Thursday, 27 February 2014

Maha Shivaratri

   Maha Shivaratri is a festival celebrated on reverence to Lord Shiva. It is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdhasi on the 13th night or 14th day of Maagha or Phalguna. On this day it was believed that, Nishita kala is the time Lord shiva appeared on Earth in the form of Linga. Hence Lingodbhava puja is performed on this time and is considered as most auspicious.


According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri is Lord Shiva's favourite day. Devotees on this day remain on fast or perform hour long spiritual meditation by following rituals to commemorate Mahashivratri and be blessed with grace.




There are many legends associated with this festival day.Among them few are below:

1. Marriage of Mighty lord shiva and Shakti took place.

Story: The legend of marriage of Shiva and Shakti is one the most important legends related to the festival of Mahashivaratri. The story tells us how Lord Shiva got married a second time to Shakti, his divine consort. According to legend of Shiva and Shakti, the day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri - the Night of Lord Shiva.



Please follow the link written by me for the entire story of Sati who sacrifices her life on the insult of her father Daksh and how another incarnation Parvathy marries Lord Shiva:





2. Samudra Mathanam.

Story:This very popular Shivaratri legend from Puranas explains why people stay awake all night on Shivaratri. Besides, it also tells us why Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha.



                Due to the curse of Durvasa Maharshi, Devas lost their battle with Asuras which is led by Bali Chakravarthy.Devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who advised them to treat asuras in a diplomatic manner. Devas formed an alliance with asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among them. Lord Vishu told Devas that we would arrange that they alone obtain the nectar.
During the churning of ocean Mount Mandara was used as churning rod and Vasuki, the King of Serpents, became the churning rope. Lord Vishnu himself had to intercede in so many ways to aid the Devas. All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean and many great beings and objects were produced from the ocean and were divided between asuras and gods. It is said that following things emerged from the Samudra Manthan:
  • Sura or Varuni - Goddess and creator of wine
  • Apsaras - various divine nymphs
  • Kaustubha - a rare diamond said to be the most valuable jewel in the world
  • Uchhaishravas - the divine white horse
  • Kalpavriksha - the wish-granting tree
  • Kamadhenu - the wish fulfilling cow
  • Airavata - the white elephant
  • Lakshmi - the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth. Vishnu and Her were reunited after having been separated for many ages.


During the Sagar Manthan by the gods and demons, haalaa-hala, a pot of poison also came out of the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was so toxic that it effects would have wiped out the entire creation. On the advice of Lord Vishnu, Gods approached Lord Shiva for help and protection as only he could swallow it without being affected. On the request of gods and out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva drank the poison. However, Parvati - Lord Shiva’s consort pressed his neck so that the poison does not reach his stomach. Thus, it stayed in his throat neither going up nor going down and Shiva remained unharmed. The poison was so potent that it changed the color of Lord Mahadeva’s neck to blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Neelakantha (the blue-necked one) where ‘Neela’ means blue and ‘Kantha’ means neck or throat.




As part of the therapy, doctors advised gods to keep Lord Shiva awake during the night. Thus, Gods kept a vigil in contemplation of Lord Shiva. To amuse Shiva and to keep him awake, the gods took turn performing various dances and playing music. As the day broke out, Lord Shiva, pleased with their devotion blessed them all. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world. Since then, on this day and night - devotees fast, keep vigil, sing glories of Lord and meditate.

And at last Amrita came out of the Milk ocean on Churning and more dramatic situations occurred later. 


3. Shiva appeared in form of Linga on Earth.

Story: According to Puranas, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu were fighting over each other’s prowess. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a flaming Linga in between Brahma and Vishnu and challenged both of them by asking them to measure the gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). 

Awestruck by its magnitude, Brahma and Vishnu decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and went upwards while Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Varaha - a boar and went into the earth towards nether land. Both searched for thousands of miles but neither could find the end.

On his journey upward, Brahma came across Ketaki flower. Exhausted and bewildered with his search to find the uppermost limit of fiery column, Brahma made Ketaki assent to lie that he had seen the top of the column where the flower had previously resided. Accompanied by his accomplice, Brahma confronted Vishnu and asserted that he had indeed discovered the origin of the cosmic column.




At this point, the central part of the pillar split open and Shiva revealed himself in his full glory. Overawed, both Brahma and Vishnu bowed before him accepted lord Shiva’s supremacy. Lord Shiva also explained to Brahma and Vishnu that both of them were born out of him and that the three were then separated out into three different aspects of divinity.



However, Lord Shiva was angry with Brahma for making a false claim. The Lord cursed Brahma that no one would ever pray to him. (This legend explains why there is hardly any Brahma temple of significance in India.) Lord Shiva also punished the Ketaki flower for testifying falsely and banned her from being used as an offering for any worship.


Since it was on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri - the grand night of Shiva. To celebrate the occasion, devotees of Lord Shiva fast during the day and pray to the Lord throughout the night. It is said that worshipping of Lord Shiva on Shivaratri bestows one with happiness and prosperity.


4. Ganga's descent from the heavens to earth.

Story: Goddess Ganga has descent from heavens to earth for purifying the sins of the ancestors of King Bhagiratha on this day.



Detailed story is written by me under Bhagiratha Prayatnam, please follow the link for same: 



5. Marks the night when Lord performs "Shiva Tandava", the cosmic dance.

Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraj, the Dancing God. This divine art form is performed by Lord Shiva and his divine consort Goddess Parvati. The dance performed by Lord Shiva is known as Tandava. Shiva’s Tandava is a vigorous dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. Tandava depicts his violent nature as the destroyer of the universe.


According to scholars, ‘Characteristics of the Tandava Dance’ have been described in the fourth chapter of Bharat Muni’s Nata Shastra, which is referred to as fifth Veda and an expression of Lord Shiva’s eternal dance - Tandava. It says that Shiva’s Tandava is embellished with 108 karanas and the 32 anghaharas - the composite parts of the dance. Bharat Muni further says that Lord Shiva conceived the dance, as he was very much fond of dancing every evening. Shiva further mentioned that 108 karnas included in tandava could be employed in the course of dance, fight, and personal combats and in other special movements like strolling.



Some scholars believe that there are seven different types of Tandava. The tandava performed with joy is called Ananda Tandava and that which is performed in violent mood is called Rudra Tandava. The other types of tandava identified are Tripura Tandava, Sandhya Tandava, Samara Tandava, Kaali Tandava, Uma Tandava and Gauri Tandava. However, there are few people who believe that there are 16 types of Tandava.



According to religious scholars, the cosmic dance of Shiva, called 'Anandatandava,' meaning, ‘the Dance of Bliss’ symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations of eternal energy - creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion. 



According to learned scholar, Coomerswamy, the dance of Shiva also represents his five activities namely,

  • 'Shrishti' - creation, evolution
  • 'Sthiti' - preservation, support
  • 'Samhara' - destruction, evolution
  • 'Tirobhava' - illusion
  • 'Anugraha' - release, emancipation, grace
The overall temper of the image is paradoxical, uniting the inner tranquillity, and outside activity of Shiva. 

Jyotirlinga

Shivaratri is considered as the most auspicious celebration at all the twelve Jyotirlingas- Kedarnath, Nageshwar, Ghushmeshwar, Vaidyanath, Vishwanath, Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Somnath, Triambkeshwar, Bhimashankar, Mallikarjunaswamy and Rameshwaram.


Rituals:

          Devotees pray god in context to Shiva puran. In fact Lord shiva is considered as the god of primitive world. Hence the rituals are just not like the other gods. There are no restrictions upon the entrance of temple for anyone. Devotees use holy ash to their foreheads in three horizontal stripes symbolizing spiritual knowledge, purity,penance and also it is believed that the three eyes of Lord are represented by it.



1. Abhishekam is performed to Shiv Linga with water, milk and honey.
2. Lord is prayed with apple, bel leaves.
3. Vermilion paste is applied to the Shiv Linga after Abhishekam
4. Offerings are done to lord and it is believed that lord accepts anything as offering from devotees even the        FLESH- From the story of Bhaktha Kanappa.
5. Burning incense for yielding wealth.
6. Lighting of lamp for the attainment of knowledge.
7. Beetel  leaves are used to pray the lord.

MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA:

The mantra which every devotee hymns is Maha Mrityunjay Mantra from the Sukla Yajurveda Samhita:

oṁ hrauṁ jūṁ saḥ
oṁ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ
oṁ tryambakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭi-vardhanaṁ
urvārukam-iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya mā ∫ mṛtāt
oṁ svaḥ bhuvaḥ bhūr
oṁ saḥ jūṁ hrauṁ oṁ
which is its Tantric version.

The symbol '∫' is important because it stands for hrswa (short) vowel 'a' in amṛtāt




|| Om Trayambakam Yajaamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam


Urvaarukmiva Bandhanaan
Mrityor Mokshiya Mamritaat ||


[The meaning of the Mantra is as follows:]

I worship thee, O sweet Lord of transcendental vision (the three -eyed one or Lord Siva). O giver of health and prosperity to all, may I be free from the bonds of death, just as a melon (or cucumber) is severed effortlessly from its bondage or attachment to the creeper.     

Shiv Yantra 





     ***********HAPPY SHIVARATRI**********      






Monday, 10 February 2014

Mystery Behind the Seventh door of Shri Anantha Padmanabha swamy temple


The temple of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy in Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala has got the world's attention in recent days.  About 1 Lakh crores worth of gold is found in the underground vault's of temple.The committee which was employed takes in to account its value based on ancient and historical facts the value of the treasure will be approximately ten times to the value estimated right now. Treasure includes ancient gold chains, diamonds, rubies and precious stones, silver vessels, and gold statues the value of which is humanly impossible to evaluate in terms of money, bags full of golden coins of different nations including NAPOLEON and ITALIAN were also found.



 According to the locals the Travancore kings stored immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple.  The temple is controlled by a trust run by the descendants of the Travancore royal family since Independence. The kingdom of Travancore merged with the princely state of Cochin after 1947. It eventually became the present-day state of Kerala. The inspection of the temple began after India’s Supreme Court appointed a seven-member panel to enter and assess the value of the objects stored in its cellars, including the two chambers last thought to have been opened about 150 years ago.



To go deep into knowing about the temple, it is a vedic temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is run by the trust leaded by royal family of Travancore. This temple is from the 108 holy adobes of Lord Vishnu. The capital city of kerala, Thiruvananthpuram is named after ‘Thiru’ ‘Anantha’ ‘Puram’ means Sacred Abode of Lord Anantha Padmanabha. The city was also known as Anandapuram (City of Bliss) and Syananduram (Where Bliss is not far off). Ananda refers to Sree Padmanabha Himself. Hindu scriptures refer to the Supreme Being as 'Sachidananda' (Absolute Truth, Absolute Consciousness and Absolute Bliss). Diety is enshrined in Anantha sayanam(eternal sleep of yoga nidra on the serpent Anantha or Adi sesha) posture . Lord's right hand is placed over a Shiva lingam. Sridevi, the Goddess of Prosperity and Bhudevi the Goddess of Earth, two consorts of Vishnu are by his side. Brahma emerges on a lotus, which emanates from the navel of the Lord. The deity is made from 12,000 saligramams. These saligrams are from the banks of the Gandaki River in Nepal, and to commemorate this certain rituals used to be performed at the Pashupatinath Temple.The deity of Sri Padmanabha is covered with, "Katusarkara yogam", a special ayurvedic mix, which forms a plaster that keeps the deity clean.





History:

Lord Balaram who was believed to be the serpentine of Shri Maha Vishnu, has visited this temple according to Shrimad Bhagavatham.



Temple Architecture:-

         The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which is in the news with the discovery of treasures in its vaults, is an imaginative amalgam of the Dravidian and Kerala architectural styles. If the structure of the sanctum sanctorum, the Dhwaja Sthambham and the Chuttambalam characterise the Kerala style, the influence of the neighbouring Tamil country is visible elsewhere — the wall of the sanctum of the Sree Krishna shrine has Tamil Vattezhuthu inscriptions dating to 1375 CE; the gopuram over the eastern entrance has hundreds of stucco figures, reflecting the Vijayanagara style of architecture; the stunning sculptures in the Kulasekhara mandapam and on the pillars of the rectangular prakara are by sculptors of the Madurai Nayaka period and in the vimana over the sanctum. It is a daring, dramatic fusion. This befits a temple where the presiding deity, Vishnu, reclines on a snake, in a rare depiction.



Sthala Puranam:-

Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar, residing near Ananthapuram Temple, Kasargod prayed to Lord Vishnu for his darshan. The Lord came in disguise as a small, mischievous boy. The boy defiled the Saligrama which was kept for Puja. The Sage became enraged at this and chased away the boy. The boy disappeared. After a long search, when he was walking on the banks of Arabian Sea, he heard a pulaya lady threatening her child that she would throw him in Ananthankadu. The moment the Swami heard the word Ananthankadu, he was delighted. He proceeded to Ananthankadu based on the directions of the lady from whom he enquired. The Sage reached Ananthankadu searching for the boy. There he saw the boy merging into an Iluppa tree (Indian Butter Tree). The tree fell down and became Anantha Sayana Moorti (Vishnu reclining on Anantha). 



But the Lord was of an extraordinarily large size with head at Thiruvallom, navel at Thiruvanananthapuram and lotus-feet at Thrippadapuram (Thrippappur). The Sage requested the Lord to shrink to a smaller proportion – thrice the length of his staff. Immediately, the Lord shrank. But even then many Iluppa trees obstructed a complete vision of the Lord. The Sage saw the Lord in three parts – thirumukham, thiruvudal and thrippadam. Swami prayed to Padmanabha to be forgiven . The Swami offered Rice Kanji and Uppumanga (salted mango pieces) in a coconut shell to the Perumal which he obtained from the pulaya woman. The spot where the Sage had darsan of the Lord belonged to Koopakkara Potti and Karuva Potti. With the assistance of the reigning King and some Brahmin households a Temple was constructed. Koopakkara Potti was made the Tantri of the Temple.



Legend of the seventh door:-

The entire world stands now  to know what’s behind the Mysterious Last door of Padmanabha Swamy temple. According to the experts it was expected to Unlock by itself when a Secret Chant is spelled as it is locked in that way.




It is believed that this chamber is being considered by the Trust members and other learned Astrologers of India, as highly mysterious, sacred and risky and dangerous to unveil it. Because the steel door of the Chamber-B is having two big COBRA PORTRAITS on it and this door as no nuts, bolts or other latches.


            It is considered to be fixed to the secret chamber with the ‘NAGA BANDHAM’ or ‘NAGA PAASAM’ ‘MANTRAS’ by the then ‘SIDDA PURASHAS’ who lived during the reign of KING MARTHANDAVARMA in the 16th CENTURY.



            A door of such a secret vault can be opened by a highly erudite ‘SADHUS’ or ‘MANTRIKAS’ who are familiar with the knowledge of extricating ‘NAGA BANDHAM’ or ‘NAGA PASAM’ by chanting a ‘GARUDA MANTRA'; So except in this way, the door can't be opened by any means by anyone. At present NO WHERE IN INDIA or in the WORLD such a highly sacred and powerful ‘SIDDHAPURSHAS’ or ‘Y0GIS’ or ‘MANTRIKAS’ who does know how to execute highly sacred ‘GARUDA MANTRA’ are EXISTING.




           If any human attempts are made with man-made technology to open the mysterious Chamber-B other than by chanting highly sacred and powerful ‘GARUDA MANTRAS’ by a highly sacred ‘SADHUS’ or ‘MANTRIKAS’, catastrophes are likely to occour in and around the Temple premises or through out India or even through out the world according to VEDIC ASTROLOGERS OF INDIA, who also revealed their inability to open the door by chanting the secret ‘GARUDA MANTRA’.



              If ‘GARUDA MANTRA’ is chanted by any powerful ‘SADHU’ or ‘YOGI’ or ‘MANTRIKA’ the door proceeds to automatically open and no human effort is needed to open it in any other way. Adding to the belief that the Garuda drives away mighty serpents from our way.


            
 As of now, the people on the other side of the door are able to listen the sounds of water or Sounds made by snakes as guessed. Believers say that the seventh door is an opening where the entire temple and areas may be flooded with waters and some others say, that there are large serpents guarding the area inside which doesn’t allow any one. The day to know what’s really behind is still awaited.



I say, it might be the seventh door of Shree Maha Vishnu also. As it gets sync with the concept of seven doors. If so the only way to see god is to open the door ...:))



Scientifically speaking:-

Temples are large places reserved in public areas for taking rest, attaining peace of mind and to regulate positive waves. 
Follow the article : http://www.amazingbharat.com/2013/05/temple-science.html for more details.

Adding to the concepts given in it. Kings preserved money from foreign invaders and sometimes reserved it for future generations. In this case, we as a future generation found enough money to get out of our difficulties. Lets leave that to our future generations....