Lord Ayyappa – Son of Vishnu & Shiva

Son of Shiva and Vishnu; Lord Ayyappa

Click Here to view the Bronze Ayyappan Statue, Son of Shiva and Vishnu

Sabarimala in Kerala, is the site of the most famous Ayyappa temple in the world and is visited by more than 50 million devotees each year, from different parts of the world regardless of their caste, creed and religion.The temple is situated in the middle of a dense forest, and the devotees need to take a 41 day penance, carry irumudi and ascended 18 steps to seek the blessings of the Lord. The story of Ayyappa is depicted in the famous purana, named Bhoothanaathopaakhyaanam.

Birth of Lord Ayyappa: The demon Mahishasur was killed by Goddess Durga and the sister of Mahishasur, Mahishi decided to avenge for her brother’s death. Lord Brahma was forced to appear before her and granted her wish. She demanded that she should be killed by the son born for the couple Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, thinking that it is impossible. Thinking herself indestructible she began to unleash her cruel deeds to execute the poor saints and people.

Mohini: Mohini was Lord Vishnu’s one and only incarnation in female form.  Her goal was to settle the dispute between devas and demons that aroused during the churning of the ocean (ksheer sagar).

Enchanted by the beauty of Mohini, Lord Shiva fell in love with her and a beautiful son was born to them.
Rajasekhara, the king of Pandalam, was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and he along with his wife used to pray to the Lord for a son as they wanted an heir to the throne. One day, after hunting, while he was enjoying the beauty of nature near the banks of river Pampa, heard the cry of a baby from the dense forest. Even though, the king was happy to see the child, he hesitated to take the child to the palace, but a sage appeared and informed the king that the child is a gift from Lord Shiva and you can take him with you. As the child was wearing a jewel around his neck he was named “Manikanda”, “mani” meaning bell and “kanda” meaning neck, and in their happiness the King took the child home. The queen was also very happy and accepted him as their child.

The child was gifted and mastered in all the Vedas and arts of warfare quickly.  He grew up as a graceful and charming, talented and courageous warrior. The Guru soon recognized the divine powers of Ayyappa (Another name of Manikanda) and asked to bless his blind and deaf son with sight and speech as Ayyappa came to offer ‘gurudakshina‘ (fee to his guru).

Royal Conspiracy: In the meantime, the king and the queen were blessed with a baby boy, whom they named as Raaja Rajan. The prime minister was much disappointed to know that the king is planning to crown Ayyappa as the next king, since he thought that he would be able to rule the kingdom after the death of Raja. He began to think of different ways by which he can deny Ayyappa from being the next king and met the queen to evoke negative feelings in her mind against Ayyappa being the king when she has her own child, who has the birth right to be the next king.

The minister was able to convince the queen, and she agreed to plot with him in his plans for Raaja Rajan to become the next king.  As a part of the conspiracy, the queen began to act as if she was suffering from headaches and stomach pain. The king, who was worried, called for experienced and well known physicians to cure her, but none of them could do anything to relieve her from the pain. The minister brought in a fake physician who informed the king that the queen can be saved only by using the milk of a lactating tigress.

No one came forward to gather the milk despite of the great offers from the king and at last Ayyappa came forward, but the king did not give him the permission to go. Somehow, Ayyappa persuaded the king and got his blessing and left into the forest. When Ayyappa starts His journey to the forest to collect milk from the tigress, the king collected all the necessary things to meet Ayyappa’s requirements during the long journey and bundled them in a cloth bag. It came to be known as irumudi and today the pilgrims use this type of cloth bag to carry things while traveling to Ayyappa’s temple in Sabarimala.  It is believed that carrying irumudi symbolizes Ayyappa’s journey to the jungle and only the pilgrims who carry the irumudi are permitted to ascend the 18 holy steps to reach sannidanam.
On reaching the forest, Ayyappa came to know about the atrocities of the ferocious Mahishi and decided to meet her in a duel near the river, Azutha, where he lifted her by the horns.  Mahishi was able to recollect her original beautiful form by the divine touch of Lord Ayyappa. She pleaded Ayyappa to marry her, but he refused to do as he said that there a lot of people who need his help. However, he promised to marry her if anyone does not need his help. Now this Mahishi is worshiped as Goddess Maaligappurath-amma in Sabarimala.  Ayyappa is thus referred to as the celibate god of Kerala because he refuses to marry the beautiful Mahishi.

Wooden Lord Ayyappa Statue

View our wood Ayyappa statue

Comfort to the king: The death of Mahishi was celebrated by everyone and all the Gods from the heaven came to earth to show their courtesy towards him. Indra, the king of heavens, disguised himself as a tiger and all the female Goddess as tigresses and accompanied Lord Ayyappa to his palace.  All the people, including the king were surprised to see the multitude of tigers and a saint appeared before him to reveal the real identity of lord Ayyappa. The king begged for pardon, as he was unaware of the conspiracy of the queen and minister. The king was ready to punish them, but Ayyappa prevented him from it, and agreed to the wish of the king that he will stay in the kingdom forever. The Lord pointed an arrow and shot it, asked the king to build a temple for him where it landed. The arrow fell on Sabarimala or the Mountain of Sabari. A temple was built at the place where they found the arrow, and it is believed that Lord Ayyappa stays in the temple showering blessings on the devotees who came to visit him through the tough trekking path barefooted.

Pilgrimage to Sabarimala: The Sabarimala temple has so many specialties, it is situated in the middle of a dense forest and can be reached through a five Km long trekking path. The devotees’ identity is denoted by the color of the dress they wear. The temple restricts the entry of women between the age group of 10 to 50 and the devotees have to observe 41 days penance, rigorous fasting to seek the blessing of the Lord. They have to be abstained from all the worldly pleasures and live as a hermit to climb the eighteen steps to reach sannidhanam. It is believed that the Lord will descend to earth in the form of light on a special day known as Makar Sankranti or Pongal to bless his devotees. A pilgrimage to the Sabarimala makes you realize the truth “ThatTvam Asi” (You are that supreme Consciousness”). He is known as Dharma Saastha (the Lord in the world) and Hari-Hara Puthra ( Son of Lord Vishnu and Shiva).

Posture of Lord Ayyappa: It reflects that of a Yogi.

The crown shows that he was a king of all kings.

The right hand is held in the Abhaya mudra which symbolizes the protection offered by the Lord to His true devotees and the fearlessness they fell after surrendering everything to the Lord. This posture is also known as Chinmudra or Njaana Mudra.

The left hand, with all five fingers, points downwards, symbolizes that he is the creator and controller of all the 5 elements of which the earth is made of.

The lotus pedestal indicates the world we live in and the lotus symbolizes the different stages through which our life passes.

The garland of the Lord is unique and symbolizes grace.

The Lord’s legs are symbolic of a wandering mind with the belt around them calming the wandering mind.

Why did Lord Ayyappa forbid the king from taking action against the queen and the minister’s machinations?

Navagraha Mantras, Chants, Quotes, Hymns

Bronze Navagraha set of Statues

Click here to view the bronze Navagraha set

As per Hindu mythology, a person’s life is decided by the horoscope, and the basics that help the astrologers to predict it is based on these 9 planets known as navagrahas. It is believed that as the planets change their position, person’s life also change and some changes may cause good effects whereas some casts bad effects. However, it is believed that invoking the Navagraha mantra can bring changes to the hardships. Also, chanting the mantra, wearing gemstones or rudrakshas can bring in good fortune to peoples’ life. Ved Vyas has written the navagraha mantra to please the planets (the presiding deities) and it is scientifically proven that chanting mantras will bring down the negativity in you and the surroundings.

The planets, their representations and favorable days to chant

Sun (Surya) – soul, king, highly placed persons, father. — Monday
Moon (Chandra) – Mind, queen, mother. — Tuesday
Mars (Mangal) – energy, confidence and ego. — Wednesday
Mercury (Budha) – communication. — Thursday
Jupiter (Brihaspati) – the great teacher. — Friday
Venus (Sukra) – wealth, pleasure and reproduction.
Saturn (Shani) – learning and Career. — Saturday
Rahu – an Asura who does his best to plunge any area of one’s life he controls into chaos.
Ketu – supernatural influences.
Based on timings, the mantras for Rahu and Ketu can be chanted every day.

The Mantras and meanings

Surya:

Japaa Kusuma Sankasham
Kaashya Peyam Maha Dyutim
Tamo Arim Sarva Paapagh Nam
Pranatosmi Divaa Karam

Meaning: I salute Sun, who is red like a Hibiscus, the descendent of Kaashyapa, Foe of darkness and the one who dispels all sins and has splendid radiance.
Gemstone is Ruby.

Chandra:

Dadhi Shankha Tusha Raabham

Kshiiro Dhaarnava Sambhavam

Namaami Shashinam Somam

Shambor Mukuta Bhushanam

Meaning: The one who has the hue of curd and icebergs, who rose from Ksheasagar and who adorns the head of Lord Siva. I prostrate to the Moon, the ruling deity of the soma juice.
Gemstone is Pearl.

Mars:

Dharani Garbha Sambhuutam

Vidyut Kanti Samaprabham

Kumaram Shakti Hastam Cha

Mangalam Prana Maa Myaham

Meaning: I pray to Mars, born of Earth (son of Bhooma Devi), His effulgence is like that of lightning. He is called Kumara, n who holds in his hand weapon called Shakti.
Gemstone is coral.

Budha:

Priyangu Kalikaa Shyamam
Rupenaa Pratimam Budham
Sowmyam Sowmya Guno Petam
Tam Budham Prana Maa Myaham

Meaning: I pray to Mercury, who has a dark blue complexion and whose beauty is incomparable. He possesses gentle, charming qualities.
Gemstone is emerald.

Guru (Brihaspathi):

Devanaam Cha Rishii Namcha
Gurum Kanchana Sannibham
Buddhi Bhuutam Trilo Kesham
Tam Namami Bruha Spatim

Meaning: I pray to Jupiter, the preceptor of gods and rishis, intellect incarnate, lord of the three worlds.
Gemstone is Pukhraj (yellow sapphire).

Shukra:

Hima Kunda Mruna Labham
Daityanam Paramam Gurum
Sarva Shastra Pravak Taram
Bhar Gavam Prana Maa Myaham

Meaning: I pray to Venus, the son of Bhagu. He is the spiritual master of demons, promulgator of all learning, he who shines like the fiber of snow-white jasmine.
Gemstone is diamond.

Shani:

Neelaan Jana Sama Bhasam
Ravi Putram Yama Grajam
Chhaya Martanda Sambhutam
Tam Namaami Shanaish Charam

Meaning: The one who is dark blue in complexion, who is son of Surya and his wife Chaya, who is elder brother of Yama. The slow moving, I prostrate that Shaneeswara.
Gemstone is blue Sapphire.

Rahu:

Ardha Kaayam Mahaa Viiryan
Chandraa Ditya Vimar Dhanam
Sinhi Kaa Garbha Sambhutam
Tam Rahum Prana Maa Myaham

Meaning: I pray to Rahu, the son of Simhika, having half a body, of extraordinary strength, the eclipser of the Moon and the Sun.
It is chanted every day, after sunset to get success in career, frame & occultism.
Gemstone is Gomed (Hessonite).

Ketu:

Palasha Pushpa Sankaasham
Taarakaa Graha Mastakam
Rowdram Rowdraat Makam Ghoram
Tam Ketum Prana Maa Myaham

Meaning: I pray to Ketu, who has the appearance of Palaasha flower, the head of stars and planets. He is violent and fearsome.
It is chanted every day, after sunset for success in love, marriage & prosperity
Gemstone is Lasniya (Cat’s Eye).

There is a salutation mantra for the navagraha and it is as follows:

Namah Sooryaya Chandraya
Mangalaya Budhayacha
Guru Shukra Shani Bruhas Cha
Raahave Ketave Namaha

In this busy world, everyone is having some sort of mental stress, and chanting these mantras is sure to relax your mind, bring good fortune and prosperity to your life.

Lakshmi Quotes- Mantras – Hymns

Seated Hindu Goddess of wealth Lakshmi Metal statue

Click here to view all our beautiful Lakshmi statues

Mantras are believed to bring in harmony and peace of mind to the devotees who faithfully chant it to please their favorite deities. Chanting mantras can relieve mental stress, strain and even help in maintaining a normal heart rate. The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words “manas” and “trai“, which literally means “to free from the mind”.  From recent medical studies it was found the chanting of mantras in the right form evokes the production and spreading of the certain chemicals in the brain, which improve the health and the mental status of the devotee.

As per Hindu mythology, each Hindu God is associated with a moola mantra which when chanted in the specified time and period, will serve different purposes. The most evoked mantras are devoted to Lord Ganesha, Shiva, Hanuman and the Hindu Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Devi.

The Goddess Lakshmi is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, luxury, beauty, power and prosperity.  Her mantras are evoked by most of the entrepreneurs as they believe that She will be pleased and bring fortune to them.  One of the most chanted mantra of Goddess Lakshmi is as follows:

“Sarvagyay Sarvavarday
Sarvadushtbhaydkree Sarvadukhaharay

Devi Mahalakshmi Namostutay”

Meaning: O Goddess Maa Lakshmi, you are aware of everything; you bestow blessing upon all and defend us from the evils. You remove all miseries of life. Oh auspicious one, I surrender myself to you.

“Siddhi Buddhipraday
Devi Bhuktimuktipradayeenee
Mantramurtay Sada Devi
Mahalakshmi Namostutay”

Meaning: O divine Maa, you are the one who gives me all success and intelligence. You bless me with all the worldly pleasures, wealth and freedom. The magical words in the mantra comprise your grace with form and Mother, I surrender myself to you, always.

Aadhantarhitay Devi
Aadhshakti Maheshwari
Yogajay Yogasambhutay
Mahalakshmi Namostutay”

Meaning: O Mother Supreme, your art does not have a beginning or end. Your art is the primal power. Your art is born out of Yogic practice and manifested through yoga. O Mother auspicious, I bow to Thee.

“Sthulsukshmay Maharodray
Mahashakti Mahodray
Mahapaapharay Devi
Mahalakshmi Namostutay”

Meaning: O Goddess Lakshmi, your art gross and subtle, most awful and dominant. Your art encompass even the smallest things, and saves us even from the greatest sins. O Mother auspicious, I bow to Thee.

“Padnaasanstithay
Devi Parbrahmaswaroopeenee
Parmashree Jaganmatra
Mahalakshmi Namostutay”

Meaning: Maa Lakshmi, you reside in the heart of the faithful devotees and verily art the supreme Brahman. Your supreme art depicts that you are the mother of the universe. Promising Mother, I surrender to you.

Wood Statue of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi

Click here to view the Lakshmi wood statue holding two lotus flowers

The Hindu Goddess Lakshmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu and is known as the Empress of Satyug. The Goddess is depicted in different forms, to bestow blessings and save the devotees from evils. Evoking the mantras of Goddess Lakshmi will bring peace and prosperity to your home or business.

Top 40 Hindu Blogs

Over the years of reading and researching Hindu gods and Hindu statues we have developed a fondness for many Hindu blogs.  Here is our list of the top 40 Hindu blogs we read.  Please take a look at them!

Named to the top 40 Hindu Blogs

1.   Hindu Blog
2.   Hindu Devotional Blog
3.   Pakistan Hindu Post
4.   Western Hindu
5.   Hindu Voice
6.   Hinduism Facts | Facts about Hindu Religion
7.   Himalayan Academy Blog
8.   India Divine
9.   Hindu Devotional Power
10.  Rolling with Vishnu
11.  Sathya Sai Baba – Life, Love & Spirituality
12.  Accidental Hindu
13.  Practical Sanskrit
14.  Vachana-A-Week
15.  Also Hindu
16.  A Western Sri Vaishnava
17.  A Soul’s Journey
18.  drik Panchang
19.  Hindu Existence
20.  Hinduism Today
21.  Internet Sacred Text Archive
22.  Divya Jnana
23.  jnana·nanda, the bliss of divine knowledge
24.  Bliss of Hinduism
25.  Hindu Adhyathmikam
26.  Hinduism – A Scientific Way of Life
27.  Only Hinduism for any Hindu….for every Hindu
28.  Hinduism Beliefs
29.  Navratri Pooja
30.  Ganesh Wallpaper
31.  Bharata Bharati
32.  thepedalingpujari of thepacific
33.  Hindu God Photo
34.  Divya’s Cooking Journey
35   Sanatana Dharma
36.  The Astro Junction
37.  Bhadesia Hindu blog
38.  Rajarshi14’s Blog
39.  Jaisiyaram
40.  Bamboo Thoughts

Use this code to add the top 40 Hindu Blogs badge to your site:

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Is your Hindu blog missing from this site?  Please let us know if you think your blog should be listed.  Email me at kyle@lotussculpture.com

The Life of a Buddhist Monk

Buddhist monk statue holding alms bowl

Click to view the Buddhist monk statue holding alms bowl

In the Far East, it is considered a high honor for one to leave their family in order to delve deeper in ones Buddhist practice.  This may seem strange to westerners to think of valuing ones children to leave home in order to become a practicing monk.  But in Asia, delving one’s life completely into Buddhist practices is very highly regarded.  These monks or nuns devote their lives to their faith and helping others in their personal quests.  They live very simple and pure lives with others of similar values.  Within the monasteries, although they are there to serve and practice, they are not completely torn from their previous lives and families.  They are allowed to venture back in the case of illness or death of a family member.  Otherwise their lives are spent in simple meditation and practice.

Within a monastery, the typical life of a monk is one of devote prayer and meditation within the temple.  They have specific tasks allotted to them around the monetary so that they may collectively take part in upkeep and daily living.  Everyone works with kindness and respect for one another.  Some may teach outside the monastery in order to spread the Dharma to devotees.  They are very much devoted to not only personal development, but the development of others.  Monks need to conduct themselves in the up most regard, living with integrity and deep-rooted principles.

Most of the time monks have very few possessions.  A few simple robes and an offering bowl.  Most shave their heads in order to shed the desire for outward beauty focusing solely on their internal beauty.  Although they have an offering bowl, they rely on the contribution of others.  They do not beg for food by take what is given to them in humble graciousness.  The robes are typically simple and made of cotton with no adornments.

In every way the life of a monk is one of simple devotion and intrigue.  This is the way that the Buddha lived his on his path to enlightenment and the way he believes will produce the most uncluttered way to enlightenment.  With spirituality being of the up most calling, Buddhist across Asia strive to live a life of such simplicity.