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Showing posts from July 23, 2013

About Snakes Worn by Shiva: Serpent around Siva’s Neck

Pictures and idols of Lord Shiva depict him wearing snakes (cobra) prominently around his neck. Snake is known as ‘Nag’ or Naga and they hold a special place in Hindu religion. Snakes are worshipped in Hinduism. The snakes found on the body of Lord Shiva are considered to be his ornaments. The snake around Shiva’s neck symbolically represents the ego which ones mastered can be worn as an ornament. Coiled serpents also signify that Shiva is the master of time and energy.

Images of snakes are often depicted as coiled around the Linga (Shivling). A five-headed snake forms a canopy over the Lingam. Snakes serve Shiva as his sacred thread, necklace, bracelets, bowstring and are occasionally found on his clothes.
There are numerous symbolism attached to the snakes on Shiva. In some case, the snake around his neck symbolize the endless cycle of life and death. The other snakes found on him including in the form of girdle, armlets symbolize the eternal revolution of ages and the successive…

Story of Tataka in the Ramayana

Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Rama to destroy the demons on earth headed by Ravana. The first demon that Lord Rama killed in the epic Ramayana was Tataka or Tadaka. In fact, she is a demoness or rakshasi. Who was this Tataka? The villains in Hindu mythology too have a good past and a reason for their present villainous activities. Simiarliy, Tataka was a wife of a good ‘yaksha’ before becoming a demoness.

Sage Vishvamitra narrates the story of Tataka to Lord Ram. Tataka was the daughter of a powerful ‘yaksha’ named Suketu. (Yakshas are supernatural beings – some good some evil. ) Suketu had no sons and therefore he performed intense austerities. Pleased with him Lord Brahma appeared before him. But instead of sons, Brahma granted Suketu a daughter with the strength of thousand elephants.
Suketu did not complain and brought up his daughter Tataka like a son. She grew up into a beautiful woman and was married to Sunanda. And the couple had a son named Maricha.
After few years, S…

Story of the Birth of Kripa in Mahabharata

Kripa – Kripacharya – is one of the important persons in the Mahabharata. Story of the birth of Kripa is found in the Agni Purana. He was the son of Rishi Sharadvan and celestial nymph Janapadi. Although Sharadvan was born in the lineage of saints, he was more interested in Dhanurveda (science of archery). To show his deep interest some scriptures states that he was born with bow and arrow.
An expert archer from a young age, Sharadvan did intense penance in the forest to learn all the nuisances of archery. Keeping his bow and arrow nearby he performed Tapas to get blessings from the Trimurtis.
As the intensity of the penance of Sharadvan increased, Indra, King of Devas, felt threatened. He saw Sharadvan as a potential threat to his throne and status.
To break the penance, Indra deputed celestial nymph Janapadi. She enticed Sharadvan in numerous ways but found on success. Finally she succeeded but just for a moment – Sharadvan lost his senses for a moment but he immediately gained con…

Mahamaya Devi – About Hindu Goddess Mahamaya

Hindu Goddess Mahamaya is generally a form of Goddess Shakti – more closely associated with Goddess Durga and Goddess Kali. The Sanskrit word Maya has two important meanings – one is measurement and another is extraordinary or supernatural power and also illusion. So the term Mahamaya is an attempt by human mind to capture – unimaginable qualities of Goddess Shakti – like she is matter, she is energy, her various forms, creation, sustenance and destruction. Sadly no human word is powerful enough to capture the true form of Goddess Shakti and it can only be known through self realization.

The Devimahatyma states that Goddess Mahamaya appeared from the energy of all Gods. When she was given weapons to destroy Mahisha she became Goddess Durga.

There are temples dedicated to Goddess Mahamaya in Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, Assam... in fact in almost in all regions in India.

The form of Mahamaya worshipped varies from region to region but closely resembles one or more of the forms o…

Swami Adbhutananda on the Greatness of Holy Company

Do you know what happens to one who keeps holy company?
If one actively pursues holy company, one develops right understanding, cultivates faith, and devotion to God. Jealousy and hatred go away. Bad feelings subside due to the exchange of spiritual ideas between the devotees. Also, a noble attitude prevails. An intense desire for japa and dhyana arises as well.
Association with the holy is the means to become holy. There is a saying, ‘Holy association is like living in Kashi’.
Everyone wants to understand the result of holy company in just a day. Can that be understood in a day? Holiness accumulates little by little and becomes large; then only can people recognize and understand it.
All the Avatars have taught: ‘Associate with the holy.’ Genuine sadhus always keep themselves busy for God realization.
It is very difficult to have devotion and faith to God. Without his grace it does not happen. For that reason alone one should understand how the sadhus have obtained his grace. Obs…