Showing posts with label Hindu Pantheon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindu Pantheon. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Vijaya In Hindu Mythology?

In Hindu mythology, Vijaya is one of Vaikuntha's gate guards, who, along with his brother Jaya, is cursed by the sage Sanaka to be born three times as an asura (demon) and destroyed by Vishnu each time.

Jaya and Vijaya incarnate as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu in their first births, respectively, and are murdered by the Boar avatar and the Man-Lion avatar.

They have a second Earthly incarnation, Ravana, and Kumbhakarna, who are murdered by Lord Vishnu incarnate as Rama.

Next, they take on the forms of Shishupala and Dantavaktra, who are murdered by Lord Krishna, this being their last birth for now.

They resume their responsibilities as Vishnu's guardians after their last slaying at the Lord's hands. It is believed they are yet to fully atone and extinguish the energy of the sage's curse. As a result, they will take birth yet again, only to suffer and be slaughtered by Lord Kalki for the final time. 

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Where Are The Vindhya Mountains? What Is The Mythology Of Agastya Muni And The Vindhya?


Central India has a mountain range that runs east to west known as the Vindhya.

Despite their diminutive stature, they have long served as a cultural barrier between northern and southern India.

As per mythological scriptures the Vindhya were long seen as an uncivilized and potentially dangerous place, inhabited by ghosts, demons, and tribal peoples; these dangers were exemplified by Vindhyavasini, the presiding goddess.

The Vindhya Mountains and Agastya Muni 

Agastya Muni's stories may be found in the Vedas, Puranas, and Itihaasa. 

Both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata tell the story of this episode. 

When they visit the tirtha where Agastya Muni once murdered Vatapi in the Mahabharata, Lomasha Rishi informs Yudhishthira about numerous tales from Agastya Muni's life. 

Mount Meru used to be circumambulated by the sun. 

'O Bhaskara!' protested Vindhya, a rival mountain, to Suryadeva. 

Meru is something you constantly go around. 

'In the same manner, circumambulate me.' 'O mountain!' Suryadeva answered to Vindhya, the ruler of the mountains. 

I don't do it because I want to. 

This is the road that the creator of the universe has chosen for me.' 

Vindhya was enraged, and he started to grow taller all of a sudden. 

He desired to prevent the sun, moon, and stars from orbiting Meru. 

Vindhya grew and grew and grew. 

The devas were terrified. 

All the devas gathered with Indra sought to persuade Vindhya to cease growing, but he refused. 

Finally, the devas came to Agastya Muni's hermitage and told him about their dilemma. 

They begged him to intercede, claiming that he was the only one who could stop Vindhya. 

Agastya Muni and Lopamudra, his wife, set off for Vindhya. 

'O greatest among mountains!' said the rishi to the mighty mountain. 

I'd want for you to pave a way for me. 

For some reason, I need to go to the south. 

Indra, king of the mountains! 'Restrain yourself until I return from there, and then you may grow as much as you want.' — p. 

86 (399(102)) of Bibek Debroy's English translation of the Mahabharata. 

Vindhya consented and shrank in size to allow Agastya Muni to pass through. 

While the writings do not go into depth, one may envision the king of the mountains' admiration for Agastya Muni for agreeing to his request while rejecting all of the devas' requests combined. 

It is stated that Agastya Muni and his wife left in the direction of the south and never returned. 

The Vindhya mountains are still present, but at a lower elevation. 

This might be viewed as a simple narrative, a fable attempting to explain a geographical phenomena. 

Or, as a fable about the pitfalls of ego, Vindhya has been duped into waiting for the rishi who will never come, unable to reclaim its beautiful heights for all eternity. 

A more inspiring and constructive view is that when a person possesses shraddha, or respect, for a knowledgeable entity, he or she will be rescued. 

The Vindhya Mountain lives today because to Agastya Muni's protection; if the king of mountains had persisted in his refusal, it would have been destroyed. 

He was rescued because the monarch of the mountains showed homage to the great rishi. 

There's also one more subtle, interesting component to the story. 

In the south, Agastya Muni says he has 'job to do.' He doesn't say what kind of job it is. 

However, a rishi's word, especially that of a renowned rishi like Agastya Muni, who is considered one of the saptarishi in certain ways, should never be taken lightly or discarded. 

It always contains satyam, or truth. 

Is the true narrative about the humbling of a mountain, or about the trek of a rishi with 'job to do' beyond the Vindhya mountains' range? 

Why did the devas chose Agastya Muni in particular for this task? 

Why did Vindhya choose to rebel at this particular moment?

Were they the circumstances that allowed something else, something more significant, to happen? 

Was this simply the beginning of a larger effort to promote the Dharma? 

This story may have served as a pretext for Agastya Muni to introduce his Dharma teachings to the southern areas, much as Padmasambhava journeyed from India to Tibet to establish Buddhism in Tibet and Bodhidharma brought Buddhism to China. 

A Fascinating Dialogue Begins When Jaimini Rishi Meets The Four Birds Now, let's return to our main narrative. 

Jaimini Rishi visits the Vindhya Mountain and enters a tunnel where the four birds are residing. 

The stone floor of this hallowed hole is wetted by drips from the Narmada River. 

When the rishi sees the four birds, he thinks to himself, 'This is a lovely area.' They have maintained control of their respiration without taking any interruptions. 

These magnificent birds are reciting clearly and flawlessly. 

These sage's sons have now given birth to a new species, and I believe it's fantastic that Sarasvati hasn't abandoned them. 

A person's vast number of relatives and friends, as well as everyone else who is treasured at home, might forsake and leave them. 

But Sarasvati remains.' — Bibek Debroy's English translation of Markandeya Purana, p. 19 

In their position as Panchama Veda, the Itihaasa and Puranas are tasked with instilling vairagya (compassion) and viveka (discrimination between nitya (that which is everlasting, or more accurately, beyond the purview of Time) and anitya (that which is not). 

It does this not just via logical ratiocination, but also through the power of rasa, the development of a field of immersive experience and emotion that we go through when reading or listening to a narrative. 

It is stated that there are three ways to learn that fire burns: being informed that it burns, seeing someone else being burnt, or being burned yourself. 

The uttama adhikara (the most qualified one) is told once and does not need to be told again; the ones of middling adhikara (which most of us can at least aspire to achieve in this lifetime or the next) can learn from others, including through stories; the unfortunate ones (which would be most of us if we do not engage in sadhana and improve ourselves) will have to learn through suffering again and again. 

That is why the Puranas are so important: we may learn knowledge from them without having to go through the same unpleasant experience ourselves. 

When we reflect on the pitiful story of these four birds, who were asked by their father to give up their lives and then cursed by him, who were born on the battlefield and spent the first part of their lives hidden in the darkness of a bell that hung around the neck of a slain elephant, we find that only Sarasvati Devi, only that shining light of vidya through sadhana and study of the shastras, remains with us in the end. 

The birds are introduced to Jaimini Rishi. 

Padya (offering of water to wash his feet) and arghya (offering of food) are two ways they respect him (offering of water to wash his hands). 

They cool him by fanning him with their wings. 

'We have led excellent lives and our births have been successful today,' Jaimini Rishi says, as the birds welcome her. 

We hope that your hermitage's animals, birds, trees, creepers, bushes, bark groves, and grass are all doing well. 

Perhaps by asking this question, we have showed you disrespect. 

'How could those who are with you not be in good health?' — Markandeya Purana English translation by Bibek Debroy, p. 

20 This is the amount of sattva and compassion that our culture embodied. 

When kings and rishis met, or when kings met, they inquired about the well-being of the people in their kingdoms, the status of the treasury, and if the dharma was being kept. 

Even grass blades are being investigated – no living form is left out. 

The sensation of oneness with all existence is referred to as sarvatma bhava. 

The purpose of Jaimini Rishi's visit, he says, is to alleviate his misgivings about the Mahabharata. 

'If it's a topic we're familiar with, we'll make you hear it without hesitation,' the birds say. 

Why won't we tell you what is within our intelligence's scope? 

O lord of the brahmanas! Our intellect can comprehend the four Vedas, the Dharmashastras, all the Angas, and anything else that is in accordance with the Vedas. 

Despite this, we can't make any guarantees. 

So, without hesitating, tell us about your concerns concerning the Bharata. 

Who knows about dharma?

Otherwise, there would be a lot of misunderstanding.' ― p. 21 of Bibek Debroy's Markandeya Purana English version Again, notice the humility that lies behind the knowledge. 

Even while the birds concede that they understand all of the shastras, or Vedic wisdom, they cannot absolutely guarantee that they would be able to answer his questions. 

They also hold him in high regard as a dharma expert. 

The first question is how the formless one (Narayana) could take on a human form (Sri Krishna). 

The birds begin by prostrating before Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva. 

They go on to say that Vishnu is both nirguna (without characteristics) and saguna (with attributes), and that he exists in four different forms: The first kind is undetectable. 

It seems white to those who have studied it. 

Yogis envision someone whose limbs are encircled in flame garlands in this shape. 

It is distant; it is close; it is beyond the gunas, the shape and colour conjured up by the mind. 

Vasudeva is my name. 

Shesha, the serpentine one who supports the ground, is the second form. 

Tamas are a feature of this type. 

Sattva is embodied in the third form. 

This is the form that creates and maintains dharma, as well as caring and safeguarding mortals. 

Vishnu slays asuras and rakshasas in this form before descending into his avatara forms. 

Pradyumna is his name when he descends as the guardian in a form of pure sattva. 

Narayana, lying in the sea on Shesha's back, is the fourth form. 

This shape is continually in the phase of production, steeped in rajas.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - What Is The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor At Varanasi Or Benares In India?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed the 400-meter-long Kashi Vishwanath Corridor in Varanasi on Monday, the 13th of December 2021, which connects an ancient Shiva shrine to the Ganges' banks. 

"It was the Prime Minister's vision for a long time, to facilitate the pilgrims and devotees of Baba Vishwanath, who had to encounter congested streets and surroundings with poor upkeep, when they practiced the age-old custom of taking a dip in the holy river, collecting Gangajal, and offering it at the temple," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Sunday. 

Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone for the project on March 8, 2019, and it is nearing completion ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election in early 2022. 

According to the project's architect, Bimal Patel, although the first part of the project will open on Monday, the Ganges Gateway, the stairs leading down, and the ghat will take another two months to finish. 

On Sunday evening, the sacred site, which is in Mr. Modi's Lok Sabha seat, was bustling with activity, not just with preparations for Monday's celebration but also with ongoing building projects. 

Buildings along the winding lanes leading up to the shrine were freshly painted. 

According to Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agrawal, the temple grounds had been decked to welcome the 3,000 visitors who had been invited to the inauguration. 

The celebration was attended by roughly 500 religious leaders and families whose homes — around 300 in all — were razed to make place for the corridor, he added. 

The Prime Minister "took a great and active interest at all levels of the initiative," according to the PMO. 

It was announced that twenty-three buildings will be opened, with ramps and escalators built to make the grounds more accessible. 

The first phase construction cost 339 crore, while the entire project cost was about 800 crore. 

According to the PMO, the temple's grounds have been increased from 3,000 square feet to 5 lakh square feet. 

The corridor, which is claimed to be the Prime Minister's dream project, spans 5,000 hectares and aims to not only decongest but also alter the temple complex. 

Varanasi's improved infrastructure is intended to enhance tourism in the holy city as well as the surrounding area, notably the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Sarnath. 

The Kashi Vishwanath Dham in Varanasi is lit up ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inauguration. 

The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor, now connects Varanasi's historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple to the Ganga's ghats.

The Rs. 800-crore initiative was inaugurated in March 2019 by the Prime Minister in his parliamentary seat with the goal of restoring the spiritual center's "lost splendor." Officials said Modi has long wanted to improve circumstances for visitors and worshippers who had to suffer the temple's notoriously packed streets and surrounds. 

The Kashi Vishwanath temple lacked direct access to the Ganga, therefore a 20-foot-wide corridor between Lalita Ghat on the holy river and Mandir Chowk on the temple grounds was planned. 

"Shiva bhakts may take a morning bath in the river and worship the Lord in the temple, which will now be visible from the ghat," a Ministry of Culture official said. 

A Tourist Facilitation Centre, Mumukshu Bhavan, Bhogshala, City Museum, Viewing Gallery, and Food Court will be among the 23 structures to be opened. 

Some of these phase 1 projects may not be ready to open to the public for a few more weeks. 

The Prime Minister's event will take place ahead of the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and the release of the voting schedule. 

The Rudraksh Convention Centre, which is shaped like a Shiva lingam and features divisible conference rooms, an art gallery, and multifunctional pre-function spaces, can accommodate 1,200 people. 

Tourists will be able to take Ganga cruises, road infrastructure will be improved, and the Banaras train station in the city's Manduadih neighborhood will be remodeled with the addition of an air-conditioned waiting lounge. 

LED displays will be placed across the city to provide travelers with information about Kashi's history, architecture, and art. 

On screens around the city, the iconic Ganga Aarti and the aarti at the Kashi Vishwanath temple will be shown. 

The Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul, which opened in 2017 as a trade facilitation center for Varanasi's weavers, craftspeople, and artisans, serves as both a public space and a marketing platform for local artisans. 

Officials claim the PM insisted on preserving existing historic buildings while eliminating homes that were obstructing the designated path. 

More than 40 'lost' temples were uncovered during the destruction of the structures, including the Gangeshwar Mahadev temple, the Manokameshwar Mahadev temple, the Jauvinayak temple, and the Shri Kumbha Mahadev temple. 

Each of these temples has a long and illustrious history. 

At the National Museum in New Delhi, a gallery has been dedicated to displaying some of the unearthed bones, as well as running a narrative on their history on screens. 

Smart signage has been installed in Varanasi to give information on the cultural value of historic monuments and the city's 84 ghats, which are noted for their antiquity and architectural significance. 

The effort to renovate and rebuild the Kashi Vishwanath complex is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plans for temples around the nation. 

He lay the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya and advocated for renovation and rebuilding initiatives at the Somnath complex and the Kedarnath Dham, both of which were devastated by floods in 2013. 

He's called these initiatives "nation-building endeavors," the successful culmination of an old land's attempts to rediscover and commemorate its past greatness.

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Hinduism - How Does The Zodiac In Hindu Astrology Compare With Western Astrology?


The signs of the zodiac in Indian astrology (jyotisha) are almost similar to those in Western astrology, and it is widely assumed that the Greek zodiac was carried to India through Greek kingdoms in modern Afghanistan in the first to third centuries.

The Indian zodiac uses Dhanus ("bow") instead of Sagittarius, Makara (a sea monster that is commonly mistaken for a crocodile) instead of Capricorn, and Kumbha ("[water] pot") instead of Aquarius.

Each of the twelve signs, like Western astrology, has its own set of qualities that those born under them are infused with.

Although both begin with the sign of Aries, the two systems vary significantly in how they calculate the yearly beginning point.

The Western astrological zodiac starts on the spring equinox, with the sign of Aries being the first sign.

According to Indian legend, the zodiac begins when the sun touches the midway of a group of stars known as Ashvini.

It is therefore based on the sun's position in relation to the fixed stars, while the Western zodiac is based on the sun's position in relation to the earth—that is, when it meets the equator—and hence is independent of the fixed stars.

These disparities have resulted in a discrepancy between the two systems, which is now more than three weeks apart—Aries begins on March 21 in the Western zodiac, but not until around April 14 in the Indian zodiac.

This inconsistency may also be found in the accounts of Makara Sankranti and Karka Sankranti, which are considered the winter and summer solstices yet fall in the second weeks of January and July, respectively.

Given the three-week time gap, it's not surprising that the astrological calculations between these two systems diverge significantly.

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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.

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Hinduism - What Is A Yoni And The Concept Of Yoni In Hindu Spirituality?


Although it has become a pejorative term for female genitalia in contemporary Hindi, its most literal meaning is "womb,".

The Yoni is both literally the location of conception and metaphorically any place of origin, source, or generative force.

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Hinduism - Who Is Yudhishthira In Hindu Mythology?


("strength in combat") Yudhishthira is the oldest of the Pandava brothers, the epic's heroes, in the Mahabharata, the later of the two major Hindu epics.

When Yudhishthira's mother, Kunti, performs a strong mantra to have a son by Dharma, the deity of righteousness, Yudhishthira is miraculously born.

Yudhishthira is his father's son in every aspect; the epic describes him as the earthly incarnation of Dharma.

He is well-known for his steadfast allegiance to the truth, politeness for everybody, and commitment to virtue.

His only personal flaw is a gambling addiction, which is only matched by his complete lack of gaming skill, and this flaw has serious consequences.

Yudhishthira is chosen as successor to the kingdom by his uncle, Dhrtarashtra, because of his merits.

Duryodhana, Dhrtarashtra's son, is enraged by this decision.

He seeks to murder the Pandavas by constructing a highly flammable mansion.

The Pandavas manage to escape unscathed despite the home being set on fire.

Duryodhana decides to win Yudhishthira's right to the throne in a game of dice later.

Yudhishthira's gambling addiction gets the better of him here, when he is pitted against Duryodhana's maternal uncle, Shakuni, who is a competent player.

As Yudhishthira continues to lose, he bets more and larger amounts in an attempt to recoup his losses.

Yudhishthira bets himself and his brothers after losing their kingdom and all their possessions.

He wagers and loses the Pandava brothers' common wife, Draupadi, after losing this bet.

Draupadi is humiliated as a result of her miscarriage, and Duryodhana and his brother, Duhshasana, parade her around the assembly hall, her clothing smeared with her monthly blood.

This event accentuates the two groups' already strong enmi relations.

Duryodhana's father, King Dhrtarashtra, is shocked by the treatment and restores the Pandavas' freedom.

However, due to the loss in the dice game, the Pandavas agree to go into exile for twelve years and live incognito for the thirteenth, with the caveat that if they are discovered in the thirteenth year, the cycle will begin all over again.

Peacefully, Yudhishthira and his siblings complete their twelve-year exile.

They spend the thirteenth year at King Virata's court, where they stay undetected despite Duryodhana's spies' frantic searches.

Yudhishthira and his brothers return to claim their share of the kingdom after the thirteen years have gone.

Yudhishthira hopes for a peaceful resolution and sends Duryodhana a note suggesting that they would be content with only five villages, one for each brother.

Yudhishthira recognizes that they would not gain their rights without a fight as Duryodhana says that they will not get as much land as could fit beneath the tip of a needle.

He unwillingly enlists his siblings in the war effort.

He battles courageously in the big war, and after their triumph, he is anointed king.

Yudhishthira, after reigning for many years, sets off towards the Himalayas with his brothers and their bride, Draupadi, accompanied by a little dog.

Draupadi and his brothers die one by one as they ascend the mountains, but the dog stays with Yudhishthira.

Yudhishthira finds the deity Indra, the ruler of heaven, waiting for him in a gilded chariot at the summit of the Himalayas.

Yudhishthira is told by Indra that he would transport him to paradise, but that he will have to leave his dog behind.

Yudhishthira is adamant about not abandoning his loyal buddy, even if it means he will miss out on paradise.

The dog then exposes himself to be the disguised deity Dharma.

The moral of the narrative is that Yudhishthira never allows himself to wander too far from righteousness throughout his life; even at the end, he refuses to abandon it.

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Hinduism - What Is A Yuga In Hindu Cosmology?


A moniker for a unit of cosmic time that might have two meanings.

Traditional thinking is that time has no origin or conclusion, but rather rotates between cycles of creation and activity, followed by halt and silence.

The active period of each of these cycles is known as the Day of Brahma, while the calm phase is known as the Night of Brahma.

The Day of Brahma is split into a thousand mahayugas ("great cosmic eras"), each lasting 4.32 million years in cosmic time, and this is one probable definition of the term yuga.

The term is most often used to refer to the Krta Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga, which are the four yugas that make up a mahayuga.

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Hinduism - Who Was Yogi Bhajan Or Harbhajan Singh Puri?


Yogi Bhajan or Harbhajan Singh Puri, was the 'Sikh Dharma Brotherhood' founder and modern Hindu missionary.

In 1969, he arrived in the United States, leaving behind a job as a customs agent at the Delhi airport.

His first teachings were classical hatha yoga and kundalini yoga disciplines, with his followers grouped into the "Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization" (3HO).

Hatha yoga is a religious discipline (yoga) based on a sequence of body postures known as asanas.

It is commonly thought that this practice provides a variety of physical advantages, including enhanced bodily flexibility and the potential to treat chronic diseases.

Kundalini yoga is a spiritual practice whose main goal is to awaken the kundalini, the dormant spiritual power that lives in everyone's subtle body.

The kundalini is supposed to be awakened by a mix of yoga practice and ritual action, and it is said to provide further spiritual capacities and, eventually, total soul liberation (moksha).

Yogi Bhajan claims to be a master of tantra, a hidden, ritually based religious practice, but his teaching expanded in the 1970s to incorporate ancient Sikh beliefs and symbols.

The most visible of these symbols are the "five Ks," which include uncut hair (kesh), a comb (kangha), a jewelry on the right wrist (kara), shorts (kacch), and a ceremonial sword (kacch) (kirpan).

Many of Yogi Bhajan's followers adhere to Sikh symbols considerably more rigidly than most individuals born as Sikhs, yet there are two major differences between the movement and the traditional Sikh society.

One of them is its concentration on tantra, which isn't very popular with Sikhs.

The most notable distinction, however, is Yogi Bhajan's religious authority over his followers, which is considerably different from the traditional Sikh community's decentralized, essentially democratic structure.

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Hinduism - What Is Yogini Ekadashi? When Is It Observed In The Hindu Calendar?


The eleventh day (ekadashi) of the dark (waning) half of the lunar month of Ashadh (June–July) is a religious celebration.

This, like other eleventh-day celebrations, is devoted to the worship of Vishnu, especially in his avatar as Narayana.

Most Hindu holidays have mandated ceremonies, which generally include fasting (upavasa) and devotion, and frequently promise particular rewards if performed faithfully.

Giving presents to needy brahmins is the recommended activity on this day; following the festival sincerely takes away the sin of chopping down a pipal tree (ashvattha) and also brings one birth in heaven.

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Hinduism - Who Is A Yogi?


 In practice, the term "yogic adept" refers solely to a yogic adept—someone who "possesses" yoga in the sense of mastering it—rather than to someone who just does yoga.

True yogis are often thought to possess superhuman abilities (siddhi) as a result of their lengthy spiritual growth, which they may and will use for the benefit of their disciples—for physical cure, psychiatric assistance, or spiritual and mundane advice.

The yogi is seen as a spiritually developed individual, and their authority is entirely based on this attribution, which, ironically, is not susceptible to external proof.

As a result, there are major differences of opinion over whether or not someone is a yogi.

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Hinduism - What Is Yoganidra?


("yoga slumber") The Goddess's epithet appears in the first episode of the Devi Mahatmya, the oldest and most authoritative document on the Goddess's mythology.

In this episode, the Goddess uses her power of illusion to lull Vishnu into a coma, rendering him unconscious to Brahma's screams for aid when he is threatened by the demons Madhu and Kaitabha.

When Brahma praises the Goddess, she withdraws her yogic slumber from Vishnu, allowing him to restore consciousness and save Brahma by destroying the demons.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Who Was Paramahamsa Yogananda Or Mukunda Lal Ghosh?


Yogananda, Paramahamsa, Mukunda Lal Ghosh was born in 1893 and died in 1952.

Self-Realization Fellowship founder and modern Hindu instructor.

Yogananda was one of the first Hindu missionaries to arrive in the United States.

In 1920, he traveled to Boston to speak at the International Congress of Religious Liberals, but he never returned to India.

He finally made his home outside of Los Angeles, where he created a center and spent the remainder of his life.

He was considered somewhat of a curiosity during his early years in America, and there are photographs of him with President Calvin Coolidge.

Yogananda's teachings were primarily based on the ancient Yoga Sutras' ash tanga yoga, but he also emphasized the theory of kriya ("active") yoga, which is said to hasten spiritual achievement.

The Self Realization Fellowship is basically an American organization with historical origins in India, and most of Yogananda's adherents and both of his successors were Americans.

See Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, published in 1997, for further details.

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Hinduism - What Are The Yoga Sutras?



 ("yoga aphorisms") A collection of short sayings attributed to the sage Patanjali that serve as the basic texts for the Yoga school, one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy.

The sage Vyasa's commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is often read alongside the text, and it has been considered as an important component of the book.

The Yoga Sutras are split into four sections, each of which focuses on a different theme: 

  1. The first part is about concentration (samadhi), 
  2. the second part is about the mechanics of spiritual development (sadhana), 
  3. the third part is about various attainments (vibhuti), including magical powers (siddhi), 
  4. and the last part is about yogic isolation (kaivalya), which the text calls liberation.

The Yoga school is often considered the "practical" articulation of Samkhya theory, and the text presupposes the cosmology taught by the Samkhya school, another of the six schools.

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Hinduism - Who Is Goddess Yellamma In The Hindu Pantheon?


Presiding deity of the sanctuary atop Yellama hill in Saundatti, Karnataka's Belgaum district.

Yellama's temple is famous for being a historic center for devadasis ("[female] servants of the Lord"), a class of women held in temples as singers and dancers in the service of the temple's presiding goddess, to whom they were traditionally considered "married." Both boys and girls may be consecrated in Yellama's temple.

Although the devadasi tradition has been associated with common prostitution for the past two centuries, it was far more common in earlier times for a devadasi to live with a single man for the rest of her life, despite the fact that she could not marry him because she was considered dedicated to the deity.

This devotion is sometimes done in response to a demand from the goddess herself, which is revealed via possession; in other situations, the parents undertake it in the hopes of gaining some tangible benefit, most notably recovery from sickness.

Yellamma is linked to fire, as well as causing (and maybe treating) skin disorders, which can be seen as a metaphor for "burning." According to the old paradigm, devadasis possessed a distinct social status and unique legal privileges, including the right to family inheritance and the ability to conduct religious ceremonies that were not available to other women.

These privileged powers vanished with the banning of the devadasi system, which was partially carried out by the British and was finally carried out in post-independence India.

Although such dedications continue to occur, they are often used as a cover for procuring the girls, who are then transferred to brothels in Bombay, Pune, and other central Indian towns.

Most of the girls come from very impoverished families, and their devotion to Yellamma is a method for them to avoid having to pay for a wedding, which is a big expenditure in modern Indian culture.

The dedications are said to be common and take place on the full moon in the lunar month of Magh (January–February), although the laws prohibiting them are seldom enforced due to secrecy.

See Frederique Apffel Marglin's Wives of the God-King, 1985, for a more in-depth look at the devadasi system at the Jagannath temple in Puri.

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Hinduism - What Does Yoga Mean?


The English term "yoke" is connected with the word yoga, which literally means "act of joining."

Similarly to how the latter term may apply to both the act of yoking and the item to which animals are yoked, yoga can refer to both the act or process of spiritual growth as well as a particular body of teachings that support this development.

The term "discipline" may express both of these connotations, and it is one of the most popular interpretations.

There are a variety of specialized teachings that call themselves yogas.

The earliest is described in the Yoga Sutras, which are attributed to the sage Patanjali; this method is referred regarded as ashtanga ("eight-limbed") yoga because of its eight components.

The three "paths" outlined by the deity Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, an important religious literature, are also well-known yogas: 

the yogas of action (karma), knowledge (jnana), and devotion (bhakti).

Another well-known yoga is kundalini yoga, which is purely internal and takes place in the subtle body, an alternate physiological system.

Kundalini yoga focuses on reawakening the kundalini, a dormant spiritual force that dwells in everyone, and reaping spiritual benefits as a result.

These are the most common categories of teachings, however many religious groups may refer to their religious practice as yoga: 

The Radha Soamis' surat-shabd yoga, the Brahma Kumaris' Raja Yoga, and the SYDA Foundation's Siddha Yoga are examples.

In some circumstances, the term is used to describe a religious group's distinctive teaching, which frequently contains aspects from traditional yoga articulations.

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Hinduism - What Is Yoga Mudra?


A symbolic hand gesture (mudra) in Indian dance, sculpture, and ritual in which the right hand is put flat on the left, both palms facing up, and the joined hands are lay on the crossed legs.

This mudra signifies that the figure is a yoga master in a sculptural depiction.

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