Showing posts with label Nepal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nepal. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is The Hindu Kingdom Of Nepal?

 


A little Himalayan country on India's northern border that claims to be the world's sole Hindu monarchy.

The fact that over 90% of Nepalese people identify as Hindu is one justification for this assertion, as does the fact that Nepal's royal family, the Shah dynasty, has been a Hindu monarchy since 1769.

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah (b. 1945), the current monarch, was an undisputed absolute monarch until April 1990, when public dissatisfaction sparked a campaign for the restoration of democracy in Nepal.

The king was obliged to accept democratic changes and has ruled as a constitutional monarch since May 1991, with the Nepali Parliament having ultimate authority.

Despite its tiny size, Nepal possesses a wide range of topographical features.

The submontane plains, Himalayan foothills, and high Himalayas are its three primary geographical areas.

The uneven geography of the nation further separates each of these areas.

The country's rough environment has a significant impact on its economy, making agriculture unviable at anything more than a subsistence level.

It does, however, serve as a draw for tourists, which is Nepal's primary source of foreign cash.

As a result of the tremendous geographical variety, there is also a large deal of human diversity.

Nepalese people are a mix of ethnic groups, including those with historical ties to India and indigenous hill tribes linked with certain regions of the nation.

The majority of Nepalese dwell in the rich foothill valleys.

These are the most hospitable areas, since the environment in the highlands is much too severe for permanent settlement, and the lowlands are plagued by sickness, especially malaria.

In general, Nepali culture has many characteristics with those of India's neighboring regions, placing it firmly inside the Indian cultural orbit.

Nepal also has numerous notable Hindu pilgrimage sites (tirtha), including Pashupatinath in the Kathmandu Valley and Muktinath in the Kali Gandaki River's headwaters.

~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Where Is The Muktinath Temple Located?


The temple is at approximately 13,000 feet at the foot of Annapurna, Nepal's tallest peak, and is a holy location (tirtha) at the headwaters of the Kali Gandaki River.

Both Hindus and Buddhists revere Muktinath, and each maintains a temple there.

The Buddhist temple is constructed atop a natural gas vent, which when fired emits a flame.

The Vishnu temple is constructed above a natural spring that is channeled outside the temple by 108 spouts styled like cow heads.

The riverbed of the Kali Gandaki is also a rich source of fossilized black ammonite, making it spiritually significant.

This ammonite, known as the shalagram, is a self-manifestation (svayambhu) form of Vishnu.


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Hinduism - What Is The Battle of Gyan Vapi?

 


 The Naga ascetic soldiers of the Mahanirvani Akhara are said to have fought a battle at Benares.

The akhara's forces scored a huge victory at the Gyan Vapi well in 1664, according to a handwritten book in the akhara's archives.

This text merely indicates that the Sanyasis defeated "the Sultan's" army, while historians have speculated that this person was the Moghul monarch Aurangzeb.

If the legend is genuine, this conflict may have influenced Aurangzeb's decision to demolish the Vishvanath temple in 1669.

Given this assertion, it's probable that the temple's demolition was motivated not by intolerant iconoclasm, but by a desire to punish opposition and rebellion.


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Hinduism - What Is The Ritual Significance Associated With Hair In Hinduism? What Is Chudakarana(Tonsure Ceremony)?


Head and facial hair, according to ancient Hindu conceptions of purity and impurity (ashaucha), trap and maintain ritual impurities.

In most situations, this impurity is simply washed away with flowing water, just like the rest of the body.

Men will often complete their time of impurity by shaving both their heads and beards in circumstances of especially violent impurity, such as that associated with death (maranashaucha).

They may also get their nails trimmed, indicating a belief that any non-essential elements of the body should be eliminated in order to eliminate any remaining impurities.

The chudakarana, or tonsure ceremony, which marks the ceremonial end of infancy and removes any residual impurities left over after delivery, also involves shaving the head.

Men are normally the ones who shave their heads in adulthood; women usually provide a symbolic strand of hair as a sign for the entire, however women may have their heads shaved to fulfill a religious commitment.

Shaving the head is rather frequent, but shaving the body hair is not—the Sanskrit language has separate terminology for these two forms of hair, and they are regarded to be completely different entities. 


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Hinduism - Where Is Guruvayur In India? What Is The Mythology Associated With Guruvayur?


Sacred location (tirtha) in the Thrussoor district of Kerala, India's southernmost state, located just inland from the Arabian Sea.

Guruvayur is well known for a temple dedicated to the deity Vishnu, who is worshipped as Krishna, and whose primary picture depicts Krishna as a young child barely beyond baby hood.

The picture at Guruvayur was originally in Krishna's fabled kingdom in Dwaraka, on the Arabian Sea in the northern Indian state of Gujarat, according to the temple's charter story.

Guru, the planet Jupiter, and Vayu, the deity of wind, preserved the picture from destruction when Dwaraka was ravaged by floods.

The image was transported to Kerala by these two deities, and the town was called Guruvayur in their honor.

The fabled charter of Guruvayur also mentions the site's ability to treat diseases like rheumatism and leprosy.

This therapeutic capacity has been more popular in recent times, not only among those suffering from rheumatism, skin illnesses, and other ailments, but also among childless women desiring children and pregnant women seeking a smooth birth and a happy kid. 


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Hinduism - What Is The Gyan Vapi Temple/Well/Pool At Benares?


Gyan Vapi ("knowledge pool"). The only remaining element of the ancient Vishvanath temple in Benares is a well.

The temple was one of the most revered Hindu locations in ancient India, and its name relates to the deity Shiva in his incarnation as Vishvanath, "Lord of the Universe." In 1669, the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb's forces demolished the temple and replaced it with a mosque.

Although the demolition of the temple is often depicted as an act of Muslim iconoclasm, according to Gyan Vapi's narrative, Aurangzeb may have meant it as a political message to punish local opposition.

The figure of Shiva as Vishvanath was thrown into the well to safeguard it from sacrilege, according to local mythology, and it remains there to this day. 


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Hinduism - Where Is The Gandaki River?

 


The Gandaki is a river in Nepal.

It is one among the Ganges' tributaries, flowing southward from Nepal and entering the Ganges near Patna in the state of Bihar.

Although the river's source is currently exceedingly impoverished, it formerly housed important urban centers, notably the city of Vaishali, during the Buddha's time. 


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Hinduism - Where Is The Champaran Region In India?

 






The Champaran region is located in northern Bihar, between the Gandaki River and the Nepalese border. 



It is now divided into two provinces: eastern and western Champaran. 





The Champaran area is well-known for being the site of Mohandas K. Gandhi's first successful satyagraha (nonviolent struggle) against British authority. 




The province was mainly agricultural at the time, as it still is now, with the majority of the people living in poverty. 

Farmers had historically set aside a part of their property for producing indigo, which they would then rent to the landlords. 

The development of a far cheaper synthetic indigo shattered this arrangement. 

The landlords reacted by ordering the tenants to cease producing indigo, but then proceeded to increase the rent on their property, based on a long-standing agreement that permitted them to do so if a renter did not produce indigo. 



The unrest started in 1912, but it was not until 1917 that Gandhi arrived. 

After a nearly year-long effort, the tenants were able to get concessions from the landlords, including a promise of no future rent increases and a 25% refund on past hikes. 




For additional detail, see Mohandas K. Gandhi's An Autobiography, published in 1993; Louis Fischer's Gandhi, published in 1954, provides a more accessible, though incomplete, narrative.












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