Showing posts with label Devimahatmya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Devimahatmya. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Parivartini Ekadashi?

 

The eleventh day (ekadashi) of the bright (waxing) half of the lunar month of Bhadrapada (August–September) is a religious celebration.

This, like other eleventh-day observances, is devoted to Vishnu devotion.

This day is dedicated to Vishnu's wife Lakshmi, the goddess of riches and prosperity, and her husband Vishnu.

In her Mahalakshmi form (as recounted in the Devimahatmya), she can destroy demons that the gods can't, and she can reclaim the kingdom that the gods have lost.

Vishnu is said to be resting on the snake Shesha, in an ocean of milk, with Lakshmi stroking his feet at this festival.

Parivartini means "turning," and Vishnu is said to be turning in his slumber on this day.

See also cosmology and churning of the ocean.


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Hinduism - Who Is Mahishasura?

 

Mahishasura is the buffalo-demon who is responsible for the Goddess's birth in the Devimahatmya, the oldest and most essential source for the Goddess's mythology.

Mahishasura is granted the ability to vanquish the gods and cannot be slain by any man.

They are expelled from their divine home and seek refuge in the mountains.

While they are there, the gods release their accumulated brilliance (tejas), condensing into the form of the Goddess, who embodies all of their collective might.

To face Mahishasura, the Goddess mounts a lion.

He has feelings for her, but when he offers marriage, she says that she would only marry a guy who can beat her in war.

Mahishasura is beaten after a hard struggle.

He attempts to avoid the Goddess by changing his shape multiple times, but she strikes him with her sword each time, eventually killing him by chopping off his head.


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Hinduism - What Is Mahamaya In The Devimahatmya?

 


 ("[she] has enormous illusionary power") The Devimahatmya, the oldest and most significant literary source for the idea that God is feminine, has an epithet of the Goddess.

This epithet indicates her status as the universe's only and ultimate force, despite the fact that she wields the power of illusion to keep this reality hidden from human perception.

See Goddess for further information.


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Hinduism - Who Is Mahalakshmi In The Hindu Pantheon?


The three portions of the Devimahatmya, the oldest and most significant source for Goddess mythology, depict the goddess in three different manifestations: Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi, and Mahakali.

Mahalakshmi is a fierce warrior goddess, the prime heavenly force on the planet, unlike the goddess Lakshmi, who is a tranquil and propitious wedded goddess.

She is created from all of the gods' collected brilliance (tejas) in order to destroy Mahishasura, a demon that the gods had been unable to defeat.

In the Devimahatmya, her climactic deed is to slay Mahishasura, despite his frantic efforts to overcome and then evade her.

See David R. Kinsley's Hindu Deities, 1986, for further information about Mahalakshmi and all the Hindu goddesses.


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Hinduism - Who IS Mahakali In The Hindu Pantheon?

 

The three portions of the Devimahatmya, the oldest and most significant source for Goddess mythology, depict the goddess in three distinct manifestations: Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi, and Mahakali.

Although all of these manifestations are highly strong, Mahakali is the most savage of them all.

She is claimed to have appeared from the Goddess's forehead as a tangible representation of the deity's fury after being insulted by the demon generals Chanda and Munda, who questioned her combat abilities since she was a woman.

Mahakali is described as being dark, lean, and decrepit, with long fangs and claws, and uttering terrifying howls.

The demon armies are defeated by her taking them up and shoving them into her mouth, where they are consumed whole.

She subsequently cuts off the heads of Chanda and Munda to kill them.

Raktabija, her ultimate foe, has been granted the ability to convert each drop of his blood that falls to the ground into a replica of himself, making him almost unconquerable.

This monster is defeated by Kali, who drinks his blood as it is spilt until it is fully gone.

See David R. Kinsley's Hindu Deities, 1986, and John Stratton Hawley and Donna Wullf's Devi, 1996, for further information about Mahakali and all the Hindu goddesses.


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Hinduism - Who Is Madhu?


One of two demons that tries to destroy the deity Brahma in Hindu mythology; the other demon is Kaitabha.

The narrative is told in a variety of legendary texts, with some significant changes between them.

During the moment of cosmic dissolution, Madhu and Kaitabha are born from the deity Vishnu's ear wax, according to all traditions (pralaya).

A lotus blooms from Vishnu's navel as the universe is created all over again.

It begins by revealing Brahma, the creator-god, who is immediately threatened by Madhu and Kaitabha.

In all versions of the narrative, Brahma asks for assistance, and Vishnu fools and kills the demons.

The distinction between the two accounts is the god to whom Brahma pleads for assistance.

The narrative is originally told in the Vishnu mythology, when Brahma summons Vishnu.

The Devimahatmya, the oldest text in which the Mother Goddess emerges as the highest divine force, tells the same narrative.

Brahma's song of adoration in this version is to the Goddess, who, in her shape as Yoganidra ("yoga slumber"), has lulled Vishnu into a cosmic lethargy, making him powerless to assist Brahma.

The Goddess, pleased by Brahma's praise, relinquishes her control over Vishnu, who wakes and slays the demons.


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Hinduism - Who Is Kaitabha In Hindu Mythology?

 

One of two demons that tries to murder the deity Brahma in Hindu mythology (the other is Madhu).

The narrative is told in a variety of legendary texts, with some significant changes between them.

During the age of cosmic dissolution, Madhu and Kaitabha are born from the deity Vishnu's earwax, according to all traditions (pralaya).

A lotus erupts from Vishnu's navel as the universe is being created.

It begins with the revelation of Brahma, the creator-god, who is promptly assailed by Madhu and Kaitabha.

Brahma makes a plea for aid in all versions of the narrative.

Vishnu deceives and kills the demons (who are powerful but not very intelligent).

The distinction is in the god to whom Brahma pleads for assistance.

The narrative initially occurs in Vishnu's mythology, when Brahma summons the god.

The Devimahatmya, the oldest legendary source for the religion of the Mother Goddess as the greatest celestial force, tells a similar scenario.

In this version, Brahma's song of gratitude is to the Goddess, who has lulled Vishnu into a cosmic coma in her guise as Yoganidra ("yoga sleep"), making him unable to assist Brahma.

The Goddess, pleased by Brahma's praise, relinquishes her control over Vishnu, who wakes and slays the demons.

 


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Hinduism - Who Is The Mother Goddess Kali?


 ("black") The Mother Goddess in an incomprehensibly ferocious and mighty heavenly aspect.

In its most frightening forms, Kali is the divine's horrible, uncontrollable power.

Her home is a cremation site, and she is often connected with imagery of blood, death, and devastation.

Her iconography depicts her as having several heads and limbs, as well as a thin, gaunt, and haggard figure with a lolling tongue and blood-smeared lips.

Surprisingly, millions of Kali's bhakta (devotees) refer to her as "mother." Kali's origins are unknown, however she is thought to be an autochthonous ("of the soil") goddess.

Her dark skin, which is linked with low social status, her affinity for living in remote locations, and her worship by Indian aboriginal tribes and individuals on the fringes of society all appear to indicate to her roots as a local deity, maybe of tribal people.

Some early Sanskrit operas, such as Bhavabhuti's Malatimadhava, mention violent deities who accepted blood gifts from their worshippers.

The Thugs were featured prominently in nineteenth-century fiction using the same idea.

The Devimahatmya, the oldest known source for the belief that God is feminine, has one of Kali's earliest descriptions.

The birth of Kali (in her Mahakali form) is described in one of the Devimahatmya events as the Goddess incarnate's fury.

Kali begins the myth by stuffing the demon armies into her mouth and devouring them whole, signifying her all-consuming ability to destroy.

In this book, she also defeats Raktabija, a demon who is granted the blessing that each drop of his blood that falls on the ground would instantaneously change into a clone of himself, making him almost unconquerable.

Kali defeats him by consuming his blood as it is shed till it runs out.

Both of these instances bolster her reputation as a terrifying and powerful goddess, as well as her proclivity for destruction and her links with drugs and acts that are generally deemed defiling.

As Kinsley points out, Kali may also be seen as a symbol for the inevitability of human existence, and that catastrophe and misfortune can strike without warning, despite the best-laid preparations.

Kali worship has taken two courses, one in accord with these gruesome visions and the other in opposition to them.

On the one hand, Kali has long been revered by practitioners of tantra, a hidden, ritual-based religious practice.

Reality, according to the tantras, is created by the interplay of polar opposites, personified by the deities Shiva (awareness) and Shakti ("power").

Shiva is the Ultimate Reality and provides the organizing principle, while Shakti is the energy and dynamism that makes things happen.

As a result, goddesses play a significant part in tantric practice.

Kali stands out among these goddesses, maybe because she is the most extreme expression of feminine power and hence can be perceived as wielding the most power on behalf of her adherents.

The representations of Kali standing over the prostrate Shiva, plainly in a dominating position, indicate her power over all things and Shiva's helplessness without it.

The tantric specialist is seen as a heroic character who obtains strength from the goddess in this faith.

The tantras also emphasize the reconciliation of opposites as a means of eradicating all mental dualism and affirming the ultimate oneness of the world.

Tantric rituals may involve acts utilizing generally banned substances, such as the Panchamakara, or "Five Forbidden Things," in order to underline the provisional nature of all purity and impurity judgements (ashaucha).

Kali is the ultimate tantric goddess since her iconography and story include activities that are generally considered unclean, such as consuming blood and accepting animal sacrifices, residing in a crematory, and dressing herself in severed limbs.

The adoration of Kali as a mother is another popular picture.

This image is dominant in the Bengal area, where it has grown well-established over the last several centuries.

Kali's image is based on Indian maternal imagery, which are highly idealized in terms of a mother's dedication to her offspring.

The basic concept is that if a devotee approaches Kali as a meek child willing to bear whatever blows she delivers, she would eventually direct her mighty energies to defend her follower.

The nineteenth-century Bengali celebrities Ramprasad and Ramakrishna are Kali's most renowned worshippers; the former is famed for a poem in which he claims that there are terrible children but never a bad mother.

This conflict between Kali's horrible demeanor and her image as a mother has been maintained by religious adepts such as Ramprasad and Ramakrishna, but it has mostly been lost in common devotion.

Kali is often shown as youthful, lovely, and even benevolent in modern depictions, which seek to sweeten or overlook her horrible qualities.

See David R. Kinsley's The Sword and the Flute (1975) and Hindu Goddesses (1986) for further information about Kali.

 


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Hinduism - What Is The Devimahatmya?


 (“The Goddess's Greatness”) The religion of the Goddess as the highest divine power's oldest and most significant legendary source. 

The Devimahatmya is a portion of the Markandeya Purana, a major Sanskrit (holy language) literature that is generally thought to have been written in the Narmada River area in the fifth or sixth centuries. 

The Devimahatmya is famous for asserting that God is a woman. 

The previous Hindu tradition, in which female deities exist but are minor, has no obvious root for this concept. 

Because it appears fully formed in the Devimahatmya, this belief must have existed at some level, and the notion must have taken some time to grow before it reached its complete perfection in this work. 

The Durgasaptashati ("700 poems to Durga") is another frequent name for the Devimahatmya, which is a 700-verse book. 

A framing tale introduces the book, in which a monarch and a merchant, both tormented by worldly problems, seek sanctuary in the forest. 

They meet a guru there, who listens to each of their experiences and explains that Mahamaya (a Goddess epithet) is to blame for all of their problems. 

This is an appellation for the Goddess as the single force behind the cosmos and wielder of illusion. 

When prodded for further information, the sage relates three mythological stories, each depicting the Goddess's salvific activities. 

These three stories make up the majority of the book and serve as the foundation for Goddess worship. 

The first tale retells the legend of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, who are created from the deity Vishnu's earwax during the cosmic dissolution era (pralaya). 

A lotus blooms from Vishnu's navel as the universe is created all over again. 

It begins by revealing Brahma, the creator-god, who is immediately threatened by Madhu and Kaitabha. 

Although the narrative of these two demons exists in Vishnu mythology, there are considerable differences in this rendition. 

Brahma asks for aid in all versions of the narrative, and Vishnu finally slays the demons. 

Brahma's song of appreciation in the Devimahatmya, however, is to the Goddess, who, in her guise as Yoganidra (“yoga sleep”), has lulled Vishnu into a cosmic coma, making him powerless to assist Brahma. 

The Goddess withdraws her power over Vishnu in response to Brahma's praise, and he wakes and slays the demons. 

The buffalo-demon Mahishasura is the focus of the second narrative, and he is so strong that none of the gods can defeat him. 

When the gods are recalling their defeats at the hands of the demon, each deity begins to emit a dazzling brilliance. 

This light condenses into a single luminous mass, from which the Goddess's form emerges. 

The Goddess is depicted in this tale as the concentrated essence of all the gods, making her superior to any of them. 

This concept is emphasized by each of the gods gifting her a replica of their weapons, implying that she wields all of their heavenly abilities figuratively. 

After a horrific struggle, the Goddess takes up arms against Mahishasura and his army and slays him. 

The Goddess is also shown as a warrior-queen in the third narrative. 

In this episode, she battles and defeats Shumbha and Nishumbha's demon armies, as well as their subordinates Chanda, Munda, and Raktabija. 

The violent goddess Kali, who breaks out from the Goddess's forehead as her fury embodied, makes her first appearance in this myth. 

By cramming the demon armies into her mouth and digesting them, Kali aids the Goddess in defeating the demon armies. 

Kali also aids in the defeat of the demon Raktabija, who has been given the request that everytime a drop of his blood falls on the ground, it would turn into a full-size replica of himself. 

This renders him invulnerable to traditional methods of assassination. 

By consuming Raktabija's blood before it hits the earth, Kali is able to counter this extraordinary ability. 

This narrative, like the second, includes extensive details of combat devastation. 

All of these tales portray the Goddess as the highest celestial being, considerably superior to the pantheon's male gods. 

The framing tale concludes with a long song of praise to the Goddess, as well as enumeration of the benefits of her adoration. 

Both the monarch and the merchant begin to worship her, and three years later, both of their wishes are realized. 

The monarch requests a bigger and impregnable realm, referring to the Goddess's ability to grant earthly desires. 

The merchant, on the other hand, asks for complete emancipation, demonstrating his understanding of her power over illusion and the ultimate spiritual objective. 

Thomas B. Coburn, Devi Mahatmya, 1984, is a good source of knowledge. 



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