In the 11th century i.e. in the post-Mahmud Ghazni era, the most powerful Hindu Kingdom in North India was that of the Gahadwala’s or Rathod’s who were a Rajput clan. The founder of the Gahadwala line was Jai chand.In Jaichand’s days, a rival Rajput clan had established itself in Delhi (Pithoragarh). The ruler there was Prithviraj Chouhan. Pritviraj was a romantic, chivalrous and an extremely fearless person.The story of Prithviraj’s bold exploits spread far and wide in the country and he was the center of much discussion in the circle of the nobility. Sanyogita, the daughter of Jaichandra Gahadwala fell secretly in love with Prithviraj and she started a secret poetic correspondence with him. Her father the haughty Jaichandra got wind of this So that he arranged a Swayamwara. Jaichandra invited all the big and small princes of the country to Kannauj for the royal Swayamwara. But he deliberately ignored Prithviraj. To add insult to injury, he even made a statue of Prithiviraj and kept him as a dwarpala .On that day, Sanyogita walked down the aisle where the royals had assembled and bypassed all of them only to reach the door where the statue of Prathviraj was established and garland the statue as a doorman. When sayongita came near to the statue, Prithviraj who was hiding behind the statue, also in the garb of a doorman, whisked Sanyogita away and put her up on his steed to make a fast getaway to his capital at Delhi. Then Jaichand decided to take revenge. For this he met with the another ruler Mahmud Ghori who was from Ghori in Afghanistan, they were attack on Delhi but he was defeated many times by Prithviraj, so Jaichand decided to help him by his own army and then Ghori who re-attacked Prithviraj with a stronger army and defeated him. As a prisoner in Ghor he was presented before Mahmud, where he looked Ghori straight into the eye Then Ghori ordered to the prisoner that Prithviraj’s eyes be burnt with red hot iron rods. This heinous deed being done.In those days Prithviraj was joined by his former biographer Chand Bardai, who had composed a ballad-biography on Prithviraj in the name of Prithviraj Raso. Chand Bardai told Prithviraj, that he should avenge Ghori’s betrayal and daily insults.
The two got an opportunity when Ghori announced a game of Archery. On the advice of Chand Bardai, Prithviraj, who was then at court said he would also like to participate. On hearing his suggestion, the courtiers guffawed at him and he was taunted by Ghori as to how he could participate when he could not see whereupon, Prithiviraj told Mahmud Ghori to order him to shoot, and he would reach his target.On the said day, Ghori sitting in his royal enclosure had Prithiviraj brought to the ground and had he unchained for the event. On Ghori’s ordering Prithiviraj to shoot, we are told Prithiviraj turned in the direction from where he heard Ghori speak and struck Ghori dead with his arrow. This event is described by Chand Bardai in the couplet,
“Char bans, chaubis gaj, angul ashta praman, Taa Upar Sultan hai. Ab mat chuko Chouhan.”
(Ten measures ahead of you and twenty four feet away, is seated the Sultan, do not miss him now, Chouhan).
Thus in the end of the story Prithviraj showed his braveness and courage in front of us and then he became a extreme fearless or brave king of India.
Why should we light earthen (mitti diyas) lamps – The mystery of Divine earthen (mitti) Lamp
When we light the earthen lamp there is combination of Five Divine Tattwas i.e. Soil (Earth, Fire, Air, water & Ether) & we chant the Mantra of Lord so it manifests divinity in our family.
Also, these lamps are made by potters with faith, emotion & feeling of Love for God & Goddess. These are made clay of the Divine Soil i.e. “Earth Element”
Thus,when we light earthen lamps on Festival like deepawali, govardhan puja and other pujas, we bring in the positivity.
Dev Prayag is the confluence of the two holy rivers, the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda to evolve as the mighty Ganges, the holiest river for Hindus. It is the last prayag (confluence) on the way from Badrinath. Beyond this confluence, the river is known as Ganges till it meets the sea in the Bay of Bengal.
At Devprayag the colour of the water from Alakananda is blue and crystal clear, while the colour of the water in Bhagirathi is pale yellow and muddy, evidencing the territory the two have traversed before reaching Dev Prayag.
The confluence of the Bhagirathi, and Alaknanda has been vividly described by a British Army Officer, Captain Raper as:
“The contrast between the two rivers joining here is striking. The Bhaghirathi runs down a steep declivity with rapid force, roaring and foaming flowing over large fragments placed in its bed, while the placid, Alakananda, flowing, with a smooth, unruffled surface, gently winds round the point till, meeting with her turbulent consort, she is forcibly hurried down, and unites her clamours with the blustering current“.
The confluence got the name tag ‘Dev’ from a poor Brahmin called Deva Sharma who performed “rigorous religious austerities” here.
The legendary king Rama did penance here were, to atone for his sin of killing the demon-king Ravana, a Brahmin. A famous temple dedicated to Rama called the Raghunath Math is located above the confluence (seen in the upper left portion of the picture). It is believed to be installed in the temple about 1250 years ago, though ancient stone inscriptions traced here, dates the temple’s existence to the first century AD. Vaishnavites consider it as one of the 108 Divya Desams (sacred abodes of Vishnu) for undertaking a pilgrimage during their lifetime.
The holiness of this place is considered equal to the famous Triveni Sangam confluence at Allahabad where the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers merge. For Hindus who wish to offer “pindas” to their forefathers, offering them at Devprayag is considered holier than Gaya.
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.)
Guru Nanak Dev Ji travelled to various places to spread the word of love, humanity and Universal brotherhood. Once he visited Saidpur, now known as Eminabad, so the head of the place Malik Bhago decided to make all the comfortable arrangements for Guru Nanak Ji. But to everybody’s surprise Guru Nanak Dev Ji decided to stay at the house of a poor carpenter named Lalo. In spite of the worst condition of Lalo, he arranged food to offer Guru Nanak ji. Nanak Dev ji accepted the food with love and was pleased by the hospitality of Lalo.
Malik Bhago was known for his corrupt means of earning money and taking the advantage of the plight of poor farmers. His ego could not accept that Guru Nanak ji preferred to live with poor Lalo and not him. Malik Bhago organized a special gathering and invited all the sacred men of the city along with Guru Nanak Dev ji.
When Nanak Dev ji refused to accept the invitation of Bhago, he ordered his guards to bring Nanak Dev ji to his place. When he reached Bhago’s place Malik Bhago said, “O holy man, I have prepared so many dishes for you, but you are staying with a poor carpenter and eating his dry bread? Why?”
Guru ji replied, “I cannot eat your food because your bread is made from corrupt money sucked from the poor, while Lalo’s bread is made from hard earned money.” On hearing this Malik Bhago became red with anger and told him to prove his point.
Guru Nanak Dev ji asked Lalo and Bhago to get their respective piece of bread. Guru ji squeezed both the breads with his hands. Milk dripped out from Lalo’s bread and blood from Bhago’s bread. Everybody was shocked to see this sight and Malik Bhago was terribly shaken with guilt. He immediately fell in the feet of Nanak Dev ji and asked for forgiveness. On Nanak Dev ji suggestion he distributed all his corrupt wealth among the needy farmers and from then on he decided to live a life of honesty.
With Guru Nanak dev ji’s grace Malik Bhago realized his mistake and could follow the path of righteousness.
Why we tie mango leaves on threshold of the door?
Whenever there is a celebration in the house, you will see that mango leaves are sewn on a string and are tied on the threshold of the door. Not only main door, but all the doors are well tied with the same. This not only looks beautiful but auspicious too.
As per Indian traditions and Vedic injunctions, Mango leaves are considered to be very auspicious and hence, they are used in Kalash Sthapana and other important Puja procedures. It is also used to purify the place by sprinkling water by a bunch of 5 mango leaves.
The scientific reason behind putting mango leaves are:
- Their wonderful property of warding off harmful bacteria and viruses away. Mango leaves have some aromatic compounds, which not only release wonderful aroma on being crushed or boiled in water but also, when hung in air.
- Hanging them releases various compounds which kill the pathogens away and create a nice and clean atmosphere. This positive atmosphere creates a positive effect on the mind of the individual.
- The green leaves like other plants release the useful oxygen and saves us from the harmful carbon dioxide.
- The mango leaves have been known for their unique traits even during the ancient era in the Hindu scriptures.
- Mango has been revered as the symbol of fertility. God of Love or Lord Kamdeva is also connected with mango leaves in the ancient tales.