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Showing posts from December, 2018

Story – How King Bali Became Powerful?

King Bali, or Mahabali, was the grandson of Prahlada, an ardent devotee of Vishnu who had the darshan of Narasimha Avatar. Prahlada trained his grandson in all the arts of warfare and taught him the Vedas. King Bali conquered all the kingdoms on earth and obtained the title of Chakravarti. Although an asura, King Bali was an ardent devotee of Vishnu. He performed intense austerities and attained the status of Indra, the king of devas. During a war between Asuras and Devas, the army led by Indra, the king of Devas, defeated King Bali. Later, King Bali with the help of his guru Shukracharya performed a yajna. From the sacrificial fire came a golden chariot, a horse of the same color as that of Indra and bright banner with lion as a symbol on it. Pleased with the yajna, Lord Brahma appeared before Bali and presented him with a divine bow and powerful arrows. He also gave him a divine conch. King Bali now became powerful and had enough strength to conquer the thre

Sant Ravidas Quotes And Teachings

Sant Ravidas, a 15th century poet-saint and revolutionary, fought against social evils like caste and untouchability. This is a collection of quotes and teachings of Sant Ravidas. He is also one the most prominent Bhakti poets of medieval period. The Lord is One, but He is diffused in many forms. Bring in, bring in, that All-pervading Lord. The Palmyra palm tree is considered impure, and so its leaves are considered impure as well. But if devotional prayers are written on paper made from its leaves, then people bow in reverence and worship before it. Through the way of devotion, the intellect is imbued with Truth; doubts, entanglements and vices are cut away. When I am in my ego, then You (Lord) are not with me. Now that You are with me, there is no egotism within me. A family that is a true follower of the Lord is neither high caste nor low caste, lordly or poor. And this toddy tree you consider impure, since the sacred writings have branded it that way,

Swami Paramananda Teachings and Quotes

Swami Paramananda  (1884 – 1940) was monk of Sri Ramakrishna Mission. This is a collection of teachings and quotes of Swami Paramananda. Those who hold themselves under the sway of ignorance, who serve the flesh and neglect the Atman or the real Self, are not able to perceive the effulgent and indestructible nature of their Soul; hence they fall into the realm where the Soul light does not shine. The Isha Upanishad shows that the only hell is absence of knowledge. As long as man is overpowered by the darkness of ignorance, he is the slave of Nature and must accept whatever comes as the fruit of his thoughts and deeds. When humans stray into the path of unreality, the Sages declare that he destroys himself; because he who clings to the perishable body and regards it as his true Self must experience death many times. When a man performs actions clinging blindly to his lower desires, then his actions bind him to the plane of ignorance or the plane of birth and

Story of Sage Kashyapa and Takshaka

Story of Sage Kashyapa and Takshaka is associated with the curse of King Parikshit. When King Parikshit was cursed that he would die by Takshaka's poison, Sage Kashyapa decided to rescue the king. Sage Kashyapa started from his ashram and reached halfway. Takshaka met him on the way and bribed him. He sent the sage back laden with presents of gems, ornaments etc. When people got the news about this, they derided Sage Kashyapa, who on account of covetousness, retreated from the duty of saving the King's life and non-cooperated with him in every way. To escape from the sins, Kashyapa sought the help of Sage Sakalya, who advised the former to bathe in the sacred tirthas in the Godavari and Saraswati rivers. Sage Kashyapa did so and regained his old reputation. Related Parikshit – Story of King Parikshit in the Mahabharata

Swami Gautamananda Teachings

Swami Gautamananda is a monk of Sri Ramakrishna Math. This is a collection of quotes and teachings of Swami Gautamananda. Desires propel the activities of an individual. In the attempt to fulfill them, God's help is sought since the task ahead may not be easily achieved. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna states that He is the indwelling being in all aspects of creation and that people seek Him specifically for four different reasons — wealth, relief from sorrow, knowledge and devotion to Him. The last category stands high in the spiritual ladder indicating that a true seeker would eventually leave aside materialistic and other desires to aim for the highest goal of life, salvation. We have to keep away the desires that can ruin our spiritual efforts. These desires arise in our mind. We should know when to reject and renounce them. Anger, desire, greed, delusion, haughtiness and pride obstruct our effort to concentrate on God. We should learn to tackle them wi

Story of the Birth of Demons Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu

Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu were two powerful demons who were annihilated by Lord Vishnu. The story of the birth of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu is found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. Diti once asked her husband Sage Kasyapa to make love to her at the Pradosh period of a day. Diti wanted to get a powerful son who would defeat sons of her sister Aditi. The pradosh period, which occurs in the evening, is a forbidden time for sexual act as per shastras. Sage Kashyapa could not resist his wife’s request and made love to her. However, Sage Kashyapa later warned her that she will give birth two cruel sons who will cause huge misery on all living beings and they will be annihilated by Bhagvan Vishnu. It must be noted here that Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu were also incarnations of the gatekeepers of Vishnu, Jaya and Vijaya, who were cursed to take several birth on earth.

Kim Purushas in Hinduism

Kim Purushas are semi-divine beings or minor deities mentioned in several Hindu scriptures. Kimpurushas are a combination of human, animal and supernatural traits. They have human figures and horse’s head. In some Hindu scriptures Kim Purushas are the same as Kinnaras . As per Mahabharata, they were the children of Pulaha Rishi. Some Puranas suggest that they were born from the limbs of Brahma. Kim Purushas lived near the Himalayas and their leader was Druma. As per some scriptures, they are attached to the service of Kubera , the treasurer of gods. They are also famous as celestial musicians. 

Amba in Mahabharata – Story of Amba in the Mahabharata

Amba was the eldest daughter of the King of Kashi. She along with two of her sisters were forcibly be taken away by Bhishma from the Swayamvara to be the wives of King Vichitravirya. But on the day when the marriage was to be performed Amba informed Bhishma that she had given her mind to King of Salwa and she be sent to him. On realizing the mistake, Bhishma sent her to the King of Salwa. But the King of Salwa was not ready to accept a woman who had entered the home of another person. Amba had now nowhere to go. Bhishma would not marry her as he had taken the vow of celibacy. King Vichitravirya would not accept her as he was in love with someone else. She then took refuge in the jungle and performed intense austerities with the aim to avenge her insult. Amba was born again as Shikhandi and was responsible for the death of Bhishma in the Mahabharata war.

Upanishad Stories - A collection of Stories from the Upanishads

This is a collection of stories from the Upanishads.  A Story From Chandogya Upanishad Which Explains The One Behind The Many After studying for twelve years, Svetaketu returned home conceited and arrogant about the knowledge he had acquired. Seeing, this his father Aruni asked him if he had been taught about the ONE behind the many, seeing which one sees all, hearing which one hears all, and knowing which one knows everything. When Svetaketu confessed his ignorance, the father explained how knowing one sample of clay one knows all its modifications. Aruni then ordered his son to bring a fruit of the banyan tree and cut it open. ‘What do you see?’ asked the father. ‘Atom-like seeds’, said the son Aruni then asked the son to break one of the seeds and again asked ‘What do you see now?’ ‘Nothing whatever, said the son. ‘From this atom-like seed sprouts the huge banyan tree,’ Aruni explained. ‘In the same manner, from the atom-like subtle essence o

Sabara – Commentator on Mimamsa Sutra of Jaimini

Sabara, who is believed to have lived during 1st century BC, was a famous commentator on Mimamsa Sutra of Sage Jaimini. His Bhashya on Mimamsa Sutra is the most important work in this genre and all later Mimamsa literary works are based on it. Hence, Sabara is also referred as father of Mimamsa literature in Hinduism. Sabara, a great scholar of the Vedas, states that Dharma connects men with ultimate bliss. Sabara accepted six pramanas – pratyaksha, anumana, sabda, upamana, arthapatti, and anupalabdhi. He has explained them in his bhashya. It would have been very difficult to understand the Mimamsa Sutra of Jaimini without the commentary of Sabara. It is widely accepted that Sabara was the one who systematized and coordinated sutras in adhikaranas. Period of Sabara Scholars have no one opinion regarding the period of Sabara. 1st century BCE is the period given by M.Winternitz. The period around 57 BCE is suggested by Ganganath Jha. This is based on the

Madasura in Hinduism – Story of Origin of Mada – Intoxication

Mada, or Madasura, is a demon in Hindu scriptures. He is the personification of intoxication. The story of origin of Mada begins with the banishment of Ashwini Devas (Ashwini Kumars) from the heaven by Indra, the king of Devas or celestial beings. Indra also ordered that the Ashvins should not be allowed to partake of soma, in any yajna performed in the universe. According to Mahabharata, Ashwini Devas took refuge in the Ashram of Sage Chyavana. Sage Chyavana conducted a yajna and invited Ashwini Devas to partake the Yajnamsha. Soma was served to them. Indra objected to this. Sage Chyavana ignored Indra and a fight ensued between them. Sage Chyavana produced from the sacrificial fire a demon named Mada. The demon fought with Indra and defeated him. When the demon was about to kill Indra, he took refuge at the feet of Sage Chyavana. Sage Cyavana forgave Indra and withdrew the demon. As the demon had no place to go, Sage Chyavana asked him to reside in alco

Tilottama – Story of Apsara Tilottama

Tilottama is an apsara or celestial woman mentioned in various Hindu scriptures. Her story is found in the Mahabharata and Puranas. As per Mahabharata, Lord Brahma once asked divine architect Vishwakarma to create a maiden using various kinds of gems. The woman who was created bit by bit from gems was called Tilottama. Her beauty was the talk of heaven and earth. Both Devas and Asuras yearned for her. Great warriors from both the camps wanted to marry her. Her beauty caused the downfall of two demon brothers – Sunda and Upasunda . They could not be defeated as long as they were together. But Tilottama easily caused divide among the brothers. They were then defeated by the Devas. Legend has it that the divine beauty was created by Brahma with the sole purpose of defeating Asuras Sunda and Upasunda. Related Story of Apsara Menaka

Story of Kamsa - Uncle of Sri Krishna - Kans Mama

Kamsa was the king of Mathura and he was killed by Bhagavan Sri Krishna. His story is found in the Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavad Purana, and other Puranas and in numerous other Hindu scriptures. He was the son of Ugrasena of Mathura. He was also uncle of Sri Krishna and therefore he is popularly known as Kans Mama. As per Vishnu Purana, Kamsa was in his previous birth an asura named Kalanemi who was killed by Bhagvan Vishnu. Upon becoming powerful, Kamsa put Ugrasena in prison and became the ruler of Mathura . To expand his kingdom and become powerful, Kamsa married Asti and Prapti, the daughters of King Jarasandha of Magadha . There is also a legend that Kamsa was born after a Gandharva named Dramila violated Ugrasena’s wife. Thus he was not really the son of King Ugrasena. The story suggests that even his mother hated him and she had cursed him that he will be killed by a member of Ugrasena’s family. An important event in Kamsa’s life happened during the marr

Meaning And Significance Of Atithi Devo Bhava

Atithi Devo Bhava is an ancient Sanskrit phrase from Hindu scriptures that equates guests with God. Meaning and significance of Atithi Devo Bhava is hidden in the Sanskrit term ‘Atithi.’ Atithi is a combination of two words – A + tithi – it means one who arrives without prior notice of a day. Atithi is an unexpected guest. Tithi is the term used for a day as per Hindu calendar and panchang. Meaning and significance of the phrase is that even an unexpected guest should be treated like God. So imagine how we should be treating an expected guest. All guests should be treated with love and respect. They should be invited with a broad smile. If we are unable to prepare an elaborate meal, we should share what is at home with courtesy and warmth.

Story of Nandanar – The Untouchable Shiva Devotee – one of the 63 Nayanars

Sage Nandanar was an untouchable and one of the 63 Nayanars. His devotion showed that man-made rules and restrictions are not applicable to Shiva. He does not look into the caste of devotee before blessing Him. An untouchable caste farm worker, Nandanar was craving to have a sight of Lord Shiva at Sivalokanathar Temple in Tirupunkur. However, his Brahmin landlord would not permit him to enter the temple, as his entry would pollute the sanctity of the temple. One day, pushed by his desire to see the Shivling in the temple he stands before the outer gate of the temple and looks. However, the big murti of Nandi Bull in front of the sanctum sanctorum obstructs his sight. Nandanar cries and pleads to Siva to remove the obstacle so that he can at least have a glimpse of Shiva from a distance. Suddenly, the huge murti of Nandi bull moves out of the line to enable Nandanar to see the Shivling. Nandanar has his darshan and in ecstasy, he sings in praise of Shiva. S

Thayumanavar – Lord Shiva Took The Form Of Mother – Story of Thayumanavar Form of Shiva

Thayumanavar Temple is located near Trichy in Tamil Nadu and the story of this form of Shiva is associated with Him coming to the aid of a pregnant woman in the form of her mother. An ardent female devotee of Shiva lived on the banks of River Kaveri. She used to offer daily prayers to Shiva on a nearby temple atop a hillock. She was pregnant and the delivery time was nearby when heavy rains flooded the river. This prevented her mother who was on the other bank of river from attending on the woman’s delivery. The delivery time neared and the woman was in intense labor pain. There was no one to help her. She pleaded Lord Shiva atop the hill to come to her aid. Suddenly, her mother arrived, did the delivery and went away. As the rain subsided, the actual mother of the woman came and apologized for not making it on time. Then only did the woman realize that Lord Shiva himself came in the form of her mother and did the delivery. The god on the hill temple got th

Story – Sword of Indra and the Sage - Symbolic Meaning and Lesson For Life

The story of the sword of Indra and the sage was narrated by Mata Sita in the Ramayana to Bhagvan Sri Ram. Legend has it that once there lived a great sage who had offered intense penance for several years. His piety and austerities alarmed Indra. The king of Devas feared that soon the Sage will replace him due to his holiness. To distract the Sage and make him fall from his present stature, Indra went to the sage, who lived in a forest, in the form of a warrior armed with a sword. Indra then convinced the sage to keep the sword in his safe custody. The Sage then spent all his attention on the sword. The Sage gave too much importance to the trust shown by the soldier on him. While guarding the sword he neglected his spiritual activities. Thus his spiritual powers declined and ultimately lost all his yogic powers. Thus Indra saved his throne. Neglecting one's duties and giving too much importance to unwanted things will take us far away from our destination. To

Sage Yajnavalkya Quotes - A collection Of Teachings Of Sage Yajnavalkya

This is a collection of teachings and quotes of Sage Yajnavalkya from Upanishads The senses are in the nature of hindrance only as long as they are not directed inward, towards the Atman. The eye cannot choose but see; and the ear cannot choose but hear. Similarly the mind. Make the senses calm, make the mind almost blank; do not think of anything in particular, and then you will hear in your heart the voice of the infinite. If you find it to be too hard a path, let the ear hear of the Atman, let the eye see that all this is the manifestation of the Atman and let the mind meditate uninterruptedly on the nature of the Atman. In this way, the scattered faculties are all coordinated and directed towards the Atman. That is the way. That will reveal to you that the knowledge of the Atman is superior to all else. The Atman is all in all. There is nothing in this world but the Self, the Atman. Describing the root cause of fear, Yajnavalkya says: Where there are two, o

Auspicious stars for griha pravesh - Good Nakshatras for House Warming

Griha Pravesh is the house warming ceremony or moving into a new house. Not all Nakshatras are considered good for moving into a new house. Here are the auspicious stars for griha pravesh as per Hindu astrology texts are: Rohini Mrigasira – Makayiram Uttara Phalguni – Uthram Chitra – Chithirai Anuradha – Anusham or Anizham Pushya – Pooyam Uttarashada – Uthradam Dhanishta – Avittam Satabhisha – Chathayam Uttarabhadra – Uthrattathi Revathi A Short Note on Griha Pravesh Griha means house or home and pravesh means to enter. Grihapravesh is the celebration of entering into a new house for living. The house may not be newly built but will be the place where the family starts a new life, the life they pray to be happy and blessed. The house also becomes the house of the Gods that the owner of the house believes in. The personal deity from the Hindu pantheon the family believes stays is the important member of the house and it is through the blessing of th

How Hanuman Got the Title Sankat Mochan?

Sankat Mochan means the liberator from distress and is a popular title given to Hanuman. Legend has it that Hanuman was the given the title Sankat Mochan by Shani Bhagavan after Hanuman rescued him from Ravana’s prison. Hanuman enters Lanka and starts searching for Mata Sita. Soon he hears cries from a dungeon. Hanuman finds Shani Bhagavan in the prison. Ravana had captured Shani to ward off his deadly graze. Ravana who was also a great astrologer knew that Shani would cause his downfall. In the prison Shani was chained upside down like a bat and his face turned to the dark wall. Shani was tied in such a way so that his glance will not fall on anyone. Hanuman breaks the chain and frees Shani. But Shani glance Hanuman during the process. Naturally Shani should have caused hardships in the life of Hanuman. But Hanuman was not harmed by Shani because He was the devotee of Sri Ram. It is believed that blue sapphire protects people against Saturn’s influence, b

Story of Indra and Prahlada

Prahlada, the little boy whose unwavering devotion led to the Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu, became a powerful king and he dethroned Indra from heaven. The story of Indra and Prahlada begins here. On Brishaspati’s advice, Indra met Shukracharya to find out the reason for the success of Prahlada. Shukracharya told Prahlada that is the most righteous person on earth and he earned his success and righteousness through his good qualities. Indra then decided to acquire the good qualities of Prahlada. Indra then disguised as young man who was on a quest for moral and spiritual advice. Prahlada accepted him as his pupil and gave him lessons in Dharma . Pleased with his pupil’s devotion, Prahlada offered his student a boon. As boon, the young man asked for his good qualities. Prahlada agreed to it. Soon all the good qualities of Prahlada were transferred to Indra. Soon Indra became the righteous man and took back heaven. Prahlada soon withdrew from the wo

Marathi Jyeshta Mahina 2023 – Jyeshtha Month 2023 in Traditional Maharashtra Calendar

Jyeshta Maas is the third month in a traditional Marathi calendar followed in Maharashtra . Jyeshtha Mahina 2023 is from May 20 to June 18. The most auspicious days in the month include Ganga Dashara, Nirjala Ekadasi, Vat Purnima. Sankashti Chaturthi  monthly fasting dedicated to Lord Ganesh is in Jyeshta Maas is on June 7 – Moonrise is at 9:58 PM – Indian standard time. Jyeshta Mahina Shukla Paksha and  Krishna  Paksha Jyeshta Mahina Marathi calendar 2023 Shukla Paksha (Waxing phase of moon) is from  May 20 to June 4. Jyeshta Maas 2023 Marathi calendar Krishna Paksha (Waning phase of moon) is from June 5 to June 18, 2023. Ekadasi in Marathi Jyeshta Month Nirjala Ekadasi – May 31 Yogini Ekadasi – June 14 Pradosh Vrat in Marathi Jyeshta Month June 1 June 15 Purnima in Marathi Jyeshta Month Jyeshta Purnima or Full moon day is on  June 4, 2023.  The Purnima begins at 11:17 AM on June 3 and ends at 9:12 AM on June 4.  Purnima Vrat is on June 3. Vat Purnima Vrat

Gajanan Maharaj Quotes - A Collection of Teachings of Gajanan Maharaj

This is a collection of quotes and teachings of Gajanan Maharaj What are the characteristics of a realized person? He remains unperturbed even when faced with a barrage of difficulties. Do not ask anything from anybody. When you stretch your arms in front for begging something, at that moment your feet go backwards. When hands go backward, your feet march ahead. One has to attain not excitable, imperturbable state of mind like that of an ocean. If you throw a stone in the sea then there is a slight disturbance. But that is only for a moment. The next moment it again becomes calm and solemn. A Yogi possesses such composed state of mind. How do people established in 'Brahman' conduct themselves? They act as father when dealing with son, behave like husband while facing wife. But the very next moment (after that particular interaction) they become solemn and serene. Those who can lead one to the truth without any expectations alone are called Sadguru. On

Reason For Taking Kavadi to Murugan Temples

Many Hindu devotees make it a point to take Kavadi to Murugan temples, especially during Thaipusam. In South India , many devotees take Kavadi to the Murugan Temple in Palani after observing severe austerities which include begging in houses. So, what is the reason of taking kavadi to Murugan temples? The popular myth or legend behind taking kavadi is associated with Idumban and Muruga. Idumban was a highly devoted student of Sage Agastya. One day Sage Agastya asked Idumban to bring two hills occupied by Lord Muruga. The two hills were Sivagiri and Shakthi giri. As a trial Idumban first lifted them up and both the mountains came up easily. Satisfied with his effort he kept them back and started preparing to take them to his Guru Agasthya. Now, Lord Muruga was watching all this from a distance. He decided to test Idumban’s determination as well as his devotion for his master. Lord Muruga took the shape of a small child and stood atop a hill. Idumban tried to

Gomati Mantra - Puja Vidhi - How to do Puja of Gomati Devi?

Information about Gomati Mantra is found in the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata. Sholka 42 of the chapter 81 of the section deals with the mantra. It is a mantra for obtaining the blessings of the cows. A brief idea on how to do Puja of Gomati Devi and mantra in Hindi along with puja vidhi - procedure - is given below. The mantra is chanted standing in the midst of cows. It is believed that chanting the mantra will help in attaining peace, prosperity and healthy children. Those women chanting the mantra will get loving husbands. Gomati Mantra ॐ गोमती देव्यै: नमः Om Gomati Devayye Namah or ग्लों सर्वलोक वश्यकरी स्वाहा॥ Gloum Sarvaloka Vashkari Swaha How to Chant the Gomati Mantra? The mantra should be chanted early in the morning just during sunrise. The person chanting the mantra should take bath and wear green color clothes. The mantra should be chanted facing northeast direction. On a green color cloth, place a Kalash filled with moong and cover it with

Story of Rahu and Shiva - How Rahu Became a Navgraha as per Skanda Purana?

The story of Rahu and Shiva is found in the Skanda Purana. Legend has it that once demon chief Jalandhara asked Rahu to carry a message to Shiva. The chief asked Rahu to inform Shiva that he was an incapable husband, as he could not appease Goddess Parvati as he roamed the cremation grounds. So Goddess Parvati should be sent to Jalandhara. When Rahu said the same before Shiva, he opened his third eye and produced a huge being. That huge being threw Rahu into the sky. He thus became a navgraha. This whole incident happened in a place known as Barbara and therefore Rahu is also known as Barabarodhuta. Symbolic Meaning of The Story The above story also has a symbolic meaning. There are people who try to take advantage of females, whose family is going through a bad time financially. Such people send emissaries with intention of seeking sexual favors. This is very common in Kali Yuga. It is a warning to such people that they will end nowhere like Rahu neither in heaven no

Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati Quotes and Teachings

Quotes and Teachings of Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati associated with Chinmaya Mission. The recognition and development of good qualities will lead one to moksha and freedom from bondage and pain. Negative qualities on the other hand lead one into bondage, resulting in sorrow and dependency. The positive and the negative are present everywhere and in all time periods. Even in the worst possible scenario, one could find something good. If a tragedy like an earthquake happens, it reveals how there are those who help total strangers even at personal risk. We also come across those who take advantage by looting and robbing. The Scriptures speak of the One Reality which is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss). Very simple stated, Satyam ekam vipra bahuda vadanti (The Truth is one but the wise speak of it differently).  This Reality has certain innate, inherent powers, which can be broadly termed as shakti. It has the power to project, sustain an

Arjuna and Krishna as Nara and Narayana – Symbolism and Meaning

The name ‘Nara’ is applied to Arjuna and ‘Narayana’ to Krishna in the Mahabharata. Arjuna is soul; while Krishna is the Supreme Soul – who is present in all forms. Krishna is in Arjuna but Arjuna is not able to realize it and all human problems are the result of this. This concept is an important symbol in Hinduism and it is pregnant with meaning. Here are few thoughts on the Symbolism. When we realize that Bhagavan Sri Krishna is present in each individual being there is complete harmony. There is no discrimination, no apartheid, no racism… Negativity is dropped. Desires are dropped. There is complete peace in Nature. When Nara is under the control of the senses, his mind is filled with ignorance. He does not see the single thread running through all forms. To attain moksha, or liberation, ‘nara’ has to merge in ‘narayana’ and realize that only Narayana exists. Nara has to merge completely in Narayana, lose his false identity, and accept the only True identity. Accept th

Thoughts on Birthday Celebrations - Vedantic View of Birthday - Sri Ramana Maharshi

This is a thought shared by Sri Ramana Maharshi regarding birthday celebrations. This is a vedantic view of birthday. You who wish to celebrate the birthday, seek first whence was your birth. One’s true birthday is when one enters that which transcends birth and death - the Eternal Being. At least on one’s birthday one should mourn one’s entry into this world (samsara). To glory in it and celebrate it is like delighting in and decorating a corpse. To seek one’s self and merge in the Self – that is wisdom. Jean Dunn explains about this thought of Ramana Maharshi in Ramana Smrti – Sri Ramana Maharshi Birth Centenary Offering (1980) What was he teaching us by this verse? What does it mean, “Seek first whence was your birth”? Aren’t we all aware of who our parents are and the date of our birth? Yes, but that is the date of the birth of a body and the parents are the bodies from which this body is born. Are we the body? If so we will surely die. What did Bh

Symbolism in Banalinga - Bana Lingam Symbol

Banalinga is one among the numerous types of Shivling worshipped by Hindu devotees. There is deep symbolism attached to the Banalinga, which is a sacred object forming a part of daily worship in many temples, sacred places and homes. This is one of the Shivling that can be worshiped at home. The Shape of this Shivling is Oval or Egg.  What is formless is represented in terms of symbolic form such as an egg. Banalinga ranging from the size of an inch to cubit is known as Ishwara.  The color of the Shivling may be of honey, black beetle, blue, deep red, green or touchstone. It is mainly found in Amareshwara on the Mahendra Mountain in Nepal, Narmada River, Kanya Tirtha in Srisailam, Lingasaila and Kaligarta. To a Shiva devotee, Banalinga is like the Shaligrama of Vishnu Devotees and yantra (mystic diagram). Banalinga has five faces. Kamdev carried five banas (arrows) to disturb Shiva whose meditation after the death of Sati was causing imbalance in the universe. The five

Daityas in Hinduism – Story of Origin of Demons in Hindu Religion

In Hindu religion, demons (asuras) are referred to as Daityas. They were the sons of Diti and Sage Kashyapa . Diti served Sage Kashyapa with devotion to attain a valiant son. She was blessed with a child but Indra killed the embryo and cut into forty nine pieces and they became Maruts (a group of Devas). Indra was the son of Aditi, another wife of Sage Kashyapa , and she did not like Diti’s son to be powerful and challenge Indra. So it was on her advice that Indra killed the son of Diti. This cruel fate did not deter Diti from giving up, she continued serving Sage Kashyapa and she was blessed with two powerful sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. These two Daityas defeated Indra numerous times. Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu are believed to be the ancestors of Daityas. Related Why there are Very Few Brahma Temples?

Creation of World in Vaishnavism - Creation Story Associated With Hindu God Vishnu

The Vaishnava school of thought refers to creation of the world as Jagat Srishti. As per Vaishnavism, the cause of the universe and the basis of its existence is Hindu God Vishnu. He gives birth to brahma – through a lotus coming out of his navel. This first creation after the Pralaya or great deluge is known as Samasti Srishti. The order of creation Jagat Karana – The reason behind all creation – Vishnu sleeping on banyan leaf on sea. He commences Samasti Srishti – birth of Brahma. Brahma then creates the Vedas, 14 lokas (7 above and 7 below), devas, yajna, tapas, vastu and purusharthas. Brahma then creates Pradhana Tattva. Pradhana Tattva gives birth to Mahat Tattva. Mahat Tattva creates the Gunas – Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika. Next panchabhutas are created – space, air, fire, water and earth. Panchabhutas create 11 indriyas – sound, speech, sight, taste, smell, hands, legs, arms, skin, secreting organs and mind. Panchabhutas are mixed in a definit

How To Do Daily Worship And Meditation on Sri Krishna?

The answer to how to do daily worship and meditation on Sri Krishna is provided by Siddheshvari Devi. In your daily devotional practice, visualize Shri Krishna standing in front of you. You have complete freedom in choosing how to meditate on Him. If you find it difficult to visualize Him, feel free to take the help of a picture or a statue. Images of God help us concentrate on God. Use the image as a base for your meditation. Many people close their eyes and claim to be meditating on God. They have a picture or statue of God in front of them. They look at it and then with closed eyes visualize that image. This is not meditation on God. It is meditation on an inert object. You must visualize Shri Krishna. Do keep a photo or idol of Shri Krishna in front of you, but keep it only as a base for your visualization. That photo may be very small, but out of that photo, visualize a six-foot tall Krishna coming out and standing in front of you. The important thing

Jabali in Ramayana and other Hindu Scriptures

Jabali is the name of a counselor in the Ramayana. Jabali is also the name of numerous other people in Hindu scriptures especially the Puranas. In Ramayana, Jabali was the saint counselor of King Dasharatha. Here are some of the important stories of Jabali in Hindu scriptures. Jabali in Ramayana He accompanied Bharata to bring back Bhagavan Sri Ram from his exile. Jabali was an atheist and he argued with Rama to return to Ayodhya. Taking a rationalist view of life, he argued that there was no such thing as the other world and therefore he should not worry about the word he had given to his father. He argued that what is important is the world as we know and he should not be bothered about the unseen world. He also attempted to convince Rama about the futility of human relationships. Rama was not happy with the arguments and he stressed on the need to uphold Dharma. He completely negated the atheistic thoughts. Jabali thus failed in convincing Bhagavan Sri Ram. What is im

Dharmayuddha in Hinduism - Dharam Yuddh

In Hinduism, Dharmayuddha is the righteous war approved by society. It was an open battle devoid of secrecy, stratagem or crafty elements. Dharm Yuddh is a war of defense though it presupposes aggression. The prominent feature of the Dharmayuddha was that the conquering king only acknowledged his supremacy over the inferior and defeated powers, and returned the kingdom to the defeated. If the king was killed, his son or near relative was installed on the throne on subordinate alliance terms. In Dharmayuddha, fight should between equals on one to one basis; aged men, women, children, the retreating, and such others were not to be killed; the cities, gardens, temples, and the common people should not be harmed; the injured warriors should be treated unbiased, one should not fight a warrior who does not offer to fight or is panic stricken, without an armor or weapon. A king who achieves victory through Dharmayuddha was known as Dharmavijayi.