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10 Types of Rudraksha

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

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Stotras of Suryadeva is chanted by Hindus in the wee hours of the morning. Surya is worshipped by people, saints, and even asuras or demons. Certain groups of Rakshasas, called the Yatudhanas, were staunch followers of the Sun God.

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Sanskrit:

ततो युद्धपरिश्रान्तं समरे चिन्तया स्थितम् ।
रावणं चाग्रतो दृष्ट्वा युद्धाय समुपस्थितम् ॥१॥

Translation:

Tato Yuddha Parishraantam Samare Chintayaa Sthitam |
Raavanam Chaagrato Drshtvaa Yuddhaaya Samupasthitam ||1||

Meaning:

1.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) Then, (Rama) being tired in the battle was worried in the battle-field …
1.2: … (by) seeing Ravana in-front of Him, having appeared to fight (energetically)

Sanskrit:

दैवतैश्च समागम्य द्रष्टुमभ्यागतो रणम् ।
उपागम्याब्रवीद्राममगस्त्यो भगवानृषिः ॥२॥

Translation:

Daivataish-cha Samaagamya Drashtuma Bhyaagato Ranam |
Upaagamyaa Bravidraa Mama Gastyo Bhagavaanrshi ||2||

Meaning:

2.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) Having arrived along with the Devas to see the impending battle (between Rama and Ravana) …
2.2: … sage Agastya, the great Rishi filled with divine splendor, came near Rama and said…

Sanskrit:

राम राम महाबाहो शृणु गुह्यं सनातनम् ।
येन सर्वानरीन्वत्स समरे विजयिष्यसि ॥३॥

Translation:

Raama Raama Mahaa Baaho Shrunu Guhyam Sanaatanam |
Yena Sarvaa narinvatsa Samare Vijayishyasi ||3||

Meaning:

3.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) O RamaO Rama, one with mighty Arms (i.e. who is a great warrior); Listen to this eternal secret,
3.2: By whichMy Son, you will be victorious against all enemies in the battle.

Sanskrit:

आदित्यहृदयं पुण्यं सर्वशत्रुविनाशनम् ।
जयावहं जपेन्नित्यमक्षय्यं परमं शिवम् ॥४॥

Translation:

Aditya Hrdayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinaashanam |
Jayaa Vaham Japennityam Kshayyam Paramam Shivam ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) (Listen to the) Aditya Hridayam (Hymns of the Sun God), which is Sacred and Destroyer of all Enemies,
4.2: Which brings Victory if recited daily, and imparts Undecaying Auspiciousness of the highest kind.

Sanskrit:

सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्यं सर्वपापप्रणाशनम् ।
चिन्ताशोकप्रशमनमायुर्वर्धनमुत्तमम् ॥५॥

Translation:

Sarva Mangala Maangalyam Sarva Paapa Pranaashanam |
Chintaa Shoka Prashamanamaa Yurvardhana muttamam ||5||

Meaning:

5.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) He is the bestower of all-around Welfare (Sarva Mangala Mangalyam), and the remover of all Sins (Sarva Papa Pranashanam),
5.2: He heals the worries and griefs (which gets implanted in the mind due to adverse life experiences) (Chinta Shoka Prashamanam) and (imbues one with the excellent splendor of the Sun which) increases the Life Span (Ayur Vardhanam Uttamam)

Sanskrit:

रश्मिमन्तं समुद्यन्तं देवासुरनमस्कृतम् ।
पूजयस्व विवस्वन्तं भास्करं भुवनेश्वरम् ॥६॥

Translation:

Rashmimantam Samudyantam Devaa Sura Namaskrtam |
Pujayasva Vivasvantam Bhaaskaram Bhuvaneshvaram ||6||

Meaning:

6.1: (Salutations to the Sun God) The Sun is filled with Rays (Rashmimanta) and rises equally for all, spreading His illumination (Samanta); He is reverentially saluted by both the Devas and the Asuras (Deva Asura Namaskritam),
6.2: The Sun is to be worshipped who shines forth (Vivasvanta) creating His own Light (Bhaskara), and who is the Lord of the Universe (Bhubaneshwar)

Disclaimer:

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

Stotras of Devi Saraswati

Here are a few stotras of Aparajita Stuti of Goddess Saraswati with their translations.We’ve also added the meanings of the following stotras.

Sanskrit:

नमस्ते शारदे देवी काश्मीरपुरवासिनि
त्वामहं प्रार्थये नित्यं विद्यादानं  देहि मे ॥

Translation:

Namaste Shaarade Devii Kaashmira Puravaasini
Tvaamaham Praarthaye Nityam Vidyaa Daanam Cha Dehi Me ||

Meaning:

1: Salutations to Devi Sharada, Who abides in the abode of Kashmira,
2: To You, O Devi, I always pray (for Knowledge); Please bestow on me the gift of that Knowledge (which illumines everything from within).

Stotras of Devi Saraswati
Stotras of Devi Saraswati

Sanskrit:

नमो देव्यै महादेव्यै शिवायै सततं नमः ।
नमः प्रकृत्यै भद्रायै नियताः प्रणताः स्म ताम् ॥१॥

Translation:

Namo Devyai Mahaa Devyai Shivaayai Satatam Namah |
Namah Prakrtyai Bhadraayai Niyataah Prannataah Sma Taam ||1||

Meaning:

1.1: Salutations to the Devi, to the MahadeviSalutations Always to Her Who is One with Shiva (the Auspicious One).
1.2: Salutations to Her Who is the Auspicious (being One with Shiva) Primordial Source of Creation and Controller of Everything; We Bow Always to Her.

Sanskrit:

रौद्रायै नमो नित्यायै गौर्यै धात्र्यै नमो नमः ।
ज्योत्स्नायै चेन्दुरूपिण्यै सुखायै सततं नमः ॥२॥

Translation:

Raudraayai Namo Nityaayai Gauryai Dhaatryai Namo Namah |
Jyotsnaayai Chendu Rupinyai Sukhaayai Satatam Namah ||2||

Meaning:

2.1: Salutations to the TerribleSalutations to the Eternal, the Shining One and the Supporter of the Universe.
2.2: Salutations Always to Her, Who has a Cool Brightness like the Moonlit NightAnd the Radiant Form of the Moon, and Who is Joy Herself.

Stotras of Devi Saraswati
Stotras of Devi Saraswati

Sanskrit:

कल्याण्यै प्रणता वृद्धयै सिद्धयै कुर्मो नमो नमः ।
नैर्ऋत्यै भूभृतां लक्ष्म्यै शर्वाण्यै ते नमो नमः ॥३॥

Translation:

Kalyaanyai Pranataa Vrddhayai Siddhayai Kurmo Namo Namah |
Nairrtyai Bhubhrtaam Lakshmyai Sharvaanyai Te Namo Namah ||3||

Meaning:

3.1: We Bow to Her Who is the Source of Welfare, Who is GreatFulfilled and Abides as the Universe,
3.2: Salutations to Her Who is the Destroyer as well as the Prosperity which Supports the Earth and Who is the Consort of Shiva(in the Divine Plan of Creation, Sustenance, and Destruction).

Sanskrit:

दुर्गायै दुर्गपारायै सारायै सर्वकारिण्यै ।
ख्यात्यै तथैव कृष्णायै धूम्रायै सततं नमः ॥४॥

Translation:

Durgaayai Durga Paaraayai Saaraayai Sarva Kaarinyai |
Khyaatyai Tathaiva Krshnaayai Dhumraayai Satatam Namah ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: (Salutations to) Durga, Who helps us in Crossing over the Difficulties and Dangers of Life and Who is the Essence of All Causes.
4.2: Salutations Always to Her, Who is Renowned and Widely Known Outside (in Creation) Just As She is Dark and Smoky and Difficult to Know Inside (in Meditation).

Disclaimer:

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

Four stages of life in hinduism - The Hindu FAQS

There are 4 Stages of Life in Hinduism. These are called “ashramas” and every man should ideally go through each of these stages:

1. Brahmacharya – Bachelor, student phase of life
2. Grihastha – Married life phase and duties of maintaining a Household
3. Vanaprastha – Retirement phase and handing over responsibilities to next generation.
4. Sannyasa – Phasee of giving up material desires and prejudices. Wandering Ascetic Stage

Four stages of life in hinduism - The Hindu FAQS
Four stages of life in Hinduism – The Hindu FAQS

Brahmacharya – Student Phase:

This is a period of taking formal education from guru about art, warfare, science, philosophy, scriptures etc. Previously, the average lifespan was considered as 100 years so this phase is the first quarter or 25 years. At this phase, young young male leaves home to stay in gurukul with a guru and attain both spiritual and practical knowledge. During this period, he is called a Brahmachari and is prepared for his future profession.

Grihastha – The Married Family Man:

This stage is the second quarter of one’s life (25-50 years of age) begins when a man gets married, and undertakes the responsibility for earning a living raising kids and supporting his family. At this stage, Hinduism supports the pursuit of wealth (artha) as a necessity, and indulgence in sexual pleasure (kama), under certain defined social and cosmic norms. At this stage, the children of this man are in Brahmacharya phase.

Vanaprastha – Retirement stage:

This stage of a man begins when his duty as a householder comes to an end. This is a third phase of life (51-75 approximately). In this stage, the person handover the responsibilities to next generation. He has become a grandfather, his children are grown up, and have established lives of their own. At this age, he give up his wealth, security, sexual pleasures. At this time, the previous generation enters Grihasta phase.

He is allowed to take his wife along but is supposed to maintain little contact with the family. This kind of life is indeed very harsh and cruel for an aged person. No wonder, this third ashrama is now nearly obsolete.

Sanyasa – The Wandering Recluse:

At this stage, the man give up every material desires and detaches himself from all the material relationships. He supposed to be totally devoted to God. He is a sanyasi, he has no home, no other attachment; he has renounced all desires, fears, hopes, duties and responsibilities. He is virtually merged with God, all his worldly ties are broken, and his sole concern becomes attaining moksha or release from the circle of birth and death. At this stage, the previous generation is entering Vanaprastha stage where as the generation before them are entering Grihastha stage. And the cycle goes on.

Rathi Maharathi - Hindu FAQs

According to Hindu mythology there are 5 classes of warrior excellence.

  1. Rathi: A warrior capable of attacking 5,000 warriors simultaneously.
  2. Atirathi: A warrior capable of contending with 12 Rathi class warriors or 60,000
  3. Maharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Atirathi class warriors or 720,000
  4. Atimaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Maharathi warriors simultaneously
  5. 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.

shakuni - Hindu FAQs
Credits: www.nynjbengali.com

3. Shishupala – Shri Krishna’s cousin

4. Vrishasena – Son of Karna

Famous Atirathis in Hindu mythology are

1. ShalyaThe 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.

angad - Son of Bali - Hindu FAQs
Angada – Son of Bali was an Atirathi

7. Duryodhana, Jayadhradha, Dusassana, Vikarna, all 97 brothers of Duryodhana, Yudhishtir, Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva

Bhima - The Hindu FAQs
Bhima – 2nd brother of pandavas was a Atirathi. Pic Credits : Molee arts

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. ArjunaHe is the third of the five Pandava brothers

Arjuna - Hindu FAQs
Arjuna – 3rd brother of pandavas was a Maharathi PicCredits: Molee Art

7. Lava & Kusha – Sons of lord Rama

8. Hanuman, Sugriva, Jambavan, Vali, Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama, Abhimanyu, Lord Krishna, Balrama, Lord Narasimha.

Bhishma - Hindu FAQs
Bhishma was a Maharathi PicCredits: Molee Art

Famous Atimaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Indrajeet – Son of Ravana

Indrajeet - Hindu FAQs
Indrajeet – Son of Ravana was a Atimaharati Credits : jubjubjedi.deviantart.com

Famous Mahamaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Lord Brahma – The creator

Brahma - The creator | Hindu FAQs
Brahma – The creator

2. Vishnu – The preserver

3. Shiva – The destroyer

Shiva the Destroyer | Hindu FAQs
Shiva the Destroyer

4. Durga – The warrior goddess

Durga - Hindu FAQs
Durga

5. Ganesha & kartikeya – Sons of Shiva and Parvati

 

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

 

Shiva idol | Maha Shivratri

Shiv Tandav stotra with english translation and its meaning.

Sanskrit:

जटाटवीगलज्जलप्रवाहपावितस्थले

गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्गतुङ्गमालिकाम् ।

डमड्डमड्डमड्डमन्निनादवड्डमर्वयं

चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् ॥१॥

English Translation:

Jatta tavi galaj jala pravaha pavita sthale

Gale valambya lambitaam bhujanga tunga malikaam |

Damadd damadd damadd daman ninaadavadd damar vayam

Chakaara chandda taandavam tanotu nah Shivah Shivam ||1||

Meaning:

1.1: From his huge matted hair like a forest, is pouring out and flowing down the sacred water of the river ganga, and making the ground holy; on that holy ground shiva is dancing his great taandava dance;

1.2: Supporting his neck and hanging down are the lofty serpents which are adorning his neck like lofty garlands,

1.3: His damaru is continuously emitting out the sound and filling the air all around,

1.4: Shiva performed such a passionate tandava; o my lord shiva, please extend the auspicious tandava dance within our beings also.

 

Sanskrit:

जटाकटाहसम्भ्रमभ्रमन्निलिम्पनिर्झरी_

विलोलवीचिवल्लरीविराजमानमूर्धनि ।

धगद्धगद्धगज्जलल्ललाटपट्टपावके

किशोरचन्द्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम ॥२॥

English Translation:

Jataa kattaha sambhrama bhraman nilimpa nirjhari

Vilola vichi vallarii viraajamaana murdhani |

Dhagad dhagad dhagaj jwalal lalatta patta paavake

Kishora chandra shekhare ratih pratikshanam mama ||2||

Meaning:

2.1: His huge matted hair are waving round and round; and whirling with it is the great River Ganga.

2.2: And the strands of his hair are like huge creepers are waving like king waves; His forehead is brilliantly wide

2.3: On the surface of that huge forehead is burning a blazing fire with the sound – dhagad,

dhagad, dhagad (referring to his third eye)

2.4: And a young crescent moon is shining on the peak of his head.

 

Sanskrit:

धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीविलासबन्धुबन्धुर

स्फुरद्दिगन्तसन्ततिप्रमोदमानमानसे ।

कृपाकटाक्षधोरणीनिरुद्धदुर्धरापदि

क्वचिद्दिगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ॥३॥

English Translation:

Dhara dharendra nandini vilasa bandhu bandhura

Sphurad diganta santati pramodamana maanase |

Krpa kataksha dhorani niruddha durdhara apadi

Kwachid digambare mano vinodametu vastuni ||3||

Meaning:

3.1: Now he is accompanied by the beautiful divine mother who is the supporter of the earth and the daughter of the mountain king; she is ever his companion in his various divine sports,

3.2: The entire horizon is shaking with the force of that tandava, and the subtle waves of the tandava is entering the atmosphere and raising waves of excessive joy.

3.3: That shiva, the flow of whose graceful side glance can restrain even the unrestrainable calamities.

3.4: Who is digambara, clothed with sky signifying he is ever-free and without any desire, sometimes in his mind materializes the wish to play the divine sports and dance.

 

Sanskrit:

जटाभुजङ्गपिङ्गलस्फुरत्फणामणिप्रभा

कदम्बकुङ्कुमद्रवप्रलिप्तदिग्वधूमुखे ।

मदान्धसिन्धुरस्फुरत्त्वगुत्तरीयमेदुरे

मनो विनोदमद्‍भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ॥४॥

English Translation:

Jataa bhujanga pingala sphurat phanaa mani prabha

Kadamba kungkuma drava pralipta digvadhu mukhe |

Mada andha sindhura sphurat tvag uttariya medure

Mano vinodam adbhutam bibhartu bhuta bhartari ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: The reddish serpents on his matted hairs with the lustre of red pearls on their hood are throbbing with their hoods raised.

4.2: Collectively the sky is appearing like the huge face of a bride adorned with that red saffron

4.3: His upper garment is flying in the breeze and shaking like the thick skin of an intoxicated elephant,

4.4: My mind is experiencing an extraordinary thrill in this divine sport; it is being carried away by the sustainer of all beings.

 

Sanskrit:

सहस्रलोचनप्रभृत्यशेषलेखशेखर_

प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः ।

भुजङ्गराजमालया निबद्धजाटजूटकः

श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः ॥५॥

English Translation:

Sahasra lochana prabhrty ashesa lekha shekhara

Prasuna dhuli dhorani vidhusara anghri pittha bhuh |

Bhujanga raja maalaya nibaddha jatta juttakah

Shriyai ciraya Jaayatam chakora bandhu shekharah ||5||

Meaning:

5.1: Sahasra locana (means thousand eyes and refers to indra) and others forming an unending line of heads.

5.2: Are being graced by the dust produced by the dancing feet, the feet which has become dust-coloured by dancing on mother earth.

5.3: His matted hair is bound by the garlands of the king of serpents and.

5.4: The shining moon on top of his head which is a friend of the chakora birds who drinks moonlight is radiating the deep beauty and auspiciousness of shiva.

Shiva as Nataraja

Sanskrit:

ललाटचत्वरज्वलद्धनञ्जयस्फुलिङ्गभा_

निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् ।

सुधामयूखलेखया विराजमानशेखरं

महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ॥६॥

English Translation:

Lalaata chatvara jvalad dhananjaya sphulinga bhaa
Nipita Pancha sayakam naman nilimpa nayakam |
Sudha mayukha lekhaya viraajamaana shekharam
Maha kapali sampade shiro jattalam astu nah ||6||

Meaning:

6.1: On the surface of his forehead is burning a spark of fire and spreading its lustre (referring to his third eye)

6.2: The fire which absorbed the five arrows (of kama deva) and made the chief god of kama bow down,

6.3: On the top of his head is shining the nectar-rayed-stroke of the crescent moon,

6.4: May we also receive a part of the wealth of the great kapali which is contained in his matted hair.

 

Sanskrit:

करालभालपट्टिकाधगद्‍धगद्‍धगज्ज्वलद्_

धनञ्जयाहुतीकृतप्रचण्डपञ्चसायके ।

धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीकुचाग्रचित्रपत्रक

प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम ॥७॥

English Translation:

Karala bhalla pattika dhagad dhagad dhagaj jvalad
Dhananjaya ahuti krta prachanda pancha Saayake |
Dharaa dharendra nandini kuchagra chitra patraka
Prakalpanai kashilpini trilochane ratirmama ||7||

Meaning:

7.1: The terrible surface of his forehead is burning with the sound – dhagad, dhagad, dhagad, dhagad – burning the

7.2: Terrible fire which performed the sacrifice of the mighty possessor of the five arrows (i.e. kama deva),

7.3: The footsteps of his great tandava dance is drawing various pictures on the bosom of the earth (signifying creation)

7.4: He is the one artist accompanied by shakti is one who creates. my mind is extremely delighted by this tandava of the three-eyed shiva.

 

Sanskrit:

नवीनमेघमण्डली निरुद्‍धदुर्धरस्फुरत्_

कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः ।

निलिम्पनिर्झरीधरस्तनोतु कृत्तिसिन्धुरः

कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः ॥८॥

English Translation:

Navina megha mandali niruddha durdhara sphurat
Kuhu nishithini tamah prabandha baddha kandharah |
Nilimpa nirjhari dharas tanotu krti sindhurah
Kala nidhana bandhurah shriyam jagad dhurandharah ||8||

Meaning:

8.1: The Throb of the Great Tandava has Restrained the Unrestrainable Orb of the New Clouds and

8.2: Has Bound the Darkness of the Night of the New Moon around His Neck,

8.3: O the Bearer of the River Goddess Ganga, Wearer of the Elephant Hide, Please Extend the the Auspiciousness and Great Welfare

8.4: O the Container of the Curved Digit of the Moon, Bearer of the Universe, Please Extend the Sri associated with this Great Tandava.

 

Sanskrit:

प्रफुल्लनीलपङ्कजप्रपञ्चकालिमप्रभा_

वलम्बिकण्ठकन्दलीरुचिप्रबद्धकन्धरम् ।

स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं

गजच्छिदान्धकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे ॥९॥

English Translation:

Praphula nila pangkaja prapancha kalima prabhaa_
Valambi kanttha kandali ruche prabaddha kandharam |
Smarach chidam purach chidam bhavach chidam makhach chidam
Gajach chidam andhakach chidam tam antakach chidam Bhaje ||9||

Meaning:

9.1: Halahal the black poison of the is appearing like a blooming blue lotus and

9.2: Resting within his throat like a girdle; which he himself has restrained by his own will,

9.3: I worship the destroyer of kaam deva (i.e. kama deva), the destroyer of tripurasuras, the destroyer of the delusion of the worldly existence, the destroyer of the daksha.

9.4: I worship the destroyer of gajasura, the destroyer of demon andhaka and I also worship the restrainer of yama; I worship my lord shiva.

 

Sanskrit:

अखर्वसर्वमङ्गलाकलाकदम्बमञ्जरी_

रसप्रवाहमाधुरीविजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् ।

स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं

गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ॥१०॥

English Translation:

Akharva sarva mangala kala kadamba manjarii
Rasapravaaha maadhuri vijrmbhanaa madhu vratam |
Smara antakam pura antakam bhava antakam makha antakam
Gaja antaka andhaka antakam Tamantaka antakam Bhaje ||10||

Meaning:

10.1: He is the non-diminishing source of auspiciousness for the welfare of all, and the source of all arts which he manifests like a cluster of blossoms.

10.2: From his tandava dance is surging forth the nectar of sweetness in the form of arts expressing his sweet will,

10.3: I worship him who brought an end to kama, who brought an end to the tripurasuras,  who brings an end to the delusion of worldly existence who brought an end to the sacrifice (of daksha), …

10.4: I worship him who brought an end to gajasura, who brought an end to demon andhaka, and who restrained yama; I worship my lord shiva.

Sanskrit:

जयत्वदभ्रविभ्रमभ्रमद्‍भुजङ्गमश्वसद्_

विनिर्गमत्क्रमस्फुरत्करालभालहव्यवाट् ।

धिमिद्धिमिद्धिमिध्वनन्मृदङ्गतुङ्गमङ्गल_

ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तितप्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः ॥११॥

English Translation:

Jayat vada bhra vibhrama bhramad bhujangama shvasad
Vinirgamat karma sphurat karala bhala havya vatt |
Dhimid dhimid dhimidhvanan mrdanga tunga mangala
Dhvani karma pravartita prachanda tandavah Shivah ||11||

Meaning:

11.1: His eyebrows are moving to and fro expressing his complete mastership over all the worlds; and his movements are rolling the serpents on his neck who are spewing out their hot breath

11.2: The third eye on his forehead which is like an altar for oblation is throbbing in succession and emitting fire,

11.3: The mridangam is incessantly sounding the auspicious beats of dhimid, dhimid, dhimid, dhimid

11.4: With that succession of beats which are rolling out, shiva is dancing his passionate tandava dance.

 

Sanskrit:

दृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजङ्गमौक्तिकस्रजोर्_

गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः ।

तृणारविन्दचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः

समप्रवृत्तिकः कदा सदाशिवं भजाम्यहम् ॥१२॥

English Translation:

Drsadvichitra talpayor bhujanga mauktika srajor
Garistha ratna losthayoh suhrd vipaksa paksayoh |
Trnaaravinda chaksusoh prajaa mahi mahendrayoh
Sama pravrtikah kada sadaashivam Bhajamyham ||12||

 

Sanskrit:

कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन्

विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरःस्थमञ्जलिं वहन् ।

विमुक्तलोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकः

शिवेति मन्त्रमुच्चरन्कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ॥१३॥

English Translation:

Kada nilimpa nirjhari nikunja kotare vasan
Vimukta durmatih sada shirahstham Anjalim vahan |
Vimukta lola locano lalama bhala lagnakah
Shiveti mantram ucharan kadaa Sukhi Bhavamy aham ||13||

Meaning:

13.1: When will i dwell in a cave within the dense woods by the side of the river goddess ganga and

13.2: Being free forever from sinful mental dispositions worship shiva keeping my hands on the forehead?

13.3: When will I be free from the rolling of the eyes (signifying lustful tendencies) and worship shiva applying the sacred mark on the forehead?

13.4: When will I be happy uttering the mantras of shiva?

 

Sanskrit:

इमं हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं

पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् ।

हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं

विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिन्तनम् ॥१४॥

English Translation:

Imam hi nityam evam uktam uttamottamam stavam
Patthan smaran bruvan naro vishuddhimeti santatam |
Hare gurau subhaktim aashu yaati na anyathaa gatim
Vimohanam hi dehinaam su shangkarasya chintanam ||14||

Meaning:

14.1: This greatest of the great hymn has been uttered;

14.2: Regularly reciting it and contemplate on shiva with purity of mind and in an uninterrupted manner and

14.3: With great devotion in hara, the guru, will quickly advance towards him; there is no other way or refuge,

14.4: The delusion of that person will be destroyed by deep meditation on shankara.

 

Lakshmi

Ashta Lakshmi (अष्टलक्ष्मी) are manifestations of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It is said that these manifestations preside over eight sources of wealth which are prosperity, good health, knowledge, strength, progeny, and power.

The Eight Lakshmi or Ashta Lakshmi are:

1. Adi-Lakshmi or Maha Lakshmi (The Great Goddess)

Adi-Lakshmi or Maha Lakshmi

Adi-Lakshmi also known as Maha-Lakshmi or “The Great Lakshmi is a first form of Goddess Lakshmi. She is daughter of sage Bhrigu and wife of Lord Vishnu or Narayana. Aadi-Lakshmi is often depicted as the consort of Narayana living with him at his home in Vaikuntha.
2. Dhana-Lakshmi or Aishwarya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Prosperity and Wealth)

Dhana-Lakshmi

Dhana means wealth in the form of money or gold. It also represents inner strength, will power, talent, virtues and character. Dhana-Lakshmi represents intangible aspect of the human world. She is said to bless the followers with abundance of wealth and prosperity.

Also Check: Ashta Bhairav: The eight manifestations of Kaal Bhairav

3. Dhanya-Lakshmi (Goddess of Food grains)

Dhaanya-Lakshmi

The third forms of Goddess Lakshmi in Ashta-Lakshmi Dhanya Lakshmi. Dhanya is food grains – full of natural nutrients and minerals required for a healthy body and mind.
She is the giver of agricultural wealth and all-important nourishment for human beings.

4. Gaja-Lakshmi (The Elephant Goddess)

Gaja Lakshmi

The fourth forms of Goddess Lakshmi is Gaja-Lakshmi or “Elephant Lakshmi”. She was born out of Samudra Manthan. She is the daughter of the ocean. Myths have it that Gaja-Lakshmi helped Lord Indra regain his lost wealth from the depth of the ocean.
This form of Goddess Lakshmi is the bestower and protector of wealth, prosperity, grace, abundance and royalty.

5. Santana-Lakshmi (The Goddess of Progeny)

Santana Lakshmi

The fifth forms of Goddess Lakshmi is  Santana Lakshmi. She is the Goddess of progeny, the treasure of the family life. Worshipers of Santana Lakshmi are bestowed with the wealth of good children possessing with good health and a long life.

6. Veera-Lakshmi or Dhairya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Valor and Courage)

Veera Lakshmi

The sixth forms of Goddess Lakshmi is  Veera Lakshmi. As the names suggests (Veera = valor or courage). This form of Goddess Lakshmi symbolize of courage and strength, and power.
Veera-Lakshmi is worshiped to gain valor and strength and to overcome the difficulties of life, and lead a life of stability.

7. Vidya-Lakshmi (The Goddess of Knowledge)

Vidya Lakshmi

The Seventh forms of Goddess Lakshmi is Vidya Lakshmi. Vidya means knowledge as well as education.
This form of Goddess Lakshmi is the giver of knowledge of the arts and sciences.

8. Vijaya-Lakshmi or Jaya Lakshmi (The Goddess of Victory)

Vijaya Lakshmi

The Eighth forms of Goddess Lakshmi is Vijaya Lakshmi. Vijaya means victory. So, this form of Goddess Lakshmi symbolizes victory in all aspects of life. Vijaya-Lakshmi is worshiped to ensure all-round victory in every aspect of life.

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

Kaal Bhairav

Ashta Bhairav are eight manifestations of Kaal Bhairav. They are the guardians and controller of eight directions. Each Bhairav has eight sub Bhairavs under him. So there are 64 Bhairavs in total. All of the Bhairavs are ruled and controlled by Maha Swarna Kala Bhairava, who is considered the supreme ruler of time of the universe and the chief form of Bhairava.

The 8 Bhairavs:

Kaal Bhairav
Kaal Bhairav


1. Sri Asithaanga Bhairav

Sri Asithaanga Bhairavar
Sri Asithaanga Bhairav

Consort: Bhrami
Vahana: Swan
Direction: East
Worship Benefits: Gives creative ability.

2. Sri Unmatha Bhairav

Sri Unmatha Bhairavar
Sri Unmatha Bhairav

Consort: Vaarahi
Vahana: Horse
Direction: West
Worship Benefits: Controls negative ego and harmful self talk.

3. Sri Bheeshana Bhairav

Sri Bheeshana Bhairavar
Sri Bheeshana Bhairav

Consort: Chamundi
Vahana: Lion
Direction: North
Worship Benefits: Obliterates evil spirits and negativity.

4. Sri Chanda Bhairav

Sri Chanda Bhairavar
Sri Chanda Bhairav

Consort: Koumaari
Vahana: Peacock
Direction: South
Worship Benefits: Gives incredible energy, cuts competition and rivals.

5. Sri Ruru Bhairav

Sri Ruru Bhairavar
Sri Ruru Bhairav

Consort: Maaheshwari
Vahana: Ox (Rishabam)
Direction: South-East
Worship Benefits: Divine educator.

6. Sri Krodha Bhairav

Sri Krodha Bhairavar
Sri Krodha Bhairav

Consort: Vaishnavi
Vahana: Eagle (Garuda)
Direction: South-West
Worship Benefits:  Gives you the power to take massive action.

7. Sri Samhaara Bhairav

Sri Samhaara Bhairavar
Sri Samhaara Bhairav

Consort: Chandi
Vahana: Dog
Direction: North-East
Worship Benefits: Complete dissolution of old negative karmas.

8. Sri Kapaala Bhairav

Sri Kapaala Bhairavar
Sri Kapaala Bhairav

Consort: Indrani
Vahana: Elephant
Direction: North-West
Worship Benefits: Ends all unrewarding work and action.

Each of the Bhairava’s manifestations represent, Akash, air, fire, water and earth and the other three being sun, moon and atma. Each of the Bhairavs are different in appearance, have different weapons, different vahanas. They also represent the Ashta Lakshmis.

 

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

Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara

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.

Shiva's Trishul or Trident
Shiva’s Trishul or Trident

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.

Lord Shiva and Ganga
Lord Shiva and Ganga

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.

Shiva as Nataraja
Shiva as Nataraja

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.

Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara
Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara

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.

Shiva and ravana
Shiva and ravana

7. He is known as Tripurantaka because he destroyed the 3 flying cities Tripura with Brahma driving his chariot and Vishnu propelling the warhead.

Shiva as Tripurantaka
Shiva as Tripurantaka

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.

Kids dressed as Shiva on Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of the god Shiva. It is the day Shiva was married to the goddess Parvati. The Maha Shivaratri festival, also popularly known as ‘Shivaratri’ (spelt as Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri, and Shivarathri) or ‘Great Night of Shiva’, marks the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri according to South Indian calendar. However according to North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is naming convention of lunar month which differs. However both, North Indians and South Indians, celebrate Maha Shivaratri on same day.  Of the twelve Shivaratris in the year, the Maha Shivarathri is the most holy.

shankar Mahadev | Maha Shiv Ratri
shankar Mahadev

The legends signify that this day is the favorite of Lord Shiva and also throws light on his greatness and the supremacy of Lord Shiva over all other Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Maha Shivaratri also celebrates the night when Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the cosmic dance.

In honour of Siva, one of the Hindu Trinity, representing the destructive aspect in the universe.Though generally, the night time is considered sacred and suitable for the worship of the feminine aspect of’ the deity and the day time for that of’ the masculine, yet on this particular occasion Siva is worshipped during the night time, and as a matter of fact, it is specially enjoined to be observed then. The observance of the Vratha is believed to secure for the devotee immunity from the eftects of sin committed either wittingly or unwittingly. The night is divided into four quarters, each quarter going by the name of a Jama called also Yama and pious people keep awake during every one of it , worshipping Iswara.

The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night-vigil (jagaran). All through the day, devotees chant “Om Namah Shivaya”, the sacred mantra of Shiva. Penances are performed in order to gain boons in the practice of Yoga and meditation, in order to reach life’s highest good steadily and swiftly. On this day, the planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere act as potent catalysts to help a person raise his or her spiritual energy more easily. The benefits of powerful ancient Sanskrit mantras such as Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra increase greatly on this night.

Stories:
There are many incidents told about the greatness of this day. Once a hunter in a jungle after searching throughout the jungle, was quite tired and could not get any animal. In the nightfall a tiger started chasing him. to escape from that he climbed a tree. That was a Bilva tree. The tiger sat under the tree waiting for him to come down. The hunter who sat on a branch of the tree was quite tense and didn’t want to sleep. He was plucking the leaves and putting down as he was not able to be idle. Below the tree there was a Shiva lingam. The whole night went on like this. God was pleased with the Upavasa (hunger) and the Pooja the hunter and the tiger did even without knowledge. He is the peak of the grace. He gave the hunter and the tiger “Moksha”. The drenching rain constituted a bath and his action of throwing the bael leaves on the Shiva Lingam, the worship of Shiva on the Shivaratri night. Though his actions were not intentional to worship Shiva, yet he is said to have gained heaven as he had observed the Shivaratri Vratha unwittingly.

              Also read : Most Badass Hindu Gods : Shiva

Once Parvati asked Lord Shiva which devotees and rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, in the dark fortnight during the month of Phalgun, is his favorite day. Parvati repeated these words to Her friends, from whom the word spread to all creation.

Kids dressed as Shiva on Maha Shivratri
Kids dressed as Shiva on Maha Shivratri
Credits: theguardian.com

How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated

According to the Shiva Puran, six items are regarded precious to worship and offer Lord Shiva in Maha Shivaratri.
The six Items are Beal fruit, Vermilion Paste (Chandan), Food Items (Prasad), Incense, Lamp (Diyo), Betel Leaves.

1) Beal Leaf (Marmelos leaf) – offering of Beal Leaf represents purification of the soul.

2) Vermilion paste (Chandan) – Applying chandan on Shiva Linga after washing the Linga represents good feature. Chandan is inseparable part of Worshipping Lord Shiva.

3) Food items – Food items such as rice and fruits are offered to the Lord to ensure a long life and fulfillment of desires.

4) Incense (Dhoop batti) – Incense sticks are lit before Lord Shiva to be blessed with wealth and prosperity.

5) Lamp (Diyo) – The lighting of Cotton handmade batti , lamp or diyo is believed to be helpful to gain knowledge.

6) Betel leaves (Paan ko patta) – Beatle leaves or Pan ko pat represents satisfaction with maturity.

Also read: Why Shiva was always high on marijuana being a GOD?

Shiva Puran states, the beat of Damaru revealed the first seven letters of music. Those notes are source of language too. Shiva is inventor of notes of music Sa, Re, Ga, Ma Pa, Dha, Ni. He is worshiped as inventor of language on his birthday too.

The Shiva linga is washed with Pancha kavya (mixture of five products of cow) and Panchamatrit (mixture of five sweet things). Pancha kavya includes cow dung, cow urine, milk, Curd and Ghee. Panchamrit includes Cow milk, Yogurt, Honey, Sugar and Ghee.

In front of the Shiva Linga Kalash (Medium size vessel with small neck) filled with mixed water and milk is set. The neck of the Kalash is tied with white and red piece of cloth. Flower, mango leaves, peeple leaves, beal leaves are kept inside the kalash. Mantras are chanted to worship Lord Shiva.

Shiva idol | Maha Shivratri
Shiva idol

In Nepal, millions of Hindus attend Shivaratri together from different part of the world at the famous Pashupatinath Temple. Thousands of devotees also attend Mahasivaratri at the famous Shiva Shakti Peetham of Nepal.

The indian devotee visits many big and small shiva temples to do their offerings and pray. The 12 Jyotirlingas are the famous of them all.

In Trinidad and Tobago, thousands of Hindus spend the auspicious night in over 400 temples across the country, offering special jhalls to Lord Shiva.

Credits: Photo credits to the Original Photographer.

Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon - Ashtavinayaka

Here is the third Part of our series “Ashtavinayaka: The eight abodes of Lord Ganesha” Where we will discuss the final three Ganesha which are Girijatmak , Vighneshwar and Mahaganpati . So lets start…

6) Girijatmaj (गिरिजत्मज)

It is believed that Parvati (Shiva’s wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. Girija’s (Parvati’s) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj. This temple stands amidst a cave complex of 18 caves of Buddhist origin. This temple is the 8th cave. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars. The temple hall is 53feet long, 51feet wide and 7feet in height.

Girijatmaj Lenyadri  Ashtavinayaka
Girijatmaj Lenyadri Ashtavinayaka

The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. The temple faces south. This idol seems to be little different from the rest of the Ashtavinayak idols in a sense that it appears to be not very well designed or carved like the other idols. This idol can be worshipped by anyone. There is no electric bulb in the temple. The temple is constructed such that during the day it is always lighted up by the sun-rays!

Girijatmaj Lenyadri  Ashtavinayaka
Girijatmaj Lenyadri Ashtavinayaka

7) Vighneshwar (विघ्नेश्वर):

The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan. However, the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic, religious acts and to answer the people’s prayers for protection, Ganesh defeated him. The story goes on to say that on being conquered, the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Ganesha then granted in his plea, but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on. In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha’s name, thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar (Vighna in Sanskrit means a sudden interruption in the ongoing work due to some unforeseen, unwarranted event or cause). The Ganesha here is called Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak.

Vighneshwar, ozhar - Ashtavinayaka
Vighneshwar, ozhar – Ashtavinayaka

The temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall. One can walk on the wall. The main hall of the temple is 20feet long and the inner hall is 10feet long. This idol, facing the east, has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol. The temple top is Golden and is possibly built by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese rulers of Vasai and Sashti. The temple is probably built around 1785AD.

Vighneshwar, ozhar - Ashtavinayaka
Vighneshwar, ozhar – Ashtavinayaka

8) Mahaganpati (महागणपति)
Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.

The idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left. It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement, having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat, however, the temple authorities deny existence of any such idol.

Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon - Ashtavinayaka
Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon – Ashtavinayaka

Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun), the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east. Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple very often and built the stone sanctum around the idol and in 1790AD Mr. Anyaba Dev was authorised to worship the idol.

Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

Legend has it that when a sage had once sneezed he gave out a child; since being with the sage the child learnt many good stuff about lord ganesha, however had inherited many evil thoughts within; when he grew he developed in to a demon by name Tripurasura; thereafter he prayed to Lord Shiva and got three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts) of Gold, Silver and Bronze with a boon of invincibility until all the three are in linear; with the boon to his side he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods, Shiva intervened, and realized that he could not defeat the demon. It was upon hearing Narada Muni’s advice that Shiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels, bringing an end to the demon.

Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby.
A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva’s chariot to break, as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Upon realizing his act of omission, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha, and then proceeded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon.

Mahaganapati is portrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas. Peshwa Madhavrao had constructed the Garbhagriha, the sanctum to house the swayambhoo statue.

The temple faces east. It has an imposing main gate which is guarded by two statues of Jay and Vijay. The temple is designed in such away that during Dakshinayan[ the apparent movement of the sun to the south] the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity.

The deity is seated and flanked on both sides by Riddhi and Siddhi. The trunk of the deity turns to the left. There is a local belief that the real statue of Mahaganpati is hidden in some vault and this statue has ten trunks and twenty arms. But there is nothing to substantiate this belief.

Credits: To the original photos and the photographers!

Varad Vinayak - Ashtavinayaka

Here is the second Part of our series “Ashtavinayaka: The eight abodes of Lord Ganesha” Where we will discuss the next three Ganesha which are Ballaleshwar, Varadavinayak and Chintamani. So lets start…

3) Ballaleshwar (बल्लाळेश्वर) :

Like a few other murtis, this one has diamonds embedded in the eyes and navel, and with His trunk pointing to the left. One speciality of this temple is that the prasad offered to this Ganapati at Pali is Besan Laadu instead of Modak that is normally offered to other Ganapatis. The shape of the idol itself bears a striking remblance with the mountain which forms the backdrop of this temple. This is more prominently felt if one views the photograph of the mountain and then sees the idol.

Ballaleshwar, pali - Ashtavinayaka
Ballaleshwar, pali – Ashtavinayaka

The original wooden temple was reconstructed in to a stone temple by Nana Phadanavis in 1760. There are two small lakes constructed on two sides of the temple. One of them is reserved for the puja (worship) of the Deity. This Temple faces the east and has two sanctums. The inner one houses the murti and has a Mushika (Ganesha’s mouse vahana) with modaka in his forepaws in front of it. The hall, supported by eight exquisitely carved pillars demands as much attention as the idol, sitting on throne carved like a Cyprus tree. The eight pillars depict the eight directions. Inner sanctum is 15 feet tall and outer one is 12 feet tall. The temple is constructed in such a way that after the winter (dakshinayan : southward movement of the sun) solstice, the sun rays fall on the Ganesha murti at sunrise. The temple is built with stones which are stuck together very tight using melted lead.

History of Temple
The legendary story of Shri Ballaleshwar is covered in Upasana Khand Section -22 occurred in Pali the old name Pallipur.

Kalyansheth was a merchant in Pallipur and was married to Indumati. The couple was childless for quite some time but later was blessed with a son known as Ballal. As Ballal grew, he spent much of his time in worshiping and praying. He was devotee of Lord Ganesha and used to worship stone idol of Shri Ganesha in the forest along with his friends and companions. As it used to take time, the friends would reach home late. Regular delay in returning house used to irritate the parents of the friends of Ballal who complained to his father saying that Ballal was responsible for spoiling the kids. Already unhappy with Ballal for not concentrating on his studies, Kalyansheth was boiling with anger when he heard the complaint. Immediately he reached the place of worship in the forest and devastated Pooja arrangements organized by Ballal and his friends. He threw away the Stone Idol of Shri Ganesh and broke the pandal. All the kids got frightened but Ballal who was engrossed in Pooja and japa, did not even know what was happening around. Kalayan beat Ballal mercilessly and tied him to the tree saying to get fed and freed by Shri Ganesha. He left for home thereafter.

Ballaleshwar, pali - Ashtavinayaka
Ballaleshwar, pali – Ashtavinayaka

Ballal semiconscious and tied to the tree in the forest was lying as that with severe pain all over, started calling his beloved God, Shri Ganesha. “O Lord, Shri Ganesha, I was busy in praying you, I was right and humble but my cruel father has spoiled my act of devotion and hence I am unable to perform Pooja.” Shri Ganesha was pleased and responded quickly. Ballal was freed. He blessed Ballal to be superior devotee with larger lifespan. Shri Ganesha hugged Ballal and said that his father would suffer for his wrongdoings.

Ballal insisted that Lord Ganesha should continue to stay there at Pali. Nodding His head Shri Ganesha made his permanent stay at Pali as Ballal Vinayak and disappeared in a large stone. This is famous as Shri Ballaleshwar.

Shri Dhundi Vinayak
In the above mentioned story the stone idol which Ballal used to worship and which was thrown away by Kalyan Sheth is known as Dhundi Vinayak. The idol is facing west. The birth celebration of Dhundi Vinayak takes place from Jeshtha Pratipada to Panchami. From ancient time, it is a practice to take darshan of Dhundi Vinayak before proceeding to main idol Shree Ballaleshwar.

4) Varad Vinayak (वरदविनायक)

Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success. The idol was found in the adjoining lake (to Mr. Dhondu Paudkar in 1690AD), in an immersed position and hence its weathered look. In 1725AD the then Kalyan subhedar, Mr. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar built the Varadavinayak temple and the village of Mahad.

Varad Vinayak - Ashtavinayaka
Varad Vinayak – Ashtavinayaka

Mahad is a pretty village set in the hilly region of Konkan in the Raigarh district and the Khalapur Taluka of Maharastra.Lord Ganesha as Varad Vinayak fulfills all desires and grants all boons. This region was known as Bhadrak or Madhak in ancient times. The Original Idol of Varad Vinayak can be seen outside the sanctum. Both Idols are located in two corners- the Idol on the left is smeared in vermillion with its trunk turned left, and the idol on the right is made of white marble with its trunk turned to the right . The sanctum is made of stone and is surronded by beautiful stone elephant carving which house the idol. There are 4 elephant idols on 4 sides of the temple. Two stone idols of Riddhi & Siddhi can also be seen in the sanctum.

This is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers.

5) Chintamani (चिंतामणि)

Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. However, after bringing back the jewel, sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka’s (Ganesha’s) neck. Thus the name Chintamani Vinayak. This happened under the Kadamb tree, therefore Theur is known as Kadambanagar in old times.

Known to be one of the larger and more famous of the eight revered shrines, the temple is situated in the village of Theur, 25 km from Pune. The hall has a black stone water fountain in it.  Beside the central shrine dedicated to Ganesha, there are three smaller shrines in the temple complex dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu-Lakshmi and Hanuman. Lord Ganesha is worshipped by the name ‘Chintamani’ in this temple as it is believed he provides deliverance from worries.

Chintamani - Ashtavinayaka
Chintamani – Ashtavinayaka

The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha. The temple entrance is North facing. The outer wooden hall was built by Peshwas. The main temple is supposed to have been built by Dharanidhar Maharaj Dev from the family-lineage of Shri Moraya Gosavi. He must have built this around 100 years before Senior Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa built the outer wooden hall.

This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.

Theur’s Chintamani was the family deity of Shrimant Madhavrao I Peshwa. He suffered from tuberculosis and died at a very young age (27years). He is supposed to have died in this temple. His wife, Ramabai committed Sati with him on 18 November 1772.

Credits:
Photo credits to Original photos and the respective photographers
ashtavinayaktemples.com

A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka

Ashtavinayaka , also pronounced as Asthavinayaka, Ashthavinayaka (अष्टविनायक) literally means “eight Ganeshas” in Sanskrit. Ganesh is the Hindu deity of unity, prosperity & learning and removes obstacles. The term Ashtavinayaka refers to eight Ganeshas. Ashtavinayaka yatra trip refers to a pilgrimage to the eight Hindu temples in Maharashtra state of India that house eight distinct idols of Ganesha, in a pre-ascertained sequence.

A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka
A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka

The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha which are situated around Maharashtra, A state of India. Each of these temples has its own individual legend and history, as distinct from each other as the murtis (Idos) in each temple. The form of each murti of Ganesha and His trunk are distinct from one another. All the Eight  Ashtavinayak Temples are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut.
The eight names of Ashtavinayaka are:
1. Moreshwar (मोरेश्वर) from Morgaon
2. Mahaganpati (महागणपति) from Ranjangaon
3. Chintamani (चिंतामणि) from Theur
4. Girijatmak (गिरिजत्मज) from Lenyadri
5. Vighneshwar (विघ्नेश्वर) from Ojhar
6. Siddhivinayak (सिद्धिविनायक ) from Siddhatek
7. Ballaleshwar (बल्लाळेश्वर) from Pali
8. Varad Vinayak (वरदविनायक) from Mahad

1) Moreshwara (मोरेश्वर):
This is the most important temple on this tour. The temple, built from black-stone during the Bahamani reign, has four gates (It is supposed to have been built by one of the knights named Mr. Gole, from the court of Bidar’s Sultan). The temple is situated in the centre of the village. The temple is covered from all sides by four minarets and gives feeling of a mosque if seen from a distance. This was done to prevent attacks on the temple during Mughal periods. The temple has 50 feet tall wall around it.

Morgaon temple - Ashtavinayaka
Morgaon temple – Ashtavinayaka

There is a Nandi (Shiva’s bull mount) sitting in front of this temple entrance, which is unique, as Nandi is normally in front of only Shiva temples. However, the story says that this statue was being carried to some Shivamandir during which the vehicle carrying it broke down and the Nandi statue could not be removed from its current place.

The murti of Lord Ganesha  is three eyed, seated, and his trunk is turned towards the left, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot. The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it. This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi (Capability) and Riddhi (Intelligence).

Morgaon Ganpati - Ashtavinayaka
Morgaon Ganpati – Ashtavinayaka

However, this is not the original murti -which is said to have been consecrated twice by Brahma, once before and once after being destroyed by the asura Sindhurasur. The original murti, smaller in size and made of atoms of sand, iron, and diamonds, was supposedly enclosed in a copper sheet by the Pandavas and placed behind the one that is currently worshiped.

2) Siddhivinayak (सिद्धिविनायक ):

Siddhatek is a remote little village along the river Bhima in the Ahmednagar district and Karjat tehsil in Maharashtra. The Siddhivinayak Ashtavinayak Temple at Siddhtek is considered an especially powerful deity. God Vishnu is supposed to have vanquished the asuras Madhu and Kaitabh after propitiating Ganesha here. This is the only murti of these eight with the trunk positioned to the right. It is believed that the two saints Shri Morya Gosavi and Shri Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon received their enlightenment here.

Siddhivinayak Siddhatek temple - Ashtavinayak
Siddhivinayak Siddhatek temple – Ashtavinayak

The Mudgala Purana narrates that at the beginning of Creation, the creator-god Brahma emerges from a lotus, that rises the god Vishnu’s navel as Vishnu sleeps in his yoganidra. While Brahma starts creating the universe, two demons Madhu and Kaitabha rise from the dirt in Vishnu’s ear. The demons disturb Brahma’s process of creation, thereby compelling Vishnu to awake. Vishnu battles the battle, but cannot defeat them. He asks the god Shiva the reason for this. Shiva informs Vishnu that he cannot succeed as he had forgotten to invoke Ganesha – the god of beginning and obstacle removal – before the fight. Therefore Vishnu performs penance at Siddhatek, invoking Ganesha with his mantra  “Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah”. Pleased, Ganesha bestows his blessings and various siddhis (“powers”) on Vishnu, returns to his fight and slays the demons. The place where Vishnu acquired siddhis was thereafter known as Siddhatek.

Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek Ganpati - Ashtavinayaka
Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek Ganpati – Ashtavinayaka

The temple is North-facing and is on a small hillock. The main road towards the temple was believed to be built by Peshwa’s general Haripant Phadake. The inner sanctum, 15 feet high and 10 feet wide is built by Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar. The idol is 3feet tall and 2.5feet wide. The idol faces North-direction. The stomach of the murti is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh. This murti’s trunk is turning to the right. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. To make one round (pradakshina) around the temple one has to make the round trip of the hillock. This takes about 30 minutes with moderate speed.

Peshwa general Haripant Phadake lost his General’s position and did 21 Pradakshina around the temple. On the 21st day Peshwa’s court-man came and took him to the court with royal honor. Haripant promised the God that he will bring the stones of the castle which he will win from the first war he will fight as the general. The stone pathway is built from the Badami-Castle which was attacked by Haripant soon after he became the general.

Credits:
Photo credits to the original uploaders and Photographers

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the Fourth part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about last four jyotirlinga which are
Nageshwara, Rameshwara, Trimbakeshwar, Grishneshwar. So lets start with the nineth jyotirling.

9) Nageshvara Jyotirlinga:

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Nageshvara is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga on the earth.

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Shiva Purana says Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is in ‘the Darukavana’, which is an ancient name of a forest in India. ‘Darukavana’ finds mention in Indian epics, such as Kamyakavana, Dvaitavana, Dandakavana. There is a narrative in the Shiva Purana about the Nageshvara Jyotirlinga which tells of a demon named Daaruka, who attacked a Shiva devotee named Supriya and imprisoned him along with many others in his city of Darukavana, a city under the sea inhabited by seasnakes and demons. At the urgent exhortations of Supriya, all the prisoners started to chant the holy mantra of Shiva and immediately thereafter the Lord Shiva appeared and the demon was vanquished, later residing there in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
And this is how it happened: the demon had a wife, a demoness named Daaruki who worshipped Mata Parvati. As a result of the demoness Daaruki’s great penance and devotion, Mata Parvati gave her a great boon: the goddess enabled her to master the forest where she performed her devotions, and the forest she renamed ‘Darukavana’ in her honour. Wherever Daaruki went the forest would follow her. In order to save the demons of Darukavana from the punishment of the gods, Daaruka summoned up the power she had been given by the goddess Parvati. Devi Parvati had given her power enough to move the forest and so she moved the entire forest into the sea. From here they continued their campaign against the hermits, kidnapping people and keeping them confined in their new lair under the sea, which was how that great Shiva devotee, Supriya, had wound up there.

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

The arrival of Supriya caused a revolution. He set up a lingam and made all the prisoners recite the mantra Om Namaha Shivay in honour of Shiva while he prayed to the lingam. The demons’ response to the chanting was to attempt to kill Supriya, though they were thwarted by Shiva appearing there and handing him a divine weapon that saved his life. Daaruki and the demons were defeated, and the demons that Supriya didn’t kill were saved by Parvati. The lingam that Supriya had set up was called Nagesha; it is the tenth lingam. Shiva once again assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga with the name Nageshwar, while the Goddess Parvati was known as Nageshwari. The Lord Shiva announced there and then that he would show the correct path to those who would worship him.

10) Ramanathaswamy Temple:
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs.

Rameswaram temple
Rameswaram temple

According to the Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve sin of killing a brahmana, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Rama wanted to have the largest lingam to worship Shiva. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lieutenant in his army, to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita, the wife of Rama, built a small lingam out of the sand available in the sea shore, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.

Rameshwaram temple corridor
Rameshwaram temple corridor

The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum – one built by Goddess Sita, from sand, residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Lord Hanuman – the tradition continue even today.

11) Trimbakeshwar Temple:

Trimbakeshwar (त्र्यंबकेश्वर) or Tryambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Trimbakeshwar tehsil in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
It is located at the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The Godavari River, which is considered sacred within Hinduism, originates from Bramhagiri mountains and meets the sea near Rajahmudry. Kusavarta, a kund is considered the symbolic origin of the river Godavari, and revered by Hindus as a sacred bathing place.

Trimbakeshwar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Trimbakeshwar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones.

All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain.

12) Grishneshwar Temple:

Grishneshwar, Grushneshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Grishneshwar is believed as the Last or 12th (twelfth) Jyotirlinga on the earth. This pilgrimage site is located at a village called Verul which lies at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad (Devagiri) and 30 km from Aurangabad. It lies at a close proximity to the Ellora caves.

Grishneshwar Temple
Grishneshwar Temple

The temple stands as an illustration of the pre-historic temple traditions as well as of the pre-historic architectural style and structure. The inscriptions on the temples are a source of much attraction to ardent travellers. The temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five tier shikara. Restored in the 18th century by Ahilyabai Holkar, the temple is 240 x 185 feet tall. It houses beautiful carvings and sculptures of many Indian Gods and Goddesses. Holy water is known to spring from inside the temple.

According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the nearby lake. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister.

Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas. Next morning, Ghushmas and Sudharm got involved in daily prayers and ablutions. Sudeha too, got up and started performing her daily choirs. Ghushma’s daughter-in-law, however, saw stains of blood on her husband’s bed and parts of the body drenched in blood. Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Shiva. Ghushma did not deter. Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch. Even when Ghushma saw the bed drenched in blood she did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting Shiva-Shiva. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son Ghushma was neither happy nor sad.

At that time Lord Shiv appeared before her and said – I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirling and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

Credits: Photo credits to the original photograph and their owners

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the Third part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about next four jyotirlinga which are
Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Kashi Vishwanath and Vaidhyanath . So lets start with the fifth jyotirling.

5) Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva. It is on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region. The temple structure is believed to have been constructed in the 8th century AD, when Adi Shankara visited.

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

According to Hindu mythology, during the Mahabharatha war, the Pandavas killed their relatives; to absolve themselves of this sin, the Pandavas undertook a pilgrimage. But Lord Vishweshwara was away in Kailasa in the Himalayas. On learning this, the Pandavas left Kashi. They reached the Himalayas via Haridwar. They saw Lord Shankara from a distance. But Lord Shankara hid from them. Then Dharmaraj said: “Oh, Lord, You have hidden yourself from our sight because we have sinned. But, we will seek You out somehow. Only after we take your Darshan would our sins be washed away. This place, where You have hidden Yourself will be known as Guptakashi and become a famous shrine.”
From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas went ahead till they reached Gaurikund in the Himalayas valleys. They wandered there in search of Lord Shankara. While doing so Nakul and Sahadev found a buffalo which was unique to look at.

Then Bheema went after the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo was clever and Bheema could not catch him. But Bheema managed to hit the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice-in the earth. Bheema started to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of war, the face of the buffalo went straight to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar. The face is Doleshwar Mahadev in Sipadol, Bhaktapur, Nepal.

On this hind part of Mahesha, a JyotirLinga appeared and Lord Shankara appeared from this light. By getting a Darshan of Lord Shankar, the pandavas were absolved of their sins. The Lord told the Pandavas, “From now on, I will remain here as a triangular shaped JyotirLinga. By taking a Darshan of Kedarnath, devotees would attain piety”. A triangular shaped rock is worshiped in Garbhagriha of the temple. Surrounding Kedarnath, there are many symbols of the Pandavas. Raja Pandu died at Pandukeshwar. The tribals here perform a dance called “Pandav Nritya”. The mountain top where the Pandavas went to Swarga, is known as “Swargarohini”, which is located off Badrinath. When Darmaraja was leaving for Swarga, one of his fingers fell on the earth. At that place, Dharmaraj installed a Shiva Linga, which is the size of the thumb. To gain Mashisharupa, Shankara and Bheema fought with maces. Bheema was struck with remorse. He started to massage Lord Shankara’s body with ghee. In memory of this event, even today, this triangular Shiva JyotirLinga is massaged with ghee. Water and Bel leaves are used for worship.

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

When Nara-Narayan went to Badrika village and started the worship of Parthiva, Shiva appeared before them. Nara-Narayan wished that, for the welfare of the humanity, Shiva should remain there in his original form. Granting their wish, in the snow-clad Himalayas, in a place called Kedar, Mahesha himself stayed there as a Jyoti. Here, He is known as Kedareshwara.

An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand; he is believed to have attained mahasamadhi at Kedaranath.

 

 

6) Bhimashankar Temple:
Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirlinga shrine located 50 km northwest of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is located 127 km from Shivaji Nagar (Pune) in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur.

Bhimashankar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Bhimashankar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures in the Nagara style of architecture. It shows the excellency of the skills achieved by ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. It is a modest yet graceful temple and it dates back to 13th century and the sabhamandap developed in the 18th century by Nana Phadnavis. The shikhara was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.

It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (that is the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be seen in the temple that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctum Sanctorum). Intricate carvings of divinities interspersed with human figurines adorn the pillars and the doorframes of the temple. Scenes from mythology find itself captured in these magnificent carvings.

This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura associated with the invincible flying citadels Tripuras. Shiva is said to have taken abode in the ‘Bhima Shankara’ form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills, and the sweat that poured forth from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.

7) Kashi Vishwanath Temple:

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, the holiest existing place of Hindus. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the universe. The temple town, which claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures for a very long time and as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. It has been destroyed and re-constructed a number of times in the history. The last structure was demolished by Aurganzeb, who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site.

The Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India. Tradition has it that the merits earned by the darshan of other jyotirlinga scattered in various parts of India accrue to a devotee by a single visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Deeply and intimately implanted in the Hindu mind, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a living embodiment of India’s timeless cultural traditions and highest spiritual values.

Kashi Vishwanath - 12 Jyotirlinga
Kashi Vishwanath – 12 Jyotirlinga

The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga of the main deity at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar. The main temple is quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines of other gods. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi also spelled as Gyaan vapi (the wisdom well). The Jnana Vapi well sites to the north of the main temple and it is believed that the Jytorlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the Jyotirlinga from invaders.

A Shiva temple has been mentioned in the Puranas including the Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana. The original Vishwanath temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1194 CE, when he defeated the Raja of Kannauj as a commander of Mohammad Ghori. The temple was rebuilt by a Gujarati merchant during the reign of Shamsuddin Iltumish (1211-1266 CE). It was demolished again during the rule of either Hussain Shah Sharqi (1447-1458) or Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517). Raja Man Singh built the temple during Akbar’s rule, but orthodox Hindus boycotted it as he had let the Mughal emperors marry within his family. Raja Todar Mal further re-built the temple with Akbar’s funding at its original site in 1585.

Kashi Vishwanath temple replaced by a mosque
Kashi Vishwanath temple replaced by a mosque

In 1669 CE, Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place. The remains of the erstwhile temple can be seen in the foundation, the columns and at the rear part of the mosque.The Maratha ruler Malhar Rao Holkar wanted to destroy the Gyanvapi mosque and re-construct the temple at the site.However, he never actually did that. His daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar later constructed the present current temple structure near the mosque.

8)Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple:

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is a temple complex consisting of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples.

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple
Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple

According to Hindu beliefs, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his ten heads one after the another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with this, Shiva descended to cure Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as Vaidhya (“doctor”). From this aspect of Shiva, the temple derives its name.

According to the stories narrated in the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva (Shiva) stays there forever. He paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.

The other gods objected to this plan; if Shiva went to Lanka with Ravana, then Ravana would become invincible and his evil and anti-vedic deeds would threaten the world.
On his way back from Mount Kailash, it was time for Ravana to perform sandya-vandana and he could not carry out sandya-vandha with Shiva linga in his hand and therefore searched for someone who could hold it for him. Ganesh then appeared as a shepherd who was rearing sheep nearby. Ravana requested Ganesh pretending as shepherd to hold the linga while he completes sandya-vandana and also guided him not to place the linga on ground at any movement. Ganesh warned Ravana about leaving the linga on the bank of the river and walking away if he doesn’t return soon. Ganesh, pretending to be vexed by Ravena’s delay, set the linga down on earth. The moment linga was kept down, it got fixed to the ground. When Ravana after returning from sandya-vandana tried to move the linga, but he could not. Ravan failed miserably in his attempt to uproot the linga. The Gods were happy with Shiva linga not reaching Ravana’s place.

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part IV

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II

Credits: Photo credits to the original photograph and their owners

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the second part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about first four jyotirlinga which are
Somnatha, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwara and Omkareshwara. So lets start with the first jyotirling.

1) The Somnath Temple:

The Somnath Temple, located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the god Shiva. The temple is considered sacred due to the various legends connected to it. Somnath means “Lord of the Soma”, an epithet of Shiva.

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.

The Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”, having been destroyed SIXTEEN TIMES by Muslim invaders. Apart from the countless riches (gold, gems etc..) it was widely believed to have had a floating Shiva linga (also believed to be the Philosopher’s Stone), which was also destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni during his raids.
The first temple of Somnath is said to have existed before the beginning of the Christian era. The second temple, built by the Maitraka kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649. In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple. The Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone. In 1024, Mahmud Ghazni raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. During his campaign, Mahmud was challenged by Ghogha Rana, who at the ripe age of 90, sacrificed his own clan fighting against this iconoclast.

Destruction of Somnath Temple
Destruction of Somnath Temple

The temple and citadel were ransacked, and more than 50,000 defenders were massacred; Mahmud personally hammered the temple’s gilded lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city’s new Jamiah Masjid (Friday mosque). The fourth temple was built by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) or Patan between 1026 and 1042. The wooden structure was replaced by Kumarpal who built the temple of stone.The temple was razed in 1297 when the Sultanate of Delhi conquered Gujarat, and again in 1394. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple again in 1706. The current is the 7th one that was built by the Efforts of Sardar Patel.

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

2) Mallikaarjuna Temple:
Sri Mallikarjuna second of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Siva situated at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh state, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

When Kumar Kartikeya returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth, he heard about Ganesha’s marriage from Narada. This angered him. In spite of being restrained by his parents, he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son, implored Lord Shiva to look for their son. Together, they went to Kumara. But, Kumara went away a further three Yojanas, after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. Before embarking on a further search for their son on each mountain, they decided to leave a light on every mountain they visited. From that day, that place came to be known as JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively.

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this JyotirLinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.

3) Mahakaleshwar Temple :

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga (महाकालेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग) is third of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is situated on the side of the Rudra Sagar lake. The presiding deity, Shiva in the lingam form is believed to be Swayambhu, deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams that are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south. This is a unique feature, upheld by the tantric shivnetra tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami. The temple has five levels, one of which is underground. The temple itself is located in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls near a lake. The shikhar or the spire is adorned with sculptural finery. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum. It is believed that prasada (holy offering) offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other shrines.

The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendor, reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its shikhar soaring into the sky, an imposing facade against the skyline, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with ancient Hindu traditions. On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night.

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

The shrine is revered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peetham. i.e it is believed to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it. Each of the 51 Shakti peethas have shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava. The Upper Lip of Sati Devi is said to have fallen here and the Shkati is called as Mahakali.

4) Omkareshwar Temple:

Omkareshwar (ओंकारेश्वर) is  one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river; the shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu ॐ symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means “Lord of Omkaara or the Lord of the Om Sound”) and one to Amareshwar (whose name means “Immortal lord” or “lord of the Immortals or Devas”). But as per the sloka on dwadash jyotirligam, Mamleshwar is the jyotirling, which is on other side of Narmada river.

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga also has its own history and stories.Three of them are prominent. The first story is about Vindhya Parvat (Mount). Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop cosmic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthivlinga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva’s devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.

The second story relates to Mandhata and his son’s penance. King Mandhata of Ishvaku clan (an ancestor of Lord Ram) worshipped Lord Shiva here till the Lord manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga. Some scholars also narrate the story about Mandhata’s sons-Ambarish and Mucchkund, who had practiced severe penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. Because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

The third story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was a great war between Devas and Danavas(demon), in which Danavas won. This was a major setback for Devas and hence Devas prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, Lord Shiva emerged in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part I

Credits:
Photo credits to original photographers.
www.shaivam.org

A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam (ज्योतिर्लिङ्ग) is a devotional object representing the god Shiva. Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and lingam the ‘mark or sign’ of Shiva, or a symbol of the pineal gland; Jyotir Lingam thus means the The Radiant sign of The Almighty. There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.
shankar Idol in Uttarakhand
Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme – solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God – formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills.

It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. There is nothing to distinguish the appearance, but it is believed that a person can see these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth after he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.
Originally there were believed to be 64 jyothirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

Shivling
Shivling

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra by Adi Shankaracharya:

“सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् ।
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोकांरममलेश्वरम् ।
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीमशंकरम् ।
सेतुबंधे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारूकावने ।
वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्रयंम्बकं गौतमीतटे ।
हिमालये तु केदारं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये ।
ऐतानि ज्योतिर्लिंगानि सायं प्रातः पठेन्नरः ।
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति ।”

‘Saurashtre Somanaatham Cha Sree Saile Mallikarjunam
Ujjayinyaam Mahaakaalam Omkaare Mamaleswaram
Himalaye to Kedaram Daakinyaam Bhimashankaram
Vaaranaasyaam cha Viswesam Trayambakam Gowtameethate
Paralyaam Vaidyanaatham cha Naagesam Daarukaavane
Setubandhe Ramesham Grushnesam cha Shivaalaye ||’

The twelve Jyotirlingam are:

1. Somanatheshwara: Somanaatheshwara in Somnath is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva, held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, traditions and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.

2. Mahakaleshwara: Ujjain – Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga shrine The ancient and historic city of Ujjain or Avanti in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Jyotirlinga shrine of Mahakaleshwar.

3. Omkareshwara: a.k.a Mahamalleshwara – Omkareshwar, an island in the course of the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple.

4. Mallikarjuna: Sree Sailam – Sree Sailam near Kurnool enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple rich in architectural and sculptural wealth. Aadi Sankaracharya composed his Sivanandalahiri here.

5. Kedareshwara: Kedaareshwara of Kedarnath is the Northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow clad Himalayas is an ancient shrine rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.

6. Bhimashankara: Bhimashankar – Jyotirlinga Shrine is associated with the legend of Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura. Bhimashankar is located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, accessed from Pune.

7. Kashi Vishwanatheshwara: Kaashi Vishwanaatheshwara Varanasi – The most celebrated pilgrimage site in India The Vishwanath temple in Benares in Uttar Pradesh is the goal of the thousands of pilgrims that visit this ancient city. The Vishwanath shrine is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.

8. Triambakeshwara: Tryambakeshwar – The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with this Jyotirlinga shrine near Nasik in Maharashtra.

9. Vaidyanatheshwara: – Vaidyanath temple at Deogarh The ancient pilgrimage town of Deogarh in the Santal Parganas area of Bihar is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva.

10. Naganatheshwara: – Nageshwar near Dwarka in Gujarat is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.

11. Grishneshwara: – Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Shrine is a temple located in the vicinity of the tourist town of Ellora, which has several rock cut monuments from the 1st millennium CE.

12. Rameshwara: – Rameswaram: This vast temple in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar, and is revered as the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of India.

Also read 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II