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Showing posts from February 3, 2018

Lingodbhavamurti form of Shiva

Shiva appeared as Lingodbhavamurti – a linga form with no beginning and end – before Vishnu and Brahma. Lingodbhavamurti is represented as a cylindrical pillar of fire with the image of four-armed Shiva seen inside in the center of the linga. In some murtis, Brahma and Vishnu are also shown. In some they are represented by swan and boar. Legend has it that Vishnu and Brahma wanted to know who was superior and this led to a fight. Lord Shiva intervened and said whoever can find out the origin or end of Shivling is superior. Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of a huge pillar of fire - Lingodbhavamurti. Lord Vishnu went down searching and Brahma went up searching. Both traveled and traveled but never met the beginning or end. After the futile search, Lord Vishnu and Brahma prayed to Shiva and appeared before them in the form of Jyotirlinga and this day of the appearance of Lord Shiva is celebrated as Shivratri . Lingodbhavamurti form of Shiva can be found in the w

Why Hindus Tie Cotton Threads Around Trees?

Cotton Threads of various colours like red, yellow and white are tied around Pipal tree trunks especially in Northern and Western parts of India . This ritual is performed especially on the Vat Savitri puja day (May – June). During Vat Savitri Puja , the Banayan or Pipal Tree symbolically represents Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The root of Vat Vriksha is Brahma, the stem is Vishnu and the upper part is Shiva. The Pipal tree plays an important role in the famous story of Satyavan Savitri. It is believed that Satyavan spend his last moments under a Vat or Banyan tree on the full moon day in month of Jyeshtha. And Yamraj appeared here and Savitri pleaded with Yamraj under the Banyan tree. In memory of this event, women go round the Banyan tree for 108 times tying threads and fast for the health and longevity of their husbands. There are also other hidden symbolic meanings – one such meanings is narrated by Bhagwat Shah of Pushtimarg  The Pipal tree represents t

Story - Why Lord Shiva Covers His Body With Ash?

Lord Shiva’s body is always covered with ash and Shiv devotees wear ash tilak on forehead and hands. There is an interesting story in the Shiva Purana which narrates how Lord Shiva came to be associated with Ash. There once lived a sage whose lineage was traced to the famous Saint Bhrigu. This sage performed intense austerities and became very powerful. He used to consume only fruits and later only green leaves and thus got the name – Parnada. Sage Parnada continued his intense tapas and controlled all the animals and plants in the forest he lived. Once while cutting some grass to repair his hermitage, the sage cut his middle finger. But to his surprise instead of blood he saw sap of tree oozing through the cut. Now Parnada thought that he had become so pious that instead of blood, sap is oozing through his body. Pride filled his mind and he started shouting in joy that he is the most pious man in the world now. Lord Shiva who witnessed this event took the guise