Shiva
December 7, 2018

THREE SAIVA SAMPRADAYA-S AND AGHORASHIVA

It is believed that there are twenty-eight primary Saiva Siddhanta texts and over 200 upagamas (smaller texts) which define the rituals and methods to be employed in the worship of Sadasiva in temples. Many of the Agamas are now extant only in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. Description of temple rituals and the correct acara to be used for the worship of different gods and goddesses in the Saiva pantheon is the primary concern of the Agama literature. Even though there is very little philosophical content in the Agamaic texts, yet it is widely agreed that the Saiva Agama-s have…
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Shiva
September 1, 2018

Jvaradeva

One of the lesser known gods in the Saiva pantheon is called Jvaradeva - god of fever. He is depicted as three-armed, three-legged and when he would attack an individual their body temperature would increase to uncomfortable levels. Later on jvara deva was paired with Sitala or goddess of smallpox. The story of his origin goes this way that when the terrifying lord Rudra was engaged in great Tapas, Jvara was created from a drop of his sweat and then became a part of the Saiva demigods. In the Vedic hymns to Rudra he is often regarded as the greatest…
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Shiva
June 1, 2018

Jageshwar: Shiva as Lord of Nagas

Deep inside the Deodar forest near Almora in Kumaon region there is a 7th century temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva. Deodars are considered extremely sacred among trees, and areas where such forests exist (Western Himalayas from Gandak river in central Nepal) have a pure and rare energy. The Jageshwar temple complex consists over 100 small temples dedicated to different forms of Devi, Surya, Ganapati, Vishnu with the main deity being Shiva. According to the ASI, some of the temples inside belong to the post-Gupta or the second half of 1st millennium while others belong to the 2nd millennium. Other…
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Shiva
May 22, 2018

On Mahashivaratri

असित-गिरि-समं स्यात्‌ कज्जलं सिन्धु-पात्रे सुर-तरुवर-शाखा लेखनी पत्रमुर्वी। लिखति यदि गृहीत्वा शारदा सर्वकालं तदपि तव गुणानामीश पारं न याति॥ O, great master! Even, if one were to assume that the blue mountain, the ocean, the heavenly tree, Parijata, and the earth are the ink, the ink-pot, the pen and the paper respectively and the goddess of learning (Saraswati) herself is the writer, she will not be able to reach the frontiers of your greatness, however long she were to write! Shiva Mahima Stotra of Gandharva Pushpadanta. The #Mahashivaratri celebrated on the Chaturdasi Tithi of Phalgun masa is almost universally regarded as…
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Shiva
May 21, 2018

Mahākāla

Mahākāla is a common deity in Hinduism and Buddhism. With the decline of the Pashupata and other Saiva sects, worship of Mahakala become restricted to the Kali Kula in Hinduism. Mahā (महत्; "great") and kāla (काल; "time/death") literally means One who is beyond Time. It is essentially Shiva but more limitless than the normal conception of Mahadeva. Beyond Mahakala there is nothing, no past, no future, no elements, no forms. Time or Kala kills all living beings. Mahakala is the death of Time itself. Contemplating on Mahakala is an excellent method of going beyond limitations and all ideation and concepts.…
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Shiva
May 13, 2018

Nataraja

The Thirumantiram is a classic spiritual poetry from the 5th century by Thirumular, and one of the first books to use the term Shaiva Siddhanta. Scholars believe that the veneration of Lord Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer and Lord of Dance, Nataraja, starting from South Indian Saiva traditions. Every shade of every iconography of a deity represents some spiritual truth which can be experienced by sadhakas even today. That is the beauty of Sanatana Dharma - it is eternal because it can eternally relived by those who are sincere in their quest. But why does Nataraja dance? What else will the…
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Shiva
April 22, 2018

Hanuman

The Valmiki Ramayana describes Hanuman as a mahapandita (great scholar), Mahavira (of tremendous valor), a master of Veda-s and Vedanga. He is also described later as Bajrang, one who has a body as strong as lightning. By the 10th century Hanuman was regarded as an amsa of Shiva and this association is reflected in many popular prayers to Hanuman like the Hanuman Chalisa. In Maharastra Sri Ramdas, Guru of Shivaji, composed many beautiful stotras to Hanuman of which the Bhimarupi Maharudra is particularly popular. The strength of Hanuman has always been awe inspiring, and often invoked for protection from any…
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Shiva
April 21, 2018

Rudra

namo bhavāya cha rudrāya cha namaḥ śarvāya cha paśupataye cha namo nīlagrīvāya cha śitikaṇṭhāya cha namaḥ kapardine cha vyuptakeshāya cha namaḥ sahasrākṣāya cha śatadhanvane cha namo girīśāya cha śipiviṣṭāya cha ... Prostration to the one who is the most dear (pleasant), to the one who is the most dreaded terroriser (frightening). Prostration to the one who kills living beings with arrows, to the Lord (benefactor) of all living beings. Prostration to the blue-necked one (disfigured (discoloured) naturally), to the one with whitened throat (throat smeared with Bhasma (ash); disfigured (discoloured) artificially). Prostration to the wearer of matted tangled locks of…
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Shiva
April 21, 2018

Bhairava

Bhairava holds within Himself the entire universe by reducing all the shaktis to sameness with Himself and inasmuch as He completely devours within Himself the entire mass of ideation which is responsible for sense of difference - Shiva Sutras. Bhairava sadhana, especially of the forms of Kalabhairava, when performed over long periods of time will inevitably lead one into zones which are outside of society. Probably, the reason why the Kapalika path vanished is not only because of its exclusivity and stringent requirements but also because the energy so invoked by these sadhanas make an individual progressively unfit to stay…
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