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Money Talks: Power Play at Simhastha Kumbh in the ranks of Naga Sadhus

The post of Shri Mahant is a respected and a desirable one as it is important in the functioning of the akhara.

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Kumbh Mela. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Last week in Ujjain, there was a violent clash between two groups of Naga sadhus for the top post in their akhara during the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain. The power play has prompted doubts and questions regarding spiritualism.

Rahul Puri, one of the Naga sadhus who received bullet injury as a result of the clash in Ujjain reflects upon the complexities and dangers of power play in the monastic orders. Important positions in akharas are bought for huge amounts of money and hence hierarchical equation is of great significance to the sadhus.

Avahan akhara is one of the seven militant ascetic orders of Shaiva persuasion and Rahul belongs to this group. Together with three Vaishnav akharas and another three akharas owing allegiance partly to Sikhism and partly to Shaivism, they control most of the ascetic space of Hinduism and its largest religious gathering is the Kumbh Mela.

Related article– Kumbh Mela: One of the greatest Pilgrimages in the World

On May 12 the incident happened in the Avahan akhara that proved the complexities of power play leaving about a dozen of Nagas injured.

The post of Shri Mahant is a respected and a desirable one as it is important in the functioning of the akhara. There are four Shri Mahants in total that represents four sets of marhis (ascetic lineages), who jointly take all the decisions related to akhara like dealing with real estate holdings and other assets.

Naga Sadhus. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Naga Sadhus. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A Shri Mahant is elected for a period of six years by a set of marhis in a democratic manner. The election is done based on a required set of skills, of which money and muscle power seems most crucial. Once the person gets elected, he influences the functioning of akhara even after he leaves his post.

In 2013, an incident took place during the Allahabad Kumbh, where the Mahanirvani and Juna akharas faced similar charges of having received huge amounts of money from Radhe Ma as well as Swami Nithyanand respectively for anointing them as Mahamandaleshwars.

These incidents clearly show that money talks and money matters to maintain the equation of power play. “Almost 90% cases in Ayodhya are of this very nature. Crimes being committed for mahantship is merely a reflection of what has been happening here for quite some time,” said Ranjit Lal Varma, an advocate in Faizabad.

In the nerve centre of Vaishnav akharas, in Ayodhya, incidents like allegations against disciples who killed their gurus to take over precious temple land and ashrams are nothing to be surprised of and one can tell that by looking at the pile of cases in the local courts.

(Inputs from Scroll.in)

 

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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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Earn More Money- Vastu Tips to impress Lord Kuber

Vastu tips to impress the Lord of Wealth and prosper in life

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Money
Lord Kuber
  • Vastu Shastra plays a significant role in improving your standard of living.
  • Vastu tips like right placement of different materials would help you prosper.

It is important to impress the Lord of Wealth, Kuber for earning more money. However, Lord Kuber does not get easily impressed, you need to work your fingers to the bone.  Science has proven that the traditional Hindu architecture system, Vastu Shastra (science of architect) affects the luck of the individual or the family. It enhances your standard of living.

Below are some Vastu Shastra tips for impressing the Lord of Wealth!

Vastu Tips For Wealth:

  • Place the money Locker in the South or South-West direction

Money
Locker should be in the south or south-west direction. Pixabay

The jewelry and cash kept in the money lockers should always be in the south or south-west direction. It is said that Lord Kuber lives in the northern direction and if, the locker is opened towards the north, the god will shower wealth on it.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • The money locker should not be placed under a sharp focus light

Money locker being the most important thing of your house, should be kept in a calm space. It cannot be placed under a sharp focus light, as it shows that the family is going through a tough time.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Place the locker in front of a mirror

It is stated that keeping a mirror in front of the money locker would double the wealth you have, as the locker’s image gets reflected in it.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Position of staircase for prosperity

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Staircase should not be built in the north-east direction. Wikimedia.

The staircase should not be built in the north-east direction, as this portion attracts the greatest money and money; thus, it needs to be clutter free.

Also Read: Vastu Shastra: Why is it Regarded as the Science of Architecture?

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Land purchasing

While purchasing a plot of land, one must see that there is no high-rise building or temple in the north-eastern direction as it acts as an obstruction in the flow of wealth. If purchasing a land in such a situation is unavoidable, then you must ensure that the building does not cast a shadow on your land.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Tree plantation in the South-West

Money
Tree plantation should be in the south-west. Pixabay

Vastu Shastra Gurus have suggested that planting trees in the South West region would bring good wealth and fortune in the family and prevent mishaps.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • House should be neat and clean

Ever wondered why people say that Goddess Lakshmi resides in the house of those, who keep their houses clean? Vastu Shastra Experts have suggested that the main entrance of the house must always be clean, as it’s an invitation to Lord Kuber and Goddess Lakshmi.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram


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Korea’s Ayodhya Connection : Lakhs of Koreans Make a Pilgrimage to this Pious City Every Year

India and Korea share commercial ties, trade routes and some cultural similarities. But what if we tell you that the two also share genes and common descendants?

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Ayodhya is also known as the sister city of Korea.
The city of Ayodhya is believed to share more than commercial ties with Korea. Wikimedia
  • Links between Korea and India are not restricted to only present day trade-links
  • Ayodhya has become the epicenter of a religious divide in Korean city of Kimhae
  • Korean government declared Ayodhya as the sister city of Korea in 2001

Ayodhya, August 9, 2017: If you hail from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, would you believe us if we said you might have some distant cousins in Korea? Researchers discovered in the last decade that Korea and Ayodhya have a shared history and traced Korean roots to the pious Hindu city.

It is widely believed that travelers from both these countries not just traded goods but also shared genes. Professor Byung Mo Kim, who is a Professor Emeritus of Hanyang University and a national archaeologist from Korea, believes that he shares his genes with Ayodhya’s royal family. “I hail from Kara dynasty, whose first woman was the princess of Ayodhya, who married the first Kara king. Her brothers went on to become the kings of Ayodhya”, he said explaining his genetic connection to the holy city.

Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh plays host to hundreds of South Koreans every year, who visit the holy Hindu city to pay tribute to their legendary queen Hur-Hwang-ok.

ALSO READ: Mayan, Sumerian, and Mexican: The Untold Link and Similarities to Ancient India

If you are wondering what a Korean Queen was doing in the Hindu holy city, the queen, also known as Princess Suriratna, is believed to have been the princess of Ayodhya before she went to South Korea and married King Kim Suro of Karla Clan in 48 AD. Thus, Professor Kim regards princess Suriratna as the “daughter of Ayodhya” and added that it is in this manner that Ayodhya is their maternal home.

According to Korean legends, the princess was only 16-year-old when she traveled to Korea and got married to King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya and became his first queen. It is also popularly believed that the Princess was the mother of descendants who brought together multiple Korean kingdoms in the 7th century, making Karak the largest clan in Korea. Thus, it is due to this connection that more than 70 lakh Koreans hold the holy city of Ayodhya in reverence as their maternal home.

The princess is believed to have traveled from Ayodhya to South Korea on a boat, with a stone in her hand that is believed to have calmed the seas on her voyage. The legends also state that it was only because of this stone that she could safely make the journey.

The twin fish stone that the Princess was carrying is the state symbol of Ayodhya and is touted as the biggest clue to the link. Claiming that he has pictorial evidences, the Professor believes the stone to have traveled from the Mediterranean region to this part, eventually settling in Lucknow.

“But the same twin fish symbol can also be seen in ancient buildings in Pakistan, Nepal, China, Japan, and the gate of royal tomb of King Suro in Kimhae city in Korea”, added Professor Kim, reasserting his claim.

Till date, there is very little awareness in India about Queen Suriratna as not much information has been documented. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Seol in May 2015, it was announced that the two countries will strengthen their historic ties by enhancing linkages of the Korean population with Ayodhya. A decision was also taken to renovate the monument already in place in Ayodhya, dedicated to the Queen, for which the then-UP CM had asked Korean government to devise a design.


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