COMPILED BY London Swminathan

Date: 19 OCTOBER 2019
British Summer Time uploaded in London – 7-39
Post No. 7113

Pictures are taken from various sources; beware of copyright rules; don’t use them without permission; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in and simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 12,000.


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.





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


(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.


The Ideal Dancer: Kalidasa (Post No.2724)


Written by london swaminathan

Date: 14 April, 2016


Post No. 2724


Time uploaded in London :– 16-15

( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to OR


_Vyjayanthimala (10)

“Her eyes are large and lustrous; her face makes the autumn pale with envy; her arms slope away gracefully from her shoulders; her toes are finely moulded and prominent; she is in short the brightest creation of a Divine Artist, in the golden hours of his imagination.


“her motions are free and flowing; her hands and feet keep time most accurately; her action is light, easy and natural; she expresses the unspoken  workings of her heart through her limbs that seem to have sentiments imprinted upon them, as it were. She loses herself in the character and its emotions. She represents them so skilfully as to deceive us into the conviction that she pours out her own heart and its workings. The beholders are, for the time, taken out of themselves and live and move and feel with her and follow her joys and griefs, her hopes and aspirations, her despair and darkness”.

Malavikagnimitra (2-6) by Poet Kalidasa



nataraja, golden, fb

Dance of Shiva- Symbolism in Dance

“The story is given in the Koyil Purana, and is familiar to all the Saivites. Siva appeared in disguise amongst a congregation of ten thousand stages and in the course of disputation, confuted them and so angered them, thereby, that they endeavoured by  incantations to destroy Him. A fierce tiger was created in sacrificial flames and rushed upon Him, but smiling gently, He seized it with His sacred hands, and with the nail of His little finger stripped off its skin, which he wrapped about as it had been a silken cloth. Undiscouraged by failure, the sages renewed their offerings, and there was produced a monstrous serpent, which he seized and wreathed about his neck.  Then he began to dance; but there rushed upon him a last monster in the shape of a dwarf. Upon him the god pressed the tip of his foot, and broke the creature’s back, so that it writhed upon the ground; and so his last foe prostrate, Siva resumed the dance of which the gods were the witnesses.


One interpretation of this legend explains that he wraps about him as a garment, the tiger fury of human passion; the guile and malice of mankind.  He wears a necklace, and beneath his feet is for ever crushed the embodiment of evil

siva in poses

More characteristic is the thought of symbolism, in terms of the marvellous grace and rhythm of Indian dancing, the effortless ease with which the god in his grace supports the cosmos; it is his sport.  The five acts of creation, preservation, destruction, embodiment and gracious release are his ceaseless mystic dance.  In sacred Tillai, the ‘New Jerusalem’, the dance shall be revealed; and Tillai is the very centre of the universe, that is, his dance is within the cosmos and the soul”.


–Ananda Coomaraswamy

Master of Boons & God of Languages-Lord Shiva

Picture shows 12 ft high Shivling is bathed with milk in Thanjavur Temple ,Tamil Nadu.


 Master of Boons & God of Languages-Lord Shiva

if an ocean is made the inkpot, the branch of the Parijata tree made the pen and Goddess Saraswati embarks to write the glory of Lord (Shiva) it still will be impossible to comprehend the greatness of the Lord fully’ – Shiva Mahimna Stotra of Pushpadanta.


Shiva is known by many names and one of them is Asutosh. That means he ‘can be pleased easily’ and made happy quickly. So people found it easier to pray to Shiva and obtain a number of boons. Shiva means ‘auspicious one’. So he gave many boons for the betterment of his devotees, but yet it was left to them to use the boons in the way they wanted.


Shiva is associated with languages and grammar as well. India’s two ancient languages Sanskrit and Tamil originated from Lord Shiva. Sanskrit language follows the grammar written by Panini. Panini says that the letters and its sounds came from the beats of Shiva’s kettle drum ‘Damarukam’.  The language formula is called Maheswara Sutrani. Tamil sage Agastya is also said to have learnt Tamil from Shiva and his son Murugan/Kartikeya. 17th century Tamil poet Paranjothy Muni sang that Shiva taught Sanskrit and Tamil to both. He said that from one side of the kettle drum came Sanskrit and from the other came Tamil.


Shiva not only gave language and grammar but also helped the world by giving all the good things when the milky ocean was churned by the Devas and Demons. When 14 good things came out of the ocean, poison also came out as a by product. All were scared to death. But Shiva swallowed it to save the mankind, stopped by his wife Uma half way through his throat. His neck became bluish in colour and he was known as Neela kanta (blue necked).This is also one of his acts of mercy.


His acts of compassion were too many to narrate here. He gave Lord Vishnu his wheel called Sudarsana. This wheel is like a boomerang. It will hit the target and return to Vishnu. When Vishnu fell short of one lotus flower while he was doing Puja, he offered one of his eyes to Shiva. Shiva was pleased and gave him discuss called Sudarsana wheel.

The best example of his compassion was the boon he gave to Pasmasura. That ‘Ash demon’ asked for a boon to kill anyone by placing his hand on the head of his victims. When Shiva gave him the boon, he tried to test it on Shiva’s head. Shiva had to run for his life and ultimately rescued by Vishnu. When Vishnu came like a beautiful girl, Pasmasura fell for her. She asked him to learn dance from her and asked to put his hand on his head as part of learning Abhinaya gestures. He was killed when he put his hand on his own head forgetting the boon he got.

Another act of mercy was giving Pasupathastra to Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharata. When Shiva came in the guise of a hunter a severe fight followed and then Shiva revealed himself. Tamil Saivaite poets gave a long list of his compassionate acts in their poems Thevaram and Thiruvasagam. He favoured a person who hit him with his shoes (Kannappa Nayanar), he blessed another person who hit him with stones (Sakkiya Nayanar) and he gave Pasupata Astra to one who shot him with arrow (Arjuna). He gave ocean of milk when a boy cried for a glass of milk (Upamanyu).

Madurai has the world famous Shiva temple (Please read my post THE WONDER THAT IS MADURAI MEENAKSHI TEMPLE). Shiva’s compassionate acts are enacted in every day festival at the Madurai temple. The list is a long list of 64 Divine Games (Tiru Vilaiyadal in Tamil). Tamils are very familiar with those beautiful stories. Even birds and animals including cranes, bees, pigs, elephants, cows, monkeys, eagles, spiders, ants and snakes were blessed by him.


He favours good and bad equally. He is even called the lord of the thieves, ‘taskaranam pati’. But the inherent weaknesses in the bad people bring their own downfall. Ravana, King of Sri Lanka, was a great devotee of Shiva. But he suffered when he could not control his passions.

Wikipedia picture of Thanjavur temple

Shiva in his Nataraja form was the most attractive form. In his cosmic capacity he appears as Nataraja. As the Lord of Dance ( Nata Raja), Shiva’s steps follow the rhythm of the universal forces. He dances in the circle of fire, treading upon a dwarfish figure who is the personification of ignorance.


Hinduism is a religion where God can be your child, your lover, your lady love, your mother, your master or your servant. In other religions God is a reverential ‘HE’ who lives far away in the sky, not even a ‘SHE’. But Hindus go to the extent of poking fun about God out of intimacy and not out of disrespect. One saint called him ‘one and a half eyed’ (When he split into two in Ardhanari form, his three eyes were shared by him and Uma). Another saint challenged him asking who is clever You or me. I only gave my love, but you gave me the entire world. God is compassionate. Shiva is more compassionate.


Let us pray to HIM who gives us instant (and constant) benefits!