Showing posts with label Sati. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sati. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Attitude Towards Widows In a Hindu Society?


Given the traditional belief that a Hindu woman's primary function is that of a wife and mother, being a widow is seen as the worst tragedy that can befall a woman and is viewed as the karmic fulfilment of some heinous past act.

Because the basic idea of the marriage rite is that the bride's identity is amalgamated with the groom's, a woman without a spouse was seen to have lost her individuality.

Remarrying was also out of the question for her since she had already assumed her late husband's identity.

A lady was obliged to remove all the symbols of a married woman as soon as her husband died, including wiping red vermilion from her hair part, shattering her glass bangles, and, in southern India, cutting the thread on her mangal sutra.

She was banned to wear jewelry, colorful clothes, or other physical adornments for the rest of her life, was required to keep her hair trimmed short, and was required to dedicate herself to religious deeds in honor of her deceased spouse.

She was deemed an unhappy and unfavorable person since she had been widowed, and she was barred from any auspicious ceremonies, spending the rest of her life performing the domestic chores.

The practice of burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre, known as sati, was popular in certain areas of India, although it was uncommon in others.

In reality, there was a lot of variance on this bleak image.

The age of a woman when she was widowed, whether she had children, and the social position of her husband's family were the most important determinants.

A widowed lady in her eighties would most certainly remain the family matriarch, a young widow with boys would keep her family status via her offspring, and even a child widow in a rich family might live a somewhat comfortable life, although with various constraints.

A widow's situation would be considerably more insecure if one or more of these characteristics were missing, and there is little question that many widows had tough lives in the past.

Even in contemporary times, a lady whose spouse dies early is often seen as unlucky and hence a source of ill luck.

One of the main aims of nineteenth-century Hindu reformers was to improve the situation of widows, and it has grown increasingly frequent for widows to remarry, despite the fact that some of the most traditional Hindus do not accept this.

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Hinduism - Who Is Virabhadra?


Virabhadra is a powerful being created by the god Shiva to humble the demigod Daksha and destroy Daksha's sacrifice, according to Hindu mythology.

Daksha gives his daughter, Sati, to Shiva to marry, but later feels Shiva has not treated him with respect.

Daksha plans a large sacrifice and invites all the gods except Shiva to it in order to humble Shiva.

When Sati inquires as to why her father has done so, Daksha lashes out at Shiva, calling him worthless and despicable.

Sati, humiliated by these public insults, kills herself—in some versions, by leaping into the sacrificial fire, and in others, by withdrawing into a yogic trance and giving up her life.

When Shiva learns of Sati's death, he is enraged and tears two matted locks (jata) from his head and dashes them to the ground, according to the most popular version of Virabhadra's creation.

One matted lock assumes the form of Virabhadra, while the other assumes the form of Bhadrakali, the Goddess's most powerful and terrifying form.

Bhadrakali represents the Goddess's ferocious and dangerous side, in contrast to the gentle and loyal Sati, just as Virabhadra represents Shiva's destructive side.

The two demolish Daksha's sacrifice on Shiva's orders, scattering the guests and destroying the sacred fires, until Daksha repents and worships Shiva as the supreme deity.

Despite the fact that Virabhadra's actions in this story are destructive, he is and remains Shiva's servant, carrying out his divine master's commands, which ultimately uphold the created order.

~Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Who Was Ram Mohan Roy Or Raja Ram Mohan Roy?


Ram Mohan Roy (1774–1833) 

He was a successful businessman and public servant who hailed from an affluent Bengali family.

He arrived in Calcutta in 1815, just as the British were starting to pay attention to traditional Indian culture, particularly the things they deemed "bad." 

Roy's reforming goals were generally aligned with the British.

Roy had opposed the use of pictures in worship from an early age, probably as a result of his exposure to Sufi teachings, and his first public battle was against such worship of gods and goddesses.

Roy, like other Indian reformers, utilized Sanskrit books judiciously, and the most significant for him were the theoretical Upanishads, which he translated to represent monotheistic (under the influence of English Unitarians) (belief in the existence of only one God).

In his latter years, he advocated for a variety of educational and social causes, but he is most remembered for his resistance to sati, the practice of a widow being burned on her husband's burial pyre.

Brahmo Samaj, the first prominent Indian proponent of Hindu social and religious reform, was created for this goal.

Although he was subsequently criticized for being unduly influenced by the British, his rewriting of history served as a model for others.

Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, is a good place to start.

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Hinduism - Who Is Goddess Parvati In The Hindu Pantheon?


 ("mountain's daughter") Parvati is the Hindu goddess Parvati, who is the wife of the god Shiva and the daughter of the minor deity Himalaya (the Himalaya Mountains personified) and his wife Mena.

Shiva has been lost in monastic seclusion since the loss of his first wife, Sati, and Parvati comes in human form to entice him to father the offspring required to defeat the demon Taraka.

Even as a kid, Parvati swears to have only Shiva as her spouse, according to her legends.

Shiva has made a vow of asceticism and is engrossed in profound meditation on Mount Kailas, so her parents attempt to dissuade her.

Parvati's initial attempt to stir Shiva's passion fails miserably.

Kama, the god of love, attempts to kill Shiva with a desire arrow, but Shiva shoots a torrent of fire from his third eye, burning Kama to ash.

Undaunted, Parvati enters the mountains and starts her own program of extreme physical asceticism (tapas): standing for long periods of time on one foot, suffering the heat of summer and the cold of winter, and practicing severe fasting (upavasa) and self-denial.

Shiva is ultimately awakened by the spiritual strength created by her austerity, and he appears to her dressed as an elderly brahmin.

He attempts to dissuade Parvati by making harsh statements about Shiva's lifestyle and behavior, but Parvati remains steadfast in her decision.

Shiva eventually exposes his actual self to her, and the two marry.

Shiva is the Hindu image for the perfect husband because of his love to his bride, yet their family life is uncommon.

The pair has no stable residence or means of support since Shiva is the metaphor for the ideal ascetic, and Parvati is sometimes shown as lamenting about being an ascetic's wife.

Their marriage, symbolically, marks the ascetic's domestication and entry into social and family life.

Their marriage exemplifies the cultural conflict that exists between the two most fundamental Hindu religious ideals: the householder and the renunciant ascetic.

Shiva and Parvati conceive offspring, but not in the traditional way: Skanda grows from Shiva's semen, which falls on the ground during their interrupted love-making, while Ganesh develops from the invigorated soil from Parvati's body.

Parvati, like other married Hindu deities, is seen as compassionate and gentle.

She may be spiteful in certain legendary myths, but on the whole she exudes a loving and motherly presence.

Her mythology is nearly completely linked to Shiva's, demonstrating her subjugation as the perfect wife, and her devotion is also frequently linked to him.

Parvati has a crucial role in tantra, a secret, ritual-based religious practice, since she is often shown as the one asking Shiva and later as the pupil receiving his instructions in tantric scriptures.

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

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Hinduism - Who Is Maya Devi?


Maya Devi is a Local goddess, whose home is in the northern Indian town and holy city of Haridwar, is said to be a form of Durga.

According to local legend, the Shakti Pithas, a network of holy locations to the Goddess that stretches throughout the subcontinent, is where her temple would be erected.

Maya Devi was Sati's navel, and each Shakti Pitha commemorates the spot where a bodily part of the dismembered goddess Sati descended to earth and took shape as a different goddess.

Although this assertion is not supported by other Shakti Pithas literature, the place is said to be exceedingly ancient.

Mayapur, which means "city of Maya," is one of the earliest names for the Haridwar area.

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Hinduism - Who Are The Mahavidyas?


A collective term for 10 strong and powerful Goddess manifestations.

According to legend, the goddess Sati takes on each of these forms in order to convince her husband, the deity Shiva, to let her attend a sacrifice performed by her father Daksha.

These 10 forms are all terrifying and terrifying, even to Shiva, demonstrating the Goddess's supremacy over Shiva.

  1. Kali, 
  2. Tara, 
  3. Chinnamasta, 
  4. Bhuvaneshvari, 
  5. Bagala, 
  6. Dhumavati, 
  7. Kamala, 
  8. Matangi, 
  9. Shodashi, and 
  10. Bhairavi are the 10 forms.

Some of these manifestations, particularly Kali, have risen to prominence as deities in their own right.

See David R. Kinsley's Hindu Goddesses, 1986, for further details.

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Hinduism - What Is The Kalimath?


Kalimath - (“Kali's Residence”) In Uttar Pradesh's Himalayan mountains, there is a village and a holy spot (tirtha).

Kalimath lies roughly ten kilometers from Guptakashi on a minor tributary of the Mandakini River; the Mandakini is one of the Himalayan tributaries that merge to form the Ganges.

Kalimath is one of the Shakti Pithas, a network of holy locations dedicated to the Goddess, according to local legend.

Each Shakti Pitha commemorates the location where a piece of the goddess Sati's severed body fell to earth and took on the shape of a new goddess.

According to local legend, Kalimath is the location where Sati's vulva landed.

It assumed the shape of the goddess Kali there, thereby linking a highly charged female bodily part with a strong and sometimes deadly Goddess form.

The Goddess image at the temple is a metal plate a little more than a foot square with a little triangle carved out in the middle, an aniconic emblem of the Goddess.

This plate is said to cover a pit—a clear sign of the portion of Sati's corpse that is said to have fallen there—but the region underneath it is considered so holy that peering beneath it is banned.

The notion that Kalimath is where Sati's vulva descended to ground exemplifies the Indian holy landscape's flexibility.

A far more commonly acknowledged tradition connects this specific body part to the Kamakhya temple in Assam.

Competing claims are widespread in the Indian holy landscape, since individuals typically create them to increase the holiness and status of their particular spot.

Many Hindus seem unconcerned by such apparent inconsistencies, presumably because they believe that a single Goddess is responsible for all of her many manifestations.

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Hinduism - Who Is Karni Mata? Where Is The Karni Mata Temple In India?

The presiding deity of the same-named temple in the hamlet of Deshnok in Rajasthan's state.

Karni Mata is a localized version of the Mother Goddess, named after the spot where a severed goddess Sati's ear (karni) fell to earth.

Thousands of rats, who are considered Karni Mata's offspring, live in the shrine, making it unique.

Karni Mata's kid perished in a nearby pond, according to local legend.

When she attempted to persuade Yama, the god of death, to grant her son a better reincarnation, she was informed that he had already been reincarnated as a rat.

Yama agreed to have all of her male descendants born as rats at the Deshnok temple at her request.

Yama agreed that the rats would be reincarnated as family members of the temple employees in the next life.

The rats and the temple priests are all members of the same extended family, according to this legend.

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