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Showing posts from June 28, 2015

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