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White Marble Shipment from Varanasi, India Arrived Oct 17th, 2018

In 2016 I took a trip to Varanasi, India to buy white marble statues from Vijay.  After 2 years of waiting the shipment has finally arrived!
The shipment contains white marble, black marble and sunnar stone of Hindu gods and the Buddha.  Included were 8 huge statues of the Buddha, Shiva, Ganesh, Saraswati and Lakshmi!
You can view all our marble statues from this shipment here, View Marble Statues


 Unloading a crate with a 4 foot tall white marble Lakshmi in it

All the crates inside the warehouse

The crates were HUGE!

6 foot tall painted Lakshmi and Ganesha statues

6 foot tall Saraswati and Shiva along with 4 foot tall statues of Durga, Shiva and Lakshmi

You can view all our marble statues from this shipment here, View Marble Statues

Or you can look for these and other new arrivals posted daily in our New Arrivals page.

Our next shipment will be a wood and marble shipment from South India arriving on October 19th!

Vibhuti & Sindur

Vibhuti and Sindur, (or holy ash and kumkum) is found in just about every Hindu household around the world. Men apply what is called a tilak and women apply what is called a bindi. The use of the coloured powder and ash is essential to Hindus and the Indian culture as a whole. They even call the god Shiva as “Digambar”; meaning clad-in-sky or clad in ashes. It is not uncommon to see many priests and monks walking about India covered head-to-toe in ash.

Vibhuti( Holy ash) in a steel cup

Vibhuti is a very fine white ash substance made from burning a specific kind ofwood during Agamic rituals. Vibhuti plays an extremely special role for the followers of Shiva, unlike the other sects which use primarily kumkum or sandalwood paste. Devotees of Shiva will either have three horizontal lines drawn on their foreheads or they will be covered entirely in ash. The vibhuti is also used during rituals in temples for Shiva.

Sindur, or more commonly called Kumkum, is a red-vermillion shaded powder made from turmeric powder mixed with lime. The acid in the lime causes the orange turmeric powder to turn a rich red when mixed and dried. Sindur plays a much more important role in the lives of women in India as almost all of them will adorn a bindi. Having sindur along the partition of a woman’s hairline indicates that she is married; women who are single simply where a single red dot and the widowed wear no bindi at all.

In temples and many people’s home shrines, vibhuti and sindur are applied to the foreheads and feet of the murtis. Often devotees will touch the sindur covered feet of a murti and then use that sindur to apply a tilak or bindi. The ash & powder are also used in other rituals in which they are liberally applied to smaller statues and the devotees foreheads’. Often, guests at one’s home will have a tilak or bindi applied when they walk through the threshold as in indian culture it is customary to literally treat their guests as though they were a statue in a temple.

If you happen to be interested in purchasing vibhuti or kumkum, Amazon has an amazing selection. Click here to view. Warning, be cautious of any cosmetic products you may purchase, always check the ingredients.

3 Important Things to Know About Shiva Murtis

Om Namah Shivaya! Shiva is the most popular of all Hindu deities & is worshiped throughout the Indian subcontinent and greater southeast Asia. He is revered as the lord who is responsible for maintaining the cycle of existence; including its beginning and conclusion. Being the patron deity of yoga & meditation, he is considered to be ultimately formless, omnipresent, and the Atman(eternal soul) of the universe itself. In his less abstract depictions, he is depicted as Bholenath, an ascetic yogi who lives in the Himalayas. It is said that lord Shiva grants his followers Moksha(liberation from reincarnation), & eternal happiness and bliss. In this article, one can find some useful vastu & traditional tips and guidelines on Shiva murtis!

diagram of where to place the mandir in a home

  • Where to place Shiva’s murti in the home

According to Vastu Shastra(traditional vedic architecture) there are specific places that one should seat the murti in order to reinforce & strengthen the vibrations & energies they give off. It is most ideal to place lord Shiva &|or his Lingam in the northeastern most part of the mandir or whatever space chosen; as is tradition with most murtis. Another reason for this is that it is said lord Shiva & goddess Parvati reside on mount Kailash and that the symbolic placing of Shiva, Ganesh, & Parvati murtis in northeastern corners is done in homage to this myth.

  • To Shiva Lingam, or not to Shiva Lingam? That is the question.

To answer that question simply: yes. Definitely yes. It’s not exactly a shrine to Shiva without his most sacred symbol. The Lingam stone is an abstract representation of the deva and is considered as a literal manifestation of Shiva’s omnipresence & formlessness. There are many myths about the do’s & don’ts of placing lord Shiva in the mandir, and the biggest myth is that you should only keep a single image of Shiva as multiple murtis cause a disruption in the mandir’s vibrations. This is not exactly so. Though Lingas are generally kept somewhat secluded in the mandir, it is not uncommon to have a second murti of Shiva-ji meditating or in his Nataraja(cosmic dance) posture raised on a platform & placed immediately behind the Lingam or adjacent to it.

  • General upkeep

The general upkeep of Shiva murtis in the home mandir is incredibly important! Thankfully, Shiva isn’t a very difficult deva to appease. Simply make sure the mandir is always clean, offer puja at least once a week, and make sure to meditate in front of the murti daily; once just after waking & again just before bed. The only offerings that are necessary for Shiv puja are water, uncooked rice, flowers, incense, and vibhuti(holy ash). One should also always try to keep a small candle or diya(brass oil lamp) lit next to the Shiva murti|Shiv Lingam; however, this is not absolutely necessary as sometimes it can be a fire hazard. It’s mainly a traditional thing.

3 most important things to know about Ganapati Murtis

Ganesh, also known as Shri Ganapati, is one of if not the most popular of all Hindu deities. He’s worshiped and honoured regardless of hindu denomination. So much so, his reverence spreads to even Buddhist and Jains alike. Being the patron of arts & science, remover of obstacles, keeper of wisdom, and lord of beginnings, it’s hard to not like him!  Ganesha can be found in just about every Hindu shrine due to these attributes, so here are the most important things to keep in mind when placing your Ganapati murti!

  • Where to place the Murti in home

Most are not aware, but there are specific places one may place the Ganapati Murti in order to strengthen the vibrations of bliss and success. It is ideal to seat the Murti in the northeastern most part of the home. If any other murtis are present, it is most proper for Ganesh to be seated to the right hand side of these murtis if he is not to be the center of the mandir. According to the Vastu Shastra(traditional vedic architecture), this positioning aids with the flow of chakra in the temple. It is also extremely common to have a small picture or idol of Ganesh next to or above the entryway of the home &|or puja room as it is said this acts as a blessing for those coming and going.

  • Posture of the Murti

Ganesha murtis come in many postures, & each gives off an entirely different vibration for a completely different purpose. The most common type is the sitting or meditating position. This posture is called the lalitasana. Sometimes rather than having both legs folded, one leg will be on the ground while the other rests upon his vahana(his mouse). This denotes that he is concerned with earthly affairs & is here to aid his followers and remove obstacles while his meditating pose where both legs are folded creates an atmosphere of calm and determination. His dancing or standing  posture is for those seeking a creative, energetic, & artistic atmosphere. His sitting postures are best for the home while his standing postures are best for work environments.

  • Position of the Trunk

Ganesh murti trunk hanging in the center and curled to the left This is a key aspect of Ganesh murtis that is often overlooked but should never be! When purchasing a Ganapati murti, be very very choosy. The trunk is the most important aspect of this specific murti. There are three main styles: Vamamukhi, Dakshinmukhi murti, and Shushumna. Vamamukhi trunks hang to the left & are the easiest to please and are associated with calmness, success, & happiness. They are also sometimes called Vastu Ganesh because he is perfect for solving vastu related issues. Whereas, Dakshinmukhi murti trunks hang to the right. It is believed that the sun’s energy flows through this murti’s trunk & because of this, owning one is not recommended as they require special care as per vedic tradition. If one worships this murti properly, it is said to grant immediate results & moksha(liberation from reincarnation); however, if one doesn’t follow the proper tradition then it is said that all the good results gained from the worship are burned away by the sun’s energy. The final kind is called Shushumna. With trunks hanging down straight, these statues are rather rare and considered extremely auspicious. 

How to Make a Base for your Garden Statue

On an almost daily basis I have people asking me about a base or stand for their garden Buddha and Hindu statues.  Many times the statue is perfect but on some occasions an extra 6 or 12 inches is needed to make it ideal for their space.  Here are 3 things that I tell to everyone on how to go about fashioning a pedestal for your statue.

This stone garden Buddha statue is raised on a base of local river stone surrounded by paving stones to raise the entire bed up about 12 inches

Look locally

I feel that each region has its own dominant colors and textures found in nature.  San Diego is a desert and thus there is a tan sandstone, desert feel to it.  The northeast of the States has fall colors and granite stone.  Look at the colors in your back yard and then head down to a local masonry store, quarry or anywhere that would sell local stone.  See if they sell chunks of local stone.  Most likely you will find many smaller pieces that would need to be placed together but you may get lucky enough to find a whole block!

Pavers

Head over to your local hardware store and see what they have for pavers.  These can easily be arranged in whatever shape and height you would like.  I have seen pavers used with and without mortar so you may not need to make too much of a mess.

Build your own base! 

The perfect base made from a concrete mold!

This is the most do-it-yourself option of the 3.  A customer of ours sent in a picture to our #mylotussculpture page with one of our Buddha Head fountains on a beautiful base and I immediately noticed the base the Buddha head was on.  This option is great because you have control over the shape and the height of the base.  Here are the directions he gave to me for making a base:

a. We bought a oval 40 gallon Tuff Stuff Tub from Tractor Supply and used it as a mold. We chose that because the edges were curved and gave the base a nice shape for Buddha and around the right size.
b. Mixed concrete and charcoal colored dye in the tub itself and just added the right amount of concrete to get the base height we wanted. Then when the concrete cured, we flipped it over to use as the base. It comes out very easily. We applied satin polyurethane to the base to keep it scratch resistant and look a little darker. It probably cost around $60 to do this.

If you have any other suggestions please email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to add them!

This Brass Ganesha is set on a golf course in Texas where the natural stone in the surrounding area is this bright rust color! Ganesh fits into the local setting beautifully!
The customer went to the local masonry store and picked up the perfect block of local stone for Garden Ganesha!
4 rows of pavers lifted the Buddha head up an additional 24 inches!
The customer created a base using local left over shale stone
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