One day Sita mata was wearing a red powder in the parting of her hair. Curiously Hanuman asked Sita mata that why she was wearing the vermillion powder. Sita mata replied “Hanuman! This is sindoor. Sindoor makes Lord Rama happy and would bless him with a long and prosperous life.” Hanuman ji thought that Sita ji loved lord Rama and she expresses her love by applying the sindoor.
Hanuman disappeared from the place and came back with his body fully covered with red sindoor. He covered his entire body, even his clothes and hair with sindoor. It looked as if Hanuman ji has taken a dip in the red river.
Sita ji looked at him in surprise and asked the reason for this act. He replied that if a little sindoor in her hairs can make Lord Rama happy then he being a daas has to do more to please his Lord. “I thought if just a pinch will do so much, what will happen if I cover my entire body with sindoor.”
Thus, Lord Ram gave a boon to all his devotees that those who apply sindoor to Hanuman and observe hanuman puja with sindoor would be graced with happy long life and all their wishes will fulfill.
The Holy Shrine of Kedarnath (one of the 12 Jyotir Lingas in Hinduism) is a beacon light of India’s most refined secularism. It is situated at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), on the banks of the legendary Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganges. It is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date. The present structure is believed to have been constructed in the 8th century AD and is on a site adjacent to where Pandavas are believed to have built the temple.
It has one Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) and a Mandap and stands on a plateau surrounded by mighty snow clad peaks and glaciers of the towering Himalayan Mountain Range. [One can see the majestic heights of Kedarnath peak 6,940 m (22,769 ft) and Kedar Dome 6,831 m (22,411 ft)].
The first hall inside Kedarnath Temple contains statues of the five Pandava brothers and Draupadi, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva. A medium-size conical rough stone formation is in the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) is the ruling deity, Lord Kedarnath Ji. It is revered and worshiped as Sadashiva form of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath, also means the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region.
The head priest (Raval) of the Kedarnath temple belongs to the Veerashaiva community from Karnataka but pujas are carried out by Raval’s assistants on his instructions. There are five main priests for the temple, and they become head priests for one year by rotation. During Pooja of Lord Shiva at Kedaranath the mantras are pronounced in the Kannada language, a tradition hallowed by a history of hundreds of years.
Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with the Holy Shrine of Badrinath..
The temple is opened Akshaya Tritriya to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winter months, the Vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple and the seat of the Lord are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months.
Contributed By: Dr. Amitava Mukharjee
(He is the most renowned world economist on poverty alleviation and empowerment today. He has long association with United Nations for launching their initiatives on fight against hunger and providing micro assistance to most marginalised societies. He is a great scholar and has been teaching in University of London and Stanford University. He has travelled over 130 Countries and written numerous books. Deeply religious he has visited various holy shrines. We bring you glimpses of his travelogue.)
||Om Surya Devam Namaste Stu Grihaanam Karoona Karam
Arghyam Ch Falam Sanyukta Gandh Maalyaakshatai Yutam ||
Surya Dev or the Sun God is the highly revering deity in Hindu mythology. Being the head of all the nine planets, Surya dev has immense strength and he controls the life on earth. Blessed with heavenly powers he is portrayed as riding the chariot which is driven by 7 horses or 1 horse with 7 heads. The number seven defines the seven majestic colors of the rainbow, the seven seasons and also the seven chakras of the human body.
Surya is widely worshipped by devotees, including the asuras or demons. Surya Devta is adored by the Saura sect, which worships him as one of the five main Gods. Yatudhanas, group of demons, were also the deep followers of Surya. Even the Greeks and Romans have special mention of Sun God in their ancient mythology.
Significance of adoring Sun God:
Sun is considered as the significator of health, profession and father in the Vedic Astrology. The light energy of the Sun is a natural remedy for the body ailments and boosts us with energy and positivity. Vitamin D from the Sun is a healthy source for stronger immune system and bones. While offering water to the Sun God in early morning hours, the sunlight gets refracted and reflected due to the thin layer of water which leads to the production of 7 forms of light that get absorbed by our body. Since our body has large surface area, the rays are absorbed through it, maximum by the chest.
The Sun is the symbol of the Self-god. As the Self-god illuminates the mind, the intellect and the body, the Sun illuminates the world. Being the highest symbol of enlightenment the Surya devta bestows the devotee with knowledge and illuminates the dark lives of his devotees.
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