding Buddhism as part of an effort – itself a reaction to Christian proselytizing efforts in India – to show that “all religions are one”, and that Hinduism is uniquely valuable because it alone recognizes this fact
According to Wendy Doniger, the Buddha avatar which occurs in different versions in various Puranas may represent an attempt by orthodox Brahminism to slander the Buddhists by identifying them with the demons. Helmuth von Glasenapp attributed these developments to a Hindu desire to absorb Buddhism in a peaceful manner, both to win Buddhists to Vaishnavism and also to account for the fact that such a significant heresy could exist in India.
The times ascribed to one “Buddha” figure are contradictory and some put him in approximately 500 CE, with a lifetime of 64 years, describe him as having killed some persons, as following the Vedic religion, and having a father named Jina, which suggest that this particular figure might be a different person from Siddharta Gautama.
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