Saraswati

Dev Prayag

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Dev Prayag

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“.

Alaknanda before entering Dev Prayag
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.)

Power of the sanctified thread: significance of wearing a Mauli or Kalava

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The customary tradition of tying a Mauli on the wrist during any religious ceremony has usually been witnessed by us. In the beginning or at the end of the ceremony, pandits tie a mauli on the right hand of males and on the left hand of females. The ceremonies are considered incomplete without the mauli and it holds various religious and scientific significances.

Relevance of the thread (Mauli):

  • The auspicious blessings of Tridev- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and Tridevi- Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga; are bestowed upon the devotee by tying mauli.
  • Mauli acts as a protecting shield against the evil energies and worldly problems.
  • To receive the grace of the Gods which are worshipped during the puja or havan.
  • The thread signifies the unconditional promise of serving and surrendering ourselves in the feet of God Almighty.
  • The pious thread provides the strength to fight against diseases, enemies and other dangers.
  • It is believed that Lord Vishnu during his incarnation of Vamana tied a red thread on the hands of King Bali to grant him immortality.
  • As per Ayurveda, our entire body is processed through veins so when we wear a mauli, it helps in creating a balanced blood circulation and proper body functioning.
  • The mauli on the wrist helps in controlling the blood pressure.
  • It is beneficial in controlling the Vaat (Wind), Pitt (Bile) and Cough (Phlegm) s, when they are in a disordered state.
  • It also acts as a commitment of love and care, when tied by a sister on her brother’s wrist.

 

||Yen baddho bali raja danvedro mahabalah

Ten tvamanubadhnaami rakshe maachala maachala||

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

 

Improve love, luck and destiny – Why should you worship during Navratri?

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Every festival has its relevance and it’s better to know and believe rather than just follow it. Similarly the nine nights of Navratri has a hidden story behind them which varies according to the belief in varied parts of India.

North India:

The North Indians hold the belief that the violent devil Mahishasura was the faithful worshipper of Lord Shiva. He adored him for years and finally achieved the fruit of eternity. On obtaining immense power, his evil energies became prominent and his ego made him feel that he can conquer all the three worlds. The devil carried on with his cruelty and evil deeds for long, which finally disturbed the Gods and other deities, as he challenged them too. Helpless innocent people along with all the other Gods pleaded the supreme power of Lord Brahma, Lords Vishnu and Lord Shiva to take some urgent action. The divine power gathered all their Shaktis together which lead to the birth of beautiful female warrior Goddess Durga. Mahishasura lost control over his emotions and felt in love with the beauty of Goddess Durga. He proposed her for marriage and Ma Durga accepted his proposal on a condition. She kept a clause that she will marry him only if he wins her in a battle. As lost in love and his pride, he accepted the condition and was sure about his victory. The fierce battle between them continued for about nine nights and finally on the ninth night, Goddess Durga beheaded demon Mahishasura. The beheading of Mahishasura symbolise the cutting down of our evil devilish qualities which resides within us. It inspires us to get rid of these traits and inculcate positive qualities otherwise our condition will be similar to Mahishasura. The tenth day is celebrated to glorify the power of goodness and spread the message around. These nine nights of struggle is the period of navratri which is considered auspicious by Hindus.shubhpuja.com

East India:

This belief holds the story about the beautiful and dedicated daughter of King of Himalayas, Daksha. Uma was madly engrossed in worshipping Lord Shiva and wanted him to accept her as his consort. She performed severe penance for several years and finally pleased by her devotion, Lord Shiva married her. Uma’s father was against their marriage and he never wanted his daughter to reside in Mount Kailash with Shiv ji. One day Daksha organized a huge yagna and invited everybody except Lord Shiva. This news irritated Uma and she went to her father, who was answerable for this insult. When she reached there, she heard her father insulting lord Shiva. This was against her self-respect and she jumped into the fire of yagna and united with eternity. She was named as Sati from then on. Later Sati took rebirth as Goddess Parvati and married Lord Shiva again. So every year Uma along with Ganesh, kartikeya, Saraswati and Lakshmi and her two friends named Jaya and Bijaya; comes to visit her parent’s home when Durga Puja is celebrated.

Another major belief is from the Hindu epic, Ramayana which says that Lord Rama worshipped the nine forms of Goddess Durga for nine days to achieve immense positive strength for ending the cruelty of Ravana. So the tenth day marks the end of evil Ravana which is still celebrated by burning huge effigies of Ravana on Dusshera.

For rejuvenating your mind, body and soul along with immense blessing of Ma Durga, book your puja package now- http://www.shubhpuja.com/Navratri-puja-depid-359796-page-1.html

 

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja