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Showing posts from August 31, 2018

Shaktipeeth – What Is The Exact Number of Shaktipeeths? – 51 – 52 – 72 or 108

Shaktipeeth are holy places associated with the Mother Goddess Shakti and spread over various parts of the Indian subcontinent. They are popular pilgrim centers. But what is the exact number of Shaktipeeths? Is it 51, 52, 72 or 108? Shaktipeeth on earth are those spots where a part of Mata Sati’s body fell after she performed self-immolation at the infamous Daksha Yajna. As per Devi Purana, there are 51 Shaktipeeths on earth. As per Devi Bhgavad Purana, also mentions about 108 Shaktipeeths. Devi Gita mentions about 72 Shaktipeeths. Tantra Choodamani mentions about 52 Shaktipeeths. The most popularly accepted number is 51 as mentioned in the Devi Bhagavatam. Of the 51 Shaktipeeths, there is no proper knowledge regarding 4 Shakipeeths. They are  Ratnavali Shaktipeeth,  Kalmadhav Shaktipeeth,  Lanka Shaktipeeth and  Panchasagar Shaktipeeth. Ratnavali is associated with shoulder of Mata Sati. The belief is that Maa Sati’s shoulder fell here. Kalmad

The Story of Skanda as Son of Agni

Skanda, popularly known as Muruga, Kartik, Subrahmanya and Shanmugha, is the son of Shiva. But there is a story that suggest that Skanda is the son of Agni. As per this legend Skanda is the son of Agni and Goddess Svaha. Legend has it that Agni was enamored by the beauty of the seven wives of Sapta Rishis or the seven sages – Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadhvaja, Vishvamitra, Gauthama, Jamadagni and Vashishta. Goddess Svaha was worried that Agni would end up doing something stupid and would end up getting cursed by the Rishis. Goddess Svaha then took the form of the seven wives of Saptarishis and made love to Agni, her husband. Skanda was born to Goddess Svaha after this incident. It must be noted that in the story of Skanda as son of Shiva, it is Agni who carries the fiery semen of Shiva to Ganga who deposits in the forest and where Skanda is born as six babies looked after by Krittika Nakshatra. The six babies are later joined together by Goddess Parvati. Thus in all

How to celebrate or perform rituals on Sri Krishna Jayanti?

Sri Krishna Janmashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti is mainly celebrated in Lord Krishna or Vishnu temples. Hindu spiritual organizations conduct numerous programs like discourses, dramas and processions on the day. A fasting is observed on the previous day by some communities in North India. But this is not followed by majority of people. If you plan to celebrate or perform rituals at home on the day, the ideal method will be to recite the mantra ‘ Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. ’ This can be done while performing pujas or throughout the day. Pujas involve offering flowers and performing Arati. Reciting or listening to Srimad Bhagavata Purana or Bhagavatam is highly auspicious on the day. Some devotees observe fast and spend time in temples or listening to discourses. The main worship in temples takes place at midnight when Lord Krishna was born. It must be remembered here that Lord Krishna is happy with anything that is offered to him in true devo

Venkatachalapathy Temple at Krishnapuram Village near Tirunelveli

The 16th century Venkatachalapathy Temple at Krishnapuram Village in Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, is noted for its unique intricately carved stone sculptures. The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkatachalapathy (Venkateswara) with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. Situated about nine km from Tirunelveli town, currently the temple and around 40 sculptures are in a dilapidated condition due to lack of maintenance. V Krithiga writes in expressbuzz.com about the present condition of the temple: The Veerappa Naick Mandapam situated north of the temple has two beautifully-carved elephants at its entrance. The six pillars at the mandapam exhibit `Puranic’ scenes with dexterity. Another unique feature of the temple is the musical pillars that produce interesting sound, when tapped.  Some of the rare sculptures such as Arjuna with a flowing beard performing penance with a bow and an arrow in his hands, a princess and a prince being abducted by a

Mahalakshmi - Is There A Difference Between Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi?

In Hinduism, Mahalakshmi is the supreme Mother Goddess and is believed to be the root of all creations. The popular Hindu Goddess Lakshmi who is the goddess of wealth, auspiciousness and fortune is only an attribute of Mahalakshmi. There is a difference between Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi. But today both forms mean the same for majority of the people. Mahalakshmi as Supreme Mother Goddess is similar to Durga and this form is mentioned in Tantric texts and is popular in western India , especially in Maharashtra . As per some school of teachings, there is a difference between Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi. Popular image of Goddess Lakshmi Difference Between Lakshmi and Mahalakshmi Mahalakshmi is the Supreme Mother Goddess. Goddess Lakshmi is an amsha avatar or a manifestation of Mahalakshmi. The form of Mahalakshmi is impossible to imagine or comprehend. To help devotees, worship and offer prayers, Mahalakshmi took the form of Goddess Lakshmi. Mahalakshmi is the Mother with

About the Hindu Japamala - Importance of Rosary in Hinduism

Japa is the repetition of a mantra or a word or a combination of words done with the intention of realizing the Supreme Being in Hindu religion. To keep count of the repetition of the mantra, a prayer garland is used and this is known as Japamala. Japa mala is the rosary in Hinduism Usually a Japamala consists of 108 beads – the number 108 is of great significance in Hinduism .  In Japamala, all the beads are of same size, except one bead which is known as ‘meru.’ When the mantra is repeated the devotee counts it on the bead and the count is automatically kept when the fingers reach the ‘meru.’ When the fingers reach the ‘meru’ the counting is done by turning back as the ‘meru’ should not be crossed. Japamala is usually made from Tulsi, sandalwood, rosewood, or Rudraksha . There are also malas made from precious and semi-precious stones.

Vinayaka Chaturthi Puja Vidanam and Mantras in Tamil – How to perform Ganesha Chaturthi Puja?

Vinayaka Chaturthi Puja Vidanam and Mantras in Tamil is provided by Sumadhwa Seva website. It is highly helpful for people performing Ganesha Chaturthi puja at home. It contains puja procedure, mantras and other details in Tamil in pdf format. Link – Vinayaka Chaturthi Puja Vidanam in Tamil You will need pdf reader installed to download or read the puja procedures.

Tantra and Tantric Love - Misunderstandings and Misinformation - Swami Chidananda Saraswati

Tantra, or the practice of ‘sacred sexuality,’ is becoming very popular in the West today. Do you think these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path? Swami Chidananda Saraswati answers in detail on the topic of Tantra and Tantric Love in Hinduism and clears lot of misunderstandings and misinformation. No, I do not think that these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path. Why? Because of human frailty, human weakness. The human mind is so made that it always takes the path of least resistance. It always wants the easy way. Tantra is an approach to God through all types of sense enjoyment. Everything is offered to God and so everything becomes sanctified; nothing is profane. One enjoys sense satisfaction and sees it also as part of God's bliss. There is a view, and it has something to it, that while in all human experiences duality persists – there is an ‘I am enjoying this object’ feeling – that in the ultimate sexual experience between a truly loving male, int