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Teej
Only three teej days are considered auspicious in the annual cycle of tithi-s (360 dates). On aksaya trtiya (akha teej), mass marriage ceremonies are held, whereas the other two teej are observed with day-long fasting and worship of the Goddess Parvati.
Sravani Teej is the most joyful and auspicious day, due to its festive nature. This tithi (date) comes in the midst of the rainy season. Women observe fast, bedeck themselves in colorful dresses and ornaments, enjoy jhula-s (swings), decorate their palms with mehendi, and sing folk songs with gaiety. 
In Gujarat, married women observe a fast called Madhusrava vrata, while in southern India, Svarna Gauri vrata marks the occasion. It is believed, according to Bhavisya Purana, that this day is sukrta trtiya and by observing a vrata (vow), the married women are blessed with good luck, prosperity, happiness, and fulfillment of all desires.
In Jaipur, a royal procession of Teej Mata becomes the attraction of thousands of spectators on this day. Teej Mata is supposed to be the prototype of the Goddess Parvati, who, by performing hard penance, won the love and hand of Shiva on this very day. The procession reminds of her victorious return to the royal palace of her father and her marriage to her fiance.- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Teej

Only three teej days are considered auspicious in the annual cycle of tithi-s (360 dates). On aksaya trtiya (akha teej), mass marriage ceremonies are held, whereas the other two teej are observed with day-long fasting and worship of the Goddess Parvati.

Sravani Teej is the most joyful and auspicious day, due to its festive nature. This tithi (date) comes in the midst of the rainy season. Women observe fast, bedeck themselves in colorful dresses and ornaments, enjoy jhula-s (swings), decorate their palms with mehendi, and sing folk songs with gaiety. 

In Gujarat, married women observe a fast called Madhusrava vrata, while in southern India, Svarna Gauri vrata marks the occasion. It is believed, according to Bhavisya Purana, that this day is sukrta trtiya and by observing a vrata (vow), the married women are blessed with good luck, prosperity, happiness, and fulfillment of all desires.

In Jaipur, a royal procession of Teej Mata becomes the attraction of thousands of spectators on this day. Teej Mata is supposed to be the prototype of the Goddess Parvati, who, by performing hard penance, won the love and hand of Shiva on this very day. The procession reminds of her victorious return to the royal palace of her father and her marriage to her fiance.

- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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Vaikuntha, spiritual heaven. (an artistic depiction of Vaikuntha)

Vaikuntha is said to be inhabited by selves that have transcended all births and is constituted of satvam (pure goodness). It is self-luminous. It is variously described as “of golden hue and beyond the darkness of ignorance”, "the supreme abode of Vishnu", and "of the eternal, in the upper world". In this celestial temple, Vishnu as Narayana dwells with his consort.



 




Legend has it that there exists a magnificent, golden temple twelve stories high, resplendent as a thousand suns. Its halls and pillars are ornamented with precious stones. It is decorated with a hundred thousand golden lotuses, through which flow the nectar-filled waters of a hundred thousand rivers. The temple is inhabited by the eternal gods, seers, and by common people.
Once the liberated self has traveled through the path of light and has attained residence in Vaikuntha, there is no return to the mortal world, which means that there would be no more transmigratory existence. This is explained by a Brahmasutra aphorism: “There is no return, there is no return”.
The concept of a heaven called Vaikuntha is not accepted by all Indian philosophical systems. It is looked upon as purely imaginary by some. 
- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Vaikuntha, spiritual heaven. 
(an artistic depiction of Vaikuntha)

Vaikuntha is said to be inhabited by selves that have transcended all births and is constituted of satvam (pure goodness). It is self-luminous. It is variously described as “of golden hue and beyond the darkness of ignorance”, "the supreme abode of Vishnu", and "of the eternal, in the upper world". In this celestial temple, Vishnu as Narayana dwells with his consort.

Legend has it that there exists a magnificent, golden temple twelve stories high, resplendent as a thousand suns. Its halls and pillars are ornamented with precious stones. It is decorated with a hundred thousand golden lotuses, through which flow the nectar-filled waters of a hundred thousand rivers. The temple is inhabited by the eternal gods, seers, and by common people.

Once the liberated self has traveled through the path of light and has attained residence in Vaikuntha, there is no return to the mortal world, which means that there would be no more transmigratory existence. This is explained by a Brahmasutra aphorism: “There is no return, there is no return”.

The concept of a heaven called Vaikuntha is not accepted by all Indian philosophical systems. It is looked upon as purely imaginary by some. 

- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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hinducosmos:

Murudweswar Shiva Statue Uttara Kannada District, karnataka, India (via wikipedia)

hinducosmos:

Murudweswar Shiva Statue
Uttara Kannada District, karnataka, India
(via wikipedia)

Photoset

khwaabon:

10 iconic quotes about India that will fill you with pride (x)

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Upasanaintense meditation.
Upasana is formed of the word 'asana' (sit) with the preposition 'upa' (near). The word, as a whole, signifies a spiritual act performed in prayerful proximity to God. It serves as a vehicle for an aspirant to climb up the spiritual ladder. In a way, it represents a mental attitude (bhava) which takes the aspirant towards self-realization.

Upasana is meant for obtaining freedom from ignorance and delusion, and is regarded as one of the means of purging oneself of the papa-s which might have been committed, independently or otherwise. The more one thinks of God, the more God-like one can hope to become. Very similarly, the more one thinks of worldly objects, the more worldly one would become. Upasana is the union of the spiritual aspirant (upasaka) with the one meditated upon.

In the main, upasana is of five kinds, and these are Vaisnava, Sakta, Saiva, Saura, and Ganapatya. They are of either a divya (divine), vira (courageous), or pasu (lower) nature. It is further classified as sattvika (pious), rajasika (active), and tamasika (ignorant), depending upon the aspirant’s inclination towards renunciation, towards personal enjoyment and happiness, or towards hurting others. 
- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Upasana
intense meditation.

Upasana is formed of the word 'asana' (sit) with the preposition 'upa' (near). The word, as a whole, signifies a spiritual act performed in prayerful proximity to God. It serves as a vehicle for an aspirant to climb up the spiritual ladder. In a way, it represents a mental attitude (bhava) which takes the aspirant towards self-realization.

Upasana is meant for obtaining freedom from ignorance and delusion, and is regarded as one of the means of purging oneself of the papa-s which might have been committed, independently or otherwise. The more one thinks of God, the more God-like one can hope to become. Very similarly, the more one thinks of worldly objects, the more worldly one would become. Upasana is the union of the spiritual aspirant (upasaka) with the one meditated upon.

In the main, upasana is of five kinds, and these are Vaisnava, Sakta, Saiva, Saura, and Ganapatya. They are of either a divya (divine), vira (courageous), or pasu (lower) nature. It is further classified as sattvika (pious), rajasika (active), and tamasika (ignorant), depending upon the aspirant’s inclination towards renunciation, towards personal enjoyment and happiness, or towards hurting others. 

- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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Guru Purnima | Acharya | Ashadh Purnima 
This Saturday is Guru Purnima, a festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. Throughout India, disciples will spend the day honoring the Guru. Today is the perfect day to reflect on your teachers and how they have helped you. 

"Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat Parabrahmah Tasmai Shree Guru Veh Namah."

"Guru, a Sanskrit word, stands for a saintly, venerable person who is a preceptor. Literally, the term 'guru' means ‘big’, ‘weighty’. The guru, therefore, is one who is great. According to another etymology, guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance (‘gu’ means darkness and 'ru' means anything that banishes)….The guru tradition is an outstanding characteristic of Indian spiritual life and religious history….The first born enlightened knowers of the Self were the mind-born sons of Brahma, the creator God….Then came the first group of Vedic sages, the first patriarchs of the human race, seven in number. These seven great sages, known as saptarsi, were born out of Brahmadeva’s mind.”- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Guru Purnima | Acharya | Ashadh Purnima 

This Saturday is Guru Purnima, a festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. Throughout India, disciples will spend the day honoring the Guru. Today is the perfect day to reflect on your teachers and how they have helped you. 

"Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat Parabrahmah Tasmai Shree Guru Veh Namah."

"Guru, a Sanskrit word, stands for a saintly, venerable person who is a preceptor. Literally, the term 'guru' means ‘big’, ‘weighty’. The guru, therefore, is one who is great. According to another etymology, guru is one who removes the darkness of ignorance (‘gu’ means darkness and 'ru' means anything that banishes)….The guru tradition is an outstanding characteristic of Indian spiritual life and religious history….The first born enlightened knowers of the Self were the mind-born sons of Brahma, the creator God….Then came the first group of Vedic sages, the first patriarchs of the human race, seven in number. These seven great sages, known as saptarsi, were born out of Brahmadeva’s mind.”
- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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artmastered:

Unknown artist, Rama and Lakshman, c.1660-70, Basohli, India, watercolour on paper, 25.5 x 17 cm, V&A Museum, London.
Rama, the blue-skinned figure, is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. His brother is Lakshman, or Lakshmana, who is considered to be an avatar of Shesha, the king of the Nāga deities.

artmastered:

Unknown artist, Rama and Lakshman, c.1660-70, Basohli, India, watercolour on paper, 25.5 x 17 cm, V&A Museum, London.

Rama, the blue-skinned figure, is the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. His brother is Lakshman, or Lakshmana, who is considered to be an avatar of Shesha, the king of the Nāga deities.

Text

Encyclopedia of Hinduism in England!

We are proud to announce the launch of The Encyclopedia of Hinduism today in England at the House of Lords! Beautifully illustrated, thoroughly researched and over 25 years in the making, we at MandalaEarth are proud and grateful for the recognition the encyclopedia is receiving around the world. If you like what you see in the excerpt posts we do here, be sure to check out our other MandalaEarth titles for more inspiring art and timeless wisdom!



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England and India have a long, intricate, and complicated history. In honor of the upcoming launch of The Encyclopedia of Hinduism in London this Wednesday, check out this excerpt about Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, a British Indian national who supported equality and unity between the east and west more than half a century ago.
Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) was one of the greatest interpreters of Indian art in aesthetic and spiritual terms….Coomaraswamy…was born of a Tamilian father and an English mother…Educated in England, he graduated from the London University in Botany and Geology….Coomaraswamy never countenanced the view that the East and the West would never meet. He held that the two cultures ran on parallel lines until the western Renaissance. Industrialism changed human attitudes and sense of values in the West. Nonetheless, the two cultures have much in common. He asks: “Can we point to any elemental experience or any ultimate goal which is not equally European and Asiatic?” (Dance of Siva, p. 152). All that he wrote on Indian art sprang from his conviction that “India has demonstrated that a pattern of life rooted in religion and philosophy can also be graceful, elegant and satisfying to the highest degree”.- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

England and India have a long, intricate, and complicated history. In honor of the upcoming launch of The Encyclopedia of Hinduism in London this Wednesday, check out this excerpt about Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, a British Indian national who supported equality and unity between the east and west more than half a century ago.

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) was one of the greatest interpreters of Indian art in aesthetic and spiritual terms….Coomaraswamy…was born of a Tamilian father and an English mother…Educated in England, he graduated from the London University in Botany and Geology….Coomaraswamy never countenanced the view that the East and the West would never meet. He held that the two cultures ran on parallel lines until the western Renaissance. Industrialism changed human attitudes and sense of values in the West. Nonetheless, the two cultures have much in common. He asks: “Can we point to any elemental experience or any ultimate goal which is not equally European and Asiatic?” (Dance of Siva, p. 152). All that he wrote on Indian art sprang from his conviction that “India has demonstrated that a pattern of life rooted in religion and philosophy can also be graceful, elegant and satisfying to the highest degree”.
- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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Ratha Yatra | A Vaisnava festival of great importance. | June 29, 2014
Ratha Yatra literally means the ritual carrying of the temple deities in a moveable temple chariot to a predestined place on a festive occasion. The most important Ratha Yatra festival is held in Puri’s Jagannatha temple in Orissa… .Ratha Yatra in the Jagannatha temple is held in the month of Asada (June–July) on the second day after the new moon. There is a story that on the previous full moon day, snanayatra (the bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannatha) is performed. After that, the temple is closed for a fortnight. Then Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and their sister Subhadra are placed in rathas (three temple carts), which are newly made and specially decorated. Thousands of devotees pull the chariots. To have a glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is supposed to assure the devotee’s moksa (liberation)… . In the Jagannatha temple, everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, or social standing, can participate in the pulling of the chariot.
- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism(photo: Ratha Yatra at Jagganath Puri)

Ratha Yatra | A Vaisnava festival of great importance. | June 29, 2014

Ratha Yatra literally means the ritual carrying of the temple deities in a moveable temple chariot to a predestined place on a festive occasion. The most important Ratha Yatra festival is held in Puri’s Jagannatha temple in Orissa… .Ratha Yatra in the Jagannatha temple is held in the month of Asada (June–July) on the second day after the new moon. There is a story that on the previous full moon day, snanayatra (the bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannatha) is performed. After that, the temple is closed for a fortnight. Then Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and their sister Subhadra are placed in rathas (three temple carts), which are newly made and specially decorated. Thousands of devotees pull the chariots. To have a glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is supposed to assure the devotee’s moksa (liberation)… . In the Jagannatha temple, everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, or social standing, can participate in the pulling of the chariot.

- The Encyclopedia of Hinduism
(photo: Ratha Yatra at Jagganath Puri)