WHO FEEDS MILLIONS OF BIRDS? (Post No.6413)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

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Date: 19 May 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 19–53

Post No. 6413

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog. ((posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com AND tamilandvedas.com))

Sanyasin story is from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s teachings.

–subham–

Colombia – Land of Anaconda, Butterflies, Coffee, Drugs and Orchids (Post No.6139)

Written  by london swaminathan

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Date: 1 March 2019


GMT Time uploaded in London – 16-27


Post No. 6139


Pictures shown here are taken  by London swaminathan

This is a non- commercial blog((posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com AND tamilandvedas.com))

My Visit to Orchid Flower Show in London

I went to Orchid flower show in London Kew Gardens on 26-2-2019. The world-famous Royal Botanical Gardens in London organised a three week Orchid Flower show in February- March 2019. This year they featured the orchid flowers from the Colombian Rain forests.

 Kew Gardens is famous for its preservation of seeds of plants around the world and its database with all the details of the plant world.

With over 8.5 million items, Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. They represent approximately 95% of vascular plant genera and 60% of fungal genera.

There are over 28,000 different orchids in the world. Of them 4800 orchids are found in the tropical rain forests of Colombia which is known for its coffee, drugs and the largest snake Anaconda in addition to its birds and butterflies. Next to Brazil it has the most diverse flora and fauna.

Orchids are rare flowers that grow in the hot and humid rains forests. They are beautiful, rare, precious and asymmetrical in shapes. They grow in the crevices in rocks and trees. They have aerial roots unlike normal plants. Before they started growing orchids in glass houses commercially each flower was selling for a big price. Famous Vanilla comes from the orchids.

I was fortunate to visit the orchidarium in Kodaikanal and Yercaud   (In Tamil Nadu, India) as part of our botanical tour nearly fifty years ago. We collected Vanda and other orchids for our botany lab in Madura college, Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

I am attaching some pictures taken by me on 26-2-2019 in London.

லண்டனில் ஆர்க்கிட் (Orchids) மலர்க் கண்காட்சி (Post No.6133)

Written by london swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com


Date: 28 FEBRUARY 2019


GMT Time uploaded in London – 13-28


Post No. 6133


Pictures shown here are taken  by London swaminathan
This is a non- commercial blog. ((posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com AND tamilandvedas.com))

–subham–

HINDU TREE WONDERS (Post No.6082)

Written by London swaminathan

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Date: 16 FEBRUARY 2019


GMT Time uploaded in London – 15-36


Post No. 6082

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog. ((posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com AND tamilandvedas.com))

Hindu tree worship is known in the Vedas and the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. The wonder is that they have been worshipped until today. Most of the worshipful trees are associated with famous giants. When one Bodhi tree (Pipal – Ficus religiose) gave the Buddha wisdom, Buddhists took its branches or saplings to different counties like Sri Lanka and Burma. Hindus never did it because every tree is holy for them.

Here are some trees which are famous among Hindus, at least local Hindus:-

Alandi near Pune in Maharashtra , is a famous pilgrimage centre. Marathi poet and saint Dhyaneswar attained Samadhi here. There is an Ajaana vriksha (vriksha=tree) is in the temple complex. According to botanists, this tree is known as Ehretia laeveis (family Boraginaceae)

In addition to this tree, there is a peepal tree which is also worshipped by the pilgrims. On the Ekadasi of Kartika Krishna Paksha there is a big festival is held in Alandi.

Golden Sami Tree

On Vijaya Dasami Day (October, End of Navaratri) Sami tree ( also known as Vahni)is worshipped. The leaves of these trees are distributed to friends under the name of gold. It means the tree is as valuable as gold. In many places where the tree is not available, the more common AApta (Bauhinia) is substituted. The significance of the tree is that the Pandavas hid their weapons during their incognito period. On the Vijaya Dasami day they took their weapons from the hiding place and fought against the Kauravas and won the Mahabharata  war.

Asoka Tree

Asoka tree is known through Ramayana because Sita was kept under watch in Asoka Grove in Sri Lanka. Asoka means NO SORROW (a+ soka)

There are two festivals associated with this tree.

Asoka Shasthi means sorrow free sixth day. It falls in the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra month (coreesponding April/May). The goddess is invoked to ensure the well being off children. Women drink water in which six flower buds of the Asoka tree have been steeped.

There is a very strange and interesting story behind this custom.

The legend says that a certain sage found an infant at his door, whom he adopted and brought up. At her marriage to a prince, he gave her some Asoka seeds, telling her to scatter them on the ground as she went to her husband’s house, and an avenue of trees would grow up, down which she could come to find him, if at any time she needed help.

Later on disaster fell her family; one morning all her sons and their wives were found dead. The queen remembered the promise, and went down the Asoka avenue, at the end of which she found the sage. The sage gave her some holy water, which being sprinkled upon the dead bodies, restored them all to life.

Two days after Shasthi comes Asoka Ashtami (8th day). This day coincides with the Brahmaputra River bathing festival. Asoka flowers only are used.

The legend is that Ravana, demon king of Sri Lanka imprisoned Sita (Rama’s wife) in a grove of Asoka trees. Hanuman saw her for the first time sitting under the Asoka tree. He reported back

to Rama, who rescued her after killing Ravana, who abducted Sita. Sita, through out her stay under the tree prayed for her release. In memory of this event women worship the tree on Asokashtami Day. They embrace it and eat its leaves toscure immunity from sorrow.

Both festivals Asoka Shasthi and Asoka Asthami are celebrating the trees.

Story of Avali Tree Festival

In the month of Kartika (November), on the Shukla Ekadasi (ii days after new moon/Amavasya) Prabodhi Ekadasi (Awakening 11th day) is celebrated. Vishnu is said to have woken up after four months sleep. Tulasi (holy basil plant) marriage is done on the following day.

But a special custom is followed by Marathis and it is called Avali Bhojana or Vana Bhojana. The Avali tree is Embilica myrobalan and it is sacred to Vishnu. It is well known for its medicinal use (Amalaki in Sanskrit and Nelli in Tamil). People in Maharashtra go to grove where these trees are and have a picnic. They go with music bad. They sprinkle water at its roots, wind a thread around it and worship it with mantras and circumambulation. After this they eat under the tree.

This is a popular festival among women and children. Those who have laid their Vishnu image to rest , restore it today in upright position. The image from some temples are taken to near by river or tank and invoked to awake. Actually, this day marks the end of rainy season.

MY OLD ARTICLES ON TREE WORSHIP

tree worship | Tamil and Vedas



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Posts about tree worship written by Tamil and Vedas.

sacred trees | Tamil and Vedas



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6 Nov 2017 – Hindus worship trees out of fear or out of its sacredness. Another reason for the worship of trees is their wonderful utility in daily life. Their shade …

ABOUT TREE WORSHIP IN ANCIENT INDIA – Tamil and Vedas



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MORE ABOUT TREE WORSHIP IN ANCIENT INDIA (Post No.4389). Written by London Swaminathan. Date: 12 NOVEMBER 2017. Time uploaded in London- …

Hindu tree worship | Tamil and Vedas



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The Rudram and Chamakam Hymn (Mantra) refers to Shiva as God of Trees and … One should go to the desired/selectedtree and offer worship to it with food …

Palmyra Tree Worship in India and Sri Lanka! | Tamil and Vedas



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23 Sep 2014 – Rare branched palmyra trees in Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. Research paper written by London Swaminathan Post No 1306; Dated 23rd …

Plants in Mahavamsa | Tamil and Vedas



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3 Oct 2014 – Mahabodhi Tree in Bodha Gaya Research paper by London … Palmyra was worshipped as a sacred tree in India (Natrinai Tamil verse 303) …

Palmyra | Tamil and Vedas



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Tree worship is practised around the world. We see it in Sumer, Indus and Maya civilizations to name a few. But India is a country where it is practised till today …

Perur temple trees | Tamil and Vedas

Perur temple trees | Tamil and Vedas



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Posts about Perur temple trees written by Tamil and Vedas. … And similarly devotees believe that those who worshipLord Shiva at Perur Temple will live for long …

famous trees | Tamil and Vedas



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Posts about famous trees written by Tamil and Vedas. … Banyan Tree worship and Pipal Tree worship are very popular in North India. In Valmiki Ramayana, the …

Banyan Tree and Sanatkumaras | Tamil and Vedas



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From time immemorial Hindus have been worshipping treesof wisdom .Three trees from the same genus Ficus (belongs to the family Moraceae) have been …

Kadamba tree | Tamil and Vedas



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10 Apr 2018 – The Mythology of Plants (Mythologie des Plants) says that in 17th century Hindus worshipped a Banyan tree near Surat (Gujarat), supposed to …

Bodhi Tree | Tamil and Vedas



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Mostly we read about the love and affection towards plants, respect and worship of sacred trees. What we find in Mahavamsa wouldn’t surprise any Hindu or a …

largest tree | Tamil and Vedas



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Vata is banyan tree in Sanskrit. Throughout India peopleworshipped gods and goddesses under the banyan tree in the olden days. In Cambodia where Hindu …

Why do Hindus Worship Vanni /Shami Tree on … – Tamil and Vedas



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11 Oct 2016 – They worship trees, rivers, animals, Birds and even insexcts lie ants. For every creature they have a story in their vast literature. Of all the tress …

Druhyus | Tamil and Vedas



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Posts about Druhyus written by Tamil and Vedas. … Tree worship was part of Vedic culture and Indus Valley Civilisation. Since Peepal Tree and Banyan Tree …

Tamarind Tree | Tamil and Vedas



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Posts about Tamarind Tree written by Tamil and Vedas. … From time immemorial Hindus have been worshipping treesof wisdom .Three trees from the same …

-Subham-

RIVERS AND MOUNTAINS OF TAMIL NADU (Post No.6028)

Map of Kaveri River Basin

DISTRICTS AS IN 1938

COMPILED by London swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com


Date: 3 February  2019
GMT Time uploaded in London –19-43
Post No. 6028
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

posted by swamiindology.blogspot.com

 tamilandvedas.com

ஆறுகளின் வரைபடம்

தமிழ் நாட்டின் ஆறுகளின் வரைபடம்; மாவட்டங்கள் 1938ஆம் ஆண்டு எல்லைகளைக் காட்டுகின்றன.

Rivers in Salem District map

Map of Rivers in Tirunelveli District

Map of Rivers in Koyamputhur District

Map of Chennai District rivers

Map of Rivers in Madurai District

Map of Rivers in North Arcot in Tamil Nadu


Map of Rivers in Ramanathapuram District

  Map of Rivers in Thiruchirappalli District

–subham—

PHOENIX BIRD IN LONDON (Post No.5939)

 

Research Article Written by London swaminathan

swmi_48@yahoo.com


Date: 15 JANUARY 2019


GMT Time uploaded in London –14-19


Post No. 5939
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.


The Mysterious Vedic Homa Bird: Does It Exist? | Swami’s Indology Blog

 
swamiindology.blogspot.com/2011/12/mysterious-vedic-homa-bird-does-it.html?view…

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10 Dec 2011 – The Homa bird lives in the air, breeds in the air, lays eggs in the air, but before the eggs reach the surface of the earth they are hatched in the …

Rare Pictures from Siva Purana (Part 1) சிவ புராணத்திலிருந்து அபூர்வ படங்கள்- 1(Post.5919)

Lord Siva in his dancing form- Nataraja

Compiled by London swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com


Date:11JANUARY 2019


GMT Time uploaded in London –20-14
Post No. 5919
Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

I am publishing 45 pictures  from a 119 year old book in Parts . The book is Siva Maha Purana, available at the British library in London. I will give brief description in English along with the pictures of Lord Siva.

சைவ புராணம் என்னும் சிவ மஹா புராணம் 1900-ம் ஆண்டு வெளியானது. இதில் சுமார் 45 படங்கள் உள்ளன. அவற்றை பகுதி பகுதியாக வெளியிடுகிறேன் இந்த புஸ்தகம் லண்டனிலுள்ள பிரிட்டிஷ் லைப்ரரியில் உள்ளது.

picture 2

Saints in the Naimisaranya Forest listening to Saint Suthar. He is reciting them the Siva Purana (Mythology about Siva). Look at the posture and beautiful appearance of the saints. They are bare bodied and with bun hairdo. Also notice the different types of tilaks on their foreheads.Saints always use the deer skin or the tiger skin for their seats. Here we seethe tiger skin.

Lord Vishnu is in the Milky ocean on the snake bed. Brahma comes out from him seated on the lotus. Consciousnessis wide awake but eyes look like sleeping (Yoga Nidra)

Siva Linga means the formless form,i.e. there is beginning and there is no end. In a circle there is no beginning or end. God is like that. Foreigners gave wrong explanation to belittle Hinduism. Here Brahma and Vishnu tried to find his beginning and end by going up and down. Both of them admitted that they failed in their attempt. You can easily identify Brahma with Four Heads and Vishnu with Chank (conch) and Chakra (the wheel).

TheVishnu Chakra works like the Australian Boomerang. It hits the target and returns to Lord Vishnu.


Brahm aand Vishnu worshiped  Lord Siva and had his darshan (vision) in the form of 51 Letters. Hinduism is the only religion which has linguistics, grammar and etymology as part of Vedic (religious) studies. The original  alphabets has 51 letters. Sivais always associated with Sanskrit Grammar and alphabet.

40 more pictures are yet to come.

to be continued………………….

Owls in Shakespeare and Hindu Literature (Post No.5693)

Written by London Swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 23 November 2018

GMT Time uploaded in London –18-28
Post No. 5693

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog

I am adding following points from The Dictionary of Superstitions (year 1989) to my original research article on owls:-
It is interesting to see several cultures have views about owls similar to Hindus. In Hinduism it is mostly associated with death and secret activities. Stories from Panchatantra and Mahabharata adduce proof tp this. At the same time goddess Lakshmi and Chamunda have owl as their Vahanas

I want to add following information to my original article published in 2014
1.Taking owls to Athens is a parallel to the saying Taking coal to New Castle 

2.Theophrastus,319 BCE, says
If an owl is startled by him in his walk, he will exclaim Glory be to Athene!before he proceeds.

3.Ovid, 15 CE, says
The owl of the night sat on an opposite house top and uttered his ill boding funeral voice.
4.Pliny The Elder, 77 CE, in Natural History, says 
Owl seen in day time
The it is looked upon as a direful omen to see it in the city or in the day time.

It is similar to Hindu views. Sanskrit and Tamil literature link owls to crematorium and evil omens.

 

Shakespeare

5.Shakespeare,1595, says in Midsummer Night’s Dream,
Whilst the screitch owle, sctritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shrowd 

In 1599, Shakespeare adds in Julius Caesar, adds
Yesterday the Bird of Night did sit,
Even at Noone day, upon the Market place,
Howting and shreeking
……..
I beleeve, they are portentous things Unto the Clymate
That they point upon (an omen of Caesar s death)

Xxx

6.In 1625, Delaney Thomas of Reading , in 1725 Bourne refer to owls and death.
Bourne says in Antiquates Vulgares,
Omens and Prognostications are still in the mouths of all tho only observed by the vulgar. In country places they are in great repute… If an owl , which they reckon a most abominable and unlucky bird, sends forth it’s hoarse and dismal voice it is an omen of the approach of some terrible thing, that some dire calamity… is near at hand.

7.In 1773 White Selborne says
From this screaming probably arose the common people’s imaginary species of screech owl, which they superstitiously think attend s the window s of dying persons.

8.In 1829, Brocket of North country Words
The barn or the white owl has the reputation of being the herald of horror and disaster
In 1841 Hartsthorne writes
The singular cry or scream of this white owl is considered ominous of death.

9.Even in 1967, S Marshal writes in Fenland Chronicle,
If an owl sat on the roof, or flew up against a window at night, that meant a death actually in the house

OWLS : Are they Good or Bad Omens?
Lakshmi and her Vahana Uluka/owl

Written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1062; Dated 24th May 2014.

Owls are nocturnal birds. They are known as very intelligent and good birds in the Western World. As a symbol of knowledge and of erudition that can see through obscurity, the owl appears in the emblems of educational institutions, book stores and publishing houses. In Greece owls are associated with Goddess Pallas Athena/Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom.

In India and China owls are not liked by the people because of its demonic gaze. They consider them as the harbinger of misfortune. Owls have earned a bird name in Indian mythology and folk lore. People associate their calls with the God of death.

Goddess Lakshmi and Chamunda have owls as their Vahanas. In Judaism, the female night demon Lilith is described in the company of the owl; Mayan death God Hunahau is often depicted with a head like an owl’s.
In the pre –Aztec civilization of ancient Mexico (Teotihuacan), the owl was the sacred animal of the rain god. But Aztecs considered it an evil omen.


Emblem of Birbeck college,London

Owls have negative associations in popular thinking: with their nocturnal habits, solitude, silent flight and plaintive cry they came to symbolize evil and death. Hooting of the owls was regarded an ill omen.

In India the famous fable book Panchatantra has a long story of a fight between the crows and owls. At the end, the owls are burnt with their nests by the clever crows. Indians who practise black magic kill owls during Deepavali to ward off evil or to gain magical powers. Villagers kill owls for their meat thinking that it would cure many diseases.

In the Vedas
“Uluka is the ordinary word for owl from the Rig Veda (10-165-4) onwards. The bird was noted for its cry and was deemed the harbinger of (nairrta) ill fortune (AV 6-19-2;Taittiriya samhita 5-5-18-1;Vajasaneyi samhita 24-38). Owls were offered at the horse sacrifice to the forest trees (Vajasaneyi Samhita 24-23; Maitrayani Samhita 3-14-4)”.
(page 102, Vedic Index of Names and Subjects, A A Macdonell & AB Keith)


Greek Goddess Athena with owl

Narada and owl
Scriptures refer to calls of owls as having the character of songs i.e. one note or or a simple combination of notes repeated at various intervals. Thus the call of the Brown Wood Owl is said to consist of four deep musical syllables, who—hoo—hoo–hoo. There is a story that narrates how sage Narada was advised to learn music from an owl residing near the Manasarovar lake on the Himalayas (Lingapuranam). This shows that the ancient Indians also appreciated the musical calls of the hated bird. (Tamils also had the same belief; see below for more details).

The long eared owl is distinguished by long tufts, usually borne erected and is most probably the ‘sasoluka’ which has served as a model for the face of a particular attendant of Lord Skanda (M.Bh. 9-45-79). One of the Matris of the same deity is said to have a face like that of the sasoluka (ch 30)
(Mayans also had the same description; see above)


University seal with owl.

Crow killing owls
A particular species of owl has the habit of killing crows. ‘Kakolukiya’ section of the Panchatantra describes it in detail. They live in the Himalayan region. They are the species of Dusky Horned Owls. Mahabharata describes them as Pravarakarna and long lived (3-199-4). There is also a reference in the Ramayana. When after a break with Ravana, Vibhishana goes to Rama, the latter’s ally Sugriva warns him against the owl like tactic of the enemy (96-17-19).

Again after seeing this owl work havoc among the crows at night, Aswaththamam decided to kill Pandavas while asleep during the night time ( M.Bh 1-2-296) and the epic gives an interesting description of the bird:
Ulukam ghora darsanam
Mahasvanam mahakayam haryaksham bhabrupidangalam
Sudhirgagonanakaram suparnamiva veginam
Suptanjagana subahun vayasan dayasantaka: (M.Bh.10-1-36)

The Skandapurana also relates the above incident and calls the owl the powerful bearded vulture a (31-44/45)
Page 179 of Birds in Sanskrit Literature by K.N Dave.

Greek Coin with owl

My Comments:

1.It is interesting to note that the Jews and Hindus believed that owls are messengers of death. Sanskrit literature and Sangam Tamil literature associate owls with death (See Tamil Purananuru verses 240, 261,364)

2.It is equally interesting that owl like face of Lord Skanda’s attendant and one of the Matri’s is like Mayan Death God Hunahau, who has owl like face.

3.It is also interesting God Indra is called Uluka and several Rishis have the name Uluka and Kausika ,another name of owl. It is same in Tamil literature, as many of the Sangam age poets have Andhai (owl) attached to their names. Previously it was thought they were from the towns with the name of owl (Andhai). So we can conclude that both the positive and negative notions existed side by side. Otherwise we cannot have many Rishis with the name Uluka, Kausika and many Tamil names like Kukai Koziyaar, Pisiranthaiyaar, Othal andhaiyaar etc.

  1. It is amazing to read that Tamils and their counterparts in the North has the same belief the owls have musical skills.

All these debunk the racist Aryan – Dravidian divisive theories created by foreigners with a motive to stabilise their rule and spread their religion.
We also have various types of demons named after large birds like Uluka (owl), Suparna (Eagle) and Grudhya (RV: 7-104-17)

We can also conclude that Hindus are very good observers of nature. There are lot of references to owls in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Tamil References:
The shriek of the owl in the Nemai tree in the desert tract is like the sound of the smithy (Natrinai 394)
A stanza in Natrinai (verse 83) is an apostrophe to the owl that has its abode in the deep recess of a tree on the bank of the village tank. Its shriek at night is said to be alarming and the lady-companion promises it a fine pleasant dish of meat boiled in ghee and fried flesh of rats if only it kept silent at nights when the hero comes on visit.

One description is of a night bright with the moon light and full of disturbances with the barking of dogs and the hooting of owls (Aka.122)

Owl’s Music


The owl’s harsh hooting is heard like the tune of the instrument called Makuli and seems to have some signification (Aka.351)
(Compare it with Narada learning music from owl :Linga Purana)
Jeevaka Chintamani, one of the Five Tamil Epics, says that the owl emitted sweet music like a lyre. It is in Nachinarkiniyar commentary on the epic.

In a rare reference in the epic, owl is praised as giving a positive message about the hero. But in other places the negative image is projected like other epic Manimegalai where the owl is described as the messenger of death. The oldest section of Sangam Tamil literature associated the bird with death and crematorium (See Purananuru verses 240, 261,364).

Kukai koziyar says that the shrill cry of the owl breaks the eerie silence of the graveyard (Pura.364)
The owl with nocturnal habits living in the burning grounds and other wastelands is said to make the sound ‘’cuttukkuvi ‘’and is imagined to call the dead (Pura. 240)

Owls hoot and keep time to peacock’s dance, says a poet (Aink.291)
Bilo Irudayanath, who has done research with the tribal peoples, says that if an owl sits on top of the hut, they will dismantle the old thatched roof and do a new roof.

Owl has several names in Tamil such as Aandhai,Aandalai, Kuukai, Kuraal, Kutinjai. But some names in Tamil Nigandu/Dictionary have the Sanskrit names Kinnara, Kinnari, Kausika, irudi (Rishi),Uluka and Pingalai. The words Kinnara, Kinnari are linked with musical skills.

Owl who saved Genghis Khan
The arms of the Tartar rulers contain a black night owl in a golden shield, because the first of them, Genghis Khan was saved his life with the help of such a bird. They believed that the barn owl saved his life. When his horse was shot in one of the battles he ran for his life and hid under a bush. His enemies were looking for him. At that time a white owl came and sat on the tree under which he was hiding. They did not even come near that tree thinking that he would definitely not be there. His enemies thought the owl would not have sat there if any man had been hiding under the tree. So owl earned a permanent place in their emblems!

Goddess Lakshmi with Uluka

From Mahabharata

Owl and Crow fight

(8).Uluka (owl) was the name of emissary sent by Duryodhana to tell the Pandavas that their peace proposal is rejected. Seer Kausika (Visvamitra) also means owl. In Tamil also we have many poets with owl name (Pisir Anthai, Othal Anthai). People thought that they are the names of their towns. My view is that they actually mean the bird of wisdom owl, which is the vehicle of Lakshmi and Greek Goddess Athena. In western countries it is a very common logo in the educational institutions.

This confirms my view that most of the tribal names are totem symbols I have already given the names of Tamil poets with frog names like their counterparts in Sanskrit. Tortoise is also the name of several rishis/seers.

Tags– Owl, owls in Shakespeare, Hindu literature, Tamil literature

–SUBHAM–

Hindu Forest/ Wood Dwellers (Post No.5552)

 

WRITTEN by London Swaminathan
swami_48@yahoo.com
Date: 17 October 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 15-49

(British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5552

 

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

Vanaprastha is a unique stage in a Hindu’s life.

Hindus have four stages in their lives,
Brahmachari– Student life
Grhastha (asrama)—Householder stage (Family life)
Vanaprastha– Forest living
Sanyasa– Complete Renunciation

These four stages are not found anywhere in the world, but seen in Vedic literature written before the Hebrews, Greeks and other ancient literatures. This explodes the half- baked Aryan immigration theory. Hundreds of ancient Hindu customs and rituals, thousands of Sanskrit words are not found in European cultures or any other cultures except India. From northern Himalayas to the southern most Kanyakumari we see the same culture and thoughts from very ancient times. Sangam Tamil literature, which is 2000 year old, praised all the Vedic customs . Some Tamil poets have names such as Valmiki, Kamakshi (Kamak Kanni) , Maha chitran, Vishnudasan, Mahadevan, Damodaran, Kesavan, Kapilan, and Brahma .

It is very interesting to see the sculptures showing Vanaprastha stage in Bharhut and other Buddhist Centers. Great kings like Pandu of Mahabharata along with his wife Madri, emperor Chandragupta Maurya  (in Jain way) spent their later lives in the forests.


People who have seen their grandchildren, go to forest and live a detached life. They pass their time thinking of god and praying for the welfare of the world. Contrary to the modern old age homes, full of gossips and T V shows they watched nature and thought only about god and people’s welfare. In contrast to three course meals at old age homes they had natural organic food, only vegetarian food. Milk, honey, forest grains and fruits gave them good health and good and positive thoughts. They never knew dementia or depression. Those who read Aranyakas and Upanishads (Vedic literature in Sanskrit dated 800 BCE of before) would long for such a peaceful and happy atmosphere. Their only hobby was walking in the woods and enjoying nature. Parrots and deer came to such peaceful places and resided happily which we come to know from the ancient Hindu literature.

During this period the theological ideas of the Hindus were fully developed and put to writing. We see a deep tendency in portraying one supreme God -The Brahman. All other rituals and worship of other old gods were shown as steps towards a higher goal. The Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva -are the manifestations of this Supreme being. Some saw the Supreme being in the Sun as Gayathri and others saw the most powerful goddess. At no stage, they demolished the steps leading to the highest stage. They knew very well that those steps are necessary for people at lower levels. The lower levels were like nursery schools with lot of nursery rhymes,  (Slokas or hymns), lots of pictures on the walls. Next stage was like high schools with labs for experiments and wall charts (like modern temples with rituals). Next was the university stage with lots of debates and researches on gods and scriptures. When they passed all these nursery school, high school and university stages they came to forest for the real and ultimate peace.

 

We have beautiful forest scenes in Valmiki Ramayana and Kalidasa’s Sakuntalam drama.

Hindus are great nature lovers. The lofty Himalayas are the source of their numerous Aranyakas (Forest Teachings) and Upanishads (Philosophical Teachings).

PICTURES POSTED BY RADHIKA BALAKRISHNAN

The awesome nature with gigantic mountains and high water falls made them look tiny. They also compared their impermanence with the millions of years old valleys and hills. The beautiful flowers reminded them the three great virtues Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram.

 

–Subham–

Elephants are Lucky (Post No.5544)

Written by London Swaminathan
swami_48@yahoo.com
Date: 15 October 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 19-54

(British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5544

 

 

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

In India people believe seeing elephants in person or in dream is a lucky sign. In Kerala,hair from elephant tail is used as a talisman. Mothers of Buddha and Mahavira dreamt of elephant before the great people were born. Elephant is an auspicious symbol.

It is very interesting to see the beliefs of European’s though it is a tropical animal native of Asia and Africa.

 

Here are some excerpts from magazines and books:-

1953 Folklore (Westmorland) says,
Elephants are lucky.
1957 Folklore says,
I was once at a marriage in Morecambe, Lancashire, when the bride groom met such a beast as he drove to church and afterwards received numerous congratulations on his singular good fortune.

1974 D Scannel, Mother knew Best, says,
Everyone knew that an elephant’s hair bracelet was lucky.

1957, Woman’s Own 4 April,
I have two small ebony elephants which I kept on the mantelpiece, but they did not bring any luck. Then a friend told me that elephants should always face the door. I moved them the next day and our happiness, health and luck really seem to have changed for better.


1969 Folklore,
If you own a drawing or a carving of an elephant, it must always be so placed in the room that its head is facing the door.

1970 Folklore,
It is a superstition in my family (East London/Essex ) that any ornament that has a face should be so placed that it is facing the door by which one would normally enters the room…..it was suggested that the death of my father in 1967 was affected or portended by an ornament being accidentally turned round some weeks earlier.

1984 Woman (Hawk Hurst, Kent),
I know people who have elephants in the room always face them to the door as they get wild if they do not know what is going on.

Elephants came to Europe only 2000 years ago but they knew about the elephants even before that due to Persian and Greek invasions.

It is strange to read how the belief or superstition about elephant toys spread there .

Elephant has positive symbolic associations.

A white elephant announced the birth of Gautama Buddha. Hindus worship elephant headed Ganesh before venturing into new business.
Elephant seals are discovered in Indus- Saraswati River civilisation .

In the Christian imagery of Physiologus of late antiquity, the elephants chastity is celebrated . It will procreate only after eating Mandrake root. The same sources say that female elephants give birth in marsh lands and the male elephants protect them from snakes.

 

The ancient Chinese also lauded the chastity of the elephants.

White elephants are considered lucky because they were the vehicles of Vedic god Indra. In the old Thailand/ Siam white elephant was used in the royal emblem. Indra’s elephant is called Airavata.
South Indian Hindu temples have eight elephants sculpted around the sanctum sanctorum. Those eight elephants guard the earth in eight directions.
The Chinese phrase ‘to ride on an elephant’ means Happiness.

Indian Folklore and anecdotes about the amazing memory of elephants are well known. ( I have already umpteen anecdotes about the Memory of Elephants)

Xxx Subham xxx