Showing posts with label Skanda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skanda. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Lord Murugan?

 


Murugan ("fragrant, lovely") Primarily revered Hindu god in southern India.

Murugan first appears in Tamil Sangam literature as a hill god linked with hunting and untamed, uninhabited areas.

The lance, which symbolizes the hunt, is one of Murugan's signature items.

Murugan was incorporated into the established pantheon as a version of the deity Skanda, who is the son of the god Shiva, when brahminical Hindu civilization eventually spread to southern India.

Murugan's identity had developed by the eleventh century into that of a philosopher and exponent of the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophical system, as well as the patron god of Tamil literature and language.

Worshiping Murugan becomes a vehicle for southern Indians to assert their traditional culture, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu.

This has been especially true since India's independence in 1947, when attempts to impose Hindi as the national language were seen as cultural imperialism by northern India and met with fierce opposition.

Palani, Tiruchendur, Tiruttani, Tirrupparankunram, and Swami Malai are the five important pilgrimage centers for Murugan's worship.

All of these locations are scattered around Tamil Nadu.

The religion of Murugan has come to symbolize Tamil identity via this network of holy locations (tirthas).


See Fred Clothey, "Pilgrimage Centers in the Tamil Cultus of Murukan," Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 40, No. 1, 1972, for further information.


~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Is Mallikarjuna? Where Is The Mallikarjuna Linga In India?

 

On the holy mountain Shrishaila in Andhra Pradesh, there is a temple and a sacred spot (tirtha).

The temple is called after the temple's principal deity, the god Shiva as "[Lord] White as Jasmine." 

Mallikarjuna has Shiva in the form of a linga, a pillar-shaped figure.

The Mallikarjuna linga is one of the twelve jyotirlingas, or Shiva's special places on the planet.

The origin story of Mallikarjuna is based on a rivalry between Shiva's two sons, Ganesh and Skanda, who agree that the first to round the world would be the first to marry.

Skanda mounts his peacock and takes off, confident in his superior speed.

Ganesh, on the other hand, just goes about Shiva and his wife Parvati as a representation of the cosmos as a whole.

Skanda is furious when he returns and discovers he has been beaten.

He travels to southern India after leaving Kailas, the Himalayan peak thought to be Shiva's dwelling.

Parvati is distraught by Skanda's disappearance, but none of the envoys sent can convince him to return.

Finally, Shiva and Parvati fly to Shrishaila mountain on their own.

Skanda has already made his way to a neighboring peak.

His parents dedicate the first site as Mallikarjuna before following him.

Mallikarjuna is regarded as a highly strong place, as are all of the jyotirlingas.

Worshiping this jyotirlinga is claimed to bring money, relief from pain, happiness, and any other desired outcome.

The location, deep in the forest on the summit of Shrishaila mountain, is difficult to approach.

As a result, the most significant holiday celebrated here is Shivaratri, Shiva's most important festival of the year, during which devotees (bhakta) gather and remain for many days.


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Hinduism - Who Is Goddess Lakshmi In The Hindu Pantheon?


Lakshmi ("prosperity," "good fortune") is the Goddess of Wealth and Abundance in Hindu mythology and Vishnu's consort and bride.

Lakshmi is said to be born when an ocean of milk is churned to produce the nectar of immortality.

Lakshmi is the purified essence of the primordial ocean, signifying all the wonderful things that come from it, much as butter is the refined essence of milk.

Lakshmi is the goddess of money, good fortune, and prosperity, and she is seen as the personification of all three.

Lakshmi is often shown with the lotus and elephant, both of which are symbols of good fortune.

Many of the photos feature gold coins falling from her hands, which represent riches.

Lakshmi is a powerful force in Hindu culture because of her powerful ties.

Lakshmi wields her power just by being present: when she arrives, she gives riches and good fortune, and when she departs, she takes these blessings with her.

People are naturally eager to please Lakshmi, given her power, particularly because she has a reputation for being capricious and fickle in her human relationships—a reputation that represents a realistic assessment of life's vicissitudes.

People are exceedingly cautious while dealing with Lakshmi because of her capriciousness and reputation for being somewhat bitter.

They want to avoid offending her, even if accidentally.

Diwali is Lakshmi's main yearly celebration, during which she is said to traverse the world.

People spend the days leading up to Diwali cleaning, repairing, and whitewashing their houses in preparation for the goddess's arrival.

People open all their doors and windows (to make it easier for her to enter) and arrange lights on their windowsills and balcony ledges to welcome her in on Diwali evening.

During Diwali, gambling is a popular pastime.

Gambling is normally thought of as a bad habit, but during Diwali, it underlines the link between money and Lakshmi, who appears as Lady Luck.

Despite her erratic personal interactions, Lakshmi is regarded as the ideal wife, especially in her love and obedience to her husband.

When Lakshmi and Vishnu appear together, she is much smaller, indicating her status as a servant.

Another popular depiction of the couple has Lakshmi rubbing Vishnu's feet, implying her wifely servitude.

Lakshmi is not only a role model for human spouses, but she is also said to be present in each one.

Married ladies are said to represent the household's good fortune.

It is widely acknowledged that families that are not respected will never be rich.

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


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Hinduism - Who Is Lakshmana In Hindu Mythology?


Lakshmana is one of King Dasharatha's sons with his wife Sumitra, and the younger half-brother of Rama, the epic's protagonist, in the Ramayana, the earlier of the two major Indian epics.

Lakshmana is the ideal younger brother throughout the Ramayana, living only to serve and assist Rama.

When Rama is exiled to the forest for fourteen years, Lakshmana follows him like a shadow the whole time, first as a forest ascetic, looking for Rama's stolen wife Sita, then fighting heroically in the battle with Ravana's army, and ultimately returning to serve Rama at his court in Ayodhya.

Many of the Ramayana's characters are archetypes for Indian cultural beliefs.

As with his brother Bharata, Lakshmana represents the perfect younger brother.

Brothers are the center of the joint family in northern India.

Sisters, on the other hand, stay at home after marriage and live with their married families.

Every generation's oldest brother ultimately ascends to the position of joint family leader.

The oldest brother, who has main authority and responsibility for the whole family, cannot thrive without the participation of his younger brothers, who must respect and support his authority.

Lakshmana is a devoted younger brother in his devotion to Rama and his full disregard for his own wants.

Lakshmana is far from faultless, despite his courage, heroism, and complete devotion to Rama.

He lacks Rama's tolerance and discernment, and he acts before he thinks.

When Bharata pursues the two brothers after they have gone into exile, Lakshmana assumes that Bharata is taking advantage of the chance to murder them in order to smooth his path to the throne.

Lakshmana plots to assassinate Bharata, but Rama's logic prevents a disaster.

Shurpanakha, a demon princess and sister of Ravana, Lanka's demon-king, is Lakshmana's most grievous blunder in judgment.

When she makes sexual approaches toward Lakshmana, he mocks her before mutilating her.

Ravana kidnaps Rama's wife, Sita, in order to exact vengeance on the brothers.

Lakshmana, like all the characters in the Ramayana, is neither good nor bad; he has many qualities as well as some serious defects. 


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Hinduism - What Is The Lakshman Jhula?

 

Lakshman Jhula is a sacred location (tirtha) along the Ganges in the Tehri district of Uttar Pradesh, about five miles upriver from Rishikesh.

The site's current name comes from a jhula (swinging footbridge) that crosses the Ganges.

According to local legend, Lakshman Jhula is where Rama and Lakshmana spend their latter years as ascetics, atoning for the sin of brahminicide that they committed by slaying Ravana and his siblings (who are considered brahmin demons).

Today, the region is known for Swami Shivananda's Svargashrama, which is part of a network of ashrams that run along the river's banks. 


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Hinduism - Who Was Lala Lajpat Rai?


Lala Lajpat Rai (1865–1928) was a Hindu nationalist, lawyer, reformer, and military leader.

Lajpat Rai was born into a poor Punjabi household and became affluent via his legal career.

He was able to dedicate all of his earnings to public service by the age of 35.

He joined the Arya Samaj while he was still a teenager and helped to create Lahore's Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in 1889.

He was involved in a number of social and educational efforts around the turn of the century.

He later became involved in politics.

He was imprisoned multiple times for vigorously resisting British control.

He refused to preach violence, unlike many of his contemporaries.

His political commitment cost him his life; he died as a result of injuries received during a police beating while leading a rally in Lahore. 


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Hinduism - What Is Laghima In Hindu Spirituality?


Laghima ("lightness") is a Sanskrit word that means "to be light." One of eight superhuman abilities (siddhi) attributed to great spiritual development.

This special talent allows you to become as light as you choose, giving you the capacity to fly. 


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Hinduism - What Is Laghava In Hindu/Indian Philosophy?


Laghava is a Sanskrit word that means "simplicity." One of the basic concepts in forming and following an argument in Indian logic.

When faced with two equally plausible theories, one should select the one that is easiest to comprehend and contains the fewest assumptions, according to the "simplicity" concept.

The validity of the argument is the most important factor to consider while analyzing it.

Only once this has been accomplished can one make arguments based on complication or simplicity. 


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Hinduism - Who Was Lakshmibai?


(d. 1858) Queen of Jhansi, a minor kingdom in the state of Uttar Pradesh's south, and a leader in the 1857 revolt against the British known as the "Mutiny" or "First War of Indian Independence." 

The expansion of British authority harmed Lakshmibai's empire.

The British colonial authority had issued the "doctrine of lapse" proclamation, which enacted the annexation of any nation whose sovereign had died heirless.

In 1853, Lakshmibai's husband died. The British refused to accept his adoption and tried to conquer the kingdom despite the fact that he had adopted a son soon before his death.

Lakshmibai was a leader in the 1857 uprising and was killed in combat.

She was lauded as a patriot and supporter of Indian freedom, and she is seen as an incarnation of the strong goddess Durga due to her strength and martial prowess. 


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Hinduism - Who Was Lakshmidhara?


Lakshmidhara (ca. mid-12th c.) is a scholar, commentator, and creator of the Kalpataru, one of the oldest instances of nibandhas ("collections") commentary literature.

The nibandhas were Hindu encyclopedias that gathered topics from the Vedas, dharma literature, puranas, and other authorized religious books into one volume.

The fourteen volumes of the Kalpataru are each dedicated to a different facet of Hindu life, including as daily practice, worship, gift-giving, vows, pilgrimage, penances (prayashchitta), cleansing, and liberation (moksha).

The Kalpataru served as a model for subsequent authors as one of the first nibands.

Lakshmidhara's work is unique in that he relies on just a few sources, chiefly the epic Mahabharata and a few puranas (sectarian compendia).

He does not reference the Vedas, the oldest Hindu religious books, or the regulations contained in the dharma literature, unlike subsequent interpreters.

His book is nearly entirely made up of selected portions with very little original commentary, although subsequent nibandha authors sometimes provide lengthy explanations. 


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Hinduism - Where Is Lanka In The Context Of Hindu Mythology?

 

Lanka is the land of the demon-king Ravana in the Ramayana, the first of the two major Indian epics.

Although the epic's descriptions should be regarded as mythological and narrative tales than than a geographical survey, Lanka is occasionally connected with the present island of Sri Lanka, and southern Indian places such as Rameshvaram have been linked to events in the Ramayana.

Vishvakarma, the heavenly architect, had created Lanka for Kubera, a lesser god, but Kubera had been deposed by Ravana and his siblings.


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Hinduism - Who Is Lankalakshmi In The Hindu Pantheon?

 


Lankalakshmi is the name of the guardian goddess of Lanka, the demon-king Ravana's capital city, in the Ramayana, the older of the two major Indian epics.

Lankalakshmi is also the reincarnation of Vijayalakshmi, the goddess who was cursed by Brahma to serve as Lanka's guardian deity.

The curse will endure until an invader in the city defeats her, foreshadowing Ravana's demise.

The appearance of the monkey-god Hanuman, who jumps over the ocean in quest of the goddess Sita, whom Ravana has kidnapped, leads to this defeat.

In her role as a guardian goddess, Lankalakshmi sees Hanuman as an invader and assaults him.

Hanuman uses a tremendous strike to knock her out, ending the spell and signaling Ravana's demise. 



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Hinduism - Who Was Lalitaditya ?

 


Lalitaditya (8th century) One of the few rulers of Kashmir who was able to influence the politics of the northern Indian plain, owing to the fragmented nature of Hindu kingdoms in the area.

Lalitaditya's soldiers successfully marched into the Ganges River valley, preventing the Arab advance in the Punjab area.

His successors were unable to keep the gains he had made.


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Hinduism - Who Was Lal, And Lalleshvari? What Is The Lallavakyani?


Lal, is another name for Lalleshvari(14th c.), a devotional (bhakti) poet-saint who is one of Kashmir's most prominent poets.

"Lalla's Sayings" is Lallavakyani. Lalleshvari, a Shiva devotee (bhakta), is credited with this corpus of poetry.

The poems in this book hint to her early life's harsh conditions, as well as the domestic issues that drove her to leave her husband's house.

They also speak of her all-encompassing devotion to Shiva, whom she considers to be the sole genuine source of bliss.


Lalleshvari was a bhakta (devotee) of Shiva, and her songs are about her devotion to him.

She, like many other female religious exemplars, struggled to reconcile her marriage with her devotion to her chosen god.

Her mother-in-law, according to legend, abused her horribly.

Her husband was characterized as a cold guy who did not protest to the beating or console his wife.

She left home after around twelve years of hardship to roam as a religious seeker.

Lalleshvari walked naked to symbolize her rejection of all attachments and worldly ideals, especially feminine modesty.

She created and sung Shiva devotional songs throughout her wanderings, which are still famous today.



These poems have been translated into English, although all of the editions are fairly old: see Sir George Grierson and Lionel D. Barnett, Lalla Vakyani, 1920; and R. C. Temple, Lalla, the Prophetess, 1924.



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Hinduism - Who Was Lakulisha?


 (second century?) Legendary founder of the Pashupata religious society, a group of renouncer ascetics who worshipped the god Shiva as their patron deity.

Other Shaivite ascetics, such as the Kapalikas and Kalamukhas, seem to have been influenced by Lakulisha.

He's been recognized as a Shiva manifestation.

Many sculptures have been identified as Lakulisha's representation; he is shown as a nude yogi holding a staff in one hand and a citron in the other, with penis erect, standing or seated in the lotus pose (padmasana).

More information may be found in David Lorenzen's 1972 book The Kapalikas and the Kalamukhas.


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Hinduism - Where Is The Lakshmi-Narayan Temple?

 


Lakshmi-Narayan Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi.

In Delhi, just west of Connaught Place, you will find this contemporary temple.

Ghanshyamdas Birla, the father of a major business family, erected it in 1938.

Despite the fact that the temple is devoted to the deity Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, it is known as the "Birla tem ple" after its patron.

This devotion is hardly unexpected, given that Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity and the temple was erected by a businessman.

Apart from his religious ties, Ghanshyamdas Birla was a key financial backer of the Indian National Congress, the political organization headed by Mohandas Gandhi that fought for Indian independence.

The temple has been accessible to people of all castes and communities from the day it was established, sustaining one of Gandhi's most fundamental crusades: the rejection of untouchability.


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Hinduism - Where IS Kumbhakonam In India?

 

Kumbhakonam is one of the several temple towns in Tamil Nadu's Tanjore district, reflecting the territory's importance as the seat of the Chola dynasty's rulers.

Kumbhakonam is home to a number of major temples.

The temple structures, which are built in the Dravida architectural style, are of moderate height, occupy a vast area, and are encircled by a boundary wall with huge towers (gopurams) above each wall's central entryway.

The most prominent landmark in Kumbhakonam is a temple bathing (snana) pond, not a temple.

Every twelve years, a celebration is conducted in the tank, during which the water in the tank is said to become the Ganges.

In 1992, an estimated 400,000 people attended the event, with 48 individuals sadly died in a stampede.

The Swami Malai temple, one of the six temples dedicated to the deity Skanda, is located just outside of town.


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Hinduism - Who Is A Kumara?


Kumara is a Sanskrit word that means "youth." Skanda's name is an epithet for the deity Skanda, who is frequently shown as a youthful boy.

Take a look at Skanda.


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Hinduism - Who Is Karttikeya In The Hindu Pantheon?


 ("the Krttikas' son") Skanda's name is an epithet for the deity Skanda, who is considered Shiva's son.

Skanda is created when Shiva's sperm falls into the Ganges River, rather than being born normally.

The name Karttikeya is derived from the Krttikas, a group of six minor godesses who are the deified version of the Pleiades constellation.

These goddesses become Skanda's foster moms and feed him when he is born, which is said to form a mother-child attachment in Indian tradition.

Skanda grows six heads so that none of the goddesses feel betrayed.

This allows him to suckle from all of them at the same time.



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Hinduism - What Is The Ritual Practice Of Hookswinging In Sri Lanka?


 During the yearly trip to Kataragama, in the southern portion of the island of Sri Lanka, devotees (bhakta) of the deity Skanda take one of the most severe vows.

This pledge is taken in exchange for bodily treatment or relief from pain.

Those who kept the pledge put hooks into their back and leg muscles; ropes were fastened to the hooks, and the devotees were hanged over the heads of onlookers.

These devout followers are said to be rewarded for their suffering with a state of euphoria in which they are free of pain and bleeding.

They are also thought to be mouthpieces for the deity Skanda in this state, and other pilgrims seek their assistance for any and all problems.


For further detail, read Paul Wirz's Kataragama: Ceylon's Holiest Place, published in 1966, and Bryan Pfaffenberger's "The Kataragama Pilgrimage," published in Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 28, No. 2, 1979. 


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