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Seven Shiva Vishnu Prayed Indra Deceived Saptha Vidanga Temples

In Hinduism on December 19, 2014 at 08:41

In North India we have the Pancha Kedar, five temples of Shiva in the Garhwal Region.

 

In the south, there are seven Shiva Temples, which are to be seen in a day.

 

These are called the Saptha Vidanga Sthala.

Thyagarja Temple,Thiruvarur.jpg

Thiruvarur Temple.Saptha Vidanga Sthala

 

Vidanga means, ‘not chiseled’ Saptha, Seven.

 

In these seven places one finds the Shiva Linga.

 

Muchukunda Chakravarthi was a  Tamil king.

Indra, the King of the Devas sought Muchukunda’s help in defeating the Asuras and was successful in defeating the Asuras.

Indra was extremely grateful to the king.

He offered the king a gift of his choice.

Muchukunda,  asked for the lingam worshipped by Indra.

Indra did not want to part with his precious lingam, but the king wouldn’t accept anything else.

Indra decided on a deception, and showed Muchukunda seven lingams and asked him to choose the one he wanted.

Muchukunda prayed to Shiva to identify the correct lingam.

Shiva was pleased and helped him identify the original lingam prayed to by Indra.

Indra was so impressed by this that he gifted all the seven lingams to the king.

Muchukunda returned to earth with the seven lingams and installed them at various places in his kingdom.

The original one he kept at the temple at Thiruvarur, and the others at Thirunallar, Vedaranyam, Thiruvaimur, Thrirukkaravasal, Thirukkuvalai and Nagapattinam.

 

Normally, it is the top portion of the lingam – the ellipse which is believed to be swayambhu. The base – avudayar- is made by hand. In all these seven lingams, the whole lingam – the base as well as the top portion – form a single piece, and are believed to have appeared just the same way, without being made, and hence the name. All the seven lingams are of different sizes, though they are made of the same material – maragatham – or emerald. However, it looks more like Jade than emerald, as it is translucent. The biggest one is at Thirunallar, while the one at Thiruvarur is of medium size. However, it must be mentioned that these two are the only two of the original lingams left. I am not too sure of the originality of the 5 other lingams, because at 2 temples, we were told that the originals had been stolen ages ago, and the lingams presently there had been installed by saints in their place.

In ll these temples the Navagrahas face the same direction unlike in the other temples where they face different directions.

 

In some temples all of them are in a Single file, while in some others they are in the usual pattern of 3’s.

 

These Navagrahas face the Lingam , in the former case.

 

In these temples Somaskanda is the Utsava Murthy,Shiva and Parvati with Muruga in the centre.

Main Deity is Thyagaraja.

Post on Individual Sthala follows.

 

Please read my post on Somaskanda

 

 

 

Pancha Kedar Five Shiva Temples By Pandavas

In Hinduism on December 18, 2014 at 20:20

The Pandavas are said to have esablished five temples for Lord Shiva in the Garhwal Region of  North India.

In Tamil Nadu,South India there are seven Temples of Lord Shiva, called Saptha Vidanga Sthala.

I shall be posting on this and on individual Pancha Kedar( Article on Tunganath has been published)

Scroll down for video.

The Five temples of Shiva in garhwal Region.png

Panch kedar Temples of Shiva.

Panch Kedar (Sanskrit: पंचकेदार) refers to five Hindu temples or holy places of the Shaivite sect dedicated to god Shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. They are the subject of many legends that directly link their creation to Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The five temples designated in the strict pecking order to be followed for pilgrimage for worship are the Kedarnath (Sanskrit:केदारनाथ) at an altitude of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), the Tungnath (तुंगनाथ)(3,680 m or 12,070 ft), Rudranath (रुद्रनाथ) (2,286 m or 7,500 ft),Madhyamaheshwar (मध्यमहेश्वर) or Madmaheshwar (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Kalpeshwar (कल्पेश्वर) (2,200 m or 7,200 ft). The Kedarnath is the main temple, which is part of the four famous Chota Char Dhams (literally ‘the small four abodes/seats’) or pilgrimage centers of the Garhwal Himalayas; the other three dhams are the Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Kedarnath is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

The Garhwal region is also called the Kedar-Khanda after Kedar — the local name for Lord Shiva. The region abounds in emblems and aniconic forms of Shiva sect of Lord Shiva, much more than the Vaishnava sect. The western part of this region in particular, which constitutes half of Chamoli district being known as Kedar-Kshetra or Kedar mandala, encompasses in its ambit all the five temples constituting the Panch Kedar.

The most famous folk legend about Panch Kedar relates to the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas defeated and killed their cousins — the Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. They wished to atone for the sins of committing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins — the priest class) during the war. Thus, they handed over the reigns of their kingdom to their kin and left in search of the god Shiva and to seek his blessings. First, they went to the holy city of Varanasi (Kashi), believed to Shiva’s favourite city and famous for its Shiva temple. But, Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war and was, therefore, insensitive to Pandavas’ prayers. Therefore, he assumed the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal region.

Not finding Shiva in Varanasi, the Pandavas went to Garhwal Himalayas. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, then standing astride two mountains started to look for Shiva. He saw a bull grazing near Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi” — the name derived from the hiding act of Shiva). Bhima immediately recognized the bull to be Shiva. Bhima caught hold of the bull by its tail and hind legs. But the bull-formed Shiva disappeared into the ground to later reappear in parts, with the hump raising in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tunganath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair and the head appearing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas pleased with this reappearance in five different forms, built temples at the five places for venerating and worshipping Shiva. The Pandavas were thus freed from their sins. It is also believed that the fore portions of Shiva appeared at Pashupatinath, Kathmandu — the capital of Nepal.

A variant of the tale credits Bhima of not only catching the bull, but also stopping it from disappearing. Consequently, the bull was torn asunder into five parts and appeared at five locations in the Kedar Khand of Garhwal region of the Himalayas.[7] After building the Panch Kedar temples, the Pandavas mediated at Kedarnath for salvation, performed yagna (fire sacrifice) and then through the heavenly path called the Mahapanth (also called Swargarohini), attained heaven or salvation.[citation needed]

After completing the pilgrimage of Lord Shiva’s darshan at the Panch Kedar temples, it is an unwritten religious rite to visit Lord Vishnu at the Badrinath Temple, as a final affirmatory proof by the devotee that he has sought blessings of Lord Shiva.

 

Citation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panch_Kedar

How  to reach and tour package , check the Link

http://www.sacredyatra.com/panch-kedar

Tallest Shiva Temple Tunganath Shiva Hid From Pandavas

In Hinduism on December 18, 2014 at 11:43

The tallest Shiva Temple is in the mountain range of Tunganath in Rudraprayag district,India.

 

Lord Shiva avoided the Pandavas for in His opinion ,were guilty of killing the kith in the Mahabharata War.

 

Tallest Shiva Temple,Tunganath.jpg

Tallest Shiva Temple,Tunganath.

 

The Tunganath (literal meaning: Lord of the peaks) mountains form the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys. Located at an altitude of 3,680 m (12,073 ft), and just below the peak of Chandrashila, Tungnath temple is the highest Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to be 1000 years old and is the second in the pecking order of the Panch Kedars. It has a rich legend linked to the Pandavas, heroes of the Mahabharata epic.

 

The Tunganath myth is indelibly linked to the origin of the Panch Kedar temples built by the Pandavas. The legend states that sage Vyas Rishi advised the Pandavas that since they were culpable of slaying their own relatives (Kauravas, their cousins) during the Mahabharata war or Kurukshetra war, their act could be pardoned only by Lord Shiva. Consequently, the Pandavas went in search of Shiva who was avoiding them since he was convinced of the guilt of Pandavas. In order to keep away from them, Shiva took the form of a bull and went into hiding in an underground safe haven at Guptakashi, where Pandavas chased him. But later Shiva’s body in the form of bull’s body parts rematerialized at five different locations that represent the “Panch Kedar” where Pandavas built temples of Lord Shiva at each location, to worship and venerate, seeking his pardon and blessings. Each one is identified with a part of his body; Tungnath is identified as the place where the bahu (hands) were seen: hump was seen at Kedarnath; head appeared at Rudranath; his navel and stomach surfaced at Madhyamaheshwar; and his jata (hair or locks) at Kalpeshwar.

Legend also states that Lord Rama, the chief icon of the Ramayana epic, meditated at the Chandrashila peak, which is close to Tungnath. It is also said that Ravana, also of Ramayana fame, did penance to Shiva, the lord of the peaks, when he resided here.

 

How to reach Tunganath Temple.

By Air

Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Bhaniawala, Dehradun, 41 KMs from Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is at Haridwar. After reaching Haridwar you need to carry rest of the journey by road only. Haridwar to Chopta is about 225 KMs by road.

By Road

Below is the route that needs to be followed to reach Deoria Tal from Delhi -

Delhi – Haridwar (212 KMs) – Rishikesh – Dev Prayag – Srinagar – Rudra Prayag (take left towards Kedarnath) – Agustmuni – Syal Saur – Kund – Ukhimath – Duggalbitta – Baniya Kund – Chopta (448 KMs) – Tungnath – Chandrashilla

Vehicles can go up to Chopta only and you need to trek about 3.5 KMs from Chopta to reach Tungnath. If you are interested in Chandrashilla, you need to further trek about 1.5 KMs from Tungnath to reach the Chandrashilla peak. There is no motorable road to Tungnath and Chandrashilla. The trek is a paved path from Chopta up to Tungnath temple and from there on to Chandrashilla it is not paved but track exists. People generally complete the trek to Tungnath (without snow) in about 2-3 hours and to Chandrashilla in about 3-5 hours from Chopta. However, the presence of snow on the trek, scripts a different story altogether. The time and feasibility of trek then depends entirely upon the amount of snow present on the trek and the weather on the particular day.

*Best time to travel or visit to Tungnath Temple is April – November (exclude monsoon). In winters i.e December – February, when the snowfall starts the Tungnath becomes inaccessible. Soon, Chopta also gets snow bound and gets cut-off from the rest of the valley. As the end of February approach, the snow starts to melt around Chopta, Duggalbitta and Baniya Kund which creates a ray of hope for people looking for Snow Trek to Tungnath / Chandrashilla and experience some real adventure. However, be ready to trek more than 6-7 KMs on either side as the roads to Chopta are not accessible almost till March (mid) from December (after snowfall).

Citation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungnath

 

http://devilonwheels.com/index.php/delhi-tungnath-chandrashilla-uttarakhand-travel-guide/

Bharatwaja Hinduism Gods in Japan Religion

In Hinduism on December 18, 2014 at 09:10

During my research about the presence of Sanatan Dharma throughout the world,information about two countries has been very difficult to obtain.

 

Japan and China.

 

Three factors are responsible for this.

Shiva Linga in Japan.jpg

Shiva Linga in Toganji Temple,Nagoya, Japan

 

One is that these cultures are ancient and their philosophy, religious literature is , as in Hinduism cloaked in allegory.

 

The third reason is that the influence of Buddhism and its offshoot in the later stages in Japan.

 

In the case of China, the advent of Communism ensured that the information is suppressed.

 

In this article , the influence of Sanatana Dharma on  Religion in Japan, Japanese language.

 

What strikes one is the use of Hindu Gods’ names .

 

Common Terms: Sanskrit/Chinese/Japanese

Archarya – Master Achali Ajari
Dharma – Law FA Ho
Pratima – movement warrior techniques of the Hindu ksatreyas Hsing
Kata
Sunyatapani –  Tang-Shou Karate/To De
Dharmahasta  Chuan Fe Kempo
Marga – The Way Tao  Do
Guhya-Sutra Mi-Ching Mikkyo
Nagarjuna Lung Shu Ryuju/Ryusho/Ryumyo
Mudra – ritual gesture  Yin In
Mandala a special zone or area Mantolo Mandara
Vajramukti  Ching Kang, Chieh T’o Kongogedastsu
Sangha – congregation or group followers Seng So
Narya – strong or manly Na-Li Nara, Naha
Nata  Na-Pa, Na-Ra Nara, Napa, Nafa
Yoga – to yoke Yui Cha Yu Ga”

 

Ganesha is worshiped as Shoten or Shoden (Holy God) in Buddhist Temples.

Sarasawti is worshiped as Benten.(read my post)

Visvakarma, the Divine Architect of Hinduism is called Bishukatsuma as the God of Carpenters.

Yama, God of Death in Hinduism is Emma- O, the King of Hell.

 

Samudra Manthan, Churning of the Ocean of Milk in Japan.

 

“According to author Donald A. Mackenzie: “The Indian form of myth of the Churning of the Milky Ocean reached Japan. In a Japanese illustration of it the mountain rests on a tortoise, and the supreme god sits on the summit, grasping in one of his hands a water vase. The Japanese Shinto myth of creation, as related in the Ko-ji-ki and Nihon-gi, is likewise a churning myth. Twin deities, Izanagi, the god, and Izanami, the goddess, sand on “the floating bridge of heaven” and thrust into the ocean beneath the “Jewel Spear of Heaven”. With this pestle they churn the primeval waters until they curdle and form land.”

(source: Myths of Pre-Columbian America – By Donald A. Mackenzie p.190-191).

 

The distinguished Japanese scholar, Mr. J. Taka Kusu, says: ” But I should like to emphasize the fact that the influence of India, material and intellectual, must have been much greater in an earlier period than we at present consider to have been the case. There were, for instance, several Indians, whom the Kuroshiwo current, washing almost the whole southern coast, brought to the Japanese shore.” He further says, ” It cannot be denied that several Indians came to Japan, especially in view of so many Indians finding their way to China by sea.”

He then relates how a Brahmin Bodhisen Bharadvaja, known generally as the “Brahmin Bishop” came with another priest from India via Champa (Cochin China) to Osaka, then to Nara, where they met another Indian ascetic and taught Sanskrit to the Japanese. “His monastery and tombstone, with a written eulogy, still exist in Nara. Just at the time a Japanese alphabet or syllables is said to have been invented. The fifty syllables, Gojuin, are arranged by a hand, evidently with a practical knowledge of Sanskrit method.”

 

Citation.

http://www.salagram.net/VWHChinaJapanKorea.html

Saraswati Is Benzaiten Japanese God Of Eloquence

In Hinduism, Hindusim on December 17, 2014 at 18:53

Yet another evidence that Sanatana Dharma existed throughout the world , later carried to various parts,modified to suit the local customs.

That those customs were also similar to those followed by Sanatana Dharma.

Goddess Saraswati.jpg

Saraswati,Goddess of Learning in Hinduism

 

Benzaiten (, ) is the Japanese name of the goddess Saraswati; there was an important river in ancient India of this name (see Vedic Saraswati River). Worship of Benzaiten arrived in Japan during the 6th through 8th centuries, mainly via the Chinese translations of theSutra of Golden Light“, which has a section devoted to her. She is also mentioned in the Lotus Sutra.

Her Sanskrit name isSarasvatî Devî“, which meansflowing water“, and so Benzaiten is the goddess of everything that flows: water, words (and knowledge, by extension), speech, eloquence, and music. The characters used initially to write her name, readBiancaitianin Chinese andBensaitenin Japanese (辯才天), reflected her role as the goddess of eloquence. Because the Sutra of Golden Light promised protection of the state, in Japan she became a protector-deity, at first of the state and then of people. Lastly, she became one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, and the Sino-Japanese characters used to write her name changed to 弁財天 (Benzaiten), which reflects her role in bestowing monetary fortune. Sometimes she is called Benten, although this name refers to the goddess Lakshmi.

Statue of Benzaiten with a torii on her head.jpg

Hogonji in Nagahama, Shiga prefecture, Japan. Statue of Benzaiten with a torii on her head

In the Rig-Veda (6.61.7) Sarasvati is credited with killing the three-headed Vritra, also known as Ahi (“snake“). This is probably one of the sources of Sarasvati/Benzaitens close association with snakes and dragons in Japan. She is enshrined on the Island of Enoshima in Sagami Bay, about 50 kilometers south of Tokyo, and numerous other locations throughout Japan; and she and a five-headed dragon are the central figures of the Enoshima Engi, a history of the shrines on Enoshima written by the Japanese Buddhist monk Kokei (皇慶) in AD 1047. According to Kokei, Benzaiten is the third daughter of the dragon-king of Munetsuchi (無熱池; literallylake without heat“), known in Sanskrit as Anavatapta, the lake lying at the center of the world according to an ancient Buddhistcosmological view.

 

Citation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzaiten

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