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Showing posts from March 13, 2018

Hanuman Swallowing Chandra or the Moon, the Story

Hanuman jumping towards sun, thinking it to be a fruit is a well known story. There is another story associated Hanuman swallowing Chandra, or the moon. Hanuman was forced to hide the moon in the mouth during the Ramayana war. During the war in the Ramayana, Sri Ram, Lakshman and large number of soldiers of the Vanara army were rendered insensible by the Brahmastra used by Indrajit, son of Ravana. To bring back Sri Ram, Lakshman and the army into consciousness a certain herb named Mrita Sanjivani had to be brought from the Himalayas . This had to be done before the next moonrise. Hanuman was deputed to bring the herb. But on reaching the hill, Hanuman was confused as to which was the correct herb. So Hanuman immediately lifted the whole hill and flew towards Lanka. When Hanuman was passing over Ayodhya, Bharata, brother of Sri Ram, happened to see Hanuman. Bharata thought it was some demon moving over the sky and brought Hanuman down with an arrow. But on realizing h

Shiva and Chidambaram – Story of Nataraja Dance at Chidambaram Temple

Nataraja, Shiva as cosmic dancer, is an attempt by human mind to capture the cosmic creation. Nataraja Shiva at Chidambaram Temple in Tamil Nadu is of great significance as Shiva performed the Ananda Tandavam here. The story of Nataraja Dance performed here begins when a sect of people named Vamvargis are blinded by faith and lead the path of Adharma. They forced people to join their sect and follow Adharmic practices. Shiva objected to cruelty in the name of worship and tried to make them understand Dharma. Vamvargis did not listen to Shiva and decided to belittle him through confrontation. The senior priests of the sect first produced a poisonous snake from fire and threw it at Shiva. With a smile, Shiva made the snake his garland. Then the priests unleashed a fierce tiger on Shiva. Within a blink of an eye, the tiger was subdued and Shiva tore the tiger skin with his little nail finger and wrapped it around him. The priests then unleashed a dwarf sized demon –

Story of Jakkanacharya – Sculptor and Architect of Belur and Hoysala Temples

We rarely get to know about the hands that made the wonderfully ornate Hindu temples of ancient India. Jakkanacharya was the sculptor and architect of the Hoysala and Belur temples in Karnataka. There is an interesting story associated with Jakkanacharya. He lived during the 14 th century AD. None of Hoysala or Belur Temples have the name of Jakkana. He is more popular through folk stories. There is an annual award in the name of Jakkanacharya in Karnataka and it is given to the best sculptor.  Jakkanacharya and the Kappe (frog) Chennigaraya temple Jakkanacharya was given the work of the Chennigaraya temple – presently located to the south of the world famous Chennakeshava Temple at Belur in Hassan District, Karnataka. He completed the main murti of Chennigaraya and it was about to be consecrated and installed in the temple. However, Dankana, Jakkanacharya’s son, came in search of his father and objected to the consecration of the murti as he considered it un

Jabala Upanishad in Hinduism – Deals with Concept of Renunciation – Part of Shukla Yajur Veda

Jabala Upanishad is part of the Shukla Yajur Veda. In six sections, it discusses the concept of renunciation in Hinduism. Jabala Upanishad gives importance to the school of thought which is indifferent to the performance of actions. The first three sections – dialogue between Brihaspati (Guru of Devas or demigods) and Sage Yajnavalkya. A symbolic representation of Ultimate reality is discussed in the three chapters. The Upanishad states that by concentrating on the meeting point of eyebrows and nose an ascetic can achieve liberation. The power of such a meditation helps in annihilating the misdeeds performed by sense organs and destruction of all evil thoughts and desires. The concept of Avimukta that which symbolizes that which is infinite and unmanifested – Shiva or Brahman - also discussed in this section by Sage Yajnavalkya. The last three sections – discussion on renunciation between Janaka, Sage Atri and Sage Yajnavalkya. Renunciation should be accep

Neelam Stone and Shani Amavasya – Benefits of Worship of Shani Bhagavan on Shani Amavasya

There is a popular belief among a large section of Hindus that wearing Neelam stone on Shani Amavasya (no moon day on Saturday) will help in avoiding all the problems arising in life out of the bad positioning of the Shani Navgraha. Worship of Shani Bhagavan has numerous benefits on the day including change of luck and desire fulfillment. Neelam Stone, also known as Blue Sapphire, is worn by people facing problems due to a malicious Shani Navgraha (Saturn) in their horoscope or janam kundli. One should buy a neelam stone ring and wear it on the ringer finger on Shani Amavasya – when there is a no moon or amavas on Saturday (Shanivar). The popular belief is that Shani will be pleased with the person and will remove his evil eye from the life of the afflicted person. As per astrology, the evil eye of Shani causes numerous problems in the life of a person. The positive aura created by the neelam stone will make sure that the person will not be afflicted by bad luck. There