OM Bhur Bhuvas Suvaha
Tat Savitur VareNyaM
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah prachodayat
We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who has created the Universe;
Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance;
May He enlighten our Intellect.
The Gayatri Mantra is from the Rig Veda (iii, 62, 10), which has existed in written form for at least 2500 to 3500 years. (Some accounts date the original text to be over 6000 years old, but rather than being overly concerned about a precise date, let us focus our attention on the meaning of this glorious mantra and how it can enrich and illuminate our life here and
Meaning of Gayatri is
- gaya: vital energies
- trayate: preserves, protects, gives deliverance, grants liberation
The word Mantra means instrument of thought, sacred text, or a prayer of praise.
So, the two words “Gayatri Mantra” might be translated as: a prayer of praise that awakens the vital energies and gives liberation.
And indeed, this is such a prayer.
In his book Sadhana, Sri Swami Shivananda wrote:
“Of all the mantras, the supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri Mantra.
It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. It is only one’s faith and purity of heart that really count. Indeed, Gayatri is an impregnable spiritual armor, a veritable fortress that guards and protects its votary, which transforms him into the divine, and blesses him with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.
… It is universally applicable, for it is nothing but an earnest prayer for Light, addressed to the Supreme Almighty Spirit.
… This single mantra repeated sincerely and with clear conscience, brings the supreme good.”
Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra is often prefaced with either a short invocation or a long invocation and is often followed with a closing.
This invocation is acknowledging and joyously celebrating that Om is bhur, Om is bhuvas, and Om is suvaha, Om is everything.
The terms bhur, bhuvas, suvaha (maha vyahritis) are invocations to honor the planes of our existence and to call to our aid the presiding deities of the three planes in which we live our ordinary life: the physical, astral and mental planes.
The three lokas (bhur, bhuvas, suvaha) are the bija (seed) mantras of the devatas called Agni, Vayu and Aditya who are being invoked to assist in our transformation. (See Chandogya Upanishad (IV, xvii, 1-3) and (II, xxiii, 3)).
Then Prajapati reflected on the three lokas and from this reflection was born OM. As veins pervade all leaves, so Om pervades all sound. Verily all this is Om! Verily all this is Om!
The short preamble is simply these four words:
As with the shorter version, this invocation is a recognition that there are many worlds, all empowered by the nameless, formless, birthless, deathless which is symbolized by om…. om is everything.
These seven lines of the long invocation are the seven lokas, or planes, of existence, and are used not only to recognize and honor the planes of existence, but also to call the presiding deities of those planes to aid in our transformation and realization:
The seven lokas, may be briefly described as:
bhuhu – earth, the physical world
bhuvaha – astral/desire/breath, the world of becoming
suvaha – mental, the world of thinking
mahaha – causal, silent mind, the world of emotion
janaha – world of creative generation
tapaha – world of intuition
satyaM – world of Absolute Truth
This recital of the lokas begins with the gross, physical world filled with separation and differences and then each, in sequence, becomes more refined, more transcendent, more unified, more all-encompassing.
The recitation of the lokas, done with intent and clarity, prepares one for the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra by harmonizing and attuning one with all the worlds.
Body of the Gayatri Mantra:
The body of the Gayatri Mantra is written as:
The transliterated text is:
om tat savitur vareNyaM
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Swami Shivananda’s translation of the Gayatri Mantra is:
We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who has created the Universe;
Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance;
May He enlighten our Intellect.
Here’s a simple word-by-word translation:
Om – Om (Brahman, the One, the Godhead, Supreme Deity)
tat – that (referring to Savitri, Paramatma, God)
savitur – (mw1190) – Savitri, the Spiritual Sun (that from which all is born), the One Light, the all-pervading Consciousness
O nourishing Sun, solitary traveller, controller, source of life for all creatures, spread your light and subdue your dazzling splendour so that I may see your blessed Self. Even that very Self am I!
Isa Upanishad (16)
vareNyaM – most excellent, adorable, fit to be worshipped, venerable, worthy of being sought
bhargo – (mw748) – radiance, effulgence, splendour (the light that bestows understanding)
devasya – divine, of the deity
dhimahi – we meditate upon… or may we meditate upon, reflect upon, be devoted to
dhiyo – prayer, noble thoughts, intuition, understanding of Reality (buddhis)
yo – he who, the one who
nah – our, of us
prachodayat – may he energize, direct, inspire, guide, unfold… or he who energizes, directs, inspires, guides, unfolds
bhur bhuvas suvar om
Om apo jyoti rasamrita brahma
bhur bhuvas suvar om
This beautiful closing pays tribute to the myriad forms of the One. A simple translation is:
Om, the Water, the Light, the very Essence in which we exist, the Absolute, the physical world, the astral realm, the mental realm, all are Om.
Daily spiritual practice:
The beautiful rhythmic patterns, soothing ancient sounds and powerful intent make the Gayatri Mantra a magnificent part of daily spiritual practice.
The Gayatri Mantra combines the effects of mantric sound with the effects of a deep and profound prayer, resulting in a combination which is exceedingly potent.
As with all spiritual practices, this is a vehicle for intent. The stronger and greater the intent, the stronger and greater the results.
All Gauri Shankar Rudraksha represent this powerful Gayatri mantra.
Ganesha, commonly known as and easily recognized as the Elephant-God, is one of the most popular deities of the Hindu pantheon. The Son of Parvati was given the name Ganesha by Shiva. The word Ganesha is made up of gana (followers of Shiva) and isha (lord), as Shiva appointed him the lord of his ganas. Ganesha is known as one who removes all obstacles. He is considered to be the god of wisdom, prudence and prosperity. He is the personification of material‚ universe in all its various magnificent manifestations. His names are repeated first before any auspicious work is begun and before any kind of worship is begun. He is the God of power and wisdom. He is the eldest son of Shiva and the brother of Skanda or Kartikeya.
Ganesha has many names. The main ones are GANAPATI (lord of the tribe or attendants), VIGNESHWARA (controller of all obstacles), VINAYAKA (the prominent leader), GAJANANA (elephant faced), GAJADHIPATI (Lord of elephants), LAMBKARNA (long eared), LAMBODARA (pendant -bellied) and EKADANTA (having one tusk), GAJAVADANA (the elephant face), SHOOPRA-KARNA (winnowing pan like ears), CHATURBHUJA (four hands) three of them carrying Pasha (a rope), ANKUSHA (a spear-like weapon curved at one end) and MODAKA (a pudding like sweet dish).
Birth of Lord Ganesh to Parvati.
Once while Parvati was going for her bath, she rubbed off the dust and oil from her body and out of it created the figure of a young boy. She infused life into the figure and told him he was her son and should guard the entrance when she went to bath. Soon after, Shiva came to see Parvati but the young boy blocked his way and would not let him in. Shiva, unaware that this lad was his son, became furious and in great anger fought with the boy whose head got severed from his body in the ensuing battle. Parvati, returning from her bath, saw her headless son and in aggrieved anguish threatened to destroy the heavens and earth. The Gods and Shiva pacified her and the latter sent out his ganas, or hordes to bring the head of the first living being with his head towards the north (the auspicious direction associated with wisdom). The first living creature they found sleeping with his head to the north was an elephant. They brought the head of this animal and Shiva placed it on the trunk of Parvati’s son and breathed life into him. Parvati was overjoyed and embraced her son, the elephant-headed boy whom Shiva named Ganesh, the lord of his ganas “Ganpati”.
Story: Shiva and Parvati used to play with their two sons, Ganesh and Kartikeya. The gods had given them a marvelous fruit. Each boy wanted to get it for him alone. Their parents explained them that the nectar of the Supreme Knowledge and of Immortality was hidden in that fruit. To get the fruit, both had to compete. The winner should run three times around the world and come back first. Kartikeya left at once. Riding his peacock, he flew in the sky stopping at every sacred place on his way, praying and worshipping the gods. Ganesh was fully aware of his stout body; it slackened off him badly. The rat, his vehicle, was rather slow and would not be able to beat Kartikeya.
But his wisdom suggested him the right solution. He turned round his parents, Shiva and Parvati, showing a deep devotion. When they asked him why he did not start his journey around the world, he replied: “My parents Shiva and Shakti are the Whole Universe. In them is located the World. I do not need to go further”. Of course, he won the contest, and the fruit. This legend emphasizes the importance of cleverness which is always the best against force, speed or physical strength.
Ganesh Chathurti (festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha) is a very popular festival celebrated by Hindus all over India. This Ganesh Chathurti is celebrated as one of the important festival all over India. His grace, we receive the grace of all. He removes any potential obstacles and enables our endeavors to succeed.
Om Ekadanthaya vidmahe
Tanno danthih prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra :
We devote our thoughts to the One Tusked Lord
We meditate upon Him who has a Curved trunk
May the tusked one guide us on the right path.
- Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of god Vishnu, is half-lion half-human. This incarnation is to to alleviate the sufferings of devotees symbolizing fight against evil and tyranny. Lord Narayana is considered to be the origin of the other transcendental forms of God. From Narayana, Vasudeva is manifest, and from Vasudeva, Sankarsana is manifest (Agni-purana 48.13). And according to the scriptures, Lord Narasimha is an expansion (amsha) of Sankarsana.
Lord Narsimha Himself is recognized in the scriptures by a variety of forms, distinguished by the arrangements of weapons in the hands, His different postures, or other subtle distinctions. Of these more than seventy-four forms, Nine are very prominent (Nava-narasimha):
Ugra-narasimha – or Ahobila Narasimha in fierce form
Yoga-narasimha – who blessed Lord Brahma
Lakshmi-narasimha – Malola-narasimha or Prahlada-varada Narasimha (with Lakshmi on His lap and blessing Prahlad)
The most popular form of Narasimha is Lakshmi Narasimha
Story of Lord Narasimha
Hiranyakashipu (the brother of Hiranyaksha who was killed by the Varaha Avtar) wanted to take revenge on the Devatas and in particular on Lord Vishnu. He wanted to become the master of all the three worlds – Heaven, Earth & Pathala. He went to Mount Mandarachala and began penance which continued for years. Due to the intensity of Penance, Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyakashipu asked for immortality as boon. Brahma, however, declined, saying “All living beings must face death Hiranyakashipu. You can, however, choose your death wish.”
Hiranyakashipu then asked for three conditions, as his death wish, “‘O Brahma, let not death come to me either by man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, or earth or in sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over the world”. Brahma agreed and Hiranyakashipu got his death wishes granted. Thus he became practically immortal.
After securing such a boon Hiranyakashipu conquered the worlds and became a tyrant. He banned all poojas on Vishnu and declared himself as God. The Devtas approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu asked them to be patient and said, “Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahlad is a devotee of me. When Hiranyakashipu seeks to kill my devotee I will slay him.”
Hiranyakashipu’s wife Kayadhu gave birth to Prahlad in the Ashrama of Narada who told Prahlad about the glory of Lord Vishnu. Prahlad grew up and became an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu, however, wanted his son to be the king of the Asuras, strong and ruthless. Realising that Prahlad always prayed to Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu took his son to Shanku and Amarka, the sons of Shukracharya, for schooling. All their efforts to inflence Prahlad failed.
Hiranyakashipu ordered his servents to kill Prahlad if he refused to accept the supremacy of his father. They tried to kill him by throwing down a mountain, drowning, poisoning, burning etc. and failed in all attempts since Lord Vishnu saved him from all the attempts. The king got angry on hearing the reports about Prahlad.
One day the king challenged his son in the open court: “Prahlad! Is my enemy, whom you worship, present anywhere here?”.
Prahlad replied, “Vishnu is omnipresent. There’s not a single place where he’s not found”
Hiranyakashipu’s fury was at its climax. He got an iron pillar heated and asked Prahlad, “Can you embrace this pillar if your Vishnu is in it also?”
Prahlad did not hesitate even for a moment but rushed towards the pillar and embraced it. The heated iron did not burn him. The king got up from his throne in fury and hit the pillar with his mace. And to his surprise! The pillar cracked with a thundering sound and Vishnu appeared there in the form of Narasimha.
One half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and terrible teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.
Hiranyakashipu remembered his first death wish, “To be killed by some one who is neither human nor beast.” It was also the twilight hour, neither day nor night, the second death wish.
The demon king hit Narasimha with his mace but Narasimha brushed it aside swiftly. It was twilight and Narasimha caught hold of the demon Hiranyakashipu.
He sat on the threshold of the court room, placed the body of the demon on his thighs, and pierced his nails into the body of the demon and broke open his stomach. The demon was killed on the spot in a moment. The place was neither inside nor outside. This was Hiranyakashipu’s third death wish.
Lord Narasimha was furious and roared. However, he was pacified when Prahlad touched his feet and goddess Lakshmi also tried to cool him. Lord Narasimha then made Prahlad the King.
Sri Narasimha Gayatri Mantra
Om Narasimhaya Vidmahe
Vajra Nakhaya Dhimahi
Tanno Narasimhah Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, let us meditate the half-man and half-lion form of Lord Narasimha. May this great God with his diamond nails piercethe veil of ignorance and his fierce sharp-tooth destroy the demon of darkness and illuminate our mind and understanding.
Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom and learning. Saraswati is the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa). She is considered as the personification of all knowledge – arts, sciences, crafts and other skills. She has a beautiful and elegant presence, is pure white in colour, clad in a white sari, seated on a white lotus, representing purity and brilliance. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning; mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She has the sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on the veena.
Goddess Saraswati is the consort of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Scripture says that when Brahma resolved to create this world, he went into deep thought. In the course of his contemplation, there appear a hollowed mark on his forehead. After a few moments there is a girl emerged from that celestial sign. Lord Brahma asked: “Who are you? “The girl replied: “My birth has been from your contemplation. Pease give me work.” Lord Brahma asked her to live on the tongue of people and regulate their speech as “Vageshwari”, the goddess of speech. While Brahma is the lord of creation, Saraswati is the goddess of creativity.She is the personification of wisdom, learning, intelligence, music and art. As the incarnation of speech, she presides over knowledge.
The Rigvedic hymns dedicated to Saraswati mention her as a mighty river with creative, purifying, and nourishing properties. Veda says that the path of knowledge has the power to dispel ignorance of what is permanent and what is passing. Celebrating Saraswati is a call to the higher mind, the beginning of a deep desire to understand the purpose and meaning of life.
Goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful, white -skinned goddess, dressed in pure white often seated on a swan (carrier) or on a white lotus. She is mainly associated with the color white, which signifies the purity of true knowledge. She is not adorned heavily with jewels and gold, dressed modestly – representing her preference of knowledge over worldly material things.
Saraswati depicted wearing white cloths. because the colour white is a symbol of the purity of true knowledge which she bestows on the seeker. Similarly, her association with the swan and the peacock too stress the wisdom aspect. The swan is said to have the ability to separate milk from water and drink milk only, which is a metaphor of the way a seeker has to continually discriminate between what is real and permanent and what is transient. The peacock’s vanity at its own beautiful plumage is a reminder of how a true seeker of knowledge has to learn to detach himself from the body by understanding the transitory nature of physical appearance.
Om Vakdeviyai cha Vidmahe
Virinji Pathniyai cha Dhimahi
Tanno Vani Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on the goddess of speech, Oh, wife of Lord Brahma, give me higher intellect, And let Goddess Vani bestows the devotee with the memory, Knowledge and the power of speech.
Shiva, the destroyer, is one of the three supreme gods in Hindu mythology. The other two are Brahma, the creator, and Vishnu, the preserver. Shiva’s destructive powers are awesome, but they also have a positive side in that destruction usually leads to new forms of existence. A glance from the third eye in the center of his forehead has the power to destroy anything in creation, including humans and gods. In the Vedas, a collection of ancient sacred texts, Shiva is identified with the storm God Rudra. According to one myth, Shiva first appeared when Brahma and Vishnu were arguing about which of them was more powerful. Their argument was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a great blazing pillar whose roots and branches extended beyond view into the earth and sky. Brahma became a goose and flew up to find the top of the pillar, while Vishnu turned into a boar and dug into the earth to look for its roots. Unsuccessful in their search, the two gods returned and saw Shiva emerge from an opening in the pillar. Recognizing Shiva’s great power, they accepted him as the third ruler of the universe.
Shiva is a complex god with many roles and powers. In his destroyer role, he often haunts cemeteries, wearing a headdress of snakes and a necklace of skulls. A band of terrifying demons, hungering for blood, accompanies him. Yet despite his destructiveness, Shiva can be helpful to humans and other gods. He acts as a divine judge who shows no mercy to the wicked. He gains spiritual strength from periods of meditation deep thought in the Himalayas. When he dances, he represents truth, and by dancing he banishes ignorance and helps relieve the suffering of his followers. According to one myth, Shiva saved the gods and the world from destruction by swallowing the poison of Vasuki, a serpent the gods used to produce the water of life. Drinking the poison made Shiva’s neck blue, and he is often shown that way in art.
One of Shiva’s greatest services to the world was to tame the sacred Ganges River, which flows from the Himalayas. At one time, the Ganges passed only through the heavens, leaving the earth dry. After a wise man changed the course of the river, it became a raging torrent and threatened to flood the earth. Shiva stood beneath the river and let its waters wind through his hair to calm its flow.
Shiva is believed to be at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, because of his responsibility for death and destruction. Unlike the godhead Brahma, the Creator, or Vishnu, the Preserver, Shiva is the dissolving force in life. But Shiva dissolves in order to create, since death is the medium for rebirth into a new life. So the opposites of life and death and creation and destruction both reside in his character.
The extra eye represents the wisdom and insight that Shiva has. It is also believed to be the source of his untamed energy. On one occasion, when Shiva was distracted in the midst of worship by the love god, Kama, Shiva opened his third eye in anger. Kama was consumed by the fire that poured forth, and only returned to life when parvati intervened.
He is also often portrayed as the supreme ascetic with a passive and composed disposition. Sometimes he is depicted riding a bull called Nandi decked in garlands. Although a very complicated deity, Shiva is one of the most fascinating of Hindu gods.
Since Shiva is regarded as a mighty destructive power, to numb his negative potentials he is fed with opium and is also termed as ‘Bhole Shankar’, one who is oblivious of the world. Therefore, on Maha Shivratri, the night of Shiva worship, devotees, especially the menfolk, prepare an intoxicating drink called ‘Thandai’ (made from cannabis, almonds, and milk) sing songs in praise of the Lord and dance to the rhythm of the drums.
Om Tat Purushaya Vidmahe
Tanno Rudra Prachodayat
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let me meditate on the great Purusha, Oh, greatest God, give me higher intellect, and let God Rudra illuminate my mind.”
Lakshmi is the auspicious goddess of wealth and fortune, whether it is material or spiritual. The word ”Lakshmi” has been derived from the Sanskrit word Lakshay, meaning “aim” or ”goal”. Goddess Lakshmi suggests the aim of life, which includes all worldly and spiritual success. Lakshmi is the divine consort of Lord Vishnu and provides with wealth for the maintenance and preservation of the creation.
Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, luxury, fertility, fortune, purity, beauty, power, generosity and auspiciousness. She is claimed to fulfil the promises of material, wealth and contentment.
According to the Hindu mythology, the sacred name of Lakshmi is ”Shri”. Whether in written or verbal form, ”Shri” always suggests presence of goddess Lakshmi in it. ”Shri” is written at the top of most of the documents. It is usually spoken before addressing a god, or any revered individual. The usage of ”Shri” itself evokes grace, affluence, abundance, authority and auspiciousness. The word ”Shri” is spoken or written, an aura of holiness is established. Sri is associated with the material side of life, just like the word ”Om” is associated with the spiritual side of life
Generally, Lakshmi is portrayed as a beautiful lady with golden complexion, dressed in red color attire and adorned with precious jewels. Lakshmi has four hands representing the four ends of human life, Kama(desires), and death. She holds lotus bud in two of her hands, which stands for beauty, purity, spirituality and fertility. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth.
Cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, illustrating that she blesses people with wealth. The constant effort of two elephants is often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. It denotes that, in accordance with one’s dharma when governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity. The personal charm of Lakshmi is considered par excellence. An aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exists around her.
Lakshmi resides in a place where virtue, righteous- ness, truth and compassion prevail. Goddess Lakshmi is considered to stay at a clean place. Wealth is required to meet the basic needs of life. People worship Lakshmi for the well being and prosperity of the family.
On the auspicious night of Diwali, Hindus worship Lakshmi ceremonially at home, pray for her blessings. It is believed that on this night the goddess herself visits the homes and replenishes the inhabitants with wealth.
Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty, wealth and good fortune in the Hindu Mythology. Goddess Lakshmi is one of the most popular goddesses among the Hindus. Maha Lakshmi is the divine consort of Lord Vishnu and assists him with wealth for the maintenance of the universe. Lakshmi fulfils all the wishes of her sincere devotees. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped to attain wealth, beauty and good luck.
Sri-Lakshmi’s nature two general meanings seem apparent. First, the lotus is a symbol of fertility and life which is rooted in and takes its strength from the primordial waters’ The lotus symbolizes vegetative growth that has distilled the life-giving power of the waters into embodied life. The lotus, and the goddess Sri-Lakshmi by association, represents the fully developed blossoming of organic life. At the macrocosmic level the lotus might be taken as a symbol of the entire created world. The lotus growing from the navel of Vishnu marks the beginning of a new cosmic creation. The frequent use of the lotus in Tantric mandalas also points to the lotus as a symbol of the entire created universe. The lotus suggests a growing, expanding world imbued with vigorous fertile power. It is this power that is revealed in Sri-Lakshmi. She is the nectar (the rasa) of creation which lends to creation its distinctive flavour and beauty. Organic life, impelled as it is by this mysterious power, flowers richly and beautifully in the creative processes of the world.
The second meaning of the lotus in relation to Srl-Lakshmi refers to purity and spiritual power. Rooted in the mud but blossoming above the water, completely uncontaminated by the mud, the lotus represents spiritual perfection and authority. A common motif in Hindu and Buddhist iconography is the lotus seat. The gods and goddesses, the Buddha’s and bodhisattvas, typically sit or stand upon a lotus, which suggests their spiritual authority. To be seated upon or to be otherwise associated with the lotus suggests that the being in question-god, Buddha, or human being-has transcended the limitations of the finite world (the mud of existence, as it was) and floats freely in a sphere of purity and spirituality. Sri-Lakshmi thus suggests more than the fertilizing powers of moist soil and the mysterious powers of growth. She suggests a perfection or state of refinement that transcends the material world. She is associated not only with royal authority but with spiritual authority as well and she combines royal and priestly powers in her presence.
Om Mahalaxmiyei Vidmahe
Vishnu Patniyai cha Dhimahi
Tanno Lakshmih Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on the greatest goddess, Who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, Give me higher intellect, And let Goddess give the wealth and prosperity.
Goddess Durga is the embodiment of the divine force of the Almighty. The word Durga, in Sanskrit means “the invincible”. Durga Devi represents power, strength, morality and protection. Maa Durga is the destroyer of sin and protector of morality. Goddess Durga is also known as Shakti (Power).
Durga is known as the Mother of the Cosmos with infinite power to protect her devotees from all kinds of destructive forces. Goddess Durga has many names like Sati, Parvati, Gauri, Ambika, Amba, Shakti, Bhavani, Bhadrakali and Kalika and symbolises Mahamaya, Maha meaning Great and Maya meaning illusion. The Cosmic manifestation is interpreted as Maya or illusion of the entire universe or all that is created and that is not easily understood by mortals. The combined creative energies of Consciousness (Lord Shiva) with the supreme truth praised as Shakti (Power) Devi Durga, in Sanatan Dharma, have been given a feminine attribute due to its creative aspect and is extended to it and hence the power or energy is worshipped in a female form, a Mother who is responsible for the entire Srishthi or Cosmic creation.
Mahishasura who was the king of Asuras for many years were granted a boon by Lord Brahma that no man or god can kill him. This gave him the power to fight and rule the entire world. He started attacking heaven and urged his battalion of asuras to kill people and take away their wealth. Even gods were driven away from heaven and Mahishasura took the throne. The gods did not have any other way out of this terrorism and requested Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva for help. To solve this issue the three lords combined their divine energy into a feminine form that illuminated the heaven. From this glow Goddess Durga Devi emerged as a beautiful woman with ten arms riding a lion. Durga was born to kill the demons and so she was completely armed in each of her ten arms with divine weapons of each god and sent against Mahishasura for a fierce battle. When Mahishasura disguised as buffalo Devi beheaded the buffalo and then Mahishasura emerged in his original form. Then Devi Durga pierced his chest and relieved the world from evil power.
She is always busy destroying evil and protecting mankind from all pain and suffering. She is also seen as demon fighting version of Lord Shiva’s wife, Parvati. She is depicted as having eight or ten hands which represents eight quadrants or ten directions of Hinduism. She appears with three eyes where the left eye represents desire, the right eye represents action and the central eye represents knowledge hence the name ‘Triyambake’. Mother Durga rides over a lion which symbolizes her mastery over the qualities of power, will and determination. She possess different kinds of weapons in her arms like mace, sword, disc, arrow and trident which conveys that one weapon cannot be used to destroy all kinds of enemies, but different kinds of weapons has to be used. She has the sacred conch which emanates the sound of creation ‘AUM’.
Durga Puja during the Navaratri festival is the main festival associated with the Goddess. Durga Pooja is the biggest Hindu festival celebrated throughout India. This falls in the month of September – October and the goddess is worshipped in nine forms these days. The goddess is dressed each day as a different devi like Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Parvati, and Goddess Lakshmi. On first day she is Shailputri, second day Brahmacharini, third day Chandraganta, fourth day Kushmanda, fifth day Skanda Mata, sixth day Katyayani, seventh day Kalratri, eighth day Mahagauri and ninth day Sidhidatri. The eight day of Navratri Festival is known as Durgashtami and weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped on this day. The day of Durga’s victory is celebrated as Vijayadasami. There is also an elemental ritual of immersing the idol of Goddess Durga into the holy river of Ganga which points to cyclical regeneration.
Goddess Durga is believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation and destruction of the world. She is the divine mother who protects mankind from all evils and miseries and also destroys selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger and ego. Thus Goddess Durga represents a united front of all Divine forces against the negative forces of wickedness and evil.
Om Giri-jayai cha vidmahe
Sivapriyayai cha dhimahi |
Tanno Durgih pracodayat ||
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let us meditate on Girija Devi, Daughter of the Mountain. May that beloved of Lord Shiva inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”
The story of Lord Kartikeya’s birth is given in Kumar Sambhavam. Sati, the consort of Shiva immolated herself at the site of the Daksha Yagna, which was later destroyed by Shiva. Sati was reborn as Uma, or Parvati the daughter of the mountain king Himavaan (the Himalayas). Shiva withdrew himself from the universe and engaged himself in yogic meditation in the Himalayas.
In the meanwhile, the demon Surapadma ravaged the earth and tormented its beings. It was realized by the gods that only the son born of Shiva and Parvati could lead the gods to victory over Tarakaasuran, Surapadman and their demon companions. They plotted with Kaama, the lord of desire, to shoot a flower arrow at Shiva, as he sat in meditation, so as to make him fall in love with Parvati. When Kaama aimed his arrow at Shiva, he opened his third eye and burned him to ashes instantly. Upon hearing the pleas of Kama’s wife Rati, he brought back Kama to life, in flesh and blood for her sake, and in a formless state for others.
His penance disturbed, Shiva fell in love with Parvathi. However, the sparks of the fiery seed of Shiva were unbearable; even the fire God Agni could not bear them; this fire was then transported by the river Ganga into the Sara Vana forest, where Sara Vana Bhava (Kartikeya) was born. He was raised by the six Kartika damsels. Parvati combined these six babies into one with six faces, ie. Shanmukha.
In south India Lord Kartikeya is very popularly known as Murugan. The other names of Kartikeya, as breast-fed by six KRITTIKA deities he is called ‘KARTIKEYA’. Since he has six faces, he is SHANMUKHA Because of his omniscience, he is ‘SUBRAMANYA’ as he gathered a huge army to kill the demons, he is also called ‘ MAHASENA . Since he captained the army of the gods in the fight with the Rakshasas, he was given the title of SENANI or ‘Commander’. Since he was born out of the life-source that slipped (Skanna) from Shiva, he is named SKANDA. With the peacock as his mode of transport, he is SHIKHIVAHANA. This term also means that he is one who kills evil persons.
He represents a person of perfection. He is the war God, the Hindu equivalent of Mars and Aries. He was created by all the Gods to lead the heavenly hosts and destroy the demons. He is the most masculine and fierce of all the Gods. While Ganesh removes all obstacles, Skanda bestows all spiritual powers, particularly the power of knowledge.
He is worshiped for all problems related to Mars, especially Mangala dosha or Kuja dosha.
“Om Tat Purushaya Vidmahe
Maha Senaya Dhimahi
Tanno Shanmugah Prachodayat.”
Meaning of Mantra
Om, let us meditate that Supreme lord who is the Supreme General of the great Deva Army, Lord Shanmukha or Muruga. May He enlighten us and lead us to be one with him
Lord Brahma is part of the Hindu trinity, which includes Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Brahma was born from a (kamala) lotus springing from Vishnu’s navel and created the world through his daughter Saraswati. According to Manu Smriti, the self- existent Lord manifested to dispel the darkness enveloping universe. He created the waters and deposited a seed that became a golden egg from which he was born as Brahma. He divided the egg into two parts to construct the heaven and earth, and created the ten Prajapatis, mind-born sons, who completed the work of creation. The Lord separated himself into two parts, the male and the female after dividing the golden egg. From him sprang Viraja and from him Manu. Ramayana states that Brahma sprang from the ether and that sages Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Narada, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Sanasujata and others are his manasa putras (mentally conceived sons). From Marichi sprang Kashyapa from whom sprang Vishwavata who created Manu, the procreator of all human beings. Thus, Manu is Brahma’s great grandson.
Brahma and his consort Saraswati, represent the vedas, their spirit and meaning. They form the subject of many tales in Hindu literature. All knowledge, religious and secular emanate from them. Brahma, created all knowledge, sciences, arts, music, dance and drama. He also officiated over the wedding of Shiva and Parvati.
Brahma’s icon has four heads (chatur mukha brahma) facing the four quartem. They represent the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva), the four yugas (krita, treta, dwapara, kali) (epochs of time), the four varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra). The faces have beards with eyes closed in meditation. There are four arms holding up different objects, akshamala (rosary), kurcha (kusha grass), sruk (ladle), sruva (spoon), kamandala (water pot) and pustaka (book) and in different poses representing the four quartem. Their combination and arrangement vary with the image. Akshamala symbolizes time; Kamandala, the waters of all creation. The implements kusha, sruk and sruva, denote the system of sacrifices used by creatures to sustain each other. The book represents religious and secular knowledge. Hand postures (mudras) are abhaya (protector) and varada (giver of boons). The icon may be in standing posture on a lotus or in sitting posture on a hamsa (swan). Hamsa stands for wisdom and discrimination.
Brahma is also shown riding a chariot drawn by seven swans, representing the seven worlds. Temples dedicated to Brahma show his Viswakarma aspect with four heads, the four arms holding the rosary, the book, kusha and kamandala and riding his swan. Temples of Shiva or Vishnu have a niche in the northern wall for Brahma as a parivara devata and his image receives daily worship.
Brahma Gayatri Mantra
Om Chathur mukhaya Vidmahe
Tanno Brahmah Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on The God who is the soul of Vedas, Oh God, who holds the entire world within you, give me higher intellect, And let the Lord Brahma illuminate my mind.
Shri Hanuman, the greatest of all devotees of Lord Rama, is beyond any doubt the world’s most strongest avatar(incarnation) of Lord Shiva. We are familiar with the great epic Ramayana and aware of Shri Hanuman’s selfless role as a devout follower of Shri Rama.
Hanuman Often known as PavanPutra, Maruti, Anjaneya, Bajrang Bali, Mahabali, Sankat Mochan, Ramdoot, KesariNandan, Mahaveer, Hanuman the half ape, half human form, born out of the great Divine Maya of the Supreme Being, is knowledge personified and is a Jnani, one who is complete in transcendental enlightenment of the word. As a devout disciple, he has merged with his Lord, Shri Rama, in his own being, and is able to perceive his Lord in everything as well as everyone.
Hanuman is a symbol of devotion and dedication. Lord Hanumana is a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion. He is usually pictured as a strong monkey holding a gada (mace) which is a sign of bravery and having a picture of Lord Rama on his chest which is a sign of his devotion to Lord Rama.
Hanuman was born in the Treta Yuga, to Anjana, a female vanara and Kesari, a strong vanara .This birth was planned by the Supreme lord with a perfect idea in the mind. The combination of Vanara and the celestial gave Hanuman strength, divinity and quick wits his main characteristics. Being Anjana’s son, Hanuman is also called Anjaneya, which plainly means “arising from Anjana”.
The divine nature of Hanuman is beautifully explained by Shri Valmiki, where one cannot but appreciate the super human personality, moulded by determination, power of celibacy, unconditional faith, humility, loyalty, commitment to serve the Divine cause as well as bravery. Mata Sita found in Hauman a devout son and loyal servant while Rama found in him the loyal devotee and messenger. He is the very symbol of pure Bhakti, sacrifice and the absence of ego.
Hanuman is worshipped for his strength, agility and valor. The worship of Hanuman, symbolizes the worship of the Supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, self-sacrifice, modesty, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord. Sri Hanuman was blessed by Sri Rama with immortality (chiranjeevi). Every temple of Sri Rama contains an idol of Hanuman. Worship of Hanuman is considered mandatory to complete the worship of Lord Rama.
Shri Hanuman is one of the most popular and beloved Avatars of the Hindu pantheon of Gods known as Kimpurushas, or mystic beings who have manifest themselves upon Earth as half -human and half – animal. A powerful symbol of mega human strength, a symbol of selfless devotion to his Supreme Lord Shri Rama, the King of the Solar race who is popularly known as Maryada Purshottam – the perfect Man. Hanuman was born to Anjana and Vayu, one of the 5 elements of nature. Blessed by Lord Shiva, Hanuman possessed great prowess and was endowed with unlimited powers. Cursed by a Brahmin Rishi, Hanuman would forget his inner born super human strength, but would only gain it back when repeating the Holy name of Shri Rama.
Shri Hanuman, the son of the wind God Vayu, is the very energy of breath that unites Rama and Sita. Though Hanuman is half ape, he proves to us that through selfless unconditional devotion and control of the mind and senses, he too has been able to excel in becoming a great Yogi, and by gaining the inner spiritual strength through concentration as well as discipline, he accomplishes just that in helping Shri Rama defeat the powerful king of Lanka. Through amazing feats of strength, he was able to assist Shri Rama in overcoming Adharma when defeating the armies of the egoistic Ravana. While Shri Rama personifies the destroyer of the Ravana within us, Shri Hanuman symbolically represents the ignorant nature of human beings, which through great service and devotion to the Supreme can be highly transformed into enlightenment of the Self.
Om Aanjaneya Vidmahe
Maha balaya Dhimahi
Tanno Hanumatah Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on the son of Anjana, Oh, son of Vayu Deva (God of air), give me higher intellect, And let Hanuman illuminate my mind.
Kubera is the Lord of wealth and the god-king of the semi-divine Yakshas in Hindu mythology. He is regarded as the regent of the North (Dik-pala), and a protector of the world (Lokapala) His many epithets extol him as the overlord of numerous semi-divine species and the owner of the treasures of the world. Kubera is often depicted as a fat man, adorned with jewels and carrying a money-pot or money-bag, and a club.
Originally described as the chief of evil spirits in Vedic-era texts, Kubera acquired the status of a Deva (god) only in the Puranas and the Hindu epics. The scriptures describe that Kubera once ruled Lanka, but was overthrown by his demon stepbrother Ravana, later settling in the city of Alaka in the Himalayas. Descriptions of the “glory” and “splendours” of Kubera’s city are found in many scriptures.
Kubera is often depicted as a dwarf, with fair complexion and a big belly. He is described as having three legs, only eight teeth, one eye, and being adorned with jewels. He is sometimes depicted riding a man.The description of deformities like the broken teeth, three legs, three heads and four arms appear only in the later Puranic texts.Kubera holds a mace, a pomegranate or a money bag in his hand. He may also carry a sheaf of jewels or a mongoose with him. In Tibet, the mongoose is considered a symbol of Kubera’s victory over Nāgas—the guardians of treasures. His name Kuvera is also split as ku (earth), and vira (hero).
As the son of Vishrava (“Fame”), Kubera is called Vaisravana and as the son of Ilavila, Ailavila.Vaisravana is sometimes translated as the “Son of Fame”.Once, Kubera looked Parvati with adoration and SHiva destroyed his eye. But later forgave him when he realised his intentions were not malicious.
Kubera also enjoys the titles “king of the whole world”, “king of kings” (Rajaraja), “Lord of wealth” (Dhanadhipati) and “giver of wealth” (Dhanada). His titles are sometimes related to his subjects: “king of Yakshas” (Yaksharajan), “Lord of Rakshasas” (Rakshasadhipati), “Lord of Guhyakas” (Guhyakadhipa), “king of Kinnaras”(Kinnararaja), “king of animals resembling men” (Mayuraja), and “king of men” (Nararaja). Kubera is also called Guhyadhipa (“Lord of the hidden”).
Both the Puranas and the Ramayana feature the half-blood siblings of Kubera. Vishrava, Kubera’s father, also married the Rakshasa (demon) princess Kaikesi, who mothered four Rakshasa children: Ravana, the chief antagonist of the Ramayana, Kumbhakarna, Vibhishana and Soorpanaka.The Mahabharata regards Vishrava as the brother of Kubera, so Kubera is described as the uncle of Ravana and his siblings. It records that when Kubera approached Brahma for the favour of superseding his father Pulastya, Pulastya created Vishrava. To seek the favour of Vishrava, Kubera sent three women to him, by whom Vishrava begot his demon children.Ravana, after acquiring a boon of Brahma, drove Kubera away from Lanka and seized his Pushpaka Vimana, which was returned to Kubera after Ravana’s death. Kubera then settled on Gandhamandana mountain, near Mount Kailash — the cosmological abode of the god Shiva—in the Himalayas. Sometimes, Kailash itself is called Kubera’s residence. His city is usually called Alaka or Alaka-puri (“curl-city”), but also Prabha (“splendour”), Vasudhara (“bejeweled”) and Vasu-sthali (“abode of treasures”).There, Kubera had a grove called Caitraratha, where the leaves were jewels and the fruits were girls of heaven. There is also a charming lake called Nalini in the grove. Kubera is often described as a friend of Shiva in the epics. The Padma Purana says that Kubera prayed to Shiva for many years, and Shiva granted him the kingship of Yakshas.
A description of Kubera’s magnificent court appears in the Mahabharata as well as the Meghaduta. Here, Gandharvas and Apsaras entertain Kubera. Shiva and his wife Parvati often frequent Kubera’s court, which is attended by semi-divine beings like the Vidyadharas; Kimpurushas; Rakshasas; Pishachas; as well as Padma and Shankha; personified treasures (nidhi); and Manibhadra, Kubera’s chief attendant and chief of his army. Like every world-protector, Kubera has seven seers of the North in residence. Alaka is recorded to be plundered by Ravana once, and attacked by the Pandava prince, Bhima once. Kubera’s Nairrata army is described to have defeated king Mucukunda, who then defeated them by the advice of his guru Vashishta. Shukra, the preceptor of the demons, is also recorded to have defeated Kubera and stolen his wealth.
The Mahabharata calls his wife Riddhi (“prosperity”) and Nalakubara his son. The goddess of wealth Lakshmi is sometimes described as his consort.
As the treasurer of the riches of the world, Kubera is prescribed to be worshipped. Kubera also credited money to the god Venkateshwara (a form of the god Vishnu) for his marriage with Padmavati. In remembrance of this, the reason devotees go to Tirupati to donate money in Venkateshwara’s Hundi (“Donation pot”), is so that he can pay it back to Kubera. Kubera is worshipped with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth during Diwali, which is primarily dedicated to her – usually on the Dhanteras day.
“Om Yaksha Rajaya vidmahe,
Tanno Kuberah Prachodayat.”
Meaning of Mantra
“We meditate on Kubera, the king of the Yakshas, and son of Visrava , Grand son of Lord Brahma…May that god of wealth inspire and illuminate us.”
Bhumi Devi is the divine wife of Varaha, an Avatar of Vishnu. She is the representative goddess, Mother Earth. According to Hindu mythology, the divine saint Andal is a form of her. The demon Narakasura is her son.She is the mother of Sita. According to the uttara-kanda, when Sita finally leaves her husband Rama, she returns to Bhumidevi. Bhumi Devi is also believed to be one of the two forms of Lakshmi. The other is Sridevi, who remains with Narayana. Bhudevi is the Goddess of Earth, and the fertility form of Lakshmi. She is Daughter of Kashyap Prajapati and known as kasyapi.She is Satyabhama, wife of Sri Krishna in Dwapara Yuga. Several female deities have had births similar to Sita. Alamelu Mangamma or Sri Padmavathi Devi of Tiruchanur had a similar beginning, being found in a ploughed field by Akasa Raja.
She is depicted in votive statuary, seated on a square platform which rests on the back of four elephants representing the four corners of the world. When depicted with four arms, she holds a pomegranate, a water vessel, a bowl containing healing herbs, and another containing vegetables. When shown with two arms, she holds a blue lotus known as Komud or Uttpal the night lotus, in the right hand.The left hand may be in the Abhaya Mudra – fearlessness or the Lolahasta Mudra which is an aesthetic pose meant to mimic the tail of a cow.
Bhumi Devi Gayatri Mantra
Om Vasundharaya vidmahe
Tanno Bhumih prachodayat
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let us meditate on Bhumi Devi, the One who provides all , bless us with abundance.”
Sudarshana is the holy wheel which Lord Vishnu uses as his chief weapon.
There is a story that the daughter of Viswa Karma, who was the architect of the God’s, was married to the sun God and she left him because of his immense heat. It seems Viswa Karma put Sun God in a cage and churned him to reduce his heat. The heat was reduced and Sudarshana Chakra, Trishoola and Shakthi, respectively the weapons of Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Subrahamnya were born out of the churning. Sudarshana Chakra is given the status of God by the followers of Ramanujacharya. He being a prime devotee is called the Chakrathazhwar, Sage of the wheel, and worshipped by Vaishnavas.
Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra came into existence. The asuras, or demons, were extremely bad. They always tortured the cosmic gods. At one time, the cosmic gods were suffering so much from the attacks of the demons that they went to see Lord Vishnu. They wanted to seek his help in defeating the demons.
Vishnu said to them, “I do not have enough power to defeat or destroy the demons. I must seek help from Shiva. I will ask him to give me a special weapon that will help me defeat the demons.”
When Vishnu went to Shiva, he found Lord Shiva in trance. Vishnu did not want to disturb Shiva’s meditation, so he started praying and praying to Shiva with the hope that one day he would come out of his trance.
After many long years, Shiva came out of his trance. Vishnu’s joy knew no bounds. He ran to gather one thousand lotus blossoms so that he could worship Lord Shiva and ask for a special boon. Shiva had already decided that he would grant Vishnu the boon, but first he wanted to play a trick on Vishnu. He secretly went to the spot where Vishnu had placed the lotus flowers and stole one flower. Now there were only 999 flowers.
After making all his preparations, Vishnu began to worship Shiva most devotedly. One by one, he offered the lotus flowers and chanted Shiva’s name. When he came to the end, he realised that one flower was missing. He had only counted 999. That meant he had to go and find one more lotus. Instead of doing that, he immediately plucked out one of his eyes and placed it before Shiva. When Shiva saw that Vishnu had such devotion for him, he said, “I will grant you anything that you ask for.” “Please give me something that will help me to conquer the asuras,” said Vishnu. Shiva replied, “I give you this round disc. It will help you to conquer all your enemies. No matter how many demons come to attack you and the other gods, you will be able to defeat them all with this disc.”
When Lord Krishna took incarnation, Vishnu gave him this chakra, because Krishna was the embodiment of Vishnu. Krishna could immediately use the chakra at any time it was his own property. Sri Chaitanya also used the Sudarshana Chakra a few times. He was able to invoke it and it would come to him. When he wanted to kill Jagai and Madhaihe invoked it. These two ruffians saw it coming from Heaven and became extremely frightened. Before it reached them, they surrendered to Sri Chaitanya.
The Sudarshana Chakra is not thrown. With will-power it is sent against the enemy. It rotates very, very fast after leaving the finger and chases the enemy and returns back to the owner. The chakra itself is round and has something like the points of arrows all around its edge. It has tremendous occult and spiritual power to destroy everything. Nobody can stand against the Sudarshana Chakra.
Om Sudharshanaya Vidmahe
Maha Jwalaya Dhimahi
Tanno Chakrah Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let me meditate on the holy wheel of Sudharshana, Oh, Wheel which has great brilliance, give me higher intellect, And let the wheel illuminate my mind.”
Kamadeva the god of love is very fair and handsome and the best looking among the gods. He carries a bow made of sugarcane and strung with a line of humming bees. He shoots with his bow the five flower-tipped shafts of desire. He is accompanied by his wife Rati (passion) and his friend Vasanta (spring), who selects for him the shaft to be used on the current victim. Kamadeva’s vehicle is the parrot.
Generally described as the son of Lakshmi and Narayan, he is also said to be the son of Brahma. Surrounded by beautiful nymphs (Apsaras), he loves to wander around specially in springtime, loosing his shafts indiscriminately, but with a preference for innocent girls, married women and ascetic sages. Shiva burned him to ashes as punishment for disturbing his deep meditation, but Kamadeva’s shaft had gone home and Shiva could not obtain peace until he had married Parvati. During all this time Kamadeva lay dead and love disappeared from the earth. At length Shiva allowed him to be born as the son of Krishna by Maya or Rukmini. in the form of Pradyumna.
The bow of Kamadeva is made of flowers, with a string formed of bees. The five arrows are each tipped with the blossom of a flower, which is devoted to and supposed to preside over a sense. Kamadeva is lord of the Apsarasas. He is called the god of desire or the mind agitator or the in flamer or the destroyer of devotional tranquillity. Kama Deva is also described as the god of sexual love.
Kamadeva Gayatri Mantra
Om Kamadevaya Vidmahe
Pushpa Banaya Dhimahi
Tanno Anangaha Pracodayat
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on the God of love, Oh, God who is the forest of flowers, give me higher intellect, And let the God of love illuminate my mind.
Lord Narayan represents the aspect of the Supreme Reality that preserves and sustains the universe. Although there are variations in images and pictures of Lord Narayan, He is generally symbolized by a human body with four arms. In His hands He carries a conch (shankha), a mace (gada), and discus (chakra). He wears a crown, two earrings, a garland (mala) of flowers, and a gem around the neck. He has a blue body and wears yellow clothes. The Lord is shown standing on a thousand-headed snake (named Shesha Nag), and the snake stands with its hoods open over the head of the Lord.
The four arms indicate Lord’s omnipresence and omnipotence. The two front arms signify the lord’s activity in the physical world and the two back arms signify His activity in the spiritual world. The right side of the body represents the creative activities of the mind and the intellect. The left side symbolizes the activities of the heart; that is, love, kindness, and compassion.
A conch in the upper left hand indicates that the Lord communicates with His devotees with love and understanding. When blowing His conch, He reminds his devotes to live in this world with kindness and compassion towards all living beings. A chakra in His upper right hand conveys the idea that the Lord uses this weapon to protect His devotees from evil. The mace denotes energy and a mace in the Lord’s left lower hand signifies that He sustains the manifest world by the energy that He holds in Himself. His front right hand is depicted bestowing grace on His devotees.
The snake denotes the mind and the thousand heads of the snake signify innumerable desires and passions of an individual. Just as a snake destroys its victim by its venom, an uncontrolled mind destroys the world by the venom of its possessiveness. The Lord has controlled all desires, and this is symbolized by showing Him seated on the two coils of the snake. When a sincere devotee of the Lord controls his desires, the Lord fulfils the devotee’s genuine desires and helps him on his path.
The blue sky in the background of the Lord suggests that He pervades the entire universe. The blue color symbolizes infinity. The blue body of the Lord signifies that He has infinite attributes. He is nameless, formless, and immeasurable. The color yellow is associated with earthly existence and the yellow clothes of the Lord signify that He incarnates Himself on this earth to uphold righteousness and destroy evil and unrighteousness.
A flower garland around the Lord’s neck is a symbol of the devotee’s adoration for the Lord. A gem decorating His neck signifies that the Lord fulfills all genuine desires of His devotees and provides for their needs. The crown is a symbol of the Lord’s supreme power and authority. The two earrings signify the dual nature of creation, such as knowledge and ignorance, happiness and unhappiness, and pleasure and pain.
The worship of Lord Narayan is very popular among Hindus, especially among the followers of the Vaishnava tradition (Vaishnavism). He is the second member of the Hindu Trinity, with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva as the other two. Lord Narayan is also known by other names, such as Vasudeva and Narayana.
Narayana Gayatri Mantra
Om Narayanaya Vidmahe
Tanno Vishnuh Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let us meditate on Sri Narayana, the Lord who dwells in all beings, and is known as the Sovereign of the world. May that Sri Vishnu inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”
Lord Krishna is one of the most popular and worshipped deities of the Hindu religion. Krishna is considered as the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, the divine. Shri Krishna is the very embodiment of love and divine ecstasy that destroys all pain and offense. Lord Krishna took birth over five thousand years ago in Mathura, India to Devaki (Sister of Cruel Demon-King Kansa) and Vasudeva in the prison cell of the tyrant Kansa. The sage Narada had predicted that Kansa would be killed by his nephew, so the king killed Devaki’s first six children. The Seventh, Balarama escaped and the eighth, Krishna was clandestinely exchanged for a cowherd’s daughter. The word “”Krishna”” means “”the one who attracts all””. So, Krishna is that aspect of God that represents all bliss (Ananda) in the universe. In His fullness He lends joy. He is also known by other names, such as Venkateshwara, Srinivasa, Panduranga, Vittala, Vasudeva, Hari, Kesava, Purusottama, Narayana and Badrinarayana.
Krishna was greatly attached to his foster mother, Yashoda. The lord had immense love for cows being nurtured in the cowherd’s family. In his childhood, he was really fond of Makhan (butter) and there are many famous mischiefs regarding this love. Later Krishna loved to play flute and used to seduce the village girls. His favourite was Radha who is claimed as the love of Krishna. And this is one of the famous love stories of Hindu mythology. The Lord is usually remembered and worshipped as Radha-Krishna. The pair symbolizes the eternal love between people and god. Krishna is recognized as the god of Hasya or humor and a messenger of peace.
Sri Krishna is the naturally loving and Sweet aspect of Vishnu, Lord of Srimati Radharani and center of the spiritual abode. Krishna is the defender of sacred utterances. Krishna is a trickster and lover, a mastermind of all forms of knowledge and born to set up the religion of love. He is also known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life.
The word “”Krishna”” means “”the one who attracts all””. So, Krishna is that aspect of God that represents all bliss (Ananda) in the universe. He love playing flute. Krishna is the embodiment of intellectual and spiritual glory. When God is invoked as Krishna, devotees are blessed with joy and knowledge.
Krishna enjoyed the dance of love (rasa-lila) with the gopis many of whom are expansions of His own internal energies. The supreme gopi known as Srimati Radharani is the object of Krishna’s highest devotion. This beautiful dance would occur in the autumn season at night under a full moon when Lord Krsna would captivate the young gopis with the extraordinary music of His flute”.
Om Dhamodaraya Vidmahe
Rukmani Vallabhay Dhimahi
Tanno Krishnah Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
Om, Let me meditate on the god whose belly was tied by a rope, Oh, consort of Rukhmani, give me higher intellect, And let God Krishna illuminate my mind.
“The origin of Katyayani the sixth manifestation of the goddess Durga is closely linked to the bloodline of the famous sage kat who begat the saint katya as his son. Eventually the famous saint Katyayan was born in this line. A devotee of the Devi it was his desire after year of intense devotion that the goddess be born in his house as a daughter. The goddess pleased by his devotion consented.
The world meanwhile was reeling under the tyrannies of the demon mahishasur. The great goddess was appealed to buy the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. Born on the forth navratra the goddess accepted the ritual worship of the sage Katyayan for three days on the tenth day Durga slew the demon Mahishasur. Whether the goddess was born as daughter in his house or was autogenous I origin Durga adopted the name Katyayani for her sixth manifestation as a mark of recognition conferred upon her great devotee.
She is the harbinger of blessings and fulfiller of desire. She is depicted as a four armed goddess astride a lion she hold a sword in one had a lotus in another and the remaining two hand are composed in mudras of blessing of the mudra of fearlessness the blessing extended to all of Katyayani’s devotees. She is the form that give shape to the wild and unruly energy that the goddess Durga will release in another guise to vanquish her foe.
Katyayani is the gathering and focusing of that Adi shakti in a form that is comprehensible to mortals. As a potent force and fact of the female energy. Katyayani claims as her own the Ajna or Agya chakra. Symbolized by a lotus with two petals, this chakra is also known as the third eye chakra. As is implicit from the name the third eye is focal point of a concentration of energy that is traditionally released with terrible impact. But in times of lesser peril, the third eye is connection point of tremendous power and energy.
It is said that in ancient scriptures all the unmarried gopis in Vrindavana used to daily worship goddess Katyayani early in the morning after taking bath in the river Yamuna. Katyayani is another name for goddess Durga. The goddess is worshiped by preparing a doll made out of sand mixed with earth from the bank of the Yamuna.
The worship of Maa Durga as Goddess Katyayani on 6th day of Navratri has its very importance. Yogis & Sadhaks penance on Agya Chakra on this day. Human offer everything to Maa while worshiping on this day. She gives blessing to her devotee”.
Om Katya yanaya Vidmahe
Kanya Kumari cha Dhimahi
Tanno Durgih Prachodayat.
Meaning of Mantra
She who was born in the hermitage of Sage Kathyayana, the omnipresent,the one who is the “princess” give us the strength to meditate we bow before you Goddess Durga, give us blessings and inspiration.
Dakshinamurthy or Jnana Dakshinamurti is an aspect of Shiva as a guru (teacher) of all type of knowledge, particularly the jnana. This aspect of Shiva is his personification as the supreme or the ultimate awareness, understanding and knowledge. This form represents Shiva in his aspect as a teacher of yoga, music, and wisdom, and giving exposition on the shastras. He is worshipped as the god of wisdom, complete and rewarding meditation.
Dakshinamurthy is one of the forms of Shiva who sat facing south side to give us the knowledge that is why he is known as Dakshinamurthy. Shiva formed this special form when Sanat Kumar visited Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh and found all were busy with their respective Maya/Wife, Shiva created this form at that time.
Om dakshinamurthye vidmahe
Tanno dhisha: prachodayat
The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra also called the Tryambakam Mantra. This great mantra dedicated to Rudra as Mrityunjaya is found in the Rig Veda. It is called the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, the Great Death-Conquering mantra. It is a mantra that has many names and forms. It is called the Rudra mantra, referring to the furious aspect of Shiva; the Tryambakam mantra, alluding to Shiva’s three eyes; and it is sometimes known as the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra because it is a component of the “life-restoring” practice given to the primordial sage Shukra after he had completed an exhausting period of austerity. The Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is hailed by the sages as the heart of the Veda. Along with the Gayatri mantra it holds the highest place among the many mantras used for contemplation and meditation
AUM: Absolute reality.
Tryambakam: Trya means three. Ambakam means eyes. Three eyed Lord Shiva.
Yajamahe: We rejoice in meditation on all of this, sing in His praise
Sugandhim: Means fragrance.
Pushtivardhanam: Means that which nourishes all.
Urvarukamiva: Urva means big. Arukam means deadly disease, which are like the death of Wisdom or physical untimely death.
Bandhanan: Means bound down (e.g. bound down to the ignorance and untruth)
Mrityor: Means untruth or physical death
Mukshiya: Means liberation from the cycles of physical, mental, and spiritual death.
Maamritat: Means please give me rejuvenating nectar( Amritam ), so as to have this liberation, like the process of severing the cucumber from the creeping vine without any pain.
Mahamrityunjaya Shiva Gayatri Mantra
Aum Haum Joom Sah
Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swaha
Aum Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti-vardhanam |
Urva – rukamiva Bandhanan
Mrtyor – muksheeya Maamritat ||
Aum Swaha Bhuvah Bhuh
Aum Sah Joom Haum Aum
Meaning of Mantra
“We worship The Three-Eyed Lord Shiva who is naturally fragrant, immensely merciful and who is the Protector of the devotees. Worshipping him may we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding stalk i.e. “By your Grace, Let me be in the state of salvation (Moksha) and be saved from the clutches of fearful death and calamities”. Remembering Lord Ganesha and then Brahmrishi Vasishta who has given us this mahamantra, before beginning the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra will give us ENHANCED RESUTS.”
Lord Shiva is known by many different names and Pashupati is one of them. Pashu means leaving beings, and Pati means Master. In other words Pashupati is the master of all living beings. Pasha also means “Bondage” and He is the God that releases being from the bondages meaning earthly attachments of this birth. This is how lord Pashupati is eulogized in the Vedas and Upanisada.
Pashupati was originally applied to the Rigvedic storm god Rudra. In the Vedic period “siva” was an epithet for Rudra meaning “auspicious one.” Siva or Shiva became the name of the deity, and “rudra,” meaning “roarer,” became his epithet.
Shiva, the god of destruction and cosmic dissolution, is one of the most prominent Hindu deities. His main forms are a great yogi and Nataraja, Lord of the Cosmic Dance. As a yogi, he is depicted sitting in a meditative pose with a snake around his neck and a trident in his hand. As Nataraja, he is depicted with four arms holding his various emblems and dancing on the back of a prostrate demon.
Lord Pashupathinath Temple is very famous on the edge of Bagmati of Kathmandu in Nepal. The Bagmati River which runs next to Pashupatinath Temple have highly sacred properties. There are 108 Siva temples around this area. Lord Shiva in the form of Jyotirlinga was covered with earth over the years, and soft green grass sprouted over it. A cow used to come here mysteriously every day and offer her milk to this holy but hidden Linga of Lord Shiva. When the owner saw that the cow had stopped giving milk since the last few days he started keeping eye on her; and finally came across the place where the cow used to offer her milk. With a natural curiosity to know the importance of the place, where his cow used to make offering of her milk, the owner dug the place and found the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. After this, number of cow owner gathered to worship this Linga according to religious conformity, starting the tradition of worshipping this Linga. As the time passed Lord Pashupatinath started gaining more and more popularity and reverence of the devotees as a guardian spirit and gradually the temple of Lord Pashupatinath became a great place of pilgrimage.
Pashupatinath Shiva Gayatri Mantra
Om Panchavaktraya Vidmahe
Tanno Rudraha Prachodayat
Meaning of Mantra
“Om. Let us meditate on the great Lord with five faces. May that fierce Rudra inspire and illumine our mind and understanding.”