It is like Christmas in June!
We have just received a new shipment of South Indian bronze and north Indian brass statues from India. This shipment has been in the works since our last buying trip to India in April, 2016. We have been looking forward to receiving it for so long and am so happy to start offering them on Lotus Sculpture!
We still have a lot to unpack but when you can start finding them at these two links when they are posted:
Ganges (Ganga) is the most revered and sacred river in the Hindu Mythology. None of the rivers in the world has been able to win so much love and attention from people as Ganga. She is worshipped by the name Ganga Maiya (Mother Ganga) and the Gangajal (Ganga = Ganges; jal = water) is believed to wash away all sins and grant the devotee salvation. No other river has been mentioned in the Puranas as much as the holy Ganges.
Here is how Lord Vishnu has narrated the importance of river Ganges to Garuda.
Meaning: Thousands of man’s sins are destroyed by the holy sight of the Ganges, and he becomes pure, by the touch of Ganges water, by having it, or by just pronouncing ‘Ganga-Ganga’.
River Ganga originates from the Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh in the Indian Himalayas. She flows 2,525 km across northern India before emptying to the Bay of Bengal in the east India and Bangladesh.
Birth of Ganga
As per Hindu Mythology, Ganga is the daughter of Brahma, born from his kamandala (a spout shaped vessel), when he was washing the feet of Vamana (The dwarf Brahmin incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
In Valmiki Ramayana, Ganga is depicted as the daughter of King Himavat and Queen Menaka. She is the sister of Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort.
According to the Vishnu Purana, Ganga was created from the sweat of Lord Vishnu’s feet.
Among the various interesting stories of Ganga, the most popular story is from Bramha Rishi Vishwamitra’s Ramayana Bal Kand, where he narrates about Bhagirath and the descent of Ganga to Earth.
King Sagar – the ruler of Ayodhya and an ancestor of Lord Rama decided to perform the Ashwamedha (great horse sacrifice) to become more powerful. Indra, the king of Gods, became jealous and stole the horse for yaga. Indira tied the horse near Sage Kapila’s ashram, where the sage was meditating in the deep forest. The king along with his 60000 sons began to search for the horse in the nether world and at last found it near Sage Kapila.
Assuming that the sage had stolen the horse, the princes began to insult the sage and tried to free the horse. The princes continued to disturb the meditation of the sage and made him angry. The furious sage with the yogic fire of his eyes burnt all the princes into ashes. King Sagar was disturbed and asked his grandson, Anshuman to search for the princes.
Ashuman’s search ended in the front of the yaga horse and a heap of ash. He also saw the Sage Kapila near to it. He bowed and inquired what happened to the princes. The sage narrated the whole incident and Anusham broke down in grief. He pleaded for forgiveness and for the salvation of the princes. Sage Kapila was pleased and instructed Anushman to bring the holy Ganga to earth as she can only help them to wash away the sin and attain salvation.
In order to attain salvation to his relatives, Anshuman started doing penance on the Himalaya, but it was in vain. His son Dilip also tried to please Lord Brahma and bring Ganga. However, he also failed in his mission. Bhagiratha, the son of Dileep, took penance after his father. Bhagiratha was so dedicated that Lord Brahma was pleased and granted the permission to bring Ganga to earth.
Goddess Ganga was asked to descent to earth, but she felt it as an insult and decided to sweep away everything that came her way. Bhagiratha felt the fierce power in the flow of her current and understood that he needed to do something in order to stop the mighty river from destroying the world. In order to avoid this catastrophe, Bhagiratha prayed to Shiva and requested him to hold Ganga in his matted hair (jata).
At the request of Bhagiratha, Shiva agreed to hold Ganga in his hair locks. At first Ganga thought that no one would be able to withstand her power and descended to the Earth with all her power. Shiva decided to teach her a lesson and held her in his matted locks. Ganga tried to get free, but failed to escape from the Great Shiva. After one year of rigorous penance of Bhagiratha, Shiva was pleased and released Ganga. Ganga understood the greatness of Lord Shiva and asked for his forgiveness. Shiva is known as Gangaadhara as Lord Shiva absorbed the flow of Ganga and saved the earth from flooding, by receiving Ganga on his matted locks.
Shiva was pleased and released Ganga as seven streams – Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Janhvi, Saraswati, Bhilangana, , Rishiganga, and Mandakini. Ganga followed Bhagiratha, but with her tremendous speed destroyed almost all the nearby villages and forests. Sage Jahnu became angry as his hermitage was drowned by Ganga. By using his yogic power, Sage Jahnu drank the whole Ganga. Bhagiratha pleaded for the Sage’s forgiveness and he released Ganga from his thigh by cutting it and for this reason Ganga is also called ‘Jahnavi’ or ‘Jahnusta’.
Maharishi Agastyaas has emptied all the oceans on Earth by drinking all the water, so Ganga first filled the oceans and quenched the taste to Earth. Ganga touched the ashes of the sixty thousand ancestors of Bhagiratha and blessed them to attain eternal rest in heaven.
There are numerous forms of worship among Hindus, of which Puja is one of the more popular. The most widely accepted and followed system of Puja is the Shodasa – Upachara Puja, or 16 – Service worship.
The main purpose of this type of Puja is two-fold. Primarily it is to uplift the five senses of the worshiper, and by doing so elevate him to a higher level of consciousness that will promote good thoughts and actions. Secondarily it draws upon the Indian traditions of honoring a guest, wherein each upachara is a service to the deity who takes presence in the sculpture for the duration of the Puja.
Dhyaana – Meditating on the deity that is being invoked.
Aavaahana – Inviting the deity into the altar.
Aasana – Giving the deity a seat.
Paadya – Washing the deity’s feet with clean water.
Arghya – Offering the deity water to rinse hands and mouth.
Aachamana – Offering the deity water to drink.
Snaana – Bathing the deity with various auspicious items.
Vasthra – Dressing the deity with clean clothes.
Yagnopaveetha – Offering the deity a clean sacred thread.
Gandha – Spreading fresh sandalwood paste on the deity.
Pushpa – Offering fresh flowers while chanting the deity’s names.
Dhoopa – Spreading incense smoke throughout the altar.
Deepa – Waving a lamp to illuminate the freshly decorated deity.
Naivedya – Offering the deity food.
Taambula – Offering the deity a refreshing mix of betel nut and leaves.
Pradakshina& Namaskara – Circumambulating the altar and bidding farewell to the deity.
Among these sixteen services, five hold more importance than the rest. Together these five services are referred to as the pancha – upacharas, and include gandha, pushpa, dhoopa, deepa, and naivedya. Collectively, these five services engage the five senses.
Gandha – Touch
Sandalwood paste cools the skin and is a natural insect repellant.
Pushpa – Hearing
The recitation of the deity’s names that accompanies each flower engages the ears.
Dhoopa – Smell
Incense envelops the entire temple with a refreshing fragrance for the nose.
Deepa – Sight
The lamp illuminates the deity and brings out the beauty of the icon to the eyes.
Naivedya – Taste
Food that has been offered to the deity is eaten and entices the taste buds.
The Hindu Goddess Saraswati is known as the mother of Vedas and the synonym of knowledge, music, craft, wisdom, arts and auspiciousness. It is believed that appeasing Goddess Saraswati will remove all the obstacles that one will encounter during his or her career or education. Saraswati is known by different names, such as Vak Devi, the goddess of speech and Sakala Kaladhistatri, goddess bestowing all the arts.
Here, are lists of mantras that are widely used by students to score high in exams. It is believed that students, who after working hard failed to succeed in exams and these mantras, have helped them to attain their goal.
1. Bija Mantra of Saraswati
Aing Saraswathye Namah
Meaning: Salutations to Goddess Saraswati
2. Vidya Mantra for students: This sloka is found to improve memory, power and concentration in studies.
Siddhir Bavathume Sadha
3. Saraswati Vandana
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa,
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara,
aa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara
prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee
Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa|
Meaning: May the Goddess Saraswati protect me. She is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops. She is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena, and whose throne is a white lotus. She is surrounded and respected by the Gods. Please remove my weariness, sluggishness and ignorance.
Meaning: I plead to Goddess Saraswati who is fair in color, the first and foremost divine energy, who is present in the world in the form of knowledge, who wields a Veena, Vedas, Sfatik rosary in her hands and one of whose hands is raised in blessing. She is the one who is capable of eliminating ignorance and bestow intelligence.
6. Maha Saraswati Mantra: This simple mantra is mainly used by students to make learning easy.
Om Aim Hrim
Kleem Maha Saraswati Devaya
7. Saraswati Mantra to recite before study
Sidhir bhavathu mey sada
Meaning: O, Goddess Saraswati, my humble prostrations unto Thee. She is capable of fulfilling all my wishes. I request you to bestow thy blessings on me, before I start my studies.
8. Saraswati Mantra for Success in Education and Career
Vageeshwaryae Vidmahe Vagwadeenyae
Dhimahe Tannah Saraswati Prachodayat
This mantra is also known as Gayathri of Saraswati
9. Saraswati Mantra
Vidyam dehi namosthuthe
Meaning: Oh great Goddess Saraswati, the lotus-eyed personified knowledge. Oh, I request you to shower me with all the powers and glories of all knowledge that exist. She has large-eyes, taking the form of the whole universe.
10. Saraswati Mantra for Acquiring Knowledge
Vad Vad Vaagwaadinee Swaha
11. Saraswati Mantra for Enhancing Intelligence
Aing Hreeng Shreeng
Vaagdevyai Saraswatyai Namah
12. Saraswati Mantra for Wealth and Knowledge
Arham Mukha Kamal Vaasinee
Paapaatma Kshayam Kaari
Vad Vad Vaagwaadinee Saraswati
Aing Hreeng Namah Swaaha
13. Saraswati Ashtakshara Mantra: This mantra comprises of the 12 names of Goddess Saraswati and it is advised that all knowledge seekers should practice it, to gain high and pure knowledge.
Pratham Bharti naam l
Dwitaya tu Saraswati l
Trutiya Sharda Devi l
Chaturth Hansavahini l
Pancham Jagatikhayata l
Shasth Maheshwari tatha l
Saptham tu Kaumari l
Astham Bhramacharini l
Navam Vidhyadhatrini l Dasham Vardayini l
Ekadasham Rudraghanta l
Dwadasham Bhuneshwari l
Atani Dwadsho Naamami l
Y Patcchrnuyaadpi l
Nach Vidhna Bhav Taysa Mantra Siddhiker Tatha l
14. Mantra for Knowledge: Reciting this mantra will increase the mental capability and will considerably increase the knowledge gain.
Namo Bhagwati Saraswati Parmeshwari
Vaagvaadini Mam Vidhya Dehi Bhagwati
Bhans Vaahini Hans Samarudha Buddhi
Dehi Dehi Pragya Dehi Dehi
Vidhya Parmeshwari Saraswati Swaha
15. Mantra for illumination: This mantra is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati to illuminate the minds of knowledge seekers.
Arnah Saraswati Pracheyati Ketuna,
Dhiyo Vishwa Virajati
View All Our Mantras to Hindu Gods including English and Sanskrit translations
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