321 – Skulls and severed heads

When some of us think of Hindu Goddesses, we associate some of them with being fierce and blood thirsty. That is not the case; it is our misunderstanding which has been reinforced by the distortion of facts. As a child, I never felt afraid of Kali, Tara, Chinnamasti, Matangi and Bhairavi. They all wear garlands of skulls or severed heads. Continue reading

314 – Tripura Sundari, Goddess of the three universes

Tripura Sundari is also known as Sodasi, Lalita, Sri Vidya and Rajarajeshwari. Her worship centers on the worship, meditation, mantra and Sri Yantra. Tripura Sundari is identified with three channels of Kundalini Yoga. She is the cosmic queen. Continue reading

313 – The origin of the 10 powerful forms of the Goddess

Sati (first avatar of Parvati) and Shiva were married much against her father’s will. She was her father’s favorite child. Her father Daksha organized a Yagna, a great sacrifice. All the Gods were invited, other than Sati and her husband Shiva. Sati was heart-broken and Shiva being Shiva did not care. She begged him to take her to the Yagna uninvited. He refused and then she transformed herself into 10 manifestations of herself and each form was more terrifying than the other. They surrounded Shiva and he had to agree to her demand. Continue reading

233 – Devi in the hindu tradition

The Goddess has been worshipped in the vedic and tantric traditions in numerous forms. Thousands of goddesses exist in India, all manifestations and symbols of one energy and power. As Durga, she is the remover of obstacles, as Kali, the destroyer of time and annihilator of the ego. As Lakshmi, she is the granter of wisdom and knowledge. As Saraswati, she is the granter of wisdom and knowledge. As Tara, she is the guiding light. As Jagdamba, she is the mother of the universe. Continue reading

213 – Namaste Navratri and Summer Solestice

We all have to join together and rid the universe of evil and destruction. In the Shastras it is written that the easiest way to experience God in these troubled and turbulent times is by worship. We need not go into a complicated philosophical discussion. All we have to do is to bow our heads before the deity, who is greater than any other power of the world. Aradhana (prayer) starts from this act and progresses gradually towards bliss and love. Begin with the deity, one loves and adores (it can be the elements, chakras, and yantras), and one rises progressively above the form and merges into the supreme atman. Continue reading

190 – Hindu Gods and the significance of their vehicles

Every important Hindu God has an animal as its vahana (vehicle). They are never without them. In Sanskrit vahana means that which carries or that which pulls. These vahanas are either animals or birds and they represent the various spiritual and psychological energy that bears the Gods. The vahana may wear a saddle upon which the deities sits, or they may pull a chariot, driven by the deity. Continue reading

149 – Violence, ferocity, and repression

These are strong expressions and we would be in a state of denial if we said that we had never experienced these feelings. When we ask ourselves, “Who am I?” Do we know the answer to that question? We are aware of our individuality. Our individuality is identified with our mind, our senses and our body. We are a single entity. Therefore our anger stems from dissatisfaction, unfulfilled desires embedded in roots of attachment. Continue reading