The mythical creature Sharabha shown here is part-bird and part-lion. Shiva Purana describes Sharabha as thousand-armed, lion-faced and with matted hair, wings and eight feet. In his clutches is Lord Narasimha, whom Sharabha slays!
Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali or deepavali Festival as celebrated in India. The festival is basically known as “Dhanatrayodashi” where the word Dhana means wealth and Trayodashi means 13th day of the month as per Hindu calendar.
This day is also known as “Dhanvantari Trayodashi”. Dhanvantari is an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physician of the gods (devas), and the god of Ayurveda. People pray to Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for sound health for themselves and/or others, especially on Dhanteras. Dhanvantari emerged from the Ocean of Milk and appeared with the pot of nectar during the story of the Samudra as stated in Bhagavata Purana. It is also believed that Dhanvantari promulgated the practise of ayurveda.
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck.
business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the night.
There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi for Dhanatrayodashi) with jaggery and offer as Naivedya (Prasad).
Hindus also worship Lord Kuber as the treasurer of wealth and bestower of riches, along with Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras. This custom of worshiping Lakshmi and Kuber together is in prospect of doubling the benefits of such prayers.
STORY: There is an interesting story behind celebrating the Dhanteras festival. It is considered that, once upon a time, King Hima’s sixteen year old son was destined to pass away just by the snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. His wife was very clever and she did not allow her husband to sleep on 4th day of the marriage. She arranges some gold ornaments as well as a lot of silver coins and made a large heap at the doorway of her husband. She also made light with the help of numerous lamps all around the place.
When Yama the God of death, came to her husband in the appearance of a snake, his eyes got sightless by the dazzling light of the lamps, silver coins and gold ornaments. So the lord Yama could not get entered into his chamber. Then he tried to ascend on top of the heap and started to listen the harmonious songs of his wife. In the morning, he silently went away. Thus, the young prince was saved from the clutches of death by the cleverness of his new bride, and the day came to be celebrated as Yamadeepdaan. Diyas or candles are kept blazing during the whole night in respect to the God Yama.
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Diwali or Deepavali is an ancient festival of India which is celebrated by Hindus. On this auspicious festival, the Hindu FAQs will share many posts related to this festival, its significance, the facts and stories related to this festival.
So here are some stories related to what is the significance of diwali.
1.Goddess Lakshmi’s Incarnation: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amaavasyaa) of the Kartik month during the churning of the ocean (samudra-manthan), hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.
2. The Return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic Mahabharata, it was Kartik Amavashya when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved the Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.
3. Krishna Killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on for two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.
4. The Victory of Rama: According to the epic Ramayana, it was the new moon day of Kartik when Lord Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with the earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.
5. Vishnu Rescued Lakshmi: On this very day (Diwali day), Lord Vishnu in his fifth incarnation as Vaman-avtaara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Larkshmi on Diwali.
6. Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu King Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well.
7. Special Day for the Arya Samaj: It was the new moon day of Kartik (Diwali day) when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.
8. Special Day for the Jains: Mahavir Tirthankar, considered to be the founder of modern Jainism also attained his nirvana on Diwali day.
9. Special Day for the Sikhs: The third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalized Diwali as a Red-Letter Day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Gurus blessings. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali. In 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir, was released from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings.
Disclaimer: All images, designs or videos in this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.
Samudra-vasane Devi Parvata-sthana-mandale | Vishnupatni namas-tubhyam Paada-sparsham kshamasva me ||
Vasudeva-sutan Devam Kansa-Chaanura-mardanam | Devaki-paramaa nandam Krushnam vande jagad-gurum ||
Meaning: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmee resides at the fingertips, the Goddess of knowledge, Sarasvatee resides at the base of the palm and the Lord Krishna (Govida) resides in the middle of the palm and therefore we must look at our palm every morning.
Oh! Mother Earth, oceans are your clothes, mountains are your bosom, wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to thee. Please forgive me for the touch of my feet. Son of Vasudev, the destroyer (demons) Kansa and Chanura, Supreme bliss of Devaki (mother), the guru of the world, Lord Krishna, I Salute thee.
Om saha naa-vavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha viryam karavaa-vahai | tejasvi naa-vadhi-tamastu maa vidvishaa-vahai || Om shaantih shaantih shaantihi
Meaning: The devotees of God are freed from all sins because they eat food which is offered (to God) first for (Yagna) sacrifice. Others who cook food only for themselves truly “eat sin.”
O! Kaunteya (Arjun), son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, offer it as a sacrifice. Whatever austerity you perform, do it as an offering to me. “I reside in humans and also animals, I am the fire which digests the four kinds of food and I control the breathing and other functions of the body.”
Oh! Lord, protect and defend us both. Let us do divine work together. Let our knowledge be radiant. Let us not envy each other, and let us always live in peace and harmony.
कृष्णाय वासुदेवाय हरये परमात्मने। प्रणतक्लेशनाशाय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः॥ करचरणकृतं वाक् कायजं कर्मजं वा श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वाअपराधम्। विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत् क्षमस्व जय जय करुणाब्धे श्री महादेव शंभो॥ त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव। त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणं त्वमेव त्वमेव सर्वं मम देवदेव॥
Krushnaaya Vaasudevaaya haraye Parmaatmane | Pranata-klesha-naashaaya Govindaaya namo namah ||
Tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva tvameva bandhush-cha sakhaa tvameva | Tvameva vidyaa dravinam tvameva tvameva sarvam mama deva-deva ||
Meaning: I bow and pray to Lord Krushna, son of Vasudev, he who takes away sorrow, suffering and troubles of those who ask for his protection.
Oh! Mahadev, the Ocean of Compassion, please forgive me if I have done anything wrong, knowingly or unknowingly by my hands, feet, by my speech, body, by my actions, by my ears, eyes, by my mind. Let victory be yours.
Oh! God! (Oh Supreme Being) You are my mother, you are my father, you are my brother, you are my friend, you are the knowledge, you are the wealth, and you are everything to me.
The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious.
Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present.
Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.
Hanuman, decorating the chariot’s flag, was ready to shout his war cries to help Bhima terrify the enemy. Earlier, the Mahabharata had described a meeting between Hanuman and Bhima.
Once, while Arjuna was seeking celestial weapons, the remaining Pandavas wandered to Badarikashrama, high in the Himalayas. Suddenly, the alakananda River carried to Draupadi a beautiful and fragrant thousand-petaled lotus flower. Draupadi was captivated by its beauty and scent. “Bhima, this lotus flower is so beautiful. I should offer it to Yudhisthhira Maharaja. Could you get me a few more? We could take some back to our hermitage in Kamyaka.”
Bhima grabbed his club and charged up the hill where no mortals were permitted. As he ran, he bellowed and frightened elephants and lions. He uprooted trees as he pushed them aside. Not caring for the ferocious beasts of the jungle, he climbed a steep mountain until his progress was blocked by a huge monkey lying across the path.
“Why are you making so much noise and scaring all the animals?” the monkey said. “Just sit down and eat some fruit.”
“Move aside,” ordered Bhima, for etiquette forbade him to step over the monkey.
The monkey’s reply?
“I am too old to move. Jump over me.”
Bhima, becoming angry, repeated his order, but the monkey, again pleading the weakness of old age, requested Bhima to simply move his tail aside.
Proud of his immense strength, Bhima thought to pull the monkey out of the way by its tail. But, to his amazement, he could not move it in the least, though he exerted all his strength. In shame, he bent down his head and politely asked the monkey who he was. The monkey revealed his identity as Hanuman, his brother and told him that he stopped him to prevent him from the dangers and rakshasas in the forest.
Transported with delight, Bhima requested Hanuman to show him the form in which he crossed the ocean. Hanuman smiled and began to increase his size to the extent Bhima realized he had grown beyond the size of the mountain. Bhima bowed before him and told him that inspired with his strength, he was sure to conquer his enemies.
Hanuman gave parting blessing to his brother: “While you roar like a lion in the battlefield, my voice shall join yours and strike terror into the heart of your enemies. I shall be present on the flag of the chariot of your brother Arjuna. You will be victorious.”
He then offered Bhima the following blessings.
“I shall remain present on the flag of your brother Arjuna. When you roar like a lion on the battlefield, my voice will join with yours to strike terror into the hearts of your enemies. You will be victorious and regain your kingdom.”
There is a concept of prakriti and purush in Hinduism. Its a bit tough to explain but let me try to explain you in short. (I will write a big post of prakriti and purush explaining each and every small details later)
Samkhya: Samkhya or Sankhya is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Samkhya is strongly dualist.
It regards the universe as consisting of two realities, Pursha (consciousness) and Prakriti (matter).
a living being or Jiva is that state in which purusha is bonded to prakriti in some form. This fusion, state the Samkhya scholars, led to the emergence of buddhi (“spiritual awareness”) and ahankara (individualized ego consciousness).
The universe is described by this school as one created by Purusha-Prakriti entities infused with various permutations and combinations of variously enumerated elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.
During the state of imbalance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage, particularly of the mind. The end of this imbalance, bondage is called liberation, or moksha by Samkhya school of Hinduism.
Its a big topic, so i’ll just simplify it for you. Just learn this, Prakriti = material reality and Purusha = spiritual reality
Material reality is to please our five senses. Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell and touch are the five senses that we have. We work and do everything to please them. Every little and big thing you do in your life is to please one or all of these. From cleaning your house to visiting romantic places and to taste exotic foods.
Apart from this, material reality contains Art, Music, Sex, Pleasure, Prosperity, etc.
You will work hard, earn lot of money, your needs will increase, to keep up with them, you will work harder. It’s a loop. Human needs are unlimited, but the resources he have are always limited.
Material reality is impermanent; Sooner or later it withers away. Today you are eating the best food, tomorrow you may have a great financial loss and you won’t be able to afford what you can afford now. With this there comes a stage where you become restless, frustrated, pain, anxiety, stress, fear and all sorts of emotions.
So Now, Prakriti = material reality = Unstable
Purusha or spiritual growth is the ability to overpower these emotions so that one has the wisdom to appreciate and enjoy all things material without getting needy or clingy. One is happy when the material world favours us and not unhappy when it does not. This can only happen when material growth is accompanied by intellectual growth. Only intellectual growth can control emotional turmoil caused by dependence on material things.
So Now, Purusha = Spiritual reality = Stable
Ok i think you got the basic idea of Prakriti and Purusha. Now, Think of our human body. The heart is on the left side, so the side is unstable. and so that side i.e. the left side of a body is considered as Prakriti Side.
So eventually, the right side, being stable is Purusha Side.
Moving on, When any person wants to go to a temple, he want to go there to calm himself. Technically, to exit the material world and enter the Spiritual world. So sit there, calm himself, to meditate, to pray. So if an individual wants to enter the spirituality i.e. the purusha, then why not to start from spiritual side of the body i.e. the purusha, the stable side, i.e the Right side..
Hope you got the answer.
You can stop reading here. But if you are intrested in further understanding prakriti and purusha side, here is the small explaination.
Visit an temple or see any Hindu GOD’s photo. If the GOD’s right leg is on the ground, He or she represents the Purusha side.
Shiva and shakti are perfect blend of Purusha and Prakriti. SHIVA symbolises consciousness, the masculine principle.
SHAKTI symbolises the feminine principle, the activating power and energy.
In Ganesha’s Idol, even the tusk can tell you that that particular idol represents purusha side or Prakriti side.
Likewise Saraswati and Lakshmi shows material reality which is Prakriti
Vishnu shows perfect blend of Prakriti and Purusha…
and last but not the least, our Trinity, which shows Lord Brahma as Prakriti, Vishnu as master of both prakriti and Purusha and Shiva as Purusha.
Credits: Image credits to the real owners, Photographers, Artists, Pinterest and Google Images. The Hindu FAQs doesnot own any images.
Hinduism had many scholar and brilliant sages who gave much knowledge of science, Mathematics, Astronomy, cosmoogy, Medicines etc from their work. Here is the list of 11 Hindu sages who did remarkable work in the field of Science, in no perticular order.
Aryabhata was the first in the line of great mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. He is the author of several treatises on mathematics and astronomy.
His major work, Aryabhatiya, a compendium of mathematics and astronomy, was extensively referred to in the Indian mathematical literature and has survived to modern times. The mathematical part of the Aryabhatiya covers arithmetic, algebra, plane trigonometry, and spherical trigonometry. It also contains continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums-of-power series, and a table of sines.
He formulated the process of calculating the motion of planets and the time of eclipses. 2) Bharadwaj
Acharya Bharadwaj is the writer and founder Ayurveda and mechanical sciences. He authored the ” Yantra Sarvasva ” which includes astonishing and outstanding discoveries in aviation science, space science and flying machines.
Baudhayana was the author of the Baudhayana sutras, which cover dharma, daily ritual, mathematics, etc.
He was the author of the earliest Sulba Sutra—appendices to the Vedas giving rules for the construction of altars—called the Baudhayana Sulbasutra. These are notable from the point of view of mathematics, for containing several important mathematical results, including giving a value of pi to some degree of precision, and stating a version of what is now known as the Pythagorean theorem.
Sequences associated with primitive Pythagorean triples have been named Baudhayana sequences. These sequences have been used in cryptography as random sequences and for the generation of keys.
Bhaskaracharya was an Indian mathematician and astronomer. his works represent a significant contribution to mathematical and astronomical knowledge in the 12th century. His main work Siddhanta Shiromani deal with arithmetic, algebra, mathematics of the planets, and spheres respectively.
Bhaskaracharya’s work on calculus predates Newton and Leibniz by over half a millennium. He is particularly known in the discovery of the principles of differential calculus and its application to astronomical problems and computations. While Newton and Leibniz have been credited with differential and integral calculus, there is strong evidence to suggest that Bhaskaracharya was a pioneer in some of the principles of differential calculus. He was perhaps the first to conceive the differential coefficient and differential calculus.
Acharya Charak has been crowned as the Father of Medicine. His renowned work, the ” Charak Samhita “, is considered as an encyclopedia of Ayurveda. His principles, diagoneses, and cures retain their potency and truth even after a couple of millennia. When the science of anatomy was confused with different theories in Europe , Acharya Charak revealed through his innate genius and enquiries the facts on human anatomy, embryology, pharmacology, blood circulation and diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, heart disease, etc. In the ” Charak Samhita ” he has described the medicinal qualities and functions of 100,000 herbal plants. He has emphasized the influence of diet and activity on mind and body. He has proved the correlation of spirituality and physical health contributed greatly to diagnostic and curative sciences. He has also prescribed and ethical charter for medical practitioners two centuries prior to the Hippocratic oath. Through his genius and intuition, Acharya Charak made landmark contributions to Ayurvedal. He forever remains etched in the annals of history as one of the greatest and noblest of rishi-scientists. 6) Kanad
Kanada was a Hindu sage and philosopher who founded the philosophical school of Vaisheshika and authored the text Vaisheshika Sutra.
His primary area of study was Rasavadam, considered to be a type of alchemy. He is said to have believed that all living beings are composed of five elements: water, fire, earth, air, Aether (classical element). Vegetables have only water, insects have water and fire, birds have water, fire, earth and air, and Humans, the top of the creation, have ether—the sense of discrimination (time, space, mind) are one.
He says, “Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules.” His statement ushered in the Atomic Theory for the first time ever in the world. Kanad has also described the dimension and motion of atoms and their chemical reactions with each other. 7) Kapil
He gifted the world with the Sankhya School of Thought. His pioneering work threw light on the nature and principles of the ultimate Soul (Purusha), primal matter (Prakruti) and creation. His concept of transformation of energy and profound commentaries on atma, non-atma and the subtle elements of the cosmos places him in an elite class of master achievers – incomparable to the discoveries of other cosmologists. On his assertion that Prakruti, with the inspiration of Purusha, is the mother of cosmic creation and all energies, he contributed a new chapter in the science of cosmology. 8) Nagarjuna
Nagarjna’s dedicated research for twelve years produced maiden discoveries and inventions in the faculties of chemistry and metallurgy. Textual masterpieces like ” Ras Ratnakar ,” “Rashrudaya” and “Rasendramangal” are his renowned contributions to the science of chemistry. Nagarjuna had also said to have discovered the alchemy of transmuting base metals into gold. 9) Patanjali
patanjali prescribed the control of prana (life breath) as the means to control the body, mind and soul. This subsequently rewards one with good health and inner happiness. Acharya Patanjali ‘s 84 yogic postures effectively enhance the efficiency of the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive and endocrine systems and many other organs of the body. Yoga has eight limbs where Acharya Patanjali shows the attainment of the ultimate bliss of God in samadhi through the disciplines of: yam, niyam, asan, pranayam, pratyahar, dhyan and dharna. 10) Sushrut
Sushruta is an ancient Indian surgeon commonly attributed to as the author of the treatise Sushruta Samhita. He is dubbed as the “founding father of surgery” and the Sushrut Samhita is identified as one of the best and outstanding commentary on Medical Science of Surgery.
Sushruta in his book Sushruta Samhita discusses surgical techniques of making incisions, probing, extraction of foreign bodies, alkali and thermal cauterization, tooth extraction, excisions, and trocars for draining abscess, draining hydrocele and ascitic fluid, the removal of the prostate gland, urethral stricture dilatation, vesiculolithotomy, hernia surgery, caesarian section, management of haemorrhoids, fistulae, laparotomy and management of intestinal obstruction, perforated intestines, and accidental perforation of the abdomen with protrusion of omentum and the principles of fracture management, viz., traction, manipulation, appositions and stabilization including some measures of rehabilitation and fitting of prosthetics. It enumerates six types of dislocations, twelve varieties of fractures, and classification of the bones and their reaction to the injuries, and gives a classification of eye diseases including cataract surgery. 11) Varahmihir
Varamihir is a renowned astrologer and astronomer who was honored with a special decoration and status as one of the nine gems in the court of King Vikramaditya in Avanti ( Ujjain ). Varahamihir’ s book “panchsiddhant” holds a prominent place in the realm of astronomy. He notes that the moon and planets are lustrous not because of their own light but due to sunlight. In the ” Bruhad Samhita ” and ” Bruhad Jatak ,” he has revealed his discoveries in the domains of geography, constellation, science, botany and animal science. In his treatise on botanical science, Varamihir presents cures for various diseases afflicting plants and trees.
1) The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple or Thiruvarangam is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form Shri Vishnu.
2) The temple is located in Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India .
3) Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, and It is one of the most illustrious Vaishnava temples in South India rich in legend and history.
4) Its location, on an island in Cauvery river, has rendered it vulnerable to natural disasters as well as the rampaging of invading armies – Muslim and European – which repeatedly commandeered the site for military encampment
5) The main entrance, known as the Rajagopuram (the royal temple tower), rises from the base area of around 5720 and goes up to 237 feet (72 m), moving up in eleven progressively smaller tiers.
6) The annual 21 day festival conducted during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) attracts 1 million visitors.
7) Srirangam temple is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.
8) 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.
9) The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls (termed prakarams (outer courtyard) or mathil suvar) with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles.
10) These temple has 21 gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, fifty shrines, Ayiram kaal mandapam (a hall of 1000 pillars) and several small water bodies inside. The space within the outer two prakarams (outer courtyard) is occupied by several shops, restaurants and flower stalls.
11) The Hall of 1000 pillars (actually 953) is a fine example of a planned theatre-like structure and opposite to it, “Sesha Mandap”, with its intricacy in sculpture, is a delight.The 1000-pillared hall made of granite was constructed in the Vijayanagara period (1336–1565) on the site of the old temple.
12) The pillars consists of sculptures of wildly rearing horses bearing riders on their backs and trampling with their hoofs upon the heads of rampant tigers, seem only natural and congruous among such weird surroundings.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India. They are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 CE by the Chandela dynasty. Historical records note that Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 20 temples have survived, spread over 6 square kilometers. Of the various surviving temples, the Kandariya temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art.
1) Khajuraho Temple
2) Erotic carvings on a wall of Khajuraho temple
3) More beautiful carvings
4) Detaile carvings showing body postures
5) Incredible detailed carvings on one of the wall
6) Some carvings are damaged with time
7) Carvings showing various position of intimacy
8) A visitor admiring the carvings
9) Carving showing love relation in a couple
10) Carving also shows some animals
11) one of the Kamasutra position
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The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.
The name Mahavidyas comes from the Sanskrit roots, with maha meaning ‘great’ and vidya meaning, ‘revelation, manifestation, knowledge, or wisdom
Mahavidyas (Great Wisdoms) or Dasha-Mahavidyas are a group of ten aspects of the Divine Mother Durga or Kali herself or Devi in Hinduism. The 10 Mahavidyas are Wisdom Goddesses, who represent a spectrum of feminine divinity, from horrific goddesses at one end, to the gentle at the other.
Shaktas believe, “the one Truth is sensed in ten different facets; the Divine Mother is adored and approached as ten cosmic personalities,” the Dasa-Mahavidya (“ten-Mahavidyas”). The Mahavidyas are considered Tantric in nature, and are usually identified as:
The ultimate form of Brahman, “Devourer of Time” (Supreme Deity of Kalikula systems)
kali is the Hindu goddess associated with empowerment, shakti. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga (Parvati). The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death
Tara: The Protector
The Goddess as Guide and Protector, or Who Saves.Who offers the ultimate knowledge which gives salvation (also known as Neel Saraswati).
tara meaning “star”. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.
Tripura Sundari (Shodashi):
The Goddess Who is “Beautiful in the Three Worlds” (Supreme Deity of Srikula systems) or Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities; the “Tantric Parvati” or the “Moksha Mukta”.
As Shodashi, Tripurasundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to embody sixteen types of desire. Shodashi also refers to the sixteen syllable mantra, which consists of the fifteen syllable (panchadasakshari) mantra plus a final seed syllable. Bhuvaneshvari: The Goddess Whose Body is the Cosmos
The Goddess as World Mother, or Whose Body is the Cosmos.
The Queen of the Universe. Bhuvaneshwari means the Queen or ruler of the Universe. She is the Divine Mother as the Queen of all the worlds. All the Universe is her body and all beings are ornaments on her infinite being. She carries all the worlds as a flowering of her own Self-nature. She is thus related to Sundari and to Rajarajeshwari, the supreme Lady of the Universe. She is capable of turning situations according to her wish. It is considered that even the navagrahas and Trimurti cannot stop her from doing anything. Bhairavi: The Fierce Goddess
She is also called Shubhamkari, good mother to good people and terrible to bad ones. She is seen holding book, rosary, and making fear-dispelling and boon-conferring gestures. She is also known as Baala or Tripurabhairavi. It is believed that when Bhairavi entered the battle field, her horrible appearance made the demons become weak and very feeble, and it is also believed that most of the demons started panicking as soon as they saw her. Bhairavi is seen mainly as the Chandi in the Durga Saptashati version of slaying Shumbha and Nishumbha. However, she kills and drinks the blood of Chanda and Munda the Chieftains of asuras, so the Goddess Parvati gives her a boon that she would be called Chamundeshwari. Chhinnamasta: The self-decapitated Goddess.
Chhinnamasta can be easily identified by her fearsome iconography. The self-decapitated goddess holds her own severed head in one hand, a scimitar in another. Three jets of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her severed head and two attendants. Chhinnamasta is usually depicted standing on a copulating couple.
Chhinnamasta is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation. She symbolizes both aspects of Devi: a life-giver and a life-taker. Her legends emphasize her sacrifice – sometimes with a maternal element, her sexual dominance and her self-destructive fury. Dhumavati: The Widow Goddess,or the Goddess of death.
She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism, such as the crow and the Chaturmas period. The goddess is often depicted on a horseless chariot or riding a crow, usually in a cremation ground.
Dhumavati is said to manifest herself at the time of cosmic dissolution (pralaya) and is “the Void” that exists before creation and after dissolution. She is often called tender-hearted and a bestower of boons. Dhumavati is described as a great teacher, one who reveals ultimate knowledge of the universe, which is beyond the illusory divisions, like auspicious and inauspicious. Her ugly form teaches the devotee to look beyond the superficial, to look inwards and seek the inner truths of life.
Dhumavati is described as a giver of siddhis (supernatural powers), a rescuer from all troubles, and a granter of all desires and rewards, including ultimate knowledge and moksha (salvation). Bagalamukhi: The Goddess Who Paralyzes Enemies
Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee’s misconceptions and delusions (or the devotee’s enemies) with her cudgel. Matangi: – the Prime Minister of Lalita (in Srikula systems)
She is considered to be the Tantric form of Sarasvati, the goddess of music and learning. Like Sarasvati, Matangi governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Her worship is prescribed to acquire supernatural powers, especially gaining control over enemies, attracting people to oneself, acquiring mastery over the arts and gaining supreme knowledge. Kamalatmika: The Lotus Goddess; the “Tantric Lakshmi”
Kamalatmika has a golden complexion. She is being bathed by four large elephants, who pour kalashas (jars) of amrita (nectar) over her. She has four hands. In two hands, she holds two lotuses and her other two hands are in abhayamudra (gesture of giving assurance) and varamudra (gesture of conferring boons) respectively. She is shown as seated in padmasana (lotus posture) on a lotus, symbol of purity.
The name Kamala means “she of the lotus” and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi is linked with three important and interrelated themes: prosperity and wealth, fertility and crops, and good luck during the coming year.
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There are figures that share slightly similar stories across various cultures. Here are some of them who comes to my mind. There might be many more.
Sun god, Surya Deva and Ra appears in all cultures. Africa consider the Sun to be the son of the supreme being Awondo and the Moon Awondo’s daughter.
In Aztec mythology, Tonatiuh was the sun god. The Aztec people considered him the leader of Tollan (heaven).
In Buddhist cosmology, the bodhisattva of the Sun is known as Ri Gong Ri Guang Pu Sa.
Ancient Egyptian consder him as Ra, By the Fifth Dynasty (2494 to 2345 BCE) he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the midday sun.
In hinduism The Adityas are one of the principal deities of the Vedic classical Hinduism belonging to Solar class. In the Vedas, numerous hymns are dedicated to Mitra, Varuna, Savitr etc. In Hinduism, Aditya is used in the singular to mean the Sun God, Surya.
Garuda and Horus:
Garuda is younger brother of Aruna. Garuda associated with Garuda Purana, book that deals with soul after death. Horus is associated with Egyptian book of the dead. Horus and Seth are said to be rivals. Aruna curses his mother Vinata. Both Garuda’s and Horus’ parents have similar relationship. Garuda often acts as a messenger between the gods and men.
In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is suparna, meaning “well-winged, having good wings”.
Manu, Noah and flood myth: Manu is a title accorded to a progenitor of humanity after the great flood at the end of each kalpa (aeon).
Muruganand Michael– commander-in-chief of the army of god and the son of Mahadev (god of gods). Depicted as on top of a peacock. He is similar to Michael.
Saptarishi and Light Beings : They are naturally the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws
Pishacha and Fallen gods: In the Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana Pisachas are a sort of aerial beings, with subtile bodies. They sometimes assume the form of a shadow to terrify people, and at others enter into their minds in an aerial form, in order to mislead them to error and wicked purposes. They are all the progeny of the fallen gods.
Giants, The Titans and The Asura:
Celestial nymphs in Svarga, Heaven and Amaravati: ….region for the virtuous alone with celestial gardens called Nandana planted with sacred trees and sweet-scented flowers. The fragrant groves are occupied by Apsaras (celestial nymphs).
They are in Greek mythology too.
God of death, Yama and punishments in Hell, Naraka located at Patala: Deities associated with death take many different forms, depending on the specific culture and religion being referenced. Psychopomps, deities of the underworld, and resurrection deities are commonly called death deities in comparative religions texts. The term colloquially refers to deities that either collect or rule over the dead, rather than those deities who determine the time of death. However, all these types will be included in this article. God of death is there in almost every mythology on earth.
Ahasuerus, Ashwathama, the cursed immortal: Ashwathama was cursed by Krishna to roam earth with leprosy till his second coming as Kalki. Ashwathama will be cured when he meets Kalki at the end of the Kali yuga along with other immortals.
Indra, Zeus, Thor: King of demi-gods. Thunder bolt is his weapon.
Pillar of Fire: The “Pillar of Fire” is described in the Holy Books of three major world religions, Buddhism of course in the Maha Ummaga Jataka as the “Aggi Khanda”, in Hinduism as the “Anala Stambha” in the Shiva Purana, and in the Torah (Exodus 13:21-22) of Judaism a The Lord is described as guiding the Israelites as a Pillar of fire at night.
In all three texts the fiery pillar represent the supreme most God.
Sri Hanuman assumed Panchamukhi or five-faced form to kill Ahiravana, a powerful rakshasa black-magician and practitioner of the dark arts during the Ramayana war.
In the Ramayana, during the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed, Ravana calls his brother Ahiravana for help. Ahiravana, the king of Patala (the Underworld), promises to help. Vibhishana somehow manages to hear about the plot and warns Rama about it. Hanuman is put on guard and told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. Ahiravana makes many attempts at entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman. Finally, Ahiravana takes the form of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Ahiravana quickly enters and takes the “sleeping Rama and Lakshmana” away.
When Hanuman realizes what has happened, he goes to Vibhishana. Vibhishana says, “Alas! They have been abducted by Ahiravana. If Hanuman does not rescue them fairly quickly, Ahiravana will sacrifice both Rama and Lakshman to Chandi.” Hanuman goes to Patala, the door to which is guarded by a creature, who is half Vanara and half reptile. Hanuman asks who he is and the creature says, “I am Makardhwaja, your son!” Hanuman is confused since he did not have any child, being an adept Brahmachari. The creature explains, “While you were jumping over the ocean, a drop of your semen(veeriya) fell to the ocean and into the mouth of a mighty crocodile. This is the origin of my birth.”
After defeating his son, Hanuman enters Patala and encounters Ahiravana and Mahiravana. They have a strong army and Hanuman is told by Chandrasena that the only way to vanquish them is by blowing out five different candles located in five different directions, all at the same time in return for a promise to be Lord Rama’s consort. Hanuman assumes his five-headed form (Panchmukhi Hanuman) and he quickly blows out the 5 different candles and thus kills Ahiravana and Mahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered unconscious by a spell by the demons.
The five faces with their directions are
Sri Hanuman – (Facing East)
The significance of this face is this face removes all blemishes of sin and confers purity of mind.
Narsimha – (Facing South)
The significance of this face is this face removes fear of enemies and confers victory. Narasimha is the Lion-Man avatar of Lord Vishnu, who took the form to protect his devotee Prahlad from his evil father, Hiranyakashipu.
Garuda – (Facing West)
The significance of this face is this face drives away evil spells, black magic influences, negative spirits and removes all poisonous effects in one’s body. Garuda is Lord Vishnu’s vehcile, this bird knows the secrets of death and the beyond. The Garuda Purana is a Hindu text based on this knowledge.
Varaha – (Facing North)
The significance of this face is this face wards off the troubles caused by bad influences of the planets and confers all eight types prosperity (Ashta Aishwarya). Varaha is another Lord Vishnu avatar, he took this form and dug up land.
Hayagriva – (Facing Upwards)
The significance of this face is this face confers knowledge, victory, good wife and progeny.
This form of Sri Hanuman is very popular, and is also known as Panchamukha Anjaneya and Panchamukhi Anjaneya. (Anjaneya, which means “son of Anjana”, is another name of Sri Hanuman). These faces show there is nothing in the world which does not come under any the influence of any of the five faces, symbolic of his all around security to all devotees. This also signifies vigilance and control over the five directions – north, south, east, west and the upward direction/zenith.
There are five ways of prayer, Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces depict these five forms. Lord Sri Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Rama. He also begged (yachanam) Sri Rama to bless him the undivided love.
The weapons are a parashu, a Khanda, a chakra, a dhaalam, a gada, a trishula, a kumbha, a Katar, a plate filled with blood and again a big Gada.
1. Shiva’s Trishul or Trident symbolizes the unity of 3 worlds of a human being-his inside world, the immediate world around him and the broader world, a harmony between the 3. The crescent moon on his forehead that gives him the name of Chandrashekar, dates back from the Vedic age when Rudra and Soma, the Moon God, were worshipped together. The Trishul in his hand also represents the 3 Gunas-Sattva,Rajas and Tama, while the Damaru or the drum represents the sacred sound OM from which all languages are formed.
2. Bhagiratha prayed to Lord Shiva for getting the Ganga to earth, which would flow over his ancestor’s ashes and grant them salvation. However when Ganga was descending to Earth, she was still in a playful mood. She felt she would just rush down and sweep Shiva off his feet. Sensing her intentions, Shiva, imprisoned the falling Ganga in his locks. It was again on Bhagiratha’s plea, that Shiva let Ganga flow from his hair. The name Gangadhara comes from Shiva carrying Ganga on his head.
3. Shiva is represented as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance, and there are two forms, Tandava, the fierce aspect representing destruction of universe, and Lasya, the gentler one. The demon being surpressed under Shiva’s feet is Apasmara symbolizing ignorance.
4. Shiva along with his consort Parvati is represented in the Ardhanarisvara form, which is a half male, half female icon. The concept is of the masculine energy(Purusha) and feminine energy( Prakrithi) of the universe in a synthesis. At another level, this is also used to symbolize that in a marital relationship, the wife is one half of the husband, and has an equal status. That is the reason why Shiva-Parvati are often held as examples of a perfect marriage.
5. Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love, Cupid’s equivalent albeit clothed, was burned to ash by Shiva. This was when Devas were waging a war against Tarakasur. He could only be defeated by Shiva’s son. But Shiva was busy in meditation and well, no one procreates when meditating. So Devas asked Kamadeva to pierce Shiva with his love arrows. He managed except Shiva woke up in rage. Apart from Tandava, the other thing that Shiva is known to do in anger is open his third eye. If he views anyone from his third eye, then the person is burned down. This is exactly what happened to Kamadeva.
6. Ravana was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees. Once he tried to uproot Mount Kailasa, Shiva’s abode in the Himalayas. I cannot remember the exact reason why he wanted to do so but anyway, he could not succeed in this endeavour. Shiva trapped him beneath Kailasa. To redeem himself, Ravana started singing hymns in praise of Shiva. He cut off one of his heads to make a veena and used his tendons as the instrument’s string to make music. Eventually, over many years, Shiva did forgive Ravana and freed him from under the mountain. Also, post this episode, Shiva was so moved by Ravana’s prayer that he became his favorite devotee.
7. He is known as Tripurantaka because he destroyed the 3 flying cities Tripura with Brahma driving his chariot and Vishnu propelling the warhead.
8. Shiva is a pretty liberal God. He allows everything which is otherwise considered unconventional or taboo in religion. One need not follow any set rituals to pray to him. He is not a sucker for rules and is known to grant wishes to anyone and everyone. Unlike Brahma or Vishnu who want their devotees to prove their mettle, Shiva is fairly easy to please.
Story of Arjuna and Ulupi
While on exile, (As he broke the rule of not entering any brother’s room (When that brothers with draupadi) by anyone, a solution suggested by Devarshi Narad) for 12 years, he decided to spent first few days on the GANGA GHAAT, on Ganga Ghat, he used to go bath daily deep in the water, deeper than a normal person can go, (Being son of a god, he might be having that capability), Naag Kanya Ulupi (Who was living in the ganga itself having her father’s (Adi-Shesha) RAJMAHAL there.) seen that daily for few days and fall for him (purely lust).
One fine day, she dragged arjuna inside the water, to her private chamber and ask for love, to which, arjuna declines, He says, “You are too beautiful to deny, but I am on my celibacy in this pilgrimage and can’t do that to you”, to which she argues that “celibacy of your promise is limited to Draupadi, not to anyone else”, and by such arguments, she convinces arjuna, as he was also attracted, but was bound by promise, so by bending DHARMA, according to own requirement, with the help of Ulupi’s word, he agrees to stay there for a night, and fulfills her lust (His own too).
She later restored Arjuna to the lamenting Chitrangada, Arjuna’s other wives. She played a major part in the upbringing of Arjuna and Chitrangada’s son, Babruvahana. She was also able to restore Arjuna to life after he was slain in battle by Babruvahana. When Arjuna was given a curse by the Vasus, Bhishma’s brothers, after he killed Bhishma in the Kurukshetra war, she redeemed Arjuna from the curse.
Story of Arjuna and Chitrangada
After the stay of one night with ulupi, as a result of which, IRAVAN, was born, who later dies in battle of Mahabharata on 8th day by Alambusha a-demon, Arjuna travels to west of the bank & reaches Manipur.
While he was resting in jungle, he saw Chitrangadha, daughter of king of manipur, Chitrabahana, and fall for her at the first sight as she was on hunting (Here, it is direct lust, nothing else), and asks for hand directly from her father giving his original identity. Her Father agreed only on condition that, her offspring will born and brought up in Manipur only. (In manipur it was a tradition to have one child only, and so, chitrangada was the only child of king). So that he/she can continue the kingdom. Arjuna stayed there for approx three years and after the birth of their son, BRAHUBHUVAN, he left manipur and continued his exile.
This question has bothered more and more people in ‘recent’ times, women in particular because they feel abandoning a pregnant wife makes Shri Ram a bad husband, sure they do have a valid point and hence the article.
But passing such grave judgments against any human let alone God cannot be without the totality of the Karta (Doer), Karm (Act) and Neeyat (Intention).
The Karta here is Shri Ram, the Karm here is that he abandoned Mata Sita, Neeyat is the one we would explore below. To consider the totality before passing judgments is important because killing someone (Act) becomes valid when done by a soldier (Karta) because of his Neeyat (Intention) but if done by a terrorist (Karta) the same act becomes horrendous.
So, let us explore in totality how Shri Ram chose to lead his life:
• He was the first King and God in the whole world, whose first promise to his wife was that all through his life, he would never even gaze at another woman with ill intent. Now, this is not a small thing, while many beliefs allow men of polygamy even today. Shri Ram had set this trend thousands of years ago when it was common to have more than one wife, his own father Raja Dashrath had 4 wives and I hope people do give him the credit for understanding pain of women when they have to share their husband with another woman, also the respect and love that he showed towards his wife by making this promise
• The promise was the starting point of their beautiful ‘real’ relationship and built a mutual love and respect for each other, for a woman the assurance from her Husband, a Prince that he is hers for the rest of his life is a very big thing, this might be one of the reason why Mata Sita chose to go along with Shri Ram to Vanvas (Exile), for he had become the world for her, and the comforts of the kingdom were pale in comparison to the companionship of Shri Ram
• They lived affectionately in the Vanvas (Exile) and Shri Ram tried to provide all the comforts he could to Mata Sita, he genuinely wanted her to be happy. How else would you justify God himself running like an ordinary man behind a deer to please his wife? Even then, he had asked his younger brother Lakshman to take care of her; this shows that though he was acting in love he still had the presence of mind to make sure his wife would be safe. It was Mata Sita who got worried out of genuine concern and insisted Lakshman to search for his brother and ultimately crossed the Lakshman rekha (despite having been requested not to) to be abducted by Ravan
• Shri Ram got worried and cried for the first time in his life, the man who didn’t feel an iota of remorse for leaving his own Kingdom behind, only to keep the words of his father, who was the only one in the world to not only tie Shivji’s bow but break it, was on his knees pleading like a mere mortal, because he loved. Such anguish and pain can come only of genuine love and concern for the one you are worrying about
• He then got ready to take on the most powerful person in the world in his own backyard. Supported by vanar-sena, he defeated the mighty Ravan (who by many till date is considered to be the greatest Pandit of all time, he was so powerful that the Navgrahas were totally under his control) and gifted the Lanka which he had fairly won to Vibhishan saying,
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
(Janani Janma-bhoomi-scha Swargadapi Gariyasi) Mother and Motherland are superior to heaven; this shows he was not interested in being a King only of the land
• Now, it is important to note here that once Shri Ram frees Mata Sita, he not even once questioned her “Why did you cross the Lakshman Rekha?” because he understood how much pain Mata Sita had been through in Ashok Vatika and how much faith and patience she had shown in Shri Ram when Ravan used all sorts of tricks to scare her. Shri Ram didn’t want to burden Mata Sita with guilt, he wanted to comfort her because he loved her
• Once they got back, Shri Ram became the undisputed king of Ayodhya, probably the first democratic King, who was a clear choice of the people, to set up RamRajya
• Unfortunately, like some people questions Shri Ram today, some very similar people questioned the sanctity of Mata Sita in those days. This hurt Shri Ram very deeply, especially because he believed “Na Bhitosmi Maranaadapi kevalam dushito yashah”, I fear dishonor more than death
• Now, Shri Ram had two options 1) To be called a great man and keep Mata Sita with him, but he would not be able to stop people from questioning the sanctity of Mata Sita 2) To be called a bad husband and put Mata Sita through Agnee-Pariksha but make sure that no questions would ever be raised on the sanctity of Mata Sita in future
• He chose option 2 (as we know this is not easy to do, once a person is accused of something, whether he committed that sin or not, the stigma would never leave that person), but Shri Ram managed to wipe that off Mata Sita’s character, he made sure that no one ever in future would dare to question Mata Sita, for him the honor of his wife was more important than him being called a “good husband” the honor of his wife was more important than his own honor. As we find today, there would be hardly any sane individual who would question Mata Sita’s character
• Shri Ram suffered as much as Mata Sita after the separation if not more. It would have been very easy for him to marry someone else and lead a family life; instead he chose to keep his promise to not marry again. He chose to stay away from the love of his life and his children. The sacrifices of both are exemplary, the love and respect they showed for each other is unparalleled.
Here is the third Part of our series “Ashtavinayaka: The eight abodes of Lord Ganesha” Where we will discuss the final three Ganesha which are Girijatmak , Vighneshwar and Mahaganpati . So lets start…
6) Girijatmaj (गिरिजत्मज)
It is believed that Parvati (Shiva’s wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. Girija’s (Parvati’s) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj. This temple stands amidst a cave complex of 18 caves of Buddhist origin. This temple is the 8th cave. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars. The temple hall is 53feet long, 51feet wide and 7feet in height.
The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. The temple faces south. This idol seems to be little different from the rest of the Ashtavinayak idols in a sense that it appears to be not very well designed or carved like the other idols. This idol can be worshipped by anyone. There is no electric bulb in the temple. The temple is constructed such that during the day it is always lighted up by the sun-rays!
7) Vighneshwar (विघ्नेश्वर):
The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan. However, the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic, religious acts and to answer the people’s prayers for protection, Ganesh defeated him. The story goes on to say that on being conquered, the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Ganesha then granted in his plea, but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on. In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha’s name, thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar (Vighna in Sanskrit means a sudden interruption in the ongoing work due to some unforeseen, unwarranted event or cause). The Ganesha here is called Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak.
The temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall. One can walk on the wall. The main hall of the temple is 20feet long and the inner hall is 10feet long. This idol, facing the east, has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol. The temple top is Golden and is possibly built by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese rulers of Vasai and Sashti. The temple is probably built around 1785AD.
8) Mahaganpati (महागणपति)
Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.
The idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left. It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement, having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat, however, the temple authorities deny existence of any such idol.
Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun), the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east. Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple very often and built the stone sanctum around the idol and in 1790AD Mr. Anyaba Dev was authorised to worship the idol.
Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.
Legend has it that when a sage had once sneezed he gave out a child; since being with the sage the child learnt many good stuff about lord ganesha, however had inherited many evil thoughts within; when he grew he developed in to a demon by name Tripurasura; thereafter he prayed to Lord Shiva and got three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts) of Gold, Silver and Bronze with a boon of invincibility until all the three are in linear; with the boon to his side he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods, Shiva intervened, and realized that he could not defeat the demon. It was upon hearing Narada Muni’s advice that Shiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels, bringing an end to the demon.
Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby.
A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva’s chariot to break, as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Upon realizing his act of omission, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha, and then proceeded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon.
Mahaganapati is portrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas. Peshwa Madhavrao had constructed the Garbhagriha, the sanctum to house the swayambhoo statue.
The temple faces east. It has an imposing main gate which is guarded by two statues of Jay and Vijay. The temple is designed in such away that during Dakshinayan[ the apparent movement of the sun to the south] the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity.
The deity is seated and flanked on both sides by Riddhi and Siddhi. The trunk of the deity turns to the left. There is a local belief that the real statue of Mahaganpati is hidden in some vault and this statue has ten trunks and twenty arms. But there is nothing to substantiate this belief.
Credits: To the original photos and the photographers!