Wedding of frogs

Wedding of frogs

Sounds strange, but this is true. Frogs are married in some part of india, according to a mythological ritual. There is a purpose behind this. In extreme summer, when there is no sign of rain, a yagna is performed to please Lord Indra. In Hindu Mythology, Indra is the person responsible for rains.

This yagya is nothing, but wedding of frogs are per the hindu rituals. Vermilion is applied on the forehead of female frog to mark her as the life partner of the male frog. This is an age-old tradition that if frogs are wedded, then Indra Dev will be pleased and monsoon will come. People attend the wedding in large numbers.

Wedding of frogs - for rain
Wedding of frogs – for rain

This wedding is performed with artifical frogs as well as with real frogs. The rationale behind this tradition is that during rainy season, frogs came out and croak to please Lord Indra. The wedding is performed for the same reason and this is thought that frogs will be pleased and welcome rain gods.

Read this article for a frog wedding in Varanasi.

This is not limited to India. The same ritual, wedding of frogs has also taken place in Bangladesh. The objective is the same, to bring rain on earth.The “bride” and “groom” came from two neighbouring villages 110 kilometres (68 miles) north of the capital Dhaka, according to the Bengali paper Jugantor. Villagers organised the wedding ceremony because the region was suffering a water shortage as it waited for monsoon rains to arrive, according to school teacher Noor Mohammad Kalon, who was a guest on behalf of the “groom.” More than 250 men, women and children came to the wedding. We all danced and sang,” the teacher, 42, told AFP by telephone, adding that the guests were served a traditional wedding feast of rice, lentils, fish, beef and sweets.
“The bride and groom were in special wedding dress. We blessed them in the ceremony and released them in a nearby pond afterwards.

Read the full bangladesh wedding story of frogs.

The most recent wedding of frogs has taken place inTakhatpur, India.  This is also celebrated in remote part of Assam.

 

Dashavatar pictures – Indian mythology (1)

Pictures of Lord Vishnu in various avatars (Dashavatar)

Lord Vishnu

 

Matasya avatar of Lord Vishnu
Matasya avatar of Lord Vishnu\
Matasya avatar
Matasya avatar

Vishnu took the form of a big fish. There is a story about this in Hindu scriptures. The Asuras or the demons snatched the Vedas, the holy books of the Hindus, and went deep inside the sea. At this point, Vishnu changed his form. He became a matsya, that is, a fish. He entered the sea and brought back the Vedas. There is another story of recreation of human kind after the pralaya, where the sage Manu put all the vedas and other important things in a boat and Vishnu took that to safety.

Read the whole story of Matasya Avatar here.

Kurma avatar – Lord Vishnu

Here Vishnu took the form of a Turtle (kurma) and then goes the story of the samudra manthan or the churning of the ocean. He provided the base which helped in churning of the ocean. There is another story that when Demons got hold of Amrit, Vishnu helped the gods again in form of Mohini. One Demon had drank some Amrit, Whom Vishnu has cut into two. Thus Rahu and Ketu have been born.

Read the complete story of Kurma avatar.

Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu
Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu takes the form of a Boar(varaha). Here the Lord kills the demon Hiranyaksha and saves earth.

Read the full story of Varaha Avatar.

Narsingh avatar of Lord Vishnu
Narsingh avatar of Lord Vishnu

Here the lord takes the form of half man and half beast. He assumes the form of lion headed man and proves how the little boy Prahlad was a true devotee.

Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu
Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu
Here the lord incarnates himself as a dwarf priest to restore Indra’s authority over the heavens, which was taken away by force by the demon king Bali and liberates the Asura king Bali.
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Interesting birth stories from Indian mythology

Birth of Rama, Pandavas, Jarasandh and others

Indian or hindu mythology talk about interesting stories of  births as well. We find instances where great characters came to earth in different way. One common way is that eating dessert or fruit results in birth of a child.
We find this once in the period of The Ramayana and once in the period of Mahabharata.

Birth of Rama (An incarnation of Vishnu Dashavatar)

Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya, has three queens but he was deprived of children. He resorted to penance and after a dedicated worship and havana, messenger of Brahma offered him divine dessert, which was supposed to give sons to Dasharatha. He distributed the dessert to his queens and they soon became pregnant and later became the proud mothers of Ram, Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughan. This is how, one of the dashavatars of Vishnu, Rama was born.

Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god
Dashrath performing yagna and receiving prasad from Agni god

 

Birth of Jarasandh

Jarasandha was the king of Magadha.  Jarasandh’s father has done severe penance to get a son.  His father got a Magical mango from a sage. It was told that the his queen will get pregnant upon eating the fruit. He distributed the fruit in two halves and gave each half to his two wives. Both delivered a half of a baby , born dead.The king ordered the two halves to be thrown. A demon called Jara was wandering nearby and she noticed the pieces and joined them into one. The baby came alive. It was named as Jarasandh in the honour of the rakshasi. The boy became a very strong man. He defeated and captured 86 kings and kept them prisoner, intending to execute all of them in a sacrifice, once the number reached hundred. This will make him invincible and the ruler of world. For the success of Rajasooya yagya, Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema, went to him disguised as Brahmins and asked him to choose one of them to fight him. He rejected Shri Krishna saying that he was of inferior birth. He also denied Arjuna for a fight because he thought he was a child. He chose Bheema as he appeared suitable for a fight. The fight lasted a long time, thirteen days. Finally, acting upon Krishna’s advise, Bheema tore Jarasandha into two pieces, and tossed the pieces (cut lengthwise) facing opposite directions. This is how Jarasandha was killed in the same way he was born. Thus, as a result of killing of ruler of Magadh, Jarasandh, the path of
Rajsooya yagya was cleared. Yudhishthira later completed the Rajsooya yagya. This story is from the times of Mahabharata.

 

Birth of Drona

Drona was born in a vessel. Sage Bhardwaj produced reproductive fluid after seeing an apsara Ghritachi. He preserved this is a vessel (droon). Drona was thus developed from this fluid. Drona would later boast that he had sprung from Bharadwaja without ever having been in a womb. Even Drona’s wife, Kripi, was gestated outside a womb. Kripi and her brother Kripacharya were the children of the great archer, Shardwan. Indra felt threatened by him and sent an apsara to lose his control over his brahmacharya, thus saving his throne. This story is again from the times of Mahabharata.

Dhrishtdyumna-killing-drona-indian-mythology-mahabharat
Drona and Dhrishtdyumna – Mahabharat

 

Birth of Kauravas

Few people know that Kauravas birth was unnatural as well. Gandhari longed for hundred sons, and Vyasa granted her a boon that she would have these. She was unable to have any children for a long time and she eventually became pregnant, but did not deliver for two years, after which she gave birth to a lump of flesh. Vyasa cut this lump into a
hundred and one pieces, and these eventually developed into a hundred boys and one girl, Dushala.

birth-kaurava-gandhari-mahabharat-indian-mythology
Gandhari and Kauravas – birth – Mahabharat – Indian Mythology

 

Birth of Karna and Pandavas

Kunti was the mother of first three pandavas. When she was young, the sage Durvasa told her a mantra with which Kunti could summon any deva and have a child by him. When Kunti asked why he gave her this mantra, he told her that it would be useful to her later in life. Kunti, out of curiosity tried the mantra before her marriage and became the mother of  Karna. She had to let her son go and he was brought up by Adhirath.

Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away
Birth of Karna and Kunti letting him go away

Later, after marriage, she bore three more sons and shared the mantra with Madri, who became the mother of Nakula and Sahdev.

pandavas-draupadi-mahabaharat-indian-mythology
Pandavas and Draupadi

Akshardham temple- A fabulous creation

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Mandir


Swaminarayan Temple Akshardham, is the world’s biggest and the most beautiful creation I have ever seen. This is situated in Delhi, India. A fabulous temple which is built with a combination of marble stone, sand stone and wood. This temple is spread over ground covering 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high.

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple (Mandir)

 

The Akshrdham temple is built to ancient standard without using any steel and as such is designed to last 1000 years. The intricate nature of carving both inside and outside is stunning. This building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami maharaj, the spiritual head of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Wall design - external
Wall design – external
The ornate external wall. In the last 800 years this is the only and largest, intricately carved wall (mandovar) in India with dimensions of 611ft x 31ft. It comprises 200 sculptured stone figures of India’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine incarnations.
This temple consists of 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars, a spectacular Gajendra Pith (plinth of stone elephants) and 20,000 murtis and statues of India’s great sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine personalities.
The Gajendra Pith is a unique, captivating feature of Swaminarayan Akshardham mandir. It pays tribute to elephants, symbolizing the entire animal kingdom. Sculptured according to the ancient shilpa shastras of India it is ornately carved in pinkstone, stretching for 1,070 ft and featuring stories and legends of elephants with nature, man and God. Every panel reflects the messages of social harmony, peace and spiritual faith. The Gajendra Pith, weighing 3,000 tons, has 148 full-sized elephants, 42 birds and animals, 125 human sculptures and decorative stone back drops of trees, creepers and royal palaces.

 

This is the circumambulatory path (parikrama), in the temple is made of red stone from Rajasthan, consisting of 1,152 pillars, 145 windows and 154 samvaran shikhars; amounting to a total of 53,956 stones. It surrounds Akshardham like a beautiful decorative garland. Every window and gallery in the lower parikrama provides different views and insights to Akshardham mandir. You can hear the soothing sound of water issuing from the 108 Gaumukhs. The soft chanting of the holy names of God permeates the parikrama, giving an experience of peace and divinity. The two-tiered parikrama is the first of its kind in India which is present at Akshardham.

There are 108 gaumukh at Akshardham from which you can hear soothing sound of water while moving in circumambulatory path(parikrama).
This is view of garden. This is a special lotus of auspicious sentiments. , every petal inspires with messages from internationally renowned personages about faith in God and faith in man. Lush lawns, gardens and exquisite bronze statues of India’s child gems, valorous warriors, national figures and great women personalities inspire visitors with values and national pride.
This is Yagnapurush Kund which is a fascinating combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. It is the world’s largest yagna kund measuring 300′ X 300′ with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines. In its center lies an 8-petaled lotus shaped yagna kund designed according to the Jayaakhya Samhita of the Panchratra scripture. Its perfect geometric forms testify to ancient India’s advanced knowledge in mathematics and geometry which is follwed at Akshardham.
At night the center comes to life with a colorful musical water fountain that echoes the Vedic sentiments of India.
In the inner sanctum lies the 11 feet high beautiful and divine murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the murtis of Guru Parampara, namely, Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj; where every sincere prayer is answered. One can also have the darshan of the deities of Sanatan Dharma: Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Lakshmi-Narayan, Shri Shiv-Parvati, avatars and twenty-four Chaturvyuh or Keshav murtis of God.
Akshardham Temple at night
The magnificent beauty of temple at night. This temple building covers 32 acres area, 11,000 people worked on its construction and it was completed in just 5 years. It receives 100,000 visitors a week and 850 volunteers work their daily. The Akshardham temple is surely a gem of its times.

Ghatotkacha – rescuer of Pandavas (Mahabharata)

Ghatotkacha – rescuer of Pandavas

A very important character in Mahabharata, because his death has ensured that a threat to Arjuna’s life was removed. A brave warrior, who fought bravely to bring Karna to use his special weapon on Ghatotkacha.
Pandava’s sons, Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha have virtually ensured that their fathers won the battle of Mahabharata.  Both of these warriors have lost their lives in the battle.

Father and mother of Ghatotkacha

Ghatotkacha was the son of Bhima and Hidimbi (Hidimbaa, classically). His maternal parentage made him half-Rakshasa, and gave him many magical powers that made him an important fighter in the Kurukshetra war, the climax of the epic. He got his name from his head, which was shaped like a pot. In Sanskrit, Ghatam means pot and “Utkach” means head.
Ghatotkacha, when he was young, lived with his mother Hidimbaa, when one day he had a fight with Abhimanyu, his cousin, without knowing that Abhimanyu was Arjuna’s son. Later on both, alongwith Arjuna’s other son Iravan went to the marriage of Sundari and Abhimanyu married her.
Ghatotkacha - son of Bhima and Hidimba
Ghatotkacha – son of Bhima and Hidimba
Ghatotkacha is considered to be a loyal and humble figure. He made himself and his followers available to his father Bhima at any time; all Bhima had to do was to think of him and he would appear. Like his father, Ghatotkacha primarily fought with the mace.
His wife was Ahilawati and his son was Barbarika.

In Mahabharata war

In the Mahabharata, Ghatotkacha was summoned by Bhima to fight on the Pandava side in the Kurukshetra battle. Invoking his magical powers, he wrought great havoc in the Kaurava army. In particular after the death of Jayadratha, when the battle continued on past sunset, his powers were at their most effective (at night).

Duryodhana’s request to Karna

At this point in the battle, the Kaurava leader Duryodhana appealed to his best fighter, Karna, to kill Ghatotkacha as the whole Kaurava army was coming close to annihilation due to his ceaseless strikes from the air. Karna possessed a divine weapon, or shakti, granted by the god Indra. It could be used only once, and Karna had been saving it to use on his arch-enemy, the best Pandava fighter, Arjuna.
Ghatotkacha's death
Ghatotkacha’s death

Death of Ghatotkacha

Loyal Karna, unable to refuse the request of Duryodhana whose cause he had pledged himself to serve, hurled the missile at Ghatotkacha, killing him. This is considered to be the turning point of the war. After his death, the Pandava counselor Krishna smiled, as he considered the war to have been won for the Pandavas now that Karna no longer had a divine weapon to use in fighting Arjuna.

Rainbow

Rainbow, a seven coloured arch, which is formed when sunlight passes through the droplets of moisture. A very natural phenomenon, but is a favourite component in mythology.
According to Greek mythology, rainbow is considered as a path made by messenger (iris) between earth and heaven. According to Hindu mythology, its called Indradhanush i.e. bow of God Indra (Indra is considered as a God of rain, thunder and lightning). Another mythology says it’s bow of God of love. Whereas according to Chinese mythology, a slit in sky which is sealed by a Goddess with different colours of stones. In Norse mythology it’s a bridge between home of God and humans.
Rainbows can be formed by other forms of water than rain, including dew, mist and spray. We confuse them with rainbow.
A Circumhorizontal arc, or fire rainbow, is ice-halo formed on cirrus clouds at higher altitude by ice crystals.
Circumhorizontal arc or fire rainbow
A Circumzenithal arc this is formed due to refraction of sunlight through horizontally-oriented ice crystals, generally in cirrus clouds.

Circumzenithal arc, high above the horizon

Fog bow often known as white rainbows or cloud bows because it is white in colour. This is similar to rainbow, but the small size of water droplet causes fog.

A Fog bow

Glory is much smaller than rainbow. Its a combine effect of reflection, refraction and diffraction, by the cloud of refracting water droplets towards its source. It can be seen only when the observer is in between sun and cloud of refracting water droplet.

Glory with aircraft shadow in center

Sun dog, is a kind of ice halo, a coloured patch of light on both right and left side of sun.
A bright Sun dog

Moonbow is also known as lunarbow or lunar rainbow , this is formed when the light is reflect from the surface of moon, These are faint as compared to rainbows.

Moonbow or Lunar rainbow