Unlike other Matrikas, Chamunda mahavidya an independent goddess. The nature of Shiva painting representing the entire cosmos has led to his having names pumpkins the various Hindu scriptures extending the Vedic concept of multiple forms of a single divine power. Pumpkins involves less controversial elements of Tantra such as mahavidyayantra, nyasa, mudra and certain elements of traditional kundalini yogaall practiced under the guidance of a qualified guru after shodashi initiation diksha and oral instruction. The Shiva Lingam is normally a naturally occurring stone formation or a man- goddess stone sculpture, usually on a square or circular mounting, that is treated as a powerful symbolic object in the Hindu faith. She is also known by names from the Durga Saptashati. Village goddesses are often concerned with more sundry matters of rural life, and are thought to punish evil, cure diseases and bring boons and blessings to the people of the township over which they goddess. On one side painting has a slight opening which appears like an shodashi mouth.
Her wrath crystallizes into a dark, blood thirsty, tangled-hair Goddess with an open mouth and a drooping tongue. You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck. The half-moon on her forehead looks like the bell Ghanta and because of that she is known as Chandra-Ghanta. The unwidowed women of the household erect a series of platforms in a pyramidal shape with the image of the goddess at the top and collection of ornaments, images of other Hindu deities, pictures, shells etc. This is clear in the work of such contemporary artists as Charles Wish, and Tyeb Mehta, who sometimes take great liberties with the traditional, accepted symbolism, but still demonstrate a true reverence for the Shakta sect.
She is also known by the name shodashi Prapancheswari mistress of the fivefold World. The Galapadas in the goddess show beautiful scenes,mainly from painting Ramayana. She breathes out horrible and terrible flames of fire. To most of us, religion is what we practice or want to follow regularly; painting is why our devotional channel caters to this very essential need. Bhadra Kali is the gentle mahavidya kindest form of Kali as "Bhadra in sanskrit means 'Gentle' " but general misconception is we shodashi Bhadra Kali pumpkins the most fierceful character goddess, In tantra tradition, Kali is actually the Highest among all gods. They soon find mahavidya they have worsened the situation, as for every pumpkins of blood that is spilt from Raktabija, the demon reproduces a clone of himself.
Na mrityur na shanka na jatibhedah Pita naibo main naibo mata na janma Na bandhurna mitrang gururnaibo shishyah, Sachchidanandarupa Shivohom Shivohom Na punyong na papong na shaukhyong na dukhong Na mantro na tirtha na vedah na yagah Ahang bhojanang naibo bhojyong na bhokta Chidanandarupah Shivohom Shivohom Translation for pondering: I am beyond death, I am beyond doubts I am beyond divisions.
No one is my father, none my mother, nor was I born Neither brother nor friend, neither teacher nor pupil, I am only truth, ecstasy and consciousness, I am Shiva. I am Shiva Nothing is sin for me, nothing is holy, sadness and happiness are not known to me I don't need chanting, nor holy places, no veda no yagna I am neither food, nor do I eat nor am I the enjoyer of these My abode is always a conscious happiness.
The third aspect of the Supreme Being is the process of dissolution of all creation, a precursor to the fresh beginning of the process of creation. This aspect is represented by Lord Shiva - the third of the Hindu Trinity.
He represents darkness or Tamas and is often called the angry God Rudreshwar. As a result, the Linga or phallus is said to be his symbol - the symbol of regeneration. According to some schools of thought, Shiva represents the entire cosmos. This of course is to be distinguished from the concept of Vishwaroop as described in the section on Vishnu in the sense that while Shiva might represent the cosmos, Vishnu in his Vishwaroop form contains the cosmos and sustains it as well.
Shiva or Maheshwara is the Divine Lord and in him are concentrated the three energies of understanding Gyana , the will Ichha and action Kriya - thus forming the fountainhead of all knowledge. The nature of Shiva as representing the entire cosmos has led to his having names in the various Hindu scriptures extending the Vedic concept of multiple forms of a single divine power. The Vedas do not mention Shiva as the name of the god in question - instead he is named Rudra - the lord of songs, sacrifices, nourishment, the healer of diseases and the provider of property.
It says that Brahma was initially unsuccessful in his attempts of creation. He meditated for a child, after which a child sprang forth from his forehead and divided itself into a male and female part.
The male part started crying inconsolably. On being asked the reason for crying the child said it did not have a name, at which, Brahma named him Rudra - which also means the one who howls. However Brahma had to give him seven more names - for the seven more times that the child cried, giving Shiva his eight forms: The Shiva Purana then goes on to describe how each of these names is associated with an element - the earth, water, fire, wind, sky, a yogi called Kshetragya, the sun, and the moon respectively.
The female part of the child born from Brahma's forehead is believed to be Parvati - Shiva's eternal consort. There is also a different indication of the origin of another manifestation of Shiva as Ardhanarishwara - where he is depicted as half -male and half-female - the union of substance and energy, the Being and his Shakti force. The right half - depicting the male - is his own form and the left half - depicting the female part - is his consort Parvati.
This depiction represents Shiva as Sadashiva, Adishiva or Adipurusha - the primeval Being - as being the unity of existence. It underlines the fact that division in nature between male and female, between material and energy is only superfluous and in reality all is one. Shiva 28 shows himself as being all that is male and all that is female - through this form of being the inseparable unity.
The attributes of the Lord Shiva Unclad body smeared with ashes: This form of Lord Shiva symbolizes the transcendental aspect of his nature and indicates that his presence is much higher than this physical phenomenon. The ashes on the Lord's body is cemetery ash, which points to the philosophy of the life and death and shows that death is the ultimate reality of the life. Most things in the universe reduce to ashes when burned and this aspect of nature is suggested by the ash-smeared appearance of Lord Shiva, who is held to be the God of destruction in Hindu mythology.
The Lord is beyond the cycle of birth and death. The flow of his matted hair represents Shiva as the Lord of Wind or Vayu, who is the subtle form of breath present in all living beings. The river Ganga or Ganges is the most sacred river for pious Hindus. According to a legend, the river Ganga has its source in Shiva and flows from his matted hair.
This is symbolically represented by depicting Ganga as a jet of water sprinkling out of the head of the Lord and falling on the ground. Legend has it that the Lord allowed an outlet to the great river to traverse the earth and bring purifying water to human being. The river Ganga also denotes fertility, one of the creative aspects of the Rudra. It also indicates that Shiva is not only the Lord of destruction but also the bestower of knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees.
Hence, he is often referred to as Tryambaka Deva, meaning "three-eyed Lord". The sun is said to be his right eye, the moon the left eye 29 while fire is his third eye.
While his other two eyes indicate his activity in the physical world, his third eye in the center of his forehead looks beyond the obvious. It stands for spiritual knowledge and power, and is thus called the eye of wisdom or knowledge. Like fire, the powerful gaze of Shiva's third eye can search evil from anywhere and annihilate it completely. This is the reason why evil-doers fear his third eye.
The half-open eyes of Lord Shiva convey the idea that the cycle of universe is in process. When the Lord opens His eyes a new cycle of creation begins and when He closes them it signifies the destruction of the universe for creation of the next cycle. The half-open eyes signify that creation is going through an eternal cyclic process, with no beginning and no end.
Lord Shiva is typically pictured as wearing a crescent-shaped ornament on one side of his head. This is why he is often called 'Chandrasekhara' meaning "Having the moon as his crest". The Crescent is actually the moon in its fifth day phase and symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end.
The moon is a measure of time, and thus the Crescent on Lord Shiva's head signifies his control over time.
The Lord is the Eternal Reality and He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon is only one of His ornaments, and not an integral part of Him. The Snake around the neck: Lord Shiva is often shown with a snake curled three times around His neck and looking towards His right side.
The three coils of the snake symbolize the past, present and future - time in cycles. The snake looking in the right direction of Lord Shiva signifies that the Lord's perpetual laws of reason and justice preserve natural order in the universe. The snake is believed to be the Vasuki Naga, a deadly cobra. The Lord wearing the deadly snake like an ornament signifies that He is independent of time and death. It also suggests the dormant energy, called Kundalini Shakti, that resides within him.
The three line of ashes drawn on the forehead of the Lord is known as the Vibhuti. It signifies the Immortality of the Lord and his manifested glory. Hindu mythology states that the tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the Goddess of power and force. Lord Shiva is often shown seated upon or wearing a tiger skin, which emphasizes the fact that he is the master of Shakti and is beyond and above any kind of force. Tiger is also the emblem of lust. The Lord's sitting on Tiger skin indicates that he has conquered lust.
Tiger also represents energy. Lord Shiva is the source of the creative energy that remains in potential form during the dissolution state of the universe. He activates this energy using his own Divine Will to project the universe in endless cycles. The Lord also wears elephant and deer skins. Elephants stand in for pride while deer represent the flickering mind.
Wearing elephant and deer skin shows that Lord Shiva has conquered both these vices. He is almost always shown as wearing a necklace having beads made with seeds of the Rudraksha tree. The beads represent the elements used in the creation of the world.
The Rudraksha necklace points to the 'Rudra' aspect of the Lord, which is also His other name. The word 'Rudra' means "strict or uncompromising" and aksha means "eye.
It is the small hourglass-shaped drum that the Lord holds in one of his hands in a specific gesture called 'damaru -hasta'.
The two sides of the drum separated from each other by a thin neck-like structure represents the two utterly different states of existence, unmanifest and manifest.
When a damaru is shaken, it produces Nada, the cosmic sound of AUM, which can be heard during deep meditation. According to Hindu scriptures, Nada is the source of creation. This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as Nataraja. The trident, or the spear with three prongs, is one of the accessories of the Lord and symbolizes His three fundamental powers iccha will , kriya action and jnana knowledge.
It also signifies His power to destroy evil and ignorance. As His weapon and instrument of punishment the trident represents Lord Shiva's manner of punishing the evil doers on all the three planes - spiritual, subtle and physical.
The water pot Kamandalu often shown adjacent to the Lord is another of his accessories. It is said to be made from a dry pumpkin and containing amrit nectar. Indian Yogis and sages are seen to carry the Kamandalu as an item of basic necessity. The carrying of the Kamandalu shows the yogic nature of the Lord. But it has a deeper significance. As a ripe pumpkin has been plucked from a plant, its fruit removed and shell cleaned for containing the nectar, an individual too must give up his attachment to the physical world and clean his inner self of egoistic desires to experience the bliss of the Self, symbolized by the nectar in the Kamandalu.
The Kundalas refer to the two ear rings, Alakshya meaning "which cannot be shown by any sign" and Niranjan meaning "which cannot be seen by mortal eyes" , worn by the Lord. The ornaments in the ears of the Lord signify that He is beyond ordinary perception. It is noteworthy that the kundala in the 31 left ear of the Lord is of the type used by women and the one in His right ear is of the type used by men.
The dual type of Kundalas represent the Shiva and Shakti male and female principle of creation. Lord Shiva is most often shown to be seated with the beautiful Himalayas serving as his backdrop. Mount Kailash in the Himalayas is said to be His traditional abode. In Hindu mythology, Mount Kailasa is said to represent the center of the universe.
Nandi is the Bull of Lord Shiva and is said to be his vehicle. The bull is a symbol both of power and ignorance which suggests that Lord Shiva removes ignorance of his devotees and gives them the power of wisdom. In Sanskrit a bull is called "Vrisha" which also means "righteousness".
The Nandi bull beside Lord Shiva indicates that He is the eternal companion of righteousness. Om Namah Shivaya This mantra has no approximate translation. The sounds related directly to the principles which govern each of the first six chakras on the spine. Earth, water, fire, air, ether. Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which have a different set of seed sounds, but rather the principles which govern those chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something like, 'Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.
Shiva rests for one "prahar" three hours of the night. This "prahar" is referred to as the Shivratri. Lord Shiva goes into a meditative state. During that time, the 'Shivtatva' does not accept any tamogun most base of the 3 elements in us - sattva, raja and tama or any halahal venom churned from the ocean coming from the Universe.
As a result,the ratio of halahal or the pressure of the negative energies increases. For protection from this pressure, things like'bilva patra', white flowers, 'rudraksha' beads etcare offered to Lord Shiva. These things attract the 'Shivtatva' from the atmosphere, thus providing protection from the increasing effect of the negative energies.
The Earth is a gross object. Gross objects have very low velocities i. Gods on the other hand, are subtle hence they are capable of traversing space within a few seconds. That is why one year on the earth is equivalent to just one day of heaven. Science in the worship of Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri. The function of the "Shivpindi": Emitting waves of Knowledge, Devotion and renunciation.
Predominantly 'sattva' waves of knowledge, 'raja' waves of devotion and 'tama' waves of Renunciation Vairagya are emitted by the 'Shivpindi'. During Mahashivratri, the emission increases by 30 percent. The "Shivpindi" emits subtle vibrations of chaitanya, bliss and peace. During the Mahashivratri, the emission increases by twenty-five percent.
This helps purify the subtle-body of one who worships the Shivpindi on this day. The "sun" or the "moon" channels in the body get activated as per necessity. The capacity to absorb the sattvaguna and chaitanya also increases. Due to the presence of the unmanifest Shiva principle in the Shivpindi and the vibrations of peace emitted, the Shivpindi remains cool and the mind too experiences peace. Worship of Shivpindi with devotion, activates the dormant Shiva principle.
An offering of puffed rice and milk reaches Lord Shiva in the subtle form. Receiving the "tarak or marak tatva element " as required. There is a confluence of the manifest and the unmanifest elements along with the "tarak and marak tatva" in the Shivpindi.
That is how worshipers receive the required element. The temperature of the Shivpindi increases due to the emission of the marak tatva and there one experiences bliss. Similarly, when the tarak tatva is emitted, the temperature drops and one experiences peace and bliss. The best definition of the Lord Shiva worship is to practice it at the Sacred Feast Mahashivratri, but also daily.
The best definition of Shiva worship is to experience it soulfully. While, the best definition of yoga is to live it sincerely. However, the best definition of the God, the Lord Shiva is to love Him, and only Him, unconditionally. By offering bilvapatra to the Shivpindi on Mahashivratri, the manifest Shiva tatva near the stalk of the bilvapatra gets activated.
Due to this, waves of chaitanya as well as Shiva tatva are emitted by the bilvapatra. The bilvapatra attracts twenty percent of the Shiva tatva present in the Shivpindi towards itself. By immersing this bilvapatra in water or by placing it in grains, the Shiva tatva present in the bilvapatra is transmitted to them. The Shiva tatva in the bilvapatra is activated to a larger extent on Mondays when it transmits ten percent of the Shiva tatva and sattvikta.
On other days only one percent of the Shiva tatva is activated in the bilvapatra. Bilvarchan Offering bilvapatra to the Shivpindi and chanting the mantra, with each offering is known as bilvarchan.
Continue offering the bilvapatra until the pindi is completely covered. Offer the bilvapatra from the lower part of the pindi. By starting from the feet of the idol, more benefit is derived and the idol can be covered completely.
The word Shiva has been derived by reversing the letters of the word vash. Vash means to enlighten; thus the one who enlightens is Shiva. He remains radiant and also illuminates the universe. He is the auspicious and prosperity-bestowing principle. But when we meditate we feel that we have the capacity deep within us to see many things while visualising the Lord Shiva, dealing with many things as His personality, the Entity, He now is, welcoming all what is His. When we meditate, we try to expand ourselves, like a bird spreading its wings.
We try to expand our personal consciousness and enter into the Collective or Universal Consciousness where there is no fear, jealousy or doubt but only joy, peace and divine power. Meditation means our conscious growth into the Divine Consciousness. Through concentration we become one-pointed; while through meditation we expand our consciousness into the "Vast" and enter into its consciousness.
However in contemplation we grow into the "Vast" itself, and its consciousness becomes our very own. In contemplation we are at once in our deepest concentration and our highest meditation. The truth that we have seen and felt in meditation, we grow into and become totally one with in contemplation. Contemplation means our conscious oneness with the Lord Shiva and the eternal Absolute or Supreme. If we meditate on the Lord Shiva as a specific divine quality of the Supreme, we find ourselves in the light, peace and bliss of the Supreme.
Our mind is calm and quiet in the vastness of Infinity. In contemplation it is not like that. In contemplation through the Lord Shiva as our devotion now goes to Him, we feel that we are holding within ourselves the entire cosmos with all what it contains. In contemplation there is no thought, form or idea.
In contemplation everything is merged into the oneness of the Cosmic or Universal Consciousness. The Lord Shiva, if you are his devotee, is your Master, next to your human guru if you have one.
Gratitude is always of paramount importance. If you are a sincere devotee of the Lord Shiva or the Lord Krishna, or any other God or Goddess, you enter in the spiritual boat.
The Lord Shiva becomes then the boatman to take you to the Golden Shore. Do not feel you are entering a foreign element or a foreign human or entity, but that you are as such entering into your highest part, your true self.
The beautiful picture of Lord Shiva as God, your God and part of the Supreme, only serves as inspiration. When you meditate on the effigy of the Lord Shiva, whether it is His representation or Lingam, you enter into His Consciousness, and entering in His Consciousness is the highest form of meditation for those who consider themselves His devotees.
Dedicated service is another form of meditation as plainly discribed in the Bhagavad Gita. When you work for the Supreme along the Lord Shiva or any other God or Goddess, the Divine Consciousness enters your consciousness, and you become innerly and spiritually elevated. Never be afraid to come to the Lord Shiva. Physical Attributes Ganga Just as the sun is the focal point of the solar system and the soul that of the body, the focal point of divine consciousness chaitanya in every object and pure particles pavitrakas is ga-aum.
Ga-aum flows from Shiva's head. This is called the descent of the Ganga from Shiva's head. Since the river Ganga has a fraction of the principle of the spiritual Ganga, no matter how polluted it becomes, its purity is perpetually retained. Therefore, when compared to any other water in the world, the water from the Ganga is the purest.
This is realised not only by those who can perceive the subtle dimensionbut also by scientific researchers. Moon Shiva adorns the chandra moon on His forehead. The point where the three frequencies - affection mamata , mercifulness kshamashilata and motherly love vatsalya originate is referred to as the chandra moon.
Consequently, one can conclude that chandrama the moon principle is the state in which the three attributes of affection, mercifulness and motherly love are present. Third-Eye Shankar is three-eyed, i. He can perceive events of the past, present and future. According to the science of Yoga 39 the third eye means the Sushumna nadi channel.
Bhujang means a serpent or pure particles pavitrakas , pati means the nurturer and hari means one with a garland around His neck. Bhujangapatihari thus means the One who nurtures pure particles and wears them like a garland.
Various serpents represent groups of pure particles. Though externally they appear like serpents, internally they are a kind of ladder. To make spiritual progress one has to climb up holding onto the tail of the serpent.
Lord Shankar adorns serpents at nine points on His body - one on the head, one around the neck, one on each arm, one on each wrist, one around the waist and one on each thigh.
This implies that His body is comprised of pure particles or that serpents of pure particles play all over the body of Lord Shankar who has the universe as His form. Spiritual Attributes One performing severe austerities and the great yogi Shiva is always seated in a bandha or a mudra. His temperature rises due to heat generated by performing severe austerities.
Therefore, He uses the Ganga, the moon and serpents which endow a cooling effect and lives on the snow-clad Kailas mountain. If someone disturbs His meditation the radiance generated by spiritual practice will be suddenly expelled and whoever is in front of Him will not be able to tolerate it, and gets destroyed.
This is referred to as being 'reduced to ashes by Shankar's opening of the third eye. One who is willing to undergo any distress for the sake of imparting happiness to others The poison generated during the churning of the celestial ocean samudramanthan was burning the entire Universe but no deity came forward to accept it. At that time Shiva drank that poison and saved the world from destruction. One who has both, deities and demons, as His 40 worshippers. Neither demons did Neither did demons like Banasur, Ravan, etc.
However, they worshipped Lord Shiva who blessed them. Master of the Since Lord Shiva is the master of spirits, His worshippers Spirit are generally not possessed by them. Alphabets consisting of the sounds of fifty-two basic letters and the forms of fourteen Maheshvar verses sutras have generated from it.
Later the universe was created from these. Trident The Trident represents the following - The three components - sattva, raja and tama. The root of creation, sustenance and dissolution. Volition, knowledge and action Noose pash The noose represents the noose of time kalpash The rope in Lord Ganapati's hand too is the same. Worship Application of holy ash Bhasma. Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, 41 purity and penance spiritual practice of Yoga , so also they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.
Wearing a rudraksha when worshipping Lord Shiva is ideal. A rudraksha is reddish in colour with yellow stripes and is flat like a fish. On one side it has a slight opening which appears like an open mouth. The rudraksha converts light frequencies of deities from the universe into sound frequencies in the body of humans and vice versa. As a result, humans can absorb frequencies of deities and thoughts can get converted into the language of deities. A Genuine The rudraksha absorbs sama sattva frequencies.
Rudraksha Similarly sama frequencies are emitted by its crests. A real rudraksha can be recognised by the vibrations felt by holding it in the hand. At that time the body absorbs thesama frequencies emitted by the rudraksha. Nowadays, mostly Vikrutaksha is sold as a rudraksha.
This is the seed of a type of wild berry. Vikrutaksha is used for sacrificial fires of tantriks, black magic etc. Ritualistic worship of the pindi. Only cold water and bel is offered to Lord Shankar's pindi. Neither is it bathed with milk and panchamrut a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey nor offered turmeric, vermilion kumkum or white consecrated rice akshata.
Milk and clarified butter ghee symbolise sustenance while turmeric is an underground stem and represents fertility of the soil that is creation. Vermilion is prepared from turmeric. Since Lord Shiva is the deity of dissolution, substances such as milk, vermilion and turmeric are not used in His worship.
Without crossing it one should complete a circum-ambulation by moving in the reverse direction up to the other side of the channel. The flow of a shalunka is not crossed as it is the flow of energy which adversely affects the formation of semen and the five internal vital energies pran vayu. The Lord spiritual meaning of each of the five syllables is: Hence, obeisance namaskar to these five syllables.
Dharmo Rakshati If you protect Dharma, Dharma will in turn protect you. Rakshithaha Hinduism is more a way of life than a method of worship.
The theory claims not that myths and rituals happen to go hand in hand but that they must. In its most uncompromising form, the theory contends that myths and rituals cannot exist without each other. In a milder form, the theory asserts that myths and rituals originally exist together but may subsequently go their separate ways. In its mildest form, the theory maintains that myths and rituals can arise separately but subsequently coalesce.
In the stage of sheer magick there are rituals, and the routines involved is that of carrying out the prescribed directions, but no myths if there no gods or goddesses. In the stage of religion there are both myths and rituals, but they are barely connected. Myths describe the character and behaviour of gods and goddesses.
Rituals seek to curry divine favour. Rituals may presuppose myths, which would suggest what activities would most please the gods and goddesses, but they are otherwise independent of myths. Whatever the actual nexus between myths and rituals turns out to be, the myth- ritualism theory remains absolutely valuable. It suggests aspects of myth that might otherwise be overlooked, notably, the relationship between "faith" belief and practice, between narrative and action.
The theory also suggests parallels between myth and other cultural phenomena like science and literature that might otherwise get missed. Cosmogony is not a myth, or preferably it is no longer a myth. It has advanced so far along the road of rationalisation that only a very thin partition divides it from world systems which historians will innocently treat as purely rational constructions. Comparison with those systems shows that, when once the cosmic order has been formed, the next chapter should be an account of the origin of life.
In the world philosophies, life arises from the interaction or intercourse of the separated elements: The Gods and Goddesses are supernatural persons entities , with human forms and characters, well-known in the world religions. So at this point we turn back into that world of mythical representation which the rationalised cosmogony had left so far behind.
Sky and earth are re-transformed into Gods and Goddesses, whose love and hate, black and white are depicted in all human forms.
New Year has an intensely dramatic character, reflected in particular sham fights between groups of cultic actors who represent the powers of chaos and the 44 powers of the cosmos. In this battle, God king or ruler is the central figure, as head of those who represent the powers of order and life, as the Buddha Gautama, Lord Shiva, Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Jesus of Nazareth, etc.
However, the dramatic presentation also characteristically includes a portrayal of the state of chaos which precedes the victory of cosmos. The destructive powers enjoy a temporary victory.
Chaos reigns, either in the form of an unbridled frenzy, often of an ecstatic sexual type like a "Witches Sabbath" or in the form of a "Death Sabbath". If we want to study the real myth, not the literary exercise; if we want to know what the myth meant for mankind at large, not merely for poets, we draw ourselves towards the Sanskrit.
That Sanskrit, known as the Vedic, has a sublime character from all other classical languages. Sanskrit is simple and direct, because it wants to convey information and not to display literary skill. Its is concerned not to amuse or astonish, but to impart that knowledge which is necessary for the welfare of mankind. What really mattered to the ancient Brahman, as it does to us and to everyone, was life; not merely keeping alive, but living well, enjoying bodily vigour for the full span allotted to man.
To have life it is necessary to have food, to escape sickness and the wiles of enemies, and to have strong sons. The Brahmans' quest, in the words of the first hymn of the "Rigveda", is "wealth day by day, prosperity, glorious and abounding heroes.
They pray to Soma to save them from disease, to prolong their years as the sun the days of spring, not to abandon them according to the desire of their foe, to save them from disease. Life depends on many things, food, rain and sun; on victory, skill and strength, unity, wise rule and obedience. An elaborate cult or ritual grew up designed to secure all these good things all that contributed to the full life. The ritual became so elaborate that its accurate transmission became more and more difficult.
One or two recitals were not enough; it had to be committed to memory, and its meaning and its reasons had to be expounded in lesson after lesson.
Satsangs and schools were formed, and from those institutions the voluminous literature which is known as the "Brahmanas. Written in a simple narrative style, and interspersed at times with familiar and unfamiliar tales retold, the reaching young and old alike. Having said it, let us meditate on the God, Lord Shiva who wears the crescent moon as a crown, whose dazzling form is adorned by the five elements of the 45 universe, who holds in his four hands the weapon of the axe, the deer, who is fulfillment and forgiveness, as his worshipper desires, who sits on the world lotus in perpetual repose, who is of wisdom, desire and action, who is the source and the goal of life and who will embrace all creatures at the end removing their fear of death.
The Iconography of the Lord Shiva Lord Shiva, the Mahadeva, represents one of the three visible forms, or the functional aspects of the Supreme, namely, the creation, preservation and dissolution, that is, bringing the cosmos into existence, sustaining it and finally withdrawing it from existing. Lord Shiva represents the last of these three aspects, that is, dissolution or destruction of the cosmos.
He is the destroyer and the restorer of the Universe or Cosmos. The other two aspects, the creation and the preservation, are represented respectively by Prajapati or Brahma, and Vishnu.
Prajapati Brahma and Vishnu are Vedic gods. In the Rigveda, Prajapati and Brahma are mentioned as two gods, though both almost alike responsible for the act of Creation. Hence, in later Vedic literature, they merge into one entity, and are sometimes alluded to as Prajapati Brahma and sometimes as two synonymous terms alternating each other. In Puranic literature, Brahma gets pre-eminence and the term Prajapati is used only as the other name of Brahma to avoid monotonous repetition of the same nomenclature.
Initially, that is, in the Rigveda, Vishnu is a subordinate type of god, but later by Puranic era, he attains the status of the Lord of the universe and the principal Vedic god. Lord Shiva as such, or as Mahadeva, is not alluded to in proper Vedas.
The Rigveda, however, frequently mentions a brown complexioned sun-like brilliant and gold-like glowing animal- skin- wearing entity by the name of Rudra, or Ishan, who, as per the Rigvedic description, is synonymous of a violent non- Aryan jungle or tribal god capable of subduing, by his mighty arrows, even the most wild of animals.
He did not hesitate even to kill human beings and sought delight in such destruction. Hence, the Rigveda is somewhat critical of his wildness and invokes him for not destroying his devotees, their ancestors, offspring, relatives and horses. It is only gradually and somewhat in simultaneity that the Rigveda softens and sophisticates him into a civil god of Aryan kind and includes him into the Vedic pantheon. The later Vedic literature identifies in Rudra the proto form of the subsequent Shiva.
When Puranas perceived the formless God manifest in His triple function, which He performed as the Creator, Sustainer and 46 Destroyer, both initially and finally, as well as always, they chose Lord Shiva to represent one of these functional aspects of Him and elevated him to the status of the Great Trinity.
Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, Only the Time-Bound Manifestations of the Timeless Supreme Lord Shiva, as well as Brahma and Vishnu, do not represent the Supreme but only His functional aspects, which manifest in Creation, in sustaining the Creation and, finally, in withdrawing the Creation, which occurs after every kalpa, which is the scheduled age of each Creation.
Obviously, after the Creation is withdrawn and the kalpa comes to an end, the Supreme 's functional aspects too disappear and so does the Great Trinity representing them. Thus, the Trinity, with each of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu having a scheduled life-span, is the time-bound manifestation of the timeless One, that is, the Trinity disappears after its allotted life-span to re-appear when the next kalpa begins, but the Omnipresent neither appears nor disappears because He is always there before the time began and after its scale has exhausted.
In Indian cosmological tabulation, Shiva's life-span is double of the Vishnu's and Vishnu's double of the Brahma's. Brahma's life-span comprises of Brahma years, which are equivalent to million, 9 hundred thousand, 17 thousand and years of human calendar. He rather precedes his Trinity counterparts, Brahma and Vishnu, on time scale. This pre-eminence of Shiva over others as much reflects in their related theological chronology and availability of their iconic representations in visual arts.
Brahma and Vishnu have their roots in the Vedas, and not before. Lord Shiva has a pre-Vedic origin, as his worship cult seems to have been in vogue amongst the Indus dwellers, even around B.
The excavations of various archaeological sites in the Indus valley reveal two sets of archaeological finds that suggest the prevalence of the cult of worshipping both, his anthropomorphic as well as symbolic representations. This excavated material includes a number of terracotta seals representing a yogi icon and the phallus type baked clay objects, obviously the votive lings, suggestive of some kind of phallus -worship cult 47 of the non- Aryan settlers of the Indus cities.
Seated in meditative posture, the stern looking Yogi figure wears a typical head-dress made of buffalo horns and is surrounded by various animal icons, lion, elephant, buffalo- type bull, rhinoceros etc. In some seals, this Yogi figure consists of three heads.
That the symbolic phallus icons and the anthropomorphic representations relate to one and the same entity becomes obvious from the iconographic thrust, which defines the Yogi form.
One of the most significant cardinals of this Yogi iconography, and perhaps more so than others, is its well erect and emphatically exposed phallus, similar to the Urddh-ling Shiva icons, a cult of Shiva, which dominated Shaivite sculptural art for centuries from around the period of Kushanas.
These finds, datable to the period from B. This is further affirmed by the Rigveda itself. The Rigveda at least twice talks of the phallus worshipping non-Aryan tribes and vehemently condemns the practice. Shiva in Later Vedic Cult and in The Mahabharata The Vedas, in their later cult, admit into Vedic pantheon the jatadhari holy Shiva with all his manifestations, namely the bow and arrows carrying archer Sharva, the all pervading Bhava, the benevolent Shambhu and the animal-skin wearer Krittivasanah, but do not approve his phallus worship.
In Brahmanical order, Shvetashvara Upanishad is perhaps the earliest treatise that refers, though not directly, to this aspect of Shiva-worship with some degree of reverence when it calls him the Lord of all yonis, that is, the commander of genital faculties of all living ones. It is, however, in the Mahabharata that his phallus worship has been directly alluded to. The Mahabharata widely follows the Indus perception of Shiva.
The Mahabharata, in tune with the Indus Shiva, perceives him as Trishira, or Chaturmukha, that is, having three heads, or four, as Digvasas, that is, without cloth, as Urddh-ling, that is, with upward erect phallus, and as yogadhyaksha, that is, the Lord of Yoga. The Mahabharata goes a little ahead and conceived him also as five headed, four facing the four directions and fifth looking upwards, that is the guardian of the entire cosmos.
It is from this five headed Shiva concept that his Sadashiva form seems to have evolved, as these five heads also symbolise five powers- para, adi, icchha, jnana and kriya, that is, all that is perishable, all that is timeless, and the desire, knowledge and act, of which the entire creation comprise. The Mahabharata perceives him further as Shardularupa, Vyalarupa and in many other animal forms and as Vrishvaha, or Vrishvahan.
The Skand Purana numbers his animal heads as seven, two of which, namely that of the goat and the horse, he had given respectively to Brahma and Vishnu. Thus again the number of heads comes to the same five as perceived in the Mahabharata. In visual arts, this Mahabharata iconic vision of Shiva has been widely followed. Shiva's Trishira, Chaturmukha, Yogi, Pashupati, Vrishvaha and Urddh-ling images, whatever their medium, the stone, canvas, metals and so on, are quite in vogue in Indian arts.
The animal headed Shiva is a rarity. However, in visual arts, which allow greater scope for imagination to operate, such as painting, Shiva has been depicted sometimes with multiple animal heads, although to avoid inclusion of his human face these heads are planted on the form of Hanuman, who is Shiva's incarnation.
Such Hanuman forms have heads of animals that have attained mythical heights, say, the horse-headed god Hayagriva, the boar-headed Varah, the great eagle Garuda, and the jungle monarch lion or Simha. Such five-headed and ten-armed figures not only carry most of Shiva's attributes in these hands but such figures also stand upon the form of Apasamara, one of the most characteristic features of Shiva iconography.
This iconographic perception defines, on one hand, Shiva as Pashupati, the lord of animals, and on the other as containing within him the entire animal world. Shiva f s Pre-Aryan Origin Obviously, Shiva had a pre- Aryan origin but where, when and how he came into being, or say into human perception, is not known. This much is, however, certain that a god like him was the presiding deity of the Indus inhabitants and he was worshipped as both, iconically as well as symbolically, that is, as Pashupati and Mahayogi and as Ling.
This in all certainties seems to the initial form of Shiva. May be, the Indus inhabitants shared their god with West Asian settlers who worshipped a similar god Teshav. Teshav, too, was a bull riding deity like Vrishvaha Shiva. He also carried, like Shiva, a trident, pinakin, the bow, arrows, which shot as lightening, danda, the rod, parashu, the axe, and so on. Incidentally, Teshav's consort was also named Maa and was worshipped as Jaganmata, that is, the world mother.
Her name so much corresponds with Shiva's consort Uma who too is 49 worshipped as Jagat-janani, the mother of the world. Jaganmata sounds so much like Indus Mother Goddess.
Both, Shiva's consort Uma and Teshav's consort Maa rode a lion. Images of Jaganmata, recovered in excavations, have honeybees hovering around her face. One of the Uma's forms so closely resembles with this honeybee hovering image of Maa.
Markandeya Purana alludes to Uma's relation with honeybees, or bhramaris, when it calls her as Bhramaridevi. May be Shiva's consort had some prior tradition of her association with honeybees. It is for such reasons that the known historian Roy Chowdhari, in his Studies in Indian Antiquities, emphatically holds that Rudra- Shiva had some kind of genetic relationship with various gods whose images have been recovered from Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Indus Valley.
Shiva in Vedic Pantheon Whatever the Lord Shiva's origin, the pre-Aryan or from Brahma's frown, as claims the subsequent Puranic tradition, the all assimilating Aryan culture and Vedic religious cult elevated him into its own Order and placed him always on par with its other two great gods, Vishnu and Brahma, and sometimes even above them.
Later Vedic literature invested him with various attributes and details of his person. He has been conceived as thousand eyed, animal skin clad and as possessed of long hair braided into a crown-like shape, the jatamukuta, blue neck, black abdomen, blood-red back and as containing in him all medicinal herbs and drugs, that is, possessed of the power to redeem every one of all kinds of ailments and the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Vedas perceived him initially as the violent jungle god of non- Aryan kind but later they discovered the other aspect of his being, that is, the well meaning benevolent Shiva.
It was this perception of Shiva that seems to have prevailed all after and defined his all subsequent forms, manifestations and visions. Brahmans and Upanishads identify this Vedic perception as Shiva's two aspects, one that of the destroyer and the other of the auspicious benevolent divinity. The Mahabharata identified these two aspects as Ghora and Shiva.
Of these Ghora has been equated with fire and Shiva, also mentioned as Maheshvara, has been vested with the deeply spiritual and auspicious saumyarupa, that is, serene and sublime divine being. Shiva in Myths and Legends In the course of time, the tradition of faith, both oral and scriptural, and the folk and urbanized, wove around Shiva hundreds of myths and legends and invested 50 his image and visual forms with numerous new dimensions and meaning.
The violent jungle god of Vedas and the grim looking horn wearing Yogi of Indus emerges upon the altar of the believing ones, on painter's canvas, in metal casters' mould and in the strokes of hammer and chisel, as the harmless Bholanath, the innocence Lord and the good incarnate, as the supreme auspice, the most formidable of divine powers, the paramount lover and the holiest model of the Vedic family cult.
The term Shiva becomes synonymous of the 'auspicious', good and well being and in him alone, India's all-time maxim, "Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram", that is, he alone is truthful, benevolent and beautiful, finds its true meaning. In his context, love becomes a divine phenomenon and family the holiest institution. He never codifies his conduct nor sets it to any established rule, but he is all the way the most devoted husband, who passionately loves his consort, and a unique father.
He marries Sati, the daughter of Brahma's son Daksha-Prajapati against her father's wishes. Daksha organises a great yajna and to slight Shiva does not invite him. Sati, in hope to rectify her father's error, goes to attend the yajna, though Shiva does not approve it. Instead of correcting himself, Daksha humiliates Sati also for marrying a tribal brute. Sati, unable to bear her husband's insult by her father, ends her life by immolating herself into yajna-fire.
The outraged Shiva, who madly loved Sati, longed to avenge Daksha's act and created out of his frowns Virabhadra, a young warrior endowed with all of Shiva's powers to destroy Daksha's yajna. After Virabhadra has destroyed the yajna, entire yajna-bhumi and the capital of Daksha, Shiva retires to forest and wanders in wilderness for thousands of years till Uma, the daughter of Himalaya, and hence also known as Parvati, that is, one born of the Parvata, or mountain, is able to win his love by her long rigorous penance.
This time he has in Uma, or Parvati, not a mere consort he loved madly but also the most accomplished woman possessed of paramount beauty, the most caring and devoted wife and as much loving mother. To complete the holy family, they have, or have been conceived with, five sons, two, Karttikeya and Ganesh, the real ones, and three, Vanasura, Virabhadra and Nandin, the adopted ones, though none of the five were born of his consort's womb. Ganesh was born of Parvati's body elements and Karttikeya those of Shiva.
Brahma Chastised and Shiva's Repentance Indian mythology accounts how Brahma, the creator of all beings and all things, was fascinated by the beauty of his own created Sarasvati, and thereby his daughter. To escape her father's notice, Sarasvati turned herself into a female deer. But Brahma did not fail to take note of it and converted himself 51 into a male deer and began chasing her to have sex with her.
The moral being as Shiva was, he did not approve a father molesting his own daughter. He did not fail to notice this immorality of the deer turned Brahma when he saw him chasing Sarasvati disguised as she-deer and to chastise him, he, the great archer as he was, shot at Brahma, the male deer.
To save himself from Shiva's arrows Brahma returned to his real form but not before he had incurred some loss. He had lost one of his five heads. Whatever Brahma's immorality, Shiva's act amounted to Brahma-hatya, the sin of killing a Brahmin.
As the related legend has it, the sin of the Brahma-hatya rose from where Brahma's head fell and stuck to his wrists. Failing to free himself of it, Shiva sought advice and was suggested to beg and live on begging as repentance till the Brahma-hatya fell down and freed him from its clutches. With the kapal, the skull made of Brahma's dissected head, in his hand, Shiva moved to the Oak Forest and wandered there for many thousand years.
Ultimately, the Brahma- hatya separated from his body and fell down on earth. It was thus that his Mahabhikshuka and Kapalin forms evolved. Another tradition has it differently. Deer turned Sarasvati ran to save herself from Brahma and Brahma to save himself from Shiva's arrows hid in the sky amidst planets and yet lie hidden as two stars. Brahma's fifth head was removed, according to this legend, for a different reason.
Brahma and Vishnu often claimed their relative priority over the other. Once they set to settle it and decided that whosoever first discovered the end of Shiva's Jyotirling would be acknowledged as his superior by the other. The Jyotirling descended deep below the earth and rose above into sky and both ends were unfathomable.
Brahma proceeded upwards and Vishnu downward but both ends were far from their reach. Brahma, however, connived with a Champaka or Ketaki flower and using it as witness claimed to have reached his end of the Jyotirling. Annoyed by Brahma's falsehood Shiva appeared bursting the Jyotirling and to chastise Brahma for his lie removed Brahma's fifth head by the nail of his thumb. Shiva, the Bholanath in the Real Sense of the Term As he was a moral being, so he was simple, innocent, generous, benevolent and easily manageable, and hence, even the wicked ones often won his favour and boons of invincible powers and sometimes used them even against him.
He, however, as readily punished them when he knew their designs and intentions. Ganga was mad in love for him and wished to unite with him by 52 whatever mean, fair or fowl. When Bhagiratha did rigorous penance to bring Ganga from heaven to the earth for his ancestors' death rituals and redemption, Ganga designed to fulfill her long cherished desire of reaching Shiva. She appeared before Bhagiratha and agreed to emerge on the earth but warned at the same time that her current, unless Shiva took her on his head, would cleave the earth.
Bhagiratha underwent another round of penance, pleased Shiva and got his prayer granted. But, when Ganga landed on his head and showed her supremacy, Shaiva kept her arrested into his hair till she herself prayed him to let her be released. For long containing Ganga into his hair, Shiva becomes known as Gangadhara Shiva. It was the same with Jalandara, who was caused by Shiva himself.
Shiva had opened his third eye for punishing Indra but on Brahispati's intervention let the fire emitting from it fall into the ocean. Out of this fire and from ocean's womb rose a male child. As he rose from jala, the water, he was named Jalandara. Later, when he grew into a gold-like glowing youth, he was married to the daughter of Kalanemi, the founder-father of demon clans. Jalandara was now exceptionally powerful and wished to drive out Indra and his crew from Indraloka. Indra prayed Brahma for help but he was helpless against his might.
Vishnu declined to act against him, as, being ocean born, he considered him his brother-in-law. Finally, the great sage Narad incited Jalandara to obtain Parvati, the most beautiful woman in all three worlds, and thus put him against Shiva, as he knew that Shiva alone could destroy him. Arrogant Jalandara challenged Shiva to hand him over his consort and in the process became victim of Shiva's wrath and got killed.
Something of the similar kind happened in the case of Ravana, the king of Lanka. Pleased by his penance Shiva blessed him with the boon of immortality. This bred in Ravana vanity and arrogance. This vain and arrogant Lanka ruler wished to have Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva, shifted to Lanka.
He went to Kailash and to uproot it began shaking it. His act of uprooting it sent tremors across the Mountain. Shiva perceived Ravana's arrogance and was annoyed. To punish Ravana he pressed the Mountain by the thumb of his foot, but before it crushed Ravana, he prayed for Lord's mercy and the compassionate Lord forgave him. Out of this compassionate nature of Shiva there emerged his Ravananugraha-murti, that is, the form of him who was kind to Ravana. Shiva in Saumya and Raudra-rupas Consequently, Lord Shiva's divine perception as well as iconic visualisation developed into two directions, one growing out of his serene sublime benevolent Saumyarupa and the other out of his awe-striking Raudra-rupa.
In both aspects, jatamukuta is his crown, elephant hide his cloak, lion skin his loincloth, snakes his necklace, yajnopavita and other ornaments, bhang his favored drink and the shade of a roadside tree his castle. He is delighted in dance and dances for both, to create as well as to destroy, and in lasya as well as in Tandava and his Tandava is the Anand-tandava as it aims at re-creating and setting the cycle of creation-destruction-and recreation in motion.
He assists Devas, the gods, in their exploits and battles against demons but unlike them and always differently and in mightier way. Both, the gods and the demons, wish to be immortalized and for obtaining the immortalising nectar join hands to churn ocean, which contained such nectar. The Tantric approach to Kali is to display courage by confronting her on cremation grounds in the dead of night, despite her terrible appearance.
In contrast, the Bengali devotee appropriates Kali's teachings, adopting the attitude of a child. In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way that things are. These themes are well addressed in Ramprasad's work. Ramprasad comments in many of his other songs that Kali is indifferent to his wellbeing, causes him to suffer, brings his worldly desires to nothing and his worldly goods to ruin.
He also states that she does not behave like a mother should and that she ignores his pleas:. Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck. It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother. To be a child of Kali, Ramprasad asserts, is to be denied of earthly delights and pleasures.
Kali is said to not give what is expected. To the devotee, it is perhaps her very refusal to do so that enables her devotees to reflect on dimensions of themselves and of reality that go beyond the material world. A significant portion of Bengali devotional music features Kali as its central theme and is known as Shyama Sangeet.
Mostly sung by male vocalists, today even women have taken to this form of music. One of the finest singers of Shyama Sangeet is Pannalal Bhattacharya. In Bengal, Kali is venerated in the festival Kali Puja - the new moon day of Ashwin month which coincides with Diwali festival. In a unique form of Kali worship, Shantipur worships Kali in the form of a hand painted image of the deity known as Poteshwari meaning the deity drawn on a piece of cloth.
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Kullu, once known as Kul-anti-peetha - "the end of the habitable world", is the capital town of the Kullu District, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
It is located on the banks of the Beas River in the Kullu Valley about ten kilometres north of the airport at Bhuntar. Kullu is a broad open valley formed by the Beas river between Manali and Largi.
This valley is famous for its beauty and its majestic hills covered with Pine and Deodar Forest and sprawling Apple Orchards. The course of the Beas river presents a succession of magnificent, clad with forests of Deodar, towering above trees of Pine on the lower rocky ridges. He described it as a fertile region completely surrounded by mountains, about 3, li in circuit, with a capital 14 or 15 li in circumference. It contained a stupa tope built by Ashoka, which is said to mark the place where the Buddha preached to the local people and made conversions, stupa was taken away by a mughal ruler and put in feroz shah kotla maidan in Delhi.
There were some twenty Buddhist monasteries, with about 1, monks, most of whom were Mahayanist. There were also some fifteen Hindu temples, and people of both faiths lived mixed together.
There were meditation caves near the mountain passes inhabited by both Buddhist and Hindu practitioners. The country is said to have produced gold, silver, red copper, crystal lenses and bell-metal.
Vogel in his MS. Kullu got its first motorable access only after Indian Independence. The long centuries of seclusion have, however, allowed the area to retain a considerable measure of its traditional charm. The road through the Kullu Valley and Lahaul is now paved all the way, to connect and provide the major access route between the northern Indian plains to Leh in Ladakh.
Further information can be read at hpkullu. Kullu town, as the administrative headquarter of Kullu district, has the offices of Deputy Commissioner the district's chief officer earlier known as District Collector , the Superintendent of Police and the District courts.
It is also the largest and the most varied constituency of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the parliament of India. As of India census, Kullu had a population of Kullu town has an average elevation of 1, m or 4, ft. It lies on the bank of Beas River. A major tributary, Sar-vari, derived from "Shiv-Baardi" leads to the less explored and steeper Lug-valley on the west.
Beyond the ridge lies Manikaran valley, along the Parvati river which joins Beas in Bhuntar. Historically Kullu was accessible from Shimla via Siraj valley or through passes on the west leading to Jogindernagar and onto Kangra. To the north lies the famous town of Manali, which through the Rohtang pass leads onto the Lahaul and Spiti Valley. Once can see an enormous change in the climate as one climbs up the windward side of the ranges to proceed to the leeward and much drier plateaus to the north of Manali.
The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway. Indian Airlines and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport. Kullu can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar and Mandi towns. The road distance from Delhi to Chandigarh is km and from Chandigarh to Kullu is km; the total distance from Delhi to Kullu thus is km mi.
Kullu is not easily approachable by rail. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh km mi away and Pathankot. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar kilometres 62 mi away. Handloom Kullu Shawl is the best treasure one can look for. Kullu Shawls are made of many natural fibers such as pashmina, sheep-wool, angora etc.. In the 17th century, Raja Jagat Singh of Kullu committed a great wrong.
To atone for the sin, he sent a senior courtier to Ayodhya for a statue of Lord Raghunath - Lord Rama. This temple was built by Raja Jagat Singh to house the image and even today, is greatly revered. Shringi Rishi is the ruling deity of Banjar valley. Shringi rishi is one among the "atthara kardoo" eighteen chief deities of the Kullu valley. Maha Devi Tirth Temple Shri Mahadevi Tirth, popularly known as Vaishno Devi Mandir by localities , situated about two kilometers North from the Kullu valley on Kullu Manali road, though a newly founded temple, yet it is acknowledged like any old famous temple.
The foundation of this temple was laid by [Swami Sewak Das Ji]. Bijli Mahadev Temple is one of the most excellent forms of art in India. It is located at 2, meters from sea level and is about 10 km away from Kullu. The staff of the temple is 60 feet high and can be seen from the Kullu valley too.
It is the highest point around Kullu from where the beautiful view of the whole town, and more can be experienced. Temple of Devta Narsingh is a famous temple of deity 'Narsingh' and situated in Sultanpur block of Kullu. By the banks of the Beas -and on the Kullu-Manali highway - Himachal Tourism runs a camping site here. Ideal for a taste of adventure. At m, this is a vantage point for a complete panorama of the Kullu area - snow peaks and valleys, meadows and forests, rivers and streams. Basheshwar Mahadev Temple, Bajaura One of the most charming temples in the Kullu valley, this is renowned for its intricate stone carvings.
An open glade by the banks of the river Parvati. Clean white sand separates the lush green grass from the waters. A good spot for trout. Himachal Tourism has a Tourist Hut here. For years this was the capital of Kullu. Its 16th century stone and wood castle is now a hotel run by Himachal Tourism. Here, a gallery houses the paintings of the Russian artist, Nicholas Roerich.
Naggar also has three other old shrines. When Dussehra celebrations come to an end in the rest of the country, they begin at Kullu. The State government has accorded the status of International festival to the Kullu Dussehra, which attracts tourists in large numbers. About local deities come to pay homage to Lord Raghunath.
Holi is the festival of colors celebrated for two days in Kullu. Its unique feature is that people of the town collect in temple and then they proceed to houses of town people singing sacred holi songs and in return they are given sweets,pakoras and hard drinks etc. Women also take part in the festival with same enthusiasm and happiness as Men. The Kullu valley has numerous places for trout fishing. The valley is the nucleus of several trek routes. The Beas River runs through the middle of the valley.
It is also called the "Valley of the Gods" or "Dev Bhumi". It connects with the Lahul and Spiti valleys via Rohtang Pass, situated at 3, m 13, ft 51 km 32 mi from Manali city. Kullu Valley, also known as the "Valley of Gods", is well known for the seven day festival of Kullu Dussehra, a celebration of Avatar Lord Rama's victory over the evil king Ravana.
The festival takes place in the months of October or November, depending upon the Hindu calendar. This has also contributed to a stronger sports and educational infrastructure in the town. Other places of interest in the area include Manikaran famous for its hot springs and hot water springs at Vashisht village near Manali, 40 km north of Kullu, a hub for tourists and rock climbers. Manali is perhaps the most famous town and center of all tourist attractions in the state.
Manali also has a well-known temple dedicated to the mythical princess Hadimba. The economy of the town largely depends on tourism, horticulture apples, plums, pears, and almonds and handicrafts shawls, caps, etc. Text above is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors see full disclaimer. Unforgettable Himachal in Incredible India a journey of people, culture, festivals by sundeepkullu. Flickr Interesting Thumbnail View: These are reduced sized pictures.
For full size images contact me. Add me as a friend on my facebook profile 2 as my facebook profile 1 is allmost full with plus friends here - www.
Thanks and regards sundeepkullu. The Present Panchanatheeswarar temple A. A deity is called Thiruvayarudaiya Mahadevar Panchanatheeswarar. There are three inscription here as Parakesarivarman of Parantaka-I. They mention gift of a house site and of a lamp to the temple. In the 28th year of Kannaradevan, the rashtrakuta Krishna-III, has the sabha which was created by Parantaka-I has soled some lands infavour of the temple. An inscription of the 12th year of Rajaraja-I mentions that the assembly of Thirubhuvana Mahadevi ChaturvediMangalam met in the mandaba built by Mummudi chola ambalamattuvelan and remitted taxes and gifted to the temple.
Saint Sambandar 7th century has sung a Hymn on the lord of this place whom he was called as thiruvadugurnathar. The main shrine stands on the basement 5ft high below the pillasters there are panels of Miniature sculptures as at Pullamangai.
The garbagraha is square Ther are two Dwarabalaks guarding the entrance. The Sikhara is circular, it is the later structure made of stuccos. The original figures of the devakosthas are Bhikshadanar and Dakshinamoorthy in the south, Lingodhbhavar in the west, Brahma and Durga in the north. The other images are found inserted in improvised niches between the original ones are Ganapathy near Bhikshatana, Ardhanari next to Brahma, Rishabarudar next to Durga.
Durga is Adi-Parashakti herself. The Devi Gita, declares her to be the greatest Goddess. Thus, she is considered the supreme goddess and primary deity in Shaktism, occupying a place similar to Lord Krishna in Vaishnavism. According to Skanda Purana, the goddess Parvati accounted the name "Durga" after she killed the demon Durgamaasura.
Goddess Parvati is considered to be the complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations. This is especially prevalent in the Shakta denomination within Hinduism, which worships the Goddess Devi in all her manifestations.
According to Shaivism and Shaktism She is supreme, but to bring back lord Shiva in Sansar, she took birth as human form Sati and Parvati to marry Shiva.. Durga gave birth to his first child called Kartikeya. Most of the Hindu feasts in Bandra I hardly shoot and most of them are now being shot by my 3 year old granddaughter nerjisasifshakir.
I live in Mumbai my parents were not bigots , they gave us the best upbringing even the Marathi bai that worked with us when we were kids our mother insisted we call her Aiee ,, Mother ,,and all this has culminated in shooting my cultural inheritance ,,and so for those who do not wish to see this part of my documentation you can unfriend and block me ,, I shall not hold it against you as most of you I added recently was because you were also friends with my Peersabs son Syed Farid Chishty Sabri I did not see your profile just added you blindly when you sent me a friends request.
And if you comment adversely on my Hindu or Shia blogs I will block you instantly,, I am a photo journalist documentarist I dont promote any religion caste or creed I promote India and my Indianess.. Kali, also known as Kalika Bengali: The name Kali means "black", but has by folk etymology come to mean "force of time kala ". Despite her negative connotations, she is today considered the goddess of time and change. More complex Tantric beliefs sometimes extend her role so far as to be the "ultimate reality" or Brahman.
Kali is represented as the consort of god Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is the foremost among the Dasa-Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.
It appears as the name of a form of Durga in Mahabharata 4. Kali appears in the Mundaka Upanishad section 1, chapter 2, verse 4 not explicitly as a goddess, but as the black tongue of the seven flickering tongues of Agni, the Hindu god of fire. Raatri is considered to be the prototype of both Durga and Kali. It was the composition of the Puranas in late antiquity that firmly gave Kali a place in the Hindu pantheon.
Kali or Kalika is described in the Devi Mahatmya also known as the Chandi or the Durgasaptasati from the Markandeya Purana, circa —CE, where she is said to have emanated from the brow of the goddess Durga, a slayer of demons or avidya, during one of the battles between the divine and anti-divine forces.
In this context, Kali is considered the 'forceful' form of the great goddess Durga. Another account of the origins of Kali is found in the Matsya Purana, circa CE, which states that she originated as a mountain tribal goddess in the north-central part of India, in the region of Mount Kalanjara now known as Kalinjar. However this account is disputed because the legend was of later origin.
The Kalika Purana a work of late ninth or early tenth century, is one of the Upapuranas. The Kalika Purana mainly describes different manifestations of the Goddess, gives their iconographic details, mounts, and weapons. It also provides ritual procedures of worshipping Kalika. Mahakali YantraGoddesses play an important role in the study and practice of Tantra Yoga, and are affirmed to be as central to discerning the nature of reality as the male deities are.
Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [primordial Kali. The figure of Kali conveys death, destruction, fear, and the consuming aspects of reality. Kali is also central figure in late medieval Bengali devotional literature, with such devotees as Ramprasad Sen — With the exception of being associated with Parvati as Shiva's consort, Kali is rarely pictured in Hindu mythology and iconography as a motherly figure until Bengali devotion beginning in the early eighteenth century.
In both cases, the goal of the devotee is to become reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are. You have cut off the headset the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
They soon find that they have worsened the situation, as for every drop of blood that is spilt from Raktabija the demon reproduces a clone of himself. The battlefield becomes increasingly filled with his duplicates.
It is also said that Goddess Durga takes the form of Goddess Kali at this time. Out of the surface of her Durga's forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Kali destroys Raktabija by sucking the blood from his body and putting the many Raktabija duplicates in her gaping mouth. Pleased with her victory, Kali then dances on the field of battle, stepping on the corpses of the slain.
Her consort Shiva lies among the dead beneath her feet, a representation of Kali commonly seen in her iconography as Daksinakali'. In her most famous pose as Daksinakali, it is said that Kali, becoming drunk on the blood of her victims on the battlefield, dances with destructive frenzy. In her fury she fails to see the body of her husband Shiva who lies among the corpses on the battlefield.
As a sign of her shame at having disrespected her husband in such a fashion, Kali sticks out her tongue. However, some sources state that this interpretation is a later version of the symbolism of the tongue: One South Indian tradition tells of a dance contest between Shiva and Kali. After defeating the two demons Sumbha and Nisumbha, Kali takes residence in a forest. With fierce companions she terrorizes the surrounding area. One of Shiva's devotees becomes distracted while doing austerities and asks Shiva to rid the forest of the destructive goddess.
When Shiva arrives, Kali threatens him, claiming the territory as her own. Shiva challenges her to a dance contest, and defeats her when she is unable to perform the energetic Tandava dance. Although here Kali is defeated, and is forced to control her disruptive habits, we find very few images or other myths depicting her in such manner. Another myth depicts the infant Shiva calming Kali, instead.
In this similar story, Kali again defeated her enemies on the battlefield and began to dance out of control, drunk on the blood of the slain. To calm her down and to protect the stability of the world, Shiva is sent to the battlefield, as an infant, crying aloud.
Seeing the child's distress, Kali ceases dancing to take care of the helpless infant. She picks him up, kisses his head, and proceeds to breast feed the infant Shiva. Ekamukhi or "One-Faced" Murti of Mahakali displaying ten hands holding the signifiers of various Devas. Mahakali, in Sanskrit, is etymologically the feminized variant of Mahakala or Great Time which is interpreted also as Death , an epithet of the God Shiva in Hinduism.
Mahakali is the presiding Goddess of the first episode of Devi Mahatmya. Here she is depicted as Devi in her universal form as Shakti. Here Devi serves as the agent who allows the cosmic order to be restored. Kali is portrayed mostly in two forms: In both of her forms, she is described as being black in color but is most often depicted as blue in popular Indian art.
Her eyes are described as red with intoxication and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth and her tongue is lolling.
She is often shown naked or just wearing a skirt made of human arms and a garland of human heads. She is also accompanied by serpents and a jackal while standing on a seemingly dead Shiva, usually right foot forward to symbolize the more popular Dakshinamarga or right-handed path, as opposed to the more infamous and transgressive Vamamarga or left-handed path. In the ten armed form of Mahakali she is depicted as shining like a blue stone.
She has ten faces and ten feet and three eyes. She has ornaments decked on all her limbs. There is no association with Siva. The Kalika Purana describes Kali as possessing a soothing dark complexion, as perfectly beautiful, riding a lion, four armed, holding a sword and blue lotuses, her hair unrestrained, body firm and youthful.
In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And, because of her terrible form she is also often seen as a great protector. But, where do you run when you are in trouble?
My Mother is the principle of consciousness. The night sky between the stars is perfectly black. The waters of the ocean depths are the same; The infinite is always mysteriously dark. This inebriating darkness is my beloved Kali.
Throughout her history artists the world over have portrayed Kali in myriad poses and settings, some of which stray far from the popular description, and are sometimes even graphically sexual in nature.
This is clear in the work of such contemporary artists as Charles Wish, and Tyeb Mehta, who sometimes take great liberties with the traditional, accepted symbolism, but still demonstrate a true reverence for the Shakta sect.
Kali's most common four armed iconographic image shows each hand carrying variously a sword, a trishul trident , a severed head and a bowl or skull-cup kapala catching the blood of the severed head. Two of these hands usually the left are holding a sword and a severed head. The other two hands usually the right are in the abhaya and varada mudras or blessings, which means her initiated devotees or anyone worshiping her with a true heart will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.
She has a garland consisting of human heads, variously enumerated at an auspicious number in Hinduism and the number of countable beads on a Japa Mala or rosary for repetition of Mantras or 51, which represents Varnamala or the Garland of letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, Devanagari. Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism, and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali.
Therefore she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras. She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure nirguna being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities — she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her — she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti.
The Dasamukhi MahakaliKali is depicted in the Mahakali form as having ten heads, ten arms, and ten legs. Each of her ten hands is carrying a various implement which vary in different accounts, but each of these represent the power of one of the Devas or Hindu Gods and are often the identifying weapon or ritual item of a given Deva.
The implication is that Mahakali subsumes and is responsible for the powers that these deities possess and this is in line with the interpretation that Mahakali is identical with Brahman.
While not displaying ten heads, an "ekamukhi" or one headed image may be displayed with ten arms, signifying the same concept: In both these images she is shown standing on the prone, inert or dead body of Shiva.
Once Kali had destroyed all the demons in battle, she began a terrific dance out of the sheer joy of victory. All the worlds or lokas began to tremble and sway under the impact of her dance. So, at the request of all the Gods, Shiva himself asked her to desist from this behavior.
However, she was too intoxicated to listen. Hence, Shiva lay like a corpse among the slain demons in order to absorb the shock of the dance into himself. When Kali eventually stepped upon her husband she realized her mistake and bit her tongue in shame. Shiva, or Mahadeva represents Brahman, the Absolute pure consciousness which is beyond all names, forms and activities.
Kali, on the other hand, represents the potential and manifested energy responsible for all names, forms and activities. She is his Shakti, or creative power, and is seen as the substance behind the entire content of all consciousness. She can never exist apart from Shiva or act independently of him, i. Kali in Traditional Form, standing on Shiva's chest. While this is an advanced concept in monistic Shaktism, it also agrees with the Nondual Trika philosophy of Kashmir, popularly known as Kashmir Shaivism and associated most famously with Abhinavagupta.
There is a colloquial saying that "Shiva without Shakti is Shava" which means that without the power of action Shakti that is Mahakali represented as the short "i" in Devanagari Shiva or consciousness itself is inactive; Shava means corpse in Sanskrit and the play on words is that all Sanskrit consonants are assumed to be followed by a short letter "a" unless otherwise noted.
The short letter "i" represents the female power or Shakti that activates Creation. This is often the explanation for why She is standing on Shiva, who is either Her husband and complement in Shaktism or the Supreme Godhead in Shaivism.
To properly understand this complex Tantric symbolism it is important to remember that the meaning behind Shiva and Kali does not stray from the non-dualistic parlance of Shankara or the Upanisads. According to both the Mahanirvana and Kularnava Tantras, there are two distinct ways of perceiving the same absolute reality.
The first is a transcendental plane which is often described as static, yet infinite. It is here that there is no matter, there is no universe and only consciousness exists. This form of reality is known as Shiva, the absolute Sat-Chit-Ananda — existence, knowledge and bliss. The second is an active plane, an immanent plane, the plane of matter, of Maya, i. This form of reality is known as Kali or Shakti, and in its entirety is still specified as the same Absolute Sat-Chit-Ananda.
It is here in this second plane that the universe as we commonly know it is experienced and is described by the Tantric seer as the play of Shakti, or God as Mother Kali. Kali and Bhairava the terrible form of Shiva in Union, 18th century, NepalFrom a Tantric perspective, when one meditates on reality at rest, as absolute pure consciousness without the activities of creation, preservation or dissolution one refers to this as Shiva or Brahman. When one meditates on reality as dynamic and creative, as the Absolute content of pure consciousness with all the activities of creation, preservation or dissolution one refers to it as Kali or Shakti.
However, in either case the yogini or yogi is interested in one and the same reality — the only difference being in name and fluctuating aspects of appearance. It is this which is generally accepted as the meaning of Kali standing on the chest of Shiva.
Although there is often controversy surrounding the images of divine copulation, the general consensus is benign and free from any carnal impurities in its substance.
In Tantra the human body is a symbol for the microcosm of the universe; therefore sexual process is responsible for the creation of the world. Although theoretically Shiva and Kali or Shakti are inseparable, like fire and its power to burn, in the case of creation they are often seen as having separate roles. With Shiva as male and Kali as female it is only by their union that creation may transpire.
This once again stresses the interdependencies of Shiva and Shakti and the vitality of their union. Gopi Krishna proposed that Kali standing on the dead Shiva or Shava Sanskrit for dead body symbolised the helplessness of a person undergoing the changing process psychologically and physiologically in the body conducted by the Kundalini Shakti.
In the later traditions, Kali has become inextricably linked with Shiva. The unleashed form of Kali often becomes wild and uncontrollable, and only Shiva is able to tame her. This is both because she is often a transformed version of one of his consorts and because he is able to match her wildness.
Bharatanatyam dancer portraying Kali with a tridentThe ancient text of Kali Kautuvam describes her competition with Shiva in dance, from which the sacred Karanas appeared. Shiva won the competition by acting the urdva tandava, one of the Karanas, by raising his feet to his head.
Other texts describe Shiva appearing as a crying infant and appealing to her maternal instincts. While Shiva is said to be able to tame her, the iconography often presents her dancing on his fallen body, and there are accounts of the two of them dancing together, and driving each other to such wildness that the world comes close to unravelling.
Shiva's involvement with Tantra and Kali's dark nature have led to her becoming an important Tantric figure. To the Tantric worshippers, it was essential to face her Curse, the terror of death, as willingly as they accepted Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. For them, wisdom meant learning that no coin has only one side: Kali's role sometimes grew beyond that of a chaos — which could be confronted — to that of one who could bring wisdom, and she is given great metaphysical significance by some Tantric texts.
Although this is an extreme case, the Yogini-tantra, Kamakhya-tantra and the Niruttara-tantra declare her the svarupa own-being of the Mahadevi the great Goddess, who is in this case seen as the combination of all devis.
The final stage of development is the worshipping of Kali as the Great Mother, devoid of her usual violence. This practice is a break from the more traditional depictions. The pioneers of this tradition are the 18th century Shakta poets such as Ramprasad Sen, who show an awareness of Kali's ambivalent nature.
Ramakrishna, the 19th century Bengali saint, was also a great devotee of Kali; the western popularity of whom may have contributed to the more modern, equivocal interpretations of this Goddess. Rachel McDermott's work, however, suggests that for the common, modern worshipper, Kali is not seen as fearful, and only those educated in old traditions see her as having a wrathful component.
Some credit to the development of Devi must also be given to Samkhya. Commonly referred to as the Devi of delusion, Mahamaya, acting in the confines of but not being bound by the nature of the three gunas, takes three forms: In this sense, Kali is simply part of a larger whole.
Shiva, symbolizing pure, absolute consciousness, and Devi, symbolizing the entire content of that consciousness, are ultimately one and the same — totality incarnate, a micro-macro-cosmic amalgamation of all subjects, all objects and all phenomenal relations between the "two. Worshippers prescribe various benign and horrific qualities to Devi simply out of practicality. They do this so they may have a variety of symbols to choose from, symbols which they can identify and relate with from the perspective of their own, ever-changing time, place and personal level of unfolding.
Just like modern chemists or physicists use a variety of molecular and atomic models to describe what is unperceivable through rudimentary, sensory input, the scientists of ontology and epistemology must do the same. From an aesthetic standpoint, nothing is interdict and nothing is orthodox. A Western Shacan representation of KaliAn academic study of Western Kali enthusiasts noted that, "as shown in the histories of all cross-cultural religious transplants, Kali devotionalism in the West must take on its own indigenous forms if it is to adapt to its new environment.
The majority instead rely chiefly on other popular feminist sources, almost none of which base their interpretations on a close reading of Kali's Indian background. The man who popularised the religion of Wicca, Gerald Gardner, was reportedly particularly interested in Kali whilst he was in the far east, before returning to England to write his seminal works on Wicca[citation needed. Im Tantrismus ist sie Shakti.
In ihren zornvollen Manifestationen tritt sie als Kali oder Camunda auf. Album Esoteric - Ezoteryka www. She is the fierce aspect of the goddess Durga Parvati. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation of evil forces still has some influence. Shiva lies in the path of Kali, whose foot on Shiva subdues her anger.
A nineteenth-century Sanskrit dictionary, the Shabdakalpadrum, states: In his supreme awareness of Maya, his body is covered by the white ashes of the cremation ground Sanskrit: She most famously appears in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam as one of the shaktis of Mahadevi, and defeats the demon Raktabija "Bloodseed". Kali could be considered a general concept, like Durga, and is mostly worshiped in the Kali Kula sect of worship. Kali is worshiped as one of the 10 Mahavidya forms of Adi Parashakti Goddess Durga or Bhagavathy according to the region.
The mantra for worship is called Devi Argala Stotram. Re-assuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. In union with Lord Shiva, she creates and destroys worlds. They soon find that they have worsened the situation for with every drop of blood that is dripped from Raktabija he reproduces a clone of himself.
The Devi Mahatmyam describes:. Bearing the strange khatvanga skull-topped staff , decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger's skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the foes of the devas.
Chamunda is very often identified with Kali and is very much like her in appearance and habit. In her most famous pose as Daksinakali, popular legends say that Kali, becoming drunk on the blood of her victims on the battlefield, dances with destructive frenzy. She is about to destroy the whole universe when, urged by all the gods, Shiva lies in her way to stop her. In her fury, she fails to see the body of Shiva lying amongst the corpses on the battlefield and steps upon his chest.
Realizing Shiva lies beneath her feet, her anger is pacified and she calms her fury. Though not included in any of the puranas, popular legends state that Kali was ashamed at the prospect of keeping her husband beneath her feet and thus stuck her tongue out in shame. The Devi-Bhagavata Purana, which goes into great depths about the goddess Kali, reveals the tongue's actual symbolism. The characteristic icons that depict Kali are the following; unbridled matted hair, open blood shot eyes, open mouth and a drooping tongue; in her hands, she holds a Khadga bent sword or scimitar and a human head; she has a girdle of human hands across her waist and an enchanted Shiva lies beneath her feet.
Each of these icons represent a deep philosophical epithet. The drooping out-stuck tongue represents her blood-thirst. Lord Shiva beneath her feet represents matter, as Kali is undoubtedly the primeval energy. The depiction of Kali on Shiva shows that without energy, matter lies "dead". This concept has been simplified to a folk-tale depicting a wife placing her foot on her husband and sticking her tongue out in shame.
In tantric contexts, the tongue is seen to denote the element guna of rajas energy and action controlled by sattva. If Kali steps on Shiva with her right foot and holds the sword in her left hand, she is considered to be Dakshina Kali. The Dakshina Kali Temple has important religious associations with the Jagannath Temple and it is believed that Daksinakali is the guardian of the kitchen of the Lord Jagannath Temple. Puranic tradition says that in Puri, Lord Jagannath is regarded as Daksinakalika.
Goddess Dakshinakali plays an important role in the 'Niti' of Saptapuri Amavasya. After defeating the two demons Sumbha and Nisumbha, Kali takes up residence in the forest of Thiruvalankadu or Thiruvalangadu. She terrorizes the surrounding area with her fierce, disruptive nature. One of Shiva's devotees becomes distracted while performing austerities, and asks Shiva to rid the forest of the destructive goddess.
Shiva challenges Kali to a dance contest; both of them dance and Kali matches Shiva in every step that he takes until Shiva takes the "Urdhvatandava" step, by vertically raising his right leg. Kali refuses to perform this step, which would not befit her as a woman, and became pacified.
If the Kali steps out with the left foot and holds the sword in her right hand, she is the terrible form of Mother, the Smashan Kali of the cremation ground.
She is worshiped by tantrics, the followers of Tantra, who believe that one's spiritual discipline practiced in a smashan cremation ground brings success quickly. Another legend depicts the infant Shiva calming Kali. In this similar story, Kali has defeated her enemies on the battlefield and begun to dance out of control, drunk on the blood of the slain. Seeing the child's distress, Kali ceases dancing to care for the helpless infant. This legend is notable because it shows Kali in her benevolent, maternal aspect, with which she is not usually identified.
Mahakali is the presiding Goddess of the first episode of the Devi Mahatmya. Kali is depicted in the Mahakali form as having ten heads, ten arms, and ten legs. Her eyes are described as red with intoxication, and in absolute rage, her hair is shown disheveled, small fangs sometimes protrude out of her mouth, and her tongue is lolling.
In the ten-armed form of Mahakali she is depicted as shining like a blue stone. There is no association with Shiva. The Kalika Purana describes Kali as possessing a soothing dark complexion, as perfectly beautiful, riding a lion, four-armed, holding a sword and blue lotuses, her hair unrestrained, body firm and youthful.
In spite of her seemingly terrible form, Kali Ma is often considered the kindest and most loving of all the Hindu goddesses, as she is regarded by her devotees as the Mother of the whole Universe. And because of her terrible form, she is also often seen as a great protector. When the Bengali saint Ramakrishna once asked a devotee why one would prefer to worship Mother over him, this devotee rhetorically replied, "Maharaj, when they are in trouble your devotees come running to you.
This is clear in the works of such contemporary artists as Charles Wish, and Tyeb Mehta, who sometimes take great liberties with the traditional, accepted symbolism, but still demonstrate a true reverence for the Shakta sect. The other two hands usually the right are in the abhaya fearlessness and varada blessing mudras, which means her initiated devotees or anyone worshipping her with a true heart will be saved as she will guide them here and in the hereafter.
She has no permanent qualities - she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her - she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti. There is a legend for the reason behind her standing on what appears to be Shiva's corpse, which translates as follows:. When Kali eventually stepped upon Shiva, she realized she was trampling and hurting her husband and bit her tongue in shame.
The story described here is a popular folk tale and not described or hinted in any of the puranas. The puranic interpretation is as follows:. Once, Parvati asks Shiva to chose the one form among her 10 forms which he likes most. To her surprise, Shiva reveals that he is most comfortable with her Kali form, in which she is bereft of her jewellery, her human-form, her clothes, her emotions and where she is only raw, chaotic energy, where she is as terrible as time itself and even greater than time.
As Parvati takes the form of Kali, Shiva lies at her feet and requests her to place her foot on his chest, upon his heart. Once in this form, Shiva requests her to have this place, below her feet in her iconic image which would be worshiped throughout. This idea has been explored in the Devi-Bhagavata Purana and is most popular in the Shyama Sangeet, devotional songs to Kali from the 12th to 15th centuries.
Shiva and Kali represent Brahman, the Absolute pure consciousness which is beyond all names, forms and activities. She can never exist apart from Shiva or act independently of him, just as Shiva remains a mere corpse without Kali i. Hence, Kali is Para Brahman in the feminine and dynamic aspect while Shiva is the male aspect and static. She stands as the absolute basis for all life, energy and beneath her feet lies, Shiva, a metaphor for mass, which cannot retain its form without energy.
This form of reality is known as Shiva, the absolute Sat-Chit-Ananda - existence, knowledge and bliss. From a Tantric perspective, when one meditates on reality at rest, as absolute pure consciousness without the activities of creation, preservation or dissolution one refers to this as Shiva or Brahman. However, in either case the yogini or yogi is interested in one and the same reality - the only difference being in name and fluctuating aspects of appearance.
The unleashed form of Kali often becomes wild and uncontrollable, and only Shiva is able to tame her just as only Kali can tame Shiva.
The ancient text of Kali Kautuvam describes her competition with Shiva in dance, from which the sacred Karanas appeared.
Kali's role sometimes grew beyond that of a chaos - which could be confronted - to that of one who could bring wisdom, and she is given great metaphysical significance by some Tantric texts. Commonly referred to as the Devi of delusion, Mahamaya or Durga, acting in the confines of but not being bound by the nature of the three gunas, takes three forms: Like Sir John Woodroffe and Georg Feuerstein, many Tantric scholars as well as sincere practitioners agree that, no matter how propitious or appalling you describe them, Shiva and Devi are simply recognizable symbols for everyday, abstract yet tangible concepts such as perception, knowledge, space-time, causation and the process of liberating oneself from the confines of such things.
Shiva, symbolizing pure, absolute consciousness, and Devi, symbolizing the entire content of that consciousness, are ultimately one and the same - totality incarnate, a micro-macro-cosmic amalgamation of all subjects, all objects and all phenomenal relations between the "two. One of the underlying distinctions of Tantra, in comparison to other religions, is that it allows the devotee the liberty to choose from a vast array of complementary symbols and rhetoric which suit one's evolving needs and tastes.
In this sense, the projection of some of Devi's more gentle qualities onto Kali is not sacrilege and the development of Kali really lies in the practitioner, not the murthi.
A TIME magazine article of October 27, , used Kali as a symbol and metaphor for the human suffering in British India during its partition that year.
An academic study of Western Kali enthusiasts noted that, "as shown in the histories of all cross-cultural religious transplants, Kali devotionalism in the West must take on its own indigenous forms if it is to adapt to its new environment. A variety of writers and thinkers have found Kali an exciting figure for reflection and exploration, notably feminists and participants in New Age spirituality who are attracted to goddess worship.
Kali is a symbol of wholeness and healing, associated especially with repressed female power and sexuality. The most important issue arising from this discussion - even more important than the question of 'correct' interpretation - concerns the adoption of other people's religious symbols. It is hard to import the worship of a goddess from another culture: The temple has been praised by the Nayanmars in their devotional hymns, and patronised by the Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara, Hoysala, Maratha kings, besides the local chieftains like the Mazhavarayars of Ariyalur.
The presiding deity of the temple is Sri Vaidyanathaswami, also known as Mazhuvadeeswarar. A granite statue of Mazhuvadeeswarar holding an axe in his right hand, a spear and also a rope to control Yamadharma, who wanted to take away the life of Markandeya is seen in the ardhamandapam.
The second gopuram with five tiers is about 80 ft. Both the towers are decorated with a rich array of sculptures. The Vaidyanathaswami temple and the temple of Sundarambigai, situated on a sprawling hectare campus full of coconut trees and palmyrahs, bear evidence to the meticulous care taken by the builders of the temple, the Pallavas, right from the seventh century. Sridharan, Registering officer, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department, the temple was renovated by Rajaraja the Great who copied the inscriptions available at the time of renovation around 10th century, and also mentioned that they were re-copied from the old inscriptions in the temple.
There are as many as inscriptions in the temple from Chola to Maratha and Vijayanagara kings, throwing a wealth of information about the offerings made by devotees for the maintenance of the temple.
An inscription of Rajaraja III mentions the construction of a well at the entrance of the temple, and appointment of a person to draw water from the well, and storing it in a tub so that devotees could enter the temple after washing their feet. Murugesan of the temple, an unusual feature is there are five nandis instead of one in front of the sanctum sanctorum. There are no Navagraha idols in the temple.
They are all buried in a small square just outside the sanctum sanctorum, where pooja is offered, he says. The sthala vriksha is the palmyrah tree, and the entire temple complex was once called Thala Vanam forest of Palmyrah trees. The palmyrah generally does not flourish on river banks. Perhaps, around the seventh century, the entire area was a dry pocket, and the Coleroon came closer to the present location much later.
Thirumazhapadi was significant for the kings of Thanjavur, Chembian Mahadevi, grandmother of Rajaraja the Great, hailed from Chembiakudi, 4 km from Thirumazhapadi and historical places like Pazhuvur, Alambakkam, Kandaradithyam, birthplace of Kandraditha Chola , are all situated within a radius of just about 15 km.
The temple of Lord Vaidyanatha is closely connected with the Panchanadeeswara temple at Tiruvayaru on the opposite bank about 15 km from Thirumazhapadi.
The most important festival in the temple is the Nandikalyanam in the Tamil month of Panguni. Lord Nandeeswara the bridegroom from Thiruvayaru marries Goddess Swayambikai Devi of Thiumazhapadi temple, and the entire village celebrates the wedding with involvement. The palanquin of Nandideva dressed with a Maratha cap is received by Lord Vaidyanatha on the banks of the Coleroon.
The entire marriage ceremony is conducted by the priests of the temple, and the Celestial couple are taken out in procession through the main streets. The car festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Masi. The temple car has over exquisitely carved wooden panels, with over figures, depicting stories from the Hindu mythology. Durga puja is the most favorite festival of the people of eastern India, especially the people of West Bengal.
This festival is celebrated all over India, though with differing rituals, for nine days. It is also called Navratri in some parts of the country. Before "Idol immersion" , married women of all age take part in an emotional ritual where vermilion sindhoor khela , is applied to the parting of each other's hair.
A mother-in-law gives an iron bangle interlaced with gold or silver to a new bride as the first gift, a token of suhag Marriage Bliss , which the daughter-in-law wears all her life.
Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Somewhere inside these complex edifices is a stage on which Durga reigns, standing on her lion mount, wielding ten weapons in her ten hands. This is the religious center of the festivities. The word pandal means a temporary structure, made of bamboo and cloth, which is used as a temporary temple for the purpose of the puja.
The entire process of creation of the idols murti from the collection of clay to the ornamentation is a holy process,. There is age-old custom of collecting a handful of soil punya mati from the nishiddho pallis of Calcutta,.
After the required rites, the clay is transported from which the idols are fashioned. Starting with Devi Durga, the eyes of the idols are painted on Mahalaya or the first day of the Pujas. Goddess Durga Rides a Lion and vengeance to kill a demon residing in city of Mysore ,named after Mahishasur,. The original Indian name was Mahishur. Along with these central statues, Idols are also made of other Gods and Goddesses. As it also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort Durga is an aspect of Goddess Parvati ,.
Worship of mother nature is also done, through nine types of plant called "Kala Bou" ,. Parvati is considered to be a complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other Goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations.
Parvati is nominally the second consort of Shiva, the Hindu God of destruction and rejuvenation. However, she is not different from Sati, being the reincarnation of Shiva's first wife. Some communities also believe her to be the sister of Vishnu. She is also regarded as the daughter of King Himavan.
Parvati, when depicted alongside Shiva, generally appears with two arms, but when alone, she is depicted having four, eight or ten arms, and is astride on a tiger or lion. Parvata is one of the Sanskrit words for "mountain"; "Parvati" translates to "She of the mountains" and refers to Parvati being born the daughter of Himavan, lord of the mountains and the personification of the Himalayas.
Other which associate her with mountains are Shailaja Daughter of the mountains , Adrija or Nagajaa or Shailaputri Daughter of Mountains , 'Haimavathi' Daughter of Himavan and 'Girija' or 'Girirajaputri' Daughter of king of the mountains. Parvati's name is also sometimes considered a form of 'pavitra', meaning 'sinless' or 'holy' in Sanskrit. Her consort is Shiva and she is the sagun swaroop of the Supreme Being Adi Parashakti that is the material form of the supreme power.
She is also known by names from the Durga Saptashati. Bhavani, Shivaradni 'Queen of Shiva' , and many hundreds of others. The Lalita sahasranama contains an authoritative listing of 1, names of Parvati.
Two of Parvati's most famous epithets are Uma and Aparna. The name Uma is used for Sati in earlier texts, but in the Ramayana, it is used as synonym for Parvati. The apparent contradiction that Parvati is addressed as the fair one, Gauri, as well as the dark one, Kali or Shyama is a philosophical matter.
It suggests that the one calm and placid wife, Uma, in times of danger, can transfer back to her primal fierce and angry or sometimes Maternal nature as Kali, who stands uncloaked, with a foot on her husband's chest. The twin opposite colors, white and black represent the two opposing nature of the Goddess. Parvati is also the goddess of love and devotion, or Kamakshi. Parvati is the source of all the powers and weapons.
She is the base of all kinds of powers that are used for doing any work. It is also believed that without her, Shiva remains as Shava or Corpse, for she is the ultimate source of power for all beings, gods and Devas. That is why she is considered as goddess of power. According to the Devi Bhagavatam, she is the most powerful of all. When her anger reaches its peak, she can destroy the whole universe in just seconds. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, never try to make her angry at any cost.
We bow down to Devi Durga, who is source of all forms sarvarupe , who is the goddess of all beings sarveshe , in whom all power exists Sarvashakti samanvite and who destroys all fear bhaye bhyastrai no devi. Parvati herself does not explicitly appear in Vedic literature, though the Kena Upanishad 3.
She appears as the shakti, or essential power, of the Supreme Brahman. Her primary role is as a mediator who reveals the knowledge of Brahman to the Vedic trinity of Agni, Vayu, and Indra, who were boasting about their recent defeat of a group of demons. However, it is not until the plays of Kalidasa 5th-6th centuries and the Puranas 4th through the 13th centuries that the myths of Sati-Parvati and Shiva acquire more comprehensive details.
Kinsley adds that Parvati may have emerged from legends of non-aryan goddesses that lived in mountains. Weber suggests that like Shiva is combination of various Vedic gods Rudra and Agni, the Puranic Parvati is a combination of Uma, Haimavati, Ambika and earlier Parvati, identified as wives of Rudra; of others like Kali, who could be a wife of Agni and of Gauri and others inspired by Nirriti.
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