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Showing posts from August, 2016

Temples and Sacred Places atop Chamundi Hill in Mysore

Chamundi Hill is located around 15 km from Mysore. The main temple located atop the hill is the famous Chamundeshwari Temple. The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, a manifestation of Goddess Durga who slew the demon Mahishasura. This shrine was built during the 12th century AD. She is the tutelary deity of the kings of Mysore. Apart from the Hindu gods and goddesses, there are statues of kings and queens in the temple. There are 1000 steps leading to the shrine. The oldest temple on the hill is known as Mahabaleshwara Temple and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built during 950 AD.  The hill itself is known as Mahabaladri. The most striking image on the hill is that of Nandi, the vahana of Shiva. It is located three quarters on the way to the top at the 800 th step. The Nandi figure is nearly 15ft high and 24 ft long (4.2 X 7.2 m).

Story Of Kalindi – Wife Of Sri Krishna

Story of Kalindi, wife of Sri Krishna, is found in the 10 Skanda of Srimad Bhagavad Purana. Kalindi was one of the wives of Sri Krishna. One day Sri Krishna and Arjuna went on a hunting excursion to the side of the Yamuna. Here they saw a beautiful girl. Arjun asked her who she was. The beautiful maiden replied: “I am Kalindi, daughter of Surya, the sun god. I am performing intense austerities to get Vishnu as my husband. I will continue with my Tapas and I shall have no other man as my husband.” She also informed Arjuna that she resides in the water of Yamuna in the palace built by her father for her. She will reside in it until she meets Krishna. Krishna immediately informed Krishna about the girl. Krishna took her to Indraprastha. Later Krishna took her in his chariot to Dwaraka and duly married her. Krishna and Kalindi had ten children.

Chaurasi Vaishnavon Ki Varta – Life Stories of 84 Vaishnavas

Chaurasi Vaishnavon ki varta is a medieval text associated with the Pushti Sect, dedicated to the devotion of Krishna. It contains the biographical details of eighty four saints, poets and devotees of Pushti sect of Mahaprabhu Vallabacharya. The text is in prose and is in Braja language. The text was composed by a disciple of Vithalanatha, son of Vallabacharya. This is a valuable text as it contains information about the social situations and the attacks on Hindu culture, temples and sacred places by invaders. It also glorifies the great saints of Pushti sect. It narrates the efforts undertaken by saints, poets and devotees to preserve their tradition from invaders. 

Rameshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Rameshwar Form of Shiva – 29th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Rameshwar 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 Rameshwar Mahadev will get relief from all forms of sin. The temple dedicated to Rameshwar Mahadev is located near the Sati Darwaja in Ujjain. This form of Shiva is associated with Parashuram, the sixth avatar of Vishnu. Rameshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 29th temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here. Story of Rameshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Parashuram went around the world and annihilated thousands of kings who followed Adharma. Finally, when he took rest and he wanted to know how to wash away the sins he had committed of unknowingly killing innocent people during his campaign to get rid of Adharma. Indra, the king of Devas, asked him to distribute the punya that he will receive after having darshan of Shiva to get rid of the sin. Parashuram t

Bhedaghat Yogini Temple – 64 Yogini Temple at Bhedaghat in Madhya Pradesh

Bhedaghat Yogini Temple is located on the banks of Narmada River at Bhedaghat in Madhya Pradesh. The shrine is dedicated to yoginis and is around 5 km from Jabalpur. There are usually 64 yoginis but at Bhedaghat there are 81 Yoginis. This is the largest known Yogini Temple in the world. The concept of 81 Yoginis is based Mattottara Tantra – a medieval tantric text from Nepal. The temple is in a dilapidated condition. The original murtis of yoginis belonged to the 10th century AD. They were mostly seated on animal mounts placed over inscribed pedestals and were heavily bejeweled. Of the nine main matrikas, seven can be identified (Brahmi, Maheshwari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chandika ; two are missing (Chamunda and Mahalakshmi) and Kaumari of this group is traced to a nearby place called Mandla. Among the 81 Matrikas only 49 have been identified. Notable among them are Mahishasuramardini, Kamada and Sarvatomukhi.

Story - Marriage of Goddess Padmavati And Venkateswara

Story of the marriage of Goddess Padmavati with Lord Venkateswara is closely associated with the origin of Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple. Goddess Lakshmi unable to bear the insult meted out by Sage Bhrigu to Lord Vishnu left Vaikunta. She was born on earth as Padmavati, the daughter of Aksharaja, a Tondaimandalam King. Padmavati grew up into a beautiful and talented girl. While playing in the Tirupati forests with her friends, she saw a young man on horseback. On being questioned, he revealed himself as Krishna, son of Vasudeva and Devaki. The young man was Vishnu himself. He realized that the maiden was Goddess Lakshmi and came near her with amorous intentions. However, this upset Padmavati. The young man withdrew to his abode in the Tirumala hills and pined for Padmavati. Vakulamalika, mother of Tirupati Balaji on earth, was aware that her son was none other than Vishnu himself. She decided to meet the king and, on her way, met Padmavati’s friends and learned from the

Sandhi Dosha in Hindu Astrology

Sandhi Dosha is a term used in Hindu astrology. It is based on the position of the planet (Rashi) in the 30 degree span. The zodiac is divided into 12 signs. All the nine planets span 30 degrees in each of the signs. While making predictions, strength of a planet is also obtained based on its longitude, varying from 0 to 30 degrees in the sign occupied by it. A planet, which is near the middle of the sign, is said to have maximum strength. It produces its maximum effect, good or bad. Otherwise, it produces weaker results in proportion to its distance from the middle. It suffers from Rashi Sandhidosha when it has just entered into a sign or is about to leave it. Such a planet has almost nil strength and produces hardly any effects, good or bad, for the native. The zodiac is also divided into 27 nakshatras. Therefore, a planet also suffers from nakshatra sandhi dosha, when it is passing from one asterism to another. Some of the other Sandhi dosha are Bhava Sandhi and Tithi

Sanat Sujata – one of the four Manasaputras of Brahma

As per Hindu scriptures, Brahma is said to have created four sons – Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumara. Sanata Sujata is another name of Sanat Kumara. The four sons were created when his wisdom was pure and pristine, devoid of any attachment. As per Linga Purana and Shiva Purana, Sanat Sujata is the most important among the four sons. He is mentioned widely in the Mahabharata. He enlightens Sage Vyasa, Bhisma, Dhritarashtra and Maharaja Prithu. Some of the popular stories like that of Tulsi, Andhaka etc are narrated by Sanat Sujata. The Mahabharata record his question answer session with King Dhritarashtra in the Udyog Parva under the section entitled Vidura Niti. The dialogue that happened between Dhritarashtra and Sanat Sujata in the Mahabharata is famous as Sanatsujatiya – an independent treatise on Brahmavidya. Related Teachings of Sanatsujata in the Mahabharata

Why Ramayana is known as Dirgha Saranagati Sastra?

Ramayana is also known as a work on the discipline of surrender – Dirgha Saranagati Sastra. The main characters in the epic reflect this concept. Devas surrender to Lord Vishnu. They pray for freedom from Demons or Rakshasas. Dasharatha surrenders to Sage Rishyasringa to conduct a yajna for begetting children. Sage Vishwamitra surrenders before Bhagavan Sri Ram for eliminating Rakshasas. Lakshmana and Mata Sita surrender to Bhagavan Sri Ram for accompanying him to the forest. Bharata surrenders and gets Rama’s paduaka or sandals for ruling Ayodhya. Sage of Dandakaranya surrenders before Lord Ram for eliminating Rakshasas. Sugriva surrenders before Rama for serving the Lord and gaining back his kingdom. Raksasis (attendants deputed by Ravana) surrenders before Mata Sita. Vibhishana surrenders before Sri Ram. Ravana before dying surrenders before Sri Ram. Mata Sita surrenders to Bhumata to prove her purity. This concept of Dirgha Saranagati Sastra or

Story of Shalya in the Mahabharata

Shalya was the King of Madra in the Mahabharata. Her sister Madri was married to Prince Pandu. He was the uncle of Nakula and Sahadeva – the last of the two Pandava brothers. In the Kurukshetra battle, he fought on the side of the Kauravas. Legend has it that it was by cheating that Shalya was enticed to join the camp of Kauravas. As Shalya was approaching the Kurukshetra battlefield with his army, he found that, at each halting point, there were arrangements made for his comforts. Shalya thought it had been done by Yudhishtira. After enjoying the comforts at several places, he sent a message through one of the men to go to his master and state that Shalya would serve that master who had accorded such treatment. It was only later he realized that Duryodhana was that master. However, having given his word, he decided to keep it. Shalya fought bravely for Duryodhana. When Karna became commander-in-chief, he was asked to serve as Karna’s charioteer. But throughout his chario

Shalokya – The Abode of Shiva for a Devotee to Attain

Shalokya is a concept in Shaiva Siddhanta. It envisages a four-fold path for a devotee to annihilate evil influence and to elevate the atma to attain bliss or the abode of Shiva. The four-fold path are: Charya Marga – In this path, devotees take care of the temples and sacred places of Lord Shiva. Kriya Marga – praising the glory of Shiva in temples and sacred places. Yogic Marga – is an advanced stage of spiritual experience, in which the devotee finds the entire universe to be equal. Jnana Marga – is reaching the highest through negation of that which is not truth. Through one of the above said path, a devotee freely moves into a new domain called Shalokya – Shiva’s abode. The enchantments of this world caused by Maya are annihilated in the abode of Paramatma.

Kalasutram Hell in Hinduism

Details regarding Hells in Hinduism are found in the Puranas especially the Garuda Purana. Kalasutram Hell is mainly used to punish those people who do not respect their parents and elders. This hell is terribly hot. In the Kalasutram Hell, people are bound with ropes by attendants of Yama and thrown into the hell. When such people are thrown in the Kalasutram Hell, they rush about in the unbearable heat and drop down exhausted. This concept of heaven and hell in Hindu tradition is based on Puranas. Such stories and incidents in Puranas are meant to keep human beings disciplined on earth. Upanishads state that hell and heaven are on earth and lucky are those who realize the true self and attain bliss here. 

Sakshi Gopal Temple in Odisha

Sakshi Gopal Temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is located around 16 km from Jagannath Puri Temple. Sakshi means witness. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has the murti of Lord Krishna along with Radha on the left side and the conjoined image of Lakshmi Narayana on the right side. Legend has it that Lord Krishna arrived on earth and followed a young man to become his witness before a village council. Thus he came to be known as Sakshi Gopal. There are three holy ponds near the temple and they are known as Chandana, Shyamakunda and Radhakunda. A garuda dhvaja, or flagstaff of Garuda, and a temple of Radha is found before the main sanctum sanctorum. The most important festival in the temple is conducted in the Kartik Month. The feet of the murti of Radha, which is covered throughout the year, is shown to devotees only on the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon in Kartik month. Related Story of Sakshi Gopal

Chavaneshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Chavaneshwar Form of Shiva – 30th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Chavaneshwar 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 Chavaneshwar Mahadev will have all their sins washed away. The temple dedicated to Chavaneshwar Mahadev is located near the Idgah in Ujjain. This form of Shiva is associated King Shayathi. Chavaneshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 30th temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here. Story of Chavaneshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Rishi Chyawan performed intense austerities on a riverbank in a forest. He lost all count of time. His body was covered with mud. Anthill grew all around him. Only visible part of his body was his eyes. Sukanya, the daughter of King Shayathi, reached the spot one day. She was fascinated by the two shining stones on the anthill. It was actually the eyes of Rishi Chyawan. Sukanya tried to remove it using a sharp twig. This blinded

Tripureswari Temple at Udaipur in Tripura

Tripureswari Temple is located at Udaipur in Tripura and is a one of the 51 Shaktipeetahs in India. The main murti worshipped in temple is that of Goddess Kali in Sodasi form (sixteen year old). It is made of reddish black stone - Kastik Pathar. The temple is mentioned in the Kalika Purana. The temple is also known as Kurmapitha. The popular belief is that left foot of Goddess Sati fell here after the infamous Daksha Yajna incident mentioned in the Puranas. Apart from the main murti, there is a small murti in the temple known as Chotto Maa. This murti was earlier taken along with during hunting expeditions. The most important date in the temple is the Diwali Amavasya day. The holy pond in the temple is known as Kalyan Sagar – it is home to rare fishes and tortoises. The temple is a popular center of Shakt Worship in Tripura. Sorashi Kali Mata is the third Mahavidya. 

Krishna Pushkaram

Krishna Pushkaram is held once in 12 years and is conducted in Srisailam, Guntur and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh through which Krishna River flows. Krishna Pushkaram 2016 dates are from August 12. This pushkaram is held when Jupiter enters Kanya Rasi (Virgo). The main ritual includes taking holy dip in the Krishna River. A Pushakaram takes place once in 12 years when Jupitar (Brishaspati) enters a particular zodiac. There are total of  12 rivers where Pushkaram  takes place. The most famous is the Godavari Pushkaram. The ritual of pushkaram is more popular in Andhra Pradesh.

Kalpataru in Hindu Tradition – A Tree That Fulfills Wishes

Kalpataru is a wish fulfilling tree mentioned in Puranas. According to Hindu tradition, this tree appeared during the churning of ocean, or Samudra Manthan, by Devas and Asuras. The tree has not yet been identified and is believed to exist in the celestial word or the realm of the Devas. Kalpataru is also known as Kalpavriksha, Kalpadruma, Surataru, Kalpalata, Kalpasakshi and Kalpapadapa. Information about Kalpataru is found in the Agni Purana, Bhagavad Puran, Brahmanda Purana, Matsya Purana and Vayu Purana. Kalpataru is also one of the Pancha Vriksha – five trees in the garden of Indra. Lakshmi Ganapati form of Ganesha holds a branch of Kalpataru in one of his hands.

Importance of Bathing in Narmada River in Hinduism

Bathing in the Narmada River is considered highly meritorious in Hinduism. The importance of bathing in Narmada River is mentioned in the Matsya Purana. It is said that one gets redemption from sin by bathing for three years in Saraswati River; for seven days in Yamuna River; for one day in Ganga River. However, it is said that the mere sight of Narmada absolves one of all sins. It is believed that person who bathes in Narmada River attains rudraloka (the realm of Shiva). To explain the holiness of Narmada, it is said in Matsya Purana that the tree growing on her banks are liberated from cycle of birth and rebirth. In Puranas, Narmada River is also known as Vishalya or healer of wounds. Puranas extols her medicinal properties. 

Sthanu Narasimha Form of Vishnu

Sthanu Narasimha is a very rare form of the Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu. In this form the Narasimha murti comes out of a pillar. He has four arms with a conch and discuss at the rear left hands. The front right hand is held in the abhaya mudra pose. As per Agama Texts, Sthanu Narasimha has eight, twelve, or sixteen arms, his body in tribhanga pose; he is depicted as tearing the entrails of Hiranyakashipu. Apart from Sthanu Narasimha the other forms of Narasimha are: Kevala Narasimha Girija Narasimha Yoga Narasimha Yanaka Narasimha Lakshmi Narasimha Yogananda Lakshmi Narasimha Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Prahaladanugraha Murti Narasimha and Cencheta Narasimha in Hari-Hara form

Omkareshwar Temple at Mandhata in Indore in Madhya Pradesh – One of the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples

Omkareshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located at Mandhata near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 12 Jyotirling Temples in India. Mandhata is partly on the south bank of Narmada River and partly on an island of the river. Legend has it that Shiva agreed to stay on Mandhata Island to fulfill the boon he gave to king Mandhata. Shiva decided to be present here as Omkareshwar Jyothirlinga. Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Shivling at Omkareshwar Temple. The original shrine was built by the Paramaras in the 11th century and rebuilt by the Holkars in the 19th century. The shikhara of the temple is said to correspond with Mount Meru. A series of steps from the ghats leads up to the mandapa of the temple, which is decorated with carved pillars. Murtis of Ganesh, Ram, Sita and other gods can be seen here. Nandi is found after the Mandapa. There are also separate three shrines dedicated to Siddhanath, Kedareshwar and Guptnath – manifestations of Shiva.

Story Origin Of Weapon Gada or Mace In Hinduism

Gada, or mace, is a very popular weapon in Hindu scriptures. Gada was the favorite weapon of Bhima and Duryodhana in the Mahabharata. The story of the origin of Gada is found in the Agni Purana, Chapter 114. Gada was a demon. He was the son of Sage Kashyapa and Diti. The demon was killed by Lord Vishnu to protect Dharma. Vishwakarma, the divine architect, made a weapon from the bones of the demon. The weapon was mace. Since the weapon was made from demon Gada’s bone, it came to be known as Gada. Gada is used by majority of Hindu gods and goddesses. The mace of Vishnu is known as Kaumodaki. Hanuman is always depicted as wielding a mace.

Tapa – Marks on Each Shoulder of Srivaishnavas

Tapa is part of the Panchasamskara ritual and is adopted to make a devotee eligible for rendering service to Lord Vishnu. Panchasamskara ritual is mentioned in the Pancharatra Agamas. Tapa refers to the marks on each shoulder of the initiate made by the acharya by putting heated metalmark in the form of Vishnu’s discus (Sudarshana Chakra) on the right shoulder and another in the form of His conch (Shankh) on the left shoulder. The scars made by these marking insignia unmistakably distinguish Srivaishnavas from the devotees of all other cults.

Sant Narhari Sonar Jayanti - Birth Anniversary

Sant Narhari Sonar Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Saint Narhari Sonar, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vithoba and Lord Shiva and is believed to have had the darshan of Lord Vithoba (Sri Hari Vishnu). Sant Narhari Sonar Jayanti 2023 date is August 29. A goldsmith by profession, he got the darshan of Vithoba when he tried to measure the waist size of the murti of Vithoba at Pandharpur Vitthal Temple through imagination. Sant Narhari Sonar Jayanti is observed on the thirteenth day of the shukla paksha or waxing phase of moon in Shravan month as per traditional calendar followed in Maharashtra Legend has it that once a merchant asked Sant Narhari to prepare a gold waist band for Vithoba. But being an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, Sant Narhari did not want to go to Pandharpur temple. So he tried to close his eyes and imagine the waist size of Lord Vithoba. But as he tried to imagine the waist size he felt as if he was touching the Shivling and this happened several

Markanda Temple in Maharashtra

Markanda Temples are located on the banks of Waiganga River and is around 216 km southeast of Nagpur in Gadchiroli District in Maharashtra. Two of the important temples located here are dedicated to Sage Markanda and his father Mrkunda. The place is also known as Markandi or Markanda Deva. Most the temples located here contain Shivlings. Originally, there were 24 temples but now only 18 temples are found. The most important temples are Markanda Rishi Temple, Yamadharma Temple, Mrkunda Rishi and Shankara Temple. The Markanda Rishi Temple is believed to have built during the 12 century AD. The temple faces east and is cruciform in plan. The Shivling worshipped here is known as Markandeshwara. The roof of the sanctum sanctorum contains human and animal motifs. The exterior of the temple is lavishly carved with sculptures which include that of various Hindu gods and goddesses and stories of Shiva and Parvati. The other deities worshipped in the temple include Ganesha

Khandeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Khandeshwar Form of Shiva – 31st Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Khandeshwar 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 Khandeshwar will have desire fulfillment. The temple dedicated to Khandeshwar Mahadev is located at Khilchipur in Ujjain. This form of Shiva is associated King Bhadra Shiv. Khandeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 31st temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here. Story of Khandeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Legend has it that there lived a king named Bhadrashiv. He happened to hear the story of his previous life from Sage Agastya. He learned that he was born as a king due to the blessing of Shiva. The king then went to Mahakaal Vana, present day Ujjain, and performed Khand Vrat. The king attained boons of Moksha from Shiva due to observing the Vrat. As the king observed Khand Vrat to the Shivling it came to be known as Khandeshwar Mahadev.

Cherukunnu Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple - Story - Facts - History - Festival

Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple at Cherukunnu is one of the 108 Durga Temples in Kerala. The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Annapoorneshwari, who is the goddess of food and prosperity. But the main deity worshipped in the temple is Maha Vishnu. Cherukunnu Village is located around 7 km from Pappinisseri. Maha Vishnu is known as Kannapurathappan. The murti of Goddess Annapoorna was consecrated much later and she is known as Cherukunnil Amma. The darshanam of both the deities is towards east. Cherukunnu Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple Story Legend has it that Goddess Parvati once heard about the prosperous Kolathunadu (northern Kerala) and wanted to visit the place. She arrived on a golden ship built by Vishwakarma, the divine architect. The king requested Goddess Parvati to bless the people of the land. Mother Goddess then assumed the form of Goddess Annapoorneshwari and settled down in the forecourt of the Sri Krishna Temple at Cherukunnu. It is said that once a poor man who was hungr

Shridhar Dwadasi

Shridhar Dwadasi is observed on the 12 th day during the waxing phase of moon in Shravan month. It is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. Shridhar Dwadasi 2023 date is August 28. The auspicious day falls on the Shravan Krishna Paksha Dwadasi as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in North India . Shridhar is one among the numerous names of Hindu God Vishnu. Special prayers and rituals are held in Vishnu temples on the day. The day is also observed as Pavitra Dwadasi and Shravan Dwadasi in North India . 

Nothing Wrong to Have Regrets

Regret is not bad. There is nothing wrong to have regrets. It reminds us that we can do better. Regret helps us in facing situation better in future. You made a mistake or made an accident and now you regret it. It is true we did badly but we will never repeat it again as we now know what was correct for the situation. If we have goals and dreams, we are bound to make mistakes. We regret them. And we learn from them. Regrets are an important element in reaching our goals. Having no regrets means, we do not accept our faults. This is arrogance and we are sure to fail. Do not burden in the weight of regret. Try to rectify. Accept and move on to change things. Learn to deal with the pain of regret and do better next time. www.hindu-blog.com  Abhilash 

Nakula – fourth of the five Pandavas

Nakula is the fourth of the five Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata. He was the son of Madri, the second queen of King Pandu. Ashwini Kumars bestowed on him handsomeness. Nakula was an expert in medication and maintenance of horses. Nakula was also an expert in the use of the sword and this earned him the title Athirathi. During the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Yudhisthira in the Indraprastha, Nakula was deputed to conquer the kingdom in the west. He did this successfully and returned with camel-loads of wealth. During the incognito year during the exile period in the Mahabharata, Nakula was appointed as the keeper of horses by King Virata. He helped King Virata defeat the Tigartas. In the Mahabharata war, Nakula fought and defeated many of the great warriors on the Kaurava side. After the war, Yudhisthira made Nakula the commander of the army of Hastinapura.

Adityesvara temple at Bokkasampalem village – Thondamanadu in Chitoor District in Andhra Pradesh – Kodandarameswara Temple

Adityesvara temple, also known as Kodandarameswara Temple, is a sepulchral temple raised over the corporeal remains of Chola King Adiya by his son Parantaka. The shrine is located at Bokkasampalem village – Thondamanadu in Chitoor District in Andhra Pradesh and is around 7 km from Sri Kalahasti. The shrine was built during the 10th century AD. Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Kodandarameswara and Mother Goddess Shakti is worshipped as Kamakshi Devi. The main Shivling is nearly 5 feet tall. The temple faces west and an intricately sculpted Nandi faces the sanctum sanctorum. The main temple consists of a porch, a narrow antarala and garbhagriha. The wall of the sanctum sanctorum and antarala are plain. Each wall has a devakoshta housing a deity. The niche in the north wall of the garbhagriha contains the image of standing Brahma. The koshta in the west wall contains the figure of standing Vishnu, while the koshta in the south wall contains the image of Dakshinamurti.

Teachings from Mandukya Upanishad – Madhwa Bhashya

A collection of teachings from Mandukya Upanishad – Madhwa Bhashya Vedas have designated Brahman by OM – the imperishable letter. Brahman is the absolute, past and future and all pervading and controlling. Parabrahman never undergoes any type of modification with the passage of time. Parabrahman ever remains the same. Atma is present in all beings. It regulates all. As per Madhwa Bhashya, Atma refers to God residing in the individual soul. Only liberated souls realize Paramatma. Paramatman removes erroneous knowledge and puts an end to the cycle of birth and death.

Jwala Narasimha – About Jwala Narasimha form of Lord Vishnu

One of the most popular murtis of  Narasimha  Avatar of Vishnu is called Jwala Narasimha. This is the most fierce form of Narasimha. In this posture, he is tearing the body of demon Hiranyakashipu. Fire emanates from the body and hence the name Jwala Narasimha. Jwala Narasimha murti is depicted with four arms. Hiranyakashipu lies on the lap of the murti. Two hands are tearing the body of the demon. If we look carefully at the murti, one can find young Prahlada standing with folded hands. The murti is worshipped mainly in temples in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. The most important Jwala Narasimha temples are located in Upper Ahobilam, Yadagirigutta and in Bidar. At Yadagirigutta  in Telangana, Jwala Narasimha is depicted as carving on a rock. The murti is associated with a serpent that looks like a flame.

Ishwara Gita Quotes

A collection of quotes from Ishwara Gita. You are the material out of which everything materialize the world, you are the tiniest among the tiny and the most magnified among the large sized.' You are the only one O Rudra! You create the universe, you also protect the whole universe having the form of the world and in the end it devolves unto you who have surrendered unto your shelter. Salutations unto you. You are express by the term omkara, the seed of emancipation, you are the permanent root of all the visible world and hidden. The sages who have eliminated their demerits visualize you who is truth verily and the sage dwell in you, you are self efflugent. In whom all this multiplicity appears, who is decayless, pure, and uniform something indeterminable; you are that form in which everything reflects truly. Ishwara Gita is found in the Kurma Purana – Shiva teaches about the Supreme Soul to Santakumara and other Rishis.

Story – Why Narmada River is known as Shankari? – Daughter of Shiva

Shankari is one among the numerous names of Narmada River. When she is referred as Shankari, she is the daughter of Shiva. This story is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Once, Shiva and Goddess Parvati performed intense meditation and austerities atop the mountain Rikshasaila for the welfare of humanity. The sweat that formed on Shiva’s body flowed down the mountain and took the form a beautiful woman. She was liked by the Devas and Sages. Shiva named her Narmada, the giver of delight. As Narmada sprung from the body of Shiva, she is also referred as Shankari, daughter of Shiva. Please note that Shankari is also one among the numerous names of Goddess Shakti. In this context, the meaning of Shankri is ‘one who is loved by Shiva.’

Vaikhanasa Agama

Vaikhanasa Agama is one of the two main divisions of Vaishnava Agamas, the other being Pancharatra. Vaikhanasa Agama is the cream of all the four Vedas, where the pathway to the Highest objective of human life i.e., moksha, is prescribed through iconic worship of Vishnu. Lord Vishnu taught the Vedas to Brahma, who, in turn, taught them to mythical sage Vaikhanasa or Vikhanas. Sage Vaikhanasa taught the religious cult through his Vaikhanasa Sutra and other vast writing on the subject, said to be in millions of Shlokas to four of his disciples Marichi, Atri, Bhrigu and Kashyapa, who propagated the tradition through their 28 available works, of which 8 are printed. Vimanarchana Kalpa (VK) of Marichi is one of the representative texts of this Agama. Vaikhanasa Agama depicts god in five iconic forms. These are: Dhruva, mulabera, without parts (nishkala), corresponding to garhapatya fire of the Vedic rituals. Ugra the dynamic aspect symbolizing the cosmic form of the God Ut

Navalai Devi – Information about Mother Goddess Navalai Devi

Navalai Devi is a form of Mother Goddess Shakti worshipped in Maharashtra. She is Grama Devata or village deity. She is also the patron Goddess of several communities. There is no proper authentic information regarding her origin. Navalai Devi is worshipped in murti form. She is depicted either is standing or sitting position. Sometimes devotees only get to view her head. She is depicted with two or four arms. She holds various weapons. Festivals associated with her vary from region to region. Numerous different type of rituals are dedicated to her. In some regions there is palkhi dedicated to her. She is worshipped for early cure from diseases, for good rains and farm yield, for defeating enemies and for fulfillment of desires.

Seven Lakes in Ujjain – Location and Unique Offerings Made at the Seven Holy Spots

There are seven holy lakes (water bodies or ponds) in Ujjain. Unique offerings are made here. The seven lakes are: Rudra Sagar Pushkar Sagar Kshir Sagar Govardhan Sagar Vishnu Sagar Purushottam Sagar Ratnakar Sagar Rudra Sagar is located between Harsiddhi and Mahakaleshwar temples. The main offerings here are salt and idols of Nandi. Pushkar Sagar is located north of Sakhipur at Nalia Bakhal. The offerings here are yellow cloth and chana ki dal. Kshir Sagar is located near Yogeshwar Tekri on Nai Sarak. Offerings here include milk, utensils and gold. Govardhan Sagar is located at nikas chowraka. Offerings here include butter, sugar cakes, pot filled with molasses and red cloth. Vishnu Sagar is located between Ram Janardan Mandir and Sandipani Ashram. Offerings here are idols of Vishnu, panchapatra, tarbhana and achmani. Purushottam Saga is located between Idgah and Purushottam temple near Indira Nagar colony. Offering here is Malpua put in a chalni. Ra

Pattaneshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Pattaneshwar Form of Shiva – 32nd Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Pattaneshwar 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 Pattaneshwar will be able to enjoy worldly pleasures. The temple dedicated to Pattaneshwar Mahadev is located at Khilchipur in Ujjain. This form of Shiva is associated with Sage Narada explaining the glory of Mahakaal Vana or Ujjain. Pattaneshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 32nd temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here. Story of Pattaneshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain One day Goddess Parvati wanted to know why Shiva was interested in residing at Mahkaal Vana (present day Ujjain); when he could comfortably reside in Kailash or Heaven. When this conversation was taking place, sage Narada reached there. Shiva then asked Sage Narada that in the three worlds where did he find supreme happiness and peace. Sage Narada told that he found it at Mahaka

Dumar Lena Cave in Ellora with Andhakasuravadha Murti of Shiva

Dumar Lena Cave is one of the most impressive caves in Ellora. It has the famous Andhakasuravadha Murti. The cave has striking similarities to the famous Elephanta Caves. The cave is adorned with huge sculptured panels depicting stories associated with Shiva. The figures are massive and gigantic structures and are typical of Rashtrakuta tradition. The main cave shrine contains a Shivling with main entrance on the north side. It consists of a large hall with transepts on either side. The cave is supported by a number of massive square pillars with cushion capitals that divide the hall into bays. Dumar Lena Cave is approached by a flight of steps, and the shrine, square on plan, is carved in the rear half of the cave. The most striking and awe-inspiring sculpture is that of Andkasura Vadha Murti of Shiva. The murti has eight arms, two of which are lifted up, holding an elephant’s hide as a hood over the head. Another wonderful sculpture is that of Shiva Tandava. Other sc

Who may be called a paramahamsa? – Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Answers

Who may be called a paramahamsa? He, who like a swan, can take the milk from a mixture of milk and water, leaving aside the water. He, who like an ant, can take the sugar from a mixture of sugar and sand, leaving aside the sand. A paramahamsa is always conscious that God alone is real and all else illusory. Only the swan has the power to separate milk from a mixture of milk and water. The swan’s tongue secretes an acid that separates the milk from the mixture. The paramahamsa also possesses such a juice; it is his ecstatic love for God. That separates the Real from the mixture of the Real and the unreal. Through it one becomes aware of God and sees Him. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Durva Ganapati Vrat 2023 Date

Durva Ganapati Vrat is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and is observed during the waxing phase of moon (Shukla Paksha) in the month of Shravan. Durva Ganapati Vrat 2023 is August 20. It is observed on the fourth day (Chaturthi day) of the Shukla Paksha of Shravan Month especially in Maharashtra . The observance of Durva Ganapati falls on the monthly chaturthi day during the Shukla Paksha of Shravan Maas. The day must not be confused with Sankashti Chaturthi which falls on the fourth day after full moon. Durva Ganapati Vrat involves worship of Lord Ganesha using the Durva Grass. Some people also observe a partial fast on the day.

Dwarapalakas in Hindu Temples

Dwarapalakas are sculptural representations of gatekeepers at the entrance of Hindu temples. Dwarapalaka resemble bhutas, or demons, with two big hands. They hold a mace or gada in one hand. They have protruding canine teeth. Sometimes Dwarapalakas have four arms and they hold symbols associated with Shiva or Vishnu. There are also female Dwarapalakas – they usually guard the entrance of shrines dedicated to Mother Goddess. Some of the names of Dwarapalakas are Chanda, Prachanda, Jaya, Vijaya, Harabhadra and Subhadra. Jaya and Viaya were the guards in Vaikunta. Due to curse, they were born on earth as demons. The guards may be positioned in the second, third or fifth doorway that opens into the shrine. In standing posture, the right leg of dwarapalakas is shown as placed straight on a pedestal, while the left one is slightly bent. Some of the other postures include: With legs and back partly turned to the front. Hands resting on the thigh which is bent in the sh

Swami Karpatri Jayanti

Swami Karpatri Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Swami Karpatri (1905-1980) – a Hindu Saint and philosopher of the Dashanami Monastic Tradition. Swami Karpatri Jayanti 2023 date is August 18. He lived during the 20th century and founded the Dharma Sangha in Varanasi and was a great teacher of the Vedanta tradition. His Jayanti is observed on the second day of the Shukla Paksha of Shravan month. Some of the popular saints of the 20th century were the students of Swami Karpatri. The original name of Swami Karpatri was Har Narayan Ojha; he was later ordained as Hariharananda Saraswati. But he came to be popularly known as Swami Karpatri – one who uses his hand as the plate to eat food. The day is observed with satsangs, discussions and readings from the teachings of Swami Karpatri.

Story - Greedy Nature Of Ravana

Ravana, the demon king in the Ramayana, was very greedy. Here is a story which exposes the greedy nature of Ravan. Once, Goddess Parvati said to Lord Shiva that she wanted to live in a palace like Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. She complained that she was fed up with living under a tree. Shiva told Mother Goddess Parvati that palace was not in their luck and it was better to live under a tree, as it was comfortable. But Goddess Parvati was adamant. So Shiva built a palace. The house warming ceremony (Griha Pravesh) was to be done and a priest had to be invited. Shiva decided to call Ravana who was an expert in all rituals and pujas. Ravana, an ardent devotee, of Shiva came and performed the pujas and rituals. At the end, it was the time to give Dakshina. Lord Shiva asked Ravana what he wanted as Dakshina (gift). Ravana immediately asked for the palace. Without hesitation, Shiva asked him to take it. Thus, Shiva and Goddess Parvati came under the tree aga

The Six-Fold Factors of Surrender in Vaishnava Sampradaya

As per Vaishanava Sampradaya there are six-fold factors of surrender to the supreme truth. This surrender is known as Saranagati. It also makes taking refuge in the Lord. The six fold factors of Sarnagati are: Entertaining favorable thoughts Renouncing unfavorable thoughts Having firm faith that God will protect Actually seeking refuge in the Lord Submitting oneself completely at the mercy to the Lord Expressing one’s total helplessness.

Rukmini Devi Temple at Dwarka

Rukmini Devi Temple at Dwarka in Gujarat is dedicated to Goddess Rukmini Devi, consort of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The temple is located at Bet Dwarka and is around 2 km from the famous Dwarakadish Jagat Temple. The original temple is believed to be more than 2,500 years old. The current structure was built in the 12 century. The main murti worshipped in the temple is that of Goddess Rukmini. The temple is noted for its paintings, sculptures of god and goddesses in Hindu pantheon. Another highlight here is the carved human and animal figures. Story of Rukmini Devi Temple A popular legend has it that it is due to a curse by Sage Durvasa that the Dwarakadish temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, and Rukmini Devi Temple at Dwarka are 2 km apart. Once, Krishna and Rukmini were pulling the chariot of Sage Durvasa. Rukmini Devi was tired and thirsty. To quench her thirst, Lord Krishna made a mark on earth with his thumb and Ganga River appeared from the mark to quench the thirst of Ruk

Anandeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Anandeshwar Form of Shiva – 33rd Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Anandeshwar 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 Anandeshwar will have healthy children. The temple dedicated to Anandeshwar Mahadev is located near the electric crematorium in Ujjain. This form of Shiva is associated with Prince Anand. Anandeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 33rd temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here. Story of Anandeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Prince Anand was the son of King Anamitra and Queen Varvarnini. Soon after his birth, baby Anand sat on the lap of the queen and started laughing. When the queen enquired about the reason for his laughter, the baby told the queen that on earth everybody is engaged in fulfilling his or her selfish needs. Anand continued on his philosophical journey. He had no interest in worldly affairs.  One day he left the palace and went to Mahakaal V

Book – Attukal Amma – The Goddess of Millions by Lekshmy Rajeev

The book titled Attukal Amma – The Goddess of Millions is written by Lekshmy Rajeev, who is a poet, columnist and translator. Attukal Devi is one among the millions of forms of Mother Goddess Shakti. The Attukal Temple is famous for the world’s largest gathering of women devotees. About the book from the flyer Attukal Amma is the people’s Goddess; she is Bhadrakali, the all-pervading and protecting Mother. Legend has it that the Goddess chose the spot at Attukal, near Thiruvananthapuram, for an abode. Millions of women devotees the world over repose their unalloyed love and trust in Attukal Amma, and they throng Attukal during the annual Pongala festival. Attukal Amma: The Goddess of Millions familiarizes the reader with the Bhadrakali cult in Kerala and provides a ringside view of the Pongala festival and the various rituals associated with it, even as it raises doubts about the authenticity of the myth of Kannagi, the heroine of Chilapathikaram, associated with the temple.

Evrat Jivrat or Divaso in Gujarat in Ashad Month

Evrat Jivrat, also referred as Divaso, is observed by married women in Gujarat . In 2023, the date of Evrat Jivrat is July 17. Evrat is observed by newly married women for five years and Jivrat is observed by all married women. The ritual is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed for a happy and prosperous family life. In the Evrat Jivrat, Goddess Parvati is worshipped in the form of jawaras – the seeds which are sown on the previous day of the vrat. A ghee lamp is lit before the jawaras. The lamp remains for 36 hours. The ritual takes its name from Divaso. Divaso – ‘Deep Vaso’ means residence of the lamp. Friends, relatives and neighbors are served Kheer, Kansar or other sweets. In some regions, the vrat heralds the arrival of the Shravan month. Evrat Jivrat is observed on the Amavasya in Ashada month. The Shravan month in Gujarati calendar begins from the next day.