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Showing posts from December 8, 2014

Banasur Vadh Story – The Death of Banasur

Story of Banasur Vadh is found in the  Mahabharata  (Sabha Parva Chapter 38) and Srimad Bhagavad Purana (Chapter X 61 – 63). Banasur was the son of pious king Mahabali (who was pushed to netherworld by  Vamana Avatar of Vishnu ). He ruled from the city of  Sonitapura . The death of Banasur is an important story in the Puranas. To become invincible, Banasur performed severe penance dedicated to Shiva. After several years, Shiva appeared before his devotee and offered him two boons. Banasur asked for thousand hands to fight his enemies as his first boon and it was granted. As his second boon, he wanted Shiva to guard the city of  Sonitapura . This boon was also granted. With such huge powers in his disposal, the demon wanted to fight with Shiva. A smiling  Mahadev  evaded Banasur by saying that he would meet his worthy foe pretty soon. Banasur had a beautiful daughter named Usha. She once had a dream of a very handsome prince and fell deeply in love with him. Even

Story of Punithavathi – Devotee Of Shiva Who Went To Kailash

Punithavathi was an ardent devotee of Shiva and legend has it that she had been to Kailash where she had darshan of Shiva and returned back home to sing His glories. Her story begins with her husband bringing two mangoes home. Punithavathi was a devout wife and her husband had instructed her to keep the mangoes for lunch. But when her husband left, a guest came home and Punithavathi was forced to serve one of the mangoes keeping with tradition that guest is like god – Aditi Devo Bhava. When her husband returned for lunch she served the one mango left. It was so delicious that he asked for other. Punithavathi was in a dilemma as she did not know how her husband will react if told she had given one of the mangoes to a guest. So she prayed to Shiva to help her. He gave her a mango, which she served to her husband. But her husband soon realized that the mango was not the one he had got. So Punithavathi had to tell him the truth. Her husband could believe that Shiva wo

On The Role of Women in Hindu Festivals, Ceremonies and Celebrations

Women play pivotal role in all Hindu festivals and celebrations. Slowly but steadily numerous women are also performing Hindu pujas and rituals. Meera S. Sashital writes about the role of women in Hindu festivals and ceremonies in an article titled ‘Women, the pivot of festivals and ceremonies’ in the Free Press Journal.  The Free Press Journal   Women and festivals have always entwined together and are inseparable. As Hindu festivals are mostly religious, women automatically merge with the religious ceremonies during festivals. They take prominent role in them and there is seldom any festival celebrated without women having taken main part in it.    From early times Indian women have enjoyed an honourable place in society and religious functions. The position of women in the Vedic Age was very high. Though in later literature and ages woman is termed ‘wicked’ and temptress’, the general Hindu view of woman has been an exalted one. She was assigned full responsibilities and free