There are quite a few strange things/events associated with Hindu Temples in India.
There are Temples where Snake comes and offers pooja to Shiva, Sun bathes Idols on a specific day,temple emerges from the sea at a fixed Time,where Crows do not fly over the temple Tower..the list goes on.
Scroll down for Video.
Now add one more to this list.
During street procession (Margazhi and Panguni), English Month December,an unbelievable event takes place at the Nachiyar Koil. While only 4 people carry Lord Garuda out of his Sannidhi, as the Lord goes out of each Layer and prakaram, he is said to increase in weight, that 8 people, 16 and then 32 people are required to carry Lord Garuda out of the temple. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garuda increases in weight so much that 128 people are required to carry the Lord. On his way back, it is said that Garuda mount decreases in weight and finally when he is back in the Sannidhi, only 4 people are required to carry him.
This happens every year.
Nachiar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple in Thirunarayur, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state ofTamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar. The temple is the place where god Vishnu is believed to have initiated Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar. The temple follows Thenkalai mode of worship.
The temple is believed to have been built by Kochengat Cholan of the late 3rd century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings.
This is the 71st Temple built by Kochengat Cholan, the first Temple for Vishnu, the other 70 Temples having been built for Lord Shiva.
The sage Medhavi was doing penance at this place. While taking a bath in the river, he found an image ofChakrathazhwar entwined with Yoga Narasimha. A divine voice asked him to install the image in his hermitage and worship it. The goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu chose to grow in the hermitage and appeared to the sage in the form of a small girl and requested him to take care of her. Vishnu traveled in search of Lakshmi on his vehicle Garuda, the eagle. Garuda found the presence of Lakshmi in the hermitage. Vishnu appeared to Medhavi, pleased by the latter’s devotion and asked his daughter to be married to him. The sage happily married Lakshmi to Vishnu and requested him to stay in his place, which Vishnu accepted.There is another local legend that king Kochengat Cholan was once defeated and he was advocated to seek the blessings of Vishnu, which he obliged.
Prominence to Goddess.
Nachiyar Koil is one of the few Divyadesams where the goddess has prominence over Vishnu. Some of the other temples where the such female dominance are observed areAndal Temple at Srivilliputhur, Azhagiya Manavala Perumal Temple at Woraiyur and Pundarikakshan Perumal Temple in Thiruvellarai. While Srivilliputhur is called Nachiyar Thiru Maaligai, Thirunaraiyur is called Nachiyar Koil.
Vishnu was of the view that during Kali Yuga, men would have to listen to women. Hence he decided that he would first set an example and listen to goddess here. During all festive occasions, the first rights are reserved for Nachiyar, who moves ahead, while Srinivasa follows her. Even the food is first served to Nachiyar and then to Srinivasa. Being a temple where goddess has prominence, Vishnu is located slightly by the side and goddess has the prominent position inside the sanctum.
How to Reach Nachiyar Koil and Temple Timings
Nearest Airport. Tiruchi,Tamil Nadu.
Bus Station,.Kumbakonam. Nachiyar Koil is called Thirunaraiyur.
It is eight Km from Kumbakonam.Buseses are available.
I have written that the Chinese are reported to have descended from the son of Pururava.
Mahabharata refers to this.
The word/race of Chins as rulers of eastern and northern kingdoms is mentioned in Mahabharata too (composed around 3100 BCE).
Cinas of yellow color, are said to ‘look like a forest of Karnikaras”.
In the Arthashashtra of Chanakya, China is mentioned as well. It is theorized that the name China is based upon the name of the kingdom, Ch’in, which was established by Shih Huang Ti in year 221 BC.
However, the name China comes from an ancient Sanskrit name for “the regions to the East”.
The Chin Indians did not only name a great country but also created the Chinese nation.
Regardless of the origins of the Chinese, the evidence reveals that ancient Chinese culture was Vedic in nature.’
Chinese origins may be traced to two tribes .
One from Kashmir.
And another is from South India,what is now called as Tamil Nadu.
The original Chin race of India dwelling in Kashmir, and several parts of South India colonized Shensi, a province of Central China and subsequently subjugated all other petty kingdoms and thus became the emperors of perhaps the one of the largest empires of the world.
The name China and the Chinese were after the Chins of India and hence the scholars are unanimous about the Indian origin of the name of China.
A Chinese source states that in 720 AD the Pallava King Narasimhavarman II constructed a temple (in Tamil Nadu, India) on account of the empire of China, and another text cites the existence of three Hindu temples in southern China where ‘Brahmans’ resided during the 8th century.
The temple in Quanzhou is now in ruins, but over 300 carvings are still within the city.
Many are currently on display in the Quanzhou museum, and some have become a part of Buddhist temple—Kaiyuan Temple.Behind its main hall “Mahavira Hall”, there are some columns decorated by some Hinduism carvings. The carvings are dispersed across five primary sites in Quanzhou and the neighboring areas.
They were made in the South Indian style, and share close similarities with 13th-century temples constructed in the Kaveri Delta region in Tamil Nadu.
Nearly all the carvings were carved with greenish-gray granite, which was widely available in the nearby hills and used in the region’s local architecture.
Poorly written/formatted tamil wordings on these carvings prove that those were done by a non-native tamilian in China.
“First, I would like to make it clear that the probable language of the Kushana was Tamil. According to Dravidian literature, the Kushana were called Kosars=Yakshas=Yueh chih/ Kushana. This literature maintains that when they entered India they either already spoke Tamil, or adopted the language upon settlement in India.
The Kushana and the Yueh chih were one and the same. In addition to
North Indian documents the Kushana-Yueh chih association are also
discussed in Dravidian literature. V Kanakasabhai, The Tamils Eighteen
hundred years ago, note that in the Sanskrit literature the Yueh chih were called Yakshas, Pali chroniclers called them Yakkos and Kosars< Kushana.”
They allegedely arrived in India during the 2nd century BC. He makes it clear that the Yueh chih/ Kushana as noted on their coins worshipped Siva as seen on the coins of Kanishka. This is why we have a coin of a Kushana king from Taxila, dated to AD 76 that declares that the king was maharaja rajatiraja devaputra Kushana “Great King, King of kings, Son of God, the Kushana”.
Vedic Presence in China.
The Vedic tradition has undoubtedly been best preserved in India yet the universality of Vedic culture is such that none can claim to be the sole inheritors or originators of the Vedic traditions.
These traditions are part of the basic fabric of nature and the universe and can be accessed by anyone anywhere at any time.
The same ‘eternal’ vedic tradition known as Santana Dharma is at the very core of Chinese civilization.
For example, Imperial Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) used the Hindu/Vedic calendar a long side with the Chinese calendar.
Amongst the Gods, the Lord of Death and the Underworld known in Vedas as Yama is called ‘Yanmo Wang’ within the Chinese tradition.
Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang (ruled 712–56) called upon the Indian monk Vajrabodhi (671–741) to perform ‘Tantric’ rites to avert a drought in the year 726 AD.
In the Fujiyan province, in the Xinmen area of Quanzhou, there are the remains of a Siva Temple.
It still has a Siva lingam over five meters tall.
An ancient stone that still stands today; it has been widely identified as a Siva Linga.
Chinese records reveal that it was cut in half in the year 1011 AD and then rebuilt in the 1400s.
Even as late as 1950, childless mothers would go to it to invoke the blessings of the deity for motherhood.
In Hsuan-wu, Lo-yang district there is a pillar with Sanskrit writings from top to bottom and right to left. Besides Buddhism, Saivism was also popular in Yunan as is manifest from the prevalence of the cult of Mahakala there.
This ancient Indian colony in the south of China was a strong link in the Sino-Indian cultural relationship.
Shiva Temple may have already been in existence, which is highly likely, and it is only the Deity of Lord Shiva that was new.
Shiva temple had originally been built in 685 AD during the Tang Dynasty but was rebuilt by the Tamil Hindu community in the city in the late 13th century who dedicated it to Lord Siva.
There is direct evidence of that there were indeed Hindu temples in China as early as the 6th century AD.
You would have noticed that at the end of every Mantra, Pooja and at temples Om Shanti Mantra Om Shanti is chanted thrice.
Om Shanti means May There Be Peace.
One witnesses disturbances in the world and in one’s Mind body.
Some are due to factors within one’s control and some beyond one.
It is the Hindus way of pacifying these my chanting and thereby attempting to appease them.
Disturbances/Calamities come from,
Through one’s body,
Through the forces of Nature and
due to past actions and the Will of God.(Stains on the soul as Jains put it)
These three are classified as.
Adi Daivikam and
Adhi-daivikam literally means “mental disturbances that come from God”—i.e. things that are utterly beyond our control: hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tsunamis, etc. We have no control over these types of disturbances. So when we say the first shanti, we are praying, “O God, may we be protected from these obstacles that are beyond our control.”
Adhi-bhautikam literally means “disturbances that come from the world.” That means anything stemming from the world around us—mosquitoes, noisy neighbors, barking dogs, the phone ringing, family arguments. As opposed to the first category, we have some control over this second category of disturbances. We can use mosquito repellent, we can call the police on our neighbors, we can turn off the phone, we can leave the place altogether, etc. So this shanti means, “O God, may we be protected from the people and surroundings.”
The third type of disturbance is the most powerful and, at the same time, the only one over which we have total control. Adhyatmikam means “disturbances stemming from the self.” For one who is still identified with the ego, the people, places and things of this world stimulate one of two reactions in the mind—attachment or aversion. Whether we physical see someone we consider our enemy as we walk down the street or remember him during meditation, the mental turbulence that results is the same. Lust, jealousy, anger, sorrow, hatred destroy our peace’
Shanti Mantras are to be chanted and the Vedas have a separate section for Shanti Mantras.
ॐ सह नाववतु।
सह नौ भुनक्तु।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om, May we all be protected
May we all be nourished
May we work together with great energy
May our intelect be sharpened (may our study be effective)
Let there be no Animosity amongst us
Om, peace (in me), peace (in nature), peace (in divine forces)
Oṁ Saha nāvavatu
Om=supreme god; saha=together; nau=both/ all; avatu=may he protect
saha nau bhunaktu
saha=together; nau=both/ all;bhunaktu= be nourished/ energized
Saha vīryam karavāvahai
saha=together;vīryam=energy; karavāvahai=work (kara=hand; avahai=bring into use)
tejaswi = having great energy;nau = both ; adhi = intellect/ study; tama = higher degree; astu=so be it
Hinduism prescribes elaborate rituals for the dead beginning from the day of burning the body till the 13th day when Subhasweekara or Auspiciousness in invited back Home.
These rituals are based on the belief that the Departed souls take rebirth and the Preta Sareera hovers around till the 12th Day.when the dead are respectfully moved to the ancestors, Pitrus.
It is the belief of the Hindus that one born to enjoy the fruits of actions one performs/ed; if Righteous deeds had been performed one enjoys happiness and sails through Life easily while Non Righteous acts bring in Unhappiness and misery when one lives.
In both the cases , the effects of the actions performed by one gets wiped out as one undergoes the experiences of Life.
In Hinduism the wages of Sin is Birth unlike Christianity and other Religions where the wages of Sin is death.
When one dies, the inert body , Sava is consigned to flames.
One becomes Sava when Consciousness leaves permanently, The Consciousness being an attribute of the Soul.
However the Sukshma Sareera, the body which one does not perceive, which surrounds one’s physical frame, remains.
The Physical frame made of he essence of food, Anna rasa dies.
But the Sukshma Sareera , which is the result of the actions one performs remain .
This sareera is like dust accumulated when action is performed.
This sukshma Sareera takes rebirth depending on the Nature of actions, Karma performed by the individual.
The Soul never dies.
The Sukshma Sareera enters into human wombs, they are reported to be 83 Million different types of Female genital parts( Yoni Beda), according to Hinduism.
The Womb chosen at rebirth is determined in accordance with the actions performed.
So till such time, that is the Twelfth-day from the date of death, the preta Sareeera lingers , hovers around the place of Death and around the Home.
This Preta once it is released after the twelfth day is reborn;in such cases where no karmas or the dead performed rebirth still takes place;in this case the Reborn, in the new Life will have unexplained issues facing its new Life.
This is Pitru Dosha.
Another kind of Pitru Dosha is one that accrues when one does not perform the Rites for the departed.
This results in Pitru Saapa.
The Suksma Sreera, once it leaves the Pysical frame is called Preta and this during life has been nurtured by the essence of Food.
This has been enjoyed by it through the Physical frame.
Now that one is dead, the Preta sarera can not get Food for nurturing.
As it is yet to be released, till the Twelfth day(Sapindi Karana), it suffers.
To nurture it, the Tharpana is performed with sesame Seeds and water,the former substituting food, as sesame seeds, according to Hinduism, was the first to be created as Food, Water to quench Thirst.
It is also considered necessary to indicate the Preta that it would no longer get Food or water as it lacks the physical Frame.
As the Preta is finally elevated to the level of Pitrus on the Twelfth day,prior indication is given on the tenth day by way of offering huge quantities of food, without salt to wean away the Preta from food as it is believed that it would get disgusted with the huge quantity of food offered and that too with out Salt.
During the next two days , the preta is paid respects by a Brahmin in the ceremonies.
On the 12th day Sabindi karana is performed and the preta leaves.
On the thirteenth day Gruha yagna or Subha sweeakara is performed.
As I write on the spread of Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, I wondered about two points.
There is no doubt that the Sanatana dharma of Hindus spread far and wide throughout the world is indisputable considering the archeological finds found throughout the world indicating the presence of Sanatana Dharma.
Two questions remain.
How did people travel so far?
Secondly how did they fight the wars with the foreign invaders when it happened?
Though Puranas and Ithihasa speak of what appears to be beyond Human capacity of crossing the ocean by flying, there ae references that the ancient knew about Ships and warfare.
While one may question as to how Hanuman could fly over the Ocean to Lanka, Valmiki in the same breath talks of ships!
When Hanuman was crossing the ocean to Lanka, he is compared to a ship tossed by winds on the high seas. Sugriva speaks of Sumatra, Java and even the Red Sea, when sending forth his monkey hosts in quest of Sita.
This only means that though the people during Ramayana knew of ships, yet Hanuman chose to fly.
The Rig Veda mentions “merchants who crowd the great waters with ships”.
The Ramayana speaks of merchants who crossed the sea and bought gifts for the king of Ayodhya.
Manu legislates for safe carriage and freight by river and sea.
In some of the earliest Buddhist literature we read of voyages ‘out of sight’ of land, some lasting six months or so.
“There was also extensive intercourse of India with foreign countries, including the Mediterranean lands and the African continent, naturally led to piracy on the waters. There then arose the need for the protection of sea-borne trade, and we are told that “at the outset the merchant vessels of India carried a small body of trained archers armed with bows and arrows to repulse the attacks of the pirates, but later they employed guns, cannon and other more deadly weapons of warfare with a few wonderful and delusive contrivances.”
-William Vincent pp. 457). These are probably the beginnings of the ancient Indian navy. in The Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients In the Indian Ocean.
The navy is one of the angas (part) of the complete army. Examples of ships being used for military purposes are not lacking. When Vidura scented danger to Kunti’s five sons, he made them escape to the forest with their mother, crossing the Ganges in a boat equipped with weapons having the power of withstanding wind and wave.(Mahabharata Shanti Parva 59,41)
Darius launched a maritime expedition under Skylax of Caryanda to the Indus Delta, and during Alexander’s time, again, we read of the people of the Punjab fitting out a fleet. We have the testimony of Arrian to show that the Xathroi (Kshatri), one of the Punjab tribes, supplied Alexander during his return voyage with thirty oared galleys and transport vessels which were built by them.
-Herodotus 517 BC, India and Its Invasion by Alexander p. 156.
By regular practice one becomes an adept in fighting from chariot, horses, elephants and boats, and a past-master in archery.”
-Kamandaka (XVI, 50)
“Boats should be employed for military purposes when the theatre of hostilities abounded in water.
(Manu Samhita Vii 192)
‘The Admiralty as a department of the State may have been a creation of Chandragupta but there is evidence to show that the use of ships and boats was known to the people of the Rg Veda. ”
Early History of India, Vincent Smith P.133.
This exploit you achieved, Asvins in the ocean, where there is nothing to give support, nothing to rest upon, nothing to cling to, that you brought Bhujya, sailing in a hundred oared ship, to his father’s house.
Further on in the Veda, this same vessel is described as a plava which was storm-proof and which presented a pleasing appearance and had wings on its sides. Another reference informs us that Tugra dispatched a fleet of four vessels (Catasro navah) among which was the one referred to above. We may infer from these passages that the Asvins were a great commercial people having their home in a far-off island, and that their ruler Tugra maintained a fleet in the interests of his State. There are also other references in the Rg Veda to show that the ancient Indians were acquainted with the art of navigation. For instance, Varuna is credited with a knowledge of the ocean routes along which vessels sailed.
The Baudhayana Dharmasastra speaks of Samudrasamyanam and interprets it as nava dvipantaragamanam, i.e. sailing to other lands by ships. This very term occurs in the navadhyaksa section of the Kautaliya Arthasastra.
The Puranas have several references to the use of ships and boats. The Markandeya Purana speaks of vessels tossing about on the sea. The Varahapurana refers to the people who sailed far into the ocean in search of pearls and oysters. The ships floated daily on the shoreless, deep and fearful waters of the ocean. We are on firmer ground when we see in the Andhra period their coins marked with ships. The ship building activities were great on the east coast, and the Coromandel coast in particular. From this period to about 15th century A.D. there was a regular intercourse with the islands of the Archipelago most of which were colonized and also with ancient America right across the Pacific as testified to us by the archaeological finds and inscriptions in those parts.
The Pali books of Sri Lanka like the Mahavamsa refers to ocean going vessels carrying 700 passengers. Such frequent intercourse and colonization through the ages could not have been effected without a powerful fleet.
“Turning to the history of South India, we have evidence to show that the country had trade and culture contacts with foreign countries like Rome in the west and Malay Archipelago and South east Asia in the east. Yavana ships laden with articles of merchandise visited the west coast frequently. There was active foreign trade between Tamil Indian and the outer world at least from the time of Soloman, i.e. about 1000 B.C. Roman historians refer to the commercial intercourse that existed between Rome and South India. In the first century before Christ we hear of a Pandyan embassy to Augustus Caesar. (refer to Periplus translated by Schoff p. 46).
The Sangam classics point to the profession of pearl-diving and sea-fisheries on a large scale. We hear of shipwrecks of the early Tamils saved now and then by Manimekhalai, the goddess of the sea.
(Note: ancient Tamil tradition traces its origins to a submerged island or continent, Kumari Kandam, situated to the south of India. The Tamil epics Shilappadikaram and Manimekhalai provide glorious descriptions of the legendary city and port of Puhar, which the second text says was swallowed by the sea.
As in the case of Dwaraka, (please refer to chapter on Dwaraka and Aryan Invasion Theory), initial findings at and off Poompuhar, at the mouth of the Cauvery, show that there may well be a historical basis to this legend: apart from several structures excavated near the shore, such as brick walls, water reservoirs, even a wharf (all dated 200-300 B.C.), a few years ago a structure tantalizingly described as a “U-shaped stone structure” was found five kilometers offshore, at a depth of twenty-three meters; it is about forty meters long and twenty wide, and fishermen traditionally believed that a submerged temple existed at that exact spot. If the structure is confirmed to be man-made (and not a natural formation), its great depth would certainly push back the antiquity of Puhar.
Only more systematic explorations along Tamil Nadu’s coast, especially at Poompuhar, Mahabalipuram, and around Kanyakumari (where fishermen have long reported submerged structures too) can throw more light on the lost cities, and on the traditions of Kumari Kandam, which some have sought to identify with the mythical Lemuria…
We have the account of a Cera King conquering the Kadamba in the midst of sea waters. The Cera King Senguttuvan had a fleet with which he defeated the Yavanas who were punished with their hands being tied behind their backs and the pouring of oil on their heads. The Cholas also maintained a strong fleet with which they not only invaded and subjugated Lanka but also undertook overseas expeditions. Among the conquests of Rajaraja, Lanka was one, and his invasion of that island finds expression in the Tiruvalangadu plates, where it is described as follows:
“Rama built, with the aid of the monkeys, a causeway over the sea and then slew with great difficulty the king of Lanka by means of sharp-edged arrows. But Rama was excelled by this (king) whose powerful army crossed the ocean in ships and burnt the king of Lanka.”