Showing posts with label Braj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Braj. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Yogmaya In The Hindu Pantheon?

 

Yogmaya is a powerful Goddess form known for her capacity to bewitch and perplex people—in other words, her ability to wield maya, the power of illusion.

Yogmaya is mentioned as the divinity who assumes the shape of a newborn girl and is subsequently slain by Krishna's cruel uncle, Kamsa, according to certain modern texts.

All the inmates of Kamsa's palace fall slumber under her enchantment the previous night, according to these texts, and Krishna's father, Vasudeva, is able to take the child away.

Yogmaya is said to have facilitated Krishna's clandestine rendezvous with the ladies of Braj later in his career—when Krishna plays his flute, the women come to him, but all the others fall under Yogmaya's influence and are oblivious of their absence.

Yogmaya is a strong goddess because of her capacity to manipulate maya; she is honored on the fourth day of Navaratri, the festival of the "nine nights" that are holy to the Goddess in her many incarnations.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - Where Does The Yamuna River Flow In India?

 

Yamuna River is a river in India. The Yamuna River is a northern Indian river that originates in the Himalayas and flows west and south of the Ganges River before joining it at Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Along with the Ganges, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Indus, and Cauvery, the Yamuna is regarded one of India's seven holy rivers.

The Yamuna runs through the Braj area south of Delhi, which is historically associated with Krishna's country, and his followers (bhakta) hold it in higher regard than the Ganges.

Places around the Braj area have great connotations with Krishna's life for his devotees, but Mathura and Brindavan are the most noteworthy.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




Hinduism - Where Is Vraj Or Braj?

 



Braj is a variant version of the area.

This is the southwestern area of the state of Uttar Pradesh, directly south of Delhi, the national capital, where the deity Krishna is said to have dwelt.

Take a look at Braj.


Kiran Atma


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.




Hinduism - What Is The Vinaya Patrika By Tulsidas?

 

 

Vinaya Patrika or a petition letter is a collection of 280 short poems written in the Braj Bhasha dialect by poet-saint Tulsidas (1532–1623?).


The entire work is presented as a letter of petition to Tulsidas' chosen deity, Rama, through the monkey god Hanuman, who acts as his intermediary.


The letter's main theme is a plea for deliverance from the current degenerate age's evils (kali yuga).


The first sixty-odd verses are a series of invocations to various gods, demonstrating Tulsidas' devotion's ecumenical quality.

The poem's remainder is addressed to Rama and emphasizes other themes that run throughout Tulsidas' poetry.


One of the themes is the kali yuga's corrupted nature, which makes devotion the only effective means of salvation.


Another pervasive theme is the incomparable power of God's name to rescue the devotee (bhakta).

Finally, the listeners are cautioned not to squander the gift of human birth.

Much of the poetry has an intensely personal quality to it, and it seems to reflect both the poet's despair and eventual hope for salvation.

The Vinaya Patrika is generally thought to have been written in the poet's later years, though it cannot be precisely dated, based on its general tone.



~Kiran Atma


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.


Hinduism - What Is The Sursagar?

 

 

 ("Sur Ocean") Surdas, a northern Indian poet-saint, is credited with a corpus of poetry in the Braj Bhasha language known as the Sursagar.

The Sursagar is traditionally split into twelve sections to reflect the organization of the Bhagavata Purana, which is the most significant Sanskrit source for Krishna mythology.

Surdas was a Krishna devotee (bhakta), and this arrangement gives vernacular religious poetry the glitter of an official Sanskrit book.

The Sursagar is most usually connected with verses painting personal and adoring portraits of Krishna's boyhood, much as the Bhagavata Purana lavishly portrays Krishna's juvenile escapades.

Although Surdas' poetry is attributed to him in Sursagar publications, the most of it is undoubtedly pseudonymous.

Surdas's poetry has at best a few hundred verses in the earliest manuscripts, and the corpus nearly increases every century, reaching the five thousand poems in the current Sursagar.

The tone of the early poems is also markedly different in terms of topic content.

Although they feature Krishna's boyhood, the poet's sufferings of separation (viraha) from Krishna or complaint (vinaya) about his spiritual woes are expressed in a significantly bigger percentage.

Even the oldest manuscripts indicate no common body of poetry, and it is probable that the "Surdas" literary tradition was derived from the songs of roaming singers from the beginning, a description that fits well with the poet's persona.

For further detail, read John Stratton Hawley's Krishna: The Butter Thief (1983) and Surdas: Poet, Singer, Saint (1984); also check John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer's Songs of the Saints of India (1988).


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - What Is Radhashtami In The Hindu Calendar?

 


Radhashtami  ("Radha's eighth") is a Hindu festival.

The festival takes place on the eighth day of the bright (waxing) half of the lunar month of Bhadrapada (August–September); this day is commemorated as Krishna's consort Radha's birthday.

Radha is seen differently by different Vaishnava religious communities: for some, she is a human woman who represents the ideal devotee (bhakta) who sacrifices everything to be with her beloved, while for others, she is the queen of heaven and an equal to Krishna himself.

In any instance, her proximity to him is shown by the fact that she was born in the same month and lunar day as Krishna, albeit on the opposite side of the month.

The Radhashtami celebration is especially popular in Barsana, the Braj area hamlet where Radha is claimed to have been born.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - What Is The Nimbarka Sanaka Sampraday?

 

(12th century?)  Nimbarka Sanaka Sampraday, one of the four Vaishnava ascetic orders, was founded by an ascetic, philosopher, and devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu.

Nimbarka was a Telegu (southern Indian) brahmin who was born in the central Indian city of Paithan but spent most of his life in the northern Indian Braj area, where the deity Krishna is said to have dwelt, according to legend.

Nimbarka's philosophical perspective is known as dualism-nondualism (dvaitadvaita), which is a worldview in which God and humans are both the same and distinct.

While ancient Vaishnavas venerated Vishnu and Lakshmi as the heavenly pair, Nimbarka followed in their footsteps, focusing on Krishna and Radha.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - Where Is Mathura In India?

 


About 90 miles south of Delhi, in the Braj area of Uttar Pradesh, is a city and holy location (tirtha).

Mathura is famous for being the birthplace of the Hindu deity Krishna.

The Krishna Janam Bhumi, which is said to be the location of his birth, is still visible today.

Krishna was taken out of Mathura on the same night because his evil uncle Kamsa, the ruler of Mathura, had murdered all of Krishna's elder siblings when they were born.

Krishna returned to Mathura when he was of legal age, murdered Kansa, and collected his inheritance.

Mathura, like other locations in the Braj area, is replete with associations with Krishna's earthly existence; they provide his followers (bhakta) access to him by allowing them to imagine the places he visited and thereby participate in his mythological actions via imagination.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.


Hinduism - Who Is Lord Krishna In The Hindu Pantheon? What Is The Krishna Lila?


Krishna's infancy mythology is centered on themes of forgetfulness and latent divinity.

Because they are ignorant of Krishna's actual identity, the people of Braj tolerate him with ease.

Krishna is known to favor natural interaction above all other forms of devotion.

Krishna is notorious as a child for his mischief, notably his habit of stealing butter from the gopis (milk maids), yet he is generally able to charm his way out of punishment when caught.

Putana, Keshi, and Trnavarta are among the demon assassins sent by his uncle Kamsa.

Throughout all of these exploits, his friends are awestruck, but they are unaware that they are in the presence of divinity.

Neither do his foster parents, for that matter.

When Yashoda looks into Krishna's mouth after he has eaten some dirt in one narrative, he sees the whole cosmos.

She forgets about the occurrence very instantly because to Krishna's power of illusion (maya).

Two heroic episodes—driving off the snake Kaliya and fighting the storm-god Indra by holding up Mt.

Govardhan—mark his youth, as does the growth of his identity as a lover.

He plays his flute Murali on the banks of the Yamuna River on beautiful fall evenings.

The village ladies flock to meet him when they hear its enticing call, and they spend the night in the ras lila, a circle dance.

Radha emerges as Krishna's particular companion and spouse, depicting the relationship between divinity and devotee using the imagery of lover and beloved, despite the fact that she is not mentioned in the oldest scriptures.

Krishna's mythology includes events from later in his life, such as his return to Mathura, the murder of Kamsa, assuming his rightful rulership, and marrying Rukmini and a slew of other wives.

The previous threads of his mythological identity—the Mahabharata's depictions of him as a king, hero, and crafty diplomat—can be linked in here to make it appear like the story of a single life.

The gopis, Krishna's female followers, and Uddhava, Krishna's companion sent back from Mathura, are depicted in some of the most moving devotional (bhakti) poetry.

Uddhava reassures them that Krishna is the ubiquitous indwelling God.

This abstract idea is a poor replacement for the charming guy the gopis are familiar with.

Their gaze is drawn to Braj's endearing kid, who never grows up, never gets old, and who welcomes his worshippers to join his universe.

Relationship and connection are important to Krishna devotion, both with the god and with one another.

Krishna's followers see themselves as joining Krishna's realm and spending the day performing the mundane tasks of a village cowhand, such as waking up, eating, putting the cows to pasture, and returning the cows home.

Some devotional guides provide comprehensive daily calendars that devotees may use to picture themselves visiting certain locations and doing specific activities at specific times—building a relationship with God through sharing the mundane aspects of daily life.

Another prevalent activity is community singing, which generally consists of collections of holy names known as kirtans, as a means of fostering ties and unity among devotees.

The concept of lila, or "play," is another characteristic of Krishna's character and devotion.

As David R. Kinsley points out, the demon assassins are sent by the child Krishna as a game, and they never constitute a real danger.

His interactions with the inhabitants of Braj are likewise a game.

He appears in their midst as the divine presence, but he keeps them fully unconscious of this, sometimes hinting at it by his miraculous works, but hesitant to jeopardize their natural connections with him by disclosing their status disparity.

Similarly, he is said to be active in the lives of his believers, constantly there but just teasingly hinting at his presence.

Finally, lila is the name of a series of plays performed in Brindavan during the monsoon season.

These ras lila shows are more than just theater; they integrate liturgy with drama.

Local brahmin lads portray Krishna and his companions.

The guys are said to have transformed into the personas they play when dressed up.

Worship is a component of the curriculum.

The actors, known as svarups ("own-forms"), assemble on stage to offer the audience darshan.

Darshan, the most prevalent religious act in current popular Hinduism, permits devotees to make direct eye contact with the image of a god, who is thought to be a conscious, perceiving entity.

The lila, or reenactment of a scene from Krishna's legend, is the program's second half.

By performing or witnessing these shows, the audience joins by virtue of its presence, bringing Krishna's lila into the present.

There are several works about Krishna due to his status as a Hindu divinity.

Milton Singer (ed. ), Krishna, 1966; David R. Kinsley, The Sword and the Flute, 1975; Barbara Stoller Miller, The Love Song of the Dark Lord, 1977; and John Stratton Hawley, Krishna: The Butter Thief, 1983 for further details.

Also see Vaishnavism. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - What Is The Festival Of Janmashtami?


Festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna on the eighth day (ashtami) of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month Bhadrapada (August–September).

This festival, like other Krishna-related festivals, is celebrated mostly in the Braj area, where Krishna is said to have resided, but it is also commemorated throughout the nation.

Since Krishna is claimed to have been born at midnight, devotees (bhakta) typically remain up late into the night, and the celebrations are sometimes punctuated by singing, chanting, parades, and plays portraying episodes in Krishna's life.

The Krishna lilas are performed at the town of Brindavan, which is historically thought to have been Krishna's boyhood home, during the month of Janmashtami.

Krishna is the ninth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, according to legend.

He is born in a jail in the city of Mathura, where Devaki's brother, the cruel king Kamsa, is holding his parents.

Kamsa has imprisoned the two in order to avoid being slain by his sister Devaki's eighth son, according to a prophesy.

When Krishna is born, wonderful things happen: the jailers go into a deep slumber, the closed prison doors suddenly open, and Vasudeva is able to take the newborn out of the prison to the house of the couple who would become his foster parents, Nanda and Yashoda.

That night, Vasudeva arrives with Yashoda's new-born baby daughter, who is really the goddess Bhadrakali in disguise.

The following morning, Kamsa murders the kid by slamming her on a stone, but a terrifying form of the Goddess emerges from the corpse, taunting Kamsa by informing him that the person who would kill him has already fled. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.



Hinduism - Where Is The Braj Region In India?

 





The Yamuna River runs across northern India, just south of the modern city of Delhi. Braj, according to Hindu mythology, is the region where the deity Krishna resided during his earthly life. 





The Braj region has no well defined borders, and it has never been used to refer to an established administrative entity. 


Instead, popular piety has come to define it. 

Krishna's devotees (bhakta) place a high value on visualizing his exploits as a means of achieving communion with him, and as a result, locations throughout the Braj region are linked to specific incidents in Krishna's life. 

The region's southern and eastern borders are now little over five miles southeast of Mathura, but the region's northern and western limits are almost five times that distance. 



A. W. Entwistle's Braj, 1987, has a wealth of information about Braj and its culture.




You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.