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Tag Archives: shiva

Lord Ayyappa – Son of Vishnu & Shiva

Posted on May 31, 2013 by Kyle Tortora
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?

Lakshmi Quotes- Mantras – Hymns

Posted on May 20, 2013 by Kyle Tortora
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.

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.

The Story of Shiva and the Goddess Ganga

Posted on April 30, 2013 by Kyle Tortora
Shiva bronze statue
Bronze statue of Lord Shiva bringing the Goddess Ganga down to the earth in his matted hair

Most of the images and sculpture of Lord Shiva depict the River Ganga flowing from his matted hair. As with all symbols within Hindu iconography there is an interesting tale behind Shiva and the Hindu goddess Ganga. According to Hindu mythology, there was a powerful king in India named Sagar. He decided to conduct Ashwamedha Yagya, a horse sacrifice, to declare his supremacy over the gods. The king of Heaven, Indra grew jealous of King Sagar and decided to steal the ritual horse. Indra successfully abducted the horse and tied him in the ashram of Sage Kapil, who was silently meditating for many years. King Sagar ordered his 60,000 sons to search and find his sacrificial horse. After a long search they found the horse tied at the ashram and began assaulting the great sage thinking he was the culprit who stole the horse. The sage awoke from his trance and in his anger started to destroy all the sons of king Sagar who were accosting him. Anshuman, the grandson of King Sagar, pleaded for forgiveness. The sage told him that he could save his life by bringing the sacred river Ganga down from the heavens to purify the souls of him and his ancestors and help them to attain nirvana.

King Dilip, son of Anshuman pleaded with Lord Brahma to help them bring the Ganga to earth. He failed to appease Brahma so he passed the task to his son, Bhagiratha. Bhagiratha was able to please Brahma, who ordered Ganga to descent to Earth. The furious Ganga felt this as an insult and decided to destroy Earth with her force while descending from heaven. Bhagiratha was warned by Brahma that earth will not be able to hold Ganga while descending from heaven, so he must seek the help of Lord Shiva, the only one who can withstand the power of Ganga. Bhagiratha pleaded with Lord Shiva to help him and Shiva agreed to receive Ganga in his matted locks. Ganga was arrogant and tried to drown Shiva by pushing him to the core of the earth, but the mighty Shiva easily held her in his locks.   Shiva’s tie was so strong that Ganga became helpless.

Lord Shiva wanted to teach Ganga a lesson, but instead released her in seven streams as he was satisfied with the prayers of Bhagiratha. The seven streams of Ganga are Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda. Ganga became calm and followed Bhagiratha, who lead her to his ancestors and with her purity, released their souls.
There are a number of legends associated with Ganga and the different names she has at different places. This is but one.

Ganga is considered to be the most sacred river in India and it originates from the depths of Gangotri glacier. Ganga, otherwise known as Ganges, brings purity to human life. By bathing in her sacred waters one is purified to the core of their being.

Bhagiratha’s great effort in bringing Ganga to earth is known as “Bhagiratha Prayatna”. What would you consider to be the noble quality of Bhagiratha – his strong affection to his ancestors or his determination to meet any challenges to attain the ultimate goal?

Hindu God Shiva: Destroyer & Creator

Posted on March 05, 2013 by Ashley Lovett
Hindu God Shiva as Lord of Dance Nataraja
Shiva destroys and creates the world anew as the Lord of Dance, Nataraja!

When many first hear of the Hindu God of Destruction, Shiva, they automatically think of something evil or alarming.  They think him something to be feared.    Yet, his powers are constructive, not just destructive.   He brings about necessary and beneficial transformation.   It can be said that the world is in a constant state of flux.   Just as life is given at birth, so too must it eventually cease to exist.   In that same regard, the world is constantly evolving and partaking in birth, deaths, and rebirths.

Hindus believe that Hindu God Shiva is responsible for the destruction of the universe in order that he may then re-create it into a more perfect form.  They believe that even now he infiltrates the world in order to shed illusion and destroy the worlds many imperfections.  Not only is he the Destroyer, he can also be thought of as a god of change or formation, causing a constant cycle of destruction and creation in order to bring about necessary good.

There is no doubt that the world as we know it houses many flaws.    In order to bring about real change, Hindus look to Shiva to re-create the world in a better image.  Worshipers look to him for guidance in ridding their troubles.  They may pray upon a Shiva statue so that he may bring about renewal in the world.  Many worship Shiva as their primary God.   Join Hindu’s around the world in worshiping Hindu God Shiva for both his destructive and constructive qualities.

Bring a Shiva or other Hindu statues into your home or place of worship from Lotus Sculpture.

The Hindu God Ayyappan, Son of Shiva & Vishnu

Posted on February 20, 2013 by Kyle Tortora
Hindu God Ayyappan
View the Bronze 15 inch Statue of the Hindu God Ayyappan

The legend and history are intermingled in the genesis of the Hindu God Ayyappan. It is believed that Ayyappan was born as progeny of the union of the Hindu God Vishnu and the Hindu God Shiva. Vishnu appeared as Mohini, the beautiful enchantress – the alluring damsel appearing at the time of the churning of the Ocean Of Milk to entice the asuras and divide the nectar (Arnrith) among the Devas themselves. Shiva succumbed to the beauty of Mohini and Ayyappan was born out of this union. Hence his other name Harihara Putra (HARI-Shiva, HARA-Vishnu, PUTRA-Son). Ayyappan is regarded as the third son of Shiva, the other two being Ganesha and Murugan.

Ayyappan, the Celibate God of Kerala, is host to every religious trend and practice the Hindu faith ever manifested in its entire history. His temple is unique in India, in that there is no distinction of caste or religion in determining who can enter it. Non-Hindus are equally welcome.

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