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Showing posts from December 18, 2015

Story of the Lineage Raghuvamsa

Hindu God Sri Ram was born in the Raghuvamsa lineage. The dynasty is also known as Ikshvaku Vamsa. The Raghuvamsa lineage traces its origin to Surya, the Hindu sun god. An interesting story in Hindu scriptures mentions about the origin of the Raghuvamsa.

Khatvanga was one of the rulers of the solar dynasty. He had a son named Dileepa. In due course of time, Khatvanga decided it was time for him to bid adieu to the materialistic world. He installed the brilliant Dileepa as the next king.

Dileepa did not disappoint his father and made his kingdom one of the most powerful. The people were happy and content. But Dileepa was an unhappy man as he did not have a son to continue the dynasty.

Dileepa and his wife Sudakshina approached Sage Vasishta for a solution. Vasishta then went into deep meditation and found that King Dileepa had acquired a curse. Once he had ignored Kamadhenu, the divine cow.

Kamadhenu could not tolerate this ignorance as the divine cow thought when the king fails in hi…

Garudan Thookkam in Kerala and Tamil Nadu Temples – Story of Performing Garudan Thookkam

Garudan Thookkam is an important ritual performed in certain Kerala Temples dedicated to Goddess Bhagavathi. The story of performing Garudan Thookkam is associated with Goddess Bhagavathy annihilating demon Darika. The ritual is also performed in certain temples in Tamil Nadu.

Mother Goddess took a ferocious form to annihilate Demon Darika. Her anger did not subside after killing Darika. The Raudra Bhava that she took could not be pacified even by Shiva and his Ganas.

To pacify Mother Goddess and to stop the annihilation of the universe, Lord Vishnu sent his vehicle, or vahana, Garuda.

Garuda flew from Vaikunta accompanied by music. On his way, he threw fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs to make all living beings.

Finally, he reached the holy presence of the fierce Mother Goddess. With awe and respect, he offered his blood to the Goddess.

Goddess Bhagavathy accepted the blood and was pacified. She then took motherly form and granted the wishes of her devotees.

Garudan Thookkam is…

Jhamu Yatra during Maha Visuba Sankranti in Orissa

Jhamu Yatra, of fire walks, are organized in many Devi Temples in Cuttack in Orissa during Maha Visuba Sankranti which falls on April 14/15. Maha Visuba Sankranti is the Odia New Year. Important temples dedicated to Goddess Shakti in the regions attract thousands of devotees on the day.
Fire walks are performed by those devotees who observe the Jhamu Yatra. The person who performs the Brata is known as Patua or Holy Devotee. The brata is completed on the day by performing the Jhamu Yatra.
Patuas walk on burning charcoal filled in a channel as a part of their penance. It is performed to fulfil their desires. Some perform to show their gratitude to the Goddesses for having fulfilled their desires. Some do it as part of pre-ordained vows.

Story of Arundhati – Wife of Sage Vasishta

Arundhati, wife of Sage Vasishta, is famous for her chastity, piety and single-minded devotion for her husband. Due to her devoutness and faithfulness, she became a star in the sky known as Arundhati Nakshatra. Arundhati was the daughter of Kardama Prajapati and Devahuti. Mahabharata mentions that there is no one as devout and faithful as Arundhati.

There are many instances in the Puranas when Arundhati rescued people with the power of her chastity and faithfulness.

Legend has it that once there was intense drought on earth. Saptarishis who were residing in the Himalayas also were troubled by the famine created by the drought. Arundhati then performed intense Tapas and pleased Shiva and was able to bring rain on earth.

This act earned her the praise of Saptarishis and Devas.

Arundhati left her physical body on earth while performing Tapas on the banks of holy Saraswati River.

Arundhati Nakshatra is located near the Saptarishi Nakshatras. She resides near Vasishta Nakshatra.

It is a …

Dusbhuja Mandir at Narsinghgarh near Ghatshila in Jharkhand

Dusbhuja Mandir at Narsinghgarh is believed to be more than 2000 years old. It is located on National Highway 33, Jameshedpur to Bahragoda and is about 8 km from Ghatshila in Jharkhand. The black stone murti of Goddess Dusbhuja has ten arms with her holding numerous weapons.

The sanctum sanctorum of the shrine has murti of Goddess Dusbhuja flanked by Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi. Jay and Vijay are seen near her feet. Under her right foot is a lion. Under her left foot is Demon Mahishasura. The sanctum also has murtis of Shiva, Ganesha with Mooshika and Nandi.
Kal Bhairav form of Shiva is worshipped here as Kotwal Baba.
Nearby Shiva temple has numerous Shivlings and murtis which were damaged by a Muslim invader.
Navratri and Shivratri are the most important festivals observed here.

Peace is an experience that fills all aspects of our life – Mata Amritanandamayi

Prayer means humility. Peace is an experience that fills all aspects of our life when we bow down to the whole of creation with humility.
Simply transferring the world’s nuclear weapons to a museum will not in itself bring about world peace. The nuclear weapons of the mind must first be eliminated.
Our ancestors, the great saints and sages who attained the peak of human existence, have given us a lot of advice on how to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. The real question is whether we are willing to put that into practice.
The very words ‘nation’ and ‘religion’ tend to connote division and diversity. Each nation and faith has its own characteristics, ideologies and interests. The diversity may seem to create obstacles in fostering peace, happiness and prosperity in the world. Yet, in reality, it is this diversity that brings richness and beauty to the world and to human life – just as a bouquet made from a variety of flowers is more beautiful than a bouquet of flowers that are exa…