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Top 3 Most Famous South Indian temples

These temples' architecture is very good. Apart from this, the art in these temples holds great importance

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Temples in South India are decorated with art and paintings. Pixabay

Here is a list of top 3 South Indian temples.

1. Tirupati Tirumala Temple, Lord Vishnu

The Tirupati Temple is one of the most important temples in South India. This Temple is very much popular with all the pilgrims and is located in Chittoor, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Daily, a lot of pilgrims are visiting this temple from all over India, and also from foreign countries. It is one of the richest temples in India. Every year, crores of rupees are received from the devotees through hundial, and also received from various endowment donations. Nithya annadanam scheme is very much popular in Tirupati. A lot of devotees are consuming good and tasty divine food daily. Hence it is a must to visit this temple, at least once in a year and to offer our prayers, to have annadanam and to offer money based on our financial background, and to get Lord Sree Venkateswara’s divine blessings forever.

2. Ramanatha Swamy Temple, Lord Shiva:

The Ramanatha Swamy temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is situated at Rameswaram.

People are visiting here for doing their ancestral rituals, and it is very famous for that. This is one of the ancient temples of South India. Free food is offered in the temple for more than 100 devotees. Aadi Amavasya, Thai Amavasya and Mahalaya Amavasya pitru rituals are very popular in this temple. We can take a bath from the sacred wells situated inside the temple. It is a must to visit this temple, to get relieved from various sins, and also by clearing our ancestral debts by doing pitru tharpan. Many sites seeing places are also there nearby Rameswaram. We can visit Abdul Kalam Sir’s Memorial also in Rameswaram. Dhanushkodi is the best sightseeing place situated near Rameswaram.

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There are hundreds of temples in South India where people go to worship. Pixabay

3.Virupaksha Temple of Lord Shiva

The virupaksha temple is one of the most famous temple of south India situated at Hampi, Karnataka. This is one of the sacred temples of Lord Shiva and it was established in 7th century AD and also it is one of the oldest temples in India. It is a must to visit this temple since it is surrounded by natural beauty. The temple continues to prosper and attracts huge crowds for the marriage festivities of Virupaksha in the month of December every year.

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In the month of February, the annual chariot festival is celebrated in a grand manner.

(Hindu Council of Australia)

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ISKCON Devotees Recall When Donald Trump Helped Them Conduct Rath Yatra

Recalling an incident from 1976 Rath Yatra, when current US President helped ISKCON devotees

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Current US President once helped ISKCON devotees back in 1976. Pixabay

By Muskan Bhatnagar

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, abbreviated as ISKCON is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation which was founded 53 years ago, in 1966.

At present, ISKCON consists of 850 temples, ecovillages and centres worldwide, out of which India comprises of over 150 temples.

The motto of ISKCON is ‘Krsnas Tu Bhagavan Svayam‘ which headquarters in Sri Sri Radha Madhav Panchatattva Temple (ISKCON Mayapur), Mayapur, West Bengal, India.

Recalling an incident from 1976, the organisation was planning to conduct the first massive Rath Yatra in New York City with the permission to use 5th Avenue. The massive wooden carts were to be made within the reach of the starting point of the parade and hence a huge empty site was required.

ISKCON
The ISKCON devotees were not able to find a large empty site for Rath Yatra preparations. Pixabay

Everyone who was approached refused due to understandable insurance risksand whatnot.

When almost all devotees had lost hope, they were informed that Donald Trump had recently purchased the old railway yard and suggested to approach him regarding the issue.

The ISKCON devotees were not able to find a large empty site for Rath Yatra preparations. Pixabay

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The old railway yard was a perfect location for the organisation but why would Trump be any different from the dozens of people they had approached previously?

The devotees went to his office with a big basket of Maha Prasadam and a presentation package. Trump’s Secretary received the devotees and their package and warned them saying “He never agrees to this kind of thing. You can ask but he is going to say “No”.

The devotees received a call three days later from the same secretary. “I don’t know what happened but he read your letter, took a bit of food you left, and immediately said “sure, why not?”, said the secretary, adding “come on down and get his signed letter of permission.”

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COVID-19: Congress Urges Yogi to Open Places of Worship

Lucknow Congress president Mukesh Singh Chauhan has written a letter to UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

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Yogi Adityanath Rudrabhishek
Yogi Adityanath performs Rudrabhishek in Gorakhnath temple for safety from Corona. Wikimedia Commons

The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress party has written to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday to open all places of worship which are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter has been written by Lucknow Congress president Mukesh Singh Chauhan.

The letter said that the way the Central and State governments have issued orders to open shops for essential commodities, in the same way now all the big and small places of worship — temples, churches, mosques, gurdwaras should also be thrown open for the devotees.

Chauhan in his letter said, “India is a multi-religious and faith oriented country. Here people believe that worship of God will reduce their suffering. But due to the closure of the places of worship, people are not able to pray to their God. Therefore, major religious places should be immediately opened with social distancing in full compliance with the lockdown norms.

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Chauhan from Congress, in his letter said, “India is a multi-religious and faith oriented country. Here people believe that worship of God will reduce their suffering”. Pixabay

Chauhan said sanitizer machines should be placed at the entry of major places of worship just like it is done in government offices. He also said if liquor shops can be opened, in the same way, the temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches should also be opened in full compliance of the social distancing norms.

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The president of the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, Mahant Narendra Giri, had also raised similar demand of opening of temples across the state. He had demanded from the Yogi government to open the doors of all temples for the devotees.

Giri had said, “Because of the closure of temples for the last two months, the livelihood of priests and other temple staff is also getting affected. When the government can allow liquor shops to be opened for revenue, why temples should not be allowed to open for the same reason.”

He had assured that after the permission to open the temples, the priests would follow the rules and protocols of social distancing and get the devotees to do it too. (IANS)

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Lord Shiva: Man, Myth or Divine? Explains Sadhguru

Sadhguru stresses upon the fact that more often Shiva is described as a non-being

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Sadhguru
Sadhguru has stressed upon this fact that if you read through the Shiva Purana, you cannot identify Shiva as a good person or a bad person. Twitter

By Kashish Rai

“The word ‘Shiva’ means literally, that ‘which is not’. On another level when we say ‘Shiva’, we are referring to a certain Yogi, the Adiyogi or the first Yogi and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru.”

~ Sadhguru

“Shiva” who is known as Mahadeva is one of the chief deities of Hindus. He is considered as the supreme being within ‘Shaivism’, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. He is known as “The Destroyer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu.

With context to the Hindu Mythology, Shiva is the supreme being who creates, protects and transforms the Universe~ But Shiva is beyond this identity. Who is Shiva? Is he a god or a construct of collective imagination? Or is there a deeper meaning to Shiva? Revealed only to those who seek? Jaggi Vasudev, an Indian yogi and author popularly known as “Sadhguru” explains it all!

Sadhguru says, “Today, modern science is proving to us that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing. The basis of existence and the fundamental quality of the cosmos is vast nothingness. The galaxies are just a small happening – a sprinkling. The rest is all vast empty space, which is referred to as Shiva. That is the womb from which everything is born, and that is the oblivion into which everything is sucked back. Everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva.”

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“Shiva” who is known as Mahadeva is one of the chief deities of Hindus. He is considered as the supreme being within ‘Shaivism’, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Twitter

Sadhguru also stresses upon the fact that more often Shiva is described as a non-being. He is not described as the light but as darkness. Here, Sadhguru describes that the light is not eternal in comparison to the darkness. He says, “Light is not eternal. It is always a limited possibility because it happens and it ends. Darkness is a much bigger possibility than light. Nothing needs to burn, it is always – it is eternal. Darkness is everywhere. It is the only thing that is all pervading.”

Sadhguru tells that in some places in the west, Shiva is considered to be a Demon!

He says that if we look at it as a concept, there isn’t a more intelligent concept on the planet about the whole process of creation and how it has happened.

Shiva: Being the Adiyogi & One and The Same!

Sadhguru further explains that “Shiva refers to both “that which is not,” and Adiyogi, because in many ways, they are synonymous. This being, who is a yogi, and that non-being, which is the basis of the existence, are the same, because to call someone a yogi means he has experienced the existence as himself.”

When we talk about Shiva as “that which is not,” and Shiva as a yogi, in a way they are synonymous, yet they are two different aspects. Because India is a dialectical culture, we shift from this to that and that to this effortlessly. One moment we talk about Shiva as the ultimate, the next moment we talk about Shiva as the man who gave us this whole process of yoga.

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A Still of Adiyogi Statue of Lord Shiva at Coimbatore which is 112.4 ft tall. It has been recognized as the Largest Best Sculpture by the Guinness World Records. The founder of Isha Foundation, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev designed the statue and was inaugurated by Honourable PM Sh. Narendra Modi in 2017.

Shiva is Beyond Any Perception!

Sadhguru has stressed upon the fact that Shiva is beyond the image and perception of what people see in through Indian Calender art.

He says that, “Calender Artists have made him a chubby-cheeked, blue-colored man because a calendar artist has only one face. Why would a yogi like Shiva look chubby-cheeked? If you showed him skinny it would be okay, but a chubby-cheek Shiva – how is that?”

In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being who walked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored.

 Devotional Manifestation: Ancient Shiva Temples

Sadhguru says that in India since the the Ancient times, temples were built mostly for Shiva. It was only in the last 1000 or so years that other temples came up.

He writes, “The word Shiva literally means ‘that which is not.’ So the temple was built for ‘that which is not.’ ‘That which is’ is physical manifestation; ‘that which is not’ is that which is beyond the physical.”

There are thousands of Shiva temples in the country, and most of them don’t have any form as such. They just have a representative form and generally it is a linga.

Dhyanlinga
A Still of Dhyanlinga, a yogic temple near Coimbatore, India. Twitter

“The Adiyogi Shiva does not belong to the past, he belongs to the future”

At many places, Sadhguru has stressed upon this fact that if you read through the Shiva Purana, you cannot identify Shiva as a good person or a bad person. He is Sundaramurthy, the most beautiful. At the same time, nobody can be more horrible than him!

Shiva is a terrible combination of everything put together…

(About Sadhguru: Named one of India’s 50 most influential people, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author & poet. Sadhguru has been conferred the “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India in 2017, the highest amongst the annual civilian awards, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.)