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Showing posts from August 29, 2018

Ashtabandham in Hinduism – Astabandam during Idol installation Ceremony in Hindu Religion

Ashtabandham is the mixture of eight materials that are used to fix the Murti (image or idol) of a Hindu deity in the sanctum sanctorum of a temple or at sacred place. Astabandam is performed to the main murti in a temple or to those idols of Hindu deities that are fixed permanently. Eight different items form part of the mortar that is used in Ashtabhandam. The eight items that are part of Ashtabandham are: Powdered conch Powdered Terminalia Anjana (Kadukka) Powdered Chenchalyam or gum secreted from country pine Powdered gravel rock Powdered river sand Powdered dry phyllanthus Emblica – Amla or gooseberry tree Powdered kolarakku or country lac Cotton used for making sacred thread These eight items are mixed to make a thick solution that is used to fix the murti. You may also like to read Flag Staff in a Hindu Temple Components of Panchaloha idol What is an Ashtadhatu idol?

Bhartruhari Life History - Story of the Birth of Bhartruhari

Bhartruhari , Hindu philosopher and grammarian of 6 th century, is noted for his famous philosophical works – Niti Shataka, Shrinagara Shataka and Vairagya Shataka. He is also the author of the famous Vakyapadiya. There is a very interesting story regarding the birth of Bhartruhari. There once lived a learned Brahmin named Govinda Swami. He became the student of all the important Gurus of his time and gathered knowledge from all. But he remained dissatisfied. He felt there is more to learn. Therefore, he took a journey to find out a Guru who was the abode of all knowledge and who could satisfy all his doubts. During his journey, he came across a brahmarakshas (a ghostly apparition) in a forest. Govinda Swami soon found out that the brahmarakshas was in his earlier form a learned man. He had not shared his knowledge with anyone. Therefore a knowledge seeker cursed him that he will take the form of a brahmarakshas and will be relieved of the curse only when he shares his know

Lanka Podi at Sonepur in Odisha

Lanka Podi is a unique ritual held at Sonepur in Subarnapur District of Odisha. Children recreate the scene of Hanuman burning Lanka on the day. It is observed annually on the Bhadra Amavasya as per traditional Hindu calendar in Odisha and is also known as Sapta Puri Amavasya. The ritual traces its roots to 8th century. In 2023, Lanka Podi date is September 14. Small Terracotta statues of Hanuman are wrapped with clothes and leaves and are mounted on wheels. The tails of statues are wrapped with old clothes and is then dipped in kerosene and set on fire. The statues are then paraded through the streets with the tail burning symbolizing Hanuman running around burning Lanka. The statues are finally taken to nearby Somalai Temple and broken. Some people place the statues on rooftop as guardian deity. The legend and ritual takes place from the belief that Sonepur was Lanka, the golden city of Ravana . On a small island near Sonepur on River Mahanadi there is a temple of Lank

Importance of Bathing of Murtis of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in Rivers and Lakes after Festival

Bathing of Murtis (idols) of Hindu Gods in sea, rivers, lakes, ponds and other water bodies is an important ritual during annual temple festival in many Hindu Temples in South India . This ritual is popularly known as Arattu or Snanam. The popular Chakra Snanam during Brahmotsavam at Tirupati Balaji Temple is typical example of the ritual. It is believed that during the ritual the deity performs Amrita Varsham. Devotees are allowed to take bath along with the deity in some temples. It is also believed that when a deity takes holy dip in the water, Akasha Ganga makes its presence felt in that particular water. The deity during the ritual is bathed using turmeric, powders of various grams, gold and Ashtagandha. For the bathing ritual, the utsava murti, or the murti that is carried around for rituals, is used. The priest takes the utsava murti into water and takes dip three times. The murti is then place on a raised platform near the water body and pujas ar

Birth of Ganesha as the Mind Born Son of Lord Shiva

Puranas are filled with numerous stories regarding the origin of Lord Ganesha. The most widely accepted birth of Lord Ganesh is that he was created by Goddess Parvati. But there are also some Puranas that suggest that Ganesha is the Maanasika Putra (mind born) son of Lord Shiva. The reason for the different stories regarding the birth of Ganesha is explained in the Shiva Purana. It states that Ganesha originated in different ways in different Yugas (Hindu era) and each time there was a need for him to appear. Origin of Ganesha as the Mind Born Son of Lord Shiva happened when the Devas (celestial beings) approached Lord Shiva and asked for help to escape from Asuras (Demons). Shiva agreed to help them. And he meditated. Soon from his mind appeared a child with the head of an elephant holding a trident in one hand. This was Ganesha who immediately instilled confidence in all those present. Goddess Parvati took the child in her lap and said to the assembled that no human or

On Bhakti Yoga and its Scientific Background

Delivering a lecture on Bhakti Yoga, the Vice-president of Indian Academy of Yoga, Prof IM Gupta said that the Bhakti Yoga has a scientific background. The lecture titled ‘Bhakti Yoga: An Analysis with a Scientific Backdrop Based on Bhagavad Gita’ was delivered at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) in BHU in Varanasi . The following points are excerpts of the lecture from Hindustan Times Bhakti Yoga, the inevitable and logical culmination of all other forms of yoga — karma yoga, gyan yoga and dhyan yoga — the different pathways recommended for the elevation of human form in its various facets, has a scientific background. Energy in scientific term is required by all living creatures for their subsistence and activity. The primary source of all energy in nature is the Sun, a manifestation of Lord Himself. The plant kingdom (green plants) alone has the means and ability to convert Sun’s energy into food for subsequent use through the process of photosynthesis.

Kapileswara Temple in Tirupati – Kapileswara Swamy Temple and Importance of Kapila Teertham in Tirupati

Kapileswara Temple, dedicated Lord Shiva is located at the foot of Tirumala hills in Tirupati and has a scenic waterfall called Kapila Tirtham. It is a tradition that before worshipping Lord Venkateswara at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, devotees must worship Lord Kapileswara. Shiva, as Kapileswara, is the Kshetra Palaka of Tirumala Hills. The main deity, Sri Kapileswara Swami, presents Himself in the form of a magnificent Linga in this cave like rock shrine. The Shivling is seen facing the Tirumala Hills. There are many other smaller shrines within the temple complex. The word Kapila means ‘one who enjoys bliss.’ Lord Shiva is the epitome of eternal bliss and everlasting enjoyment of spiritual awakening. Thus, whoever worships Sri Kapileswara, with utmost devotion and dedication, will attain Kaivalya moksha. Sri Kapileswara at Kapila Tirtham symbolizes the transcendental sojourn from mortal world to immortal abode. Story of Kapileswara Temple in Tirupati Sage Ka

Dasa Shlokas of Adi Shankaracharya – Summary of Shankara’s Teachings and His Concept of Brahman

When Shankaracharya decided to enter ‘samadhi,’ Sudhanva, the foremost disciple of Shankara, requested that the essentials of his teaching may be summarized and given to them. Shankaracharya then said the Dasa Shlokas, or Ten Verses, which elaborated the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of Brahman – the core concept of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma). It contains the basic teachings of Adi Shankaracharya. The five elements do not express my real nature; I am changeless and persist forever.  I am above castes and creeds. I am seen when ‘maya’ is removed, and do not need concentration or worship as shown in Yoga Sutras.  I have no parents, I need no Vedas as proclaimed in the scriptures, no sacrifices, no pilgrimages. I am the eternal witness.  All the teachings of various religions and philosophies do not reveal my true nature and are but shallow views of my deep being.  I pervade the whole universe and am above, in the middle and below, in all directions.  I am co