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Showing posts from June, 2015


Navagunjara – A nine-part Animal in Oriya Mahabharata – Navgunjara

Navagunjara is a creature mentioned Oriya Mahabharata written by Sarala Das. It is a combination of nine different animals and it appeared before Arjuna during one of his expeditions. Navgunjara had the head of rooster or cock, neck of peacock, hump of a bull, tail of a serpent, leg of elephant, leg of tiger, leg of antelope and hands of human beings.

Arjuna’s natural reaction was to take his bow and attack the monster before it attacks him. But suddenly Arjuna noticed that Navagunjara was holding a lotus. He lowered his bow and wondered what this creature was.

He then remembered the words of Sri Krishna that human mind is limited but universe is boundless. Things that human mind might have never imagined can exist in the universe. Just because humans have not seen or heard, does not mean that it does not exist.

Arjuna then bowed Navagunjara and paid his respects. Forms of the supreme truth are countless. What we have heard, seen or imagined is just a drop.

Hakik Mala – Black Hakik Rosary

Hakik Mala or Rasary are made from black stone and is considered very powerful. The popular belief is that it helps in protecting the wearer from bad energies and also helps in attaining courage and success. Black Hakik Malas are made from Agate - an impure form of quartz which is milky or grayish banded and is used as a gemstone.
There are too many good effects attached to Hakik Mala. Some texts suggest that wearing of it helps in good fortune, overcoming of fears and helps to alleviate certain types of allergies. Some texts are of the view that it helps in reproduction related problems. Tantrics use the Mala to escape from black magic and evil eye.
The number of beads in the Mala includes 108 + 1. There are also yellow, white, green, red and white colored Hakik Malas available. The most popular is the black colored one.

Dhanvantari – About Dhanwantri the Hindu God of Medicine

Dhanvantari is the divine doctor and is the Hindu God of Medicine and is also believed to be the founder of the tradition of Ayurveda. The first reference of Dhanwantri is found the in 8th century BC Hindu scripture titled Kaushika Sutra. Origin of Dhanvantri is traced to the famous Samudramanthan episode, or churning of ocean, mentioned in the Puranas. But there are also numerous other stories associated with his origin. His birthday is observed two days before Diwali and is known as Dhanvantri Jayanti.
The most popular legend associated with Dhanvantari indicates that he came from the ocean draped in pure white with a pot containing amrita or elixir at the end of the churning of ocean. He is considered as a specialist in treating the poison from snake bite and other diseases and the Demigods (Devas) requested him to be their physician.
Srimad Bhagavad Purana indicates that Dhanwantari is the twelfth incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu.
Mahabharata suggests that He was the son of the k…

Brihaspati in the Vedas

Brihaspati is a powerful deity in the Vedas and he is mentioned in the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. In the Rig Veda he is also known as Brahmanaspati. In later times, he lost his powerful status and is now popular as one of the Navagrahas.
As per Rig Veda, Brihaspati was born from a light in the highest heaven. He drives away darkness with thunder. He is bright and pure and has seven mouths, 100 wings, seven rays and his skin tone is blue-black. He is a friend of Indra.
His weapon is bow and the string is cosmic order. His chariot is driven by red colored horses.
Some hymns in the Rig Veda equate him with Agni.
He is associated with vedic rituals and is invoked as a priest in the Yajur Veda and Brahmanas. He is also mentioned in the Atharva Veda.
He is considered as the creator of metre (the accent in a metrical foot of verse) in the Maitrayani and Vajasaneyi Samhita.
There are 11 hymns dedicated to Brihaspati in the Rig Veda. In another couple of hymns he is jointly addre…

Chinese Language Translation of Bhagavad Gita Published

Chinese Language Translation of Bhagavad Gita was published during an international Yoga conference being held in the Communist nation. This is first time that the translation of the Holy Scripture Bhagavad Gita is released publicly in China.   The Economic Times Writes Translated by Prof Wang Zhu Cheng and Ling Hai of ZhejiangUniversity in Shanghai and published by Sichuan People's Publications, the book was launched at a function attended by eminent Yoga teachers from India who had converged at Dujiangyan in southwestern Sichuan province to attend Yoga Festival.

Pooram Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Pooram Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Pooram Nakshatra born female is that they will have good communication skills. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be keen on performing charity. Other Pooram Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Will become famous in their field of activity. Will have a good strong body. Will avoid all sorts of fights and arguments. Will make lot of friends through their sweet talks. Will show interest in arts and science. Will have good and healthy children. Will attract wealth. Will be a spendthrift

Ayiliyam Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Ayiliyam Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Ayiliyam Nakshatra born female is that they will show good leadership qualities. Another important character of the birth star is that they will have deep knowledge of a subject. Other Ayiliyam Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Good communication skill. Courage to indulge in many activities. Will give prime importance to morality. Will be short tempered Might not remember people who had helped them. Will interested in unraveling secrets. Lack of mental strength. Will be proud of their strength. Will have healthy children. Will be of supportive nature.

Chandradityeshwar Mahadev – Chandradityeshwar Form of Shiva

Chandradityeshwar Mahadev is worshipped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and in Orissa. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshipped in Ujjain. This form is associated with Chandra, the moon god and Aditya, the sun god. It is also associated with Shiva defeating Demon Shambarasur.
The temple dedicated to Chandradityeshwar Mahadev is located within in the Mahakaleshwar temple complex.
The popular belief is that worshipping this form of Shiva will help in redemption of sins. People also get to live in Chandra lok or Surya lok after their death..
Chandradityeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 ShivaTemples in Ujjain and it is the 72nd temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here.



Chandradityeshwar Mahadev Story

Demon Shambarasur defeated the Devas and took over the heaven. All the devas went into hiding. Surya and Chandra also went into hiding. Surya and Chandra then performed intense austerities to please Vishnu.
Bhagvan Vishnu appeared before them and asked them to go to Ujj…

Lord Shiva as Pashupati - About Pashupati form of Shiva

Pashupati or Pashupatinath is one among the thousand and eight names of Lord Shiva and is mentioned in the Vedas. ‘Pashu’ in Sanskrit means animal and ‘pati’ means lord. Therefore Lord Shiva as Pashupati is the ‘lord of the animals.’ The most ancient representation of Pashupati is traced back to the IndusValley civilization - a seal depicting a seated horned deity surrounded by animals.

Pashupati is applied mainly to Lord Shiva as he is the guardian of cattle, important wealth during the vedic and pre-vedic period. Pashupati is also the keeper of souls. He gives life and takes life.
One of the most important Pashupati temples is the Pashupatinath temple in Nepal.
The weapon of Pashupati is the Pashupata Astra.

Benefits of Chanting Om Namah Shivaya mantra

Many devotees want to know what are the benefits of chanting Om Namah Shivaya mantra. It must be noted here that one should never start chanting a mantra by keeping benefits in mind. “Om Namah Shivaya” is a powerful mantra and it will help in a devotee attaining success and peace.
The main benefits of chanting Om Namah Shivaya mantra are:
It helps in self realization. It helps in attaining moksha or liberation. It helps in removing ignorance. Chanting the mantra and performing one’s duty to one’s true capacity will help in attaining success. The mantra is also chanted by unmarried people for early marriage. For this purpose both male and female can chant the mantra.

Shiva Mantra Siddhi

Shiva Mantra Siddhi includes peace and prosperity. The person chanting the mantra will be blessed with wealth and happiness. It is also believed that Shiva Mantra Siddhi can help a person in attaining Brahma Gyan through it a person will be blessed with self realization.
Shiva Mantra Siddhi - You should chant and meditate on this mantra for attaining siddhi.
Om Hrim Namah Shivaya

Shiva Mantra for Success

If you are venturing into any activity offer prayers first to Ganesha and then offer prayers to Shiva. The most popular Shiva mantra for success is:
Om Hrim Namah Shivaya – This is the Shiva Shakti Panchakshari Mantra and it should be chanted continuously for 43 days.
During this period performing charity and distribution of clothes among poor are highly meritorious.

Samudra Narayana Temple at Dwarka in Gujarat – Samudra Narayan Temple on the Confluence of Gomti River and Arabian Sea

Located at the farthest end of Gomti Ghat very close to the Arabian Sea, SamudraNarayanaTemple is dedicated to Vishnu. SamudraNarayanTemple at Dwarka in Gujarat is surrounded by GomtiRiver and Arabian Sea on the three sides. Some people believe that the huge sea waves that beat on the temple create the tune Srimad Narayan Hari Hari.

Five steps lead to the SamudraNarayanaTemple entrance. Near the entrance on the left side there is a small cave like room. Goddess Gomti is worshipped in the room. She sits atop a lion.
The murti of Samudra Narayan is sand colored.
Samudra Narayana means Narayana or the Lord residing in the sea.
There is also another murti of Goddess Gomti in the sanctum sanctorum. The other murtis found in the temple are that of Samudra Deva, Varuna, Mother Ashta Bhavani and Mira Bhai.
A sacred tank or kund in the temple is used for ceremonial sacrifices.
SamudraNarayanaTemple is surrounded by Panchanada Tirtha, five wells that have sweet water.
Near to this shrine is th…

Pooyam Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Pooyam Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Pooyam Nakshatra born female is that they will be short tempered. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be highly intelligent. Other Pooyam Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Will respect teachers.
Will be devotional
Will show courage to face new situations.
Keen interest in science and arts
Will be a good debater.
Will help relatives.
Good in handling wealth
Will have independent opinion.
Will be interested in dressing up.

Punirtham Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Punirtham Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Punirtham Nakshatra born female is that they will be philanthropic. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be poetic by nature. Other Punirtham Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Will be happy always – will try to put a brave face during adversity.
Will give top priority to cleanliness.
Will have respect for parents and elders.
Will have good healthy children.
Keen interest in charity and helping others.
Interest in art and music.
Will be slow in reacting to situations.
Might not make quick decisions.
Will be interested in buying new clothes.

Tiruvathira Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Thiruvathira Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Tiruvathira Nakshatra born female is that they will be fickle minded. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be of strict nature. Other Thiruvathira Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Will have long life.
Will easily find the fault of others.
Will be proud.
Will make good friends especially those in power and high positions.
Will be honored and rewarded for excellence.
Might lie purposefully
Will be talkative
Might face trouble in married life.

Though present in the present moment, we are actually living in the past or future

Some people are so engaged with the images of past or future that one finds them, in their quiet moments, talking to themselves — arguing, appreciating, contradicting, chiding or encouraging the invisible people, or the situations arising out of such interactions. They live in the company of past or future, swinging between the two. Though present in the present moment, they are actually living in the past or future.
Past, present and future, in reality, are three modes of thinking. All thinking takes place in time. We think of past, reflect over what happened, regret or feel elated, sigh at the days gone by, mull over the things that occurred. Or think of the future — imagining what will happen, visualizing ourselves in various situations or with people and objects and places, feeling happy or anxious about them. Past and future, most of our time is spent thinking about them.
What about the present moment? There is a fascinating fact about the present moment. While everything happe…

What are the offerings and pujas offered to Goddess Saraswati?

Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of art, music, literature and learning. To master any Vidya (knowledge) one needs the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. Devout Hindus perform many pujas and rituals to please Goddess Saraswati. The flower that is offered to the goddess of learning is lotus.



Panchamrut, bananas and Trimaduram are the main food items or Nivedya offered to Goddess Saraswati. Panchamrut or Panchamritham is made from bananas, dates, raisins, sugar, ghee, cardamom and sugar candy. Thrimadurama consists of banana, honey and sugar or ghee.
Saraswati Suktha Pushpanjali is a main offering performed in temples.
A popular prayer is Saraswati Vandana. Other prayers include Sharada Stuti and Saraswati Gayatri.

Trikuta Mountain and Story of the origin of City of Lanka

There are 20 mountains surrounding the four sides of Mahameru. One among them is the Trikuta. As per Puranas the city of Lanka - Ravan's abode - was built on the peak of Trikuta. Mahameru is on the Northern end of the Himalayas whereas Lanka is on the Southern side of Bharat (India). How did this happen? There is a story in Uttar Ramayana which illustrates the reason.



Once a small rift happened between Vayu Deva and Vasuki. They decided to find out who among them is the strongest. Vasuki entangled the Mahameru so that even Vayu was not able to enter the mountain. Vayu got very angry and appeared in the form of a cyclone which started to lash the whole world.
Even Mahameru started to tremble. The Devas became scared and they approached Brahma and Shiva. Together they approached Vishnu. Vishnu called both Vayu and Vasuki and ordered them to stop the fight. As a result, Vasuki straightened out one of the tangles which covered the Trikuta. Immediately, Vayu entered there and threw th…

Kuldevta in Hinduism – The Concept of Family Deity

Kuldevta, also known as Kuladevta or Kuldevi or Kuldevata, is the concept of family deity in Hinduism. This tradition is strictly followed by many Hindus but sadly, several Hindus also have lost this tradition or stopped following it. Vedic Rishis keeping in mind the future needs of people especially when people will drift away from studying of Vedas designed the concept of Kuldevta.


Vedic Rishis very well knew that in future people under the influence of Kali Yuga would not be learning Vedas. To help them overcome the difficulties of not learning Vedas, the Rishis designed beeja mantras. Chanting of the beeja mantras helped people overcome difficulties. The mantra was primarily conceived to overcome all sort of weaknesses. When weaknesses were removed people attained peace and prosperity. Further intense chanting of the Beeja mantras gave rise to mental forms. This was later given physical form by Rishis and thus we have Kuldevta deities.

The beeja mantra for a family depends on th…

Why turmeric is not offered to Shivling?

Turmeric powder, leaves and whole turmeric root is offered to various Hindu deities and is an essential part of many Hindu worship. The turmeric powder is not offered to Shiva – it is not sprinkled or poured on the Shivling. But turmeric is offered to Gauripatta or jaladhari, the base of Shivling.

The upper part of Shivling represents Shiva and he represents masculinity and therefore is not offered turmeric.
 The Gauripatta represents Goddess Parvati and is feminine and is offered Turmeric. It is offered as a cosmetic product to the Goddess.
This is not based on any scriptures but it is purely a tradition followed by people based on regional beliefs. The rule might not be applicable in all regions.
Related Why Ketaki Flower is not offered to Lord Shiva? 

Gudimallam Shivling – one of the earliest known idols of a Hindu deity

Gudimallam Shivling is a 1.5 meter high ‘lingam’ and is a rare representation of Lord Shiva. The period of construction of Gudimallam Shivling is ascribed to the 3rd - 2nd century B.C and this makes it one of the earliest known idols of a Hindu deity.

Gudimallam Lingam is the only idol in which Lord Shiva is carved completely within the Lingam. This rare ‘lingam’ has the figure of two-armed Lord Shiva standing embossed on the front of the ‘lingam’. Lord Shiva has a ram by the hind leg which is held in his right hand and in the left hand there is a vessel and an axe. The shivling stands on a crouching fish, a Meena Yaksha.
The idol is found in the Parashurameshvara temple in Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is about 25 km east of Tirupati. The temple also has shrines of Kartikeya and his consorts, Anandavali Amman, and Surya.

Subhashitas – Immortal Teachings

One who frequently ask questions, listens carefully, who always recapitulates what he has learn and makes it perfect, blooms like a lotus as the flower blooms when it comes in contact with the rays of the sun.
Where is the question of knowledge for one who is interested in pleasure? And where is the question of pleasure for a knowledge seeking student? If one wants pleasure, he must sacrifice knowledge, and if one wants knowledge, he must sacrifice pleasure.
Knowledge and money should be gained using every second and every ounce of money. Where is the gain in knowledge if one loses every second of time, and where is the question of raising money if one loses an once of that money?

One must gain knowledge and earn money thinking that he will never die or grow old. Simultaneously, one must perform righteous deeds thinking that death is holding his hair. Subhashitas 

Padmini Ekadasi – Adhika Masa Padmini Ekadashi

Padmini Ekadasi is observed during the waxing phase of moon or Shukla Paksha in the Adhika Masam or the extra month that is added to Hindu Lunar Calendar. Padmini Ekadasi 2018 date is May 25.  This Ekadasi is also known as Kamala Ekadasi and Purushottam Ekadasi.
The greatness of Adhika Maas Padmini Ekadashi was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna. It is believed that people who observe this Ekadasi reaches Vaikunta – the abode of Vishnu. It also helps in redemption of sins.
All the usual rules associated with Ekadasi fasting are observed on the day. Scriptures states that food items like rice, urad dal, chickpeas, spinach, honey etc are avoided on the day.
You may also like to read How to observe Ekadasi Fasting? Ekadasi Food – What food can be eaten during Ekadashi fasting
Padmini Ekadasi Story

The story of Kusha Grass and The Birth of Kush – the son of Sri Ram and Sita

Kusha or Durva is the name of the grass that is widely used in prayers and rituals in Hindu tradition. An interesting folktale connects Kusha grass to the birth of Kush, the son of Sri Ram and Sita. As per the folktale, after her banishment from Ayodhya, Sita gave birth to Luv at the ashram of Sage Valmiki.

One day Sita left Luv in the custody of Sage Valmiki and went into the forest to collect firewood. But when the sage left for his daily prayers, Luv wandered into the forest and followed his mother. Upon returning, Sage Valmiki on not finding the child became tense.

Valmiki searched for Luv everywhere but was unable to find him. The sage thought that some wild animals might have carried the child away. He could not even think about saying this to Sita. Therefore, he took a Kusha grass, used his divine powers, and created another Luv, who had all the qualities and characteristics of the original Luv.

Sita soon returned with Luv and was surprised to see the twin. Valmiki then explai…

Goddess Jwalamukhi – The Story of Origin of Hindu Goddess Jwalamukhi

Goddess Jwalamukhi is an incarnation of Mother Goddess Shakti. The Goddess appeared in the form of a fierce flame on earth. Legend has it that once two demons named Chand and Mund looted all the wealth of Devas. Symbolically, it suggests that the Devas lost their peace and prosperity to the two demons.

The Devas then propitiated Shiva to get back the lost treasures. Shiva was pleased by the long and intense penance performed by Devas and appeared before them. Shiva assured them that Mother Goddess would appear in the form of flame and help them.



Chand and Mund had hid all the wealth that they had stolen from Devas in a cave in a hill where the present day Jwalamukhi Temple is located in Kashmir.

Goddess Jwalamukhi then appeared on the hill, consumed the two demons, and returned the wealth to the Devas.

The Goddess then decided to reside on the hill in this form.

Goddess Jwalamukhi is popularly worshipped in the form of a yantra.

The most popular temple dedicated to Goddess Jwalamukh…

Story on the Importance of the Immersion of Mortal Remains in Ganga River

Mortal remains in Hindu tradition is the bones that that are collected from the funeral pyre. There is a popular belief that immersion of the mortal remains in the Ganga River will help in attaining Moksha. The story narrating the importance of immersing mortal remains in Ganga is mentioned in the Kashi Kanda (Chapter on Kashi) in the Skanda Purana.

There lived a man who did not lead a good life. He did not respect elders and women and committed numerous sins. Once he was travelling through a forest and there a tiger killed him.

The lieutenants of Yama, the Hindu God of Death, arrived on the scene and carried his soul to Yama. Meanwhile, the tiger ate the body of the man and vultures ate what was left. A vulture carried a piece of his bone and flew up into the sky. Another vulture tried to snatch the piece of bone.

While this was happening, Chitragupta, the keeper of records of all actions of human beings on Earth, was reading the deeds of the man to Yama. For the sins committed, h…

Flying Hanuman Idol (Murti) at Trinidad Temple

Flying Hanuman Murti is located at Todd’s RoadHinduTemple at Caparo in Trinidad and Tobago. The murti is based on the incident in the Ramayan of Hanuman carrying the mountain with the Sanjeevani Herb to save the life of Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, who was struck and rendered unconscious by the arrow of Indrajit, son of Ravana. The Flying Hanuman, which is air brushed and stands at about 12 feet tall, with a width of five feet, is portrayed holding a mountain in its left hand on an I-beam pole, which towers 20 feet above ground.


The flying Hanuman Murti was designed and executed by Sculptor Marlon Emmons for the private Hindu temple belonging to Harrinarine Persad of Harripersad & Sons Ltd.

Guardian Trinidad writes about the Flying Hanuman Murti The Flying Hanuman statue took approximately seven months to design and construct, at minimal cost, a feat Emmons believed was noteworthy, because a project of this nature would normally have taken approximately two years to…

Ramakian in Thailand – Ramakien – the Thai Version of Ramayana

Some of the important cultures in Southeast Asia are influenced by Hinduism which filtered through the region from around the first century AD onwards as a result of trade with South India. The epic of Ramayana has been one the greatest influences in the region. Almost all the countries in the Southeast Asia have a regional version of the Ramayan. In Thailand, the epic Ramayana is known as Ramakian or Ramakien.
Ramakian is the national epic of Thailand and the influence of Ramayana is deeply etched in the Thai culture and the Kings of Thailand take the title of Rama.
There are some major differences between Ramakian and the original Valmiki Ramayan.
The narrative and outline of Ramakian is similar to the original Ramayan. 
Ramakian is strongly influenced by the South Indian versions of the Ramayana especially the Kamba Ramayan. Influence of the Bengali and other Southeast Asia versions of Ramayan, especially of that in Indonesia, are seen in Ramakian.
Ravana, the demon king, who is k…

How Indra got his weapon thunderbolt or vajra?

Thunderbolt, or Vajra, is the weapon associated with Indra, the king of the Devas. There is an interesting story in the Puranas that narrates how Indra got the weapon thunderbolt. The story begins with Namuchi, the demon of darkness, removing light from earth and another demon named Vritra removing moisture from earth and thus making earth dry.

Due to the activities of Namuchi and Vritra, the earth became barren and living beings began to die.

Indra tried to subdue the demons but he failed in all his attempts as the demons had got the boon that they can only be killed by weapon that which is neither solid nor liquid.

Indra then approached Srihari Vishnu for a solution. Vishnu then collected foam from the milky ocean and made from it Vajra – a weapon that send out thunderbolts.

Indra used the weapon to annihilate Namuchi and Vritra. He then destroyed their palaces and brought back light and moisture to earth. Thus saving the living beings on earth.

Related
How Indra Lost His Pride?

Story of Demon Kabandha in the Ramayana – A Headless Rakshasa

Kabandha is a headless Demon, or Rakshasa, mentioned in the Ramayana. Kabandha had a weird shape; his mouth was in his belly. A huge eye was on his forehead, which was on his chest. He also had two enormous arms. Sri Ram and Lakshman were caught by Kabandha while they were searching for Mata Sita after she was kidnapped by Ravan.

Kabandha caught hold of Sri Ram and Lakshman in his huge arms. They could not escape from the mighty arms and finally they cut off the arms of the demon and freed themselves. Kabandha was now about to die.


Now, the demon introduced himself to Sri Ram and Lakshman. He told them that he was a Gandharva who was cursed by a sage named Sthulashiras. Before being cursed he was called Vishvavasu and was very handsome. He used to take fearful forms to scare and harass humans and saints.

During one such antics, Sage Sthulashiras cursed him. The sage told the demon that he will get back his handsome form when Sri Ram will cut off his huge arms and cremate him after h…

Chinnamastika – About Hindu Goddess Chinnamastika

Chinnamastika is believed be the incarnation of Mother Goddess or Goddess Shakti that appeared before the Devas or Gods who sought for a wife for Shiva. Hindu god Shiva led an ascetic life. He saw no sense in transitory pleasures of life. Devas realized that this would create an upheaval in the universe as there will be no creation if all the living being start to follow the path of Shiva. So they prayed to Goddess Shakti to help in solving the peculiar situation.

Goddess Shakti then appeared before the Devas as Chinnamastika. In this form, Mother Goddess was headless. She held a sword in one hand and in the other hand was her cut head. The head was drinking the blood that spurted from her cut head.

Chinnamastika is flanked by Jaya and Vijaya. In some painting it is two women that are on both the sides of the Goddess.

Mother Goddess stands over Kama (God of Love) and his consort Rati. This shows conquest of lust.

Symbolically her portrait shows that through the mastery of primal ins…

Story of the Birth of Sage Astika who stopped the Snake Sacrifice of Janamejaya in the Mahabharata

The story of the birth of Sage Astika is found in the Mahabharata and several Puranas. It was Sage Astika who stopped the snake sacrifice conducted by King Janamejaya to avenge the death of King Parikshit.
Legend has it that Kadru, mother of Nagas, once hatched a devious plan to entrap Vinita, the mother of Garuda, and make her a slave. Some of the nagas headed by Vasuki objected to the plan and did not participate in it.
Kadru cursed all those nagas who disobeyed her to fall into Janamejaya’s yajna fire.
The cursed nagas took the help of Brahma.
Brahma told the nagas that Vasuki has a sister named Jaratkaru and she should be given in marriage to a Sage of same name and a son born of the union will rescue the nagas. The nagas went to Sage Jaratkaru who agreed to marry Vasuki’s sister.
The sage put a condition that if she disobeys him then he will abandon her.
The couple led a happy life for several years.
One afternoon, the sage felt very sleepy and decided to take a nap.
He asked …

Vedanta Sutra pdf – Vedanta Sutra with English Meaning

Vedanta Sutra is an important Vedantic Text. Commentaries of Vedanta Sutra written by Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya are equally famous. Another popular commentary is that of Abhinavagupta. Here is Vedanta Sutra in pdf in English with meaning. The text in pdf format is provided by Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan.
Link - Vedanta Sutra Pdf 

Aryabhatiya in Sanskrit – Read Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata in Sanskrit

Aryabhatiya, a manual of astronomy, is the classic text composed by Aryabhata. The text is Sanskrit with the commentary Bhatadipika of Paramadievara. Aryabhatiya in Sanskrit is provided by Sri Sathya Sai Veda Pratishtan. There is an option to download too but the text is not in pdf format. You must also not confuse the text to in Hindi pdf.
Link -  you can read and download Aryabhatiya in Sanskrit here

Vedvyas Shiva Pitha at Rourkela in Orissa – Veda Vyasa Wrote Mahabharata Here

Vedvyas Shiva Pitha is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva at Rourkela in Orissa. The popular belief is that Veda Vyasa Wrote Mahabharata in a cave located here.
Vedvyas Shiva Pitha is located on the bank of confluence of three rivers Brahmani, Koel and Sankha. A dip or bath performed at confluence helps in redemption of sins.
Hundreds of devotees visit this sacred place daily and the number of devotees swell into thousands during Shivaratri and Shravan mela.
The management is planning to construct a hanging bridge over the BrahmaniRiver to connect Rourkela city to the temple.
The place is located around 15 km from Rourkela.

Makayiram Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Makayiram Birth Star Born Female Character

One of the most important characteristics of Makayiram Nakshatram born female is that they will be energetic and enthusiastic. Another important character of the birth star is that they will have constant mood swings and change in opinions. Other Makayiram Nakshatra Female Characteristics are given below:
Will be beautiful with good figure.

Will be smart in handling money and wealth.
Will talk sweetly.
Will win over people easily.
Will be of peaceful nature.
Will follow rules and regulations.
Will have good and healthy children.
Might commit mistakes knowingly.
Will make lot of enemies.
Will like to travel a lot.

Krittika Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Krittika Birth Star Born Female Character

The most important characteristics of Krittika Nakshatra born Female is that they will be truthful. They will have good health and will be beautiful. Another important character is that is that they will be intelligent and keen in studies. Other Krittika Nakshatra Female Characteristics are:
Will be good in cooking.
They will win the praise of others.
Loveable nature.
Good strength.
Some of will have short temper.
Might not be keen in following rules and regulations.
They will stay away from siblings due to misunderstandings.
Will be unduly worried about the future of children.
Might not be thankful.

Ashwathy Nakshatra Female Characteristics – Ashwathy Birth Star Born Female Character

Ashwathy Nakshatra is the first birth star or Nakshatra in Hindu astrology. Below are the important Ashwathy Nakshatra female characteristics. Females born in the birth star will have good character. They will be very intelligent.
Will show good courage in the face of difficulties.
Will get the respect of family members.
Will have a kind heart and loving mind.
Will be beautiful and will bring luck.
Women will also be blessed with good and healthy children.
The Nakshatra born people will give importance to cleanliness.
Will be alert and will show good capability in handling various kind of matters.
The birth star born people will prefer liquid food.
The Ashwini Nakshatra born people might get offended easily. Some will have uncontrollable anger.
Will  not like unwanted advices and too much control.

Image of Hindu God Vishnu - Symbols and Details in Paintings of Vishnu

The image of Hindu God Vishnu is known as Sri Vigraha. Lord is exceptionally handsome with faultless features and a smiling and caring facial expression. He has deep blue skin and has four hands and carries the Shankha (conch), Chakra (discus), Gada (mace) and Padma (lotus). Depicted like a Maharaja, he wears gold ornaments like earrings, bracelets, necklaces and a striking crown.

In majority of the images, Vishnu is flanked by Goddess Lakshmi and occasionally by Bhu Devi or Bhumi (earth goddess).

The conch shell used by Vishnu is the Panchajanaya and he blows it before entering into battle with demons. The discus is known as the Sudarshana Chakra and is the weapon identified with Vishnu. The mace is known as Kaumodaki. Most images depict Vishnu carrying a single lotus (Padma) but in some pictures he is shown as wearing a garland of lotus.

In highly detailed drawings, on Vishnu’s breast he has a peculiar mark known as ‘Srivatsa.’ It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi resides here. O…

Mani Dvipa – Home of Mother Goddess Shakti - Manidvipa

Mani Dvipa is an island that exists in an unknown place. It is the abode of Mother Shakti – the primordial Devi in whom all living and nonliving rises and falls. Information about Manidvipa is found in the Devi Bhagavatam. The location of the jeweled island is described as follows:
Above Brahmaloka is Sarvaloka, according to shruti. Tha indeed is Mani Dvipa, where shines the Devi. Because it is above all (sarva), it is called Sarvaloka. (Devi Bhagavad Purna XII. 10. 1 – 2).
Mani Dvipa has a terrestrial counterpart or manifestation in the world. It is the VindhyavasiniTemple in Vindhyachal.
The island is home to all kinds of trees, fruits, flowers, birds and animals.
In Mani Dvipa on a splendid pavilion one can find the mystic throne Sivaakara. The four legs of the throne are Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Dharma.Mother Goddess Shakti reclines on this throne.
Mani Dvipa is not in this world. It is not in this universe. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva crosses numerous worlds, sees numerous Brahmas,…

Why Hindu Holy Men and Saints Are Buried and Not Cremated?

The traditional practice in Hinduism is to cremate the body of a dead person. But the dead body of holy men, saints and children below the age of three are buried. In many Hindu communities, the body of a holy person is buried in the Padmasana Posture (Lotus Position). Arnab Mitra writes about this aspect in Hindu Religion in Hindustan Times Hindus generally cremate their dead. But there are exceptions: the dead bodies of saints, holy men and children are buried. These practices are based on two related and fundamental tenets of Hinduism — the belief in the transmigration of the soul and reincarnation.  The Gita says: “Just as old clothes are cast off and new one worn, the soul leaves the body after death and enters a new one.” Hindus believe that burning the body, and, hence, destroying it, helps the departed soul get over any residual attachment it may have developed for the deceased person. Holy men and saints, however, are buried in the lotus position (padmasan) as they are beli…

Photography Contest on Godavari Pushkaram

Photography Contest on Godavari Pushkaram is conducted by Global Hindu Heritage Foundation and Savetemples.org. The photographs for the contest should be effectively manifesting on the Glory of Godavari River, Activities of Devotees at temples and Pushkar Ghats at the bank of GodavariRiver.
Each photographer can send 10 pictures with his bio-data, e-mail id, phone no. and duly filled application form (available at http://www.savetemples.org) along with undertaking. Entries should reach us on or before 5th August, 2015 along with Application, Undertaking, DVD and Your ID Proof. Winner’s prizes are awarded as follows: 1st Prize:  Rs.50, 000/-
2nd Prize: Rs.30, 000/-
3rd Prize: Rs.25, 000/-
and
10 consolation prizes each Rs.5, 000/- with citations

You can find more details here at Save Temples.

Revati Nakshatra Male Characteristics – Revathi Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Revati Nakshatra born Male is that they will be patriotic. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be handsome. Other Revathi Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will have a very good behavior. Will have love and kindness towards family members Will be interested in sex related matters. Will always show competitive spirit in all matters. Will have a strong and unchanging mind. Will be interested in doing welfare related activities. Will have a happy and peaceful life. Will have high moral standards. Will have lot of good relatives.

Uttarabhadrapada Nakshatra Male Characteristics – Uttarabhadra Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Uttarabhadrapada Nakshatra born Male is that they will be truthful. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be kind and patient. Other Uttarabhadra Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will have good communication skills Will enjoy various pleasure of life. Will behave in humble and kind manner with others. Will do charity. Will be of helpful nature. Will show keen interest in health. Will be keen in amassing wealth. But will not be so keen in spending money. Will gather deep knowledge of subject in which they have interest. Will get love and respect of spouse.

Purvabhadrapada Nakshatra Male Characteristics – Purvabhadra Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Purvabhadrapada Nakshatra born Male is that they will be optimistic. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be spiritual. Other Purvabhadra Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will never stay in a single place. It will be difficult to understand the character of the person born in this Nakshatra. Will get government jobs Will have a peaceful mind Will be keen on neatness Will be strict on punctuality and on doing job on time. Will have a long life. Will be rich. Will uphold human values and dignity.

Urvashi Island on Brahmaputra River in Assam – Hindu God Sculptures Are Revealed When the River Recedes

When the Brahmaputra River recedes after rainy season at Guwahati in Assam, the island of Urvasi reappears and reveals rock-cut Hindu God Sculptures which includes a panel with ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, sculptures of Lord Shiva and Ganesha and on a lone rock overlooking the river is a female form that some historians describe as that of Urvashi, the celestial nymph in Hindu Puranas.

The sculptures are only visible during the dry period. The small island north of the CJM court in Guwahati does have one feature that stands out tall through out the year – a pillar made of brick and mortar. Assam Tribune Writes about this unique Urvasi Island which emerges from underwater for a short period with Hindu sculptures  According to the Kalika Purana, Urvasi, the celestial nymph was called upon to pay obeisance to the Goddess Kamakhya. The sculpture, however, does not face the Nilachal hill where the Kamakhya temple is located; instead it looks out northward.

According to archaeologist D…

Story of Lord Ayyappa and Poonkodi

Ayyappa was concerned about the recapturing of Sabarimala which had fallen in the hands of Maravas. For mustering strength, he joined the camp of a famous warrior Mooppil to learn Ezhappayittu. Mooppil had a beautiful daughter named Poonkodi.
Poonkodi fell in love with Ayyappa. Poonkodi did not aspire for physical love. She only wanted to be a partner in the spiritual quest and to help in capturing Sabarimala. Ayyappa agreed to her wishes.
Mooppil who learned about his daughter’s love interest asked his forces to help Ayyappa in his mission to recapture Sabarimala from the Maravas.
Ayyappa forgot about the promises made to Poonkodi as he was busy finding friends to fight the Maravas.
Ayyappa soon defeated the Maravas.
But he did not return to fulfill the promise made to Poonkodi. She then reached the spot where Ayyappa was meditating.
Poonkodi found an Ayyappa who had turned unworldly and had taken to deep meditation. As she sought only spiritual partnership, he asked Poonkodi to go…

Shatabhisha Male Characteristics – Shatataraka or Sadhayam Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Shatabhisha Nakshatra born Male is that they will have independent thinking. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be hard working. Other Shatataraka or Sadhayam Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will be loved by all
Will have leadership qualities. Will face difficulties in the initial phase of life Will be a spendthrift. Will not be kind. Will be always looking for shortcuts. Will even win over enemies through love. Will not be keen towards food. Will change with changing times. Will be adventurous

Dhanishta Male Characteristics – Sravishta Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Dhanishta Nakshatra born Male is that they will fulfill their desires. Another important character of the birth star is that they will be keen in science but equally religious. Other Sravishta Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will have good leadership qualities Happy to stay away from home. Will be interested in music and other arts. Will be wealthy Will have good habits. Will have lots of desires. Will have shot temper. Will have a happy life. Will not hesitate from lying. Will be flexible in many matters.

Shravan Nakshatra Male Characteristics – Sravana Birth Star Born Male Character

One of the most important characteristics of Shravan Nakshatra born Male is that they will be truthful and will have good patience. Another important character of the birth star is that they will only take a decision after giving proper thought. Other Sravana Nakshatra Male Characteristics are given below:
Will have good knowledge of science Will be come famous. Might not show enough courage in new ventures. Will have lot enemies. Will stay away from home. Will marry as per desire. Will have good earning but there will be lot of spending too. Will be spiritual. Will get married quickly. Might face eye related health issues. Will garner respect from friends and colleagues.

People with determination will achieve whatever they aim – Thirukural

The four qualities wanted in a leader – courage, liberality, knowledge and energy.
Alertness, learning and quickness of decision are essential for a leader.
Men of spirit do not lose their heart when they meet with defeat – like the elephant plants its legs only more firmly when it is hit by the deep piercing arrow.
Procrastination, forgetfulness, sloth and sleep – these four are the cosy pleasure boats of those that are fated to perish.
People with determination will achieve whatever they aim in the manner they aim.
Thirukural

Padmini Ekadasi Vrat Katha – The Story of Adhik Masa Padmini Ekadashi

The Ekadasi fasting named Padmini Ekadashi happens only when there is an Adhika Masa or Extra month in a Hindu Lunar Calendar. There is an interesting associated with Padmini Ekadasi. This Katha was narrated by Pulastya Muni to Sage Narada.
In the Treta Yuga there lived a King named Krtavirya. He was a very powerful and famous king. But the king had no son to inherit the kingdom and the King was worried about the future of his people after his death. So he decided to go to forest and do tapas and other austerities to please Lord Vishnu.


Krtavirya’s wife, Padmini, came to know about her husbands intentions and decided to go along with him. The king made an ashram near Sage Atri and started performing austerities but he was not able to please Lord Vishnu. A worried Padmini then consulted Sage Atri’s wife Anasuya. She advised her to observe two ekadasis falling in the Adhika Masa.
Krtavirya and Padmini then observed the two Ekadasis falling in Adhika Masa. Soon Lord Vishnu appeared be…