One of the first statues I remember as a child is the iconic bronze statue or Shiva standing on an asura with a circle of flames. So what does Nataraj mean? Nataraja or Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. 'Nataraja' means 'King of Dancers' (Sanskrit nata = dance; raja = king). Shiva is shown as dancing on an halo of flames, lifting His left leg and balancing himself of the demon Apasmara who is a symbol of ignorance. The upper right hand holds a 'dumroo' that stands for the male-female vital principle, the lower shows the gesture of assertion to be without fear. As a symbol, Shiva Nataraja is a glorious art form. It combines in a single image Shiva’s roles as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time.
Hinduism is full of the most intriguing stories, there are variations in spelling and retelling of events. Even if they are just stories they all have their own charm, and more than anything our next generation are willing to learn…The Jai Jais Way!
We have a blog about how hanuman was born, “How did Hanuman get a monkey face”, but who is his family? He is known as Pavan Sutra (Son of the wind god). He was actually born to Goddess Anajana (a celestial nymph), and Lord Kesari (a powerful Vanara). Hanuman is also son of the wind-god Vayu, who in several stories played a direct role in Hanuman's birth. Hanuman is mentioned in several other texts, such as the epic Mahabharata and the various Puranas.
Hanuman had great powers. One morning, he saw the sun rising and thought it was a beautiful fruit. He decided to get hold of it so that he could have it. Indra, the king of gods, saw Hanuman leap into the sky and wanted to stop him. He threw his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt) Hanuman fell to earth, wounded.
Hanuman’s enraged father Vayu the Wind God decided to go on a strike until the one who hurt his child was punished. There was no gentle cooling breeze when the sun blazed down. No power to move the rain-bearing clouds. The affect was that humans and animals couldn’t breathe. Vayu’s strike made life on earth very difficult.
Bhoomi Devi is our Sacred Goddess Mother Earth. She is the mother of every life that has ever taken birth from her and has lived upon her. Bhoomi Devi is a combination of two words namely 'bhoomi' and 'devi'. Bhoomi refers to earth and Devi refers to Goddess in, thus Bhoomi Devi is Earth Goddess. Bhoomi Devi is the consort of God Varaha, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Devi Bhoomi is depicted as a beautiful shapely Goddess adorned with a lot of jewellery. She sits on a lotus, wearing a heavy crown and many jewellery around her neck, hands and feet. She sits there calmly with a smile on her face.
Extract from The Jai Jais Legends Series “Ramayana”
Thousands of years ago, there lived a great king called Dasharatha in the beautiful city of Ayodhya, the capital of the kingdom of Kosala in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was known for his loyalty to the gods and his bravery in battle; he had helped the gods in their fight against many fierce and strong demons, a privilege that was granted to only a few mortals. King Dashratha’s people loved him dearly as he was kind and fair. The kingdom was happy and prosperous, but King Dasharatha was filled with deep sadness; even though he had a wonderful kingdom and three wives, he had no heir to the throne, and was becoming older.
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