Showing posts with label Shesha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shesha. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Lord Vishnu In The Hindu Pantheon?

 


Vishnu meaning the “all-pervasive” in Sanskrit, is one among the three most powerful deities in the Hindu pantheon, with Brahma, Shiva and the Goddess.

All three are significant for being largely unmentioned in the Vedas, the oldest Hindu religious books, and their rise, as well as the progressive eclipse of the Vedic gods, indicates a marked change in Hindu religious life.

Vishnu is the one who appears most often in the Vedas among the three.

Many hymns that mention him refer to him as a helper to Indra, the major Vedic deity, and one of Vishnu's epithets is Upendra ("junior Indra").

He also appears as an autonomous actor in certain late hymns, linked with wonderful works for the benefit of the cosmos, such as measuring out the universe in three steps.

Vishnu is also linked to the sun, both in terms of his ability to travel through the skies and his ability to fall on (and therefore "observe") everything.

Vishnu is the sustainer or maintainer of the universe, according to the holy trinity of Brahma Vishnu-Shiva.

Vishnu is pictured reclining on the back of his serpent couch, Shesha, in the primordial ocean at the moment of cosmic disintegration in one of the most prominent creation myths (pralaya).

Vishnu's navel produces a lotus, which opens to reveal Brahma, the creator, who starts the creation process.

When the time comes for disintegration, the whole process reverses, and the cosmos is pulled back into Vishnu, who is therefore considered as the source of everything.

The cosmos is also sustained by Vishnu's avatars or incarnations, who come into the world to restore balance to a universe that has been dangerously out of balance, generally as a result of an out of proportionally powerful demon.

There are 10 avatars as far as we know.

The Fish avatar, Tortoise avatar, Boar avatar, and Man-Lion avatar are the first four in nonhuman forms.

The other six are in human form, frequently as sages or heroes: Vamana avatar, Parashuram avatar, Rama avatar, Krishna avatar, Buddha avatar, and Kalki avatar.

In each of these instances, Vishnu takes on a physical form in order to avoid tragedy and preserve the cosmos' purity.

The theory of the avatars served as a means of assimilating existing deities into the broader pantheon while still granting them distinct status.

Although most of the avatars are no longer objects of devotion (the Boar and Man-Lion avatars each had a significant following early in the common period), Rama and Krishna's adoration has entirely exceeded that of Vishnu himself in most of northern India.

Vishnu is still revered throughout southern India, especially among Shrivaishnavas.

Apart from the avatar idea, notable local deities like as Jagannath, Venkateshvara, and Vithoba have all been absorbed into the pantheon as manifestations of Vishnu.

Vaishnavas and Shaivas established sectarian rivalry in medieval Hinduism, both claiming supremacy over their own deities (Vishnu and Shiva).

Despite the fact that Vaishnavas see Vishnu as the universe's highest force, his legendary persona and activities are vastly different from Shiva's.

Vishnu's headgear is a crown, and his persona is that of an all-ruling monarch, but Shiva is linked with ascetic life and practices (tapas) and hence with the religious force created by such acts.

Vishnu frequently succeeds by guile, ingenuity, and deceit, but Shiva eliminates his mythological enemies with sheer might, which is devoid of any finesse.

Each deity's followers recognize their divinity as the supreme force in the cosmos, from which all other gods get their power, and both are portrayed as kind and caring to their worshippers (bhakta).


Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Is Venkateshvara In The Hindu Pantheon?

 


("Venkata [HillLord]")  The presiding deity of the Venkateshvara temple in Andhra Pradesh, near Tirupati.

The temple is located north and east of Madras.


Venkateshvara is a local deity who has been adopted into the greater pantheon as a manifestation of Vishnu.


The temple is located in the Tirumalai hills, which are made up of seven hills that are said to resemble the seven cobra hoods of Shesha, the fabled snake that acts as Vishnu's couch.

Venkateshvara's picture is unique in that he has a plate covering his forehead.

The Tengalais and Vadagalais, two branches of the Shrivaishnava society, each wear specific sectarian insignia on their images, and this plate hides these markings on the picture, allowing both groups to claim him as their own.


Venkateshvara is also known for having India's most valuable temple.


People go from all across the nation to Tirupati, partly because it is widely believed that any request expressed in the presence of the deity would be fulfilled unfailingly.

Aside from large monetary gifts, it is usual for pilgrims to have their heads shaved as a token of their presence and to give a hair donation.

Since independence, the temple's riches has been managed by a trust, which has paid special attention to publishing, educational institutions, and assisting in the construction of Hindu temples outside of India.


~Kiran Atma


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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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Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.