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Showing posts from June, 2016

Story of Bahinabai – A Great Devotee of Vitthal and Sant Tukaram in Maharashtra

Bahina Bai (1628 – 1700) was a great devotee of Lord Vitthal and disciple of Sant Tukaram. Her devotion was the cause of great conflict and suffering in the early years of her marriage. Story of Bahinabai is one of suffering for the devotion of god. She is counted among one of the great Bhakti saints in Maharashtra. Bahina Bai’s husband was jealous and he disapproved of her devotion to Sant Tukaram. One day he beat her mercilessly. The cow and calf that had been gifted to the family moaned and refused to eat. The cow and calf were devoted to Bahina and took food only from her. Some days later the calf died, and Bahina was so distressed that she was in coma for eight days. Later she had a vision of Sant Tukaram who blessed her and with a mantra. She became famous and attracted devotees. Her husband became distressed all the more and decided to leave home and undertake sanyasa. But he fell ill. Unable to endure the pain, he prayed to Sant Tukaram. An elderly person app

Vijaysanar Perumal Temple at Natham in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu – Second Nava Tirupati Temple Associated with Chandra or Moon

Natham Vishnu Temple, also known as Vijaysanar Perumal Temple or Varagunamangai, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located at Natham in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the Nava Tirupati Temples and one among 108 Divya Desams. This is the second Nava Tirupathi Temple and is associated with Moon (Navagraha Chandra). Natham Vishnu Temple is around 1 km from Srivaikuntam. There is no separate Navgraha Chandra Murti in the temple. The main deity represents the Navgraha. The main murti of Vishnu worshiped in the temple faces east and is in sitting posture with one leg folded and the other feet on the ground. Adi Sesha forms a canopy over the head of Lord Vishnu. Moolavar is known as Vijayasanar or Paramapatha Nathan. Urchavar is known as Emmidar Kadivan. Consorts of Vishnu worshiped here are Varagunavalli and Varagunamangai The sacred temple pond is known as Agni Tirtha and Deva Pushkarini. The shrine is noted for its carved pillars and sculptures. There is also

Swami Tejomayananda Thoughts – Sayings – Wisdom and Advice

A collection of thoughts, saying and wisdom and advice of Swami Tejomayananda of Chinmaya Mission. First we must understand that we are born in this world and we have to live our own life. It is not possible to live the life of another person. This is a simple statement with far reaching implications. Primarily we must take responsibility for our life and secondly learn to mind our own business. Generally we do not hold ourselves accountable for the sorrows of our life. We shift blame onto somebody, some place or event since it is much easier to pin the cause of our unhappiness on something other than ourselves. We spend our time wanting to, and trying to change the people we encounter in life and also the world itself! However our best intentions and efforts do not meet with much success, because we are unable to change anyone. If we understand this one simple point, we will not longer need to meddle in the affairs of others. We can then concentrate on the work of chang

Kallapiran Temple at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu – First Nava Tirupati Temple Associated with Surya or Sun

Kallapiran Temple, also known as Sri Vaikuntanatha Swamy temple, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is located at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. It is one of the Nava Tirupati Temples and one among 108 Divya Desams. This is the first Nava Tirupathi Temple and is associated with Sun (Navagraha Surya). Srivaikuntam Kallapiran Temple is around 40 km from Thoothukudi. There is no separate Navgraha Murti in the temple. The main deity represents the Navgraha. The main murti of Vishnu worshipped in the temple faces east and is in standing posture with Adi Sesha forming a canopy over His head. Moolavar is known as Sri Vaikuntanatha Swamy. Urchavar is known as Sri Kallapiran. Consorts of Vishnu worshipped here are Vaikuntanayaki and Chornathanayaki. The sacred temple pond is known as Bhrigu Tirtha. The shrine is noted for its carved pillars and sculptures of Yalis and animals. There is also a nine tier rajagopuram. Sun rays Fall on the Murti in Chithirai On

Mokshapuri in Hinduism

Mokshapuri in Hinduism is a sacred place that secures moksha or liberation to a devotee. Mokshapuri cities are Ayodhya, Mathura, Maya (Haridwar), Varanasi, Kanchi, Avantika and Dwaraka. It is believed that visit to each of the holy city will help a devotee to escape from the cycle of births and deaths. Ayodhya is holy because it is the birthplace of Bhagavan Sri Ram. Mathura is the birthplace of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Haridwar is the sacred place, which is associated with Ganga entering the plain. It is also the gateway to holy places in the Himalayas. Varanasi is associated with Lord Shiva. Kanchi or Kanchipuram is associated with both Shiva and Vishnu. Avantika or Ujjain houses the famous Mahakala Temple. Dwaraka is the place associated with Lord Krishna.

Neither happiness nor unhappiness can last forever – Vanamali

Boundless joy can never be got from a changing world. All material pleasures have to end at some time or other because duality is the nature of the world. Neither happiness nor unhappiness can last forever. We are always hankering for joy which lasts forever, not realizing that by the very nature of the world this is totally impossible. The stage on which we are playing the drama of our life is the atman which is pure existence, pure consciousness and bliss. The only way to recapture the original state of bliss is to renew our relationship with that universal consciousness or Brahman which exists in us as the atman. This is Self Realization – when we recognize the real ‘I.’ This realization alone can give us boundless joy. – Mataji Vanamali Explanation to above verse All material pleasures have to end at some time or other because duality is the nature of the world. This teaching reflects the core philosophy of Hinduism, which emphasizes the transient nature of material

Markandeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Markandeshwar Form of Shiva – 36th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Markandeshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that those worshipping Markandeshwar form of Shiva will get healthy and intelligent children. The temple dedicated to Markandeshwar Mahadev is located behind the Ram Janardan temple complex. This form of Shiva is associated with Rishi Markandeya and devotee Mukand. Markandeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 36th temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here. Story of Markandeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Mukand was an ardent devotee of Shiva. But he did not have any children. To overcome this, he performed intense austerities in the Himalayas. Pleased with his devotion, Shiva asked him to offer prayers to a Shivling located north of Pattaneshwar in Mahakaal Van (present day Ujjain). Mukand went to Ujjain and performed austerities at the Shivling. Shiva and Parvati appeared fr

Bhuta Shuddhi in Tantric Worship

Bhuta Shuddhi is an important part of tantric worship and is performed before the worship of a deity in Tantrism. The human body is made of five bhutas or elements – earth, water, fire, air and vaccum or ether. By purifying the five bhutas a tantric aspirant transforms his body into a divine form. The aspirant does this ritual so that the body can be fit to be an abode of the deity. Primarily the body is cleansed so that it can be fit for the deity to enter it and reside in it. Bhuta Shuddhi is attained by smearing body with ash, sprinkling it with water, reciting mantras and through breath control or pranayama. It is one among the eight external steps in Tantra. It is known as Bahya Upasana. 

Goddess Binikei – Information about Maa Binikia

Goddess Binikei, also referred as Maa Binikia, is a manifestation of Mother Goddess and is worshipped mainly in Odisha. She is also a tantric deity. The main temple dedicated to the Goddess is located at Binikei in Angul District in Orissa and is known as Binikei Pitha. Goddess Binikei is fierce goddess. She is seen as standing on a man. She also holds the body of another man. Thus the murti symbolizes destruction of evil and protection of devotees. She removes darkness caused by people practicing Adharma. She upholds righteousness by protecting those who practice Dharma. She is worshipped for peace, prosperity, protection, healthy children, early cure of diseases and for victory over enemies.

Why Is Banana Plant Erected At The Entrance Of The Venue Of Hindu Marriage?

In a Hindu wedding, especially in South India, at the entrance of the marriage venue a full-grown banana with their peduncles (stalk bearing banana fruit and flower) is erected. Ever wondered why it is erected? It is erected because Banana plant symbolizes female beauty, fertility and prosperity. A single banana plant produces dozens of young ones. Thus, the plant symbolically represents fertility and prosperity. Banana is also considered highly auspicious, as it is one fruit that is offered to all Hindu deities on all days.

Sundararaja Perumal – About God Soundararaja Perumal

Sundararaja Perumal is a form of Lord Vishnu and is worshipped in Vaishnava Temples in Tamil Nadu. As Soundararaja Perumal, Lord Vishnu is the handsome groom. Usually in this form, he marries Goddess Lakshmi, Bhudevi, Sridevi, or Andal. Perumal simply means ‘god’. Sundaraja means the most handsome. The divine beauty of Vishnu in this form is beyond comparison. In Sundararaja Perumal temples, the most important festival is the wedding of Lord Vishnu with his consort. The murti of Sundararaja Perumal is usually four armed. He is kind and benevolent. Two hands will be blessing posture. The other two hands usually hold conch, lotus or chakra.

Hutashana Yog in Hindu Astrology - Hutashani Tithi

Hutashana Yog in Hindu astrology is considered bad. Auspicious activities are avoided in this yog. The yoga is the result of a combination of certain days and tithi. Following are the Hutasahan Yog Tithis Monday – Sashti (sixth day of fortnight) Tuesday – Saptami (seventh day of a fortnight) Wednesday – Ashtami (eighth day of a fortnight) Thursday – Navami (ninth day of a fortnight) Friday – Dasami (tenth day of a fortnight) Saturday – Ekadasi (ninth day of a fortnight) Sunday – Dwadashi (12 th day of fortnight) All forms of travels should be discarded when Hutashana Yog is present.

Rohini Nakshatra – Information – Importance of Rohini Birth Star

Rohini Nakshatra is the fourth birth star in Hindu astrology. The importance of birth star stems from the fact that Sri Krishna was born under this star in the month of Shravan. The star has a longitude of 40 degrees and 01 seconds to 53 degrees and 20 seconds and it has the shape of a car. The nakshatra is entirely in Vrishabha Rashi. The presiding deity of Rohini Nakshatram is Brahma. The ruling planet of the birth star is moon. A person born under this star will begin his life with a moon period. Rohini is known as upward looking star and is considered good for planting. Rohini is auspicious for naming, commencement of learning, thread ceremony, marriage and other auspicious functions. Rohini Nakshatra is considered not good for entering a house for dwelling purpose. Generally, a person born under this star will be handsome, capable, rich, clever and religious. The person might suffer from eye diseases. There is also a belief among some communities that this star

Shiveshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Shiveshwar Form of Shiva – 37th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Shiveshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that those worshipping Shiveshwar form of Shiva will help in getting redemption and attaining moksha. The temple dedicated to Shiveshwar Mahadev is located in the Ram Janardan temple complex. This form of Shiva is associated with King Ripujaya. Shiveshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 37th temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here. Story of Shiveshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain There once lived a good king named Ripujaya. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. But he neglected Shiva. One day Shiva asked a Gana to go to Ujjain and perform prayers to a Shivling there. The Gana there went in the form of a priest and started worshipping the Shivling. People began going to the priest as they god their problems solved. Childless couples were blessed with children, desires were fulfilled

Baba Kapileshwar Mandir at Pandra Village near Nirsa in Dhanbad, Jharkhand – Nirsa Shiva Temple

Baba Kapileshwar Mandir is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva at Pandra Village near Nirsa in Dhanbad, Jharkhand. The temple is around 30 km from Dhanbad. It is believed that Pandavas visit the place during their exile period in the Mahabharata. The popular belief is that Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas, installed the Shivling worshipped in the shrine. Other murtis in the temple include that of Goddess Parvati, Baba Baneshwar, Baba Bhuvaneshwar, Tarkeshwar and Manikeshwar. It is believed that the various murtis worshiped in the temple were installed by Kunti, Draupadi and the Pandavas. The most important festival at Baba Kapileshwar Mandir is Shivratri. On the day, Bharat, or wedding procession, of Shiva goes nearby Kalinger Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. For wish fulfillment, devotees observe complete fasting and end it only when they sense approval of the deity.

Story Of Apsara Rambha And Ravana

Rambha is one of the most beautiful divine apsaras (damsels) in the court of Indra. There are numerous stories associated with Apsara Rambha. As per a story in the Ramayana, Rambha was the reason for a curse on Ravana due to which he could not touch Mata Sita. Rambha was betrothed to Nalakubera, son of Vaishravana (Kuber). Vaishravana was the brother of demon king Ravana. One day Rambha was on her way to meet Nalakubera. Ravana happened to see her and tried to lure her into satisfying his lust. She told him that she was going to Nalakubera, who was son of his brother and this made her his daughter-in-law. Ravana was not ready to listen to Rambha and forcefully violated her. A dishonored, Rambha went to Nalakubera and told him about Ravana violating her. Nalakubera cursed Ravana that he would die if he sought to violate the chastity of another woman against her will.

Abar Mata – Information About Hindu Goddess Ma Abar

Goddess Abar Mata, also referred as Ma Abar, is a manifestation of Mother Goddess and is worshipped mainly in certain parts of Madhya Pradesh. She is a village deity. The main temples dedicated to the Goddess are located in Chhatarpur  and neighboring districts in Madhya pradesh. Goddess Abar Mata is a fierce form of Goddess Shakti. The murti of Goddess has four or eight arms. She depicts the characteristics of Durga, Kali and Chamunda. She rides on her vehicle which is a tiger or lion. She is worshipped for peace, prosperity, protection, good agriculture, healthy children, early cure of diseases and for victory over enemies. Abar Mata removes darkness caused by Adharma. She upholds righteousness by protecting those who practice Dharma.

Aswathy Nakshatra in Tamil

Aswathy is the first birth star among 27 Nakshatram in Hindu Jyothisha or astrology. In Tamil  Jyothisham, Aswathy occurs is Mesha Rashi. Aswathy Nakshatra is known as Ashwini in Tamil. The term Aswathy or Ashwathy is used in Malayalm. In most regions, the Nakshatra is known as Ashwini. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Nakshatra is also known as Ashwini.

Aswathy Nakshatra Tree – Which is the tree associated with Ashwathy birth star Born People in Malayalam?

There are trees associated with each 27 nakshatrams or birth stars. Aswathy Nakshatra also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each nakshatra should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Ashwathy Nakshatra Born People is strychnine tree or snake wood. In Malayalam it is known as Chamram or Kanjiram. Strychnine tree is the English name and the scientific name is strychnos nux-vomica. The Hindi name of the Aswathy Nakshatra Tree is Kuchala The Telugu name is Mushidi The Malayalam name is Chamram or Kanjiram Tamil Name is Etti or Kagodi Kannada name is Hemmushti or Ittangi In Marathi it is known as Kajra. Bengali name is Kuchila  Aswathy Nakshatra born people should plant the Strychnine tree. Water it. They should also protect the tree.

Gopal Mandir in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh – About Ujjain Gopal Temple

Gopal Mandir is located in the middle of the big market square in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. Bayajibai Shinde, the queen of Maharajah Daulat Rao Shinde, constructed the Gopal Temple in 1833 AD. The shrine is dedicated to the Gopal Krishna form of Hindu God Krishna. The main murti of Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the sanctum sanctorum is two feet tall and is made out of silver.  The garbha griha, or sanctum sanctorum, is inlaid with marble. Consorts of Sri Krishna are worshipped here. Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Garuda are also worshipped in the temple complex. There is also a murti of Maharani Baija Bai in the mandir. Gopal Mandir is a beautiful example of Maratha architecture. Surrounded by high walls, the shrine has a lofty and ornate gateway with bangaldar roof. The silver-plated doors of the inner sanctum of Gopal Temple originally belonged to Somnath Temple in Gujarat. Mahmud of Ghazni vandalized and looted Somnath Mandir in 1026 AD and took the silver doors to Afghanist

How Jackfruit Came to Have Spikes? Story from Mahabharata

An interesting story as to how jackfruits came to have spikes is found in the Mahabharata. The folktale begins with Bhima pretending to have fever. He requested Draupadi to massage his legs. Bhima then took large jackfruits and covered it with clothes. Draupadi massaged the jackfruits thinking it to be the firm limbs of Bhima. When Draupadi saw the other Pandavas laughing, she removed the clothes and discovered the jackfruits. An embarrassed Draupadi in anger cursed the jackfruits to have spikes. Thus, jackfruits were no longer smooth.

Thakurani Yatra at Ganjam District in Orissa – Visit of Budhi Thakurani

Thakurani Yatra is annually held in Ganjam District in Orissa. It is the visit of Goddess Budhi Thakurani to Berhampur and Chatrapur. Thakurani Yatra is held once in two years at Berhampur. When the yatra is held at Berhampur it is not held at Chatrapur. People from both the towns invite the Goddess worshipped in Buddhi Thakurani temple to their towns. She is the daughter of one of the important household in the town and her visit is marked by numerous rituals, fairs and festivals. A temporary temple is raised to accommodate the Devi. The visit lasts for a month. Chants of shlokas, mantras, conchs, beating of bells, firecrackers and dancing set the tone for the month long festivity. Nowadays, the festival is famous for people adorning numerous costumes of characters from Hindu scriptures and other characters from day-to-day life.

Goddess Shubhoconi – Goddess of Auspicious Beginning in Eastern Parts of India

Shubosuconi means good beginnings. Goddess Shubhoconi is local deity worshipped in Bengal, parts of Assam, Orissa and Jharkhand. Puja of her brings good luck and prosperity. Women perform the rituals and puja associated with Goddess Shubhoconi. Goddess is mainly worshipped when daughter returns to her maternal home for first time after marriage. It is also performed for the wellbeing of pregnant women. The puja is offered to a metal pot with picture of duck drawn on its sides. A popular story associated with the worship of Goddess Shubhoconi – involves a boy, his mother, a king and a duck. It is said that the boy once stole a lame duck. The duck belonged to the king. The mother of the boy chided her son for stealing the duck. Next day the king’s soldiers found about the robbery and imprisoned the son. The mother did not know what to do. She fell unconscious and she had a dream. In the dream, an old woman told her to perform puja to Goddess Shubhoconi. She woke up

Kusumeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Kusumeshwar Form of Shiva – 38th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Kusumeshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that those worshipping Kusumeshwar form of Shiva will never be afflicted by sins. The temple dedicated to Kusumeshwar Mahadev is located in the Ram Janardan temple complex. This form of Shiva is associated with Ganesha and Goddess Parvati. Kusumeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 38th temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here. Story of Kusumeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Story of Kusumeshwar Mahadev is associated with Ganesha playing with flowers. One day when Shiva and Goddess Parvati visited Ujjain, Ganesha started playing with the children there. All children started showering flowers on Ganesha. Ganesha then offered the flowers to a Shivling at Mahakaal Vana (present day Ujjain) Pleased with this devotion, Shiva told Goddess Parvati that the Shivling made by Ganesha wou

Tambula in Hindu Rituals

Tambula is an auspicious item used in Hindu rituals. It is known as betel leaf or pan. Devotees offer it to Hindu gods and goddesses in temples, sacred places and in homes. It is an important item while performing 16-step puja to various deities. It symbolizes auspiciousness, prosperity and fertility. In some regions, Tambula, along with betel nut and a coin are given to elders and there blessings are taken before auspicious functions like marriage etc. In eastern parts of India, Tambula is used to welcome the groom and bride. It is also used as a mouth freshener. It also helps in the digestion of food.

Four Legs of a Cow and Four Yugas – Decadence of Dharma

There is a very popular symbolism in Hinduism regarding the degradation of Dharma in the four yugas based on the four legs of a cow. At the beginning the Satya Yuga, the cow had four legs but by the end of the Satya Yuga the cow had only three legs. By the end of the Treta Yuga, the cow lost another leg. By the end of the Dwapara Yuga, the cow lost another leg. By the end of the Kali Yuga, the cow will lose its last leg and there will be Pralaya or the great deluge that will annihilate all Adharma. It will prepare ground for next creation. The cow losing leg symbolically shows decadence of Dharma. In Satya Yuga there is only Dharma, no one steals, there is no anger, no dishonesty, and not frustration. Everyone is content with what they have. But by the end of Satya Yuga there is change in the attitude of people. This attitude goes down the line and now we are in Kaliyuga when Dharma is negligible. Adharma flourishes today. Thus cow who is considered mother earth wil

Temple with ponds in the shape of Conch – Wheel – Mace – Lotus – attributes of Vishnu

Narahari Parvatha Sadashiva Temple, located atop Narahari Hill in Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka, is dedicated to Mahadeva Shiva but the temple also has four unique water bodies or small ponds. These small ponds are in the shape of Shanka (Conch) , Chakra (Wheel), Gada (Mace) and Padma (Lotus). These are important attributes of Bhagavan Vishnu. Taking holy dip in the four ponds in the temple is considered highly meritorious. There is rush of devotees for holy dip on Mondays in Kartik Month (November – December) as per traditional lunar calendar in Karnataka. Legend has it Nara and Hari forms of Bhagavan Vishnu did penance on the hill. 

Paran or Parana – Ceremonial Break of Fasting or Vrat in Hindu Religion

Paran or Parana is the act, or vidhi, of breaking a fast, or vrat, by eating or drinking in Hindu religion. It is performed after the completion of the fast. Paran is only allowed after the successful completion of the fasting. Paran is performed after prayers are offered to Ganesha and the deity to whom the fast was dedicated. Some people break the fast by just drinking after. Some offer fruits or sweet as Prasad to the deity and it is then consumed to break the fast.

Popular Hindu Symbols - Meaning

A list of popular Hindu symbols along with their meanings. The universally accepted symbol of Hinduism is Om or Aum. This highly revered symbol is not just a mere visible symbol that represents Hindu religion. Om is the primordial sound and comprises of three independent sounds A, U, M. The sound ‘A’ represents the beginning (Adimatwa), ‘U’ represents progress (Utkarsha) and ‘M’ represents limit or dissolution (Miti). In nutshell, OM represents the Supreme Power responsible for creation, development and dissolution. OM symbol is written in two forms – the popular form ॐ and the Tamil or Dravidian form. The next important symbol is the Swastika or Swastik and it is a symbol of auspiciousness. It represents the eternally changing world or the cycle of creation, substance and dissolution. The center of it is fixed or never changes – it is Brahman, the supreme soul. The next popular Hindu symbol is the Shivalinga. ‘Linga’ means sign or symbol. It represents

Ramtirth Mandir at Jagannathpur in Chaibasa

Ramtirth Mandir is located on the banks of Baitrani River at Jagannathpur, around 65 km from Chaibasa in Jharkhand. The temple is spread over 3 acres of land and is on the outskirts of Jagannathpur Village in Deogan Block. Rameerth Mandir is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that Bhagavan Sri Ram visited the place during his exile period in the Ramayana. The Shivling worshipped in the temple is believed to have been installed by Bhagavan Sri Ram. The Shivling worshipped in the main temple is very old. Murtis of Ganesha, Goddess Parvati and Nandi is nearby. On the opposite side of the main mandir, there are murtis of Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman. Other murtis worshipped in the temple are that of Radha Krishna, Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadra. From one of the banks of Baitrani River, one has to climb around 100 steps to reach the temple. The most important festival observed here are Shivratri, Ram Navami and Jagannath Yatra. The Shravan month attracts thousan

Kripi in the Mahabharata - Story of the Wife of Dronacharya

In the Mahabharata, Kripi is the wife of Drona and sister of Kripa or Kripacharya. Story of the birth of Kripi is found in the Agni Purana. She was the daughter 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 h

Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple at Amaravati in Guntur District – Amareswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh

Amaralingeswara Swamy Temple, is one of the Pancharama Kshetras, and is located at Amaravati in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Amareswara. The temple is located around 20 km northwest of Guntur at the sacred spot of Amararama in Amaravati. The white Shivling worshipped in the temple is 15 feet high. There is a red stain atop the Shivling. Legend has it that a nail was inserted to stop the Shivling from growing. The red color is blood. Even today one can see red color stains on the Shivling. Since the Sivalinga is so tall here, the archakas mount a pedestal platform on which they conduct regular rituals and Abhisheka.  Mother Goddess Shakti is worshipped here as Bala Chandika. Located on the banks of Krishna River, the architecture of the temple is typical Dravidian style. There are four gopurams or South Indian style temple towers. The temple is believed to have been built during the 10 th century AD. It underwent renovation in the 14 th

What does Kali mean in Goddess Kali? - Meaning of Kali

Talk about Goddess Kali and we have a form of fierce women coming in our mind. But what does Kali mean? The meaning of Kali explains the entire concept of worship of this fierce goddess. Kali means one who has transcended even kala, or time. The name "Kali" holds profound significance in Hindu mythology and philosophy. Derived from the Sanskrit word "Kala," which means time, "Kali" represents the feminine aspect of the divine, often associated with creation, preservation, and destruction. In Hindu cosmology, time is considered a fundamental aspect of existence, governing the cycles of creation, sustenance, and dissolution. Kali, as the one who has transcended even time (kala), symbolizes the ultimate reality beyond the confines of temporal limitations. Kali is often depicted as a fierce and powerful goddess, adorned with garlands of skulls and wielding various weapons, signifying her role as the destroyer of ignorance and the ego. She is revered as

Palakollu Shiva Temple – Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple in Andhra Pradesh

Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple, is one of the Pancharama Kshetras, and is located at Palakollu in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Ksheerarama. The shrine is located around 24 km west of Bhimavaram and 100 km east of Kakinada. The name ‘Ksheera Ramalingeswara Swamy’ because it is believed that the Shivling was discovered by Bhagavan Sri Ram. ‘Ksheera’ because the Shivling is white in color. There is another legend has it that Shiva blessed a saint and made the milky white ocean appear in the pond here. The Shivling worshipped in the temple is white in color. Consort of Shiva here is Goddess Parvati. Nandi is as usual found infront of the sanctum sanctorum. One can have darshan of the Shivling from four sides. Palakollu Shiva Temple Gopuram The temple gopuram of tower is the tallest in Andhra Pradesh. It is believed to have been built during the 10 th century AD. The gopuram is 120 feet high and has nine storeys. The mand

Akrureshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Akrureshwar Form of Shiva – 39th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Akrureshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that worshipping Akrureshwar form of Shiva will help in attaining Shivalok. The temple dedicated to Akrureshwar Mahadev is located in the Ram Janardan temple complex. This form of Shiva is associated with Akrur Shiva Gana. Akrureshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 39th temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here. Story of Akrureshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Akrur was a Shiva Gana but he never worshipped Goddess Parvati. He constantly meditated on Shiva. Goddess Parvati tried to make him understand that it she who nourishes all beings. But Arkur was not ready to listen to her. One day, an angry Goddess Parvati cursed him to be born on earth. Akrur immediately fell from the Kailash. On earth, he performed intense austerities. Shiva then appeared before him and asked him to off

Bhimavaram Someswara Swamy Temple – Gunupudi Bhimavaram Shiva Temple

Bhimavaram Someswara Swamy Temple, is one of the Pancharama Kshetras, and is located at Gunupudi Village in Bhimavaram, West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Someswara. The shrine is at walking distance from Bhimavaram Junction Railway Station. Bhimavaram is located around 105 km east of Vijayawada. The shrine is around 140 km west of Kakinada. Unique Shivling at Gunupudi Someswara Swamy Temple The unique aspect of the Shivling worshipped in the temple is that it changes color depending on the size of the moon. On Purnima or full moon days, the Shivling is white in form. The Shivling brightens. On Amavasya or no moon day it turns into black in form. The Shivling brightens during the waxing phase of moon and darkens during the waning phase of moon. Goddess Murti atop Shivling Goddess Annapurneshwari is worshipped in the sanctum sanctorum and she is the divine consort of Shiva in the shrine. But the interesting aspect is that murti of Godd

Uma Chaturthi in Bengal and Odisha - Uma Chaturthi Vrat 2024

Uma Chaturthi is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, who is also known as Uma. Uma Chaturthi 2024 date is June 10. It is observed on the fourth day during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Jyeshta month. The rituals associated with this Chaturthi are more popular in eastern parts of India especially in Orissa, Jharkhand and Bengal . Uma Chaturthi is based on the tough austerities undertaken by Goddess Parvati to get Lord Shiva as her husband. It must be remembered that Shiva had forsaken the world after Sati’s death. Goddess Sati appeared again as Parvati but Shiva did not show any interest in marrying her and led a life of ascetic. Parvati then performed severe austerities to get Shiva as husband. Women perform the rituals for the welfare of the family and for a happy and peaceful life. The ritual is quite similar to the famous Hartalika Vrat observed in North India .

Ribhus in the Vedas – Ribhu Gana

Ribhus are mentioned in the Vedas and the Mahabharat. They are semi-divine beings. It is believed that they were originally human beings and were referred to as Ribhu Gana. Later they became immortal due to their good deeds. Ribhus have sun-like appearance. They wear helmets and necklaces and ride on horses. The helped Indra in his adventures. They made their old parents young again. They made prayer, sacrifice, and the two worlds. They went around the sky and after wandering for a long period, they reached the house of Savitr, who made them immortal. One passage in the Rig Veda states that they went to the house of Agohya, and after a year, made field and grass, caused streams to flow in the right direction, and brought water into the lowlands. Rig Veda has 11 hymns dedicated to Ribhus. Source – The Vedas – Roshen Dalal 

Samarlakota Temple – Samalkot Kumararama Temple in Andhra Pradesh - Bhimeswara Swamy Temple at Samalkot

Samarlakota Temple is one of the one of the Pancharama Kshetras – five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Bhimeswara Swamy Temple at Samalkot is located around 12 km from Kakinada and 52 km from Rajahmundry. The temple is known as Kumararama as Kumara, son of Shiva and Goddess Parvati during this fight with Tarakasura, installed the Shivling here. Kumara is one among the numerous names of Kartik or Muruga. The shrine was built during the end of the 9th century AD by Eastern Chalukya king Chalukya Bhima-I. A 16-feet limestone Shivling is installed in the sanctum sanctorum, which is two storied. The Shivling rises from the pedestal on the ground floor, and enters the second floor by piercing the roof. The rudrabhaga of the Shivling is worshipped in the second floor. Mother Goddess Shakti worshipped in the shrine is known as Bala Tripura Sundari. A single stone carved Nandi guards the main Shivling. The architecture of the temple is similar to Draksharamam Temple. Two pra

Why Saraswati River Is Known As Vritraghni?

Vritraghni is a name used to refer to Saraswati River and Goddess Saraswati in the Rig Veda. The story is associated with killing of demon Vrita. Legend has it that Demon Vritra removed moisture from earth and thus making earth dry. Due to the evil activities of Vritra, the earth became barren and living beings began to perish. There was death everywhere and no birth. Indra subdued the demon Vritra with the weapon Vajra. Goddess Saraswati assisted Indra in annihilating Demon Vritra. For this divine act, Saraswati River is called Vritraghni, the feminine form of Indra’s epithet Vritrahan.

Draksharamam Temple – Bhimeswara Swamy temple at Draksharamam in Andhra Pradesh

Draksharamam Temple is one of the Pancharama Kshetras – five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Draksharamam Temple is located around 28 km from Kakinada; 50 km from Rajahmundry and 25 Km from Amalapuram. The shrine is located on the east banks of Godavari River. Draksharama means the abode of Daksha Prajapati (father of Goddess Sati). Unique Shivling at Draksharamam Bhimeswara Swamy Temple The Shivling worshipped in the Bhimeswara Swamy temple at Draksharamam is 9 feet high. The shrine is two storied. The darshan of the Shivling is in two parts. At the ground level, a devotee can have darshan of the lower part of the Shivling. Then one has to climb a couple of steps to reach the next floor for the darshan of the upper part of the Shivling. A huge Nandi faces the Shivling. The temple complex has murtis of nagas and other Shivlings with Nandi facing it. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Bhimanatha and Mother Goddess Shakti is worshipped here as Manikyamba. The temple is

Peepal Pujan – Pipal Puja

Peepal Puja, or Pipal Puja, is the worship of the peepal tree especially during the Vat Savitri puja. Peepal Puja 2024 date is June 6. During Vat Savitri Puja, the Banyan or Pipal Tree symbolically represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The root of Vat Vriksha is Brahma, the stem is Vishnu and the upper part is Shiva. Those observing it on Jyeshta Purnima will be performing it on June 22, 2024. The Peepal tree plays an important role in the famous Satyavan Savitri legend in the Mahabharata. It is believed that Satyavan spend his last moments under a Pipal tree on the full moon day in month of Jyeshtha (for some communities in North India it is the Amavasya day or no moon day in Jyeshta month). And Yamraj appeared here and Savitri pleaded with Yamraj under the Pipal tree. Through her determination, courage, intelligence and dedication, she was able to bring back her husband to life. In memory of this event, women go round the Pipal for 108 times tying threads and fast f