Paramparah
awaken the indian in you

Jan
25

Who was Chanakya?

For centuries to come and the centuries that went by, which recorded in history talking of the great men and legendary characters who shaped time through their vision and exemplary actions. Chanakya, perhaps is the only personality who has been accepted and revered as a genius both by Indian and Western scholars. He is a historical milestone in the making of India amidst tremendous upheavals and myriad’s of reversals. Celebrated as a shrewd statesman and a ruthless administrator, he comes across as the greatest of diplomats of the world. He had the guts to speak his heart out even in front of the rulers, which shows his strong inclination to democratic values and the audacity to put his views through. Although, he lived around the third century BC, his ideas and principles show concurrence and validity in the present day world. Politics was his forte. Diplomacy in a politically charged environment shows his self-confidence and the ability to stay calm in trying situations.
His foresight and wide knowledge coupled with politics of expediency founded the mighty Mauryan Empire in India. He was a great laureate of economics with a glittering intellect to perceive the intricate dynamics of the various economic activities and principles.
The centuries that succeeded him show distinct effects of his thoughts on the way a kingdom is managed and other facets of economic administration. Even today, one of his maxims on taxation is very much alive and calls for adherence by the governments of the world. According to Chanakya, “Taxation should not be a painful process for the people. There should be leniency and caution while deciding the tax structure. Ideally, governments should collect taxes like a honeybee, which sucks just the right amount of honey from the flower so that both can survive. Taxes should be collected in small and not in large proportions”.
Chanakya, apart from being a man of wisdom and unfailing strategies, propounded Nitishastra, the ideal way of living for every individual of the society. He looked at the country like a person surrounded by problems. He worked at the total annihilation of problems by the roots. The re-appearance of troubles only shows its growth. His contribution to foreign policy in the present day world is immense. Universities teach his principles to aspiring foreign policy experts showing the infallability of his principles. Chanakya’s art of diplomacy is well known across India and practiced in the areas of defence, strategy formation and foreign relations.
Quite remarkably, long before Clausewitz came up with the quote, which said “War is only the continuance of state policy by other means”, Chanakya had already written it in his book ‘Chanakyaniti’. Most of his views were so farsighted that they appeared to be prophesies. Talking on diverse subjects such as corruption, he commented very rightly, “It’s just as difficult to detect an official’s dishonesty as it is to discover how much water is drunk by the swimming fish”.
As a person, Chanakya has been described variously, as a saint, as a ‘ruthless administrator’, as the ‘king maker’, a devoted nationalist, a selfless ascetic and a person devoid of all morals. He created controversy by saying ‘The ends justify the means’ and the ruler should use any means to attain his goals and his actions required no moral sanctions. All his written works namely, ‘Arthashastra’, ‘Nitishastra’ and ‘Chanakyaniti’ were unique because of their rational approach and an unabashed advocacy of real politic. His views were dimensionally novel. He recommended even espionage and the liberal use of provocative agents as machineries of the state. In politics, he even attested the use of false accusations and killings by a king’s secret agent without any ambiguities. The observance of morals and ethics was secondary to the interests of the ruler. Some of his stark views made him into an ambivalent personality for the world.
This great statesman and philosopher has been often compared to Machiavelli, Aristotle and Plato, exemplifying his potentiality and influential status. He has been criticized for his ruthlessness and trickery and praised for his profound political wisdom. Chanakya, the timeless man, was in pursuit of truth fearlessly 2000 years ago and was proved right with Vivekanand’s words, “Arise, Awake, Sleep not till the goal is reached”.

His Dreams:
Chanakya envisioned India as a nation which would place itself as the forerunner – politically, economically and socially. His magnum opus, “Arthashatra”, depicts in many ways the India of His dreams. When he wrote this volume of epic proportion, the country was ridden in feudalism and closed and self-sufficient economy. The economy based on indigenous ways of production; was in a transitional phase, moving towards the advanced aspects of distribution and production. Culture and regional politics directed the way in which trade was done. The main activities of the economy were agriculture, cattle rearing and commerce. Among the three, Chanakya considered agriculture to be the most important constituent of the economy. It’s a fact today that the Indian economy of today is an agro based one. Covering various topics on administration, politics and economy, it is a book of law and a treatise on running a country which is relevant even today.
People who think that the society in which we live will remain the same; are dissuading themselves of the truth. Society is a complex and dynamic system changing constantly leaving those people behind who say no to change. Broadly speaking, Chanakya dreamt of a country reaching the following levels of development in terms of ideologies and social and economic development.

• A self sufficient economy which is not dependent on foreign trade.
• An egalitarian society where there are equal opportunities for all.
• Establishment of new colonies for the augmentation of resources. He also advocated the development of the already annexed colonies. His imperialistic views can be interpreted as the development of natural and manmade resources.
• According to Chanakya, the efficient management of land is essential for the development of resources. It is essential that the state keeps an eye on the occupation of excess land by the landlords and unauthorized use of land. Ideally the state should monitor the most important and vital resource – Land.
• The state should take care of agriculture at all times. Government machinery should be directed towards the implementation of projects aimed at supporting and nurturing the various processes; beginning from sowing of seeds to harvest.
• The nation should envisage to construct forts and cities. These complexes would protect the country from invasions and provide internal security. The cities would act as giant markets increasing the revenue of the state.
• Internal trade was more important to Chanakya than external trade. At each point of the entry of goods, a minimal amount of tax should be collected. The state should collect taxes at a bare minimum level, so that there is no chance of tax evasion.
• Laws of the state should be the same for all, irrespective of the person who is involved in the case. Destitute women should be protected by the society because they are the result of social exploitation and the uncouth behavior of men.
• Security of the citizens at peace time is very important because state is the only savior of the men and women who get affected only because of the negligence of the state. Antisocial elements should be kept under check along with the spies who may enter the country at any time.
• Chanakya envisioned a society where the people are not running behind material pleasures. Control over the sense organs is essential for success in any endeavor. Spiritual development is essential for the internal strength and character of the individual. Material pleasures and achievements are always secondary to the spiritual development of the society and country at large.

By writing “Arthashastra” and “Nitishastra”, Chanakya has become a never ending phenomena. He has truly guided the generations with his wisdom . It would ideally suit the closing of the life of Chanakya with a couple of quotations by Chanakya. “The secret task of a king is to strive for the welfare of his people incessantly. The administration of the kingdom is his religious duty. His greatest gift would
be to treat all as equals.”
“The happiness of the commoners is the happiness of the king. Their welfare is his welfare. A king should never think of his personal interest or welfare, but should try to find his joy in the joy of his subjects.”
These words were written 2300 years ago by Chanakya, the expert statesman and wise sage. And Chanakya is also another name for courage and perseverance.

Will post back some of Chanakya’s Niti’s later… :)

Jan
22

After my post on the Seven Rishis, i thought i should post about the Seven Strategies…

These were the strategies according to Chanakya as described in his Arthashasthra.

Every person in this world, uses one of these methods to succeed in Business or at work or elsewhere.

If you just sit back and think these are the most successful strategies which have been described by the Western World of course, already tested and implemented in India long before the Westerners did.

The strategies are:

  1. Sanman – Appeasement, non-aggression pact
  2. Danda – Strength, punishment
  3. Dana – Gift, bribery
  4. Bheda – Divide, split, separating opposition
  5. Maya – Illusion, deceit
  6. Upeksha – Ignoring the opposition
  7. Indrajala – Faking any kind of strength, Eg: Military Strength.

The Next post will definitely be on who Chanakya was and how he changed the face of then India…

Till Later then…

Jan
18

The Saptarshi are the seven rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and Hindu literature. The Vedic Samhitas never actually enumerate these rishis by name, though later Vedic texts such as the Brahmanas and Upanisads do so. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The Big Dipper asterism is also called Saptarshi.

The earliest list of the Seven Rishis is given by Jaiminiya Brahmana: Vasiṣṭha, Bharadvāja, Jamadagni, Gautama, Atri, Viśvāmitra, and Agastya, followed by Brihadaranyaka Upanisad with a slightly different list: Gautama and Bharadvāja, Viśvāmitra and Jamadagni, Vasiṣṭha and Kaśyapa, and Atri. The late Gopatha Brāhmana has Vasiṣṭha, Viśvāmitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Bharadvāja, Guṅgu, Agastya, and Kaśyapa.

In post-Vedic texts, different lists appear; some of these rishis were recognized as the ‘mind born sons’ (Sanskrit: manasa putra) of Brahma, the representation of the Supreme Being as Creator. Other representations are Mahesha or Shiva as the Destroyer and Vishnu as the Preserver. Since these seven rishis were also among the primary eight rishis, who were considered to be the ancestors of the Gotras of Brahmins, the birth of these rishis was mythicized.

Saptha Rishis are the Hierarchy working under the guidance of the Highest Creative Intelligence, God. The present batch of the Sapta Rishis: Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa, Vasishta, Pulastya, Pulalaha and Kratu. Their work is to help every soul to go back to its Source, God. They live in the highest plane, Satya Loka. They have their representative Rishi in the Himalayas who is assisted by 1,440,000 Rishis (Light Workers) living in different parts of the earth. They monitor and guide the processes that help people to transit to the Light Age (Satya Yuga). They bring down to the earth the required Knowledge and Energies to strengthen the processes of Transition (Pralaya). They are naturally the most evolved Light Beings in the Creation and the guardians of the Divine Laws

In post-Vedic religion, Manvantara is the period of astronomical time within a Kalpa, a “day (day only) of Brahma“; like the present Śveta Vārāha Kalpa, where again 14 Manvantaras add up to create one Kalpa.

Each Manvantara is ruled by a specific Manu, apart from that all the deities, including Vishnu and Indra; Rishis and their sons are born anew in each new Manvantara, the Vishnu Purana mentions up to seventh Manvantara.

Manvantara in Hindu units of time measurement, on a logarithmic scale

First Manvantara – the interval of Swayambhu Manu

Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vashishtha

Second Manvantara – the interval of Swarochisha Manu

Urja, Stambha, Prańa, Dattoli, Rishabha, Nischara, and Arvarívat.

Third Manvantara – the interval of Auttami Manu

Sons of Vashishtha: Kaukundihi, Kurundi, Dalaya, Śankha, Praváhita, Mita, and Sammita.

Fourth Manvantara – the interval of Támasa Manu

Jyotirdhama, Prithu, Kavya, Chaitra, Agni, Vanaka, and Pivara.

Fifth Manvantara – the interval of Raivata Manu

Hirannyaroma, Vedasrí, Urddhabahu, Vedabahu, Sudhaman, Parjanya, and Mahámuni.

Sixth Manvantara – the interval of Chakshusha Manu

Sumedhas, Virajas, Havishmat, Uttama, Madhu, Abhináman, and Sahishnnu.

The present, seventh Manvantara – the interval of Vaivasvata Manu

Kashyapa, Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja. There are many contradictory lists of the names of the Saptarshis. These usually include Atri, Kashyapa and Vasishta, but the other four are varying. One such list is used in the Sandhyavandanam: Atri, Bhrigu, Kautsa, Vasishtha, Gautama, Kashyapa and Angirasa. Other lists include Vishwamitra and Jamadagni.

Saptarshis given in major Hindu texts

1. The Satapata Brahmana and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad acknowledge the names of seven rishis (or Saptarshis) as:

The Saptarshi’s are the one’s who govern the functioning of the Cosmos.

Sep
28

Durga Pooja

According to Hindu mythology a demon named Mahishasura, earned the favor of Lord Shiva after a long and hard penance. Lord Shiva, impressed with his devotion, blessed him that no man or deity would be able to kill him and that only a woman can kill him. Mahishasur was very pleased with this boon as he thought that a woman can never defeat him. Arrogant Mahishasura started his reign of terror over the Universe and people were killed mercilessly. He even attacked the abode of the gods and conquered the heavens and became their leader.

The Defeat of Gods
After their defeat and humiliation at the hands of Mahishasur, the gods took refuge under Lord Brahma, who took them to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The only solution left was the creation of a woman who possesses the ultimate power to fight and defeat Mahishasur. Pure energy blazed forth from Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – the trinity forming the pure energy of Godhood, all concentrating at one point that took the form of Goddess Durga.

Culmination Of Energies
Her face reflected the light of Shiva, her ten arms were from Lord Vishnu, her feet were from Lord Brahma, the tresses were formed from the light of Yama, the god of death and the two breasts were formed from the light of Somanath, the Moon God, the waist from the light of Indra, the king of gods, the legs and thighs from the light of Varun, the god of oceans and hips from the light of Bhoodev (Earth), the toes from the light of Surya (Sun God), fingers of the hand from the light of the Vasus, the children of Goddess river Ganga and nose from the light of Kubera, the keeper of wealth for the Gods. The teeth were formed from the light of Prajapati, the lord of creatures, the Triad of her eyes was born from the light of Agni, the Fire God, the eyebrows from the two Sandhyas i.e., sunrise and sunset, the ears from the light of Vayu, the god of Wind. Thus from the energy of these gods, as well as from many other gods, was formed the goddess Durga.
Goddess Durga
Power of Weapons
The gods then gifted the goddess with their weapons and other divine objects to help her in her battle with the demon, Mahishasura. Lord Shiva gave her a trident while Lord Vishnu gave her a disc. Varuna, gave her a conch and noose, and Agni gave her a spear. From Vayu, she received arrows. Indra, gave her a thunderbolt, and the gift of his white-skinned elephant Airavata was a bell. From Yama, she received a sword and shield and from Vishwakarma (god of Architecture), an axe and armor. The god of mountains, Himavat gifted her with jewels and a lion to ride on. Durga was also given many other precious and magical gifts, new clothing, and a garland of immortal lotuses for her head and breasts.
The beautiful Durga, bedecked in jewels and golden armor and equipped with the fearsome weaponry of the gods, was ready to engage in battle with the fierce and cruel Mahishasura. Mahishasura and his demon allies found their attention drawn from heaven to Earth, as Durga’s power moved its way towards heaven. Though confident of their power and control in heaven, the demons could not help being awestruck.

The Battlefield
As Mahishasura’s armies were struck down effortlessly by Durga, it became obvious to him that he was not as secure in heaven as he had thought. No demon could fight her and win. Her breath would replenish her armies – bringing back to life all of her soldiers who fell. The demons were in chaos and were easily defeated and captured. Mahishasura was shocked and enraged by the disastrous events on the battlefield. He took on the form of a demonic buffalo, and charged at the divine soldiers of Durga, goring and killing many and lashing out with his whip-like tail. Durga’s lion pounced on the demon-buffalo and engaged him in a battle. While he was thus engaged, Durga threw her noose around his neck.

Mahishasura then assumed the form of a lion and when Durga beheaded the lion, Mahishasura escaped in the form of a man who was immediately face to face with a volley of arrows from Durga. The demon escaped yet again and then having assumed the form of a huge elephant, battered Durga’s lion with a tusk. With her sword Durga hacked the tusk into pieces.

The Victory
The demon reverted once more to the form of the wild buffalo. He hid himself in the mountains from where he hurled boulders at Durga with his horns. Durga drank the divine nectar, the gift of Kuber. She then pounced on Mahishasura, pushing him to the ground with her left leg. She grasped his head in one hand, pierced him with her sharp trident held in another, and with yet another of her ten hands she wielded her bright sword, beheading him. At last he fell dead, and the scattered surviving remnants of his once invincible army fled in terror.

Goddess Saraswati

Ayudha Pooja

The ninth day is also the day of the Ayudha Puja. After the slaying of Mahishasura and other demons by Chamundeswari, there was no more use for her weapons. So the weapons were kept aside and worshipped. This Ayudha puja is being celebrated since ancient times. The importance of Ayudha Puja on this occasion may also be due to the fact that on the Vijayadasami day, Arjuna took back his weapons which he had hidden in a Shami tree in order to lead a life in disguise for the promised period of exile. It is believed that one who begins or renovates his learning to work on the Vijayadasami day will secure a grand success as Arjuna did in Kurukshetra war.

The Ayudha Puja is a worship of whatever implements one may use in one’s livelihood. On the preceding evening, it is traditional to place these implements on an altar to the Divine. If one can make a conscious effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses each day, it will help one to see one’s work as an offering to God. It will also help one to maintain constant remembrance of the divine. In India it is customary for one to prostrate before the tools one will use before starting one’s work each day; this is an expression of gratitude to God for helping one to fulfil one’s duties.

Ayudha Puja is an integral part of the Dasara festival (festival of triumph), a Hindu festival which is traditionally celebrated in India. It is also called “Astra Puja”, the synonym for Ayudha Puja. In simple terms, it means “Worship of Implements”. It is celebrated in Karnataka (in erstwhile Mysore State) as “Ayudha Puje” in Tamil Nadu as Ayuda Pujai and in Kerala as Ayudha Puja The festival falls on the ninth day or Navami of the bright half of Moon’s cycle of 15 days (as per Almanac) in the month of September/October, and is popularly a part of the Dasara or Navaratri or Durga Puja or Golu festival. On the ninth day of the Dasara festival, weapons and tools are worshipped. In Karnataka, the celebration is for killing of the demon king Mahishasura by goddess Chamundeshwari. After slaying of the demon king, the weapons were kept out for worship. While Navaratri festival is observed all over the country but in South Indian states, where it is widely celebrated as Ayudha Puja, there are slight variations of worship procedure.[1][2][3]

The principal Shakti goddesses worshipped during the Ayudha puja are Saraswati (the Goddess of wisdom, arts and literature), Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) and Parvati (the divine mother), apart from various types of equipment; it is on this occasion when weapons are worshipped by soldiers and tools are revered by artisans.The Puja is considered a meaningful custom, which focuses specific attention to one’s profession and its related tools and connotes that a divine force is working behind it to perform well and for getting the proper reward.[2][5]

In the cross cultural development that has revolutionized the society, with modern science making a lasting impact on the scientific knowledge and industrial base in India, the ethos of the old religious order is retained by worship of computers and typewriters also during the Ayudha Puja, in the same manner as practised in the past for weapons of warfare.[6][7]

Two mythological legends relate to this festival:

The popular legend, which was also practiced symbolically by the Maharajas of Mysore, alludes to a historical legend. It is said that on Vijayadashami day Arjuna, third of the five Pandava brothers, retrieved his weapons of war from the hole in the Shami tree where he had hidden it before proceeding on the forced exile. After completing his exile period of 13 years including one year of Agyatavas (living incognito) before embarking on the war path against the Kauravas he retrieved his weapons. In the Kurukshetra war that ensued, Arjuna was victorious. Pandavas returned on Vijayadashami day and since then it is believed that this day is auspicious to begin any new venture.

Another legend is of a pre-battle ritual involving human sacrifice as part of the Ayudha Puja (considered a sub-rite of Dasara festival that starts after the rainy season and is propitiated before launching military campaigns). This practice is no more prevalent. Now, instead of a human sacrifice, buffalo or sheep sacrifice is in vogue, in some Hindu communities. The past practice is narrated in the Tamil version of Mahabharata epic. In this ritual, prevalent then in Tamilnadu, ‘Kalapalli’ was a “sacrifice to the battlefield”, which involved human sacrifice before and after battles. Duryodhana, the Kaurava chief was advised by astrologer (Sahadeva) that the propitious time for performing Kalapalli was on amavasya day (New Moon day), one day before the start of Kurukshetra war and Iravan (son of Arjuna), also spelt Aravan, had agreed to be the victim for the sacrifice. But Krishna, the benefactor of Pandavas smelt trouble and he devised a plan to persuade Iravan to be the representative of the Pandavas and also of the Kauravas. Krishna had suggested to Yudhishtira-the eldest of the Pandavas, to sacrifice Aravan to goddess Kali as a part of Ayudha Puja. After this sacrifice, Kali had blessed Pandavas for victory in the Kurukshetra war. Similar cult practices (considered as Draupadi cult practices) were prevalent in North Karnataka also but the ritual of human sacrifice was done one day after the Dasara on a stone altar outside a Kali temple.

Sep
28

The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava meaning Nine and Ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshipped.

Nine forms of Shakti are worshipped during the Navaratris. The Devis worshipped depend on the tradition of the region.

Significance

The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. Being the oldest religion in the world, Hinduism has numerous belief systems.

In Hinduism the adherents believe in one omnipresent God but may worship HIM in any of the numerous manifestations that are prevalent all over India. Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of God in form of Shakti [Energy or Power]. Dasahara, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dussehra in popular parlance. The Navaratri festival or ‘nine day festival’ becomes ‘ten day festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) are worshipped with fervour and devotion.

During Navratri, it is customary in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala to display Bombe / Golu. (also Kolu, or Bommai Kolu). This is an exhibition of various dolls and figurines in odd (usually 7, 9, or 11) numbered tiers (padis / steps). Generally, when people come to a person’s house to see the Bombe / Golu, they are given prasad (the offering given to God that day), kumkum and a small bag of gifts. These are only given to girls and married women. In the evenings, a “kuthuvilakku” (small lamp) is lit, in the middle of a decorated “kolam“(Rangoli), before the Bombe / Golu and devotional hymns and shlokas are chanted. After performing the puja, the food items that have been prepared, are offered to the Goddesses.

Bombe / Golu is adorned with dolls – predominantly with that of the Gods and Goddesses depicting mythology. It is a traditional practice to have at least some wooden dolls. On the 9th day (Saraswati Puja), special pujas are offered to Goddess Saraswati – the divine source of wisdom and enlightenment. Books and musical instruments are placed in the puja and worshipped as a source of knowledge. Also tools are placed in the pooja – as part of “Ayudha Pooja”. Even vehicles are washed and decorated, and puja performed for them.

The 10th day, “Vijayadasami” – is the most auspicious day of all. It was the day on which evil was finally destroyed by good. It marks a new and prosperous beginning. New ventures started on this day are believed to flourish and bring prosperity. Kids often start tutoring on this day to have a head start in their education.

In the evening of “Vijayadasami”, the “Mara Bombe” from the Bombe / Golu” is symbolically put to sleep and the Kalasam is moved a bit towards North to mark the end of that year’s Navaratri Bombe / Golu. Prayers are offered to thank God for the successful completion of that year’s Golu and with a hope of a successful one the next year! Then the Bombe / Golu is dismantled and packed up for the next year.

Sep
01

The First Post id dedicated to Lord Ganesha, invoking his blessings we would want to start off this Blog .

May Lord Ganesha bless us to awaken the Indian in ourselves.

Ganesha — the elephant-deity riding a mouse

Lord Ganesha

The Lord of Success
The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. In fact, Ganesha is one of the five prime Hindu deities (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Durga being the other four) whose idolatry is glorified as the panchayatana puja.

Significance of the Ganesha Form
Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse.

How Ganesha Got His Head
The story of the birth of this zoomorphic deity, as depicted in the Shiva Purana, goes like this: Once goddess Parvati, while bathing, created a boy out of the dirt of her body and assigned him the task of guarding the entrance to her bathroom. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was surprised to find a stranger denying him access, and struck off the boy’s head in rage. Parvati broke down in utter grief and to soothe her, Shiva sent out his squad (gana) to fetch the head of any sleeping being who was facing the north. The company found a sleeping elephant and brought back its severed head, which was then attached to the body of the boy. Shiva restored its life and made him the leader (pati) of his troops. Hence his name ‘Ganapati’. Shiva also bestowed a boon that people would worship him and invoke his name before undertaking any venture.

However, there’s another less popular story of his origin, found in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana: Shiva asked Parvati to observe the punyaka vrata for a year to appease Vishnu in order to have a son. When a son was born to her, all the gods and goddesses assembled to rejoice on its birth. Lord Shani, the son of Surya (Sun-God), was also present but he refused to look at the infant. Perturbed at this behaviour, Parvati asked him the reason, and Shani replied that his looking at baby would harm the newborn. However, on Parvati’s insistence when Shani eyed the baby, the child’s head was severed instantly. All the gods started to bemoan, whereupon Vishnu hurried to the bank of river Pushpabhadra and brought back the head of a young elephant, and joined it to the baby’s body, thus reviving it.

Ganesha, the Destroyer of Pride
Ganesha is also the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations.

Ganesha Symbolism

This Remembers me of some Shloka’s too:

“Shuklaambara Dharam Vishnum, Shashi Varnam Chatur Bhujam
Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet, Sarva Vighna Upashaanthaye”

Meaning: Lord Ganesha always dressed in white represents purity. He is omnipresent with gray complexion like that of ash glowing with spiritual splendor. The Lord with bright countenance has four arms. I meditate on the God who can destroy all obstacles whether material or spiritual.

“Vakratunda Mahakaaya, Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva, Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada”

Meaning: Lord Ganesha has a curved trunk with a powerful body. He has the brilliance of a million suns. May the Lord, remove all the problems from the actions I aim to achieve.

“Ekadantam Mahaakaayan, Taptakaajnchanasannibhamh
Lambodaram Vishaalaaxam, Vandeaham Gananaayakamh”

Meaning: Obeisance to Lord Ganesha, the one tusked, huge-bodied, big-bellied, and large-eyed God, whose complexion is like that of molten gold. I surrender myself to such great lord.

“Srikantho Mathulo Yasya, Jananee Sarva Mangalaa
Janakaha Sankaro Devaha, Tam Vande’ Kunjaraananam”

Meaning: The lord, for whom Lord Vishnu is the Uncle, whose mother is the divine auspicious one, Parvati and whose father is Lord Shiva. I offer salutations to Sri Ganesha, the Omkara.

“Prasanna Vinaayakam Devam, Perivana Pura Samsthitham
Sarva Vigna Haram Nithyam, Vandhe Sri Kunjaraananam”

Meaning: The Lord Sri Prasanna Vinaayaka, who lives in his Temple of Pearland; one who removes all obstacles of all his devotees at all times; one who has the Omkara face of the elephant. I pray to the divine Ganesha.

Starting here one we would post on the topics we are looking at covering in Paramparah and also, stries on Indian Mythology…

Till the next Post Then,

Karthik

Aug
11

India has a varied and diverse culture and heritage. Although we as Indians blindly believe this statement, accepting it as each generation passes down this line of wisdom, how many of us have bothered to find out for ourselves this ‘varied and diverse culture and heritage’?

Culture is not tradition; culture is not historic in nature. Culture is our way of life! Culture is how we as Indians decide to blend what we have today and what our ancestors had.

The concept behind ‘’Paramparah’ is that every Indian is given a reasonable opportunity to know his or her country better, to be able to appreciate his/her heritage better, and more importantly understand his/her true culture. Patriotism is not just about standing in attention for the national anthem or shedding a tear or two at the sight of a patriotic movie. Patriotism is feeling oneness with one’s country! And this oneness will be brought about only if one is given the opportunity to know about India and feel proud about the kaleidoscope of culture that thrives in such perfect harmony amidst so many beliefs and faith!

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