It is customary for Indian households to offer Gift to visitors.
Mandatory are the Kumkum(Vermillion) and Thamboola.
The Kumkum is a sign of wealth and prosperity and it represents Goddess Mahaslakshmi, called as Sri.
The significance of offering Kumkum is the wishes of the house holder that the visitor may be blessed with Prosperity.
Thamboola has three elements.
Coconut signifies the Blessings of the Trimurthis, Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra, represented as the three marks in the Coconut.
The areca nut iss attributed to Brahma, the Tambool (betel) leaf to Vishnu and lime to Mahesh.i
Lime is offered along with these in Hindu marriages after Food.
At the practical level, this mixture, when taken after food is good for digestion.
The Legend of Thamboola.
Mohini distributed Amrut (ambrosia) amongst various gods. The urn with the remaining of the Amrut was kept near Indra’s elephant « Nagraja ». Growing inside the urn was a strange creeping plant and the gods became ecstatic. Vishnu ordered Dhanvantari to examine the plant. He thus discovered its stimulating quality. From then on, Vishnu began to offer its leaves, as a gesture of love and affection. Since, it is said , that the betel trine was born. It began to be associated with the Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh Trinity. The areca nut was attributed to Brahma, the Tambool (betel) leaf to Vishnu and lime to Mahesh.
According to another legend, after the Pandavas’ victory at Hastinapur, they began to have a fervent desire for Tambool. A messenger was urgently sent to the underground abode of the Queen of the snakes. The Queen, only too happy to oblige, cut the extreme phalange of her little finger and sent it to the Pandavas. The phalange was planted with great ceremony and soon the Betel plant grew out of the phalange. The creeper is since then referred to as « Nagveli » the snake plant. The ceremony of the leaves commemorates this origin and the Barais offer prayers to the God of snakes on the occasion.
Once all dev gans (Devtas, Gods) assembled on Earth at a place called ‘Naumi Sharayan’ to perform some auspicious ceremony, and while they were approaching back to ‘Bakunthya Dham’ (Heaven) they all started feeling thirsty due to extreme heat on earth when a particular community came forward and quenched their thirst by serving them Beatle leaves .Impressed by their hospitality, the Devtas not only blessed them but also honoured them by gifting the title chaturashiitah i.e. ‘CHAURASIA’ . According to the Baudhâyanas’rauta-sûtra CHAURASIA’s belong to Kashyapa, Some believe that they belong to [Bharadvâja],So there are many beliefs about Gotras .
In recent days people of this community are employed in a variety of occupations (some also refers themselves as ‘Vaishya’ i.e. traders,since becoming followers of Vallabhacharya ji, adopting Vaishanavism nearly 300 years ago.) and their religious traditions and culture are becoming less of a factor in daily life.
One would have across the term Brahmotsava being performed n Lord Vishnu Temples.
Brahmotsvams are quite popular in Thirupathi Sri Balaji Temple and Sri Rangam Ranganatha Temple , though the Brahmotsavams are conducted in all the Sri Vaishnava Templs in the South.
What is Brahmotsavam?
Brahmotsavam means a Festival, an offering By Lord Brahma to Lord Vishnu.
There are legends that Lord Brahma performs the Brahmotsava ans a special Pooja for Lord Visnhu daily at Suchidram Sthaumalaya Temple, where Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva are found in on Idol.
While Brahma is believed to perform this every day in the early morning around 4.30 am, Indra, Chief of the Devas, performs in the dead of the night at 12 Midnight.
The performance of the Pooja by Brahma to Lord Vishnu is known as Brahmotsavam.
There is another interpretation.
Brahma in Sanskrit means ,Very big, original cause.
A Big Festival , Pooja in a Temple is called Brahmotsavam.
The dates of Brahmotsavams vary from temple to temple.
‘One of the major Kaalotsavams in Srivaishnava Temples is Brahmotsavam (tiruk-kODi-tirunAL). Brahmotsavam is conducted at different times in different Temples:
Period of the year in which the Brahmotsavam is conducted varies from temple to
temple. Some examples of when it is performed are: 1. Pratishtapana (Kumbhabhishekam) day of the Temple, 2. Pratishtapana day of Sri Shataari, 3. Thirunakshatram- Birthstar/Birthday of the Temple Deity, 4. Conducted as Shraddotsavam or Kaamyotsavam as desired (sponsored) by devotees.
Thus, there can be more than one Brahmotsavam in a given year. In the Thirumala
Temple, it is conducted once in the Tamil month ofPurattasi (Sep. 18- Oct.18). It starts on first day of Navaratri (Oct. 10, for 1999) and concludes on Vijayadashami (Oct.19, for 1999), which also happens to be the Thirunakshatram (Shravanam star) of Sri Venkateshwara, the Deity of the Temple. This is the most prominent Brahmotsavam (also called Manava Brahmotsavam). Brahmotsavams in Tirumala are also conducted at three other times of the year, namely: Kaisika Ekadashi (also known as, Raakshasa Brahmotsavam), Mukkoti Dwadashi (also known as, Daiva Brahmotsavam) and Rathasaptami (also known as, Aarsha Brahmotsavam). Besides, these 4 Brahmotsavams in a year, it is also conducted as a shraddotsavam as desired by devotees. It is stated that in the
year 1551 AD, as many as 11 Brahmotsavamas took place.
Origins: Brahmotsavam means “Grand celebration” or a “celebration performed by Brahma”. We will shortly see how both the meanings are appropriate for this event. Lord Indra once killed a Brahma-raakshasa (a Brahmin with demonic characters). In doing so, he incurred a great sin of killing a Brahmana- “Brahma hatya dosham(BHD)”. To relieve Indra of this burden, Lord Brahma conducted a ceremony. In this ceremony, officiated by Brahma himself, Indra held Sriman Narayana ( Lord Vishnu) on his head during the special ritual bath “Avabritha Snaanam”. This verily was the first Brahmotsavam.
Because of the immense cleansing power of Brahmotsavam, this utsavam is periodically performed in Temples to wash away all wrong doings that may have been
incurred. It is said that the Lord Brahma himself rendered the first Brahmotsavam seva
(service) to Lord Venkateshwara (Vishnu) of the Thirumalai shrine. Indeed, it is a
common belief that every Brahmotsavam is witnessed by Lord Brahma. In recognition
of this, a well decorated empty chariot is pulled in front of the chariot carrying the
deities at the processions held during the Brahmotsavam Brahma is believed to be
seated in that chariot overseeing the celebration. Thus, Brahmotsavam is also
referred to as “Brahmapratyakshotsavam” (celebration conducted right in front of
Brahma). References to Brahmotsavam can be found in Varaaha Puraanam (ch.18) and
Bhavishyotthara Puraanam (ch. 24).
Events of Brahmotsava.
Brahmotsavam celebration lasts for 9 days. Brahmotsavam is not just a Temple ritual, but is a grand festival for the whole town. It begins with Ankurarpanam and concludes with AvabhrithaSnanam (Ritual bath or Theerthavaari). On each day, the UtsavaMurthis (Mobile Deities) will be decorated and taken in procession, once in the morning and once in the evening on different Vahanams (vehicles). In the night, there will also be Unjalseva (Deities seated on the swing). The intricate step by step details vary from Temple to Temple. Here is a brief summary of main events in the Brahmotsavam celebration at the Balaji temple in Thirumalai.
Ankurarpanam (planting 9 grains in soil placed in earthen dishes). Kankanadharanam (wrist band) to Utsava Muthi and priests.Procession of Vishvaksenar (Commander-in-chief of Vishnu’s army).
Mritsangrahanam- Collecting the soil for Brahmotsava Yagna(Hawan, Fire ceremony) Peetam. Vishvaksenar returns from procession and enters the Yaga Shaala (Place where Yagnam is conducted), where he is received with Poorna Kumbham honor(special Pot filled with water). He is believed to be the Pradhana Yajaman (Chief conductor) of this Yagnam. This is followed by Procession of Deity on Pedda Sesha (Big serpent) Vahanam.
Morning Utsavam (procession) of Deity on Smaller Shesha (smaller serpent) Vahanam.
Dwajaarohanam in the evening. Garuda Dwajam- a flag bearing the emblem of Garuda
(The Eagle- Vehicle of Vishnu) is hoisted with Veda Mantrams from Taittiriya samhita
dedicated to Garuda. This signals start of Brahmotsavam to the whole town. Once the
flag is hoisted, it is expected that no householder leaves town or plans any auspicious
ceremony in the house until the conclusion of Brahmotsavam. Thus the whole town is
able to fully take part in the celebration and not be preoccupied with other personal
activities. Even if someone has to leave town on emergency, they are expected to
return prior to un-hoisting the flag (Dwaja-awarohanam) on day 9.
Morning procession on Lion (Simha Vahanam)
Morning procession on the “every desire fulfilling giving tree” (Kalpavriksha
Deity is dressed as Mohini (temptress, a form of Vishnu) and taken procession in
ivory pallaki (carrier).
Night procession is taken on Eagle (Garuda vahanotsavam – Garuda Sevai).
Morning: Procession on Hanuman (Monkey, devotee of Rama/Vishnu) vahanam.
Night procession on Gaja (Elephant) vahanam.
Morning procession on Surya Prabha (Sun) vahanam.
Evening procession on Chandra Prabha(Moon) vahanam.
Morning: Rathotsavam -Ratha (chariot) Yatra (procession) for the Deities.
Night: Procession on Ashva (horse) vahanam.
Morning: Deities carried in pallaki (carrier) to the Pushkarani (sacred pond) in front of
the Varaha Swami (the Boar incarnation of Vishnu) Temple for the special bath
-Abhishekam and Avabritha Snanam (Theerthavaari thirumanjanam). All devotees
also take bath in the pushkarani. The Deities are taken back to the Kalyana Mantapam
of the Temple. The flag is un-hoisted, marking the conclusion of Brahmotsavam. Even
watching the video of this majestic celebration in itself deeply touches our heart, mind, eyes and ears.
1. S.K. Ramachandra Rao, The Hill-Shrine of Vengadam: Art, Architecture and Agama
of Tirumala Temple, First Edition, (Ed., Daivajna K.N. Somayaji), Pub., Kalpatharu
Research Academy, Bangalore, 1993.
Ashwaklanta (Ashwakranta) is an important Vaishnava shrine situated on the northern bank of the river Brahmaputra, opposite to Gauhati.
The temple contains the idol of Anantha sayana Vishnu, with Brahma in a lotus came out from his navel. Maha maya, the two demons Madu, Kaitabhas and two rows of Naga kanyas are present in the temple.
Lord Sri Krishna came to kíll Narakasura, with an army ascended by horses. This is the place where he camped his army and stabled his horses, before starting the battle. Lord Sri Krishna also established Dwiteeya Gaya by placing his foot print here.
The similarities in terms of the Etymology of the words in Judaism, Hiitie,the ancestors of the Jewish People, the legends about the characters in their mythology are striking.
I have posted an article that Manu is believed to Be Noah and Yehuda is derived from Yadava, Yayati.
Some interesting points have come to my notice.
“Abraham descended from some of the numerous Brahman priests who left India to spread their teachings throughout the world”
He based his assertions on the similarity of names and the fact that the city of Ur, land of the patriarchs, was near the border of Persia, the road to India, where that Brahman had been born.
The name of Brahma was highly respected in India, and his influence spread throughout Persia as far as the lands bathed by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The Persians adopted Brahma and made him their own. Later they would say that the God arrived from Bactria, a mountainous region situated midway on the road to India. (pp. 46-47.)
Bactria (a region of ancient Afghanistan) was the locality of a prototypical Jewish nation called Juhuda or Jaguda, also called Ur-Jaguda. Ur meant “place or town.” Therefore, the bible was correct in stating that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldeans.” “Chaldean,” more correctly Kaul-Deva (Holy Kauls), was not the name of a specific ethnicity but the title of an ancient Hindu Brahmanical priestly caste who lived in what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Indian state of Kashmir.
“The tribe of Ioud or the Brahmin Abraham, was expelled from or left the Maturea of the kingdom of Oude in India and, settling in Goshen, or the house of the Sun or Heliopolis in Egypt, gave it the name of the place which they had left in India, Maturea.” (Anacalypsis; Vol. I, p. 405.)
“He was of the religion or sect of Persia, and of Melchizedek.”(Vol. I, p. 364.)
“The Persians also claim Ibrahim, i.e. Abraham, for their founder, as well as the Jews. Thus we see that according to all ancient history the Persians, the Jews, and the Arabians are descendants of Abraham.(p.85) …We are told that Terah, the father of Abraham, originally came from an Eastern country called Ur, of the Chaldees or Culdees, to dwell in a district called Mesopotamia. Some time after he had dwelt there, Abraham, or Abram, or Brahma, and his wife Sara or Sarai, or Sara-iswati, left their father’s family and came into Canaan. The identity of Abraham and Sara with Brahma and Saraiswati was first pointed out by the Jesuit missionaries.”(Vol. I; p. 387.)”
–Moisés y los Extraterrestres by Tomás Doreste .
Abraham is Brahma.
In Hindu mythology, Sarai-Svati is Brahm’s sister. The bible gives two stories of Abraham. In this first version, Abraham told Pharaoh that he was lying when he introduced Sarai as his sister. In the second version, he also told the king of Gerar that Sarai was really his sister. However, when the king scolded him for lying, Abraham said that Sarai was in reality both his wife and his sister!“…and yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.” (Genesis 20:12.)..
The bible also states that Ishmael, son of Hagar, and his descendants lived in India. “…Ishmael breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his kin… They dwelt from Havilah (India), by Shur, which is close to Egypt, all the way to Asshur.” (Genesis 25:17-18.) It is an interesting fact that the names of Isaac and Ishmael are derive from Sanskrit: (Hebrew) Ishaak = (Sanskrit) Ishakhu = “Friend of Shiva.” (Hebrew) Ishmael = (Sanskrit) Ish-Mahal = “Great Shiva.”
A third mini-version of the Abraham story turns him into another “Noah.” We know that a flood drove Abraham out of India. “…Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, Even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan.” (Joshua 24:2-3.)..
About 1900 BC, the cult of Brahm was carried to the Middle and Near East by several different Indian groups after a severe rainfall and earthquake tore Northern India apart, even changing the courses of the Indus and Saraisvati rivers. The classical geographer Strabo tells us just how nearly complete the abandonment of Northwestern India was. “Aristobolus says that when he was sent upon a certain mission in India, he saw a country of more than a thousand cities, together with villages, that had been deserted because the Indus had abandoned its proper bed.” (Strabo’s Geography, XV.I.19.)
“The drying up of the Sarasvati around 1900 BCE, which led to a major relocation of the population centered around in the Sindhu and the Sarasvati valleys, could have been the event that caused a migration westward from India. It is soon after this time that the Indic element begins to appear all over West Asia, Egypt, and Greece.” (Indic Ideas in the Graeco-Roman World, by Subhash Kak, taken from IndiaStar online literary magazine; p.14)
Indian historian Kuttikhat Purushothama Chon believes that Abraham was driven out of India. He states that the Aryans, unable to defeat the Asuras (The mercantile caste that once ruled in the Indus Valley or Harappans) spent so many years fighting covertly against the Asuras, such as destroying their huge system of irrigation lakes, causing destructive flooding, that Abraham and his kindred just gave up and marched to West Asia. (See Remedy the Frauds in Hinduism.) Therefore, besides being driven out of Northern India by floods, the Aryans also forced Indian merchants, artisans, and educated classes to flee to West Asia.’
On the basis of available evidence I am inclined to take the position that Abraham could have descended from Brahmins and coud have migrated either from South India when Shiva and Ganesha left for the Arctic through Middle east and Satyavarta Manu left for Ayodhya or from the Uttarakuru Kingdom.
My studies of the Puranas,Ithihasas,Ramayana, Mahabharata,Astronomical Events mentioned in them, Archeology,Sanskrit and Tamil literature had pointed out to , not ony the Myth of Aryan Invasion Theory,The Dravida-Aryan Divide, but also led me to the fact that Lord Shiva , with His son Ganesha left South India through the Middle east ,Europe, Africa, Americas,before settling down in the Arctic where the Rig Veda was composed.
All because of a Tsunami.
At that time Satyavrata Manu also left for Ayodhya to found the Ikshvaku Dynasty, to which Lord Rama belongs.
The archeological finds throughout the world, od Shiva and His Symbols, confirm my theory.
The Shiva family returned to India through Russia, Kazakhstan, and Persia.
The Greek connection of Shiva.
Hercules is believed to be either Balram or Lord Krishna.-quoted by Megasthenes
Please read my post on this.
And the Pillars of Hercules are a tribute to Lord Krishna.
Akkian,Flavius Arrianus, the Grecio-Roman Biographer with Alexander, the Great , in His Book, it is also called as Indica like Megasthenes’s, describes the voyage of Alexander to India.
He chronicles the customs and manners of the people of India.
“he Nysaeans are not an Indian race, but descended from the men who came into India with Dionysus–perhaps from those Greeks who were rendered unfit for service in the wars which Dionysus waged with the Indians. Perhaps also he settled with the Greeks those of the natives who were willing to join his colony. Dionysus named the city itself Nysa, and the land Nysaea, in honour of his nurse Nysa. The mountain near the city, at whose base Nysa was built, is called Meros (thigh) after the misfortune he experienced as soon as he was born. This is the story framed by the poets in regard to Dionysus, and let the writers of legends Grecian and foreign expound it. Among the Assacenians is Massaca, a large city, where also is the stronghold of the land of Assacia; and there is also another large city, Peucelaitis, not far from the Indus. These tribes have been settled west of the Indus as far as the Cophen….
Of the expedition of Dionysus, indeed, the city of Nysa is no mean monument, as also are the mountain Meros, the ivy which grows on this mountain, the Indians themselves also marching into battle to the sound of drums and cymbals, wearing speckled garments like the bacchanals of Dionysus. But of Heracles there are not many memorials. For the statement that Alexander forcibly subdued the rock of Aornus, because Heracles was not able to capture it, seems to me a piece of Macedonian boasting; just as they called the Parapamisus Caucasus, though it has no connection with it. And having observed a certain cave in the land of the Parapamisadians, they said that it was the famous cave of Prometheus, the son of the Titan, in which he was hung for the theft of the fire. And besides, in the land of the Sibians, an Indian race, because they saw the inhabitants clothed in skins, they said that the Sibians were those who had been left behind from the expedition of Heracles. The Sibians also carry cudgels, and the figure of a club was branded upon their oxen; this too they explained to be a commemoration of the club of Heracles. If anyone gives credit to these tales, this must have been another Heracles, neither the Theban, nor the Tyrian, nor the Egyptian; but some great king of a land situated in the interior not far from India.
He says that in ancient times the Indians were nomads, like that section of the Scythians who are not agriculturists, but wandering about on waggons, live at one time in one part of Scythia and at another time in another part, neither inhabiting cities nor consecrating temples to the gods. So the Indians had no cities or temples built for the gods. They clothed themselves in the skins of the wild beasts which they killed, and ate the inner bark of certain trees, which are called tala in the Indian language, and, as upon the tops of palm-trees, there grow upon them things like clews of wool. They also fed upon the flesh of the wild beasts which they caught, eating it raw, until Dionysus came into their country. But when Dionysus came and conquered them, he founded cities and made laws for them, and gave the Indians wine as he had given it to the Greeks. He also gave them seeds and taught them how to sow them in the earth; so that either Triptolemus did not come to this part when he was sent by Demeter to sow corn through the whole earth, or this Dionysus came to India before Triptolemus and gave to the inhabitants the seeds of cultivated crops. Dionysus first taught them to yoke oxen to the plough, and made most of them become husbandmen instead of being nomads, and armed them with martial weapons. He also taught them to worship the gods, and especially himself with the beating of drums and the clashing of cymbals. He taught the Indians the Satyr-dance which among the Greeks is called the cordax, and to let their hair grow long in honour of the god. He also showed them how to wear the turban, and taught them how to anoint themselves with unguents. Wherefore even to the time of Alexander the Indians still advanced into battle with the sound of cymbals and drums.
8. When Dionysus had arranged these affairs and was about to leave India, he appointed as king of the land Spatembas, one of his companions, the man most versed in the mysteries of Bacchus. When this man died his son Boudyas succeeded to his kingdom. The father reigned fifty-two years, and the son twenty years. Cradeuas, the son of Boudyas, succeeded to the throne. From this time for the most part the kingdom passed in regular succession from father to son. If at any time direct heirs were wanting, then the Indians appointed kings according to merit. The Heracles, who according to the current report came to India is said, among the Indians themselves, to have sprung from the earth. This Heracles is especially worshipped by the Sourasenians, an Indian nation, in whose land are two great cities, Methora and Cleisobora, and through it flows the navigable river Jobares. Megasthenes says, as the Indians themselves assert, that this Heracles wore a similar dress to that of the Theban Heracles. Very many male children, but only one daughter were born to him in India, for he married many women. The daughter’s name was Pandaea, and the land where she was born, and over which Heracles placed her as ruler, was named Pandaea after her. From her father she received 500 elephants, 4,000 cavalry, and 130,000 infantry. Certain of the Indians tell the following story about Heracles, that when he had passed over every land and sea and had rid them of every evil beast, he found in the sea a woman’s ornament, such as up to the present day those who bring wares from India to us still buy with zeal and carry away. In former times the Greeks and now the Romans who are fortunate and wealthy with still greater zeal buy what is called in the Indian tongue the marine pearl. The ornament seemed so fine to Heracles that he collected pearls like this from all the sea and brought them to India to be an adornment for his daughter. Megasthenes says that the mussel of it is caught in nets, and that many of them live in the sea at the same place, like bees, and that the pearl-mussels have a king or queen as bees have. Whoever has the good fortune to capture the king, easily throws the net around the rest of the swarm of pearlmussels, but if the king escapes the fishermen, the others are no longer to be caught by them. The men allow the flesh of those which are caught to rot, but they use the shell for ornament; for among the Indians the pearl is worth thrice its weight in refined gold. This metal is also dug up in India.
Pandea referred to here is the daughter of Lord Krishna/Balrama.
Please check my post on this.
It is probable that Shiva had traveled through Greece before reaching the Arctic and returned to India.
This is what Arrian is referring to repeatedly as Dionysus having invaded India.
And note the symbols, clothes.
” was under the impression that Dionysus was the Greek precursor of Krishna. But, deeper analysis of character and life events of Dionysus shows that he was the Greek format of Hindu God Shiva. Now, let us consider some of the characters of Dionysus. Generally he is known as the wine God, similarly Shiva is a kind of vagabond with drinking habits. Consider the strange animals that pulls the cart of Dionysus and strange creatures that follow him. They look similar to “shiva Ganas”, who come all kind of shapes and animal shapes. (These animal figures –themselves may be indicating various constellations —with animal motifs)’