HINDU RITUALS IN GREECE (Post No.4129)

Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 4 August 2017

Time uploaded in London- 17-31

Post No. 4129

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.
 

When I went to Acropolis Museum in Athens (Greece) in July 2017, I entered the museum shop. Normally I buy only fridge magnets as mementos and stick them to my fridge in London. But the picture post cards in Athens shop were very attractive. So, I bought a few of them and one of them shows a Hindu ritual. I already wrote a research article about the Hindu customs in Sumerian civilization. One of the rituals is offering certain votive objects to get married or to get issues (children) or to get cured of sickness.

People who have problems pray to god with votive offerings either before or after the solution to the problem. South Indian temple Hundis get lot of metal objects in the shape of eye, ear, leg, hand, nose , baby etc. Devotees offer these either to thank the god for solving the problems or to get the problems solved.

 

I found two similarities in the Greek picture:-

  1. Like in Hindu temples, the votive offerings were given to a GODDESS.
  2. The offerings were made with a special request or prayer to solve a specific problem.

The Greek picture post card shows Clay spinning whorls, offered by young women to the sanctuary of Nymph, the protectress of marriage. They are dated around sixth century BCE. This ritual has been there in Greece at least 2500 years ago. Now they are in museum. But Hindu culture is older by thousands of years to Greek culture. And ours is a living culture and you can see such votive offerings even today in Sankarankoil and Bhagavathy temples in Kerala and hundreds of temples around the country.

 

      NEW IDEAS FROM GREECE

NEW IDEAS FROM GREECE: When I came back from New York, San Francisco, Rome, Stockholm and Indian cities, I posted some new ideas for business. In Athens (Greece) I saw playing cards with the famous Greek philosophers. We may also do some playing cards with Indian philosophers or temples or Tourists spots. Foreigners will buy them because it is a memento as well as playing cards. But it must be of good quality. I paid 2-50 euros for the playing cards pack.

 

MORE NEW IDEAS FROM GREECE; I KNOW INDIAN BOOKSHOPS SELL BOOK MARKS WITH QUOTATIONS. BUT I BOUGHT A SET OF BOOK MARKS WITH QUOTATIONS FROM THE GREATEST GREEK WRITERS. WE MUST SELL SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN ALL THE BOOK SHOPS WITH HINDU QUOTES OR TAMIL LITERATURE QUOTES. QUALITY AND ACCURACY ARE MORE IMPORTANT.

SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS FROM GREECE; This picture post card shows the surgical tools and suction cups. Carved on the base of a statue, now lost. Dedicated to the sanctuary of Asklepios , 320 BCE. From Athens museum stall.

 

CHARAKA AND SUSRUTA HAD MORE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS; WE HAVE THE NAMES OF HUNDREDS OF SURGICAL TOOLS IN THE BOOKS OF CHARAKA AND SUSRUTA IN SANSKRIT. WE MUST SELL PICTURE POST CARDS WITH THOSE INSTRUMENTS

Statue of a young girl, probably depicting the goddess Artemis; Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece; around 530 BCE. I bought this picture post card last week in Athens.

All Indian Temples must have a book shop cum stall with high quality books and pictures.

Every Indian museum must have a stall with a cafe. Western countries do roaring business buy selling artefacts, picture cards, books etc in such museum stalls. They are of high quality. India can do it.

 

 

BOOK ON SANTORINI ISLANDS, GREECE

   

The house where we stayed in Santorini (Thera) islands had a book on the table which contained some pictures about wine making and archaeological finds.

 

CHRISTIAN MUSLIM ATROCITIES: –

In the past few days I wrote some articles comparing Hindu culture with the Greek culture. I wrote that I will list the atrocities of Christians and Muslims in Athens. But encyclopaedias such as Wikipedia have very elaborate writeups about it. So I will just give you the bullet points

 

How Parthenon, Temple of Goddess was destroyed?

First, Persian invasion caused some damage in the fourth century BCE

After the introduction of Christianity in Greece, they banned all the pagan temples.

One of the kings, who was a Christian fanatic, took the beautiful, valuable statue of Athena made up of gold to  Turkey and destroyed it.

Later Christian kings converted Temple of Athena in to a church; made architectural changes; in other words, defaced it. Gave new names to old Greek gods to show them Christian. Virgin Athena changed into Virgin Mary.

After Ottoman Turkish attack, the Parthenon structure and temple were destroyed.

They converted it into a mosque. The Venetian- Turkish war destroyed this structure with cannon balls. They used it arms depot.

It is a systematic destruction similar to what Muslim invaders did to Hindu temples in India and what Portuguese and Spanish invaders did to Mayan, Aztec, Olemec and Inca civilizations.

Wherever these invaders went there was bloodshed, plundering and destruction.

 

Last but not the least, people like Elgin “stole” the remaining marbles “legally” and now they are in British, Louvre and Metropolitan museums around the world. My Greek tourist guide was furious when she explained about how Elgin took the historical marbles to Britain.

More in Wikipedia.

 

–Subham–

 

 

Why did Valmiki name Rama’s Children Lava and Kusha? (Post No.3875)

Written by London swaminathan

Date: 3 May 2017

Time uploaded in London: 19-34

Post No. 3875

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Kalidasa, the greatest poet, describes the naming ceremony of Lava and Kusha in the hermitage of the Sage Valmiki. Lava and Kusha, sons of Rama and Sita were born in the hermitage when Sita was separated from Rama.

 

They were named Lava  and Kusha after the ceremonial materials used by Valmiki, i.e. Cow’s tail and Sacred Kusha grass. But Valmiki differs from Kalidasa in one matter.

 

Kalidasa, in his classic Raghuvamsa, says,

सखा दशरथस्यापि जनकस्य च मन्त्रकृत्।
संचस्कारोभयप्रीत्या मैथिलेयौ यथाविधि॥ १५-३१

sakhā daśarathasyāpi janakasya ca mantrakṛt |
saṁcaskārobhayaprītyā maithileyau yathāvidhi|| 15-31

That expounder of the hymns, namely Valmiki, being the friend of Dasharatha as well as of Janaka, out of regard for both, procedurally performed purificatory ceremonies with regard to both the sons of Maithili. [15-31]

 

स तौ कुशलवोन्मृष्टगर्भक्लेदौ तदाख्यया।
कविः कुशलवावेव चकार किल नामतः॥ १५-३२

sa tau kuśalavonmṛṣṭagarbhakledau tadākhyayā |
kaviḥ kuśalavāveva cakāra kila nāmataḥ|| 15-32

Verily the poet gave the names Kusha and Lava to the two sons of Seetha from the names of the wiping materials, namely kusha grass and the hair of the tuft of the cow’s tail (lava), since the infants had been wiped of the post delivery uterine moisture by means of those two materials. [15-32]

–o)0(o–

साङ्गम् च वेदमध्याप्य किंचिदुत्क्रान्तशैशवौ।
स्वकृतिम् गापयामास कविप्रथमपद्धतिम्॥ १५-३३

sāṅgam ca vedamadhyāpya kiṁcidutkrāntaśaiśavau |
svakṛtim gāpayāmāsa kaviprathamapaddhatim|| 15-33

 

No sooner had the boys come out of the stage of infancy than Valmiki taught them the Vedas with their ancillaries, and then made them chant his own composition RAMAYANA which was the first guiding principle for all later time poets. [15-33]

–o)0(o–

रामस्य मधुरम् वृत्तम् गायन्तो मातुरग्रतः।
तद्वियोगव्यथाम् किंचिच्छिथिलीचक्रतुः सुतौ॥ १५-३४

rāmasya madhuram vṛttam gāyanto māturagrataḥ |
tadviyogavyathām kiṁcicchithilīcakratuḥ sutau|| 15-34

Singing the pleasant legend of Rama before their mother the two sons slightly lessened her grief of separation from Rama. [15-34]

–o)0(o—

 

VALMIKI’S  VERSION

 

Valmiki’s version in the Uttara Kanada  (Chapter 66 )

of Valmiki Ramayana is slightly different from Kalidasa’s.

“During the night Shatrughna passed in the leaf thatched hut, Sita gave birth to two children, and at midnight the youthful ascetics brought the pleasant and auspicious tidings to Valmiki. Immediately he went to see the newly born children. On beholding those two infants, his heart was filled with delight and he performed the Rakshasa Rite ( to avert evil).

Taking a handful of Kusha grass with its roots, Valmiki pronounced the formula of protection for the destruction of evil forces, saying:-

‘Since they will rub the first born of the children with the Kusha grass blessed by the aid of Mantras, his name shall be Kusha and, as the last born will be carefully dried by the female ascetics with the roots of the grass, he shall be called Lava, and by these names that I have given them, they will become renowned.

 

Thereafter the female ascetics purified themselves and reverently received the grass from the hands of the Muni (Vamiki), applying it to the two children

xxx

 

Four Brothers had Eight Sons!(4 X 2=8)

Another interesting coincidence is that all the four brothers had two sons each. Not many people know the names of the wives of Rama’s brothers and their sons!

Rama and Sita were the parents of Lava and Kusha

Bharata and Mandavi were the parents of Dakshan and Pushkalan

Lakshmana and Urmila were the parents of Angathan and Chandraketu

Shatrughna and Sruthakeerthi were the parents of Shatrugathi and Subahu

 

इतरेऽपि रघोर्वंश्यास्त्रयस्त्रेताग्नितेजसः।
तद्योगात्पतिवत्नीषु पत्नीष्वासन्द्विसूनवः॥ १५-३५

itare’pi raghorvaṁśyāstrayastretāgnitejasaḥ |
tadyogātpativatnīṣu patnīṣvāsandvisūnavaḥ || 15-35

 

The other three scions of the race of Raghu, namely Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrughna, who were as resplendent as the triple sacred fires, became the fathers, each begetting two sons on their wives who were pre-eminent ‘as wives’ by being married to them. [15-35]

 

Then Kalidasa describes their achievements.

 

(Sanskrit slokas are taken from sanskritdocuments.com; thanks)

 

–Subham–

 

 

Meticulous Details of Funerals of Vali, Jatayu and Ravana (Post No.3791)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 5 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:-19-37

 

Post No. 3791

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

 

First part of this article, “Interesting Funerary Customs during Ramayana Period” (Post No.3782) was posted on 2nd APRIL 2017

 

 

 

Valmiki amazes us by giving us very minute details.

 

Following is the second and final Part:-

 

“On the 11th day of the funeral of Dasaratha, Bharata donated gold and gems to the Brahmins. The donation list includes cows and goats, male and female servants, chariots and special mansions!

 

When Bharata broke the news of Dasaratha’s death to Rama in the forest Rama fainted and looked like an elephant crushed by a landslide. Another simile Valmiki used was Rama fell like a tree with its flowering branches that is severed by an axe in the forest.

 

Sita also felt sad and Rama consoled her. Then he said to Lakshmana, “ Bring the pressed pulp of the Ingudi tree and fresh bark so that we may proceed with the water rite for our magnanimous father. Let Sita go first, you follow her and I will be the last in the funeral procession. Sumatara, Chief Minister, held Rama’s hand and led them to the Mandakini River. There they offered the water to Dasaratha, saying ‘Father, may this prove agreeable to you.’ Then Rama turned towards south and offered water again saying, ‘I offer it to you. Let it reach you in the region of your ancestors. Then Rama offered Pinda. He placed the pulp of the Ingudi tree mixed with Badari fruits on the Dharba grass.

 

( Though we don’t use Ingudi pulp and Badari fruits nowadays, Dharba grass is used until now.)

 

Then Rama killed demon Viradha, by throwing his body into a pit, at his request. We didn’t know what happened to his body. Viradha was the one ho suggested that he must be thrown into a pit

 

Jatayu cremated! (Aranya Kanda)

 

When Jatayu died half way through his speech, Rama decided to give the honour by cremating him. He instructed Lakshmana to bring the fuel. Then Rama himself placed the King of Winged Creatures on the funeral pyre and ignited the flame. Then Rama went into the forest with his brother, killing a few fat Rohi deer, stewed the flesh on the green grass as an oblation to the bird. Tearing off the flesh of those deer and kneading it into balls, he offered it. He recited those sacred formulas uttered by the Brahmins so as to send Jatayu’s soul to heaven. Both the brothers went to the river, bathed and did Udaka ceremony (ritual presentation of water to the ancestors).

 

Vali’s Funeral Rites (Kishkinda Kanda)

 

Vali (Bali) was the monkey king. When he was killed by Rama, Sugriva, Tara and others were grief stricken. Lakshmana says to Sugriva, “Inaugurate obsequies without delay with the assistance of Tara and Angada. Issue the order that a large quantity of dry would be gathered together with the sacred sandal wood, for the funeral pyre. Let Angada bring garlands and robes of every kind, together with butter, oil, perfumes and all that is requisite. O Tara, you do find a palanquin without delay. Let those who are skilful and strong, accustomed to palanquins, hold themselves in readiness to bear Vali away.

Vali’s body was placed in a chariot with beautiful carvings. Priceless ornaments, strings of pearls and splendid crowns gave it a dazzling appearance; it was covered with clay, painted red and sprinkled with sandal paste. Festooned with wraths of lotuses, shining like the dawn, it was strewn with innumerable flowers.

 

“ Having laid the corpse on its couch, Sugriva covered the body with ornaments of every kind together with wreaths and cloths. The great monkey leader preceded the litter, scattering jewels of every kind in profusion. All the wives of Vali accompanied the procession. Angada ignited the funeral pyre. He circumambulated it. Rama officiated at the funeral rites.

 

Valmiki gave all the minute details of the funeral ceremony. Normally people consider it inauspicious to talk about it. But Valmiki was very descriptive. Thanks to him, now we know how it was done several thousand years ago. For great saints like Valmiki, life and death are like changing worn-out clothes.

 

Ravana’s Funeral (Yuddha Kanda)

 

When Ravana was killed by Rama in the final battle, his brother Vibhishana refused to do the cremation. But Rama asked him to do it saying, “ Death brings enmity to an end”.

 

At these words of Raghava, Bibishana hastened to carry out the funeral rites.

 

Entering the City of Lanka, that Indra began to prepare for the Agnihotra Ceremony in honour of his brother. Carts, wood of varying essences, fire utensils, sandal, logs of every kind, fragrant gums, perfumes, cloths, jewels, pearls and coral were all assembled by him and he soon returned surrounded by titans, whereupon accompanied by Malyavan, he initiated the sacrifice.

Having placed Ravana, the Supreme Lord of the titans, wrapped in linen cloth, s on a golden bier, the Twice born with Bibishana at their head, their eyes suffused with tears, raised the litter decorated with many fragrant and divine symbols to the sound of innumerable music instruments and funeral chants and all, turning their faces towards the south took up pieces of wood which had been distributed among them.

 

Then the Brahmins, versed in the Yajur Veda, bearing flaming brands went forward and those who had taken refuge with them and the women of the inner apartments followed sobbing with tottering steps, running hither and thither. And Ravana was placed in a spacious ground, amidst profound lamentation and a great pyre was built with pieces of sandal and Padmaka wood and grass, according to tradition; and he was covered with antelope skins.

 

Thereafter in honour of the King of the Titans, a rare offering was made to the ancestors and the altar was installed to the south-west with the sacred fire in its proper place. Then curd and clarified butter were poured on Ravana’s shoulder and a wooden mortar placed at his feet with one between his thighs. Vessels of wood and the lower and upper sticks, with a spare pestle, were set there to the prescribed rules.

 

Now the titans sacrificed a goat in honour of their king, according to tradition, as taught by the great Rishis, and, dipped a cloth in butter, they covered the face of their sovereign, who was adorned with garlands and sprinkled with perfumes. Thereafter Bibisbana’s companions, their faces bathed in tears, covered the body with cloths and every kind of roasted grain, whereupon Bibishana kindled the fires according to the sacred rites and, having laved him with a cloth which had been previously wetted with water and mingled with linseed and sacrificial grass, be bowed down to him; then he addressed the consorts of Ravana again and again in order to console them, finally entreating them to return home. And when they had all re-entered the City of Lanka, that Indra among the Titans, took up his place by Rama in an attitude of reverence.

 

A lot of details are here about the funeral of a Rakshasa King. It differs in many ways with the modern funeral. But in a vast country like India with thousands of castes and sub castes the funeral rites differ widely from area to area.

In Dasaratha’s funeral Sama Veda was used and here in Ravana’s funeral Yajur Veda was used.

 

Earlier in Aranya Kanda, we came across the shapeless demon Kabandha who was killed by Rama and Lakshmana. he was also cremated by the brothers; though he melted like butter in the fire, he rose up from the ashes, wearing spotless raiment ad a celestial garland. Now he looked very handsome and wore ornaments in his limbs and ascended a chariot drawn by swans. Before ascending to heaven he instructed Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sabhari, a female ascetic.

The chapters on funerals raise many questions. If Vyasa was the one who divided Vedas into four, how come Valmiki mentioned two different Vedas. Probably the Vedas were known as Rik, Sama and Yajjur already and Vyasa allocated the portions to his four disciples for preservation. Why two different Vedas were used in two different funerals is also another debatable matter.

 

The funeral processions were pompous, but we must remember they were ones for kings like Dasaratha,Bali (Vali) and Ravana

 

Lot of Dhanams (gifts) were given to Brahmins. Bird Jatayu, Demon Ravana, Monkey Vali/Bali and Human Dasaratha were cremated according to the scriptures. So there were no caste differences among them. Thanks to Valmiki we learnt a lot which can be compared with the funeral rites in the Smrtis and other cultures.

 

–Subham–

Interesting Funerary Customs during Ramayana Period (Post No.3782)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 2 APRIL 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 15-30

 

Post No. 3782

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

There are very interesting funerary customs in Valmiki Ramayana. Since they are only minor details, many of us miss them. Some of the dead were cremated; some were buried. We don’t know why. Let us look at them one by one:-

 

Bhagiratha performing the funeral rites for his ancestors occurs in the Balakanda. Bhagiratha made the Ganges water to flow on the ashes of ancestors and liberated them. He also performed the funeral rites with the sacred water in accordance with the tradition.

Here we come across some important points:

1.Dissolving the ashes of the dead in Ganges water existed at least from the days of Bhagiratha. Even today Hindus dying in different parts of the world, make arrangements for their ashes to be dissolved in the Holy Ganges. From Vedic days, Hindus were mostly cremated.

2.Even During Bhagiratha’s days there was a tradition of performing funeral rites.

3.Water is used in all the rites.

  1. In the Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world and in the Sangam Tamil literature, we come across both burials and cremations.

 

When Dasaratha died….

Dasaratha’s body was immersed in a vat of oil for preservation.

 

“Raising the body of King Dasaratha from the earth, where it had been immersed in oil, seeming as it were asleep, the face like the colour of gold, he (Bharata) placed it on a magnificent couch, adorned with every kind of precious stones, and, plunged in grief, said to his father……”

(Ayodhya Kanda, Chapter 76)

Vasishtha said to him, “ O Valiant Prince, without hesitation or repining, carry out the funeral rites of the king that should be performed”.

Be it so! answered Bharata, and obedient to Vasishtha’s command, he summoned the priests speedily from all side with their attendants and sages. The fires for that Indra among men were prepared outside Agnyagara (Fire Chamber) and kindled in accord with the rituals by the priests and sacrificial attendants. Thereafter the servants placing the body of the king on a litter, with dejected minds bore it away, weeping the while; the people scattering gold, silver and cloths of many kinds went before the king, whilst others assembled sandal wood, sweet aloes and different fragrant essences with heaps of Sarala, Devadaru and Padmaja wood in order to build the funeral pyre. Then drawing near where the king lay, the Ritvijas offered sandal, stalks of water lilies, sweet roots and perfumes, and, pouring oblations into the fire, began the recitation of the silent prayer; thereafter, as laid down in the scriptures, the singers of the Sama Veda started their chanting.

Then the women of the inner apartments left the city in palanquins and chariots according to their rank, escorted by aged guards; and the priests circumambulated the royal pyre, keeping it on their left and the women plunged in grief followed, led by Kauslaya. Thereupon piercing cries, like unto ospreys, arose, which was the wailing of the women, who in their despair emitted innumerable plaints as they descended from their chariots on to the banks of the Sarayu River.

Having performed the water ritual (The Funeral rites consist of two parts, the burning and the cooling of the body by libations, called Tarpana. Each attending is required to offer an Anjali of water – that which can be contained in the hollow of the hands – to the deceased.), the wives of the monarch, as also the counsellors and priests, in company with Bharata, returned to the city, their eyes bathed in tears, and for ten days, observing deep mourning, slept on the ground.

(The Smriti lays down twelve days for the kings and sixteen for other Kshatriyas, but the sage Parasara fixes ten days for Kshatriyas in general).

My comments:

1.Hindus and the Government of India observe a mourning period of ten to thirteen days until today.

2.Funeral pyre is made up of sandal, aloe, agar and other fragrant woods.

3.Holy water from different sources are used

  1. Our forefathers knew the technique of preserving dead bodies. Since Bharata had to travel very fast in Chariot from the border of Iran-Afghanistan to Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh (India), Chief Priest ordered the body to be preserved in medicinal oil.
  2. Royal women also came in palanquins to attend the funeral.

6.Note that there was no Suttee (wives dying with husband in the funeral pyre); all the three queens returned home after bathing in Sarayu.

7.Tarpan (water oblation) continues until today. We can’t see such a continuity in any other parts of the world. For over 5000 years the ceremonies are kept almost intact. Only now it is changing because relatives have spread far and wide.

  1. Going around the dead body in the anti-clock wise direction is done even today.

Chapter 77 of Ayodhya Kanda gives following details: –

Ten days have passed; on the eleventh day Bharata and Shatrugana fainted during the ceremonies; those who watched them also felt sad. The bothers fell like Indra Dwaja (standard).

 

This simile use in the chapter twice shows Valmiki lived long before other poets. Indra dwaja (flag of Indra) is knocked down during the festival. Tamils also celebrated according to Tamil epics. But later it stopped.

 

On the 13th day, the virtuous and gentle spiritual preceptor Vasishtha said, “O,Lord, this is the thirteenth day since the death of your father. Why do you delay in collecting the bones and ashes? All beings, without exception, suffer three things. Once cannot eschew them.”

 

Three things= Hunger and thirst, Pleasure and pain, Life and Death.

 

Then helped by the Chief Minister Sumantra both brothers completed the funeral rites.

In some communities, the ashes are collected on the second day and the ceremony finishes on the 12th day; on the thirteenth day, they do the purification ceremony.

 

We will see what Rama did with the bodies of demons, Bird King Jatayu and others in the next article.

 

Source book: The Ramayana of Valmiki, Translated by Hari Prasad Shastri

 

—Subham–

 

MAHABHARATA AT ONE GO! Bullet Point Summary of 18 Chapters! (Post No.3758)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 26 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 16-00

 

Post No. 3758

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Most of us including me, find it difficult to read all the 100,000 couplets, 200,000 lines, one million words in the world’s longest epic, Mahabharata. They say about this epic,

“What is found in this epic may be elsewhere;
What is not in this epic is nowhere else”.

It is an ever inspiring, never tiring and most interesting Hindu encyclopaedia. From Time travel to Test Tube Babies, from Siamese Twins surgery to Sex Change Operation – everything is here (Please look at the bottom for my research articles on these topics). Vyasa, the author of the epic, was the most prolific writer. He had compiled the voluminous Vedas as well.

 

Mahabharata has 18 chapters (Parva);

Following are the names of the 18 Parvas:

1.Adi Parva

2.Sabha Parva

3.Vana Parva

4.Virata Parva

5.Udhyoga Parva

6.Bhishma Parva

7.Drona Parva

8.Karna Parva

9.Shalya Parva

10.Sauptika Parva

11.Stri Parva

12.Shanti Parva

13.Anusasana Parva

14.Asvamedha Parva

15.Ashramavasika Parva

16.Mausala Parva

17.Mahaprastanika Parva

18.Swaraga Arohana Parva

 

IMPORTANT PARVAS

a).Longest Parva

Shanti Parva with over 14,000 slokas

 

b).Shortest Parva

Maha Prastanika Parva

 

c).Where is Bhagavad Gita in this epic?

In the Bhishma Parva

d).Where is Vishnu Sahsranama (1000 names of Lord Vishnu) in this epic?

In the Anusasana Parva

e).What is the name of the first Parva?

Adi Parva

 

f).What is the name of the last Parva?

Swarga Arohana Parva

BULLET POINTS

1.Adi Parva

The Book of the Beginning is the name of the chapter.

Beginning of the Lunar Dynasty

Birth of Pandavas and Kauravas (Kuru Dynasty)

Separate rule of 5 Pandavas and 100 Kauravas from two capitals

 

2.Sabha Parva

The Book of the Assembly Hall.

Construction of a beautiful Palace for Pandavas which kindled the jealousy of Duryodana (Kaurava Chief). Yudhisthra did a Rajasuya Yajna.

He called Pandavas for a Gambling and defeated them with the help of his uncle Sakuni.

As per the rules of the games Pandavas lost everything and banished for 12+1 year (13th year incognito)

 

3.Vana Parva (Aranya Parva)

The Book of the Forest

Pandavas spend their 12 years with Draupadi in the forest.

They learnt a lot from seers like Markandeya.

Arjuna did a penance and received Pasupata Astra from Lord Shiva;

Arjuna did a space jouney and spent some time in the heaven.

 

4.Virata Parva

The Book of the Virata.

Pandavas with their wife Draupadi were hiding in the country of Virata. They were in different disguise, doing different jobs.

Keesaka, who tried to molest Draupadi was killed by Bhima.

Duryodana tried very hard to identify the Pandavas, but failed

 

5.Udhyoga Parva

The Book of the Effort.

When the Pandavas came back and asked for their share of the kingdom, Duryodana refused to give them.

Several messengers were sent to avoid war.

Krishna also went as a messenger, but in vain.

 

6.Bhishma Parva

The Book of Bhisma

When Arjuna said that he did not want to fight for the land, Krishna gave him some lessons – which are in compiled as the Bhagavd Gita

War began; Bhisma took the command of Karava army.

He was knocked down on the 10th day of the 18 day war.

He was lying on the Bed of Arrows.

 

7.Drona Parva

The Book of Drona

Drona took over as the commander in chief following Bhisma’s fall;

he was killed on the 13th day of the war, when he heard  a lie from the mouth of Yudhisthra (Pandava’s chief); Asvattama is the name of an elephant as well as son of Drona. When Drona heard Asvattama killed (uttered by Yudhisthra), he thought that hi son was killed and lost control and got killed.

 

8.Karna Parva

The Book of Karna

Karna took over the post of commander in chief of Kaurava Army;

He was killed on the 17th day;

Yudhisthra felt very sad when he knew Karna was the eldest of the Pandava brothers.

 

9.Shalya Parva

The Book of Shalya

Shalya served as the commander following Karna’s death.

On the 18th day Shalya was killed;

then Duryodhana and Bhima wanted to have a mace fight; Duryodhan was killed when Bhima stuck him on the thigh against the rules.

Duyodhanawas killed and the war came to an end.

 

10.Sauptika Parva

The Book of the Sleeping Warriors

After the rout of the Kaurava army, asvattama, son of Drona, wanted to take a revenge on the Pandavas.

He watched an owl killing the crows at the dead of night in tree and decided to kill the Pandavas the sameway.

Lord Krishna knew it by premonition and hid them at a diiferent place; only Pandavas’ children were killed; but Pandavas escaped unharmed.

 

11.Stri Parva

The Book of the Women

All the women who lost their husbands cried.

Pandavas did the water oblations for the departed souls on both sides.

 

12.Shanti Parva

The Book of Peace

Dharma alias Yudhisthra lost mental peace even after crowned as the Emperor.

Bhishma gave him lot of examples from the scriptures, lying on the Bed of Arrows

 

 

13.Anusasana Parva

The Book of Instructions

Bhishma gave him more instructions

 

14.Asvamedha Parva

The Book of Asvamedha Yaga

Yudhisthra did an Asvmedha Yajna (Horse sacrifice);

Lord Krishna gave Arjuna another dose of lessons in the name of Anu Gita.

 

15.Ashramavasika Parva

The Book of Hermitage

Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari went to forest with Kunti;

they were doing meditation at the fag end of their lives; forest fire burnt them alive. Before that they listened to Vidura who consoled them

 

16.Mausala Parva

The Book of the mace fight.

Following the curse of a seer, Yadavas fought among themselves and killed each other; musal means mace; each of the normal grass they pulled for fighting became a mace andkilled them.

Lord Krishna was killed by a hunter while he was sitting on the tree.

 

17.Mahaprastanika Parva

The Book of the Great Journey.

Hearing that Krishna died and the Kali Yuga began, Pandava brothers along with Draupadi did a ritual walk towards North to reach the Meru mountains. A dog followed them. Pandava brothers, fell one by one and lost their lives. Yudhisthra and the dog continued their journey.

 

18.Swaraga Arohana Parva

The Book of the Ascent to Heaven

When Yudhisthra died, he was taken along the route of Hell for saying one lie in the war. At the end, he reached the heaven and saw all his relatives there; he felt immensely happy; the dog that followed them was nothing but the God of Dharma.

–subham–

 

 

xxxxxx

Old Articles on Mahabharata from my blogs:–

Following articles are written by London swaminathan

1.Stars are Gods! We are Stars!!

Post No 1241; Dated 18th August 2014.

2.Medical Science solves Ten Mysteries in the Mahabharata !

Post No. 933 Date 26th March 2014

3.PANDU- TIGER AMONG MEN! (Post No.3697) Date: 6 March 2017

4.Sex Secrets! Satyabhama boldly asks Draupadi in Mahabharata!!

Post No.2220; Date: 6   October 2015

5.Draupadi and Tamil Heroines;17 May 2012

6.Four Wings of Hindu Army: Blow to Aryan- Dravidian Theory!;Post No.1230 ; Dated 13th August 2014.

7.Strange Bird Stories in Mahabharata!

Research Article no. 1711; dated 12 March 2015

8.One Minute Mahabharata! One Minute Bhagavatha!! 27 March 2015

9.Yellow clad Krishna and Blue Clad Balarama! 2 October 2014

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Following articles are written by S Nagarajan

 

1.MEMORY QUEEN DRAUPADI; Written by S Nagarajan

Research Article No. 1689; Dated 4 March 2015.

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Please read also my articles on CONCEPT OF TIME:

 

1.TIME TRAVEL by TWO TAMIL SAINTS, posted on 14-2-2012

2.Do Hindus believe in ETs and Alien Worlds?, posted on 28-1-2012

3.Is Brahmastra a Nuclear Weapon?, posted on 5 June 2011

4.Hindus Future Predictions Part 1 (posted 20 May 2012)

5.Hindus Future Predictions Part 2 (Posted on 20 May 2012)

6.Five Beautiful Stories on Hindu Concept of Time; Article No.1869; Dated 16 May 2015.

7.Einstein’s Hindu Connection!; Article No.2017; Date : 25  July 2014

 

–Subham–

 

 

Ramayana cures Curses! Rajatarangini Episode! (Post No.3754)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 24 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-58

 

Post No. 3754

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Kalhana, author-poet-historian of Kashmir, in his book gives an interesting anecdote about Ramayana in his book Rajatarangini.

From First Taranga of Rajatarangini:–

 

“Then Damodara (Damodara II) who was either descended from the House of Asoka or was born in some other dynasty, protected the land as the king.

“Highly resplendent with material resources was the king who was the crest jewel of Siva worshippers, and one hears of his spiritual power even to this day as a marvel of the world.

“Like Kubera this foremost among kings held under his own sway the Guhyakas; by ordering them he built the extensive dam at Gudda.

“When a lofty minded man is about to do some remarkably beneficent act, alas! impediments arise owing to the meagreness of the past merits of men.

 

“For he had tried with the help of Yakshas to build in his kingdom extensive dykes of stone to mitigate the havorc of inundations.

Spiritual Power of the Brahmins

“The spiritual power of the austerities of Brahmans of radiant enlightenment is unfathomable, since it could reverse the fortune of even such as he was.

 

“The prosperity of kings when destroyed by the forces of kinsmen and other rivals one has seen restored once more; it has no chance of being re-established if lost through disregard of the Brahmans.

“When he had risen to bathe to perform the  Sraaddha Ceremony (oblations to the departed souls), the king was requested by some hungry Brahmins, on one occasion, before he had taken his bath, to give them food.

“Desirous of proceeding to Vitasta (river) when he ignored this, they, by their spiritual power, then placed that river in front of him—‘Behold! here is Vitasta; now feed us. Even though addressed in this wise, he perceived that the production of the river was a delusion.

 

“I shall not offer food without bathing, O Brahmins!move on now for the time being; when they had been thus addressed by him, they cursed him as follows: May you become a snake.”

 

“Your sin will be atoned by listening in one single day to the whole of the Ramayana – thus they declared after they had been placated.

“In Damodara Suda, wandering fa through thirst, by the vapour of his breath, which is hot in consequence of the curse, he is recognised by the people even today.

“Then there ruled in this very land the founders of cities called after their appellations, the three kings named Huska,Juska and Kanishka”.

—-Chapter 1/ First Taranga of Rajatarangini

Ramayana was popular even before 2000 years from the Southernmost tip Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Even 2000 yeal old Tamil Sangam Literature (Purananuru) has verses containing Rama’s stories!

 

We have 3000 different versions of Ramayana, spreading over a vast geographical area up to Indonesia, Thailand and China.

 

We have continuous production of Ramayana for over 2000 years. No other epic was treated that way.

Added together all the Ramayanas will run into millions of lines.

Ramayana was composed in more languages than any other language.

Ramayana is called Adi Kavya (the first classic in the world); Soka (sadness) turned into Sloka (Sanskrit couplets);

When Valmiki saw, a hunter shooting down one of the two love birds, he felt sad (Soka) and burst into poetry (sloka).

Ramayana has over 3400 similes. Grand message in simple Sanskrit!

Ramayana was the epic done by all the oriental religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

–Subham–

Hunchback Manthara, Bird caught in a Noose! (Post No.3750)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 23 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 22-24

 

Post No. 3750

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

There is a very interesting episode in Valmiki Ramayana, which many of you would have missed. Shatrugna, brother of Rama and Lakshmana, was about to slay Manthara, the hunchback. But Bharata who was equally angry at her, saved her. He gave two reasons for saving her:

 

1.Women should not be killed, however evil they were, according to Hindu Law Books.

2.If Rama knew that we have killed Manthara, the hunchback, then he would not even meet us.

 

But before Bharata admonished Shatrugna, what happened there was interesting.

It is in chapter 78 of Ayodhya Kanda of Ramayana. Shatrugna was the younger brother of Lakshmana. He wondered how come Lakshmana allowed this unjust thing to happen (banishing Rama for 14 years). When he was fuming with anger, this wretched woman Manthara appeared before him with all the bling on her body. This infuriated Shatrugna.

Everyone in the palace knew that she was the main cause for this misfortune. So the guards roughed her and brought her before Shatrugna. He said Let this woman receive the ‘fruit of her action’. He seized hold of her with his strong hands. she rent the palace with her shrieks. The women who were with her fled in different directions in fear. They thought Shatrugana would kill all of them and went to Kausalya for protection.

 

In the meantime, enraged Shatrugna gave her severe blows. When he showered blows on Manthara, she fell down on the ground. Then he redoubled his strokes and her ornaments were scattered. Valmiki says the floor with her bling looked like the autumn sky with stars!

 

Shatrugna holding her with his strong hands started scolding Kaikeyi, who fearing him, ran to Bharata.

Bharata said to Shatrugna: “one should avoid slaying any woman, therefore control yourself. I would have killed even Kaikeyi for her heinous conduct. But if Rama hears that this hunchback Manthara was slain, he would not approve it.

 

Hearing this he let her go and she fell at the feet of Kaikeyi, breathless and weeping. The hunchback looked like a Krauncha bird that was  caught in a noose!

When we read this, we ourselves feel that we should punch on the face of Manthara. Had we lived at that time, given an opportunity, we would have done so!

 

–Subham–

PANDU- TIGER AMONG MEN! (Post No.3697)

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 6 March 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 10-42 am

 

Post No. 3697

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

Pandu was the father of Pancha (five) Pandavas in the Mahabharata. He was born to Ambalika and Vyasa. There is a big scientific truth in the birth story of Pandu. If any woman has sex with a man in disgust or hatred, the child born may be handicapped or sick or a baby with a rare syndrome.

 

Pandu’s older brother was Dhritarashtra who was born blind. Because of brother’s blindness Pandu took over the reins of the Kingdom. He was ruling from Hastinapura. He married Kunti, who chose him as her husband in a Swayamvara ( a princess choses her own husband in an open competition). Later he married Madri from Madra Kingdom. In the olden days, a king could marry as many princesses as possible from neighbouring kingdoms to strengthen the country and save it from invasions.

 

Kunti, taught Madri the mantra (magic spell) she learnt from Durvasa, a seer, to get children. Through that mantra she invoked the Vedic twins Aswini kumaras and got twins Nakula and Sahadeva. Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna with these twins were called Pancha/Five Pandavas.

Science behind their births!

Vyasa was asked to help Amba and Ambika in getting children, since both had no issues. They couldn’t have children with their husband Vichitraveerya. This was an ancient custom allowed to continue the lineage. So, Vyasa agreed to produce children, but neither he was  a handsome man nor dresses properly. He was more involved in the Vedic studies. When Ambika looked at him she hated him and shut her eyes while she had conjugal bliss with him. Because of her mental state she gave birth to a born blind, Dhritarshtra. Ambalika also was not happy, but had sex with him with a feeling of disgust and the child born to her was pale, Pandu.

 

So, if someone doesn’t feel comfortable or happy while having sex, that will affect the children born to them physically or mentally. Western country statistics also show that children brought up in an atmosphere of violence, squalor, bad habits such as drink and drugs become anti-social elements.

 

How Pandu died?

Hunting and gambling were two big vices of Hindu kings. When Pandu went for a hunt in the forest he mistook a rishi and his wife as deer and shot and killed them. At that time they were having sex. Since Rishis (seers) of ancient India wore deer skin, they were easily mistaken. When the seer (Kindama) died, he cursed Pandu that he would also die when he has sex with his wife.

 

Pandu felt very sad and went to the forest to practice yoga and penance. Both his wives Kunti and Madri accompanied them. As fate, would have it, one day Pandu felt very happy and decided to enjoy conjugal pleasure. He died immediately and Madri also died with him in the funeral pyre, feeling that it was her fault to allow him to come closer to her despite the seer’s curse.

Kunti took care of her children.

Tiger among Men

Pandu did not get much coverage as others, outside the epic. But Mahabharata praised him very much. He had great qualities and he was used as similes in many passages Let us look at a few couplets about Pandu from the epic:-

 

“This tiger among men comes again, the knower of virtue, the one who protects us in accordance with what is right, as his own relatives”

ayam sa purusa Vyaagrah punar aayaati dharmavit

yo nah svaan iva daayaadaan dharmatah pariraksati ( 1-199-17)

 

“Pandu, while practising penance in the forest behaved like a brother to some, like a friend to others; the sages, however, protected him like their own son”

 

kesaam cid abhavad bhraataa

kesaam cid abhavad sakhaa

rsayas tv apare cai ‘nam

putravat paryapaalayan 1-113-3

 

Pandu, though a Kshatriya (king), he looked like an enlightened sage in the forest: brahma rsi sadrsah paandur – 1-111-4

 

He is one of the unsung heroes of Mahabharata.

 

—Subham–

 

 

 

Two Interesting Stories about Mandodari! (Post No.3678)

Picture: Mandodari stopping Ravana

 

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 28 FEBRUARY 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-09

 

Post No. 3678

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

Mandodari was daughter of Demon king Maya and wife of Ranvana, King of Sri Lanka. She was the mother of Indrajit and died immediately after Ravana’s death.

 

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gives an interesting anecdote about Mandodari:-

 

Mandodari told her royal husband Ravana, “If you are so intent upon having Sita as your queen, why don’t you impose on her assuming the form of her husband Rama with the help of your magical powers?”

 

“Fie upon you!”, explained Ravana, “Can I stoop the pleasures of the senses while I am in the holy form of Rama – a form the very thought of which fills my heart wih such unspeakable joy and blessedness that even the higest heavens appears to me worthless?”

 

Hindu women remember five women’s names every day to purify themselves. Mandoari was one of the five great women. This explodes the Aryan- Dravidian Racist theory. Though Mandodari was a Rakshasa’s wife, every Hindu prays to her. More over all the 18 Hindu mythologies say that the demons got these powers by worshipping to Hindu Trinity. That also explodes the Aryan Dravidian racist theories concocted by the westerners.

Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara ,Manodari   thatha

Pancha kanya smaren nithyam sarva papa vinashanam

–Prathasmaranam

(All the sins of those who think about the five great women Ahalya, Draupadi, Sita, Tara and Mandodari will be destroyed).

Manikkavasagar’s Story

Great Tamil saint Manikkavasagar mentioned Mandodari in his Tiruvasagam (Kuyil Pathu and Tiruvarthai).

A strange legend is given in the explanatory nots for the verse in the Tiruvarthai section of Tiruvasagam as follows:

Ravana’s wife Mandodari was praying to Lord Shiva. He came in the form of a Guru. He was so handsome that Mandodari forgot herself and fell for him and asked for sensual pleasures. But Lord Shiva did not want her to fall a prey to sensual pleasures and so he disappeared. Then she repented her action. But later she gave birth to baby girl and set it afloat in the sea. That baby girl reached the country of Janaka (Bihar in India) and he found her when he went to plough the land. That baby girl was Sita. In other words, Sita was Mandodari’s daughter!

Manikkavasagar said that she was blessed by Lord Shiva. Only the commentators added this strange story. Whatever may be the story, she was one of the five chaste women every Hindu remembers.

–Subham–

Where does Lakshmi reside? (Post No.3561)

9dbc9-gajalakshmi

Written by London swaminathan

 

Date: 20 January 2017

 

Time uploaded in London:- 21-30

 

Post No.3561

 

 

Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.

 

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

In the ancient Tamil Sangam literature, a beautiful verse is found in the Purananuru. The verse is composed by Valmiki. Dravidian frauds and foreign “scholars” have spread out a lie that Tamil culture is different. Those who read 30,000 lines of Sangam literature will know that the culture is same from Kanyakumari to Kashmir with some regional specialities.

 

Valmiki is not the only Sanskrit name in Sangam literature. There Damodara, Kesava, Markandeya, Sangavaruna, Kapila, Parana, Mamula and so many other Sanskrit names. This will explode the racist Aryan Dravidian theory. One third of the poems were composed by Brahmin poets. If Sanskrit words are removed from Sangam Tamil verses it would like virus affected software!

 

Valmiki who composed verse 358 of Purananuru is different from Valmiki of Ramayana. But he was given this name because he liked Ramayana very much. According to some commentators this is a verse about Rama.

The gist of the verse no. 358 is, “ Life is so impermanent that this land has seen seven kings on a single day. If you compare worldly life with ascetic life, life of an ascetic is far better/ greater. Asceticism is so great and the earth is not one iota of it. It is because asceticism is difficult people became family men.  Those who strived for liberation became ascetics. Those who don’t ask for wealth (Lakshmi) will get it. Those ask for it wont get it and suffer as family men”.

5064c-lakshmi2bold2bdrawing

Lord Rama said that he did not want Rajya Lakshmi (kingdom) but he got it.

 

Apart from the philosophical interpretation, it gives some historical information of having Seven Kings on a Single Day!

There is another verse in later Tamil literature, which lists the places where Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth resides: Lotus, Flag of a kingdom, City, Lightning, Tulsi leaves, Vilva/Bilva leaves, Sheath of paddy, Chank, Sea, Lamp, Horse, Marriage House or Mandap, Milk pot and the hearts of the good people.

 

Apart from the above list there is a belief that Lakshmi resides at the backside of a cow and the parting of a woman where she applies Kumkum every day. The list explains why Hindus boil milk in the new house, why Vishnu gets Tulsi and Shiva gets Vilva every day, why Hindus light lamp every day, why grains ae called Dhanya Lakshmi etc.

 

–Subham-