Showing posts with label Snana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snana. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is The Yamunotri Tirtha In India?

 


Sacred location (tirtha) in the Himalayas near the Yamuna River's sources.

Yamunotri is regarded the Yamuna's ritual source, despite the fact that the real source is farther upstream, at the foot of the Bandarpunch Mountain.

Because of its great altitude, it is only accessible from late April to October, after which it closes for the winter months, as are the other three main Himalayan pilgrimage sites of Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath.

The river itself is a sacred site in Yamunotri, where pilgrims wash (snana) in the freezing waters.

There are numerous temples, the oldest of which was erected by one of Nepal's monarchs, but they are small in comparison to those at Gangotri, and the sole significant one was completed in the 1980s.

Aside from the holy river and its tributaries, Yamunotri is known for many hot springs, some of which have been diverted into a tank, and many pilgrims take use of the hot baths.


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Hinduism - Where Is Rishikesh In India?

 


Rishikesh  is a city and a holy location (tirtha) in Uttar Pradesh's Himalayan foothills.

Rishikesh is around fifteen miles up the Ganges River from Haridwar, India's holiest city.

Rishikesh, like many other places along the Ganges, is known mainly as a bathing (snana) destination, but it is also known as a haven for ascetics, notably at the ashrams in the region near Lakshman Jhula.

Rishikesh is also unique as a spiritual destination for having no specific charter myth.

According to legend, here is where the deity Rama kills numerous demons, allowing the sages to perform their offerings without interference.

According to another legend, here is where Rama does penance (prayashchitta) for slaying the demon-king Ravana.

In a third myth, Rishikesh is the location where a sage called Raibhya sees the divinity Vishnu.

Rama's brother Bharata is commemorated at Rishikesh's most renowned temple.


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Hinduism - Where Is Pushkar In India?

 

Pushkar ("blue lotus") is a Hindi word that refers to a specific genus of blue colored lotus. Pushkar is the name of a Shakthi Pitha and Hindu tirtha in Ajmer.

Ajmer is a city and a prominent religious place (tirtha) located a few kilometers north and west of Ajmer in Rajasthan.

Pushkar's core is a natural lake, and its primary function is as a bathing (snana) destination—its lake is so holy, according to legend, that Pushkar is the religious preceptor (guru) of all other sacred locations.

The lake at Pushkar is encircled by temples.

The most well-known of them is devoted to the deity Brahma, and it is his solitary temple in India.

Shakti Pithas, a network of holy locations distributed over the subcontinent, are claimed to have two neighboring temples devoted to the Goddess.

Each Shakti Pitha represents the spot where a piece of the goddess Sati's severed body fell to earth.

The two temples in Pushkar commemorate the locations where Sati's wrists were severed.

Kartik Purnima (October–November), Pushkar's biggest festival, takes place on a full moon (generally associated with enhancing the sanctity of bathing places).

This festival is noted by the hosting of a massive animal market, mainly for camels and horses, in addition to bathing.

This is presently being promoted as a tourism destination by the state government, and it has attracted over 200,000 visitors in recent years.


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Hinduism - Who Are The Ani Nirvani?

 

("liberated") The Nirvanis are one of the three Naga anis ("armies") of the Bairagi Nagas, renunciant ascetics who are devotees (bhakta) of Vishnu.

The Nirmohis and Digambaras are the others.

These anis were formerly genuine combat groups that earned their fortune as merchants and mercenary warriors, but nowadays they are mostly responsible for maintaining order during the Kumbha Mela's bathing (snana) processions.

The Digambaras are the most significant of the three Naga anis, and they take priority during the Kumbha Mela.


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Hinduism - Where Is The Manikarnika Tirtha In India?

 

("Jeweled earring") Manikarnika - Sacred location (tirtha) in the city of Benares, Uttar Pradesh, on the Ganges River.

The place is named after the Manikarnika Kund, a bathing (snana) pond allegedly built by the deity Vishnu and into which a god Shiva's earring fell, sanctifying the tank by its presence.

In current times, the place is primarily known for the Manikarnika Ghat cremation ground.

The cremation site is located on the outskirts of most Indian cities, since its association with death makes it an inauspicious location.

The Manikarnika cremation site, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Benares.

Despite the natural human tendency to avoid and reject death, it is paraded in broad view in Benares—not to upset or depress people, but to force them to face it.

Death has long been seen to be a powerful motivator for religious practice.

Because Benares is one of the Seven Sacred Cities, dying there brings with it the promise of ultimate liberty.


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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Festival Of Makara Sankranti?

 

Makara Sankranti is the Hindu New Year.

A religious celebration that occurs on the day the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn (sankranti) (makara).

This happens around December 20 according to Western astrology, but January 14 according to Indian astrology (jyotisha).

This is one of the rare times throughout the festival year when the solar calendar is used rather than the lunar calendar.

The sun is said to be starting its "northward trek" on Makara Sankranti (uttarayana).

This will last for six months, until Karka Sankranti, when the sun enters Cancer and starts its "southward journey" (dakshinayana).

Because the uttarayana is seen to be more fortunate than its counterpart, the day of its transition is considered especially auspicious.

Makara Sankranti is predominantly a bathing (snana) celebration, with large crowds flocking to rivers, particularly the Ganges, on that day.

The greatest bathing festival on the Ganges is held on Sagar Island (also known as Ganga Sagar) in West Bengal, where the Ganges empties into the sea in the Bay of Bengal.


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Hinduism - What Is A Lota?

 

A water-holding vessel having a flared aperture to aid correct pouring and a narrowing at the top (so that the vessel may be held in one hand).

The lota is a drinking vessel. Without putting the vessel to one's lips, water may be poured straight into one's mouth, rendering the vessel and its contents unclean.

A lota is also often used for bathing (snana), pouring water over one's body, and any other purpose that requires holding and pouring water.


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Hinduism - What Is Kalpavas? Who Are The Kalpavasis?

 

Kalpavas (meaning "dwelling for a kalpa") is a Sanskrit word that means "residence for a kalpa." During the annual Magh Mela event in Allahabad during the lunar month of Magh (January–February), a strict religious vow is made.

The confluence of two holy rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, is where Allahabad is located.

The fundamental religious rite of the celebration is bathing (snana) at this point.

Although most visitors only remain for a few days during the festival, kalpavasis, or persons who have taken the kalpavas vow, stay for the full month.

Kalpavasis also promise to follow a rigorous ascetic lifestyle that includes daily baths in the Ganges, a limited diet, specific attire and worship, and participation at religious meetings known as satsang.

 


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Hinduism - How Important Is Hygiene In Orthoprax Hindu Ritual And Religious Practices?

 


Orthoprax Hindus (that is, Hindus who stress correct religious practice) lay great stress on cleanliness of their bodies and their immediate environment.

Although to the outside eye this scrupulous attention would seem to indicate a concern for hygiene, these actions are performed primarily to protect and retain religious purity.

In many cases, concerns for hygiene and purity overlap, as in the pervasive practice of bathing (snana) and the regulations concerning bodily cleanliness.

Both of these simultaneously remove dirt and impurity (ashaucha), but in other cases these concerns clearly diverge.

One example of this divergence is the way that household refuse is often simply put out in the street—a practice that keeps the home pure and clean, but which fosters unhygienic conditions directly outside the home.

Another example of this disjunction can be seen in the traditional use of cow dung as a purifying substance, or the way that the Ganges River is always considered pure, even in its lower reaches where it is full of sewage and industrial effluents.

These examples clearly show that purity and hygiene are very different concepts and that, from a religious perspective, purity is by far the more important of the two.

 


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Hinduism - Where Is The Ganges Or Ganga? What Is The Religious Significance Of Bathing In The Ganges?

 


The Ganges is a northern Indian river that originates in a number of tiny streams in the Himalaya Mountains.

It enters the northern Indian plain near Haridwar, flows east through Uttar Pradesh to Allahabad, where it joins the Yamuna River, and then continues east through Bihar and West Bengal until reaching the sea at Ganga Sagar.

The Ganges is shorter than many other major rivers at 1,560 kilometers, yet for Hindus, no river has more sacred significance.

To devout Hindus, the Ganges is more than a river; it is the goddess Ganga, who has come down from heaven to cleanse them of all sin and pollution.

There are no superlatives reserved for the Ganges—every drop is hallowed, every inch along its banks is holy, and just viewing it, drinking from it, touching it, or thinking about it confers enormous religious value.

It is also said to be the perfect location for performing particular funeral rituals.

The Ganges has become a sacred site for Hindus because of their dedication and regard for it.

The religious significance of the Ganges is evident in the religious rites associated with it, as well as the several well-known pilgrimage sites (tirtha) situated along its banks, notably Benares.

The Ganges is regarded as the model for a holy river.

Other holy rivers in India, such as the Godavari and the Cauvery, are said to "be" the Ganges, meaning that bathing (snana) in them confers the same religious blessings as bathing in the Ganges.

 

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