Lord Shiva (for School Children) (Post No.9602)

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 9602

Date uploaded in London – –14 May   2021           

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

THIS IS WRITTEN FOR LONDON SCHOOL CHILDREN AND MAY BE USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL. I WILL POST MY SUMMARY ON HINDU GODS ONE BY ONE. LORD GANESH , SKANDA/MURUGA ARE ALREADY POSTED HERE. THIS IS  THIRD ESSAY IN THE SERIES.

Shiva is one of the three important Gods in Hinduism.

Along with Brahma and Vishnu he blesses his devotees.

Shiva’s wife is Parvati and his two sons are Ganesh/ Pillayar and Skanda/Murugan.

Shiva rides on a bull known as Rishaba. His temples are all over India. 12 are important of them.

Shiva can be easily identified by children. He is seen with the bull Rishabha. On his head we have river Ganga, a crescent moon over his matted lock. He holds a trident called Trisula. On his neck we see a snake.

Shiva means ‘Good, Auspicious’. He mainly appears in Linga form in famous temples. Linga is formless , that is god can appear as the devotee wishes in a figure or without a form. It is more or less round in shape. Shiva has no beginning , middle or end.

There is a very interesting story. Once Brahma and Vishnu went to see the top and bottom of this formless Shiva. They could not find, but on his way Brahma saw a Pandanus flower that fell from the head of Shiva. Then Brahma lied to everyone that he saw Shiva’s head. Because of this lie, no body worships Brahma in temple as a main god. They don’t use that particular Pandanus flower for puja.

Another interesting thing about Lord Shiva is he has an eye on his forehead. This is called Third Eye. In the second level I will explain Shiva’s Third Eye  (Wisdom Eye) and his other symbols.

The most attractive form of Shiva is his dancing form called Nataraja. Though Shiva is in charge of destruction at the end of the world, he is the one who runs the world.

Nataraja means he is ever moving never stopping. When you study science, you will understand it better. The world is ever changing, vibrating. Our earth, sun, all the stars, moon and the smallest atom every thing is moving, vibrating, changing. Nataraja’s dance shows this.

Scientists wondered at Hindu wisdom and installed Nataraja statue in Switzerland’s famous science building.

So remember Linga, Nataraja and Three Eyed Shiva (Trayambaka) on a Rishabha.

When we do some mischief our father or teacher becomes angry and corrects us. In the same way Shiva also takes a form called Rudra. It is to destroy bad people and kill bad thoughts in us.

There is a remarkably interesting story about Shiva. His nick name is blue throated god. In Sanskrit Neela Kanta. When Devas that is the good people, and Asuras, that is the bad people, churned the Milky Ocean, terrible poison came out before the good Amrita came. Every one got scared when they saw poison. But Shiva came forward to help both the  Devas and Asuras. He swallowed the poison. But his wife was afraid and stopped the poison going into his stomach. When the poison stopped in his neck, it became blue. So he is called blue throated god, Neelakanta.

I will tell you two more stories and stop.

Shivas main mantra or chant is ‘OM NAMA SIVAYA’

Nama Sivaya has five letters and so it is called five letter chant. In Sanskrit Pancha+Akshara. With this mantra, a miracle boy saint known as Sambandar did lot of miracles. He cured the disease of a king in Pandya country. He used Shiva’s holy ash Vibhuti to do his miracles. It is a white powder made from ash of cow dung. Every shiva worshipper wears it on his fore ead every day. So you can easily find who worships Lord Shiva with this holy powder, Vibhuti. In every temple of shiva you will get this. You must use your right hand and get it with respect and wear it on your forehead. It has miraculous powers.

The last story about Shiva is that he is the easiest God any one can see. And he becomes happy very quickly and gives you whatever you ask for. One bad man, that is an Asura, had evil thoughts. He prayed for long and got a boon from Shiva. Boon means a Varam, a promise that would become true.

This bad guy asked shiva,

‘Give me a boon by which I can burn any one turn him into ash when I touch his or her head’. Shiva is Asutosh, which means easily pleased. He said, ‘granted’. Go and touch any one’s head . That person would become ash, said Lord Shiva.

That bad guy said,

Hi! Mr Shiva! I am going to test it on you. In Hinduism Truth is god. Any promise, boon, given means you can’t change it. So Shiva had to run. Immediately other gods came to his help. Vishnu came in the form of a beautiful girl and danced in front of the bad Asura. He also danced following Vishnu dressed as Mohini.

When Mohini touched her head and asked him to do it, he, forgetting his boon, put his hand on his head. He became ash and he was called Ash Asura, in Sanskrit Pasma sura. So we should never try to get anything bad. If we get bad thoughts or bad things that will harm us.

Maha Shivaratri is the most important festival for the devotees of Shiva and Bilva (Vilvam in Tamil)  leaves are his favourite leaves.

Some devotees wear garland made up of Rudraksha seeds.

Say ‘Om Nama Sivaya’ every day with Vibhuti on your forehead. You will be very successful.

–subham–

tags- Shiva, for children, Linga, Nataraja, Vibhuti, Bilva

Lord Skanda/ Murugan (for Children)- Post No.9599

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 9599

Date uploaded in London – –13 May   2021           

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

THIS IS WRITTEN FOR LONDON SCHOOL CHILDREN AND MAY BE USED IN OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL. I WILL POST MY SUMMARY ON HINDU GODS ONE BY ONE. LORD SKANDA/ MURUGA IS NUMBER TWO IN THIS SERIES.

LORD GANESH WAS POSTED YESTERDAY.

Lord Skanda is called Murugan in Tamil.

Murugan means handsome one, beautiful.

He is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati

He is the younger brother of Ganesh .

His vehicle is peacock.

Skanda’s other names are Subrahmanya, Kartikeya, Shanmukha

Hindu gods like Ganesh, Murugan are shown with many hands, some with many heads.

He is the popular god with highest number of heads and hands.

He has six heads and 12 hands in Shanmuga form. Shanmukha means six faces. You may wonder why? If you are at school final level, please got to Level Two of Skanda Murugan.

In normal form, he is also shown as a child like Ganesa. He is Kumara (youth)  or Bala kumara.

Subrahmanya means he possesses all the qualities of Brahman (god).

The name Kartikeya came to him because he was raised by six Krittika women personified as stars in the sky.

He was born in a grass land and so he is known as Saravana bhava.

Saravana is the name of the forest/grass land

We know that Ganesa is the head of Bhuta Ghana’s and in the same way Murugan is the Commander of the Divine Army. He killed Tarakasura and Sura pathman.

Skanda worship is very popular in Tamil speaking world. Tamils give Him a special status and so he is known as Tamil God.

They celebrate all his festivals with Kavadi. They carry it to the

Temple . A normal Kaavadi will have a long pole tied with two baskets on either side. Devotee s carry food and offerings to god in the attached pots or baskets. Later they constructed different shapes.

Another important thing is that his temples are mostly on top of hills or at the foot of the hills. There are six famous temples for him in Tamil Nadu

He married two women and they are Valli and Devasena (Deivaanai)

There are very interesting stories about him. I will tell you a few stories here. At level two, you will know about his 6 Heads and 12 Arms.

Story 1 (already given in Ganesa)

Mango Fruit Story

Story Two

He wanted to marry a girl called Valli, who fell in love with him. But she hesitated a lot. Murugan prayed to his brother Ganesh, the elephant headed god. He cam in the form of a real elephant and chased Valli and she naturally fell in the hands of Lord Murugan..

Another story is there was a demon called Sura Pathman and Muruga killed him. This is enacted every year during Skanda shasti festival in November.

Number six is his favourite numer. He was brough up by six women and his favourite geometrical diagram is Shad Kona- Star shaped. He is supposed to reside in this magical star diagram.

He is easily identified by the Spear weapon (Vel in Tamil) in his hand.

Vaikasi Visakam and Skanda Shasti are his big festivals.

His special Prasad is Pancha Amrutam- made up of five fruits and jaggery or honey.

His famous temples are in …..

Batu Caves in Malaysia

Nallur and Kathigamam in Sri Lanka

Palani, Tiruttani, Swami malai, Palamuthircholai, Tirupparankundram and Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu, India.

At level two we will see why he has 12 hands and six faces.

Om Saravana Bhava.

tags- Murugan, Skanda, Saravanabhava, for children

Lord Ganesh- Pillaiyaar (for children)- Post No.9597

Ganesa is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati/ Uma.

Brother of Murugan. His Vahana, vehicle, is a mouse!

Ganesa, with an elephant head, is the God of Wisdom. Ganesa has another name Vigneswara. Vigna means difficulties, obstacles He is in charge of it. Any one who worships this god won’t face any difficulty or obstacles in any task or work . So, Hindus worship Ganesa first and then begin their work . He is the Remover of Obstacles.

Ganesa means leader of the Ganas. They are the attendants on Lord Shiva, who is the father of Lord Ganesh.

Ganesa’s brother is Lord Murugan or Skanda .

It is easy to identify Lord Ganesa’ s statues or idols. Every big Hindu temple in South India has a shrine for Ganesa in the front. He has an elephant face and a pot belly. His favourite food is Modaka ( Kozukkattai in Tamil) made up of jaggery, coconut and flour and looks round in shape.

Most of the Hindu Gods including Ganesh have many hands and they hold weapons or symbols in their hands.

Every Hindu festival has something special to eat and Sweet Modakas are offered to Lord Ganesa on Vinayaka Chaturthy or Ganesh Chaturthy. This festival falls in September .Vinayaka means one who none above him. That means he is the Head.

Every Hindu God has weapons. This is to control evil forces or kill evil tendencies in us.

Ganesa also has four hands. Why?

Ganesa has a broken Tusk, Why ?

Ganesa has an elephant head, Why?

There are three interesting stories. But before telling you the stories, let me tell you about his four hands and the things in them.

Lotus

Noose

Goad

Sweet Modaka , Kozukkattai in Tamil

Lotus is the National Flower of India. In Tamil if you say flower, MALAR, that means lotus. It is so special to Hindus. One of the most beautiful flowers. If it opens, the flower looks like laughing. All the happy faces are compared to lotus in Hindu books.

I said that every Hindu festival has something special to eat. Modaka in one of the hands of Ganesa is liked not only by Ganesa but all the Hindus. Lord offers you a sweet life indeed.

Another hand holds a goad. It is called ‘ankusha’ in Sanskrit. It is used to control the elephants when it runs madly. We also do something cracy when we are angry. Ganesa warns us with that goad. Those who worship Ganesh will control their anger and behave.

Another hand holds a noose, that is a rope. A rope is used to lift water from the well, is used to tie many things. It means bondage.

It says bind yourself with god or anything that is good . At the same time it reminds you to cut off all attachments so that you will be ever happy.

Great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says it,

Patruka patratraan patrinai appatraip

Patruka patru vidarku

Meaning –

The only attachment that will help to sever all other attachments/bonds

is the attachment to the Lord who has no attachment, boundless source of all things – Tirukkural 350

Vignesh or Vigneswara has a special name in Tamil,  Pillaiyaar.

He is not only a son of Shiva but also a son of the world. That means he is like a favourite son in our family.

He and his younger brother Lord Murugan are always worshipped in the form of  children.

Xxx

Now I give five stories in five paragraphs

1.Why is that one of his tusks is shown in broken form?

Vyasa was a great seer, Rishi. He compiled all the holy books known as Vedas, ithihasas/epics and Puranas. One of the ithihasas, that is epics, is Mahabharata, longest book in the ancient world with 200,000 lines, one million words!

Vyasa was looking for someone to write it while he dictated. Lord Ganesa agreed but put a big condition. Ok, I will do it, but you should never stop dictating it. Vyasa said, ok , I am ready to do it, but you must understand everything that I say. That is my condition, said Vyasa. So Ganesa has to think and write. There is a moral here for us. We must think and understand everything we say or write.

2.Why does he have elephant face?

Once he was asked to guard the entrance of the building where his mother was taking a bath. When shiva came, Ganesa stopped him following Mother’s instruction. Enraged Siva cut off his head in anger. When Parvati felt sad, he found the nearest animal elephant and cut its head and fixed it on Ganesa. There is something more to this incident. At level two you will be told about it. His elephant trunk reminds Hindus their great symbol Aum. Another name for Om or Aum is Pranava. Great Saints called Ganesa- Pranava swarupa.

Please see level two lesson on Ganesa  for more.

3.Why does he has Four Hands?

God is above all of us. We have only two hands. But with his four Helping Hands, he is quick to render help. There is an interesting story in Tamil books. When three people wanted to see Lord shiva in his abode, house in Kailash in the Himalayas, an old lady, great poet Avvaiyar can’t walk 3000 miles from Tamil Nadu. Ganesa with his trunk lifted her and she reached Kailash before her friends reached. So gods’ many hands help us quickly.

4.Another interesting story about Ganesa is mango fruit story. Hindus have an Inter Galactic Traveller named Narada. He goes from one galaxy to another at the speed of thought, faster than light. He came to Kailash with one mango fruit and gave it to Lord shiva. When he was about to cut it into two and give them to Ganesa and Murugan, Narada said,

“Stop, stop, please. It should not be cut, because it’s a divine fruit.

Then Siva told his boys that who ever goes round the world and comes back first will get it. Murugan flew in his Vahana, vehicle peacock. But clever Ganesa went round their father and mother and fell at their feet saying ‘You Are The World’. Both of them felt happy and gave him the whole mango. Murugan came later and felt that he was cheated. He went to Palani hills and stood there. Then the whole world went and pacified him with Panchamrutam, a special fruit salad. Here is a message to all of us- Father and Mother are greater than the world!

5.I will finish with one more story ….. once Lord Shiva went in a hurry without saluting Ganesa. His chariot wheel had broken down and he got stuck . Later he realised he didn’t say ‘Bye’ to his son. He went back and praised him and he was successful in his task. This was told by a great saint called Arunagirinathar in his book Tiruppugal. Here is a message to all of us. We must always worship god before starting anything.

About his Vahana mouse, I will tell you in level two.

Bye for now

Om Sri Ganesaya Namaha- Om Salutation to Ganesh

****

Vaalkundaam nalla manamundaam maamalaraal

Nokkundaam Meni nudankaathu – puukkondu

Thuppaar thiruMenith thumbikkaiyaan paatham

Thappaamal saarvaar thamakku – Poetess Avvaiyaar

வாக்குண்டாம் நல்ல மனமுண்டாம் மாமலராள்

நோக்குண்டாம் மேனி நுடங்காது-பூக்கொண்டு

துப்பார் திருமேனித் தும்பிக்கையான் பாதம்

தப்பாமல் சார்வார் தமக்கு.—-ஒளவையார்

Paalum theli Thenum paakum paruppumivai

Naalum kalanthunakku naantharuVen kolamsey

Thungkak karimukaththu thuumaniYe nee enakkau

Sangath thamiz muundrum thaa – Poetess Avvaiyaar

பாலும் தெளிதேனும் பாகும் பருப்புமிவை

நாலும் கலந்துனக்கு நான்தருவேன் கோலஞ்செய்

துங்கக் கரிமுகத்துத் தூமணியே  நீ யெனக்கு

சங்கத் தமிழ் மூன்றும் தா-   –ஒளவையார்

***

Level Two has explanation about the Vahana Mouse

Origin of Ganesa

Abodes of Lord Ganesa in India

Festivals of Ganesa

Favourite Fruits and Flowers of Ganesh

Simple, short Hymns on Ganesa with meaning

16 important names of Ganesa

Philosophy behind Elephant head God, Symbol of Wisdom

–subham—

tags-  Ganesh, Pillaiyar, for children,