Skip to main content


Showing posts from November 18, 2016

Story of Hanuman and Swayamprabha

The story of celestial nymph Swayamprabha took place when Hanuman and the Vanarasena (Monkey army) was searching for Sita. While searching for Sita, Hanuman and friends reached a desert. They did not find any food and water for several days. Matters got worse when some Vanaras fell down due to thirst. If they did not find water in other day many monkeys would die.
Hanuman then noticed birds with wet wings leaving a cave. Immediately, the Vanarasena ran into the cave and found a lake inside the cave. Fruit bearing trees grew in abundance on the banks of the lake. Vanaras refreshed themselves and took rest in the cave.
Hearing the commotion, a figure emerged from another area of the cave. It was the beautiful nymph Swamyaprabha. She was happy to see the Vanarasena.
Swayamprabha was cursed by Indra, the king of the Devas, to live a life of solitude for helping a nymph escape with her demon lover.
Swayamprabha did not want the Vanarasena to leave so she kept them entertained with dance, m…

Symbolism in Ankusa or Goad in the Hand of Ganesha

Ankusa (Goad) is an important weapon in the hand of Ganesha. Goad is held on the upraised right hand of Ganesh – not all artists follow this rule. So you will see Ganapati images with or without goad. Symbolically, goad assures a devotee that Ganesha will remove all the obstacles and difficulties.

Ganesha also uses the goad to pull out people who take the path of Adharma. Just as a mahout uses the goad to control the elephant, Ganesha uses it to pull people towards dharma. Symbolically, Ganesha will only bless those devotees who are on the path of Dharma. For those that follow Adharma He will create several obstacles to make them realize truth.
It is also believed that goad is used to give a hint to the devotees to understand the need to severe attachments.

Story of Vanara Mainda in Ramayana and Mahabharata

Mainda is one of the monkeys mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The vanara was a minister of King Sugriva. He was one of the leaders who led the monkeys who went in search of Mata Sita.

In the battle in the Ramayana, he along with other Vanaras fainted. They woke up after they were sprinkled with water given by Kubera.

During the Mahabharata period, Mainda was living in a cave in Kishkinda. Sahadeva, one of the Pandavas, who led a victory campaign to South, was defeated by him.
Mainda was pleased with the courage of Sahadeva. He gave him valuable gifts and supported his campaign.

The 18 steps at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple - Symbolism and Significance

A darshan of Lord Ayyappa at the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is only complete when it is made after climbing the 18 holy steps. Atop the 18 steps is the shrine of Lord Ayyappa and below the 18 steps is the Aazhi or the huge bonfire lit using coconut. There is a popular belief that the 18 steps symbolically represent the 18 Puranas. Another symbolism suggests that the 18 steps are a combination of Pancha bhutas, Ashta Ragas, the three gunas, vidya and Avidya. There are also many scholars who suggest that the significance of the 18 steps is based on Yoga – as Lord Ayyappa is sitting in a yoga posture at the temple.
As per yoga, in a human body the sushma nadi marga has six chakras and each has three steps. After passing these 18 steps the kundalini Shakti is believed to merge with the Brahman. So those people who believe that the significance of the 18 steps is based on yoga suggest that the huge bonfire or Aazhi on the base of the 18 steps is the Kundalini energy in a human being and this…

Symbolism of Snake or Naga sculptures in Hindu Temple

Naga or snake is a symbol of fertility and water in Hindu religion. Most Hindu temples have sculptures or murtis of serpents. As per Hindu scriptures, Nagas reside in Patala, the last of the seven worlds under the earth and their king is Ananta or Sesha.

Naga is a general term used in Hindu religion for quasi divine hybrid beings that guard the mineral wealth of the earth. They are represented as having a varying number of hoods. Often they are portrayed as handsome men wearing crowns, large earrings and ornaments, accompanied by beautiful women with a single cobra hoods over their heads.

In sculptures, Nagas appear as subservient to or adjuncts of important deities or as popular household guardians of rivers, tanks, well etc.

In South India, women desiring children set up votive naga stones under the trees and worship them.

Grace of God Alone Is the Source of Constant Strength – Periyava

The process of developing detachment from objects of affection – changing over from raga to vairagya – should start when we are still in the full enjoyment of our senses.

When a dispute is settled, not by the judgment of a court, but by agreement, the parties to the dispute part as friends. Similarly, we must mentally become ripe and get ourselves detached from our attachments.

For that purpose we require the grace of Ishwara. Sri Shankara Bhagavat pada, in his Shivananda Lahari prayed to Ishwara to save him with his grace or mercy without minding his disqualifications.

Let us each pray to Ishwara to bless us with His grace, for that alone will accompany the soul and be a source of constant strength.
Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Mahaswamiji  (20 May 1894 – 8 January 1994), or the Sage of Kanchi or Maha Periyavar, was the 68th Jagadguru of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.