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Showing posts from July 25, 2007

Kharchi Puja A Unique Festival in the Temple of 14 Gods and Goddesses in Tripura

During the later half of July a unique festival, called Kharchi Puja, is held at Old Agartala or urana Haveli in Tripura. The highlight of the festival is the bathing ritual of 14 deities in the ChaturdasDevataTemple. The 14 deities include most of the important deities in the Hindu pantheon. Tribals and non-tribals participate in this unique event, which is originally a Tribal puja. The festival is held annually on the eighth lunar day of the light fortnight of the month of Asadha (July) in Bengali Calendar.

Numerous stories about the worship of the fourteen deities can be found in the Rajmala - the archives of the kings of Tripura.
The deities are originally tribal and were later adapted into the Hindu fold. All the deities have names in Kok-barok, the tribal language. The deities also have unique functions in tribal folklore like one deity is creator of universe, another god of death and another goddess of weaving.
The fourteen deities worshipped here are Lord Shiva, Vishnu, Brah…

Why is Hinduism referred as Sanatana Dharma?

The terms ‘Hindu/Hinduism’ are not self-referential terms that the practitioners of the Vedic world-view chose for themselves or called themselves. One will not find the term “Hindu” used to describe the Vedic religion in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, or anywhere else in the Vedic scriptures.
The actual term that the Vedic tradition uses to refer to itself is ‘Dharma’. The word Dharma is found repeatedly throughout the entire corpus of the Vedic scriptures, from the Rig Veda to the Bhagavad Gita. 
There is almost no scripture in the entirety of Hinduism where one will not come across the word Dharma as the preeminent name of the religion in question. Sometimes the word Dharma is used by itself; at other times it is used in conjunction with other qualifying words, such as ‘Vaidika Dharma’ (Vedic Dharma), ‘Vishva Dharma’ (Global Dharma), or ‘Sanatana Dharma’ (the Eternal Dharma). The diversity of adjectival emphasis will vary in accordance with t…