Mythology

Story Behind offerings to Lord Hanuman

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Lord Hanuman is highly adored with butter and betel leaves while performing the puja ceremony. Let’s explore the significance behind these offerings.

Betel leaves:

They are specially offered to Lord Hanuman as once Mata Sita expressed her gratitude and and blessings to Him by showering the betel leaves upon him. It is said that the betel leaves were the token of appreciation and blessings of Lord Rama and Mata Sita for Hanuman, after winning over Ravana.

Moreover betel leaves are known to be offered to the intellectual one who is well versed with the sacred knowledge of Vedas and shastras. Thus the huge bank of knowledge of Hanuman and his intellect to use that knowledge in every difficulty made him get respect and love from Rama and Sita ji.

Butter:

At the time of battle between Lord Rama and Ravana, both were trying their best to defeat each other. Unlike the huge chariot of Ravana, Lord Rama was being carried by Hanuman ji.  When all the tactics of Ravana failed he thought to attack Hanuman instead of Lord Rama.

As soon as the arrow hit Hanuman ji and wounded him, Lord Rama was unable to see his devotees’s plight and fought vigorously with Ravana. The situation became worse for Ravana and he had to give up. When Lord Rama and Hanuman returned to their camp, Lord Rama himself applied cool butter on Hanuman ji’s wound to cool down his burning wounds.

Following the age old traditions began by Lord Rama and Mata Sita, betel leaves garland and butter are still offered to Lord Hanuman by his devotees, to express their love and respect for Him.

Goswami Tulsidas

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After the recent incident where the Bihar board topper ‘Ruby Rai’ could not write about Tulsidas ji. She just wrote ‘Tulsidas ji, pranam’ and left the entire nation shocked. This incident evoked Shubhpuja to make the oblivious youth aware about the ancient sage ‘Goswami Tusidas’ and his revering work.

Goswami Tulsidas ji was born to Atamaram Dube and Hulsi in Rajpur, Uttar Pradesh in 1532 AD. Since birth he has been an unusual being who was born with all the teeth taking almost a year in his mother’s womb. It was said that he was born during the asterism mula (मूल नक्षत्र), which is considered unlucky for the parents. The solution was to either leave the child or not to look at him for eight years.

His mother died after few days of his birth and the father was helpless to support his own son, thus the father abandoned the child. The boy was referred as ‘Rambola’ since his first word after birth was ‘Rama’. A lady named Chuniya, who was the mother-in-law of the midwife who had helped during the birth of the child, took care of him. Yet this could not last for long and she died after 5 years. Now Rambola was left alone and there was no one to take care of him. He became helpless for food and had to beg from door to door.

Later Narharidas, known to be the descendant of Ramanand took Rambola to Ayodhya, where he stayed for about 10 months and then he shifted to Varanasi. He received his spiritual learning at an early age and got the knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, Hindu literature and philosophy, four Vedas, six Vedangas, Jyotisha from his guru Shesha Sanatana at the Panchaganga Ghat in Varanasi. Throughout these years his master and gurus used to narrate him the Ramayana and it became a part of his daily diet.

After coming back to his home town he married Ratnavali in 1583 and had a son named Tarak. Rambola (Tulsidas) was attached to his family and showered his complete love and care upon them. Seeing the intensity of his care once his wife told him that he should shower this love on God and not only on them. Love for God can help him to fulfill the purpose of his life. Soon after hearing such statements from her wife, Tulsidas left his home and went to Prayag after renouncing his grihstha life.

As the destiny had already decided Tulsidas fate; Lord Hanuman had predicted that a saint named Tulsi will recite the Ramayana in Hanuman’s words. Situations were created and as per the similar planetary positions (the day when Shri Rama was born) on Ram Navami, Tulsidas ji began writing the immortal verse- Ramcharitramanas. Tulsidas expressed his own divine feelings and love for his lord using the lyrical poetry. He completed the holy book in 2 years, 7 months and 26 days, on the anniversary of Rama and Sita ji.

Apart from it, Tulsidas ji wrote many other books like Dohavali (573 miscellaneous Doha and Sortha in Braja and Awadhi), Kavitavali (kavittas in Braja), Gitavali (328 Braja songs divided into seven books), Krishnavali (61 Braja songs for Lord Krishna), and many more.

Tusidas was in direct communication with Lord Rama due to his devotion and bhakti for Hanuman ji. Once Tulsidas expressed his ardent desire to have the pratyaksh darshan of Lord rama. Hanuman assured him that someday Lord will come to bless him in person. One day when Tulsidas ji was sitting on the stairs of river Chitrakoot, after taking bath and preparing sandal paste to apply on his forehead, he found two self illuminated people and a lady coming to him and asked him to apply tilak on his forehead. While he was performing the task Lord Hanuman murmured in his ears-

“Chitrkut ke ghaat par bhayee santan ki bhid, Tulsi daas chandan ghise tilak kare raghubir”

Then it dawned on Tulsidas that the person before him is Lord Rama with Lakshman and Sita ji. He immediately feel on their feet and seek their blessings.

It is said that his end was highly painful and he suffered from boils on his arms. At that time Tulsidas ji wrote Hanuman Bahuk. It is a series to portray the strength, devotion and virtues of Hanuman followed by his humble prayers to cure his problem by seeking His blessings.

Tulsidas ji is an epitome of perfection for the human beings and his love for Lord Rama is beyond expression. His life is an inspiration for today’s man and his teachings help us to get closer to the supreme reality.  He said, “Sri Ram is Brahman itself. He is unknowable, unperceivable, beginningless, nonpareil, devoid of transformation, and indivisible. He is that which the Vedas have been describing as ‘neti-neti, not this, not this”.  Tulsidas ji taught us the language of love leaving aside all the other barriers and his literary works are a silver lining for the deteriorating society.

Adoring the Surya Devta

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||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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Ray of Hope: Shankh or Conch

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shubhpuja.comThe beginning of propitious celebration is incomplete without the soothing tune of the conch or shankh. The trumpet sounds so peaceful to the ears and is purely a sign of brilliant and auspicious beginning. In Indian mythology, God Vishnu, the God of Preservation, is shown with a shankh in one hand and a chakra in the other. The shankh symbolizes positivity over negativity and it is blown as a ray of hope. During puja, shankh is also used as a container of holy water.

  • Shankh is considered as one of the most auspicious objects that emerged from the sea during the Sagara Samudra Manthan.
  • Whenever conch shell is blown, it is said to eliminate the evil effects and purify the environment.
  • The natural vibration or cosmic energy of the Earth gets magnified on entering the conch shell, which can be heard as the gentle humming sound of ocean.
  • When the conch is blown, the sound emanated from it is a symbol of creation, as it contains the five elements of nature
  • The vibration from the conch has the power to heal the ozone hole in the ozone layer, a major cause of global warming.
  • The positive vibrations enhance the positive feelings around like courage, willpower, determination, hope and love.
  • By blowing the shankh the frequencies consisting raja–tama particles are destroyed and at the same time the saviour and destroyer principle of a deity is awakened.
  • Shankh is a sign of good luck, wealth and prosperity for the inmates of the house as it keeps the negative energies away.
  • While performing Lakshmi Puja, conch shell is filled with milk and then it is poured over the idol. Water collected in shankh is offered while worshipping sun.

Unexplored journey of the mighty and benevolent fighter: Bhishma Pitamah

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The more we know about it, the greater it raises the curiosity within us to explore and analyse it further. The greatest epic in history, Mahabharat is an epitome of longest text that highlights the controversial politics, sibling rivalry, hegemony over women and power along with the increase in ‘adhrama’. Despite all this, the relevance of the epic, has still not lost its essence and is an inspiration for all. Apart from the widely known stories, till date the scholars discover the hidden secrets and unravel new mysteries as they comprehend the epic.
• ‘Ganga putra’ Devavratha (Bhishma) was the eighth son who had been known for his principles and vows towards his kingdom. His vow of bachelorhood became the reason for the agony of Amba, who wanted to seek revenge for the denial of her proposal. Lord Subramanya appeared with the fresh garland of lotuses and it was said that whosoever would accept that garland would turn into an enemy of Bhishma. Later, when Amba came in her next life as the daughter of King Drupad, she wore this garland playfully as a child, but later she became the reason of his death in the form of Shikhandi.
Prabhasa (Vasu) was cursed by Vashishta to be born in the human world, as during one of the journeys Prabhasa’s wife insisted him to bring Vashishta’s cow. This made Vashishta angry and he cursed Prabhasa, so he was born as the eighth son of Ganga and Shantanu named, Devavratha.

Strengths and weakness of Bhishma:
Bhishma, known for his valour and principles driven life, sacrificed his entire journey for the benefit of Hastinapur. Bhishma refers to someone ‘who takes a difficult vow’ and his duty as a son and further as a brother, father and grand-father are quite known to us. In spite of his courage and dutiful attitude, these qualities became his weakness too, as many times even when he knew that he was favouring the wrong side, still he carried on to do so because of his vows and value system.
• He took away the three daughters of the King of Kashi for his younger brother Vichitravirya, but when he came to know about Amba’s love for someone else, he dropped her back to his father’s palace, which was indeed an act of disrespect. Her lover refused to marry her due to Bhishma. Bhishma couldn’t undo the promise, made to Satyavati’s father, of remaining a bachelor throughout his life so he denied the marriage proposal too.
• His subservience towards the throne of Hastinapur made him stay numb and helpless during Draupadi’s humiliated disrobing in the court before King Dhritarashtra and everybody else. Bhishma is renowned for his mighty strengths but when it was actually needed to react and use his skills, he chose to be a puppet in the hands of external forces and overlooked the respect of women.
• At times he unintentionally became a part of the evil strategies of Kauravas, as after the 12 years of exile when Pandavas were in their hiding period, he said that “there must be absolute law and order, as well as peace and prosperity prevailing wherever Yudhisthira stayed”. This gave an immediate clue to the evil Duryodhan and his skepticism made him reach King Virat’s kingdom. By keeping the gun on Bhishma’s shoulder, the Kauravas once again invoked King Virat to fight by snatching away his herd of cattle.
• Bhishma was aware of the wrong intentions of Guru Drona against King Drupad, still he welcomed him to his kingdom and later on we saw that Guru used his students for his own Recently Updated2selfish motives. This rivalry resulted in the animosity between Hastinapur and Panchal, which lasted till the end.

Thus being an idol son and faithful towards his kingdom, he failed to follow the right path due to his ignorance and old values. Though he was following his words and expected the welfare of his kingdom but ultimately due to his reluctance of not adapting to the change, he could not alter the evil thinking of Kauravas. Being a great warrior, he tried to prevent the war by reconciliation between Pandavas and Kauravas, yet as it was already written, the war was essential for the end of ‘adharma’ and rise of the peaceful and righteous world once again.
Bhishma had to suffer at his death bed as earlier in his 73rd life birth, he injured insects by piercing needles into their body. So at the end Krishna blessed him and freed him from the Karmic cycle of life and death and the curse of Vashishta.

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

Blame It On Kalyug!

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Every time you switch on the news channel, you can see clippings of a theft or a murder that took place somewhere in the world. You might even end up seeing some riots or the news about a girl who fell victim to the atrocities of some sick minded people of our society. What’s your first reaction like? “What can we do? It’s kalyug!”, you’d probably say. Really? You might even add how good it would be to have lived during the satyayug when people lived together in peace and harmony and cared for each other. Let me ask you one thing. Is it fair to blame the time or the age we are living in for the innumerous crimes that take place every day in our society? For us to understand this, we first need to realize what we mean by a yug or an era.

According to the ancient texts and scriptures, Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an epoch or era within a four age cycle. The cycles are said to repeat like the seasons. Each yug involves stages or gradual changes which the earth and the consciousness of mankind goes through as a whole. The cycle starts from the satyayug and goes on till kalyug until starting all over again.

It’s believed that the satyayug also known as the “Era of truth” was a time when mankind was governed by gods. During this age, there was no divide between the rich and the poor as there was no need to work. This is because all that people required was obtained by the power of will. The chief virtue of this era was the abandonment of all worldly desires. As a result there was no hatred or sorrow. The people would follow all the rules and regulations sincerely and conduct their dealings in a just and honest manner. Hence this was known as the “Golden Age”.

As of now, we are believed to be living in kalyug or the age of the vice. This is the last of the four ages described in the Hindu scriptures. Lord Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals and values. Isn’t it true to our world? We realize that the more a person tries to stay close to his ideals the more miserable the life he has to live whereas people who lie and cheat lead a comfortable life, enjoying all the materialistic pleasures the world has to offer.

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Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. It seems true looking at number of crimes in the society and the sorry state of the society in general. The Mahabharata prophesized some events in the kalyug which bear striking resemblances in today’s world. It said that in the kalyug, rulers will become unreasonable and will no longer protect their subjects becoming a danger to the world. They will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality. Moreover, lies, greed and wrath will become common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other. Sins will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish. People will take vows and break them soon after. Gurus will no longer be respected and their teachings will be insulted.

Sounds familiar? This is exactly what’s happening in our world. I don’t know if you believe in the concept of yugs or not. I don’t know if you believe in spiruality or not. But I do know one thing. You cannot and should not blame the time for the poor state of our society. If you want to see a change in our society make it happen. If you say that it’s not possible for a single person to make a change, its true. But as is evident, every achievement that seems big today began with the dream of a single man. Do your bit and see how it sets off a domino effect. Let’s do our bit to make this world a better place to live in. Your tiny contribution counts too!

Contribution By Mihir Ajgaonkar

Bhrigu Samhita

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Bhrigu Samhita is the art of preparing the birth chart and we can, without any doubts, call it the Indian equivalent of the Zodiac Signs. “Janma Kundli” a complete scientific chart drawn with mathematical precision based upon the exact time that we were born is very popular amongst the Indians. It takes into account of all the planetary positions and their astrological influences at the different stages in our lives.

This has been obtained off the Bhigu Samhita, which is an astrological (Jyotish) classic attribute to Maharish Bhrigu during the vedic period, treat yuga, although evidence available suggest it was compiled over a period of time by various shishyas of Maharishi Bhrigu. Perhaps the Bhrigu Shashtra set to have penned down by Shukracharya dictated by Rishi Bhrigu who was the master of Brahamvidya.

The great Indian mythology says Mahariṣhi Bhṛigu insulted Lord Vishnu in some way which eventually crossed his wife- Goddess Lakshmi who also happens to be the supreme goddess symbolizing prosperity, wealth and fortune. She cursed Maharishi Bhrigu — that he and the community he represented (the Brahmins) will be parted away from wealth.

After great triumphs of apologies, the Goddess suggested him to share his Astrological vidya so that his Brahim counterparts and generations to come shall be benefitted. Maharishi Bhrigu became the first compiler of predictive astrology by compiling about 500,000 horoscopes. His database formed a base for further research and study. This study culminated in the birth of the science (Śāstra) of determining the quality of time (Horā) and is the Bṛihat Parāśara Horā Śāstra.

Maharishi Bhṛigu gave his predictions on different types of horoscopes compiled by him with the help of Lord Gaṇeśa in a brief and concise manner.

These Horoscopes were based upon the planetary positions of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rāhu (North Node of the Moon) and Ketu (South Node of the Moon). The total permutations/possible horoscope charts that can be drawn with this is about 45 million. Maharishi taught this art of predictions to his son (Śukra) and other pupils and that’s how it became a legacy and continued.

The amazing accuracy of the predictions that the Bhrigu Samhita contains attract all, the rich, the poor, the educated and the un-educated since times immemorial. People in millions have been benefitted with the readings of this Granth. We at www.shubhpuja.com understand, however, that not all of us have the time and room to read the granth and utilize for our greater good. Therefore, we bring you the benefits of the same by the research and the reading that we’ve done. Visit us, consult a pandit and get a full-view of your own janma-kundli and other life charts, all scientifically done and based on our ancestral gem of the Bhrigu Sanhita.

(Follow this direct link to consult a pandit: http://www.shubhpuja.com/Consult-a-pandit-depid-162703-page-1.html)