Showing posts with label Bhairava. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bhairava. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Malatimadhava?


Malatimadhava is a play composed by Bhavabhuti (early 8th century), a Sanskrit playwright known for his ability to articulate and communicate the play of emotions via words.

The play's main narrative is on Malati's victorious love for Madhava (a deity Krishna epithet), despite several impediments in their path.

The play is recognized for its fine poetry writing, as well as the fact that the main antagonist is a wicked ascetic who is commonly thought to be a member of the defunct ascetic sect known as the Kapalikas.

The Kapalikas were Shiva followers who wore their hair long and matted, smeared their bodies with ash (ideally from the cremation site), and carried a club and a skull-bowl to resemble Shiva in his wrathful aspect as Bhairava (kapala).

The Kapilikas were dreaded because they indulged in illegal behaviors such as drinking wine, eating meat, using cannabis and other narcotics, executing human sacrifices, and orgiastic sexuality.

Bhavabhuti's depiction is historically noteworthy since it is one of the first references to Shaiva asceticism.

Michael Coulson translated the play into English and released it in the collection Three Sanskrit Plays in 1981.

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Hinduism - What Is The Juna Akhara?

 Juna ("Old") Akhara - One of the seven subgroups of the Dashanami Sanyasis' Naga class of renunciant ascetics who are Shiva worshipers (bhakta).

The subgroups are called as akharas, and they are analogous to army regiments.

The Nagas were largely mercenary soldiers until the early nineteenth century, but they were also involved in mercantile trade; none of these qualities apply now.

The sage Dattatreya is revered as the Juna Akhara's "tutelary god," the principal deity from whom they learn; each of the akharas has a separate tutelary deity.

According to some reports, Bhairava was the Juna Akhara's patron god in the past, which would explain why the organization is also known as the Bhairava Akhara.

The present name's literal meaning and association with Bhairava suggest that it is quite ancient.

It is a vast organization that is only present in northern India nowadays.

It is assigned a low rank in certain regions because it admits members from poorer socioeconomic levels.

The Juna Akhara marched alongside the Niranjani Akhara in the bathing (snana) processions at the Kumbha Mela until the middle of the twentieth century, and was therefore regarded a minor portion of that akhara.

The Junas have been dissatisfied with their subordinate position for much of this century, despite having considerably more members than any other akhara.

The Junas first attempted to earn recognition as a distinct procession in 1903 during the Haridwar Kumbha Mela, but did not get it until 1962.

The akharas decided that the Junas would lead the Sanyasi processions during the Shivaratri bathing during a Haridwar Kumbha Mela.

However, on the other two main bathing days—the new moon in Chaitra and the Kumbha bath on April 14—the Niranjanis would be first.

This system fell apart at the 1998 Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, when the Junas asked that, as the biggest akhara, they be permitted to enter the Chaitra bath first.

This argument erupted into a full-fledged riot between ascetic groups and police on the day of the second bath, in which many people were injured.

The fear was that similar violence might return on the major bathing day, but when the Juna Akhara boycotted the bathing processions, the day passed without incident. 

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Hinduism - What Is The Attitude, Ritual Status, And Symbolism Attached To Dogs In A Hindu Soceity?

In general, the dog is seen as a filthy and disgusting creature. 

In India, keeping dogs as pets is becoming more popular. 

Indian dogs, on the other hand, used to prowl the streets as scavengers, devouring whatever they could find, even each other. 

Even apart from the vermin and illness that they often carry, notably rabies, their promiscuous feeding habits make them ritually unclean. 

Aside from its usefulness as scavengers, the dog is also the animal vehicle of Bhairava, Shiva's wrathful manifestation. 

Bhairava's symbolic association with an unclean animal demonstrates his pantheon's fringe status—he is strong, but also feared, since he is not governed by regular standards. 

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Hinduism - Who Is Bhairava?

 Bhairava means "awful" in Sanskrit. 

A vengeful and powerful celestial servant of Shiva who is often mistaken for Shiva himself. 

  • Bhairava is created when the deity Brahma insults Shiva, according to the Shiva Purana, a sectarian book, and Shiva's wrath manifests as Bhairava. 
  • Bhairava's first act after birth is to sever one of Brahma's heads—the one whose mouth has spoken the insult—leaving the deity with four heads. 

Bhairava is guilty of brahmin murder, the most severe of the four major sins, since Brahma is a brahmin priest (mahapataka). 

  • Brahma's severed head clings to Bhairava's hand as a symbol of the severity of his deed; as penance (prayashchitta), Bhairava must roam the countryside as a beggar, exhibiting Brahma's severed head as a constant advertising of his crime. 
  • Bhairava visits numerous pilgrimage sites (tirtha) on his journeys, but none of them will cleanse him of the sin of brahmin slaughter. 
  • In the city of Benares, at a place known as Kapalamochana ("releasing the skull"), he eventually gets a pardon. 

Brahma's head falls from his palm into the Ganges as soon as Bhairava bathes there, indicating that his guilt has been atoned for. 

  • Bhairava is significant in a variety of settings, despite his reputation as Shiva's attendant. 
  • He is often shown as the spouse of strong, independent goddesses such as Durga and Kali, despite the fact that he is subservient to them, which is appropriate given their position as supreme deities. 

Bhairava's connections with fury and strength have made him a popular deity among tantric practitioners, who may call him for magical abilities or other favors. 

  • Bhairava is also revered by the Naga class of the Dashanami Sanyasis, ascetic Shiva worshippers (bhakta) who formerly worked as merchants and mercenary warriors, who see him as a holy representation of themselves. 
  • The dog, Bhairava's animal vehicle, symbolizes some of the ambiguity connected with him. 
  • In Hindu tradition, the dog is nearly always a scavenger and regarded extremely unclean.

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