Not just huge skyscraper, shopping lanes, Food corners, and fast life. Mumbai have beautiful temples too. Mumbai is named after the local deity known as ‘Goddess Mumbadevi’, who is believed to protect the citizens of this city. So here are the 9 famous temples in Mumbai.
1) The South Indian Bhajana Samaj Matunga
2) Swaminarayan Mandir dadar
3) Siddhivinayak Temple Dadar, Prabhadevi.
The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. It was originally built in 1801. It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai.
Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world, is rich in symbolism. Hindu Symbols play a crucial role in our day to day rituals, mythology, art, and prayers, representing deep faith in our day to day life when we are not indulged in the prayers. Each Hindu symbol carries layers of meaning and holds a unique place in Hindu culture. In this comprehensive article, we have listed 10 symbols in Hinduism with its deep meaning and the divine connections, uncovering the spiritual wisdom they encapsulate.
Here are the list of 101 symbols which are generally used in hinduism in day to day life.
1. AUM (OM) ॐ – The main, most powerful symbol of Hinduism.
Aum or OM (ॐ) is considered to be the main symbol in Hinduism. Aum, is one of the most sacred and widely recognized symbols in Hinduism. It holds immense importance and is considered the sacred sound of the universe.
The origin of the AUM (OM) symbol can be traced back to the ancient scriptures of Hinduism, primarily the Upanishads. These texts, dating back thousands of years, contain deep philosophical and spiritual teachings and awakenings. The Mandukya Upanishad, specifically, describes the significance of the Om sound and its representation.
Meaning and Symbolism of AUM (OM):
Om comprises deep spiritual and philosophical meanings, reflecting the essence of Hinduism. It is a combination of three syllables: A, U, and M.
A (Akaar): The sound “A” represents the waking state of consciousness, symbolizing creation, existence, and the physical realm. It is associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe.
U (Ukaar): The sound “U” represents the dream state of consciousness, signifying preservation, balance, and mental realms. It is associated with Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe.
M (Makaar): The sound “M” represents the deep sleep state of consciousness, denoting dissolution, transformation, and the spiritual realm. It is associated with Lord Shiva, the transformer and liberator.
Beyond the three syllables, there is a fourth aspect that is represented by the silence that follows the chanting of Om (Aum). This silence symbolizes the state of transcendence, pure consciousness, and the ultimate reality.
Sacred Sound: Om is considered the primal sound from which all creation originated. It is believed to resonate with the vibrations of the universe and holds immense spiritual power.
Connection with the Trinity: Chanting or meditating on Om is seen as a means to connect with the divine and attain higher states of consciousness. It is often chanted at the beginning and end of prayers, rituals, and spiritual practices.
Unity of Existence: Om represents the fundamental unity and inter connections of all existence. It signifies the oneness of the individual self (Atman) with the universal consciousness (Brahman).
Symbol of Balance: The three syllables within Om represent the balance between creation, preservation, and transformation. It embodies the harmony of the physical, mental, and spiritual realms.
Spiritual Liberation: Om is considered a powerful tool for spiritual awakening and liberation (moksha). It is believed to purify the mind, calm the senses, and lead one towards self-realization and enlightenment.
2. Swastika – The ymbol of auspiciousness and good fortune:
The swastika is well-recognized as an important Hindu symbol. It represents God (the Brahman) in his universal manifestation, and energy (Shakti). It represents the four directions of the world (the four faces of Brahma). It also represents the Purushartha: Dharma (natural order), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (liberation).
The swastika symbol is traced with sindoor during Hindu religious rites. The Swastika is also mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures, Vedas, which are considered the oldest religious texts in Hinduism. It is associated with cosmic order, harmony, and prosperity. The Swastika represents the eternal cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution. It symbolizes the cosmic order, balance, and the interconnections of all things.
The Swastika is used in various Hindu religious rituals, pujas, and other ceremonies. It can be found drawn or painted on sacred items, doors, and religious objects. It is often used during pujas (worship ceremonies) and as a mark of invocation of divine blessings.
The Swastika is seen in almost all the Hindu Temples and temple architectures, particularly in entrances, walls, and ceilings. It is considered a sacred and protective symbol that brings blessings and positive energy to the temple and its devotees.
3. Lotus (Padma)- Linked to Goddess Lakshmi, Represents purity, enlightenment, and divine beauty
The lotus is a highly respected symbol in Hinduism and holds deep spiritual significance for the masses. It is often associated with purity, enlightenment, and divine beauty. The lotus flower is known for its unique ability to blossom in muddy waters while remaining unstained and pure, making it a powerful metaphor for spiritual growth and transcendence.
In Hindu mythology, the lotus is closely linked to various deities. For instance, the goddess Lakshmi, who represents wealth, prosperity, and fertility, is often depicted sitting on a fully bloomed lotus, symbolizing her divine beauty and grace. Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, is also associated with the lotus. He is often depicted reclining on a thousand-petaled lotus, representing his transcendental nature and divine serenity.
Beyond its mythological associations, the lotus holds profound philosophical significance. It is seen as a metaphor for the journey of the soul. Just as the lotus emerges from the murky depths of water and rises towards the light, it represents the soul’s journey from darkness towards spiritual enlightenment. The lotus teaches us that amidst life’s challenges and obstacles, one can strive for purity, detachment, and the realization of one’s true nature.
Moreover, the lotus symbolizes detachment and non-attachment to the material world. Just as the lotus remains unaffected by the impurities in the water, one should strive to stay detached from the external circumstances and worldly desires, maintaining inner purity and serenity.
In spiritual practices, the lotus holds significance in meditation and yoga. The lotus posture (Padmasana) is a cross-legged sitting position resembling the blooming lotus. This posture is often practiced during meditation to help achieve physical stability, mental focus, and spiritual awakening.
4. Trishul (त्रिशूल)- The trident, a powerful symbol in Hinduism associated with Lord Shiva
The Trishul or Trishula, known as the trident, is a very powerful symbol in Hinduism associated with various deities, mostly with Lord Shiva. It consists of three prongs or points, resembling a three-pronged spear or fork. The trishula carries deep symbolism and represents different aspects of divine power and cosmic forces.
In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is often depicted holding a trishula in his hand. The trishula symbolizes his supreme power and authority over creation, preservation, and destruction. Each prong of the trishula represents a specific aspect:
The first prong represents the power of creation, symbolizing the birth and manifestation of life. It represents the divine energy that brings forth existence and new beginnings.
The second prong signifies the power of preservation and sustenance. It represents the preservation of order, harmony, and balance in the universe. It reflects the nurturing and protecting aspects of divinity.
The third prong represents the power of destruction and transformation. It symbolizes the dissolution of the old, the removal of obstacles, and the transformative forces of change. It is associated with the concept of letting go, breaking free from attachments, and embracing transformation for spiritual growth.
The trishula is not limited to Lord Shiva alone. It is also associated with other deities and divine beings. For example, Goddess Durga, a manifestation of Shakti (divine feminine energy), is often depicted wielding a trishula, representing her power to overcome evil and protect the righteous.
The trishula is also seen as a symbol of spiritual awakening and transcendence. The three prongs represent the three main channels or nadis (energy channels) in the human body: ida, pingala, and sushumna. Balancing and aligning these energy channels is believed to awaken higher consciousness and lead to spiritual enlightenment.
5. Shankha (Conch Shell) (शंख) – The divine emblem associated with Lord Vishnu
The Shankha, also known as the conch shell, is a significant symbol in Hinduism. It holds deep religious and cultural significance and is considered one of the divine emblems associated with Lord Vishnu and several other deities. The Shankha is a sacred instrument that is used in rituals, ceremonies, and religious practices.
The Shankha is a conch shell with a spiraling structure, usually obtained from marine snails. It is associated with the element of water and is believed to contain the essence of the ocean. In Hindu mythology, the Shankha is considered a divine gift from the ocean deity, Varuna.
Symbolic Meanings Of Shankha
The Shankha holds multiple symbolic meanings in Hinduism. The sound produced by blowing into the Shankha is believed to resonate with the cosmic vibrations and create a purifying effect. It is often used to commence and conclude religious ceremonies, spreading positive energy and dispelling negative forces.
The conch shell also symbolizes the primordial sound “Om,” which is believed to be the fundamental vibration of the universe. The Shankha’s spiral shape represents the cyclic nature of life, the eternal cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
In Hindu symbolism and iconography, various deities are depicted holding a Shankha. Lord Vishnu, the preserver and sustainer of the universe, is often shown holding a Shankha in one of his hands, representing his divine authority and auspicious presence. The Shankha is also associated with Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who is often depicted with a special conch named “Panchajanya.”
The Shankha is believed to possess several positive qualities. It is considered a symbol of purity, auspiciousness, and victory. The blowing of the Shankha is believed to purify the atmosphere and ward off negative energies. In ancient times, it was also used as a means of communication during battles or important announcements.
There are several types of Shankha that are sacred in Hinduism. Here are a few notable ones:
The Dakshinavarti Shankha is considered highly sacred and auspicious. It is characterized by its clockwise spiral, which is believed to bring wealth, prosperity, and blessings. It is associated with the goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of wealth and abundance.
The Vamavarti Shankha is characterized by its anticlockwise spiral. Although less common and less widely revered, it still holds religious significance. It is associated with Lord Shiva and is believed to bring spiritual growth and liberation.
The Panchajanya Shankha is mentioned in Hindu scriptures and is associated with Lord Vishnu. According to mythology, it was the conch shell used by Lord Vishnu as a divine weapon. It is often depicted in the hands of Lord Vishnu’s avatar, Krishna. Its sound is believed to have the power to destroy evil and purify the environment.
The Ganesha Shankha is a unique type of Shankha associated with Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity and the remover of obstacles. It is often depicted with an image of Lord Ganesha carved or engraved on the shell. It is considered auspicious and is used in various rituals and worship of Lord Ganesha.
7. Chakra (चक्र) – Associated with Lord Vishnu and is often referred to as the Sudarshana Chakra
In Hinduism, the Chakra is a sacred symbol associated with Lord Vishnu, one of the 3 tridev in hinduism. The Chakra is depicted as a spinning discus or wheel with sharp edges, representing both its destructive and protective qualities. It is considered a divine weapon that Lord Vishnu wields to maintain cosmic order, protect righteousness, and defeat evil forces.
The Chakra holds a large spiritual significance and is reffered as a universal symbol of cosmic order, divine energy, and spiritual evolution. It embodies the cyclical nature of life, the movement of time, and the eternal rhythm of the universe. The Chakra serves as a reminder of the continuous cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution, and the interconnectedness of all existence.
In Hindu philosophy, the Chakra represents the concept of dharma, which signifies righteousness and the eternal principles that govern the universe. It symbolizes the divine energy that sustains life and guides individuals on their spiritual path. The Chakra serves as a reminder to align one’s actions and choices with the principles of righteousness. Lord Vishnu uses the Sudarshana Chakra as a powerful weapon to defeat evil forces, restore balance, and protect righteousness in the universe
The Chakra is not only a symbol but also a sacred geometric diagram known as a Yantra. As a Yantra, it serves as a meditative tool for spiritual seekers. The Chakra Yantra represents the various levels of consciousness and the path to self-realization. Meditating on the Chakra Yantra is believed to awaken spiritual energy, promote inner harmony, and lead to a deeper understanding of the divine order.
Chakra in Hindu Temple Architecture
In Hindu temple architecture, the Chakra symbol finds prominent placement. It is often featured on the top of temple spires (shikharas) or as a central motif in mandalas and religious artwork. The presence of the Chakra in temples and artwork serves as a visual reminder of the divine order and cosmic forces that permeate the sacred space. It inspires devotees to seek alignment with the divine principles and the timeless wisdom they represent.
8. Tilak (Tikka)- A symbolic mark worn on the forehead by followers of Hinduism
Tilaka, also known as tilak or tikka, is a symbolic mark worn on the forehead by followers of Hinduism. It holds significant religious and cultural importance and serves as a visible expression of devotion, spirituality, and affiliation to specific traditions or deities. The Tilaka is typically made with colored powders, pastes, or sandalwood, and its shape, color, and placement may vary based on regional customs and religious practices.
The Tilaka is applied to the forehead, specifically the space between the eyebrows known as the “ajna chakra” or the “third eye.” This area is considered sacred and represents higher consciousness, spiritual awakening, and inner wisdom. By adorning the forehead with the Tilaka, individuals seek to awaken and align themselves with their spiritual nature.
The Tilaka carries various symbolic meanings depending on its form and context. It serves as a mark of identification, indicating one’s religious affiliation and dedication to a particular sect or deity. Different Hindu traditions may have specific Tilaka designs associated with their practices. For example, Vaishnavas often wear a vertical mark in the shape of “U” or “Y,” representing their devotion to Lord Vishnu or his avatars. Shaivites may wear three horizontal lines with or without a dot, symbolizing Lord Shiva’s threefold nature.
The Tilaka also represents the divine third eye, associated with spiritual insight, intuition, and expanded consciousness. It is believed to enhance one’s spiritual awareness and provide a connection between the physical and spiritual realms. The application of Tilaka invokes the blessings and protection of the deities, serving as a constant reminder of their presence and guidance.
In addition to its spiritual significance, the Tilaka has social and cultural connotations. It is often worn during religious ceremonies, festivals, and auspicious occasions. The Tilaka serves as a mark of sanctity, purifying the body and mind, and creating a sense of reverence and piety. It also fosters a sense of community and belonging, as individuals wearing similar Tilaka marks can identify and connect with one another.
It is important to note that the Tilaka is not limited to any specific caste, gender, or age group. It is a symbol embraced by Hindus across various backgrounds and traditions, representing their devotion and spiritual path.
9. Yantra (Yantras) (यंत्र) – A sacred geometric symbol used in Hinduism
Yantra is a sacred geometric symbol used in Hinduism for spiritual and meditative purposes. Derived from the Sanskrit word “yam,” meaning to control or restrain, and “tra,” meaning instrument or tool, a Yantra is considered a mystical diagram that represents aspects of divinity, spiritual contemplation, and transformation.
Yantras are geometric patterns that are typically composed of various shapes, such as triangles, circles, squares, and lotus petals. They are often created on metal plates, cloth, paper, or drawn directly on the ground called as Rangoli in various regions of India. The construction and precise arrangement of the Yantra follow specific guidelines and mathematical calculations based on ancient scriptures and traditions.
Each Yantra is associated with a specific deity or cosmic energy and represents their divine qualities and powers. For example, the Sri Yantra is a well-known Yantra associated with the goddess Tripura Sundari, representing beauty, abundance, and spiritual enlightenment. The Sri Yantra consists of interlocking triangles, circles, and lotus petals, forming a complex pattern that reflects the cosmic order and the interplay of masculine and feminine energies.
The primary purpose of Yantras is to serve as a focal point for meditation and concentration. By gazing at and contemplating the Yantra, devotees seek to connect with the God energies it represents. The complex geometry of the Yantra acts as a visual aid, guiding the mind into deeper states of awareness and facilitating spiritual awakening.
Yantras are believed to possess inherent spiritual power and are considered energy amplifiers. They are considered to attract positive vibrations and repel negative energies. The Yantra is often energized through specific rituals, mantras, and the infusion of prana (life force energy). Once energized, the Yantra becomes a potent tool for spiritual growth, healing, and manifestation.
Yantras are used for various purposes, including:
Meditation and Spiritual Practice: Practitioners use Yantras to focus their attention and still their minds during meditation.
Alignment and Harmonization: Yantras are believed to align the energies within and around an individual, promoting balance, harmony, and spiritual well-being. They serve as a tool for activating and balancing the chakras and subtle energy centers in the body.
Manifestation and Intention Setting: By meditating on a specific Yantra and infusing it with their intentions, individuals aim to manifest desired outcomes in their lives. The Yantra acts as a way for focusing and amplifying their intentions and connecting with the cosmic energies necessary for manifestation.
Protection and Spiritual Shielding: Certain Yantras are considered protective sheilds, shielding individuals from negative influences and promoting spiritual strength and well-being. They are often used to create a sacred space, purify the environment, and ward off negative energies.
Yantras are not merely decorative art; they hold deep spiritual significance and are considered sacred tools for self-realization and spiritual transformation. They are an integral part of Hindu worship, rituals, and temple architecture. The precision and complexity of the Yantra’s geometry reflect the underlying order of the universe and serve as a visual representation of the divine presence.
10. Shiv Ling (शिवलिंग) – Represents the cosmic pillar of energy and consciousness from which the entire universe emerges
The Shiva Ling is a sacred symbol in Hinduism that represents Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in the Hindu trinity. It is a powerful and ancient symbol associated with the divine masculine energy, creation, and the eternal cycle of life.
The word “lingam /Ling” is derived from the Sanskrit term “linga,” which means “mark,” “sign,” or “symbol.” The Shiva Ling is often depicted as an upright cylindrical structure with a rounded top, resembling an elongated egg or a phallus. It represents the cosmic pillar of energy and consciousness from which the entire universe emerges.
The Shiva Lingam holds deep spiritual significance and is considered a representation of Lord Shiva’s infinite power and presence. It symbolizes the unmanifest formless aspect of the divine, known as “Nirguna Brahman,” as well as the creative and procreative forces of the universe.
Here are some key aspects and interpretations associated with the Shiva Lingam:
Creation and Dissolution:
The Shiva Ling represents the union of the cosmic energies of creation and dissolution. It symbolizes the cyclic process of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. The rounded top of the Linga represents the energy of creation, while the cylindrical base represents dissolution or transformation.
Divine Masculine Energy:
The Shiva Ling is a representation of the divine masculine principle. It embodies qualities such as strength, power, and spiritual transformation. It is often worshipped by devotees seeking blessings for inner strength, courage, and spiritual growth.
Union of Shiva and Shakti:
The Shiva Ling is often seen as a representation of the union between Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Shakti. It symbolizes the harmonious balance of the divine masculine and feminine energies, known as Shiva and Shakti, respectively. The Linga represents the Shiva aspect, while the yoni represents the Shakti aspect.
Fertility and Life Force:
The Shiva Ling is associated with fertility and the life force energy. It represents the procreative energy of Lord Shiva and is worshipped for blessings related to fertility, progeny, and the continuation of family lineage.
The Shiva Ling is revered as a sacred object of meditation and spiritual awakening. Devotees believe that meditating upon the Linga can help awaken the peaceful spiritual energy within and lead to self-realization and liberation.
The Shiva Ling is worshipped with great reverence and devotion. Devotees offer water, milk, bilva leaves, flowers, and sacred ash (vibhuti) to the Linga as a gesture of respect and adoration. These offerings are believed to purify the mind, body, and soul and invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva.
It is important to note that the Shiva Ling is not considered a phallic symbol in a purely sexual context. Its representation goes beyond the physical aspect and delves into the profound symbolism of cosmic creation and spiritual transformation.
The Shiva Ling holds a significant place in Hindu temples and is often found in the sanctum sanctorum (garbhagriha) alongside other deities. Devotees seek darshan of the Linga and offer prayers and reverence to experience the divine presence of Lord Shiva.
Credits: Photo credits to the original owners and Artists.
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world’s largest religious building.
2) Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India – 631,000 Sq.Meters
Srirangam temple is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world (the still larger Angkor Wat being the largest existing temple). The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (631,000 m²) with a perimeter of 4,116m (10,710 feet) making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The temple is enclosed by seven concentric walls (termed prakarams (outer courtyard) or mathil suvar) with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. These walls are enclosed by 21 Gopurams. The Ranganathanswamy Temple complex with 49 shrines, all dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is so huge that it is like a city within itself. However, the entire temple is not used for the religious purpose, the first three out of seven concentric walls are used by private commercial establishments such as restaurants, hotels, flower market, and residential homes.
3) Akshardham Temple, Delhi Delhi, India – 240,000 sq.meter
Akshardham is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham.
4) Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India – 160,000 sq.Meter
Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram – Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar-Koothan Kovil or Chidambaram temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the centre of the temple town of Chidambaram, east-central Tamil Nadu, South India. Chidambaram is a temple complex spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the heart of the city. It is truly a large temple which is completely used for religious purpose. The main complex to Lord Shiva Nataraja also contains shrines to deities such as Sivakami Amman, Ganesh, Murugan and Vishnu in the form Govindaraja Perumal.
5) Belur Math Kolkata, West Bengal, India – 160,000 Sq.Meter
Belur Maṭh or Belur Mutt is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India and is one of the significant institutions in Calcutta. This temple is the heart of the Ramakrishna Movement. The temple is notable for its architecture that fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions.
6) Annamalaiyar Temple Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India – 101,171 Sq.Meter
Annamalaiyar Temple is a noted Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is the second largest temple (by the area used completely for religious purpose). It has got four stately towers on all the four sides and four high stone walls just like the rampart walls of a fort. The 11-tiered highest (217 feet (66 m)) Eastern Tower is called the Rajagopuram. The fortified walls pierced with four gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast complex.
7) Ekambareswarar Temple Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India – 92,860 Sq.Meters
Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) representing the element Earth.
8) Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India – 72,843 Sq.Meter
Thiruvanaikaval (also Thiruvanaikal) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago.
9) Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India – 70,050 Sq.Meter
Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple in the holy city of Madurai in India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva — who is known here as Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord — and his consort, Parvati who is known as Meenakshi. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted showing the architectural and sculpting skills of the ancient Indian sthapathis.
10) Vaitheeswaran Koil Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu, India – 60,780 Sq.Meters
Vaitheeswaran Temple is a Hindu temple located in Tamil Nadu, India, dedicated to the god Shiva. In this temple, Lord Shiva is worshiped as “Vaitheeswaran” or the “God of medicine”; worshipers believe that prayers to Lord Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases.
11) Tiruvarur Thyagaraja swamy Temple Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India – 55,080 Sq.Meter
The ancient Sri Thyagaraja temple at Tiruvarur is dedicated to the Somaskanda aspect of Shiva. The temple complex has shrines dedicated to Vanmikanathar, Tyagarajar and the Kamalaamba, and covers an area of over 20 acres (81,000 m2). The Kamalalayam temple tank covers around 25 acres (100,000 m2), one of the largest in the country. The temple chariot is the largest of its kind in Tamil Nadu.
12) Sripuram Golden Temple Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India – 55,000 Sq.Meter
The golden temple of Sripuram is a spiritual park situated at the foot of a small range of green hills in a place known as “Malaikodi” in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is at the southern end of the city of Vellore, at Tirumalaikodi.
The salient feature of Sripuram is the Lakshmi Narayani temple or Mahalakshmi temple whose ‘Vimanam’ and ‘Ardha Mandapam’ have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior.
13) Jagannath Temple, Puri Puri, Odisha, India – 37,000 Sq.Meter
The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Vishnu) in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of).
14) Birla Mandir Delhi, India – 30,000
The Laxminarayan Temple (also known as the Birla Mandir) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Laxminarayan in Delhi, India. The temple is built in honour of Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of wealth) and her consort Narayana (Vishnu, Preserver in the Trimurti). The temple was built in 1622 by Vir Singh Deo and renovated by Prithvi Singh in 1793. During 1933-39, Laxmi Narayan Temple was built by Baldeo Das Birla of Birla family. Thus, the temple is also known as Birla Mandir. The famous temple is accredited to have been inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939. At that time, Gandhi kept a condition that the temple would not be restricted to the Hindus and people from every caste would be allowed inside. Since then, funds for further renovations and support have come from the Birla family.
Photo Credits: To Google Images and The Original Photographers.
Rama (राम) is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, and a king of Ayodhya. Rama is also the protagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana, which narrates his supremacy. Rama is one of the many popular figures and deities in Hinduism, specifically Vaishnavism and Vaishnava religious scriptures in South and Southeast Asia. Along with Krishna, Rama is considered to be one of the most important avatars of Vishnu. In a few Rama-centric sects, he is considered the Supreme Being, rather than an avatar.
Rama was the eldst son of Kausalya and Dasharatha, king of Ayodhya, Rama is referred to within Hinduism as Maryada Purushottama, literally the Perfect Man or Lord of Self-Control or Lord of Virtue. His wife Sita is considered by Hindus to be an avatar of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.
Rama’s life and journey is one of adherence to dharma despite harsh tests and obstacles and many pains of life and time. He is pictured as the ideal man and the perfect human. For the sake of his father’s honour, Ram abandons his claim to Ayodhaya’s throne to serve an exile of fourteen years in the forest. His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana decide to join him, and all three spend the fourteen years in exile together. While in exile, Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the Rakshasa monarch of Lanka. After a long and arduous search, Rama fights a colossal war against Ravana’s armies. In a war of powerful and magical beings, greatly destructive weaponry and battles, Rama slays Ravana in battle and liberates his wife. Having completed his exile, Rama returns to be crowned king in Ayodhya and eventually becomes emperor, rules with happiness, peace, duty, prosperity and justice a period known as Ram Rajya.
The Ramayana speaks of how the earth goddess Bhudevi, came to the creator-god Brahma begging to be rescued from evil kings who were plundering her resources and destroying life through bloody wars and evil conduct. The deva (gods) also came to Brahma fearful of the rule of Ravana, the ten-headed rakshasa emperor of Lanka. Ravana had overpowered the devas and now ruled the heavens, the earth and the netherworlds. Although a powerful and noble monarch, he was also arrogant, destructive and a patron of evil doers. He had boons that gave him immense strength and was invulnerable to all living and celestial beings, except man and animals.
Brahma, Bhumidevi and the gods worshipped Vishnu, the Preserver, for deliverance from Ravana’s tyrannical rule. Vishnu promised to kill Ravana by incarnating as a man the eldest son of Kosala’s king Dasharatha. Goddess Lakshmi took birth as Sita in order to accompany her consort Vishnu and was found by king Janaka of Mithila while he was ploughing a field. Vishnu’s eternal companion, the Shesha is said to have incarnated as Lakshmana to stay at his Lord’s side on earth. Throughout his life, no one, except a few select sages (among which are included Vasishta, Sharabhanga, Agastya and Vishwamitra) know of his destiny. Rama is continually revered by the many sages he encounters through his life, but only the most learned and exalted know of his true identity. At the end of the war between Rama and Ravana, just as Sita passes her Agni pariskha, Brahma, Indra and the gods, the celestial sages and Shiva appear out of the sky. They affirm Sita’s purity and ask him to end this terrible test. Thanking the avatar for delivering the universe from the grips of evil, they reveal Rama’s divine identity upon the culmination of his mission.
Another legend narrates that Jaya and Vijaya, the gatekeepers of Vishnu, were cursed by the Four Kumaras to be born on earth three lives; Vishnu took avatars each time to free them of their earthy existence. They as born as Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna, who are both killed by Rama.
Initial days of Rama:
Sage Vishwamitra takes the two princes, Rama and Lakshmana, to his ashram, as he needs Rama’s help in slaying several Rakshasas that have been harassing him and several other sages living in the area. Rama’s first encounter is with a Rakshasi named Taataka, who is a celestial nymph cursed to take the form of a demoness. Vishwamitra explains that she has polluted much of the habitat where the sages reside and there will not be any contentment until she is destroyed. Rama has some reservations about killing a woman, but since Taataka poses such a big threat to the Rishis and he is expected to follow their word, he fights with Taataka and kills her with an arrow. After her death, the surrounding forest becomes greener and cleaner.
Killing Maricha and Subahu:
Vishwamitra presents Rama with several astras and sastras (divine weapons) that will be of use to him in the future, and Rama masters the knowledge of all the weapons and their uses. Vishwamitra then tells Rama and Lakshmana that soon, he along with some of his disciples, will perform a yagna for seven days and nights that will be of great benefit to the world, and the two princes must keep close watch for the two sons of Taadaka, Mareecha and Subahu, who will try to defile the yagna at all costs. The princes therefore keep a strong vigil for all of the days, and on the seventh day they spot Maricha and Subahu coming with a whole host of Raakshasas ready to pour bones and blood into the fire. Rama points his bow at the two, and with one arrow kills Subahu, and with the other arrow flings Mareecha thousands of miles away into the ocean. Rama deals with the rest of the demons. The yagna is completed successfully.
Sage Vishwamitra then takes the two princes to the Swayamvara a wedding ceremony for Sita. The challenge is to string the bow of Shiva and shoot an arrow from it. This task is considered impossible for any ordinary king or living being, as this is the personal weapon of Shiva, more powerful, holy and of divine creation than conceivable. While attempting to string the bow, Rama breaks it in two. This feat of strength spreads his fame across the worlds and seals his marriage to Sita, celebrated as Vivaha Panchami.
14 years exile:
King Dasaratha announces to Ayodhya that he plans to crown Rama, his eldest child the Yuvaraja (crown prince). While the news is welcomed by everyone in the kingdom, the mind of queen Kaikeyi is poisoned by her wicked maid-servant, Manthara. Kaikeyi, who is initially pleased for Rama, is made to fear for the safety and future of her son Bharata. Fearing that Rama would ignore or possibly victimize his younger brother for the sake of power, Kaikeyi demands that Dasaratha banish Rama to a forest exile for fourteen years, and that Bharata be crowned in Rama’s place.
Rama being Maryada Purshottam, agreed to this and he leaves for 14 years exile. Lakshmana and Sita accompanied him.
Ravana kidnapped Sita:
Many pastimes took place while Lord Rama lived in the forest; however, nothing compared to when the Rakshasa king Ravana kidnapped His dear wife Sita Devi, whom He loved with all His heart. Laksman and Rama looked everywhere for Sita but could not find her. Rama thought of her constantly and His mind was distracted by grief due to her separation. He could not eat and hardly slept.
While searching for Sita, Rama and Laksman saved the life of Sugriva, a great monkey king who was being hunted by his demoniac brother Vali. After that, Lord Rama enlisted Sugriva along with his mighty monkey general Hanuman and all the monkey tribes, in the search for His missing Sita.
With building a bridge over the sea, Rama with his vanaar sena crossed the sea to reach Lanka. There was a fierced battle between Rama and the Demon King Ravana. The brutal battle went on for many days and nights. At one point Rama and Laksman were paralyzed by Ravana’s son Indrajit’s poisonous arrows. Hanuman was dispatched to retrieve a special herb to heal them, but when he flew to the Himalaya Mountains he found that the herbs had hidden themselves from view. Undeterred, Hanuman lifted the whole mountaintop into the sky and carried it to the battlefield. There the herbs were discovered and administered to Rama and Laksman, who recovered miraculously from all their wounds. Shortly thereafter, Ravana himself entered the battle and was defeated by Lord Rama.
Finally Sita Devi was released and great celebrations followed. However, to prove her chastity, Sita Devi entered into fire. Agni Dev, the god of fire himself, carried Sita Devi from within the fire back to Lord Rama, proclaiming to everyone her purity and chastity. Now the fourteen years of exile had ended and they all returned to Ayodyha, where Lord Rama ruled for many, many years.
Rama as per Darwin’s Theory of Evolution: Finally, a society is evolved out of needs of humans to live, eat and co-exist. The society has rules, and is God-fearing and abiding. It is important to follow rules, rage and unsocial behaviour is cut down. Fellow humans are respected and people abide to law and order.
Rama, the complete man would be the Avatar that could be called as the perfect social human being. Rama respected and followed rules of the society. He would also respect the saints and kill those who would torment the sages and the oppressed ones.
Parshuram a.k.a Parashurama, Parashuraman is the sixth avatar of Vishnu. He is son of Renuka and the saptarishi Jamadagni. Parshurama is one of the seven Immortals. Lord Parashuram was the Great Grandson of Bhrugu Rishi, after whom the “Bhruguvansh” has been named. He lived during the last Dvapara Yuga, and is one of the seven immortals or Chiranjivi, of Hinduism. He received an parashu(axe) after undertaking terrible penance to please Shiva, who in turn taught him the martial arts.
Parashurama is most known for ridding the world of kshatriyas twenty-one times over after the mighty king Kartavirya killed his father. He played important roles in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, serving as mentor to Bhishma, Karna and Drona. Parashurama also fought back the advancing seas to save the lands of Konkan, Malabar and Kerala.
Renuka devi and the clay pot
Parshurama’s parents were great spiritual achievers his Mother Renuka devi had command over the water elments and his father Jamadgani over fire. its even said that Renuka devi could fetch water in the even in a wet clay pot. Once Rishi Jamadgani asked Renuka Devi to fetch water in the clay pot, some how Renuka Devi was distracted from the thought of being a women and the clay pot broke. Seeing Renuka Devi wet the enraged Jamadgani called his son Parshurama. He ordered Parshurama to cut Renuka devi’s head. Parshuram obeyed his father. Rishi Jamadgani was so pleased with his son that he asked him for a boon. Parshurama asked Rishi Jamadgani to restore the breaths of his mother, thus Rishi Jamadgani who was the owner of Divya Shakties (divine Powers) brought back the life of Renuka Devi. Kamdhenu Cow
Rishi Jamadgani and Renuka Devi both were blessed not only for having Parshuram as their son but they were also given the Kamdhenu Cow. Once Rishi Jamadgani went out from his Ashram and in the mean while some Kshatriyas (worriers) arrived at their Ashram. They were in search of food, the Ashram Devies gave them food they were so surprised to see the magical cow Kaamdhenu, the cow would give any Dish she asked for. They were so amused and they put up the purposal of buying the cow for their king Kartavirya Sahasrarjuna, but all the Ashram sahadus (sages) and Devies refused. they forcefuly took away the cow. Parshurama killed the entire army of King Kartavirya Sahasrarjun and restored the magical cow. In Revenge Kartavirya Sahasrarjun’s son killed Jamadgani. When ParshuRama returned to the ashram he saw his father’s body . He noticed the 21 scars on Jamadgani’s body and took the pledge to kill all unjust kshatriyas 21 time on this earth. he killed all the sons of king.
Shri Parashuram left home to do devout austerities to please Lord Shiva. Considering his extreme devotion, intense desire and unmoved and perpetual meditation, Lord Shiva was pleased with Shri Parashuram. He presented Shri Parashuram with Divine weapons. Included was His unconquerable and indestructible axe shaped weapon, Parashu. Lord Shiva advised him to go and liberate the Mother Earth from felons, ill-behaved people, extremists, demons and those blind with pride.
Lord Shiva and Parshuram
Once, Lord Shiva challenged Shri Parashuram to a battle to test his skills in warfare. The spiritual master Lord Shiva and the disciple Shri Parashuram were locked in a fierce battle. This dreadful duel lasted for twenty one days. While ducking to avoid being hit by the Trident (Trishul) of Lord Shiva, Shri Parashuram vigorously attacked Him with his Parashu. It struck Lord Shiva on the forehead creating a wound. Lord Shiva was very pleased to see the amazing warfare skills of His disciple. He passionately embraced Shri Parashuram. Lord Shiva preserved this wound as an ornament so that the reputation of his disciple remained imperishable and insurmountable. ‘Khanda-parshu’ (wounded by Parashu) is one of the thousand names (for the salutation) of Lord Shiva.
Shri Parashuram, clipped the thousand arms of Sahasrarjun, one by one, with his Parashu and killed him. He repelled his army by showering arrows on them. The whole country greatly welcomed the destruction of Sahasrarjun. The king of Deities, Indra was so pleased that he presented His most beloved bow named Vijaya to Shri Parashuram. Lord Indra had destroyed demon dynasties with this bow. By the fatal arrows shot with the help of this Vijaya bow, Shri Parashuram destroyed the miscreant Kshatriyas twenty one times. Later Shri Parashuram presented this bow to his disciple Karna when he was pleased with his intense devotion to the Guru. Karna became unconquerable with help of this bow Vijaya presented to him by Shri Parashuram
In Valmiki Ramayana, Parashurama stops the journey of Sri Rama and his family after his marriage to Sita. He threatens to kill Sri Rama and his father, King Dasharatha, begs him to forgive his son and punish him instead. Parashurama neglects Dasharatha and invokes Sri Rama for a challenge. Sri Rama meets his challenge and tells him that he does not want to kill him because he is a Brahmin and related to his guru, Vishwamitra maharshi. But, he destroys his merit earned through penances. Thus, Parashurama’s arrogance gets diminished and he returns to his normal mind.
Mentorship of Drona
At the end of his time in the Vedic period, Parashurama was renouncing his possessions to take sanyasi. As the day progressed, Drona, then a poor Brahmin, approached Parashurama asking for alms. By that time, the warrior-sage had already given the Brahmins his gold and Kasyapa his land, so all that was left were his body and weapons. Parushurama asked which Drona would have, to which the clever Brahmin responded:
“O son of Bhrigu, it behoveth thee to give me all thy weapons together with the mysteries of hurling and recalling them.”
Thus, Parashurama gave all his weapons unto Drona, making him supreme in the science of arms. This becomes crucial as Drona later became the guru to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas who fought against each other in the Kurukshetra War. It is said that Lord Parashurama carried Lord Vishnu’s “Sudharshana Chakra” and “Bow” and Lord Balram’s “Gadha” while they fulfill their education with Guru Sandeepani
According to Puranas, Parashurama travelled to the Himalayas to pay respect to his teacher, Shiva. While travelling, his path was blocked by Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati. Parashurama threw his axe at the elephant-god. Ganesha, knowing the weapon had been given to Parashurama by his father, allowed it to sever his left tusk.
His mother Parvati was infuriated, and declared she would cut off the arms of Parashurama. She took the form of Durgama, becoming omnipotent, but at the last moment, Shiva was able to pacify her by making her see the avatar as her own son. Parashurama also asked her forgiveness, and she finally relented when Ganesha himself spoke on behalf of the warrior-saint. Parashurama then gave his divine axe to Ganesha and blessed him. Another name for Ganesha because of this encounter is Ekadanta, or ‘One Tooth’.
Beating back the Arabian Sea
Puranas write that the western coast of India was threatened by tumultuous waves and tempests, causing the land to be overcome by the sea. Parashurama fought back the advancing waters, demanding Varuna release the land of Konkan and Malabar. During their fight, Parashurama threw his axe into the sea. A mass of land rose up, but Varuna told him that because it was filled with salt, the land would be barren.
Parashurama then did a tapasya for Nagaraja, the King of Snakes. Parashurama asked him to spread serpents throughout the land so their venom would neutralize the salt filled earth. Nagaraja agreed, and a lush and fertile land grew. Thus, Parashurama pushed back the coastline between the foothills of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, creating modern day Kerala.
The coastal area of Kerala, Konkan, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, are today also known as Parashurama Kshetra or Land of Parashurama in homage. Puranas record that Parashurama placed statues of Shiva at 108 different locations throughout the reclaimed land, which still exist today. Shiva, is the source of kundalini, and it around his neck that Nagaraja is coiled, and so the statues were in gratitude for their baneful cleansing of the land.
Parshurama and Surya:
Parashurama once became annoyed with the sun god Surya for making too much heat. The warrior-sage shot several arrows into the sky, terrifying Surya. When Parashurama ran out of arrows and sent his wife Dharani to bring more, the sun god then focused his rays on her, causing her to collapse. Surya then appeared before Parashurama and gave him two inventions that have since been attributed to the avatar, sandals and an umbrella
Kalaripayattu The indian Martial Arts
Parashurama and the saptarishi Agastya are regarded as the founders of kalaripayattu, the oldest martial art in the world. Parashurama was a master of shastravidya, or the art of weaponry, as taught to him by Shiva. As such, he developed northern kalaripayattu, or vadakkan kalari, with more emphasis on weapons than striking and grappling. Southern kalaripayattu was developed by Agastya, and focuses more on weaponless combat. Kalaripayattu is known as the ‘mother of all martial arts’.
Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, also practiced kalaripayattu. When he traveled to China to spread Buddhism, he brought the martial art with him, which in turn was adapted to become the basis of Shaolin Kung Fu
Unlike other incarnations of Vishnu, Parashurama is a Chiranjivi, and is said to still be doing penance today in Mahendragiri. The Kalki Purana writes that he will reemerge at the end of Kali Yuga to be the martial and spiritual guru of Kalki, the tenth and final avatar of Vishnu. It is foretold that he will instruct Kalki to perform a difficult penance to Shiva, and receive the celestial weaponry needed to bring about end time.
Parashurama as per Theory Of Evolution:
The sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu was Parashuram, a rugged primitive warrior with a battle axe. This form could be a symbol of the cave-man stage of evolution and his usage of the axe could be seen as man’s evolution from the stone age to the iron age. Man had learnt the art of using tools and weapons and exploit the natural resources available to him.
Parashurama is worshipped as mool purush, or founder, of the Bhumihar Brahmin, Chitpavan, Daivadnya, Mohyal, Tyagi, Shukla, Awasthi, saryupareen, Kothiyal, Anavil, Nambudiri bhardwaj and gaud Brahmin communities.
Image credits to the original Artist and Photographer
Vamana (वामन) is described as the fifth avatar of Vishnu, and the first incarnation of the Second Age or Treta yuga. Vamana was born to Aditi and Kashyapa. He is the first avatar to appear with anthropomorphic features, although he does appear as a dwarf Namboothiri Brahmin. He is the twelth of the Adityas. Vamana is also the younger brother of Indra. He is also known as Upendra and Trivikrama.
The Bhagavata Purana describes that Vishnu descended as the Vamana avatar to restore the authority of Indra over the heavens, as it had been taken by Mahabali, a benevolent Asura King. Bali was the great grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the grand son of Prahlada.
Mahabali or Bali was the “daitya” king and his capital was the present day state of Kerala. was the son of Devamba and Virochana. He grew up under the tutelage of his grandfather, Prahlada, who instilled in him a strong sense of righteousness and devotion. He was an extremely devoted follower of Lord Vishnu and was known as a righteous, wise, generous and judicious King. King Mahabali was a generous man who engaged in severe austerities and penance and won the praise of the world. This praise, from his courtiers and others, led him to think of himself as the greatest person in the world. He believed that he can help any one and can donate whatever they ask. Even though he became benevolent, he became pompous of his activities and forgot that the almighty is above him. Dharma says that one should do his duty and helping others is the duty of a king. Mahabali was a devoted worshiper of the Lord. The story is an ample example that the almighty, the Parabrahma is neutral and unbiased; he only tries to balance nature. He showers his divine light to all, irrespective of what they do.
Bali would eventually succeed his grandfather as the king of the Asuras, and his reign over the realm was characterized by peace and prosperity. He would later expand his realm by bringing the entire world under his benevolent rule and was even able to conquer the underworld and Heaven, which he wrested from Indra and the Devas. The Devas, after their defeat at the hands of Bali, approached their patron Vishnu and entreated him to restore their lordship over Heaven.
In Heaven, Bali, on the advice of his guru and advisor, Sukracharya, had begun the Ashwamedha Yaga so as to maintain his rule over the three worlds.
During an Ashwamedha yagna, Bali was granting wishes to his masses out of his generosity.
Vamana, in the guise of a short Brahmin carrying a wooden umbrella, went to the king to request three paces of land. Mahabali consented, against the warning of his guru, Sukracharya. Vamana then revealed his identity and enlarged to gigantic proportions to stride over the three worlds. He stepped from heaven to earth with the first step, from earth to the netherworld with the second. Having left nothing else to offer, for his third and final step, King Bali bowed down infront of the Vamana realizing that he was none other than his Lord Vishnu and asked him to place the third feet as this was the only thing that belonged to him.
Vaman then took the third step and thus raised him to Suthala, the supreme form of heaven. However, looking at his generosity and devotion, Vamana on request of Bali, gave him permission to visit earth once an year to ensure that his masses are well off and happy. The Onam festival is a celebration of welcoming Mahabali home to his lost kingdom. During this festival, beautiful floral decorations are made in every house and boat races are held throughout Kerala. A twenty-one-course feast is the most important part of the Onam festival.
In worshiping Mahabali and his ancestor Prahlada, he conceded sovereignty of Patala, the netherworld. Some texts also report that Vamana did not step into the netherworld, and instead gave its rule to Bali. In giant form, Vamana is known as Trivikrama.
Mahabali symbolizes ahankar, the three feet symbolizes the three planes of existence (Jagrat, Swapna and Sushupthi) and final step is on his head which elevates from all three states and he attains moksha.
Vamana as per Theory Of Evolution:
Some 5 million years ago, Homo Erectus got evolved. The organisms of this species were much more like humans. They walked on two legs, had lesser facial hairs, and had an upper body like a human. However, they were dwarves
The Vamana avatar of Vishnu could also relate to Neanderthals, which are known to be quite shorter than humans.
Some famous temple dedicated for vamana avatar are.
Thrikkakara Temple, Thrikkakkara, Cochin, Kerala.
Thrikkakara Temple is one of the few temples in India dedicated to Lord Vamana. It is situated in Thrikkakara, a village panchayat near Kochi in the state of Kerala, South India.
Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram in Kanchipuram.
Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Tirukkoyilur, Tamil Nadu, India. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Ulagalantha Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Poongothai Vamana Temple, Eastern Group of Temples, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.
Vamana temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vamana, an avatar of the god Vishnu. The temple was built between assignable to circa 1050-75. It forms part of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Narasimha Avatar (नरसिंह), Narasingh, Narsingh and Narasingha, in derviative languages is an avatar of Vishnu and one of Hinduism’s most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium.
Narasimha is often visualised as half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws. This image is widely worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups. He is known primarily as the ‘Great Protector’ who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need. Vishnu is believed to have taken the avatar to destroy the demon king Hiranyakashipu.
Hiranyaksha’s brother Hiranyakashipu wants to take revenge by destroying Lord Vishnu and his followers. He performs penance to please Brahma, the god of creation. Impressed by this act, Brahma offers him any thing he wants.
Hiranyakashipu asks for a tricky boon from Brahma which goes like this.
“O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought about by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving created by you. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.”
Brahma grants the boon.
With virtually no fear of death he unleashes terror. Declares himself as god and asks people to utter no God’s name except his.
One day while Hiranyakashipu performed austerities at Mandarachala Mountain, his home was attacked by Indra and the other devatas. At this point the Devarshi (divine sage) Narada intervenes to protect Kayadu, whom he describes as sinless.Following this event, Narada takes Kayadu into his care and while under the guidance of Narada, her unborn child (Hiranyakashipu son) Prahalada, becomes affected by the transcendental instructions of the sage even at such a young stage of development. Thus, Prahlada later begins to show symptoms of this earlier training by Narada, gradually becoming recognised as a devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father’s disappointment.
Hiranyakashipu furious at the devotion of his son to Vishnu, as the god had killed his brother. Finally, he decides to commit filicide. But each time he attempts to kill the boy, Prahlada is protected by Vishu’s mystical power. When asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent.
Hiranyakashipu points to a nearby pillar and asks if ‘his Vishnu’ is in it and says to his son Prahlada. Prahlada then answers,
“He was, He is and He will be.”
Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, and following a tumultuous sound, Vishu in the form of Narasimha appears from it and moves to attack Hiranyakashipu. in defence of Prahlada. In order to kill Hiranyakashipu and not upset the boon given by Brahma, the form of Narasimha is chosen. Hiranyakashipu can not be killed by human, deva or animal. Narasimha is neither one of these as he is a form of Vishu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his thighs (neither earth nor space). Using his sharp fingernails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon.
Aftermath: There is another story of Lord Shiva fight with Narasimha to calm him. After slaying Hiranyakashipu, Narasimha’s wrath was not appeased. The world trembled, fearing what he might do. The Devas (the gods) requested Shiva to tackle Narasimha.
Initially, Shiva brings forth Virabhadra, one of his terrifying forms, in order to calm Narasimha. When that failed, Shiva manifested as the human-lion-bird Sharabha. Shiva then assumed the Sharabha form.
Sharabha then attacked Narasimha and seized him up until he was immobilized. He thus quelled Narasimha’s terrifying rage. Narasimha became a devotee of Shiva after being bound by Sharabha. Sharabha then decapitated and de-skinned Narasimha so Shiva could wear the hide and lion-head as a garment. The Linga Purana and Sharabha Upanishad also mention this mutilation and murder of Narasimha. After the mutilation, Vishnu assumed his normal form and retired to his abode, after duly praising Shiva. It was from here on that Shiva came to be known as “Sharabeshamurti” or “Simhagnamurti”.
This myth is particularly interesting because it brings to forth the past rivalries between Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
Narasimha as per Theory Of Evolution:
The mammals or semi-amphibians gradually evolved to become human-like creatures, which could walk on two legs, used their hands to hold things, but the brain was still not that developed. They had a human like lower body and animal like upper body.
Though not exactly apes, Narsimha Avatar fits into the above description pretty well. Though not a direct reference, it would certainly mean an ape man.
An interesting point here is that those who are aware of the story of Narsimha, he appears at a time, place and setting, where each attribute is in the middle of two things(neither human nor animal, neither at home nor outside, neither day nor night)
Temples: There are more than 100 temples of Narasimha. Of which, the famous are, Ahobilam. Ahobalam is located in the Allagadda mandal of Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh. This is the place where the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada.
Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple, Which is located about 55 km from Chennai and 21 km from Arakkonam, in Narasingapuram, Thiruvallur
Credits: Photo and Image Credits to the Original Artists and Uploaders
Varaha avatar (वराह) is the third avatar of the Vishnu which is in the form of a boar. When the demon (asura) Hiranyaksha stole the Earth (personified as the goddess Bhudevi) and hid her in the primordial waters, Vishnu appeared as Varaha to rescue her. Varaha slew the demon and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting it on his tusks, and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe.
Jaya and Vijaya are the two gatekeepers (dwarapalakas) of the abode of Vishnu (Vaikuntha Lok). According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Four Kumaras, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanatkumara, who are the manasaputras of Brahma (sons born from the mind or thought power of Brahma), were wandering across the worlds, and one day decide to pay a visit to Narayana – the form of Vishnu that rests on Shesh naga.
The Sanat Kumaras approach Jaya and Vijaya and ask to be let in. Now due to the strength of their tapas, the four Kumaras appear to be mere children, though they are of great age. Jaya and Vijaya, the gate keepers of the Vaikuntha stop the Kumaras at the gate mistaking them as children. They also tell the Kumaras that Sri Vishnu is resting and that they cannot see him now. The enraged Kumaras tell Jaya and Vijaya that Vishnu is available for his devotees any time, and cursed both of them that they would have to give up their divinity, be born as mortals on Earth and live like humans.
So now they were born on earth as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu to the sage Kashyapa and his wife Diti and were one of the Daityas, a race of demons originating from Diti.
The demon brothers were manifestations of pure evil and create havoc in the universe. The elder brother Hiranyaksha practises tapas (austerities) and is blessed by Brahma with a boon that makes him indestructible by any animal or human. He and his brother torment the inhabitants of earth as well as the gods and engage in war with the latter. Hiranyaksha takes the earth (personified as the goddess Bhudevi) and hides her in the primordial waters. The earth gives a loud cry of distress as she is kidnapped by the demon,
Since Hiranyaksha had not included the boar in the list of animals that would not be able to kill him, Vishnu assumes this form with huge tusks and goes down to the primordial ocean. Varaha has four arms, two of which hold the Sudarshana chakra (discus) and shankha (conch), while the other two hold a gada (mace), a sword, or a lotus or one of them makes the varadamudra (gesture of blessing). Varaha may be depicted with all of Vishnu’a attributes in his four hands: the Sudarshana chakra, the shankha, the gada and the lotus. In the Bhagavata Purana, Varaha emerges as a tiny beast (a size of a thumb) from the nostrils of Brahma, but soon starts to grow. Varaha’s size increases to that of an elephant and then to that of an enormous mountain. The scriptures emphasize his gigantic size. The Vayu Purana describes Varaha as 10 yojanas (The range of a yojana is disputed and ranges between 6–15 kilometere (3.7–9.3 mi) in width and a 1000 yojanas in height. He is large as a mountain and blazing like the sun. Dark like a rain cloud in complexion, his tusks are white, sharp and fearsome. His body is the size of the space between the earth and the sky. His thunderous roar is frightening. In one instance, his mane is so fiery and fearsome that Varuna, the god of the waters, requests Varaha to save him from it. Varaha complies and folds his mane.
In the ocean, Varaha encounters Hiranyaksha, who obstructs his path and challenges him for a duel. The demon mocks Varaha as the beast and warns him not to touch earth. Ignoring the demon’s threats, Varaha lifts the earth on his tusks. Hiranyaksha charges towards the boar in rage with a mace. The two fiercely fight with maces. Finally, Varaha slays the demon after a thousand-year duel. Varaha rises from the ocean with the earth in his tusks and places her gently above it in her original position, as the gods and the sages sing Varaha’s praises.
Further, the earth goddess Bhudevi falls in love with her rescuer Varaha. Vishnu – in his Varaha form – marries Bhudevi, making her one of the consorts of Vishnu. In one narrative, Vishnu and Bhudevi indulge in vigorous embraces and as a result, Bhudevi becomes fatigued and faints, sinking a little in the primordial ocean. Vishnu again acquires the form of Varaha and rescues her, reinstating her in her original position above the waters.
Varaha as per Theory Of Evolution: Reptiles gradually evolved to form the semi-amphibians, which later evolved to form first complete animals, which could exist purely on land. They could bear children and walk on land.
Varaha, or the boar was the third Avatar of Vishnu. Interestingly, boar was the first mammal to have whose teeth were at the front, and so didnt swallow food but eat more like humans.
Sri Varahaswami Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the shores of a temple pond, called the Swami Pushkarini, in Tirumala, near Tirupati. The region is called Adi-Varaha Kshestra, the abode of Varaha.
Another important temple is the Bhuvarahaswami Temple in Srimushnam town, to the northeast of Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. It was built in the late 16th century by Krishnappa II, a Thanjavur Nayak ruler.
Credits: Phot Credits to the real artists and owners.
In Dashavatars, Kurma (कूर्म; ) was the second Avatar of Vishnu, succeeding Matsya and preceding Varaha. Like Matsya this incarnation also occurred in Satya yuga.
Durvasa, The Sage, once gave a garland to Indra, the king of Gods. Indra placed the garland around his elephant, but the animal trampled it, insulting the sage. Durvasa then cursed the Gods to lose their immortality, strength, and all the divine powers. After losing the kingdom of heaven, and every thing they once had and enjoyed, they approached Vishnu for help.
Vishnu advised that they had to drink the nectar of immortality (Amrit) to regain their glory. Now to obtain the nectar of immortality, they needed to churn the ocean of milk, a body of water so large they needed Mount Mandara as the churning staff, and the serpent Vasuki as the churning rope. The Devas were not strong enough to churn on their own, and declared peace with their foes, the Asuras, to enlist their help.
The gods and demons got together for the the herculean task. The huge mountain, Mandara, was used as the pole to stir the waters. But the force was so great the mountain began to sink into the ocean of milk. To stop this, Vishnu quickly transformed himself into a tortoise and placed the mountain on his back. This image of Vishnu as the tortoise was his second avatar, ‘Kurma.’
Once the pole was balanced, it was tied to the gigantic snake, Vasuki, and the gods and demons started pulling it from either side.
As the churning began and the massive waves whirled, from the depths of the ocean also came out the ‘Halahal’ Or ‘Kalkoot’ visha(poison). When the poison was taken out, it started heating up the cosmos considerably. Such was its heat that people started running in dread, animals started dying and plants started withering. The “Visha” had no taker hence Shiva came to everyone’s rescue and he drank the Visha. But, he did not swallow it. He kept the poison in his throat. Since then, Shiva’s throat became blue, and he came to be known as Neelkantha or the blue-throated one. This is the reason why shiva is always high on marijuana, being a God.
The churning continued and poured forth a number of gifts and treasures. They included Kamdhenu, the wish-fulfilling cow; the goddess of wealth, Laxmi; the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpavriksha; and finally, came Dhanvantari carrying the pot of amrita and a book of medicine called Ayurveda. Once the amrita was out, the demons forcefully took it away. Two demons, Rahu and Ketu, disguised themselves as gods and drank the amrita. The sun and moon gods recognised it to be a trick and complained to Vishnu, who in turn, severed their heads with his Sudarshan Chakra. As the divine nectar did not get time to reach below the throat, the heads remained immortal, but the body below died. This helps Rahu and Ketu take revenge on the Sun and Moon by devouring them every year during solar and lunar eclipse.
Kurma as per Theory Of Evolution:
The second step of evolution of life, were creatures that could live on land as well as in water, like
the tortoise. The reptiles appeared almost 385 million years ago on earth.
As mentioned above, Kurma Avatar is in form of a tortoise.
There are three temples dedicated to this incarnation of Vishnu in India, Kurmai of Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Kurmam in Andhra Pradesh, and Gavirangapur in the Chitradurg District of Karnataka.
The name of the village Kurmai mentioned above originated as there is historical temple of Kurma Varadarajaswamy(Kurmavatar of Lord Vishnu) god in this village. The temple located in srikurmam in srikakulam district, andhra pradesh is also the avatara of kurma.
Credits: Photo Credits to the original Uploaders and Artists (They are not my property)
Matsya is said to be the first avatar of Vishnu. He is a fish (or sometimes depicted as half man and half fish like a mermaid). He is said to have rescued the first man from a flood in a story that seems to have influenced the Noah flood story (or, perhaps more likely, both stories were influenced by a common source). Matsya is associated with the beginning of the world.
Matsya (मत्स्य, Fish) is the avatar of the Vishnu in the form of a fish, preceding Kurma. It is listed as the first avatar in the lists of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu. Matsya is described to have rescued the first man, Manu, from a great deluge. Matsya may be depicted as a giant fish, or anthropomorphically with a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish.
One Line Explaination of this avatar is: In this avatar, Vishnu Warn Mahapralaya (Big Flood) and Rescue Vedas. Vishnu also saved the Saint Vaivaswata.
This avatar was taken by Maha Vishnu to save the humanity and the sacred Veda text from the flood in the Satiyuga. In Matsya Avatar, Lord Vishnu incarnates himself as a fish in this world and informs King Manu that the world would come to an end by a huge flood in seven days and to survive this and move on to the next yug the king to build a huge boat and take the seven sages, seeds of all plants, one animal of each type along with him. The matsya told Manu that he would appear on the seventh day to propel the boat to Mt Himavan. True to his word, lord Vishnu appeared before Manu in his avatar as fish and propelled the Boat to Mt Himavan and kept them there till the flood was over. The story is:
Many years ago, the whole world was destroyed. The destruction in fact extended to all the three lokas (worlds) of bhuloka, bhuvarloka and svarloka. Bhuloka is the earth, svarloka or svarga is heaven and bhuvarloka is a region between the earth and heaven. All three worlds were flooded with water. Vaivasvata Manu was the son of the sun-god. He had spent ten thousand years in prayers and tapasya (meditation) in the hermitage vadrika. This hermitage was on the banks of the river Kritamala.
Unfolding the Story of King Satyavrata and his role in the context of Mahavishnu’s Incarnation as a Giant Fish, Suka Maha Muni informed King Parikshith that the former King would become the Seventh Manu as Sraddhadeva. The incident of the Incarnation of the Lord as Fish was recalled in this context since King Satyavrata was once paying offerings of water in River Kirtimala, a small fish appeared on his palms and requested him not to throw it back in the River as big fishes might swallow it and as such keep it safe in a pot.
Once Manu came to the river to perform his ablutions. He immersed his hands in the water to get some water for his ablutions. When he raised them, he found that there was a small fish swimming in the water in the cup of his hands. Manu was about to throw the fish back into the water when the fish said, “Don’t throw me back. I am scared of alligators and crocodiles and big fishes. Save me.”
Manu found an earthen pot in which he could keep the fish. But soon the fish became too big for the pot and Manu had to find a larger vessel in which the fish might be kept. But the fish became too big for this vessel as well and Manu had to transfer the fish to a lake. But the fish grew and grew and became too large for the lake.
So, Manu transferred the fish to the ocean. In the ocean, the fish grew until it became gigantic.
By now, Manu’s wonder knew no bounds. He said, “Who are you? You must be the Lord Vishnu, I bow down before you. Tell me, why are you tantalising me in the form of a fish?” The fish replied, “I have come to punish the evil and protect the good. Seven days from now, the ocean will flood the entire world and all beings will be destroyed. But since you have saved me, I will save you. When the world is flooded, a boat will arrive here. Take the saptarshis (seven sages) with you and spend the terrible night that will come on that boat. Don’t forget to take the seeds of foodgrains with you.
Will arrive and you will then fasten the boat to my horn with a huge snake.”
Matsya avatar saving Manu and the seven sages in Maha PralaySaying this, the fish disappeared. Everything happened as the fish had promised it would. The ocean became turbulent and Manu climbed into the boat. He tied the boat to the huge horn that the fish had. He prayed to the fish and the fish related the Matsya Purana to him. Eventually, when the water receded, the boat was anchored to the topmost peak of the Himalyas. And living beings were created once again. A danava (demon) named Hayagriva had stolen the sacred texts of the Vedas and the knowledge of the brahman. In his form of a fish, Vishnu also killed Hayagriva and recovered the Vedas.
Matsya Jayanti is a day which is celebrated as a birth day of first incarnation of Lord Vishnu on the earth as Matsya Avatar. On that day lord Vishnu had Lord Vishnu born as a one horned fish. He had born as on the 3rd day of Shukla Paksh of the month of Chaitra month according to the Hindu calendar.
Matsya as per Theory Of Evolution:
In the evolution chronology, life evolved in the waters and thus the first form of life is an aquatic animal i.e. the fish (matsya). Proto-Amphibians that primarily lived in water can be seen as the first stage of life.
Lord Vishnu took the form of a huge fish and towed the primordial boat carrying good people and cattle to the new world of the future through the waters of the great deluge.
As per the theory of evolution, These creatures first appeared some 540 million years ago.
A starking resemblance is the first Avatar of Vishnu, Matsya Avatar, which was actually a fish that helped Manu save the world.
Dashavatara ( दशावतार) refers to the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend in form of an avatar to restore cosmic order. Vishnu is a member of hindu Trinity who preserves the cosmic order.
The Dashavataras or the incarnations were taken by Vishnu to re-establish dharma or righteousness and destroy tyranny and injustice on earth.
In the basic Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the Hindu god Vishnu is the preserver and protector of creation. Vishnu is the embodiment of mercy and goodness, the self-existent, all-pervading power that preserves the universe and maintains the cosmic order Dharma.
Vishnu is often represented resting on the coiled serpent Shesha, with Vishnu’s consort Lakshmi massaging his feet. Vishnu never sleeps and is the deity of Shanti, the peaceful mood. Vishnu does not however tolerate Ego.
Most often, the Hindu god Vishnu is shown with four attributes or weapons. In one hand Vishnu holds the conch or Sankha. The second hand of Vishnu holds the disc. The third hand of Vishnu holds the club and in the fourth hand Vishnu holds the lotus or Padma. Vishnu also has a bow called Sarnga and a sword called Nandaka.
Most of the time, good and evil forces are evenly matched in the world. But at times, the balance is destroyed and evil demons get the upper hand. Often in response to a request by the other gods, Vishnu then incarnates in a human form to set the balance right again. 10 Vishnu incarnations are generally recognized as the most important Vishnu avatars, even though opinions differ naturally and some sources may also see other important figures of the indian heritage as incarnations of Vishnu.
As there are total 24 incarnations but these are considerred as main ten incarnations.
The list of Dashavatara varies across sects and regions.
The list is:
Sometimes, Krishna replaces Vishnu as the source of all avatars and Balarama takes Krishna’s place in the list. Buddha may be dropped from the list and substituted by regional deities like Vithoba or Jagannath, or Balarama.
The Dashavatara order is interpreted to convey Darwin’s evolution. Yuga
The first four avatars of Vishnu i.e. Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha appeared in Satya or Krita Yuga, the first of the four Yugas, also called ‘The Golden Age’.
The next three avatars of vishnu i.e. Vamana, Parashurama, Ramaappeared in Treta Yuga,
The eighth and ninth avatars of Vishnu i.e. Krishna And Buddha in Dwapara Yuga.
And the tenth avatars of Vishnu i.e. Kalki will appear in Kali Yuga. The time till completion for Kali Yuga is in 427,000 years. In the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavata Purana, the Kali-yuga is described as ending with the appearance of Kalki, who will defeat the wicked, liberate the virtuous, and initiate a new Satya or Kalki Yuga.
Here is the list of 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu:
Vedic mathematics were the first and foremost source of knowledge . Selflessly shared by Hindus to all around the world. The Hindu FAQs Will now answer some discoveries around the world which may have existed in vedic hindusim. And as i always say, We wont judge, We will just write the article, its you who should know whether to accept it or reject it. We Need open mind to read this article. Read and learn about our unbelievable history . It will blow your mind ! ! !
But first, let me state Stigler’s law of eponymy:
“No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.”
The ancient Indians secretive of their knowledge sonically encrypted mathematical formulas into their devotional hymns to Lord Shri Krishna and also recorded historical data in the codified lyrics. Obviously that was the base for the knowledge of encryption of datas also.
The oldest available evidence of the use of Kaṭapayadi System is from Grahacaranibandhana by Haridatta in 683 CE. It has also been used in Laghubhaskariyavivarana written by Sankaranarayana in 869 CE.
Some argue that the system originated from Vararuchi.In some astronomical texts popular in Kerala planetary positions were encoded in Katapayadi system. The first such work is considered to be the Chandra-vakyani of Vararuchi, who is traditionally assigned to the fourth century CE. Therefore, sometime in the early first millennium is a reasonable estimate for the origin of the Katapayadi System.
Aryabhata, in his treatise Aryabhatiya, is known to have used a similar but more complex system to represent astronomical numbers.
Now, each letter of the group is numbered from 1 through 9 and 0 for the tenth letter. Thus, ka is 1, sa is 7, ma is 5, na is 0 and so on. So to indicate the number 356 for example one would try and come up with a word involving the third, fifth and sixth letters of the groups like “gaNitam” or “lESaca”.
However, in the Indian tradition, the digits of a number are written left to right in the increasing order of their place value – exactly opposite the way we are used to writing in the western way. Therefore 356 would be indicated using letters in the 6th, 5th, and 3rd positions of the group e.g. “triSUlaM”.
Here is an actual verse of spiritual content, as well as secular mathematical significance:
“gopi bhagya madhuvrata
srngiso dadhi sandhiga
khala jivita khatava
gala hala rasandara”
The translation is as follows: “O Lord anointed with the yoghurt of the milkmaids’ worship (Krishna), O savior of the fallen, O master of Shiva, please protect me.”
Vowels make no difference and it is left to the author to select a particular consonant or vowel at each step. This great latitude allows one to bring about additional meanings of his choice. For example kapa, tapa, papa, and yapa all mean 11.
Now the interesting fact is that when you start numbering the consonants with the respective numbers from go = 3, pi = 1, bha =4 , ya = 1 , ma = 5 , duv = 9 and so on. you will end with the number 31415926535897932384626433832792.
Can you guess what the number represents???
This is the decimal equivalent of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, Which you call it as “pi” in modern calculations. The above number gives the accurate value of pi/10 correct to 31 decimal places. Isn’t it interesting???
Thus, while offering mantric praise to Godhead in devotion, by this method one can also add to memory significant secular truths.
Also not only did the code give pi up to 32 decimal places , but there was a secret Master key within the patterning of the 32 that could unlock the next 32 decimals of the pi, and so on. A trick to infinity…
The Code not only praised Krishna, it operated on another level as a dedication to Lord Shankara or Shiva.
History: It is described that while Durvasa Muni was passing on the road, he saw Indra on the back of his elephant and was pleased to offer Indra a garland from his own neck. Indra, however, being too puffed up, took the garland, and without respect for Durvasa Muni, he placed it on the trunk of his carrier elephant. The elephant, being an animal, could not understand the value of the garland, and thus the elephant threw the garland between its legs and smashed it. Seeing this insulting behavior, Durvasa Muni immediately cursed Indra to be poverty-stricken, bereft of all material opulence. Thus the demigods, afflicted on one side by the fighting demons and on the other by the curse of Durvasa Muni, lost all the material opulence’s in the three worlds.
Lord Indra, Varuna and the other demigods, seeing their lives in such a state, consulted among themselves, but they could not find any solution. Then all the demigods assembled and went together to the peak of Sumeru Mountain. There, in the assembly of Lord Brahma, they fell down to offer Lord Brahma their obeisances, and then they informed him of all the incidents that had taken place.
Upon seeing that the demigods were bereft of all influence and strength and that the three worlds were consequently devoid of auspiciousness, and upon seeing that the demigods were in an awkward position whereas all the demons were flourishing, Lord Brahma, who is above all the demigods and who is most powerful, concentrated his mind on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus being encouraged, he became bright-faced and spoke to the demigods as follows. Lord Brahma said: I, Lord Siva, all of you demigods, the demons, the living entities born of perspiration, the living beings born of eggs, the trees and plants sprouting from the earth, and the living entities born from embryos—all come from the Supreme Lord, from His incarnation of rajo-guna [Lord Brahma, the guna-avatara] and from the great sages [rishs] who are part of me. Let us therefore go to the Supreme Lord and take shelter of His lotus feet.
For the Supreme Personality of Godhead there is no one to be killed, no one to be protected, no one to be neglected and no one to be worshiped. Nonetheless, for the sake of creation, maintenance and annihilation according to time, He accepts different forms as incarnations either in the mode of goodness, the mode of passion or the mode of ignorance.
after Lord Brahma finished speaking to the demigods, he took them with him to the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is beyond this material world. The Lord’s abode is on an island called Svetadvipa, which is situated in the ocean of milk.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead directly and indirectly knows how everything, including the living force, mind and intelligence, is working under His control. He is the illuminator of everything and has no ignorance. He does not have a material body subject to the reactions of previous activities, and He is free from the ignorance of partiality and materialistic education. I therefore take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, who is eternal, all-pervading and as great as the sky and who appears with six opulence’s in three yugas [Satya, Tretä and Dväpara].
When offered prayers by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Vishnu was pleased. Thus He gave appropriate instructions to all the demigods. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Ajita, unconquerable, advised the demigods to make a peace proposal to the demons, so that after formulating a truce, the demigods and demons could churn the ocean of milk. The rope would be the biggest serpent, known as Vasuki, and the churning rod would be Mandara Mountain. Poison would also be produced from the churning, but it would be taken by Lord Siva, and so there would be no need to fear it. Many other attractive things would be generated by the churning, but the Lord warned the demigods not to be captivated by such things. Nor should the demigods be angry if there were some disturbances. After advising the demigods in this way, the Lord disappeared from the scene.
One of the item come from the churning of ocean of milk was nectar which will give strength to demigods (Amrit). For twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years) the gods and demons fought in the sky for possession of this pot of Amrita. From this nectar some drops spills at Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik while they were fighting for nectar . So on earth we celebrate this festival to get the pious credits and meet the purpose of life that is going to back to godhead our eternal home where our father is waiting for us. This is opportunity we get after associating with saints or holy man who follow scriptures.
Kumbh mela provides us this great opportunity to purify our soul by bathing in holy river and serving saints.
Of all the avataras Mohini is the only female avatar. But the most beguiling of them all. She is portrayed as an enchantress, who maddens lovers, sometimes leading them to their doom. Unlike the Dasavataras, which appear on Earth during a certain period, Vishnu takes up Mohini avatara during many time periods. In the original text, Mohini is referred to as simply an enchanting, female form of Vishnu. In later versions, Mohini is described as the maya(illusion) of Vishnu (mayam ashito mohinim).
Almost all her tales has that element of slyness. Most of which were the ones leading the asuras (the bad guys) to doom. Bhasmasur was one such asura. Bhasmasur was a devotee of Lord Shiva (Well, Lord Shiva had no restriction upon who could worship him. He was known as Bholenath – easily pleased). He used to perform long penances in order to please Shiva. Shiva being pleased with his austerities, granted him one wish. Bhasmasur, asked him for the one obvious wish – immortality. However, this was out of Shiva’s ‘pay-grade’. So, he asked for the next coolest wish – the license to kill. Bhasmasur asked that he be granted the power that anyone whose head he touched with his hand should burn up and immediately turn into ashes (bhasma).
Well, so far things were going fine for Shiva. Bhasmasur, now sees the beautiful consort of Shiva – Parvati. A pervert and wicked asura as he was, wanted to possess her and marry her. He, thenceforth tries using his newly granted boon on Shiva himself (one piece of rotten asura he is). Shiva, being bound by the ‘contract’ had no power to take back his grant. He fled, and was chased by Bhasmasur. Wherever Shiva went, Bhasmasur chased him down. Somehow, Shiva managed to reach Vishnu to seek a solution to this predicament. Vishnu on hearing Shiva’s problem, agreed to help him out.
Vishnu took up the form of Mohini and appeared in front of Bhasmasur. Mohini was so exceedingly beautiful that Bhasmasur immediately fell in love with Mohini (This is what years of austerity does to you). Bhasmasur asked her (Mohini) to marry him. On a side note, the asuras of the vedic times were real gentlemen. The only way to be with a woman was to marry them. Anyways, Mohini asked her out on a dance, and would marry him only if he could match her moves identically. Bhasmasur agreed to the match and hence they started dancing. The feat went for days at an end. As Bhasmasur matched the disguised Vishnu’s move for move, he began to let his guard down. While still dancing, Mohini, struck a pose where her hand was placed on top of her own head. And Bhasmasura, whose eyes were constantly fixed upon Mohini’s beautiful face, completely forgot about Lord Shiva’s boon, and put his hand on his head too and turned into ashes.
Upanishads and Vedas are two terms that are often confused as one and the same thing. Actually they are two different subjects for that matter. In fact Upanishads are parts of Vedas.
Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva are the four Vedas. A Veda is divided into four parts, namely, Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad. It can be seen from the division that Upanishad forms the last part of a given Veda. Since Upanishad forms the end part of a Veda it is also called as Vedanta. The word ‘anta’ in Sanskrit means ‘end’. Hence the word ‘Vedanta’ means ‘the end portion of a Veda’.
The subject matter or the content of the Upanishad is normally philosophical in nature. It speaks about the nature of the Atman, the greatness of the Brahman or the Supreme Soul and also about the life after death. Hence Upanishad is called as the Jnana Kanda of the Veda. Jnana means knowledge. Upanishad speaks about the supreme or the highest knowledge.
The other three parts of the Veda, namely, Samhita, Brahmana and the Aranyaka are called together as Karma Kanda. Karma in Sanskrit means ‘action’ or ‘rituals’. It can be understood that the three parts of the Veda deal with the ritualistic part of life such as the conduct of a sacrifice, austerity and the like.
Veda thus contains in it both the ritualistic and the philosophical aspects of life. It deals with the actions to be performed in life and also with the spiritual thoughts that man should cultivate in his mind to read God.
Upanishads are many in number but only 12 of them are considered principal Upanishads. It is interesting to note that Adi Sankara, the founder of Advaita system of philosophy has commented on all the 12 principal Upanishads. The other major teachers of various sects of philosophical thoughts have quoted a lot from the texts of the Upanishads.
Jarasandha (Sanskrit: जरासंध) was A badass villain from Hindu Mythology. He was the king of Magadha. He was the son of a Vedic king named Brihadratha. He was also a great devotee of Lord Shiva. But he is generally held in negative light owing to his enmity with the Yadava clan in the Mahabaratha.
Brihadratha was the king of Magadha. His wives were the twin princesses of Benares. While he led a content life and was a famed king, he was unable to have children for a very long time. Frustrated over his inability to have children, he retreated to the forest and eventually ended up serving a sage named Chandakaushika. The sage took pity on him and on finding the actual cause for his sorrow, gave him a fruit and told him to give it to his wife who in turn will soon become pregnant. But the sage did not know that he had two wives. Not wishing to displease either wife, Brihadratha cut the fruit in half and gave it to both of them. Soon both the wives became pregnant and gave birth to two halves of a human body. These two lifeless halves were very horrifying to view. So, Brihadratha ordered these to be thrown in the forest. A demoness (Rakshasi) named “Jara” (orBarmata) found these two pieces and held each of these in her two palms. Incidentally when she brought both of her palms together,the two pieces joined together giving rise to a living child. The Child cried loudly which created panic for Jara. Not having the heart to eat a living child, the demoness gave it to the king and explained him all that happened. The father named the boy as Jarasandha (literally meaning “joined by Jara”).
Chandakaushika arrived at the court and saw the child. He prophesied to Brihadratha that his son will be specially gifted and would be a great devotee of Lord Shiva.
In India, descendants of Jarasandh still exist and use Joriya (which means piece of flesh named after their ancestor, “jarasandha”) as their suffix while naming themselves.
Jarasandha became a famed and powerful king, extending his empire far and wide. He prevailed over many kings, and was crowned emperor of Magadha. Even while Jarasandha’s power continued to grow, he had concerns over his future & that of the empires, as he had no heirs. Therefore, on the advice of his close friend kingBanasura, Jarasandh decided to get his two daughters ‘Asti and Prapti’ married to the heir apparent of Mathura, Kansa. Jarasandha had also lent his army and his personal advise to Kansa to create a coup d’état in Mathura.
When Krishna killed Kansa in Mathura, Jarasandha become enraged because of Krishna and the entire Yadavas clan on seeing his two daughters being widowed. So, Jarasandha attacked Mathura repeatedly. He attacked Mathura 17 times. Sensing danger over the repeated attack on Mathura by Jarasandha, Krishna relocated his capital city to Dwaraka. Dwaraka was an island and it was not possible for anyone to attack it at all. Hence, Jarasandha could not attack the Yadavas anymore.
Yudhisthira was planning to make a Rajasuya yagna or Ashwamedha Yagna in order to become the emperor. Krishnaconvinced him that Jarasandha was the only obstacle to oppose Yudhisthira from becoming an emperor. Jarasandha raidedMathura (Krishna’s ancestral capital) and got defeated by Krishna every time. At one stage to avoid unnecessary loss of lives, Krishna moved his capital to Dwaraka, in one stroke. Since Dwaraka was an island city guarded heavily by Yadava Army, Jarasandha was not able to invadeDwaraka anymore. To attain the capacity to invade Dwaraka, Jarasandha planned to conduct a Yagna to please Lord Shiva. For this Yagna, He had imprisoned 95 kings and was in need of 5 more kings, after which he was planning to perform the Yagna, sacrificing all the 100 kings. Jarasandha thought that this Yagna will make him win the powerful Yadava Army.
The kings captured by Jarasandha wrote a secret missive to Krishna to rescue them from Jarasandha. Krishna, not wanting to go for an all out war with Jarasandha to rescue the captured kings, in order to avoid a major loss of lives, devised a plan to eliminate Jarasandha. Krishna advised Yudhisthira that Jarasandha was a major obstacle and must be killed before Yudhisthira starts performing the Rajasuya yagna. Krishna planned a clever scheme to eliminate Jarasandha by making Bheemawrestle with the Jarasandha in a dual fight, who killed Jarasandha after a fierce battle (Dwandwa yudha), which lasted for 27 days.
Like Karna, Jarasandha was also very good in giving charity donations. After performing his Shiva pooja, he used to give whatever the Brahmins asked for. On one such occasion Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema in the guise of Brahmins met Jarasandha. Krishna asked Jarasandha to choose any one of them for a wrestling match. Jarasandha chose Bheema, the strongman, to wrestle. Both of them fought for 27 days. Bheema did not know how to defeat Jarasandha. So, he sought the help of Krishna. Krishna knew the secret by which Jarasandha could be killed. Since, Jarasandha was brought to life when the two lifeless halves joined together, conversely, he can be killed only when these his body was torn into two halves and find a way as how these two don’t merge. Krishna took a stick, he broke it into two and threw them in both directions. Bheema got the hint. He tore Jarasandha’s body into two and threw the pieces in two directions. But, these two pieces came together and Jarasandha was able to attack Bheema again. Bheema got tired after several such futile attempts. He again sought the help of Krishna. This time, Lord Krishna took a stick, broke it into two and threw the left piece on right side and the right piece on the left side. Bheema precisely followed the same. Now, he tore Jarasandha’s body into two and threw them in opposite directions. Thus, Jarasandha was killed as the two pieces could not merge into one.