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Showing posts from June 25, 2019

Sapta Puri – Seven Holy Cities in Hinduism - Sapta Moksha Puris In India

Sapta Puri is the name given to the seven sacred cities associated with Hinduism in India . These seven holy cities are also referred as Sapta Moksha Puris and Seven Tirthas. The general belief is that by visiting these cities one escapes from endless cycle of births and deaths and attains ‘moksha.’ Sapta Puri is therefore also referred along with Char Dhams as ‘moksha dayika.’ Sapta Puri Names The sacred cities in the Sapta Puri are Kashi Kanchipuram Haridwar Ayodhya Ujjain Mathura Dwarka Sapta Puri Shloka There is also a Sanskrit shloka referring to the seven great tirthas. ‘Kashi, Kanchi, Maya, Ayodhya, Avantika Mathura , Dwaravati chaiva saptaita mokshadayika’ Kashi is also known as Varanasi and is located in Uttar Pradesh.  Kanchipuram is in Tamil Nadu.  Haridwar is also known as Mayapuri and is in Uttarakhand.  Ujjain is also known as Avantika and is in Madhya Pradesh.  Dwarka is also referred as Dwaravati and is in Gujarat . 

Five Elements And Color In Hinduism

Five Elements is known as Pancha Bhuta and each of the five element has a color associated with as per Hinduism. As per Hindu teachings, life is made up of pancha bhoota and depends on them for the sustenance. The five elements in Hindu religion are prithvi, apu, agni, vayu and akasha. The colors associated with them are yellow, white or silver, red, blue and black. The earth, according to Tarkashastra, has seven colors in it, for a grain of sand alone can be held in the hand, while the other elements cannot be contained in the palm. The seven colors associated with earth are white (shukla), blue (nila), yellow (pita), red (rakta), green (harita), grey (kapisa) and multicolor (citra). Earth (Prithvi) is yellow in color. The yellow color suggests stability on earth and its riches. Gold, Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu are associated with yellow color. Yellow powder of turmeric is an important offering in many temples. The shape associated with this element is square as it is perfec

Origin of Pandharpur Yatra - Origin of Varkari Pandharpur Wari Tradition in Maharashtra

Waari is the term used to refer holy pilgrimage in Maharashtra and the word is synonymous with Pandharpur Yatra to the famous Lord Vitthal Temple . Waari is undertaken annually by Varkaris in the Maharashtrian month of Ashadha and it culminates on the Ekadashi during the waxing phase of moon in the month. It is a three week long pilgrimage from Dehu and Alandi near Pune to Pandharpur, which is around 450 km away. But who were the first warkaris and when did the Pandharpur Wari Tradition begin. The followers of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) never bothered about dates and why would they bother, when their sole aim is to understand Brahman – the timeless – and merge with it. Same is the case with the Pandharpur Wari tradition and no one knows exactly when the first Pandharpur Yatra took place so many people roughly say it is thousand years old. Some believe it was the parents of Sant Dnyaneshwar who undertook the first pilgrimage in the 13th century. Sant Dnyaneshwar to

Importance of Horses in Pandharpur Yatra

Horses are an indispensable part of the annual Pandarpur Yatra in Maharashtra . The Yatra which begins at Dehu and Alandi near Pune goes to the Pandharpur Temple to have darshan of Shri Vithal – a manifestation of Sri Krishna. The entire procession of Pandharpur Yatra which is followed by nearly 500,000 pilgrims is led by a horseman holding a banner. The horse routinely dances in a rhythmic manner. The first horseman is followed by a white horse which is not ridden. No one rides it. The belief is that the horse is mounted by Saint Jnaneshwar. The horseman also plays a vital role in the famous ringan ceremony (gol ringan) performed by Warkaris (pilgrims) on a particular day. The two horses move round in circles in the ringan ceremony. 

Gadyachi Jatra in Goa – Held Once in Three Years Dedicated to Ghosts

Gadyachi Jatra is an important ritual and festival held once in three years at Canacona in Goa. Next, Gadyachi Jatra will be held in 2023 at the Betal temple at Mahalwada, Poinguinim. The rituals and festivities on the day are dedicated to ghosts, locally known as ‘bhutam’, and holy spirits, known in Goa as ‘denvchar’. Gadyachi jatra is mainly held at: Sal Borde-Bicholim Pilgao Kudne Savoi-Verem and Betal Temple at Mahalwada, Poinguinim Gadyachi Jatra Ritual Four males dressed in gadde (white dhoti) take part in the ritual. A document written on cloth in 1823 AD is read out on the occasion. In front of the temple or sacred place, a revolving wheel is erected on a tall arecanut tree trunk. The four males are suspended by hooks on the revolving wheel. Folk songs called naman are chanted to the beats of dhol.  The men are only released when the devotees assembled shout – ‘mal- gaddo’ (satisfied). Pair of roosters are sacrificed on the occasion. It is said that

Raga Dvesha In Hinduism

Attraction and aversion is known as Raga Dvesha in Hinduism and it is an important philosophical teaching. The importance of overcoming raga dvesha is described in the Bhagavad Gita (Chater III.34). It leads to a state of mind called prasada (chapter II.64), which is said to bring freedom from misery that leads to stability of mind (II.65). In Nyaya Vaisesika philosophy among the twenty four gunas (qualities), five qualities are said to belong to the self. These are iccha (desire) or raga; devsha (aversion), sukha (pleasure), duhkha (pain) and prayatna (effort). Raga and dvesha are included among the five kleshas (afflictions) recognized in the Yoga philosophy. Patanjali in Yoga Sutra (II.3) has listed five afflictions, which are present in the human mind. They are called anadi (beginningless). The five afflictions are avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (attachment), dvesha (aversion) and abhinivesha (fear of death). Raga and Dvesha constitute the process of de

Prana Suktam – Significance Of All Important Life Breath in Atharva Veda

Prana Suktam is a hymn of 26 verses in the 11th skanda (section) of the Atharva Veda. It is devoted to extolling the prana or life breath. Through the Prana Suktam, Atharva Veda Samhita recognizes the power of life breath as the most important of all the vital airs, which not only rule over an individual but the entire universe. Rishi Vaidarbhi, the scion of Sage Bhrigu, proclaims that it is these vital airs which keep a man alive and active. Prana Suktam discusses the nature and importance of the element of the life breath. It also describes the method of the worship of the life breath. They hymn states that life breath is supreme and everything depends on it. Life breath pervades the earth, the atmosphere and the heaven. The life breath of heaven covers the earth through the sun’s rays, the life-breath of the atmosphere reaches the earth through rain, and on earth life prevails in the form of life breath. All beings live upon the life breath pervading the at

Why God Can Only Be Known by Symbols? – Sri Aurobindo Answers

God can only be known by symbols because in its ultimate reality it defies logic and exceeds perception – Sri Aurobindo  The spirit who lies concealed behind the material world, has given us, through the inspiration of great seers, the Scriptures as helpers and guides to unapparent truth, lamps of great power that send their rays into the darkness of the unknown beyond which He dwells, tamasah parastat. They are guides to knowledge, brief indications to enlighten us on our path, not substitutes for thought and experience. They are shabdam Brahma, the Word, the oral expression of God, not the thing to be known itself nor the knowledge of Him. Shabdam has three elements, the word, the meaning and the spirit. The word is a symbol, vak or nama; we have to find the artha, the meaning or form of thought which the symbol indicates. But the meaning itself is only the indication of something deeper which the thought seeks to convey to the intellectual conception. For not