Showing posts with label Gayatri Mantra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gayatri Mantra. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Surya In The Hindu Pantheon?

 

 

 The sun, in both its physical and anthropomorphic forms as a celestial phenomena.

Since the Vedas, the oldest and most authoritative Hindu religious literature, the sun has been an important god and has maintained a position of considerable prominence.

The Gayatri Mantra, for example, is a holy mantra that is supposed to be sung every day by twice-born males, or men from the three "twice-born" groups—brahmin, kshatriya, and vaishya—who have completed the teenage religious initiation known as "second birth." Invoking the sun as the creator and nourisher of all things, the Gayatri Mantra asks him to awaken the brains of all who observe him.

Many Smarta brahmins continue to worship Surya as one of the "five-fold" (panchayatana) deities (the others being Shiva, Vishnu, the Goddess, and Ganesh), according to the Advaita philosopher Shankaracharya.

Surya was also the dominant god for various groups, notably in eastern India, for a period, but his devotion has since been substantially superseded.

The temple of the sun at Konarak (now damaged) is the most impressive example of pagan devotion, with its immense size and abundance of sensual sculptures on its external walls.

Religious Beliefs and Practices of North India During the Early Medieval Period, by Vibhuti Bhushan Mishra, 1973; and Sarat Chandra Mitra, The Cult of the Sun God in Medieval Eastern Bengal, 1986.


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Hinduism - What Is A Mantra?

 


Sacred sound in the most fundamental sense.

A mantra is a collection of phonemes that may or may not have grammatical meaning as real words, since its significance stems from the sounds themselves rather than the meaning of the utterances.

Those who have been granted the qualification (adhikara) to employ mantras are said to gain strength and other spiritual abilities.

The qualification comes from being handed the mantra by one's instructor, which is said to impart not just the mantra's tones but also its potency.

This live transmission is seen to be an important aspect of "possessing" the mantra; as a result, mantras learnt in other settings are thought to be ineffectual.

The Vedas, the earliest Hindu religious books, first mention mantra as a holy sound.

The Gayatri mantra is a passage from the Rig Veda and is one of the most popular mantras (3.62.10).

Tantra is a hidden ritual-based religious discipline that emphasizes the use of mantras.

See Arthur Avalon's (Sir John Woodroffe's) Shakti and Shakta, 1978; Swami Agehananda Bharati's The Tantric Tradition, 1977; and Douglas Renfrew Brooks' The Secret of the Three Cities, 1990 for further information.


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Hinduism - What Is The Gayatri Mantra?


A poem from the Rg Veda (3.62.10), the earliest Hindu sacred literature; the verse is composed in the gayatri poetic meter, thus its name.

The line is an invocation to the sun, which might be translated as "let us reflect on the sun, most wonderful of all the gods, may he stimulate our brains." Every "twice-born" man who has acquired the teenage religious initiation known as the "second birth" is required to recite the Gayatri mantra in the morning and evening (sandhya).

The transfer of this phrase to the young person is a vital aspect of this ritual.

The Gayatri must be chanted every day, but not across water; this was one of the reasons why many orthodox Hindus were hesitant to go overseas in the past.

 


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