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Showing posts from January 25, 2007

Temples in Trivandrum, Kerala

Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram is home to some of the most popular Hindu temples in India. Thiruvananthapuram itself means ‘City of Lord Anantha.’ Some of the most important Trivandrum temples are listed below.SriPadmanabhaswamyTemple: This Dravidian style temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The idol is in the Anananthasayanam posture. The lord is in reclining position over Adi Shesha or Anantha. The temple is located in the heart of the city in East Fort. Only Hindus are allowed in the temple. Men should be in ‘mundu’ (dhoti) and should not wear anything on the upper part. Women should be in ‘sari.’ Even Churidhar is not allowed in. (It might sound strange but things are like this at this temple. Hope it changes for the good) Young girls are allowed in with Pavadai. No mobile phones or cameras are allowed inside. There is small counter in the temple premise which provides dhoti and pavadi to visitors at a fee. It also keeps your foot wears. STRICTLY AVOID IT. That counter is just…

Why do people pierce their body with hooks and lance during Thaipusam?

People piercing their body with hooks, skewers and (vel) small lances during Thaipusam at Murugan Temples is a common sight. In the beginning people only used to pierce their tongue with a small vel - this was a means to meditate by keeping silent. The vel was used to create a forceful means for Mauna Vratam - remaining silent. In the beginning it was a simple innocent offering done by Muruga Devotees.
But today in some instances, Lord Muruga devotees pull heavy chariots with hooks attached to their bodies - this is a very recent trend.
Such practices are not mentioned in Hindu Holy Scriptures. In Holy books, body is quite often mentioned as the temple in which Brahman resides. ‘Vel’ was presented to Lord Muruga by Mother Parvati to vanquish the demons and not to pierce his body. Even the stories associated with taking Kavadi has nothing to with body piercing.
But piercing cheeks and tongue with ‘vel’ is a common practice by devotees of Lord Muruga. In Malaysia, it goes a step forward…

Catholic Church with Hindu and Buddhist Symbols

You will find the statue of Christ in padmasna posture at the Jagat Jyothi Mandir, a meditation centre constructed by the Quilon Social Service Society (QSSS), on the banks of AshtamudiLake at Parimanam in Kollam District, Kerala. The statue of Christ resembles Buddha. Christ and the 12 Apostles sit on the floor and are served on banana leaves in the famous last supper painting found here. Ignatius Pereira writes in The HinduThe walls of the mandir are decorated with symbols of `pancha boothas' and the four Gospels are represented as vulture (St. John), bull (St. Luke), lion (St. Mark) and angel (St. Matthew). Symbols of all religions are painted on the roof. In fact, the mandir looks like a typical Hindu temple with a 12-foot-tall stone lamp in front.Incidentally, the Kollam diocese to which the new church belongs had adopted the Hindu symbol ‘OM’ two decades ago.

Quote for the day – Hinduism

The apparent multiplication of gods is bewildering at the first glance, but you soon discover that they are the same GOD. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification. This makes Hinduism the most tolerant religion in the world, because its one transcendent God includes all possible gods. In fact Hinduism is so elastic and so subtle that the most profound Methodist, and crudest idolater, are equally at home with it.George Bernard Shaw

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