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Showing posts from March, 2017

Importance Of Upanayana In Hinduism – How To Perform Upanayana Ritual?

Upanayana is a sacred ceremony in Hinduism by which a boy or girl between the ages of seven and sixteen is initiated into the spiritual world. Upanayana literally means ‘providing an additional eye’ – upa means additional and nayana means eye of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The term also means leading the disciple to the Guru (upa – means near and nayana means leading.) Symbolic symbol of Upanayana is the wearing of yajnopavita or sacred thread. Yajnopavita or sacred thread is believed to have worn by the creator. There is no reference to it in the Grahyasutras. Bal Gangadhar Tilak has stated that it is remnant of the cloth worn by Prajapati. Not all Hindus perform Upanayanam . Numerous Hindu communities and sects do not perform the sacred thread ceremony. Like all rituals in Hindu religion this one is also not mandatory. Those who wear the sacred thread are known as twice born . When a child starts his spiritual education by learning the Vedas, the child is getting a new

Valliyankavu Devi Temple in Idukki, Kerala

Valliyankavu Devi Temple is a powerful shrine dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti at Paloorkavu near Mundakkayam in Idukki, Kerala. The shrine has two separate sanctum sanctorums – one dedicated to fierce Goddess Bhadrakali and another dedicated to the motherly form of Parashakti Durga. Legend has it that the murti of Durga worshiped in the temple was originally worshipped by Pandavas and Panchali during their exile period inthe Mahabharata . The murti of Bhadrakali was installed by the tribals of the region. The temple courted trouble when some people suspected that the tribals were performing ‘bali’ (human and animal sacrifice) in the shrine. The government then took over the temple. Even today, the temple performs symbolic ‘guruti or bali’ using white pumpkin after the last puja. Guruti is not performed in the shrine when Sabarimala Temple opens for Mandala Makaravilakku season. The Guruti restarts with Mahaguruti after the Makaravilakku festival in Sabarimala

Muslims Offering Prayers to Lord Venkateswara Especially on Ugadi – Story of Bibi Nancharamma

Lord Venkateswara, famous as Tirupati Balaji, is worshipped and offered prayers by Muslims in certain regions in Kadapa and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh. Muslims offer prayers in Venkateswara Temples in Kadapa and Rayalaseema during Ugadi, the Hindu lunar year in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Why Muslims Offer Prayers to Lord Venkateswara Muslims in the region believe that Bibi Nancharamma, a consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara, is a Muslim. This belief is based on a folk story prevalent in Rayalaseema region. It is explained by some scholars that the story about Bibi Nancharamma was a folk imagination during the times of conflicts between Hindus and Muslims during the medieval times (Deekshitulu 2010: page 66). The story is believed to have helped in unifying Muslims and Hindus of the region. Story of Bibi Nancharamma The story of Bibi Nancharamma is associated with Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity and consort of Lord Vishnu. In the regi

Story Of Avvaiyar

Avvaiyar was a great devotional poetess of Tamil Nadu. Her life story is very interesting as she asked for old age to escape from marriage so that she can lead a hassle free spiritual life. The most popular legend is that Avvai was the daughter of Athy, a low caste woman, and a Brahmin named Pagavan. Unreconciled to his marriage with a low-caste woman, Pagavan unwillingly made Athy promise to abandon her children. Avvai, the first of seven children, was adopted by a family of traditional singers known as Panars. The adopted child surprised her parents by completing an unfinished song. When her marriage was being considered, she appealed to Lord Ganesha to extricate her from this travail, and she was transformed into an old woman. She then led a life of wandering minstrel and her songs and sayings are popular even today. She is believed to have had darshan of Lord Muruga. Muruga Gives Darshan to Avvaiyar Legend has it that once Avvaiyar stopped to rest in a forest dur

Story of Jayadratha Kidnapping Draupadi in the Mahabharata

Story of Jayadratha kidnapping Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, is found in the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata. Jayadratha was the king of Sindhu. He attended the swayamvara (marriage ceremony) of Draupadi but did not succeed in marrying her. However, he continued to nurture a secret desire for her. Lust Blinds Once during the 12-year exile period of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata, Jayadratha happened to pass through with his army through the forest in which the Pandavas was living. He saw a beautiful woman standing on the doorway of the ashram. He was overpowered by lust and evil desires made him ask his deputy to find out if the woman was interested in making him her lord. His deputy soon returned and told Jayadratha that the woman was Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. He also advised the arrogant king that it would be foolhardy to nurture such evil designs and it is better we vacate the place as soon as possible. Men who are drunk in power never listen to sane advice. Po

Ugrasena – Story of Father of Kamsa

Ugrasena was the father of Kamsa and the ruler of Mathura. His story is mainly found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. He is the maternal grandfather of Lord Krishna. Ugrasena was not the hereditary king of Mathura. He acquired the right to rule Mathura as Vasudeva, father of Sri Krishna, was not interested in kingship. When the rule of the solar race over the Mathura region ended, Surasena, king of Yadava clan, occupied the throne of Mathura. His son Vasudeva, father of Lord Krishna, did not wish to become the king. Ugrasena, a chief of an important Yadava clan occupied the throne. Ugrasena was a noble ruler but unfortunately, he had a son, Kamsa, who was arrogant and oppressive. Kamsa found an evil ally in Jarasandha. He married the daughters of Jarasandha who was ruler of Magadha. Many a times, Ugrasena attempted to change the cruel and inconsiderate behavior of Kamsa. But all advices of the wise king fell on deaf ears. The advice given by Ugrasena to Kamsa is found in the K

Food Cooked By Sita In The Ramayana And What Did Mata Sita Eat In Lanka?

The food that was cooked by Mata Sita in Ramayana was so delicious that it is part of several folklores. A story from Himachal Pradesh connects Sita’s kidnapping by Ravana to the tasty food she cooked. It is believed that Mata Sita did not have to eat anything in Lanka because Indra gave her a food which made sure that she was never hungry during her forced stay in the capital city of the demon king. As per the folklore, a crow carried the food Mata Sita cooked during her exile period in Ramayana to Lanka. Ravana happened to taste the food. He was so much happy and content with the food that he decided to kidnap Sita and get her to Lanka so that she would cook for him. Sita’s kitchen is very famous and the objects used by Mata Sita can be found in the Sita-ki-rasoi in Ayodhya. Sita Rasoi in Chitrakoot There is also a Sita Rasoi in the Chitrakoot area in Uttar Pradesh. It is located on the crown of the hill above Hanuman Dhara. Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman res

Ashvattha Tree in Hinduism – Spiritual and Religious Importance of Ashvattha Tree

Ashvattha Tree is popularly known as pipal (ficus religiosa), or the sacred fig, and it is of great spiritual and religious importance in Hinduism. It is known as the tree of knowledge and enlightenment. It is the symbolic inverted tree mentioned in Hindu scriptures. Ashvattha Tree is also the seat of gods and abode of the Goddess of wealth. Ashvattha literally means the tree under which the horses stand. As per old beliefs, it was the chariot of Gods. Ashvattha in Vedas The tree, as per Atharva Veda, is found in the heaven and Devas, or demigods, sat under its shade. The holiness and sanctity of the tree is also mentioned in the Rig Veda. The tree showers soma (the drink of the Gods), as per the Chandogya Upanishad. As per Katha Upanishad, the roots of Ashvattha grow upwards and its branches grow downwards. ( Symbolism of the inverted tree .) As per the Rig Veda, the wood of the tree was used to make vessels. The twigs of the tree were used for oblation i

Geometric Symbol and Diagram for female principle in Hinduism

There are particular symbols for male, female, creation etc in Hinduism. The symbol for female principle in Hinduism is circle with a dot in the center and inverted triangle. These geometric symbol and diagram explains the female principle or nature in Hindu religion. As per the Shaktas, or the school of thought that believes in the female energy concept, Mother Goddess Shakti is the deciding factor in salvation or moksha. Creation is only possible in Mother Goddess. The life force is her wish. She is the mother of all energy forms. She is worshipped in innumerable forms including Durga, Kali, Parvati, Chamunda… She is also worshipped in the form of symbols especially in the tantric school of thought. Circle with a dot in the center and inverted triangle symbolizes fertility. The concept of fertility should not be narrowed down to sexual union of human beings only. It symbolizes regeneration, greenery and plentiful. This is the reason why Mother Goddess takes the

Meaning of Balaji – Lord Vishnu – How Venkateswara Came to be Known as Balaji?

The Balaji form of Lord Vishnu is most famously associated with Lord Venkateswara who is worshipped in the famous Tirupati Balaji Temple in Tirumala. As per Bhagavad Purana the name Balaji means ‘the cosmic child’ or ‘eternal child.’ This meaning has nothing to do with the present day meaning of the term. So how did Venkateswara came to be known as Balaji. True Meaning of Balaji in Srimad Bhagavad Purana When man breaks Dharma, he breaks cosmic order. Nature is in disarray. The cosmic dissolution happens to set the house in order. Destructive storm and torrential rains destroy all manmade things in the universe. The raging waters consume all that is there in the world. Then on the endless ocean, a banyan leaf floats and on it, we get the first glimpse Balaji – a dark child, suckling his right toe. He is the cosmic child. Next cycle of creation begins with his appearance. (This form of Vishnu is also referred as Vatapatrashayin ). But before the next cycle of cre

We then play to play not to win

Our aim in life should be to directly experience the true reality behind all the forms in the universe. We are impressed and inspired when read or hear spiritual teachings. We decide to follow them. Either we become blind followers or drop following halfway through. We should read and listen to spiritual teachings but stop following them blindly. Think. Contemplate over them. Then chalk out our own path. Then we will be able to lead a better and fruitful life. Only then will we be able to have self realization. Until then what we are having is borrowed realization. When we realize the unlimited universal Self, we learn more about the limitations of our body, mind and intellect.  We have been fed this wrong notion that we are an island. In the island, we are supposed to have only certain type of people, ideas and beliefs. This is wrong. By supporting this wrong teaching, we are limiting ourselves. That life force which is present in me is present in all animate and ina

Ayonija concept in Hinduism - Not Born from Womb

Ayonija means that which is born without parents – not born due to copulation. Literal meaning is not born from uterus or womb. Ayonija is an important concept in Hinduism. It is believed that Mother Goddess, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma are Ayonija. The eternal omnipresent divine being takes various forms out of will. Those that appeared through Ayonija never perish. All that is born due to sexual copulation perish in due course of time. Brahma appeared from the navel of Lord Vishnu. One of the most popular images in Hinduism is that of a lotus sprouting from the navel of Vishnu with Brahma seated on the lotus. ( you can read the story here ) Ganesha and Muruga were also not born from a Yoni. Goddess Parvati rubs her body, creates a boy, Ganesha , out of the material that appears from the body and asks him to keep guard while she bathed. Muruga was born from the divine spark that emanated from Shiva as a result divided into six and Vayu (wind) and Agni (fire) carried

Thiruindalur Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu

Thiruindalur Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Srihari is worshipped here as Parimala Ranganathar. It is one of the 108 Vishnu Temples or Divya Deshams . The temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old and is located at Thiruindalur in Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu. Thiruindalur Temple is located around 4 km from Mayiladuthurai Junction Railway Station. About Murti of Vishnu at Thiruindalur Temple The murti of Parimala Ranganathar in the sanctum sanctorum is in reclining form. He faces east. The vimana above the sanctum sanctorum has Veda Chakra design. Powerful Murti The belief is that Chandra worships the face of Lord here; Surya , Ganga, Yama and King Ambrisha worships the feet Brahma worships the navel Cauvery worships the head Saint Tirumangai Azhwar praised Parimala Ranganathar in his hymns. The sacred pond in the temple is known as Indu Pushkarini. Chandra, the moon god, got salvation after taking bath in the pond. Mot

Goddess Padmini in Hindu Religion

Goddess Padmini is one among the numerous names of Goddess Lakshmi. Padmini means one who is seated on the Lotus. Lotus flower is a symbol of eternity , plenty and good fortune and Goddess Lakshmi , the Hindu goddess of wealth, is usually depicted with a lotus flower. She is always referred to as the wife of Purushottama . She holds noose and the goad in her upper arms. Two hands are in blessing posture. She wears a garland made of lotuses. She has a gracious appearance. Her complexion is like the heart of a lotus. Her ornaments are in the shape of letters. Devotees surrender her before for protection. She is the source of all that is noblest in the universe. She is the ultimate refuge. Padmavati and Padmamalini are two other names of Goddess Lakshmi that is associated with Lotus Related Symbolism in the Murti or idol of Goddess Ganga – Significance of Iconographic representation of Goddess Ganga

Symbolism in Ankush or Goad in Hinduism – The Axe like Object in the Hand of Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is depicted with an Ankush, or goad, in one of his hands. Sometimes people confuse it to be an axe. Traditionally goad is used to control elephants in India . Symbolically, Ankush is used by Lord Ganesh to drive mankind forward on the path of self realization. Ankush symbolizes the need for the control of the elephant size desires which runs amok and ruins the life of a human being. When desires are not controlled it is like an elephant running amok – destroying everything on the path to fulfill the desire. Ankush is also seen as a symbol which reminds a person for the need to keep the mind in control. The unwanted thoughts that arise in the mind should be controlled by a person just like an Ankush controlling the elephant. In some images, Ankush is depicted along with an axe-like portion. This axe like portion of Ankush cuts the person away from the false identification with the body and helps in realizing that all animate and inanimate is

Panchu Mahadeva Temple at Budhakhol near Buguda in Odisha

Panchu Mahadeva Temple is a cluster of five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located at Budhakhol (3 km away from Buguda) in Odisha. The temple is located around 30 km from Aska and around 70 km from Berhampur . The temples are located atop a hill and are surrounded by beautiful hills. A huge statue of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva welcomes one to the area. The small shrines are simple ancient structures. Shiving is worshipped in the temples. Nandi bull is also found near the temples. One has to climb a series of steps to reach the shrine. Special rituals are observed during Shivratri and Kartik Purnima. The month of Shravan attracts scores of devotees. Related Telankhedi Shiv Temple near Nagpur – Telangkhedi Temple

Teachings on Shiva and Shivling by Swami Karapatri

Shiva as the undivided principle is worshipped in the linga. His more manifest aspects are represented in anthropomorphic images. All other deities are part of a multiplicity and are thus worshipped in images. The symbol of the Supreme Man (Purusha), the formless, the changeless, the all-seeing eye, is the symbol of masculinity, the phallus or linga. The symbol of the power that is Nature, generatrix of all that exists, is the female organ, the yoni. Swami Karpatri Pleasure dwells in sex organ (upastha), in the cosmic linga and yoni whose union is the essence of enjoyment. in the world also all love, all lust, all desire is a search of enjoyment. Things are desired for the pleasure they contain. Divinity is the object of love because it is pure enjoyment (Swami Karapatri - Lingo-pasans-rahasya page 153) Shiva Purana says this about Shivling The distinctive sign through which it is possible to recognize the nature of someone is called a Linga (Shivling) (Shiva Purana 1.1

Goddess Kirti

Goddess Kirti is a manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi . She is actually the manifestation of Narayani as per Lakshmi Tantra. She is thus the consort of Vishnu or Narayana . Legend has it that Goddess Narayani divided herself into four – Lakshmi, Kirti, Jaya and Maya . Goddess Kirti bestows fame on her devotees. Goddess Kirti resembles Goddess Lakshmi in her garb and ornaments, except that sometimes her complexion is fair like the kunda flower or campaka flower. Kunda flower is a variety of white jasmine. Champaka flower color is golden yellow. The twenty-syllable mantra associated with her form is Om hrim krim traim namah sadoditanandavigrahayai hrim krim svaha. Her anga-mantra is kram tam krim tam krum tam krim tam kraim tam kraum tam. Related Rudramsa Durga

Vrishabha Rasi Color – Vrishabh Rashi Lucky Colour

There are two colors that are dedicated to Vrishabha Rasi and they are the lucky colour associated with the Rashi. The Vrishabh Rashi lucky colours are White and Silver. Wearing white color dress and wearing silver ornaments are good for this rashi people, especially while going for new job or interview. Please note that in some regions and communities have a different color for the Rashi like other shades of silver or white. (In some regions cream is also associated with the Rashi. Wearing white and silver color dress for competitions, exams etc are lucky for the Rashi people. For financial solutions, freedom from debt, for attain wealth etc., you can wear white color stones like pearl etc.  (Article provided by Sumesh PS. If you like to publish such articles please mail us at hindublog @ gmail. com)

Adukathu Bhagavathy Temple in Kasargod District in Kerala – Adukkath Bhagavathy Temple

Adukathu Bhagavathy Temple, located around 32 km east of Kasargod, in Kerala is dedicated to Mahishasura Mardini form of Goddess Durga. The Adukkath Bhagavathy temple is unique for two reasons one raw buffalo milk offering and another for the turtles in the nearby pond (amakulam). The main offering to Goddess Mahishasuramardini is raw buffalo milk. Turtles in Adukathu Bhagavathy Temple Pond The temple pond is full of turtles and is known as Amakulam. During summer, the pond dries up and the turtles too disappear. But they reappear when the pond is full after the monsoon rains. Rice offering is made to the turtles for cure of skin diseases. Subsidiary deity worshipped in the temple is Goddess Saraswati . Other subsidiary deities include Vana Sasthavu and Rakteshwari Nagam.  The most important festivals in the temple is Saraswati Puja during Navratri in September/October. The temple holds an important festival on Karthika Nakshatra day in Vrischikam month.  Relate

Bija – Pinda – Samjna and Pada in Mantra in Hinduism

Bija, pinda, samjna and pada together form a complete mantra. They are four important parts of a mantra dedicated to a particular deity in Hinduism. Each of these parts is in itself effective as a mantra. Among the four Bija is often used independently and thus we get to hear lot about Bija Mantra. Any one of the four parts serves purpose of meditation. Among four parts Bija invariably constitutes the essential part of  particular deity’s mantra. Bija mantra is of a single word or syllable. The Beej mantras  are chanted alone or along with a combination of words. Of all beeja-mantras, the single-syllable Hayagriva beeja-mantra is the best. It is the king of mantras.

The fear of Shani – Why do some Hindus fear Lord Sani?

In Hindu astrology there are nine grahas or ‘planets’ and they are Surya, Chandra, Angaraka (Mars), Buddha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu. There also12 rashis or moon signs, corresponding to the 12 sun signs of the zodiac. Of all the grahas, Shani is a mischief maker and Hindu scriptures suggest that even gods are not spared from Shani’s effect. Shani’s effect is believed to be for seven and half years. Shani or Saturn revolves around the Sun in about 30 years. Thus it passes through all the 12 rashis in 30 years, spending an average of 2.5 years in each rashi. The astrology associated with Hinduism assigns a specific moon sign to each individual, which is calculated based on the date, time and place of birth. Shani’s effect starts when Shani enters the rashi just before your particular rashi and ends when he leaves the rashi that’s after yours. This works out to 2.5 x 3, a total of seven-and-a-half years. This is popularly known as Seven and a half

Raj Lakshmi – Goddess Rajalakshmi

Raj Lakshmi, or Rajalakshmi, is believed to be the bestower of power or royalty. This form of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and fortune, was propitiated mainly by Kings in ancient times. Raj Lakshmi is included among the Ashtalakshmis in some regions by some communities. But largely she remains a form of Goddess Lakshmi and is the provider of royal authority to kings. A peep into the history of other religions and cultures suggest that ancient rulers always worshipped a goddess, who helped them in battle and in running their empire smoothly. Raj Lakshmi is depicted with crown, throne, scepter of kingship, flag and bow. She was given importance by all rulers in their kingdom and they strongly believed that their fortune depended on her. Today, for many people she is one among the numerous names of Goddess Mahalakshmi. Incidentally, Rajalakshmi is a popular Hindu name for a girl child in South India .

Significance of Salagram

Salagramam or Salagram are sacred stones found in the Kali and Gandaki River , Himalayan streams. It is worshipped by Hindu devotees as a form of Lord Vishnu. Legend has it that Lord Krishna was cursed by a chaste woman that he would become a stone and Lord Krishna to fulfill curse appeared as Salagramam. There are numerous stories regarding the origin of Salagrama. ( you can read a story here .) The importance of Salagram is mentioned in several Hindu scriptures. It is believed that the worship of Salagram is equal to worshipping Lord Krishna. Certain scriptures state that Lord Krishna resides in the Salagram. सलाग्रमं शिलायाँतु साक्षात् श्री कृष्ण सेवानाम नित्यम संनिहितास तत्र वसुदेवो जगाद गुरू Salagrama consists of two words ‘saalayah’ and ‘graamam.’ ‘Saalyah’ means lord and ‘gramam’ means a congregation. Thus Salagram represents a group of gods in one place. The Salagram bears the emblems of Vishnu, especially the chakra. The Salagram is black in col

Origin of the Word Hindu

The historical and etymological genesis of the word `Hindu' is an ongoing controversy. Indologists differ in their opinion regarding the origin of the word ‘Hindu.’ The term ‘hindu’ is not a Sanskrit word and scholars have not acknowledged the use of the word in Vedic literature. But there is a generally accepted scholarly view regarding the origin. The word ‘Hindu’ is derived from the River Sindhu otherwise known as Indus . According to Monier Williams, ‘that part of the great Aryan race which immigrated from Central Asia, through the mountain passes into India, settled first in the districts near the River Sindhu (now called the Indus). The Persian pronounced this word Hindu and named their Aryan brother Hindus. The Greeks, who probably gained their first ideas of India Persians, dropped the hard aspirate, and called the Hindus `Indoi'. Dr Radhakrishnan also echoes similar views. He writes in the ‘The Hindu Way of Life’ ‘the Hindu civilization is so called, s

Asthi Sanchaya - Hindu Ritual of Collecting Bones after Cremation

Asthi Sanchaya is the rite of picking up the charred bones of a dead person after cremation in Hindu religion. It is collected on the fourth day after cremation. This is an important ritual after cremation . The performer of the rites walk thrice around the spot where the body is cremated, with his/her left side turned towards the spot, sprinkles milk mixed with water with shami branch . The person mutters the Vedic mantra sittike (Rig Veda 10.16.14). After this, with the thumb and fourth finger of the left hand, the person picks and puts each bone, with closed eyes into an earthen pot, without making a rattling noise. The bones of feet are taken first and those of head last. It is then put in a pit, or kept at the root of a tree, or hung from the branch of a tree. The bones are immersed in the sacred river or sea. Related Shradh in a Year Tilodaka – Water Charged with Til or Sesame Seeds in Shradh Rituals

What Is Panchaloha Idol (murti)? – Components And Percentage Of Metals Used?

Panchaloha idol (murti) as the name indicates consists of five metals. Pancha means five and loha means metal. Panchaloha idols are found in many Hindu temples in India especially in South India . Panchaloha consists of Gold, Silver, Brass, Copper and Iron. The percentage of metals used is 4 portions of silver, 1 portion of gold, 8 portions of brass, 8 portions of copper and a small quantity of iron. This percentage is only to give a general idea and might vary from region to region. Today, the main constituent in Panchaloha idol is copper, brass and lead.  Large quantity of copper is mainly used in idols that are sold in large-scale like the Nataraja statue. But the idols made for temples strictly follow the tradition and contain gold and silver. Note - Idol is a wrong word to use. The word that should be used is murti. Related What is an Ashtadhatu Idol? - Importance of Ashtadhatu Murti

Story - Sita Daughter Of Mandodari In Adbhuta Ramayana

The story of Mata Sita as daughter of Mandodari is found in the Adbhuta Ramayana – a Sanskrit version of Ramayan associated with the tantric Shakti cult. This text mentions that Sita was the daughter of Mandodari, wife of Ravana , the demon king. As per Adbhuta Ramayana, Mandodari was a pious woman and she was unhappy with the demonic ways of Ravana. She was also saddened by the fact that Ravana showed no interest in her and neglected her. Ravana had collected the blood of Rishis (holy saints) to perform some ritual. He had warned Mandodari not to touch it as it was poisonous. One day fed up with the attitude of Ravana, Mandodari decided to end her life and drank the blood of Rishis believing it was poison. She did not die but few days later she realized that she had become pregnant due to drinking the blood. She then removed the undeveloped foetus and buried it in a paddy field. The undeveloped foetus was protected and nurtured by mother earth. When it bec

Difference between Astra and Sastra

Both Astra and Sastra are terms used to refer to weapons in Hindu Puranas, epics and other texts. But there is a difference between them. Astra refers to weapons that are associated with mantra or chant. Thus even a blade of grass can become an astra when it is infused with the power of mantra. Most of the arrows used in the Mahabharata and Ramayana fall in the category of astra. Shastra, or Sastra, refers to conventional weapons like sword, mace, discus etc. The most famous astras are Brahmastra, Pashupatastra, Agneyastra, Nagapasha , Yamastra etc. Related Brahmastra

Parimala Ranganathar Temple Timings – Darshan – Opening Closing and Pooja Time at Parimala Ranganathar Temple in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu

Parimala Ranganathar Temple at Thiruindalur in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Detail temple timings is given below. Please note that there will be changes in the opening and closing time of the temple during important rituals and festival. The darshan time will be extended on special occasions. The shrine will remain closed during Grahanam or eclipse. Parimala Ranganathar Temple Darshan Timings: Morning – 6:30 AM to 11:30 AM Evening – 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Kodanda – The Bow of Rama

Kodanda is the name of the bow used by Bhagavan Sri Rama to vanquish the practitioners of Adharma in the Ramayana. This bow of Sri Ram is known as the auspicious one. Usually a bow has 3 or 5 or 7 joints. But Kodanda has 9 joints. There are also temples dedicated to Kodanda Rama especially in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In such temples, Bhagavan Sri Ram is worshipped in the murti form in which he holds a bow. It is not mentioned in the Ramayana as to how Rama came into the possession of his bow.