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

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

185 – Ridding the universe of cosmic poison

Durvasas, a bad cranky sage cursed the gods, and they became very weak. They were terrified that they would be expelled from the heavens and would cease to enjoy the good life. They were unnerved and they invited the asuras who were titans and lived in the nether world to assist them in recovering the amrita, the elixir of immortality. Mount Mandara, a spur of Mount Meru, the world axis was used as a churning stick. The churning stick rested on Vishnu, in his incarnation as the tortoise, Kurma. Continue reading

183 – Shiva, the Auspicious one

Shankaracharya addresses Shiva, as the great ruler. He says, “O Auspicious One, the Great Ruler, O Compassionate One, O Thou wielder of the Trident, Thou Lord of Gauri and of the creatures, the destroyer of all bondage of the jivas, Thou Lord of Varanasi, out of thy mercy Thou projectest, maintainest and destroyest this world. Thou art the Great Ruler.” Continue reading

136 – Who is Ganesha

Ma Shakti created Ganesha. She did not desire a son, she created him to be her protector. After Shiva beheaded Ganesha in a fearsome rage, there was pandemonium in the universe. Parvati assumed the form of Kali and was prepared to destroy and devour all the worlds. The Gods and devas were terrified, and the Gods said that they will have to give him some of their attributes. Shiva called him Ganesha which means ruler, gana means a group of people and isha means master. Continue reading

125 – It’s 2022 – Practice the Happiness Restraint

Swami Niranajananda Saraswati wrote about happiness, the first Yogic Yama (restraint). Parvati asked Shiva, how one can remain happy. There was so much unease and distress in the universe. What could her children do? Parvati and Shiva are the eternal couple and parents of the universe. Parvati’s ongoing concern is that her children should remain happy and at peace. Continue reading

120 – The favourite food of the Gods

Ganesha’s favourite food is modak which are dumplings made from rice flour, stuffed with coconut and jaggery. The reason why it is considered so special is because it was first offered to Shiva and Parvati by the junior gods. It was said that if this special offering was consumed by anyone, he would have the power of understanding the scriptures and be master of all knowledge. Parvati being a mother wanted both her sons to have it. However they refused to share it. They were given a task and whoever completed the task, first that person would get the modak. Continue reading