|| History of •°NEW YEAR°•||

New Year marks the inception of another new 12 months which we call by their usual names but name or mode of pointing the year changes; just like 2016 is all set to say goodbye and 2017 is all ready to cast it’s spell on our lives Midnight 31st December onwards.

On this grand  occasion, which is very much secular although 🙂 I have marked few points in the timeline of political history of mankind where 1st January rang in and out to be the first day of any year. 

Calendar of Mesopotamia

The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.

Egyptian Calender

The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”)

January Joins the Calendar 

Ancient Roman Calendar

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year

In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.

Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished 

New Year celebrations on Easter

In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.

Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored

In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.

Modern Gregorian Calender

We saw the in and out flow of acceptance of January as first month of any year reigning through various colonial imprints. Now, as New Year is celebrated worldwide, let’s go through the ways of names by which it is welcomed and greeted…

When we say “Happy New Year”..

Afrikaans say Voorspoedige nuwe jaar

Arabic greets Kul ‘am wa antum bikhair

Basque rejoices  Urte Berri on

Bengali wishes Shuvo noboborsho

Chinese (Cantonese) says Sun nien fai lok

Chinese (Mandarin) says Xin nian yu kuai

Czech greets Stastny Novy Rok

Danish rejoices Godt NytÅr

Dutch celebrates Gelukkig nieuwjaar

Esperanto cheers Bonan Novjaron

Finnish celebrates Onnellista uutta vuotta

French says Bonne année

German greets Ein glückliches neues Jahr

Greek states Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos

Hawaiian cheers Hauoli Makahiki hou

Hebrew  greets Shana Tova

Hungarian celebrates Boldog uj evet

Indonesian (Bahasa) wishes  Selamat Tahun Baru

Italian  wishes Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno

Japanese rejoices Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu

Korean celebrates Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo

Laotian (Hmong) cheers Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab

Latin celebrates Felix sit annus novus

Nigerian (Hausa) cheers Barka da sabuwar shekara

Norwegian wishes Godt Nytt År

Philippines (Tagalog)  celebrates     Manigong Bagong Taon

Polish cheers Szczesliwego Nowego Roku

Romanian calls La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit

Samoan cheers Ia manuia le Tausaga Fou

Spanish wishes Feliz año nuevo

Swedish wishes Gott Nytt År

Thai celebrates Sawatdee Pi Mai

Vietnamese rejoices Chuc mung nam moi

Welsh cheers Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

But altogether it’s a grand beginning of another grand chapter of life filled with all the inseparable ingredients of emotions and allegedly painful yet thoughtful stances supported by cheering moments with near and dear ones, filled with lessons and blessings… Which we very rashly yet dearly claim to be LIFE!                  ~TheSpiritual~


|| TRANSGENDER ~~ the Mythological Facts and Approach||

Sexual ambivalence has been a recurring motif in figures populating the world of ancient Indian mythology. 

Tales in regional folklore as well as the epic texts refer to both deities and heroes as well as non-divine figures changing genders, or manifesting as avatars of the opposite sex, such as Adhanari or Ardhaniswara, one of Shiva’s most popular avatars who is half-man and half-woman. In Vedic literature, the Kama Sutra, too, has spoken of the various branches of the queer community.

It is worth questioning the state of current society – in this context – when alternative sexualities are only now breaking the taboo; being queer is an idea that is slowly assimilating into the fabric of Indian society, and not without considerable outrage and pushback from those who subscribe to other notions of ‘Indian culture’ either. In spite of these, there have been a slew of events in the recent past that have been tangible steps towards being more inclusive of sexual variance in society, giving us hope that we’re moving towards a future where there is enough empathy in each of us to accept sexual ambiguity without the need to validate it to a T.

Bahuchara Mata is one of the pivotal Hindu deities who enjoys the patronage of the transgender and transvestite community in India, with several different tales in folklore depicting unmistakeable gender transformation and thus, shedding the trappings of heteronormativity. While there aren’t any direct references to homosexuality in ancient Hindu literary texts, there are several to the fluid nature of sexuality.

Daughter of Charan Bapal and Detha, one myth tells us about how she was travelling with her sisters in a caravan when a bandit named Bapiya accosted them on the journey. It was common for both men and women of the charan community to kill themselves when faced with the prospect of being overpowered and killed by enemies; and shedding the blood of a charan was considered abominable. The sisters announced Tragu, a form of self-immolation, upon being attacked and legend has it that they cut off their breasts, with Bahuchara cursing Bapiya to a life of impotency unless he dressed and acted like a woman, and worshipped her for the rest of his days. The underlying message here is simple –  Impotence or genital mutilation are again recurring themes in tales associated with Bahuchara Mata.

Another myth tells of a king who prayed to the Goddess for a son, who was eventually born impotent. The prince, Jetho, dreamt of Bahuchara one day who ordered him to cut off his genitals, wear women’s clothes and become her servant. Bahuchara Mata has consistently, over these stories, appeared as a figure who identified impotent men and commanded them to do this and serve her. If they refused to assume the attire and mannerisms of the opposite gender, they would be cursed in their next seven incarnations to be born impotent, and thus the cult of devotees who worship Bahuchara Mata grew; a community that is required to self-castrate and remain celibate. The stories also speak of the conflict between body and soul that transgenders go through, in search for their gender identity, a story from ancient times reflecting their state of mind.

Hijra: A term used in the Indian subcontinent to refer to the transgender community. 

In yet another of these numerous folk stories, Bahuchara was a princess whose marriage was never consummated. Her husband would, every night, slip away to the forest where he would ‘behave as a woman’ while other versions say that Bahuchara followed him one night and found him having sex with another man. Furious, she castrated him and cursed him, announcing that all men like her husband ought to be emasculated to give them a chance at a better rebirth. This same community of men was also promised protection if they worshipped her. 

A manifestation of the Goddess, Bahuchara is a symbol of immense strength and protection to the kinnar community in all of these stories, regardless of whether the story is about the men getting neutered or her being depicted cutting off her own breasts to save herself from the atrocity of rape; her worshippers are staunch believers in non-violence and consider killing of all animals and creatures a sin.

PC: TV9 Gujarati

While the primary temple of Bahuchara Ma is located in Bechraji town in Mehsana district of Gujarat, India, the goddess is one of the central religious figures amongst hijras, with many homes having small shrines dedicated to her. Seated on a rooster (to symbolise innocence), Bahuchara Mata is often depicted as a woman who carries a sword on her top right, the abhay hasta mudra (‘showering of blessings’) on her bottom right, a trident on her bottom left and a text of scriptures on her top left. 

With the transgender community being recognised in India as the third gender, and the recent election of a hijra mayor, things seems promising and we seem to be moving towards a more inclusive future albeit slowly and not without setbacks. Even as we take these steps forward, though, it is important to remember that it is these stories that have laid the foundation and been a source of strength and faith, a testament to how it is not up to any faction to decide what is ‘normal’ or ‘natural’. 

Much like the story of Nangeli, the 19th century Dalit woman, it is uplifting to discover in ancient Indian history and mythology traces of a community who are slowly regaining their rightful place in our society.

Similar many other manifestations of transgenderalism are cited in ancient Hindu Mythology scriptures like the gender of Buddh or Planet Mercury, gender bias of Lord Arun and Devi Usha, existence of Arjuna as eunuch named Vrihannala in one year Agyatavasa or exile in Mahabharata, the great transgender warrior Shikhandi and many other incidents incurring curses and illusions will be discussed in my upcoming posts.

||Lord Krishna ~~ Pinnacle of Spirituality||••Enhance your Spirituality!

Life nowadays rests upon the very much artificial pillars of sophisticacy and wealth and pleasure  centered activities with the mere intention of attainment of worldy and materialistic pleasure and none of us are having ample time to endow ourselves in the process of Spiritual Enlightenment.

Currently humanity is stuck in a very materialistic civilization which is completely degrading and not at all conducive for the spiritual evolution of the general public.

One of the fundamental causes of this materialistic society is the widespread belief in the completely false theory that life comes from matter. If the people can believe life comes from matter simply by random chance then they can avoid all spiritual considerations completely.

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna completely smashes this idea by asserting that He is the source of everything and that everything emanates from Him. Bhagavad Gita is so clear but because of the tendency of people to be envious, because they do not want to accept anyone is greater them themselves, they reject these very clear statements of Krishna and try and explain them in some other way.

Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution.  (Bhagavad-gita 7.6)
Everything that exists is a product of matter and spirit. Spirit is the basic field of creation, and matter is created by spirit. Spirit is not created at a certain stage of material development. Rather, this material world is manifested only on the basis of spiritual energy. This material body is developed because spirit is present within matter; a child grows gradually to boyhood and then to manhood because of that superior energy, spirit soul, being present. Similarly, the entire cosmic manifestation of the gigantic universe is developed because of the presence of the Supersoul, Visnu. Therefore spirit and matter, which combine together to manifest this gigantic universal form, are originally two energies of the Lord, and consequently the Lord is the original cause of everything. 
A fragmental part and parcel of the Lord, namely, the living entity, may by manipulation of material energy construct a skyscraper, factory or city, but he cannot create matter out of nothing, and he certainly cannot construct a planet or a universe. The cause of the universe is the Supersoul, Krishna, the supreme creator of all individual souls and the original cause of all causes.

These are very radical statements in today’s world. Nowadays ‘educated’ people do not believe in the existence of anything except matter. For them the only thing in existence is the gross material elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether. Some even don’t believe in ether… So they are like children who do not understand how something works. They are in complete ignorance as to the way the world is functioning. And they are worshipped as great scientists and scholars. This is the world we live in. Complete fools in complete ignorance are telling us that there is no spiritual energy, everything is matter, everything is chemicals and that life comes from a random combination of chemicals. 

But we can understand from this verse of Bhagavad Gita that Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the source of all life and all matter. So life~~and also matter~~comes from life. It does not come from chemicals or from a primordial soup… Life and matter come from Krishna. Life comes from life! If we can just establish this fact it will be a great step forward for human civilization. 

O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. (Bhagavad Gita 7.7)
There is a common controversy over whether the Supreme Absolute Truth is personal or impersonal. As far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, the Absolute Truth is the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, and this is confirmed in every step. In this verse, in particular, it is stressed that the Absolute Truth is a person. 
That the Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Absolute Truth is also the affirmation of the Brahma-samhita: the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead is Lord Krsna, who is the primeval Lord, the reservoir of all pleasure, Govinda, and the eternal form of complete bliss and knowledge. 
These authorities leave no doubt that the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. The impersonalist, however, argues on the strength of the Vedic version given in the Svetasvatara Upanisad: “In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, but those who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world.”
The impersonalist puts more stress on “no material form”. But this “no material form” is not impersonal. It indicates the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge as described in the Brahma-samhita quoted above. Other verses in the Svetasvatara Upanisad substantiate this as follows:

“I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person.”

“There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies.”

From these verses one concludes that the Supreme Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is all-pervading by His multi-energies, both material and spiritual.

So from these two verses of Bhagavad Gita we can understand it very clearly and very conclusively from Krishna Himself that everything–both the living entities and matter–comes from Krishna and that everything is resting on Krishna just like the pearls are resting on a thread. 

So this very simple point (that everything comes from Krishna, that life comes from Krishna, life comes from life) will, if understood and accepted by the general public, take humanity to the next level of spiritual evolution.

|| Lord Hanuman and Shani Dev || ~ Spiritually Significant relationship!

​~Lord Hanuman~is known to be the student of Lord Surya, who gave him knowledge of practicality, spirituality, life and basic duties and principles.

~Lord Shani~is known to be Son of Lord Surya.

~Lord Hanuman~is said to be born from air and is hence called Pawanputra.

~Lord Shani~is said to be born out of Fire.

~Lord Hanuman~ is all over claimed and respected as the troubleshooter and reliever of devotees in pain and trouble.

~Lord Shani~is said to be merciless and is feared by all due to his pain giving attributes. He is also known as God of Justice as mentioned in few Mythological citings and hence doesn’t shows mercy in sentencing his judgements.

In spite of these poles apart characteristics and opposite belief forte, the Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman and Shani Dev are still connected very well to each other. Here follows few tales focussed on their love-hate relationship.

|| Lord Hanuman Breaks Shani Dev’s Proud on Lord Surya’s Insistence ||

After completing his education, Lord Hanuman wants to repay his guru Lord Surya. Though Surya tells Hanuman to go back without repaying him anything, Hanuman insists him to ask for his guru dakshina. This is the time when Lord Surya talks about his son Shani who never listens to him and creates problem for everyone. He asks Hanuman if he can make him mend his ways.

Hanuman then enters Shani Lok and request Shani to return to his father. Shani who is too haughty cannot believe the fact that Hanuman could enter his Shani Lok effortlessly. So, he decides to teach Hanuman a lesson. He then climbs on Lord Hanuman’ shoulder and implies all his energy to put an influence on him. However, much to his surprise, it doesn’t affect Lord Hauman in any way.
In fact, Lord Hanuman increases his size so much that poor Shani is caught between the ceiling of the room and Hanuman’s shoulder. Now that the pain becomes unbearable, Shani requests Hanuman to leave him with a promise that he would never trouble anybody who is a Hanuman devotee, moderating all his effects in front of a Hanuman devotee. Hearing this, Hanuman released Shani Dev from his catch.
Next, Shani dev asks Lord Hanuman for til and tail so that he could apply on him, and get away from the pain. Ever since then it is a normal practice to offer oil and black til in the name of Shani Devta. It not only soothes his pain, but also makes him beneficent towards Ram and Hanuman devotees. This is the reason why every Saturday you see a huge line in every Hanuman temple to visit both Hanuman and Shani devta. People who give an offering of til and tel (oil) to Shani devta on this day are not affected by Shani’s dosh.

|| Lord Hanuman Rescued Shani Dev from the Clutches of Ravan ||

The boon of Lord Shiva and Brahma made Ravana invincible. He wanted a similar fate for his son Meghnath, and so when he was about to be born, Ravana kidnapped all the 9 planets and placed them in the 11th position so that his newborn too could be immortal and invincible. This made him lock up all the planets including the Saturn,that is Shani Dev in a place where it would be very difficult for them to get out.
However, Lord Hanuman reached the place when he was searching for Maata Sita in Lanka after she was kidnapped by Ravana. It was then Lord Hanuman rescued Shani Dev from Ravana. As a thank you gesture, Shani Dev gave a boon to Lord Hanuman that the effect of Shani’s inauspiciousness will never affect him in any way. In return, Lord Hanuman mentioned that none of his devotees should be affected as well. Shani dev obliged. This is the reason why people worship Shani Dev on Saturday and why Shani do not cause adversities to Hanuman devotees.

|| Relation Of Hanuman and Shani ||~SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE

Lord Hanuman’s and Shani devta’s story has a spiritual significance. Every time the Shani who is full of pride and ego meets a humble Hanuman, all the self-centered action is countered by the self-less Hanuman. Likewise, if you counter all your ego, pride and selfless attitude and become as good, humble and helping like Lord Hanuman especially if you are in the Saadhe Saati phase, you are ought to come out of the web successfully. Remember, Shani troubled Hanuman, not once but several times. However, Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman could win each time due to his modesty and humbleness.

Few Interesting Facts about || LORD HANUMAN ||

Hanuman or Anjaneya or Sankat Mochan is perhaps one of the most revered and adored deities in the Hindu scriptures. The Lord is an embodiment of Shiva and exemplifies strength, devotion, compassion and perseverance. The tales of Hanuman have taught us numerous lessons; his selfless service for Rama teaches us the meaning of true friendship. His unwavering faith in the almighty reiterates the true definition of faith and worship. Always eager to help those in need, he always stood for the truth and dharma. Our childhood was galore with stories regarding the Monkey God who swallowed the sun and who helped Rama in his battle against the ten headed demon. But beyond the tale of Ramayana, there are numerous stories which we are not so familiar with and hence, I have made an effort to bring to you a collection of rare and unheard stories about our beloved Bajrangbali. Indulge your aesthetic senses and learn a little more about Pawanputra.

Story Of Hanumans Birth

When Lord Vishnu decided to incarnate on earth in the form of Rama, Lord Shiva professed his desire to serve him. Shiva’s intention perturbs Sati as she would have to stay apart from her beloved husband. Learning of Sati’s concern, Shiva promised to send only a portion of him to earth so that he could fulfil both the purposes. But the form which Shiva should adopt for his reincarnation became a cause of great distress to both Sati and Shiva. Finally after much deliberation, Shiva decided to assume the form of a monkey, as the humble creature can sustain with a simple lifestyle and is free of all bondages of caste and traditions. Thus he took birth in the form of Hanuman, who served Lord Rama with utmost devotion.

Pawanputra Hanuman Was An Incarnation Of Lord Shiva

Hanuman was the son of Anjana and the monkey king Kesari. Anjana was an ethereal fairy who served in the celestial palace of Lord Brahma and was apparently self-obsessed and egotistical. In her vanity, once she enraged a sage who in turn cursed the divine beauty that her beautiful face would morph into one that of a monkey the moment she falls in love. Lord Brahma took pity on Anjana and sent her to earth where she was smitten by Kesari. The two then exchanged nuptial vows.
Anjana who was a zealous devotee of Lord Shiva wished for the Lord to take birth as her son. Thus she set about meditating to appease the God. In the end Shiva granted her the boon that he will incarnate on this earth as her offspring.

King Dashrath of Ayodhya had four queens but was still childless. On advice of his state priest, the King conducted a yagna to please the almighty. As offering to the Lords, kheer, a sweet dish, was prepared and was distributed among the four queens of Dashrath. While Kaushalya, the eldest queen was about to have the kheer, a Kite snatched away a portion of it and flew away. On Shiva’s instruction, Lord Vayu, the God of Wind, placed the sweet offering near Anjana who was engrossed in meditation. She believed the kheer to be a blessing from Lord Shiva and consumed it. Thus Anjana’s son, Anjaneya, came to be known as an incarnation of Shiva and son of Lord Vayu or Pawan Putra Hanuman.

 The Meaning Of The Name Hanuman In Sanskrit

The word Hanuman is derived from two Sanksrit words ‘Hanu’ and ‘Man’. While the word ‘Hanu’ means jaw, ‘Man’ means disfigured. According to legend, Hanuman tried to swallow the sun, as a child, thinking it to be a huge fruit. To dissuade him from his pursuit, Lord Indra had to use his vajra on Anjaneya, who was thrown onto earth thus disfiguring his jaw forever.

The Curse On Hanuman

Lord Hanuman had earned the reputation of being notorious during his childhood. He used to pester meditating hermits, who had taken refuge in the kingdom of his father, King Kesari. During one such incident, an annoyed sage had hexed Hanuman. Due to the spell Hanuman was unable to remember the powers vested in him by the deities unless someone reminded him of it. When Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Jambavantha had to remind Hanuman of his powers, so that he could pursue the search for Sita.

How Sugriva Became His Companion

Hanuman was a minister in the army of king Sugriva, who was another ruler of the monkey clan. The story of how Hanuman came to assist Sugriva began when the monkey God was learning scriptures from Lord Surya. With his never ending inquisitiveness and dedication, it took him only sixty hours to become proficient in all the scriptures. Lord Surya was highly impressed with his disciple’s feat and waived off the gurudakshina. Hanuman though was insistent on paying the gurudakshina and when the Sun Lord asked him to become a companion of his Sugriva, he readily agreed.

Hanumans Hunger Tale

Once during Sita’s exile, Hanuman went to meet her in priest Valmiki’s cottage. Sita was overwhelmed with happiness to see him and cooked many delicacies for Hanuman. Sita continued to serve food to Hanuman and was at the verge of exhausting all the food supplies but was unable to satiate his hunger. In despair, she prayed to Lord Ram who advised her to add a Tulsi leaf in the food being served to Hanuman. Since Tulsi is offered to the Lord and Hanuman was a die-hard follower of Ram, Sita was finally able to gratify the hungry Hanuman.

PanchMukhi (Five Headed) Hanuman

The demon king Ravan had sent his brother Ahiravan to capture Ram and Lakshman. Acting on his brother’s advice, Ahiravan held Ram and Lakshman in captivity, in the Nether world. Hanuman was determined to save his Lord but in order to kill Ahiravan one needed to extinguish five lamps in five different directions. Thus Hanuman adopted the panch-mukhi form to achieve this and defeated Ahiravan. The four other faces are believed to be of Garuda, Narsimha, Varaha and Hayagriva, which face the north, south, east, west and the sky.

Lord Shani And Hanuman

During Rams’s quest to free Sita from the clutches of Ravana it was Hanuman who flew across the sea to reach the demons king’s palace and discovered the whereabouts of Sita. When Ravan became aware of Hanuman’s presence in his palace, he ordered his soldiers to capture and kill the petty monkey. In order to crush Ravan’s ego, Hanuman set about destroying Lanka with his tail that was set ablaze by Ravan’s soldiers. In this commotion he found Lord Shani imprisoned in the palace’s basement, who was cursed by Brahma to remain in captivity till an incarnation of Shiva frees him. Hanuman released him from the confinement. Delighted, Lord Shani helped Hanuman in his pursuit to destroy Lanka and even granted him a boon. Hanuman who always wished well for his followers, asked Lord Shani not to cause trouble for the devotees who worshipped Hanuman.

 Hanuman & Bharat

When Laxman was injured in the war, and only the Sanjeevani herb could save his life, Rama instructed Hanuman to obtain the plant for him. Hanuman could not identify the herb and thus uprooted the entire mountain to bring with him. While he was crossing over Ayodhya, Bharat, who was the de-facto ruler of the kingdom then, mistook Hanuman for some demon who was trying to destroy Ayodhya and shot an arrow. As the arrow had the name of Rama inscribed in it, Hanuman did not obstruct it. The arrow hit Hanuman’s leg who then stopped to explain the situation to Bharat. Upon understanding his folly, Bharat was filled with grief and offered to help Hanuman by firing an arrow which the monkey god could ride to reach his destination. Despite being injured, Hanuman refused to take Bharat’s help and continued on his journey.

Once, Lord Ram Issued A Death Sentence To Lord Hanuman

Narada Muni or sage Narad is infamous as the official troublemaker in the heaven. An ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, he was jealous of the bond between Ram and Hanuman. With the intention of driving a wedge between the two, Narad asked Hanuman to greet all the sages present in the court of Lord Ram except for Vishwamitra. He further explained to Hanuman that Vishwamitra was not a sage by birth and was a ruler by profession once. Hanuman did as advised but the result was not to Narad’s liking as Vishwamitra did not bother.

Narad then set about instigating Vishwamitra telling him it was an insult to the meritorious sage and that Hanuman should be punished for it. The furious Vishwamitra went to Ram demanding Hanuman should receive capital punishment for his misdemeanour. Lord Ram could not contradict his teacher and thus Hanuman was sentenced to death. Unfazed Hanuman kept chanting Ram’s name and all the arrows aimed at him failed to even scratch his skin. In a bid to keep his word to his guru, Ram used the Brahmastra on Hanuman but even the most dangerous weapon failed to cause any harm. Narad realised the depth of Hanuman’s reverence for Ram and admitted his mistake to Vishwamitra, thus putting an end to the tribulation.

 The Deity Once Applied Sindoor All Over His Body For Lord Ramas Long Life

One day Hanuman observed Sita applying sindoor or vermillion on her forehead and out of curiosity asked her why. Sita explained the significance of the custom where every married woman applies sindoor to show her unconditional love and respect for her husband and how the vermillion represents her prayers for her husband’s well-being and long life. The naïve Hanuman then smeared sindoor all over himself, thinking if a pinch of sindoor on Sita’s forehead could bring prosperity and long-life to his Lord, then applying sindoor all over himself would extend Ram’s life even more. Rama was touched by his gesture and said that anyone who offers sindoor while worshipping Hanuman will see all their troubles abated.

Hanuman Fought With Rama And Defeated Him

Upon his Guru Vishwamitra’s instruction Rama set about killing Yayati. But Yayati went to Hanuman to seek refuge. As it was the dharma to grant amnesty to all refuge seekers, Hanuman vowed to protect Yayati even though it meant he would have to fight with Ram. In the battle field, Hanuman refused to fight with weapons and instead started chanting Ram’s name. All the arrows shot by ram went in vain and Vishwamitra who was dumb-founded by Hanuman’s devotion relieved Ram of his dilemma.

The Hanumans Duty

After completing the fourteen year exile, when Rama returned to Ayodhya he was crowned as the king of the state. Hanuman as usual continued to remain at his beck and call thus leaving others with nothing to do. Sita decided to distribute all the work between the members of royal family and relieve Hanuman of all his duties. But Hanuman countered her proposal citing that one very important task is yet unassigned. When asked, he said who would click fingers when Ram yawns? As per popular belief not clicking ones fingers while yawning shortens their lifespan. Sita was amused by Hanuman’s diligence and assigned him the responsibility. Rama out of respect and love for his ardent devotee starts a yawning spree and Hanuman without fail clicked his fingers every time. A confused Sita approaches sage Vashistha who ended this tirade.

Lord Hanuman Once Rejected Goddess Sitas Gift

After emerging victorious in the war with Ravana when Rama returned to Ayodhya with Sita, they decided to reward their followers who stayed with them through thick and thin. Sita took her own pearl necklace and presented it to Hanuman as a token of appreciation but Hanuman politely refused to accept the gift as it was devoid of Ram’s name. Some of the onlookers mocked Hanuman’s reverence for the Lord and to prove his devotion he ripped his chest for the world to see that Ram and Sita literally reside in his heart.


How did Rama tricked Hanuman to let him die?

Everyone has heard stories of Hanuman’s unending devotion to Lord Rama. He was always eager to serve Ram and would go to any lengths to protect him from even the slightest harm. When it was time for Ram to leave for the eternal abode, he had to distract Hanuman, who guarded his gate thus barring any harm that might come Rama’s way. For granting Yama (the God of Spirits) entry into Rama’s palace, the Vishnu incarnate feigned to have lost his ring which he had intentionally dropped into a crack that ran deep into the nether world. Hanuman went to fetch the ring and encountered a heap of rings. He realised that there was a hidden message and it was no coincidence that Rama’s ring was lost in the pile. It indicated that Rama’s time on earth had come to an end and that the deity would have to leave for Vaikuntha.

Hanumans Promise To Ram

When Ram decided to leave for the heavenly abode, many including his wife Sita and Lakshman followed him. But his most ardent devotee vowed that he would stay on this earth for as long as the name of Rama is chanted by its inhabitants. Hanuman is one among the Chiranjivis or immortals, according to the Hindu traditions, who resides in this world protecting us from the evils.

 Hanuman Also Created His Version Of Ramayan

When finally peace prevailed in the kingdom and Rama ascended the throne, Hanuman travelled to the Himalayas where he continued to worship the deity. A master of all scriptures, Hanuman carved into the rocks of Himalayas the deeds of Lord Rama. When Valmiki encountered Hanuman, he realised that Hanuman’s version of Ramayana was far more superior to his own. Realising Valmiki’s predicament Hanuman renounced his version of the Ramayana leaving Valmiki in awe. The astonished Valmiki said it would be his pleasure to be born again to sing praises of the Monkey God.

Although He Was A Brahmchari, Lord Hanuman Had A Son ~ Makardhwaja.

After destroying Lanka, with his tail, when Ravana’s soldiers set it on fire, Hanuman went to take a dip in the sea. According to popular legend, it was then that his sweat was consumed by a giant fish and thus his son Makardwaja came into being.

Lord Hanuman And Bhima Were Both Brothers

Lord Hanuman and Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers) are believed to be the son of Lord Vayu. Bhima took much pride in his physical strength and considered everyone below him. Once during the exile, Hanuman posed before Bhima as an old and frail monkey who was blocking his path. As he was tired, the monkey asked Bhima to remove his tail. Though amused at the request, Bhima went ahead to lift his tail. He tried with all his might but was unable to move the tail even by an inch. Realizing his folly, Bhima apologised to the monkey upon which Hanuman revealed his true identity.

 Hanuman On Arjunas Chariot

Arjuna was a skilled archer and was capable of conjuring wonders with his arrows.
During the Mahabharata war, he requested Lord Hanuman to be present on his chariot to which Hanuman asked him to prove his mettle. Arjuna then claimed that he could reconstruct the bridge Rama’s army had built to cross the ocean. Intrigued by his claims, Hanuman challenged him to create a bridge that would be able to withstand his weight. He promised that if Arjuna succeeded in the task, Hanuman would accompany him on his chariot. An eager Arjuna, created the bridge in a jiffy but it collapsed even faster as soon as Hanuman set foot on it. A crestfallen Arjuna approached Lord Krishna who convinced Hanuman that Arjuna should be given another chance. With Krishna’s blessing Arjuna built the bridge again, and this time it did not crumble under Hanuman’s weight. Hanuman then realised the fact that Krishna was an incarnation of his revered Lord Vishnu and was overwhelmed. He agreed to aid Arjuna in his battles with the Kauravas and thus Arjuna’s chariot featured Hanuman on its flag.

|| BRAHMA || few facts about the “Creator”•••

LORD BRAHMA ~ The Creator

Lord Brahma is part of the Hindu trinity, which includes Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Brahma, the infinite, the source of all space, time, causation, names and forms, has many interesting and instructive designations. Theologically, he is the single letter (eka aksharam) AUM, and the uncreated creator (svayambhu), the self-born first person. Philosophically, he is the first manifestation of one’s existence (ahankara). Cosmologically, he is hiranya garbha (golden embryo), the ball of fire, from which the universe develops. He is Prajapati, since all creatures are his progeny. He is Pitamaha (patriarch), Vidhi (ordinator), Lokesha (master of the universe), Dhatru (sustainer) and Viswakarma (architect of the world). 
Mythology describes Brahma as springing from Kamala (lotus), from the nabhi (navel) of Vishnu. Hence, his names Nabhija (navel born), Kanja (water born). His consort Saraswati manifested out of him and all creatures of the world resulted from their union.

Brahma & Saraswati

Brahma and his consort Saraswati, represent the vedas, their spirit and meaning. They form the subject of many tales in Hindu literature. All knowledge, religious and secular emanate from them. The name Narayana (one dwelling in the causal water, the abode of man) was applied to him first and later to Vishnu. The Avataras (incarnations) of fish (matsya) and tortoise (koorma) (later called the avataras of Vishnu), the boar (varaha) to raise the earth from under the waters and created the world, the sages, and prajapatis were all attributed to Brahma originally and shifted to Vishnu later. Brahma, created all knowledge, sciences, arts, music, dance and drama. He also officiated over the wedding of Shiva and Parvati.

Origin of Brahma

Accounts of creation differ in many respects. As per Hindu mythology, Brahma was born from a (kamala) lotus springing from Vishnu’s navel and created the world through his daughter Saraswati. According to Manu Smriti, the self- existent Lord manifested to dispel the darkness enveloping universe. He created the waters and deposited a seed that became a golden egg from which he was born as Brahma. He divided the egg into two parts to construct the heaven and earth, and created the ten Prajapatis, mind-born sons, who completed the work of creation. By a third account, the Lord separated himself into two parts, the male and the female after dividing the golden egg. From him sprang Viraja and from him Manu. Ramayana states that Brahma sprang from the ether and that sages Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Narada, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Sanasujata and others are his manasa putras (mentally conceived sons). From Marichi sprang Kashyapa from whom sprang Vishwavata who created Manu, the procreator of all human beings. Thus, Manu is Brahma’s great grandson.

Demise of Brahma Concept

Despite the fact that Brahma is one of the trimurthis, there are no temples dedicated to his worship, except the place of pilgrimage, Pushkar in Ajmer. Puranas give crude reasons for this. Some scholars believe that Brahma cult existed in pre- Vedic Hinduism and was superseded by Siva-Vishnu cult later. The Shakti concept, in which both Shiva and Vishnu have their consort and creation proceeds from the combination of the god and his shakti, has made the Brahma concept redundant.

Representations of Brahma

Mythology has it that Brahma originally had five heads. One of them was cut down by Shiva in his rage. Now, Brahma’s icon has four heads (chatur mukha brahma) facing the four quartem. They represent the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva), the four yugas (krita, treta, dwapara, kali) (epochs of time), the four varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra). The faces have beards with eyes closed in meditation. There are four arms holding up different objects, akshamala (rosary), kurcha (kusha grass), sruk (ladle), sruva (spoon), kamandala (water pot) and pustaka (book) and in different poses representing the four quartem. Their combination and arrangement vary with the image. Akshamala symbolizes time; Kamandala, the waters of all creation. The implements kusha, sruk and sruva, denote the system of sacrifices used by creatures to sustain each other. The book represents religious and secular knowledge. Hand postures (mudras) are abhaya (protector) and varada (giver of boons). The icon may be in standing posture on a lotus or in sitting posture on a hamsa (swan). Hamsa stands for wisdom and discrimination.

Brahma is also shown riding a chariot drawn by seven swans, representing the seven worlds. Temples dedicated to Brahma show his Viswakarma aspect with four heads, the four arms holding the rosary, the book, kusha and kamandala and riding his swan. Temples of Shiva or Vishnu have a niche in the northern wall for Brahma as a parivara devata and his image receives daily worship.

All days are SPECIAL~~|| Days dedicated to Deities in Hindu Mythology ||

As per the Sanatan Dharma or the Hindu Mythology, each day of a week is by some means special and should be utilised constructively by dedication and  devotion to the respective God or deity who reigns the day. In this post, few of such references have been discussed about and highlighted.

|| OM or AUM: The Paramount of all syllable ||

OM (AUM) has a paramount importance in Hinduism. Most vedic prayers start with AUM. AUM has a connection with the universe. Science is showing what our ancient Rishis said was fact. Let’s discuss about the science behind chanting AUM.

We chant OM to connect with our true Self. Since our true Self is the same as the Supreme Self, when we connect with our true Self we connect with the Supreme Self.

In Sanskrit, the sound “O” is a diphthong spelled “AU”. AUM is comprised of three sounds: “A”, “U” and “M”. There is also a fourth sound which is a universal vibration and is the essence of all other sounds.

AUM represents many trilogies of meanings:

<li style="text-align:left;border:0 none rgb(85,85,85);color:rgb(85,85,85);font-family:'Noto Sans', sans-serif-light, sans-serif;line-height:28px;margin:0 0 0 20px;background-color:rgb(255,255,255);">Symbolically the three letters embody the divine energy (Shakti) and it’s 3 main characteristics:

(1) beginning of the universe
(2) the life period of universe
(3) destruction of the Universe

  • AUM is the word which represents the three first forms of God:

    1) Brahmaa (Creator of universe)
    2) Vishnu (Operator of universe)
    3) Mahesh (Destructor of universe).

  • As per Mandukya Upanishad:

    1) The “A” stands for the state of wakefulness, where we experience externally through our mind and sense organs.
    2) The “u” stands for the dream state, in which inward experiences are available.
    3) In the state of deep sleep, represented by the sound “m”, there is no desire and consciousness is gathered in upon itself.

  • AUM is the one eternal syllable of which all that exists is but the development. The past, the present, and the future are all included in this one sound, and all that exists beyond the three forms of time is also implied in it.
  • Earth, Atmosphere, and Heaven.

  • Science behind chanting AUM

    Vedic scholars understood the symbiotic relationship of wave energy. Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is still!

    Science is now proving that what our Ancient Rishis said was fact!! Chanting of AUM when recorded in a Tonoscope, it resulted a 3 dimensional representation of the cosmic energy (Sri Chakra Meru). The origin of “Sri Chakra Meru” is dated back to 2500-3000 B.C.

    When we chant AUM, it produces a vibration in us which resonates with the universal vibration of AUM, and we are elevated from our everyday minds to relationship with our true Self. We chant AUM to be in tune with the true Self. The sound AUM, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature.

    In addition the vibrations and rhythmic pronunciation also have a physical affect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind similar to meditation. When the mind is relaxed, your blood pressure decreases and ultimately the health of your heart improves.

    There have been several theories behind the OM mantra with the most popular explanation being that it was the cosmic sound which initiated the creation of universe (big bang theory). But that alone would not have been sufficient to turn it into a regular practice in Indian culture.

    As with most of the traditional practices followed in India, this also has a scientific and practical explanation (based on the physics of sound, vibrations & resonance) with some long term benefit and we shall find out what it really is.

    What is mantra?
    In its most rudimentary form, a mantra is made of syllables which exert their influence by means of sound (vibrations). As one would have personally experienced, different syllables have different vibration patterns which affect different parts of the body. Each syllable resonates with certain organ or part of the body.

    For example, by chanting “aaaaaaa”, one can feel the sensation and hence resonance of nervous system in the stomach and chest region. Chanting “ooooo” creates sensations in throat & chest region and resonates with them. Similarly, chanting/humming “mmmm” resonates with the nasal cavity as well as skull/brain region.

    Following is an excerpt from a research paper which shows the waveform of A-U-M mantra made up of 3 syllables.

    In another such instance, scientists conducted experiments to study the effect of Om mantra on nervous system through repeated practice. Using sophisticated software tools, mathematical transforms were applied to raw samples of the chantings and similar results (improvements in focus concentration, steadiness, peace, reduction in stress etc) were observed.

    In another experiment, scientists analyzed functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (f-MRI scans) before & after Om mantra chanting and concluded that regular chanting of Om mantra can treat depression & epilepsy as well.

    Another research at molecular level reveals that chanting Om can even alter genes for better well-being!!

    Hence, based on scientific experiments & research studies, it is now confirmed to a great extent that the age old claims made by Yogis that chanting Om mantra reduces mental stress, cures depression, improves focus & concentration, calms the mind and leads to better well-being, peace & happiness.