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Showing posts from March 17, 2016

Akshamala of Goddess Saraswati

In Hindu iconography, Goddess Saraswati is depicted as holding an akshamala – a mala or string of 51 pearls or crystal beads or rudraksha. The akshamala of Goddess Saraswati symbolically suggests that she is the patron goddess of learning and knowledge.

The 51 beads symbolically represents the number of vowels consonants in the Sanskrit alphabets.

Akshamala in the hands of Goddess Saraswati symbolises the disciplined, dedicated and devout attitude of prayer and meditation.

The pearl or crystal beads also testify to the overwhelming presence of sattva guna or purity, and luminosity of Goddess Saraswati.
Notes taken from book titled - Kamandalu: The Seven Sacred Rivers of Hinduism

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir – Tapkeshwar Temple in Dehradun

Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir is a cave shrine and one has to descend 108 steps to reach the sanctum santorum of the Tapkeshwar Temple. It is located in Ghari area and is around 6 km from Dehradun in Uttarakhand. Guru Dronacharya of Mahabharata did penance here for 12 years.

Legend has it that Ashwathama, son of Guru Drona, also did penance here. Pleased with his devotion, Shiva blessed him on a purnima day.
Another legend has it that milk used to trickle from the cave roof on the Shivling worshipped in the temple. But as Kali Yuga advanced milk turned into water.

The shivling worshipped in the Tapkeshwar Temple is swayambhu, or that which manifested on its own.

Depending on the occasion the Shivling is adorned with Mukut or crown made of rudraksha, silver or gold.

Bhagavan Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Ganesha are also worshipped in the temple in pindi forms.

A sculpture of Guru Dronacharya can be seen at the entrance of the shrine.

There are also other murtis of Ganesha and Shiva carved …