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Rathi Maharathi - Hindu FAQs

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

  1. Rathi: A warrior capable of attacking 5,000 warriors simultaneously.
  2. Atirathi: A warrior capable of contending with 12 Rathi class warriors or 60,000
  3. Maharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Atirathi class warriors or 720,000
  4. Atimaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 12 Maharathi warriors simultaneously
  5. Mahamaharathi’s: A warrior capable of fighting 24 Atimaharathi’s simultaneously

Famous Rathis in hindu mythology are

1. Somadatta – Father of Bhurishrava

2. Shakuni – Kaurava’s maternal uncle and a master mind behind Kurukshetra war.

shakuni - Hindu FAQs
Credits: www.nynjbengali.com

3. Shishupala – Shri Krishna’s cousin

4. Vrishasena – Son of Karna

Famous Atirathis in Hindu mythology are

1. ShalyaThe fourth commander-in-chief of the Kaurava alliance

2. Kripacharya – Teacher and family priest of Kuru dynasty.

3. Yuyutsu – The only son of Dhritarashtra who survived the Kurukshetra war.

4. Drishtadyumna – Commander of the Pandava army during the Kurukshetra War

5. Ghatotkacha – Son of Bhima

6. Angada – Most feared warrior in Ramayana, He was son of Bali and Tara and nephew of Sugriva.

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

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

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

Famous Maharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Parshurama – Sixth incarnation of Lord vishnu.

2. Lord Rama – King of Ayodhya

3. Kumbhakarna -Brother of Ravana

4. Lakshmana – Brother of Lord Rama

5. Ravana – King of Lanka

6. ArjunaHe is the third of the five Pandava brothers

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

7. Lava & Kusha – Sons of lord Rama

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

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

Famous Atimaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Indrajeet – Son of Ravana

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

Famous Mahamaharathis from Hindu mythology are:

1. Lord Brahma – The creator

Brahma - The creator | Hindu FAQs
Brahma – The creator

2. Vishnu – The preserver

3. Shiva – The destroyer

Shiva the Destroyer | Hindu FAQs
Shiva the Destroyer

4. Durga – The warrior goddess

Durga - Hindu FAQs
Durga

5. Ganesha & kartikeya – Sons of Shiva and Parvati

 

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

 

Shiva idol | Maha Shivratri

Shiv Tandav stotra with english translation and its meaning.

Sanskrit:

जटाटवीगलज्जलप्रवाहपावितस्थले

गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्गतुङ्गमालिकाम् ।

डमड्डमड्डमड्डमन्निनादवड्डमर्वयं

चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् ॥१॥

English Translation:

Jatta tavi galaj jala pravaha pavita sthale

Gale valambya lambitaam bhujanga tunga malikaam |

Damadd damadd damadd daman ninaadavadd damar vayam

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

जटाकटाहसम्भ्रमभ्रमन्निलिम्पनिर्झरी_

विलोलवीचिवल्लरीविराजमानमूर्धनि ।

धगद्धगद्धगज्जलल्ललाटपट्टपावके

किशोरचन्द्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम ॥२॥

English Translation:

Jataa kattaha sambhrama bhraman nilimpa nirjhari

Vilola vichi vallarii viraajamaana murdhani |

Dhagad dhagad dhagaj jwalal lalatta patta paavake

Kishora chandra shekhare ratih pratikshanam mama ||2||

Meaning:

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

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

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

dhagad, dhagad (referring to his third eye)

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

 

Sanskrit:

धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीविलासबन्धुबन्धुर

स्फुरद्दिगन्तसन्ततिप्रमोदमानमानसे ।

कृपाकटाक्षधोरणीनिरुद्धदुर्धरापदि

क्वचिद्दिगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ॥३॥

English Translation:

Dhara dharendra nandini vilasa bandhu bandhura

Sphurad diganta santati pramodamana maanase |

Krpa kataksha dhorani niruddha durdhara apadi

Kwachid digambare mano vinodametu vastuni ||3||

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

जटाभुजङ्गपिङ्गलस्फुरत्फणामणिप्रभा

कदम्बकुङ्कुमद्रवप्रलिप्तदिग्वधूमुखे ।

मदान्धसिन्धुरस्फुरत्त्वगुत्तरीयमेदुरे

मनो विनोदमद्‍भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ॥४॥

English Translation:

Jataa bhujanga pingala sphurat phanaa mani prabha

Kadamba kungkuma drava pralipta digvadhu mukhe |

Mada andha sindhura sphurat tvag uttariya medure

Mano vinodam adbhutam bibhartu bhuta bhartari ||4||

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

सहस्रलोचनप्रभृत्यशेषलेखशेखर_

प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः ।

भुजङ्गराजमालया निबद्धजाटजूटकः

श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः ॥५॥

English Translation:

Sahasra lochana prabhrty ashesa lekha shekhara

Prasuna dhuli dhorani vidhusara anghri pittha bhuh |

Bhujanga raja maalaya nibaddha jatta juttakah

Shriyai ciraya Jaayatam chakora bandhu shekharah ||5||

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

Shiva as Nataraja

Sanskrit:

ललाटचत्वरज्वलद्धनञ्जयस्फुलिङ्गभा_

निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् ।

सुधामयूखलेखया विराजमानशेखरं

महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ॥६॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

करालभालपट्टिकाधगद्‍धगद्‍धगज्ज्वलद्_

धनञ्जयाहुतीकृतप्रचण्डपञ्चसायके ।

धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीकुचाग्रचित्रपत्रक

प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम ॥७॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

नवीनमेघमण्डली निरुद्‍धदुर्धरस्फुरत्_

कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः ।

निलिम्पनिर्झरीधरस्तनोतु कृत्तिसिन्धुरः

कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः ॥८॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

प्रफुल्लनीलपङ्कजप्रपञ्चकालिमप्रभा_

वलम्बिकण्ठकन्दलीरुचिप्रबद्धकन्धरम् ।

स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं

गजच्छिदान्धकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे ॥९॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

अखर्वसर्वमङ्गलाकलाकदम्बमञ्जरी_

रसप्रवाहमाधुरीविजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् ।

स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं

गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ॥१०॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

Sanskrit:

जयत्वदभ्रविभ्रमभ्रमद्‍भुजङ्गमश्वसद्_

विनिर्गमत्क्रमस्फुरत्करालभालहव्यवाट् ।

धिमिद्धिमिद्धिमिध्वनन्मृदङ्गतुङ्गमङ्गल_

ध्वनिक्रमप्रवर्तितप्रचण्डताण्डवः शिवः ॥११॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

दृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजङ्गमौक्तिकस्रजोर्_

गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः ।

तृणारविन्दचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः

समप्रवृत्तिकः कदा सदाशिवं भजाम्यहम् ॥१२॥

English Translation:

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

 

Sanskrit:

कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन्

विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरःस्थमञ्जलिं वहन् ।

विमुक्तलोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकः

शिवेति मन्त्रमुच्चरन्कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ॥१३॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Sanskrit:

इमं हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं

पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् ।

हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं

विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिन्तनम् ॥१४॥

English Translation:

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

 

Tallest shiva statues in the world

1. Kailashnath Mahadev Statue, Nepal. (144 Feet)

Kailashnath Mahadev Statue
Kailashnath Mahadev Statue

Kailashnath Mahadev Statue is the world’s tallest Shiva statue. It is situated in Kavrepalanchwok districts in Nepal.
The height of this statue is 144 feet (44 meters). The statue is made using copper, zinc, concrete and steel.

2. Shiva of Murudeshwar. (123 Feet)

Shiva of Murudeshwar
Shiva of Murudeshwar

Murudeshwar is another name of the Hindu god Shiva. The statue of Murudeshwar Shiva is the world’s second-tallest Shiva statue which is at Murudeshwar town in Karnataka, India. The statue is 123 feet (37 m) tall. It took about two years to build this statue and financed by businessman and philanthropist R.N. Shetty. The cost of building this statue is approximately 5 Crore Rs.

3. Mangal Mahadev statue Mauritius. (108 Feet)

Mangal Mahadev statue
Mangal Mahadev statue

Mangal Mahadev statue is situated in the district of Savanne, in Mauritius. It is the 3rd tallest Shiva statue in the world. The construction of the statue started in 2007 and inaugurated during the Maha Shivratri period of 2008. It is considered the most sacred Hindu place in Mauritius. The height of this statue is 108 feet (33 meter).

4. Shiva of the Har Ki Pauri (100 Feet)

Shiva of the Har Ki Pauri
Shiva of the Har Ki Pauri

Fourth Largest Statue of Lord Shiva is Shiva of Har ki Pauri located at the banks of river Ganga in the auspicious city of Haridwar. This beautiful statue of Shiva is a 100 feet tall (30.5 meter).

5. Shiva at Kemp Fort, Bangalore (65 feet)

Shiva at Kemp Fort
Shiva at Kemp Fort

Shiva at Kemp fort is the fifth tallest Shiva statue in the world. The 65 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva seated in Lotus position, with a backdrop of Himalayas and surrounded by a pond.

 

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

Kaal Bhairav

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

The 8 Bhairavs:

Kaal Bhairav
Kaal Bhairav


1. Sri Asithaanga Bhairav

Sri Asithaanga Bhairavar
Sri Asithaanga Bhairav

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

2. Sri Unmatha Bhairav

Sri Unmatha Bhairavar
Sri Unmatha Bhairav

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

3. Sri Bheeshana Bhairav

Sri Bheeshana Bhairavar
Sri Bheeshana Bhairav

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

4. Sri Chanda Bhairav

Sri Chanda Bhairavar
Sri Chanda Bhairav

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

5. Sri Ruru Bhairav

Sri Ruru Bhairavar
Sri Ruru Bhairav

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

6. Sri Krodha Bhairav

Sri Krodha Bhairavar
Sri Krodha Bhairav

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

7. Sri Samhaara Bhairav

Sri Samhaara Bhairavar
Sri Samhaara Bhairav

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

8. Sri Kapaala Bhairav

Sri Kapaala Bhairavar
Sri Kapaala Bhairav

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

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

 

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Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara

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.

Simplify:
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

Prakriti Vs Purusha
Prakriti Vs Purusha

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.

Further info:

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.

Nataraja defines Purusha
Nataraja defines Purusha
Lord shiva meditating defines purushastha
Lord shiva meditating defines purushastha

In Ganesha’s Idol, even the tusk can tell you that that particular idol represents purusha side or Prakriti side.

This Idol of lord Ganesh signifies Purushartha
This Idol of lord Ganesh signifies Purushartha, as the tusk is on the right hand side of the idol’s body.

Likewise Saraswati and Lakshmi shows material reality which is Prakriti

Saraswati and Lakshmi shows material reality which is Prakriti
Saraswati and Lakshmi shows material reality which is Prakriti.

Vishnu shows perfect blend of Prakriti and Purusha…

Vishnu shows perfect blend of Prakriti and Purusha
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.

Hindu Trinity, which shows Lord Brahma as Prakriti, Vishnu as master of both prakriti and Purusha and Shiva as Purusha.
Hindu 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.

Trimurti - The Hindu Trinity | Hindu FAQs

The Trimurti is a concept in Hinduism “in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer.” These three gods have been called “the Hindu triad” or the “Great Trinity”, often addressed as “Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara.”

Brahma:

Brahma - The creator | Hindu FAQs
Brahma – The creator

Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti. According to the Brahma Purana, he is the father of Manu, and from Manu all human beings are descended. In the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he is often referred to as the progenitor or great grandsire of all human beings.

Vishnu:

Vishnu the Protector
Vishnu the Protector

Vishnu is one of the three supreme deities (Trimurti) of Hinduism. He is also known as Narayana and Hari. He is conceived as “the Preserver or the Protector” within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the divinity.

Shiva or Mahesh

Shiva the Destroyer | Hindu FAQs
Shiva the Destroyer

Shiva also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”) is one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. He is “the Destroyer” or “the Transformer” among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.

Credits:
Image credits to the real artists. The hindu FAQs does not own any Images.

Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara

1. Shiva’s  Trishul or Trident symbolizes the unity of 3 worlds of a human being-his inside world, the immediate world around him and the broader world, a harmony between the 3. The crescent moon on his forehead that gives him the name of  Chandrashekar, dates back from the Vedic age when Rudra and Soma, the Moon God, were worshipped together. The Trishul in his hand also represents the 3 Gunas-Sattva,Rajas and Tama, while the Damaru or the drum represents the sacred sound OM from which all languages are formed.

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

2. Bhagiratha  prayed to Lord Shiva for getting the Ganga to earth, which would flow over his ancestor’s ashes and grant them salvation. However when Ganga was descending to Earth, she was still in a playful mood. She felt she would just rush down and sweep Shiva off his feet. Sensing her intentions, Shiva, imprisoned the falling Ganga in his locks. It  was again on Bhagiratha’s plea, that Shiva let Ganga flow from his hair. The name Gangadhara comes from Shiva carrying Ganga on his head.

Lord Shiva and Ganga
Lord Shiva and Ganga

3. Shiva is represented as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance, and there are two forms, Tandava, the fierce aspect representing destruction of  universe, and Lasya, the gentler one. The demon being surpressed under Shiva’s feet is Apasmara symbolizing ignorance.

Shiva as Nataraja
Shiva as Nataraja

4. Shiva along with his consort Parvati is represented in the Ardhanarisvara form, which is a half male, half female icon. The concept is  of  the masculine energy(Purusha)  and feminine energy( Prakrithi)  of the universe in a synthesis. At another level, this is also used to symbolize that in a marital relationship, the wife is one half of the husband, and has an equal status.  That is the reason why Shiva-Parvati are often held as examples of a perfect marriage.

Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara
Shiva and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara

5. Kamadeva, the Hindu god of love, Cupid’s equivalent albeit clothed, was burned to ash by Shiva. This was when Devas were waging a war against Tarakasur. He could only be defeated by Shiva’s son. But Shiva was busy in meditation and well, no one procreates when meditating. So Devas asked Kamadeva to pierce Shiva with his love arrows. He managed except Shiva woke up in rage. Apart from Tandava, the other thing that Shiva is known to do in anger is open his third eye. If he views anyone from his third eye, then the person is burned down. This is exactly what happened to Kamadeva.

6. Ravana was one of Shiva’s greatest devotees. Once he tried to uproot Mount Kailasa, Shiva’s abode in the Himalayas. I cannot remember the exact reason why he wanted to do so but anyway, he could not succeed in this endeavour. Shiva trapped him beneath Kailasa. To redeem himself, Ravana started singing hymns in praise of Shiva. He cut off one of his heads to make a veena and used his tendons as the instrument’s string to make music. Eventually, over many years, Shiva did forgive Ravana and freed him from under the mountain. Also, post this episode, Shiva was so moved by Ravana’s prayer that he became his favorite devotee.

Shiva and ravana
Shiva and ravana

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

Shiva as Tripurantaka
Shiva as Tripurantaka

8. Shiva is a pretty liberal God. He allows everything which is otherwise considered unconventional or taboo in religion. One need not follow any set rituals to pray to him. He is not a sucker for rules and is known to grant wishes to anyone and everyone. Unlike Brahma or Vishnu who want their devotees to prove their mettle, Shiva is fairly easy to please.

Kids dressed as Shiva on Maha Shivratri

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

shankar Mahadev | Maha Shiv Ratri
shankar Mahadev

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

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

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

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

              Also read : Most Badass Hindu Gods : Shiva

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

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

How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shiva idol | Maha Shivratri
Shiva idol

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

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

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

Credits: Photo credits to the Original Photographer.

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga

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

9) Nageshvara Jyotirlinga:

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

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

Rameswaram temple
Rameswaram temple

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

Rameshwaram temple corridor
Rameshwaram temple corridor

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

11) Trimbakeshwar Temple:

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

Trimbakeshwar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Trimbakeshwar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

12) Grishneshwar Temple:

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

Grishneshwar Temple
Grishneshwar Temple

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

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

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

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

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

Credits: Photo credits to the original photograph and their owners

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

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

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

 

 

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

Bhimashankar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Bhimashankar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

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

7) Kashi Vishwanath Temple:

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

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

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

Kashi Vishwanath - 12 Jyotirlinga
Kashi Vishwanath – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

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

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

8)Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple:

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

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple
Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple

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

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

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

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part IV

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II

Credits: Photo credits to the original photograph and their owners

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

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

1) The Somnath Temple:

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

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

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

Destruction of Somnath Temple
Destruction of Somnath Temple

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

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

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

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

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

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

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

3) Mahakaleshwar Temple :

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

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

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

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

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

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

4) Omkareshwar Temple:

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

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

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

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

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

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

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part I

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

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

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

Shivling
Shivling

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra by Adi Shankaracharya:

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

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

The twelve Jyotirlingam are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also read 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II

parashurama | Hindu FAQs

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 | Hindu FAQs
parashurama

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

Parshurama | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama

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.

Parshurama and Shiva | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama and Shiva

Vijaya Bow
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 Ramayana
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.”
—Mahabharata 7:131

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

Ekadanta
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.

Parshurama Beating back the Arabian Sea | Hindu Faqs
Parshurama Beating back the Arabian Sea

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.

Temples:
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.

Parshurama Temple, Chiplun Maharashtra | Hindu FAQs
Parshurama Temple, Chiplun Maharashtra

Credits:
Image credits to the original Artist and Photographer

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.

Narsingha Avatar | Hindu FAQs
Narsingha Avatar

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.

Narada and Pralhad | Hindu FAQs
Narada and Pralhad

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.

Narsingha Killing Hiranyakashipu | Hindu FAQs
Narsingha Killing Hiranyakashipu

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, part-bird and part-lion
Sharabha, part-bird and part-lion

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.

Ahobilam, the place where the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu and saved Prahalada. | Hindu FAQs
Ahobilam, 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

Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple | Hindu FAQs
Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple

Credits: Photo and Image Credits to the Original Artists and Uploaders

Dashavatara the 10 incarnations of Vishnu – Kurma Avatar - hindufaqs.com

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 as Kurma Avatara for Samudra Manthan | Hindu FAQs
Vishnu as Kurma Avatara for Samudra Manthan

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.

Mahadev drinking Halahala poison | Hindu FAQs
Mahadev drinking Halahala poison

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.

A great war between the gods and demons followed. Finally, Vishnu disguised as the enchanting Mohini tricked the demons and recovered the nectar.

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.

Temples:
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.

Kurma temple at Kurmai of Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh | Hindu FAQs
Kurma temple at Kurmai of Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh

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)

What is the Story Behind Kumbh Mela - hindufaqs.com

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.

kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering | Hindu FAQs
kumbh Mela, Worlds biggest peaceful gathering

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.

Brahma | Hindu FAQs
Brahma

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.

churning of ocean of milk, Samudra manthan | Hindu FAQs
churning of ocean of milk, Samudra manthan

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.

Mahadev drinking Halahala poison | Hindu FAQs
Mahadev drinking Halahala poison

Kumbh mela provides us this great opportunity to purify our soul by bathing in holy river and serving saints.

Credits: MahaKumbhaFestival.com