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Showing posts from September 22, 2016

Hastamalaka – Disciple of Adi Shankaracharya

Hastamala was one of the first four disciples of Adi Shankaracharya. He is believed to be the son of Prabhakara of the Mimamsa School and lived at present day Gokarna in Karnataka. He is considered to be jivanmukta, liberated while living in the body. Legend has it that as a child, Hastamala could not speak and was considered dull-witted. Once on a pilgrimage, the child slipped into water. A yogi who happened to witness this revived the child by entering into his body. When Adi Shankaracharya visited Gokarna, Hastamala’s father took him to the great teacher. Shankara asked boy who he was. The body suddenly recited twelve beautiful verses, saying that he was but pure consciousness with no distinctions. The twelve verses deal with the nature of reality. It is known by the names of Haptamalaka Shloka, Vedanta Siddhanta Dipika and Viveka Manjari. Adi Shankaracharya wrote a commentary on it and it is known as Hastamalakiyam. Shankaracharya accepted the child as his disciple

Binikei Pitha – Temple dedicated to Goddess Binikei near Athamallik in Angul Odisha

Binikei Pitha is a shrine located amidst dense forest at Binikei near Athamallik in Angul District in Odisha. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Binikia or Binikei. The temple is on banks of Mahanadi River and is around 25 km from Athamallik. The history of Maa Binikei Temple is vague. There are no proper historical records. Some scholars believe the present shrine was constructed during the 19th century. It is believed that the murti was recovered during the 9th century AD. The Murti or Idol of Goddess Binikei worshipped here is a fierce one. 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 also worshipped by Tantrics. Thus the temple is also a Tantric center. The important festival observed here is Dol Yatra during Holi Period in March.

Teachings from Advaita Bodha Dipika by Sri Karapatra Swami

All is absolute, pure, infinite consciousness, non-dual, supreme intelligence, the self-existent Self or Brahman. Maya or illusion, the powers of veiling and projection are inherent powers in Brahman. These powers manifest an apparent but unreal universe. It is unreal because it was not before manifestation and will not be after dissolution. Therefore it is likened to a dream in the supreme intelligence or mind of Brahman. Thus the apparent universe is but an appearance based on Brahman. It does not exist apart from Brahman. Source – article titled Is Life A Dream? By Alan Jacobs in May 2016 edition of Prabuddha Bharata.