Monthly Archives: September 2014

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

The Ramayana (Rama and Ravana ) story in pictures – Yuddha Kand (10)

The final battle of Lanka and end of Ravana

The end of Ravana is approaching fast. He has lost his brothers and son Indrajit  in the battle. As a true warrior, he turns up on the battle field. He starts to fight with monkeys with vigour and determination. Meanwhile Rama and Laxmana have gathered forces to subdue the final resistance from King of Lanka.

Ravana comes to battle field

Ravana comes to battle field

Rama and Ravana - The Ramayana

Rama and Ravana – The Ramayana

Commanders of Ravana killed

He approaches Rama. Meanwhile Sugriva kills Virupaksha, another trusted commander of demon king. Ravana instructs Mahodara to fight with Rama and army, but Sugriva kills him also. Angada soon ends the resistance of Mahaparsva, aided by Jambavant.

Rama Laxmana and Ravana

Rama Laxmana and Ravana

Ravana fights two brothers

Soon, King of Lanka attacks Rama and Laxmana and a great battle starts. Ravana uses his mystic missile, which was struck down by Rama. Soon Visbhishana also joins the two brothers. Laxmana was hurt by Ravana and becomes unconscious.

Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman

Hanuman bringing sanjeevani booti to revive Laxman

Laxmana unconsious

Rama gets worried of Laxmana’s condition. He asks Sushena to look at his brother. Sushena instructs Hanumana to bring the herbs. Hanumana brings the whole mountain when he could not locate the herbs. He was then treated by Sushena and regained consciousness.

Fight between Rama and Ravana

The battle between Rama and Demon king starts. Indra sends a chariot, an armour, some arrows and a powerful spear to help Rama. A tumultuous and thrilling battle ensues between two great warriors. A spear hurled by Ravana is thwarted by a powerful spear (sent by Indra) of Rama. Then, Rama strikes his opponent horses with arrows. He also pierces the chest region and the forehead of Ravana with his fierce arrows. The king of Lanka gets severely hurt.

Rama starts cutting his head

Slowly but surely, Ravana strength starts to diminish. When Rama begins to cut off demon’s head, another head starts to crop up in its place. The fierce encounter continues thus for seven days.

Matali provides the final piece of advice

Seeing this, Matali explains to Rama that end of Ravana has come. He says to Rama – “O lord! You can employ a mystic missile presided over by Brahma, the lord of creation. The time for his destruction has come now, as expressed by the celestials.” Then, the valiant Rama, who was reminded thus by Matali, took hold of a blazing arrow, which was given by Brahma and which in turn was given to him by the glorious sage, Agastya earlier in the battle-field and which looked like a hissing serpent. Having been made formerly for Indra, the lord of celestials by Brahma, the lord of creation of infinite strength, it was bestowed in the past on the ruler of gods, who was desirous of conquering the three worlds.

Rama releases the arrow and kills Ravana

That arrow, released with great speed and which was capable of destroying the body, tore off the heart of that evil-minded Ravana.

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

Rama using Prasavapana on Ravana

 

Vibheeshana laments the loss of his great brother

Ravana killed by Rama

Ravana killed by Rama

Vibheeshana laments a lot, after seeing his brother lying dead on the battle-field. Rama comforts him, saying that a warrior killed in battle, need not be mourned. Vibheeshana describes the personality of his slain brother and his qualities to Rama and seeks permission of Rama to perform funeral rites to Ravana. Rama directs Vibheeshana to perform the obsequies to Ravana, his deceased brother.

Maa Katyayani is worshipped on Navratri’s sixth day

Maa Katyayani

The sixth manifestation of Goddess Durga worshipped on Navratri Shasti is ‘Katyayani’. The goddess is known as Katyayani because she was born to Sage Katyayan.

The sixth manifestation of Goddess Durga worshipped on Navratri Shasti is ‘Katyayani’. The goddess is known as Katyayani because she was born to Sage Katyayan.

Maa Katyayani

Maa Katyayani

The appearance of Goddess Katyayani is as radiant as a gold. She can be seen seated on a Lion. Her arms blesses the devotees. Her one hand is in Abhay Mudra and the second hand is in Varamudra. She holds weapons in one hand and lotus in the other.

Story of birth of Goddess Katyayani

Goddess Katyayani took birth in Katyayan’s ashram to protect the sages and devas from the demons and devils. Sage Katyayana was the nurturer of the goddess. She took birth in Katyayan’s ashram to protect the sages and devas from the demons and devils. The wrath of the demon, Mahishasura was increasing terribly in all the three worlds. In order to kill this demon, the trinity of Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, created the Goddess Durga who was an aggregate of the powers of all the deities.

Sage Katyayana performed a hard penance of goddess Bhagawati to get goddess Durga born to him in the form of daughter. The Goddess acceded to his request and was born as the daughter of Sage Katyayana. Sage Katyayan wished goddess Durga to take birth in his ashram in the form of his daughter. The goddess acceded to his request and took birth to him on Dakshin Krishna Chaturdashi. Katyayana worshiped her for three days on Shukla Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. On the tenth day i.e on Vijayadashami she killed Mahishasura and gave freedom to all the gods from his atrocities.

The devotee should worship the goddess on the sixth day with rituals to please her. Her worship done with devotion and faith leads to the attainment of Dharma, Artha, Karma and Moksha.

Maa Skandmata

Maa Skandmata is worshipped on Navratri’s fifth day

Maa Skandmata

The fifth manifestation of the goddess Durga was named Skandamata. As she is mother of Lord Skand (Kartikeya), she is called as Skandmata.

The Goddess in this form has a fair or golden complexion. She sits on a lion and has four hands. She carries lotus in two of Her hands and has Lord Skanda or Kartikeya seated on Her lap. This form of Devi Durga is especially significant because it shows the Goddess in Her mother form. The Skandmata form signifies that the Goddess looks after the whole universe like Her own child.

Maa Skandmata

Maa Skandmata

 

The story of Skandmata

Devi Skandmata or Parvati is the daughter of Himalaya and the wife of Lord Shiva. According to the scriptures, once a demon named Tarakasur was a source of trouble for the whole universe. He had a boon that he could be killed only by the son of Lord Shiva. But since Lord Shiva was a hermit, He did not marry. So, Tarakasur became more violent as he believed that he is immortal. Later Lord Shiva was married to the daughter of Himalaya, Goddess Parvati. With the union of Shiva and Shakti, Lord Kartikeya or Skandkumar was born. Hence Goddess Parvati came to be known as Skandmata. Later He killed Tarakasur. The Goddess is extremely protective about Her son. Whenever the oppression of the negative forces increase, She rides on a lion and accompanies Her son to kill them.

How Skandmata is worshipped

Goddess Skandmata is worshipped along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva on the fifth day of Navratri. The puja begins with chanting the mantras and offering a herb called Alsi. The fifth aspect of Maa Durga is also worshipped in the form of a medicine called Alsi (Teesi or Linseed). Offering this Alsi you can ward off the problems of cough, cold, bile and gas. So if you are suffering with these diseases, you should take Alsi as Prasad of Maa Skandmata. The main purpose of worshipping Maa Skandmata is to flourish the business and shop. You should follow the following instructions if you want a sudden development in your business.

Maa Skandmata story in Hindi

Maa Kushmanda

Maa Kushmanda is worshipped on Navratri’s fourth day

Maa Kushmanda

Maa Kushmanda is the fourth manifestation of Goddess Durga. On the fourth day of Navratri Pooja, worship of Devi Kushmanda is performed giving her whole reverence. She nurtures the entire universe with her divine and gentle smile that revered her with name ‘Kushmanda’.

Describing Maa Kushmanda

She is depicted as seated on a lion, and possesses eight arms. She resides in solar systems and represents all knowledge. Seven types of weapons are shown in seven hands and prayer beads in her right hand. Rosery represents her power to bless her devotees with Ashtasiddhi (8 types of studies or wisdom sources) and Navanidhi (9 types of wealth). She likes the offerings of “Kumhde.” Therefore her name “Kushmanda” has become famous.

Maa Kushmanda

Maa Kushmanda

In this form, Mother Durga creates solar system by liberating her power to Lord Sun.

Meaning of Kushmanda

Kushmanda is ‘ Ku-shm-anda’ mean ‘Ku’ = a little; ‘ushma’ = warmth; ‘anda’ = cosmic egg. Thus she is the mother of the universe. The universe was full of darkness before her light spreads all around like the rays of lighted sun. She has eight hands with weapons, glitters, rosary, blessing hand etc.

In Hindu mythology, it is believed when there was no existence of universe,and when the densest darkness surrounded the whole planets of space, only a little soft smile of Devi Kushmanda illuminated the Universe. She is the form of ‘Adi Shakti’. It is advised that one should perform Pooja for this almighty only after absolute purification of heart and soul. Impure heart can make this Goddess infuriate. Grace of this Goddess finishes all types of physical and mental disorders and ailments. By spiritually worshipping Goddess Kushmanda, the worshipper can become free from afflictions.

Worship of Kushmanda

Her grace endows divine spark to adorers. Worshiping her in simple process, the worshipper can feel the existence of this great almighty. Goddess Kushmanda is true symbolism of divine spark. Worshippers of this Goddess certainly obtain cosmic energy that enhances their positive aura. Positive reflection makes the person glorified in society. With blessings of Devi Kushmanda, devotees can achieve name, fame and other comforts of life.

Maa Chandraghanta

Maa Chandraghanta is worshipped on Navratri’s third day

Maa Chandraghanta

The third manifestation of goddess Durga is Devi Chandraghanta and on the third day of the Navratri goddess Chandraghanta is worshipped by the devotees.

Maa Chandraghanta rides on Tiger, who is endowed with intense anger and violence and is known by this name because bell shaped mark of moon is present on her forehead. She has 10 hands which hold weapons like trident, chakra, bow and arrow, paash, sword etc. Goddess Chandraghanta is the married form of Goddess Parvati. After getting married to Lord Shiva, Parvati started adorning her forehead with half Chandra (half moon).

The third day of Navratri is considered to be the most important day of nine divine days and nights. Worshipping goddess Chandraghanta on this day eradicate all the problems and troubles of life.

She is the image of bravery. The frightful sound of her bell terrifies all villains and demonic incarnations. She is also the giver of supreme knowledge and bliss and is depicted as having golden skin with the half circular moon on her forehead, glowing. She is worshipped in this form in Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) India.Srisailam Devasthanam also is a temple of Ma Chandraghanta.A very popular legend associated with Maa Chandraghanta is the story of Raja Harischandra as her devotee.

Maa Chandraghanta

Maa Chandraghanta

The complexion possessed by Maa Chandraghanta is golden. She possesses ten arms which wield weapons and missiles like the sword, the bow, the mace, the arrows and the like. During the battle between the gods and the demons, the horrible sound produced by her ghantaa had sent thousands of wicked demons to the abode of the Death-god. She is ever in a warring posture which shows her eagerness to destroy the foes of her devotees so that her devotees may ever live in peace and prosperity. Divine vision is acquired by her grace. If a devotee happens to enjoy divine fragrance and hears diverse sounds, he is said to be blessed by the Mother.

Maa Chandraghanta should be adores and worshipped with great purity in mind and heart observing all the rites properly. Having acquired her grace, we get rid of all worldly turmoil and enjoy Supreme bliss. Devotees should always have her gentle form in their minds while meditating on her.

Maa Brahmacharini

Maa Brahmacharini worshipped on Navratri’s second day

Maa Brahmacharini

The second day of navratri or dwitiya day of shukla paksha of ashwin month is considered for the worship of maa Brahmacharini. on this day,  the moon is in Chitra Nakshtra. Brahma that is who observes penance(tapa) and good conduct. Here “Brahma” means “Tapa”. The idol of this Goddess is very gorgeous. There is rosary in her right hand and Kamandal in left hand. She is full with merriment. One story is famous about her. In previous birth she was Parvati Hemavati the daughter of Himvan. Once when she was busy in games with her friends. Naradaji came to her and predicted seeing her Palm-lines that, “You will get married with a naked-terrible ‘Bhole baba’ who was with you in the form of Sati, the daughter of Daksh in previous birth. But now you have to perform penance for him.” There upon Parvati told her mother Menaka that she would marry none except Shambhu, otherwise she would remain unmarried. Saying this she went to observe penance. That is why her name is famous as tapacharini – Brahmacharini. From that time her name Uma became familiar.
Maa Brahmacharini

Maa Brahmacharini

Today you can say the day for Chandra darshan. We observe nine forms of Maa Durga for the accomplishment of different desires. On this very auspicious day we observe Maa Brahmacharini. We can ward off all the sorrow and tensions by worshipping Maa Durga and get the contentness.

Maa Brahmacharini has created the shashtra like mahabal and mahavidya in108 forms of Maa Durga. She is considered as the second most influential goddess. As Brahma is the founder of all Vedas and knowledge, Maa Brahmacharini represents all the Mantra and creation. She is the symbol of all knowledge in this perishable world.She holds a rosary in her right hand and Kamandalu in her left. She personifies love and loyalty. Rudraksha is her most adorned ornament.

Maa Shailputri

Maa Shailputri worshipped on Navratri’s first day

Maa Shailputri

The first form of mother Durga among the nine is Shailputri. She has a half moon in her forehead; she is mounted on the bullock and holds a lance in her hand.

She is known as Shailputri, because she has incarnated from Himalaya, the Emperor of mountains. Mounting a bullock the mother has a lance in her right hand and the lotus flower in the left. She is the first one among the nine aspects of Durga. In her previous life she took birth from Dakhsha, the Prajapati as his daughter. Then she was known as Sati.

Maa Shailputri

Maa Shailputri

Once, her father Dakhsha organized a very big sacrificial ceremony in which he invited all gods to receive their sacrificial share. Lord Shiva was the only exception who was her husband.

When Sati came to know about the festivity arranged by her father, a strong desire arose in her heart to participate in the ceremony. She expressed her desire to Lord Shiva and solicited his permission. Considering all pros and cons Lord Shiva said – ‘Prajapati is displeased with me for the reasons known to him only. He invited in his function all gods and offered their sacrificial share to them. He did not invite me purposely; not even informed me. Under such circumstances it will not be proper for you to go there.’

Sati was not convinced with the piece of advice given by the Lord. The eagerness to see the ceremony and the prospect of seeing the mother and sisters did not subside. The Lord saw that Sati was very keen to go there so he gave her green signal.

A sense of strange joy started waving in her heart. She made necessary preparation and started. But all her enthusiasm subsided like the bubbles the moment she reached there. She found no affection in any eyes except her mother. Only she embraced her. She was greatly pained with the insulting attitude of her own relatives.

The entire atmosphere was surcharged with a sense of disrespect for Lord Shiva. Dakhsha also passed certain humiliating remarks intended for Lord Shiva. She watched all this and lost her balance. A mental storm made her full of remorse and anger. She repented on having overruled objection by her Lord.

She could not bear the insult of her spouse. Instantly she got her body burnt in the yogic fire, as the body was a gift of Dakhsha. The news of her demise reached Lord Shiva and he decided to give a good lesson to Dakhsha. The entire sacrificial canopy along with all paraphernalia was completely destroyed by his lieutenants.

In her next birth she incarnated her as Parvati the daughter of Himalaya and among Nava Durgas she has been referred to as Shailputri who was again known as Haimavati. According to one of the Upanisadic tales she in her Haimavati aspect defeated all prominent gods.

Like her previous birth in this life also Shailputri got married with Lord Shiva. The first and the most prominent among Nava Durgas, Shailputri is of immense importance and her glories are endless. On the first day of Navratra worship it is she who is worshipped. In this puja of the first day Yogi’s keep their mind concentrated on Muladhara. This is the starting point of their spiritual discipline.