Tag Archive: hindu


Goddess Parvati

“Parvati’s themes are fertility, femininity, cleansing and devotion. Her symbols are lotus, elephants and dance.  The celebrated Hindu Goddess of women is the center of festivities in Nepal today. Parvati’s domain is that of faithful companionship and fertility as She is the consort of Shiva. Art often shows Parvati dancing in the company of Shiva or with an elephant’s head.

Try following Nepalese custom. Wash your hands and feet with henna (or henna-based soap product) for Parvati’s productive energy. Or, go out and swing on a swing set singing sacred songs; this draws Parvati to you.

Another way to invoke Parvati is by giving a special woman in your life (a friend, lover, relative, etc.) a gift of thankfulness for her companionship. The Goddess exists within that friendship and will bless the relationship. Take a ritual bath to cleanse yourself of negativity and problems of the last year. Water offerings are also a suitable gift to the Goddess. Pour a little bit on the ground and then drink some to internalize any of Her qualities that you need.

Wearing fine clothing and flowers is also customary, because all things of beauty please Parvati. So get out your finery for your celebrations and put on a boutonniere! Or wear something with a flower pattern to draw Parvati close to your side.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“One of the greatest Goddesses of India is the daughter of the Himalayas, known as Uma, Gauri, and sometimes Shakti (‘energy’).  She was the consort and enlivening force of Shiva, the lord of life’s dance, and many myths surround Her.

She gained Shiva’s attention by practicing magical asceticism until She had such power that he could not resist Her.  Thereafter he spent this time sexually pleasing the Goddess.  Once, when interrupted before She was satisfied, Parvati cursed the gods so that their consorts were barren but they themselves were pregnant.  They were most miserable with the affliction, until Shiva allowed them to vomit up the semen that had impregnated them.

Parvati had one son of Her own.  It was no thanks to Her spouse, for Shiva did not want to be bothered with children.  As they argued about it one day, Parvati cried out that She wanted a child to hold and caress. Shiva teased Her, ripping a piece of Her skirt and handing it to Her, telling Her to fondle that.  Hurt and betrayed, Parvati grasped the red cloth to Her breast, and – touching the nipples of the mother Goddess – the cloth took form and began to nurse.  Thus was Ganesha, the benevolent god, born.  But Shiva, angry and jealous, found an excuse to behead the child, saying that he had slept in a ritually incorrect way.  Parvati was desperate with grief, and Shiva, ashamed, told Her he would find the boy another head.  The only one he was able to locate – Parvati must have received this news suspiciously – was an elephant’s.  And so Ganesha was reborn half human, half elephant.

Shiva’s Shakti is also called Kali and Durga, for She is at times a fierce form of femininity.  One legend explains how the Goddess divided Herself.  Originally, it seems, She had dark skin, about which Shiva teased Her once too often.  Furious at him – for She felt less than beautiful, wishing that Her skin was golden like his – She set off for the mountains, intending again to practice asceticism until She gained Her desire.  Ganesha accompanied Her; She left Viraka, Shiva’s attendant, to guard his bedroom so that he didn’t enjoy other women’s company during Her absence.  But a demon disguised as Parvati attempted to kill Shiva.  He lured the god to bed after loading his illusory vagina with real nails.  Shiva recognizing the deceit, put a sword on his penis and dispatched the demon.

Parvati’s informants spread the word that a woman had been seen entering Shiva’s bedroom, and Parvati exploded with anger.  Her anger shot out of Her mouth in the form of a lion; She cursed the false guardian Viraka to become a rock.  Then She continued practicing yoga until Brahma took pity on Her and asked Her what She wished.  When She said She wanted a pure golden skin, he blessed Her.  From Her body sprang another Goddess, one ugly and black, usually named Kali.

Now golden and beautiful, Parvati started home.  Viraka, still on guard, refused to let Her enter, not recognizing the Goddess in Her new skin.  Realizing that She made a mistake in cursing him – but unable, so powerful are a Goddess’ words, to recall Her ill wish – Parvati mitigated it by allowing him to be reborn as a girl named Rock” (Monaghan, p. 248 – 249).

“Parvati represents the part of ourselves that creatively brings forth nourishment even in the midst of what seems to be rejection and disapproval. She is a wonderful affirmation that there are no limits to what a woman can do when she uses her spiritual energy in the pursuit of any goal she chooses.  When we embrace love, Parvati is there to bless us.” [1]

 

 

 
Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Parvati: The Hindu Goddess of Love and Devotion“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Parvati”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddessparvati.com, “Goddess Parvati“.

Kumar, Nitin. Exoticindiaart.com, “Parvati the Love Goddess: Tales of Marriage and Devotion in Art and Mythology“.

Lotussculpture.com, “Hindu Goddess Parvati – Daughter of the Mountain“.

Soulcurrymagazine.com, “Goddess Parvati – Wife of Lord Shiva“.

Wikipedia, “Parvati“.

Goddess Sri

“Sri’s themes are joy, protection, fertility, insight, and wealth.  Her symbols are the color blue and pink lotuses. In Nepal, Sri, which means ‘prosperity’, is said to protect the Dalai Lama. Invoke Her to bring abundance for tax paying! Sri is portrayed as having three eyes, giving Her the additional power of perspective when ours is lacking.

Celebration of the Nepalese new year, Nava Varsha, includes heartfelt greetings for luck and ritual bathing for fertility. As you see people today, smile brightly and wish them a good day. This provokes Sri’s fortunate energy and a little extra felicity wherever you go.

Wearing something blue today makes Sri happy, which in turn sharpens Sri’s shrewdness in you to promote a safe, frugal day. Or, carry a tumbled soldalite for Sri’s focus, a blue topaz for Her help in maintaining financial reserves, or a turquoise so that Sri will preserve your well-being.

Try this visualisation when you need Sri’s attributes to begin blossoming in your spirit: Envision an unopened pink flower in the region of your heart. Above, the sun shines with the pink-blue light of dawn and beats with the rhythm of your blood. You feel your heart’s petals open to embrace it, accepting the warmth and energy without reservation. As your soul-flower absorbs the light, you can see it is a lotus, Sri’s flower. She is there with you now, in your hearth, to call on as needed.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Shri Devi, or Sridevi, is one of the numerous forms of Goddess Lakshmi and is the prime Goddess among the various Vishnava Goddesses, to include Bhūmi, or Bhu Devi, and Nila Devi who are also said to be different manifestations of Lakshmi worshipped in Hindu religion. Legend has it that Goddess Laxmi appeared in the form of Sridevi during the Samudra manthan or the ‘churning of the ocean’. This is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana. Goddess Shri Devi was one among the precious items that appeared during the churning of the ocean.

Hindu holy scriptures mention that in the form of Sridevi, Goddess Lakshmi has the face like that of full moon with red lips. She has a benign and smiling face. In this form, She is dressed in white color sari and wears jewelry. The young age of Goddess Lakshmi is depicted in the Sridevi form.

Goddess Sridevi is usually visualized as having two hands and sitting in Padmasana. In some scriptures She is mentioned as having four hands and She carries a pasha (noose), ankush (shining hook), rosary and lotus.” [1]

She is the beloved inseparable consort of Vishnu, his ‘Shakti‘ or power, enjoying the same status of Vishnu.  “When Sri Devi (Lakshmi) and Vishnu are depicted together they are known as Lakshmi-Narayana. In many instances, as seen below, Devi Lakshmi manifests as two separate Goddesses, Shri Devi and Bhu Devi, who appear on either side of Lord Vishnu. While the former denotes energy, the latter represents fertility.

Both the Goddesses are depicted similarly, wearing exactly the same clothes, ornaments and even a similar crown, signifying that the Lord holds equal affection for both. Their red saris and green blouses have wide gold borders, much like the beautiful zari saris made in South India. The South Indian influence is also evident in the high tower-like crown of Lord Vishnu, while that of the two ladies definitely betrays a Mughal influence.” [2]

“While Sri Devi as previously mentioned enjoys the same status as Vishnu, She is however held in higher esteem by the Vaishnava acharyas.  This is due to the fact that She possesses certain motherly qualities such as compassion (daya) and forgiveness (ksama) on account of which She has a tendency to overlook the offenses of the devotees.  She also has a tender affection (vatsalya) towards all beings like a mother towards a child, by not taking notice of their offenses.  Above all, She has natural inclination to shower grace (anugraha) upon all.” [3]

 

There were some really beautiful videos on Youtube dedicated to Lakshmi and I ended up choosing this one to share with you all.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Exotic India, “Lord Vishnu with Manifested Energy and Fertility“.

IndiaNetzone, “Goddess Sri, Vaishnava Goddess“.

IndiaNetzone, “Vaishnava Goddesses“.

Rajendran, Abhilash. Hindu Blog, “Goddess Shri Devi – About Hindu Goddess Sridevi“.

 

Suggested Links:

Devotional Only, “VaraLakshmi Vratam – Pooja Procedure and Story“.

Exotic India, “Lakshmi: The Lotus Goddess“.

Sai MahaLakshmi.com, “Goddess Lakshmi Maha Lakshmi“.

SaiSathyaSai.com, “Mother Lakshmi Devi – Goddess of Wealth“.

Sri Venkateswara Temple, “About Temple – Sridevi (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi (Andal)“.

Wikipedia, “Sri sukta“.

Goddess Maheswari

“Maheswari’s themes are protection, overcoming and prayer.  Her symbols are masks, drums and prayer wheels.  An epic mother-Goddess figure in the Hindu pantheon and a protective aspect of Lakshmi, Maheswari hears our prayers for assistance in risky, threatening, or seemingly impossible situations. When your back’s to the wall, Maheswari opens a doorway for a clever, smooth exit.

Consider following the Indian custom of dancing to drums while masked and enacting a pantomime in which you victoriously overcome some negativity in your life. If you’re trying to quit smoking, for example, dance over your cigarettes and destroy them. To overcome a broken heart, jump over a paper heart, then carry it with you to manifest Mahesvari’s life-affirming energy in your heart.

A fun version of the Buddhist prayer wheel can be fashioned from a children’s pinwheel. Write your prayers to Maheswari on the blades of the wheel. Then focus on your intent and blow! The movement releases your prayers so Maheswari can begin answering them.

Finally, find something that can act as a drum in this spell for protection and victory. Sprinkle the head of your makeshift drum lightly with rosemary and powdered cinnamon. Then tap it, saying:

 ‘Away, away, Maheswari, take the problems away.’

Continue until the herbs have been cleared off completely, symbolically clearing away that obstacle.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Shiva (leftmost) with the Matrikas: (from left) Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani, Chamunda.

“Goddess Maheshwari is one among the seven mother Goddesses or Sapta Matrikas.  Matrikas (Sanskrit: lit. ‘The Mothers’), also called Matara and Matris, are a group of Hindu Goddesses who are always depicted together.  Since they are usually depicted as a heptad,  (Sanskrit: ‘Seven Mothers’): Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi, and Chamunda or Narasimhi.  However, they may sometimes be eight (Ashtamatrikas: ‘Eight Mothers’).  Whereas in South India, Saptamatrika is prevalent, the Ashtamtrika are venerated in Nepal.” [1]

The Sri Chakra, frequently called the Sri Yantra.

“In the scheme of the Khadgamala, each of these Eight Mothers represent a human passion that must be overcome and controlled before we can enter further into Sri Chakra. We worship each passion as an aspect of Devi, then internalize it; and when we internalize each deity, we *become* Her, so that She is not separate from us. In that way, we “conquer” each passion, just as – in the first enclosure wall – we conquered each siddhi.

MAheshwari here represents Her subtle aspect as ANGER.” [2]

 

 

 

“The Matrikas assume paramount significances in the Goddess-oriented sect of Hinduism, Tantraism.  In Shaktism, they are ‘described as assisting the great Shakta Devi (Goddess) in Her fight with demons.’  Some scholars consider them Shaiva Goddesses.  They are also connected with the worship of the warrior god Skanda.

The Seven Matrikas

In most early references, the Matrikas are described as having inauspicious qualities and often described as dangerous. They come to play a protective role in later mythology, although some of their inauspicious and wild characteristics still persist in these accounts.  Thus, they represent the prodigiously fecund aspect of nature as well as its destructive force aspect.” [3]

"Goddess Rudrani (Shodash Matrikas) by Rabi Behera

The Goddess Maheshwari is the power of the god Shiva, also known as Maheshvara.  Maheshvari is also known by the names Raudri, Rudrani and Maheshi, derived from Shiva’s names Rudra and Mahesh. The vehicle or Vahana of Goddess Maheswari is Nandi (the bull).  Goddess Maheswari is usually depicted as having four arms – two arms are in Varada Mudra (granting wishes) and one is in Abhaya Mudra (protection) and two arms are depicted as holding the Sula (lance) and a Akshamala or a Damaru.  The white complexioned, Trinetra (three eyed) Goddess holds similar weapons to Shiva and has numerous other symbols and characteristics of Shiva: when She is depicted with six arms, She carries a Trishula (trident), Damaru (drum), Akshamala (a garland of beads), Panapatra (drinking vessel) or axe or an antelope or a kapala (skull bowl) or a serpent and is adorned with serpent bracelets; and two hands are in the Varada Mudra and the Abhaya Mudra.  Sometimes She is shown wearing a crescent moon and the jaṭā mukuṭa (a headress formed of piled, matted hair).  In some very rare images, Goddess Maheshwari is depicted as having five face.  [4] [5]

 

 

 

Sources:

Rajendran, Abhilash. Hindu Blog, “Goddess Maheshwari“.

Shakti Sadhana Org,  “Maheshwari Devi“.

Wikipedia, “Matrikas“.


Suggested Links:

Divine Downloads, “Sapta Matrukas – Divine Mothers“.

Exotic India, “Conception and Evolution of the Mother Goddess in India“.

Jai Maa Vaishnavi.com, “51 Shakti Peethas of Maa Durga – Maa Sati, Dakshayani| Jai Maa Vaishnavi“.

Krishnaraj, Veeraswamy. “The Saktas“.

Omsakthi.org, “Supreme Goddess Adhiparasakthi and the Seven Goddesses“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Kamala“.

Sri Chinmoy Library, “Will You Speak About the Divine…

Write Spirit, “Maheshwari“.

Wikipedia, “Goddess Maheshwari“.

Wikipedia, “Shakti“.

Wikisource.org, “The Bhagavad Gita (Telang translation)/Chapter 12“.

Goddess Vac

“Vac’s themes are purification, protection, offerings and communication.  Her symbols are the spoken word and fresh flowers.  The Balinese/Hindu Goddess of charms and incantations, Vac joins today’s celebrations using Her powers to banish any lingering shadows or negativity from our lives. Traditionally, Vac is present in any sacred words that convey occult power or knowledge. This is especially true of mantras that reaffirm, sustain, and shelter one’s soul.

Artistic renderings reveal Vac as a mature, graceful woman bedecked in gold (an allusion to solar energy). She sometimes also appears as a cow, which is Her mother-Goddess aspect.

Bali legends say that hellish beings roam freely during this time of year, so everyone cleanses themselves and the land through magic and supplications. In this spirit, periodic spiritual ‘house cleaning’ is a good habit to get into, especially if you live in the city. Leave an offering of flowers on your altar, saying Vac’s name as you put them out. This begins the process of purging any clinging bad vibes and restoring your home’s sanctity.

Use noise makers to chase out any male-intended magic or spirits. Burn sweet-smelling incense to welcome Vac to your home, saying:

 ‘Vac, charge my speech with security
so no darkness can dwell in my home or me
Vac, be welcome in and through my words
Let the magic ever be heard!'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Vāk or Vāc is the Sanskrit word for “speech”, “voice”, “talk”, or “language”, from a verbal root vac- “speak, tell, utter”.  Personified, Vāk is a Goddess; most frequently She is identified with Bharati or Sarasvati, the Goddess of speech. In the Veda She is represented as created by Prajapati and married to him; in other places She is called the mother of the Vedas, having inspired the sages to write them, and wife of Indra.  In certain texts She is a daughter of Daksa and the consort of Kasyapa. Alternatively She is the daughter of Ambhrna, and, also, is known by the epithet “queen of the gods” and  is believed to be able to lead a man to become a Brahman. Vac also personifies truth and sustains soma, the liquid essence of vision and immortality.” [1]

“She is described in the Rig Veda as not only speech itself, but also as truth and perception, which allows us to turn divine knowledge into words.  Vac’s name is also seen as Vak or Vach, and sacred texts give Her the following names… She is generally depicted as an elegant golden-skinned woman, dressed in gold; but in a secondary capacity as a mother Goddess, She is depicted as a cow, a symbol of nourishment.” [2]

“This Hindu Goddess’ manifestation is thought to have come from the early reliance on the sacred oral teachings “heard” by the rsis (holy men) properly intoned and accented, thrust the folk-divinity Vac into prominence. Since effective service depended upon effective speech, the supreme vehicle of knowledge and ritual power… Vac even gained precedence over Agni. As the “Word,” Vac is somewhat like the Neo-platonic “logos“: Vac is the source of creation, and the mother of the Veda. In the Tantric tradition She is celebrated as Para-vac, Transcendental speech, the mother of all sacred mantras.

Vac, although prominent in the Rig Veda, almost completely disappears from Hindu mythology later when being syncretized with the river Goddess Sarasvati,  whose banks of the sacred river served as fertile soil for the growth of brahmanical culture.” [3]

 

 

Sources:

Mystica.org, “Vac“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Vac“.

Wikipedia, “Vāc

 

Suggested Links:

Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition, “Vāc“.

Sitarik, Jessica. Crystal Vaults, “Vac: Hindu Goddess of Written Words and Wisdom“.

Goddess Ganga

"The Descent of Ganga" by Om Prakash Saini

“Ganga’s themes are cleansing, health and mercy. Her symbols are water and yellow colored items.
As the Hindu Goddess of the river Ganges, Ganga represents purification, wellness and benevolence in the new year. Legend has it Ganga came to earth upon hearing the cries of people who were dying from drought. Shiva divided Ganga into seven streams so she would flood the earth upon her arrival. Part of this stream remained in the heavens as the Milky Way, and the rest flows through India as the river Ganges, where the Goddess lives. Art depicts Ganga as beautiful, controlling the makara (a sea monster on which she stands), with water flowing all around her.

In India, people gather on the river Ganges on this day and bathe in the waters for health, protection and forgiveness from ten sins. They welcome spring’s approach during this festival by wearing yellow clothing and colored food, like rice with saffron.

To adapt this tradition and prompt Ganga’s blessings, wear any yellow-toned stone (like citrine), and/or eat rice as part of any meal. Adapt your shower, tap, bath or lawn sprinkler to substitute for the river Ganges. As you stand beneath the water, visualize any figurative dirt being washed down the drain.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it for their daily needs. The documentary, “Mother Ganga: A journey along the sacred Ganges River” portrays a pilgrimage, starting at the Bay of Bengal where the Ganges enters the sea (Ganga Sagar), to Gangotri and Gomukh in the Himalayan Mountains where the Ganges appears.   This film can be purchased by going to www.gangamovie.com


So central is the Ganga to the Hindu imagination that all sects have an origin story for Her that reflects well on their chosen god. The Great Trinity of Hinduism is intimately associated with Ganga. She is described as the daughter of Brahma, the wife of Shiva, and the actual melted body of Vishnu. This multiplicity of roles happens because no worshipper wanted to feel left out from the saving grace of Ganga. For Ganga’s supreme virtue is that She can save you from sin. One drop of Her sacred waters is enough to wipe out all the sins accumulated over many lifetimes. One single drop of Ganga water on the cremated remains of a sinner is enough to wipe out all his sins and gain him heaven as one popular story goes. There is nobody who is so sinful that he or she cannot be saved by the waters of the Ganga. The Ganga is thus the ultimate in merciful mother Goddesses.

Goddess Ganga is represented as a fair-complexioned woman, wearing a white crown and sitting on a crocodile and is the only living Goddess in the Hindu pantheon. She holds a water lily in Her right hand and a lute in Her left. When shown with four hands she carries a water-pot, a lily, a rosary and has one hand in a protective mode.

Ganga represents the innermost pristine coolness, piety and purity. River Ganga continues to enriches the spiritual lives of millions and millions of Indians for whom the river is divine. The river Ganga itself embodies all the characteristics India is known for: mythical, serene, all pervading and assimilative.

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