Wednesday October 18, 2017

Hanuman, Somaskanda among rare artifacts to be displayed in Singapore Museum

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Bajrangbali

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Singapore: When Asian Civilisations Museum reopens in November after nearly a year-long revamp, statues of Lord Hanuman and Somaskanda (Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and their son Lord Skanda) will be among the rare statues that would be displayed to the public.

The 22-years old museum aims to preserve the cultural heritage of Asia and is one of the foremost in its line of work. The first phase of the revamp will be completed on November 14, and it includes expanded gallery spaces, a new wing called Kwek Hong Png Wing, and a new entrance towards Singapore River.

Somaskanda is among the “Top 20 Highlights” of the museum, which also includes artifacts like Royal Malay Seal, Standing Buddha, Seated Buddha, God of Wealth (Hindu-Buddhist God), and Quan Am (Vietnamese version of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara) among others.

Appreciating the activities of the museum, Rajan Zed, a noted Hindu activist, in a statement in Oslo (Norway) on Friday said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and he urged the major art museums of the world to hold Hindu art focused exhibitions so that Hindu heritage can be shared with the world.

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8 Immortals In Hindu Religion You Would Like To Know About

There are 8 immortals in Hindu religion who are believed to remain alive through kali yoga. Until a person attains Moksha, their life cycle is incomplete and Samsara of life and death continues. There is no escape to this fate.

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Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

New Delhi, September 24, 2017: Hinduism is the oldest known religion in the world. The way of life and spirituality in Hinduism is followed by certain rules, called Hindu dharma. Widely practiced in South Asia, Hinduism dates back to 4000 BCE to 1500 BCE in context to pre-Vedic religions and Vedic period.

Hinduism observes a comprehensive range of philosophies, from where the Hindu text are themed into four Purusarthas, Dharma (duties), Artha (work/prosperity), Kama (desires), and Moksha (freedom/salvation). These are the important part of fulfilling and happy life that makes a complete cycle of living.

Until a person attains Moksha, their life cycle is incomplete, and Samsara of life and death continues. There is no escape to this fate, and it is believed in Hindu Dharma that 8 personalities are in the same infinity cycle of Samsara. The eight immortals or Astha Chiranjeevi as they are known stands the loop Chiram (Long) and Jivee (Lived).

The 8 immortals in Hindu religion who are believed to remain alive through kali yoga

Maha Rishi Markandeya

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

One of the devotees of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, Rishi Markandeya comes from the Bhrigu, a clan of sages. The legend behind speaks of the great devotion of Markandeya towards Shiva to save himself from the god of death, Yama.

Rishi Mrikandu and his wife Marudmati worshipped Lord Shiva and requested from him the boon with a son. However, the boon came up to them two options, either their son will have a short lifespan or the son will have low intelligence. Mrikandu chose the first option and was blessed with Markandeya, who was destined to die at 16. The destiny cannot be escaped, and so the time came.

Markandeya knew about his fate, and on the day of his death, he started to worship Lord Shiva near the Shivalingam (the symbolic statue that represents Lord Shiva). The devotion and prayers were so powerful that the messenger of death God Yama was unable to take his life. Hearing this, Yama appeared himself to take away Markandeya’s life. He started to create a trap around the teenage sage, but mistakenly it grounded upon the Shivalingam. Furious Shiva emerged from the Shivalingam and a battle started between them on point of death. Yama couldn’t handle the rage of Shiva and thus resulted in losing it and sparing the life of Markandeya. Also, Shiva revived Yama to give the boy a boon of immortality.

This legend made Maha Rishi Markandeya be one of the 8 immortals in Hindu religion.

Asura King Mahabali

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

The great-grandson of Hiranyakshipu, the grandson of Prahlada and son of Virochana, Mahabali.

The most beloved king in Kerela, Mahabali ruled his kingdom with prosperity and happiness. His success as a king led Gods to be cautious and bring him demise by Vamana, Vishnu avatar. Vamana asked Mahabali for 3 steps of land at the time of Ashwamedha Yoga, a Hindu rite that Bali performed to maintain dominance over three worlds. Bali agreed to it and granted Vamana the boon. Vishnu avatar Vamana covered the earth and the heaven with his two steps and asked Bali now that you don’t have anything left how will you fulfill my grant. Mahabali offered Vamana his head as a place his last step, which compelled Bali to go underworld.

Vamana got pleased with his devotions and blesses Bali to be the Indra during the period of Manu, known as Savarni. Bali’s devotion, dharma, and polite words mesmerized Lord Vishnu and he was granted with a boon of visiting the earth once a year. Onam festival in Kerala is celebrated to welcome Asur King Mahabali in this regards. He is also one of the 8 immortals in Hindu Religion.

Parashurama

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Born in Brahmin family, Parashurama was a warrior. Unlike other Brahmins, he was very temperamental and was also known to all as the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Parashurama, the Brahmin-Kshatriya has many personas of being Kshatriya like warfare, valor, and aggression.

He is a martial Shraman ascetic. However, it is believed that he still lives on earth and is one of the 8 immortals in Hindu religion. He is an avesha avatar, the one who takes spiritual possession on other with his special power.

Like other avatars of Lord Vishnu, Parshuram appears at the time when evil tries to prevail earth.

ALSO READ: Was Taj Mahal Once a Shiva Temple? The Debate over the Tomb Continues

Vibhishana

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Vibhishana, the younger brother of demon king of Lanka,‘Ravana’. He comes from a rakshasa family (demon family) but was a nobleman who advised Ravana to release Maa Sita, who was kidnapped. He insisted Ravana to return Sita to her husband, Lord Rama, but his advice was not entertained. Eventually, he left Lanka to join Rama’s army.

With his knowledge and support, Rama defeated Ravana and crowned Vibhishana as the King.

When Vibhishana became the king of Lanka, he ruled the country with peace and prosperity following the path of Dharma.

During the end of Rama avatar, Lord Vishnu directed Vibhishana to stay on earth and maintain and guide people to the path of dharma. Hence, he is counted to be one of the 8 immortals in Hindu religion.

Hanuman

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Pavanputra(Wind-God son) Hanuman was born to Anjana and Kesari.

According to ancient legends, Anjana and Kesari long devotions and prayers towards Shiva brought them to have Hanuman as their son. The story goes like while Anjana and Kesari were worshipping Shiva, the king Dasaratha of Ayodhya performing the ritual of Putrakama Yagna for the same reason.

On finishing the Yagna, Dasharatha received a sacred kheer to be shared by his three wives, Kausalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. By the grace of God, a kite snatched a splinter of that kheer and it fell down while the kite was flying over the forest. Vayudev (Wind God) brought that splinter to Anjana, which she consumed and Hanuman was born as a result.

Hanuman is one of the major characters of Ramayana meets Lord Rama in the last year of latter’s 14 years exile. Hanuman helped Rama to defeat Lanka King Ravana, who kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita.

Hanuman is pictured as the devotee of Lord Rama and Maa Sita. The story follows during the last age of Rama, Hanuman was blessed with immortality.

Veda Vyasa

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Vyas, the author of legendary epic Mahabharata and the holy book Shrimad Bhagavatam is a great scholar and Hindu scriptwriter. He is among the 8 immortals in Hindu religion who is a prime example of knowledge and wisdom.

Many believe that Vyasa is Chiranjivins (immortals). A festival in India is dedicated to him, named Guru Purnima on account of his birthday.

Ashwatthama 

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Ashwatthama or Drauni, son of Guru Dronacharya, is a mighty Maharathi, who fought from the Kaurava side in the battle of Kurukshetra against Pandavas. He is among the eleven Rudras avatar and also one of the seven avatars of Chiranjivi.

Born as Chiranjivi, it is believed that he has a gem on his forehead which gives him the power to take control over all living beings except humans. It also protected him from thirst, hunger, and tiredness.

The tales say that during the Mahabharata war, on the night after the conquest of Duryodhana, Ashwatthama was terrified and twitchy. He made up a plan to attack Pandavas camp during the nightfall. With his desire, he affected a large part of Pandavas army by massacring them.

The next day when Lord Krishna and Arjuna came to know about it, they searched for Ashwathama. The fierce fight resumed again, with both Ashwatthama and arjuna drawing Brahmaastra at each other. Vyasa was aware of the power of it and asked them to revoke it.

Arjun learned the words of Vyasa and retract his Astra, while Ashwatthama diverted it towards the womb of Uttara, where the only lineage of Pandavas was living. Lord Krishna protected the baby from it but he cursed Aswastthama with 3000 years of sufferings.

He was asked to give away the gem on his forehead and he will be wandering around in the forest with puss and blood coming out of his body.

It is believed that he is one of the 8 immortals in Hindu religion and still there roving around with incurable diseases.

ALSO READ: Hollywood Celebrities Who Converted to Hinduism

Kripacharya

Immortals in Hindu Religion
Source: Wikimedia Common

Known as one of the most important characters in Indian epic Mahabharata, Kripacharya is the true embodiment of impartiality.  He is one among the immortals in Hindu religion and the boon was bestowed upon him by Lord Krishna. Kripacharya is placed even above Dronacharya in the list of Hindu immortals because of his virtues,

Kripacharya is placed even above Dronacharya in the conference of immortality because of his virtues, righteousness, and impartiality. It is because of his quality to remain calm in any stressful condition that he stands out from the rest of the immortals. As stated in Mahabharata, Kripacharya was also capable to manage 60,000 in

As stated in Mahabharata, Kripacharya was also capable to manage 60,000 in the battlefield.

– Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire

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Devdutt Pattanaik’s View of The Ancient Hanuman Chalisa

In the book "My Hanuman Chalisa", Pattanaik seeks to demystify the aura that shrouds the ancient chant for the readers

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Hanuman Chalisa
Shri Hanuman Chalisa. Wikimedia
  • Hanuman Chalisa and its deeper significance
  • Author Devdutt Pattnaik’s take on the sublimity of Hanuman Chalisa
  • Hanuman Chalisa as the most powerful expression of Hinduism

July 17, 2017: Some believe Hanuman, the name almost a personalization of strength and tenacity is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hanuman Chalisa is a devotional hymn dedicated to Bajrang Bali by the Great Indian poet, philosopher and saint Shri Goswami Tulsidas. Written in Awadhi, it is the most powerful expression of the essence of Hinduism. It consists of 40 verses applauding the mighty and devoted Hanuman Ji.

Hanuman has attained immortality for his love and devotion of Lord Sri Ram. His name is intrinsically knitted with the glory and honour of Ram. The verses encompass birth, adventures, duty and glory, to the ideas of death and rebirth writes Devdutt Pattanaik.

“I have always avoided the academic approach, as scholars are too busy seeking “the” truth while I am interested in expanding “my” truth”. Pattnaik reaches out for a deeper significance of the self.

Also Read: Here is why in Hinduism, Lord Hanuman is believed to be the Epitome of Strength and Energy!

Pattanaik opinionates that, in Ramayana, Ram exemplifies dharma. Ravana stands for adharma. Hanumanji chooses dharma over adharma. Good over evil and chaos. In the north are the humans (nara) in Ayodhya, led by sages (Rishis), discover their divine potential (Brahmana), which is the essence of Vedic wisdom. In the south, beyond the sea, on the island of Lanka are the demons (rakshasas) led by Ravana, son of a Rishi (Vaishrava, son of Pulastya), who uses Vedic knowledge for power, and fails to internalize Vedic wisdom. In between, live the monkeys (vanaras).

Pattanaik writes that words like “north” and “south” in the Ramayana should be read metaphorically, because Vedic thought is all about the mind, and seeks to apprise how we ‘see’ the world. The characters Ram, Ravana and Hanuman act as metaphors. The Ramayana takes place in the landscape of our mind. Ram is a manifestation of Dharma. Similarly, Ravana stands for adharma. Hanuman, from amongst all the monkeys, makes the journey towards Ram. The Rishis whom Ram preserve make their journey from north to empower and enlighten the hungry and the weak. Ram of Ayodhya encounters vanars or monkey people while journeying towards the north in Kishkinda. Ram of Ayodhya moves south where he encounters vanars or monkey people in Kishkinda (Deccan plateau) and then rakshasas in the far south.

“The hungry and the frightened seek to combat and conquest, hence Vijay — victory where someone is defeated. The wise seek a different kind of victory, Jai — where no one is defeated, where the self is able to conquer its own hunger and fear to acknowledge, appreciate, even accommodate the other. Both Jai and Vijay seem to mean the same thing, “hail” or “victory”, but there is a nuance in the meaning, the preference for internal victory in the case of Jai over external victory in the case of Vijay. This Jai is what we want for Hanuman, and from Hanuman, as we read the Hanuman Chalisa.” (book extract)

In the book “My Hanuman Chalisa”, Pattanaik seeks to demystify the aura that shrouds the ancient chant for the readers. To make it accessible to the contemporary readers of the age.

– prepared by Puja Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter @pujas1994

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10 facts about the significance of Hanuman Jayanti in Hinduism!

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Lord Hanuman, pixabay

New Delhi, April 11, 2017: On full moon day of Chaitra month, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated. Hanuman, who is also known as Vanara God, was born on this day and

  • Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated with fervor to commemorate the birth of Hanuman.
  • In the west, Hanuman is known as “the Monkey God” and this year it is celebrated on April 11, 2017.
  • Devotees observe Hanuman Jayanti during a different time of the year as per their regional beliefs and the type of calendar being followed.
  • Hanuman Jayanti during Chaitra Purnima is the most popular one in North Indian states. Chaitra in Georgian calendar is meant as April.

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  • In Andhra Pradesh, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated for 41-days which starts on Chaitra Purnima and concludes on the tenth day during Krishna Paksha in Vaishakha month.
  • In Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is known as Hanumath Jayanthi and observed during Margashirsha Amavasya. On contrast to North Indian custom and ritual and Gregorian calendar, Tamil Hanuman Jayanti falls in January or December instead of April.

NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.

  • In Karnataka, Hanuman Jayanti is observed on Shukla Paksha Trayodashi during Margashirsha month. The day is popularly known as Hanuman Vratam.
  • It is believed that Hanuman was born at Sunrise. On Hanuman Jayanti day temples embark on spiritual discourses at dawn before Sunrise and halt it after Sunrise.
  • It is believed that Hanuman was born at Sunrise. On Hanuman Jayanti day temples embark on spiritual discourses at dawn before Sunrise and halt it after Sunrise.
  • Hanuman, is also known as Anjaneya,an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and Sita himself.

– by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse