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Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros, the woman who designed the Param Vir Chakra, was born in 1913 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was believed that she came to India to understand the country's culture and tradition.
She got to know about India's spiritual and cultural wealth at a very early age through holistic education which she received. Soon, Eve Yvonne fell in love with a Maharashtrian named Vikram Khanolkar, who was a young army officer, and was undergoing training at the Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom.
Soon, both the persons married, and Eve Yvonne acquired the name Savitribai Khanolkar and shifted to Maharashtra with her husband who by the time became Major General.
Savitribai Khanolkar with husband Major General Vikram Khanolkar.Photo found on Google Images
As Savitribai Khanolkar was already amazed by the rich culture of India, she immersed herself in the study of mythology, traditions, and religious scriptures. Along with this, Savitribai also started indulging herself in the art, music, dance, and linguistics of India.
Parallel to this, India was celebrating its independence from the British rule, and was on its way to remove British legacies and re-establish the country's identity.
This was the time when When Adjutant General Hira Lal Atal was assigned with the task of creating the Indian equivalent of the British Victoria Cross. For this, he took Savitribai in confidence as she had an in-depth knowledge of the nation. Thus, from here began the journey of making the Param Vir Chakra.
The design of Param Vir Chakra was to denote power and sacrifice demonstrated by the soldiers that protected people at the cost of their lives. So, according to Savitribai, nothing could represent in a better way than the great warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. According to the history, the ruler was known for his courage and strategic defence. Hence, his sword 'Bhavani' found a place on the disc, enclosed within the Indian mythical weapon 'Vajra', from both sides. This mythical weapon is believed to be made of a sage's bone in order to kill evil enemies in the name of goodness.
Moreover, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded on India's first Republic Day celebrated, which was celebrated in 1950, and its recipient was Savitribai's son-in-law's brother, Major Somnath Sharma.
The Jyotirlinga is a devotional representation of Lord Shiva, and is considered to be a holy site for Hindus. In India, there are 12 Jyotirlinga Temples in total which are visited by millions of devotees from all over the world.
It must be noted that each of this Jyotirlinga Temple has a significant folklore attached to them which adds a distinct character to each one of them.
Being strategically placed in beautiful parts of India, these 12 Jyotirlinga Temples attract a lot of tourists from all over the world, which in turn increases the tourism of India and adds up to the GDP of the country.
Read below to know all about the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples of India!
The Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple, Gujarat
It must be noted that the Somnath Lingam is considered as the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India, and is considered to be one of the most sacred pilgrimages in the Sanatan religion. There exists an interesting story behind the origin of this Lingam. It is believed that when the moon was cursed by his father-in-law because of being negligent towards his other wife, he lost all of his radiance. Then the moon prayed to Lord Shiva and regained all the lost radiance and beauty.
Somnath Temple.Photo by Suketu Solanki; Unsplash.
Mallika Arjun Lingam, Andra Pradesh
This Lingam is situated on the top of Shri Shaila Mountain, which is also called the "Kailash of South". This temple is considered to be one of the greatest shrines of Lord Shiva. The name of the temple comes from “Mallika" which means “Goddess Parvati", who is the wife of Lord Shiva, and “Arjun" which is another name of Lord Shiva. It is also believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati decided to live on this mountain after their elder son, Kartikey, left home in anger.
Mahakaleshvar Temple, Madhya Pradesh
This Lingam is considered to be another important pilgrimage site in India. As per the text of Puranas, it is believed that once there was a five-year-old boy named Shrikar, who took a stone and started worshipping it as Lord Shiva. Seeing this, many people made fun of him and tried to divert him, but his faith kept on growing. Then, when Lord Shiva saw this devotion in Shrikar, Lord Shiva took the form of a Jyotirlinga and decided to stayin the Mahakal forest.
Mahakaleshvar Temple.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Omkareshvar Jyotirlinga, Madhya Pradesh
This Lingam is situated on a riverine island in the Narmada River. According to the text of Vedic scriptures, it is believed that once upon a time, a great war broke between the Devas (angels) and Asuras (demons), and in this war, the asuras won. Seeing this, the Devas then prayed to Lord Shiva, and highly pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva transformed into the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated the Asuras (demons). Since then, Omkareshvar Jyotirlinga is considered to be one of the holiest site for Hindus.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga, Maharashtra
This Jyotirlinga is situated in the Sahyadri region of Pune, on the banks of Bhima River. The story behind the origin of this Jyotirlinga is very interesting. After a long penance, Lord Brahma granted Bhima Kumbhkaran's son some powers after which he started creating havoc on Earth. Seeing this, all the gods plead before Lord Shiva for help. Seeing how helpless the gods are, Lord Shiva then fought a battle and killed the demon, and on the request of the gods, Lord Shiva stayed at this very place.
Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Rameshwaram Temple, Tamil Nadu
This temple is situated on the southern most tip of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu. The reason why this Lingam is named as “Rameshwaram" is because it was placed by Lord Ram himself. The story behind this temple is that once in the quest of Goddess Sita, Lord Ram reached the southern most tip of India and saw a vast ocean between him and his love, Goddess Sita, when Ravana abducted her. Lord Ram then made a Shiva Lingam with sand and started worshiping it. Seeing this, Lord Shiva became pleased and helped him in winning the war against Ravana. It is said that since then, Lord Shiva resides there.
Nageshwar Temple, Gujarat
This lingam is also known as Nagnath, and is situated in the Saurashtra area of Gujarat. According to Shiva Purana, a devotee of Lord Shivanamed Supriya was captured by the Asur Daaruka. The demon kept her as a prisoner with several others in his capital Daarukavana. Supriya told all the prisoners to chant "Om Namah Shivay" which made Daaruka furious who ran to kill Supriya. Lord Shiva emerged in front of the demon and killed him. Then Nageshwar Temple came into being.
Nageshwar Temple.Photo by Flickr.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi
It is believed that Lord Shiva was first manifested here when a fight broke between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. This temple is said to be Lord Shiva's favourite as it is considered as the true abode of Shiva.
It is believed that river Godavari has its source in this temple. The story goes likes, once Lord Shiva decided to reside here as a lingam after many earnest requests of Gautam Rishi and Godavari who are known to be big devotees of Lord Shiva.
Trayambkeshwar Temple.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Girishneshwar Jyotirlinga, Aurangabad
This Lingam is situated near the famous Ajanta-Ellora caves, and has many legends associated with it. It is interesting to note that no one really knows about the true origins of this lingam.
This Lingam is situated Located in the Rudra Himalayan ranges, and is one of the holiest pilgrimages in India. This place opens up for its devotees for only six months in a year. It is believed that after a hard penance of Nar and Narayan, Lord Shiva decided to stay in Kedarnath till eternity.
Kedarnath Temple.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.
Baidyanath Jyotirlinga, Jharkhand
This Lingam is considered as one of the most powerful lingams in the world. It is believed that the worshippers of this lingam attain salvation. It is also believed that this lingam was given to Ravana after his long meditation but on one condition that if it gets placed somewhere it will stay there forever. To this, all the gods conspired against Ravana and made him place the lingam in Jharkhand, where it stayed forever.
Keywords: temples, india, indian temples, travel, tourism, hinduism, spirituality
By- Khushi Bisht
The Philippines is a large archipelago with about 7100 islands. It was named after the prince of Spain, Philip II, by a Spanish adventurer named Ruy López de Villalobos in 1544. The Philippines' pre-Spanish past was veiled in an enigma. Nobody ever questioned what the archipelago was termed even before the Spaniards gave it the name Philippines some four centuries ago. However, recent findings have helped to clear the haze surrounding the Philippines.
In ancient India, the Philippines was known as "Suvarnadvipa" which means the "Golden Island." The Philippines, like many other Southeast Asian nations, has been impacted by the ancient Indian civilization. It is said, from the 2nd to the late 14th centuries CE, the impact of Indian civilization on the Philippines grew stronger via the maritime route.
ALSO READ: Sanskrit: The Deva-Vani
Through many trade trips from India, historical regions in the Philippines were heavily impacted by Hindu-Buddhist faiths, speech, cultural values, literary works, and belief systems. Indo-Sanskrit impacts extended over the Philippines archipelago before the arrival of the Westerners. In various Philippine languages, Sanskrit and Tamil account for approximately 25 percent of the vocabulary.
Sanskrit was one of the earliest non-Austronesian languages to have a significant influence on Tagalog. Despite being from separate linguistic families, Sanskrit and Filipino share several terms in common. Researchers presume that the ancient Filipino alphabet emerged from India and that the Sanskrit language is responsible for nearly a quarter of the Tagalog language's words.
The word "Sanskrit" in Chinese and English.Wikimedia Commons
Sanskrit and Tamil have left a linguistic imprint on Tagalog as well as other Filipino languages that can still be seen today. Dozens of Sanskrit words are still spoken on the Philippines archipelago. In this article, we'll look at some of the similarities between the two languages, both of which are descended from Sanskrit.
Asa- In Tagalog, the word "Asa" means "hope." It comes from the Sanskrit word "Asha," which has the same meaning.
Bahala- In Filipino, the word "Bahala" denotes "concern," "responsibility," "burden." This word is thought to have evolved from the Sanskrit word "Bhara," which implies "weight, burden, pressure, or load."
Bathala- It's the Tagalog word for the highest deity and it's thought to have stemmed from the Sanskrit word "Batara Guru," which means "noble lord."
Dukha- "Dukha" is a Sanskrit word that means "pain and suffering" or "sadness," but it is used to describe "poor" or "needy" in Filipino.
Diwata- In Filipino, "Diwata" refers to a spirit or a subordinate god or goddess who is said to protect forests. The Sanskrit term "Devta," which means "divine being," is assumed to be the source of this name.
Guro- In both languages, this word is used to refer to a "teacher." In Sanskrit, however, the word is pronounced "Guru."
Kapas- The word "Kapas" implies cotton in both languages.
Katha- The word "Katha" in Filipino means "story" or "tale." Katha is also a Sanskrit word that means "tales of all kinds." In Sanskrit, the word "Gatha" also means tale.
Likha- In Filipino, this word signifies literature or the ability to create anything with intellect and expertise. It means "to write" in Sanskrit.
Mukha- In both Tagalog and Sanskrit, the word "Mukha" refers to "the face."
Naga- In Tagalog, it refers to a serpent, dragon, or mermaid. It is derived from the Sanskrit word "naga," which means "serpent" or "serpentine."
The Sanskrit language is responsible for nearly a quarter of the Tagalog language's words. Wikimedia Commons
These were merely a few Filipino words with similar meanings to the Sanskrit ones. However, Tagalog people employ a large number of Sanskrit words in their everyday conversations.
According to researchers, Hindu ideas and mythology came to the Philippines around the 9th to 10th centuries. The Philippines' folk literature bears a strong influence from ancient Indian civilization. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana, share similar traits, narratives, climaxes, and concepts from the folk writings as well as other major epics from the Philippines.
The Philippines has its own rendition of the Ramayana. In the Philippines archipelago, the Ramayana is known as 'Maharadia Lawana,' which translates as 'King Ravana.'
All of this demonstrates how influential Indian culture was in the Philippines.
BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
The Hindu right is particularly hostile to Islam, especially given Muslim dominance over the Indian subcontinent for much of the previous millennium. The anger stems from a genuine history of minority rule, which has included the demolition of significant Hindu temples. Some Islamic buildings are said to be built immediately on top of demolished temple ruins. Unfortunately, Muslim invaders not only destroyed Hindu temples but also Buddhist sites and Jain temples, causing the whole Dharmic culture to suffer. Hinduism continued in many regions of India and was especially strong in rural areas, where most temples were still standing. However, the historical record shows that certain Muslim rulers targeted important Hindu temples in metropolitan centers in order to emphasize their dominance in some parts of the subcontinent.
As per popular beliefs, thousands of temples were demolished by the invader, but here is a list of some of the most famous ones.
Modhera Sun Temple
One is guaranteed to leave their hearts with a duality of thought, when they visit Modhera Sun Temple in Mehsana, Gujarat. It's a combined sense of anxiety and surprise. The perfection of this Modhera jaw-drop construction and the hard labor of hundreds will amaze you. One will also be anxious to know that all of their majesties have been swept down by Mahmud Ghazni with one stroke of devastation. Apparently, Mahmud Ghazni stole the original idol which had been sculpted in gold, then kept in a deep gold-coated hole. Before it was rebuilt lately, the temple was finally demolished by Alauddin Khilji.
The perfection of this Modhera jaw-drop construction and the hard labor of hundreds will amaze you. Wikimedia commons
Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Ayodhya
The land dispute between Ayodhya is a decades-long political, historical and socio-religious conflict in India. The controversy is centered on a tract in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, the native of the Hindu god Ram among the Hindus. But, one of the Mughal generals of King Babur, Mir Baqi, is claimed to have destroyed the Ramah temple and constructed on the premises a mosque named the Babri Masjid. In the "mosque-temple," Muslims inside the mosque and Hindus outside, the two groups were worshipped. Lord Ram Temple in Ayodhya, some claim, was pulled by Babur to the ground, but some believe the temple was demolished by earlier Islamic leaders because the buildings of the Mosque were not built in that era. There was certainly, however, a temple and people from generations worshipped Lord Ram.
The Somnath temple, a symbol of Hindu defiance and fortitude in the face of barbarous attack, was demolished six times by Islam leaders, but it was rebuilt each time by Hindus, and it still exists today. No other temples were demolished and rebuilt as often as Somnath on the list. Junaid, the Sultanate of Delhi, Mahmud Ghazni, and the final one by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, were the victims of the catastrophe. It is reported that numerous pre-Islamic Arab pilgrims came to this temple as God was their moon god. There's also a fascinating narrative of Muslim conquerors believing that the devil's idols were held in the temple of Al-Lat and other places, which is why it was repeatedly sacked.
The Somnath temple, a symbol of Hindu defiance and fortitude in the face of barbarous attack, was demolished six times by Islam leadersWikimedia commons
Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple
In Mathura Holy City, Uttar Pradesh lies the temple of Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi, popularly known simply as Krishna Janmabhoomi, Krishna Janmasthan, or Kesava Deo. The story dates back to 1017 when Mohammed of Gaznavi plundered and demolished the beautiful Krishna Janmasthan Temple. Then under the Maharana rule, Vijayapal Dev of Mathura was constructed around 1150. Later, Aurangzeb ransacked the city of Mathura on January 1670 and demolished the Keshava Rai Temple. This temple was the birthplace of Lord Krishna, one of the most important temples to the Vedic religion, and in its stead, he constructed a Shahi Eidgah mosque. In fact, on the elevated plinth of the Janmastha temple, which had been demolished by Aurangzeb, the Shahi Eidgah was built. Priests were killed, trying to defend the Temple of Krishna Janmasthan. Priests were hanged who sought to leave the Murtis God of Krishna.
The splendor of the booming Hampi capital city in Karnataka came to an extreme conclusion when the Mughals invaded the city, its palaces, its decorated gates, and its many temples. The empire was dominant under Krishnadevaraya, the Emperor, around 350 kilometers from Bangalore. The sudden, stunning and utter devastation of Vijayanagar by the marauded invaders of Mogul reduced the city to rubble. After the battle of Talikota, the Empire of Vijayanagar collapsed at Hampi, the capital of the big empire. Whether religious or civic, the main structures were inflamed by Muslim forces or pulled on the ground.