Archive for the ‘Know Your Hindu Deity’ Category

The  Indian festival of Navratri is now underway in western India. The first three days of the festival are dedicated to the goddess Durga. In honor of Navratri, here are a few facts about the hindu goddess Durga.

Durga was created as a warrior goddess to fight the demon Mahishasura who could not be defeated by any god or man.

Durga is depicted as having ten arms and riding a lion or a tiger carrying multiple weapons and a lotus flower. Each of her weapons were contributed by other gods. Durga riding a tiger indicates that She possesses unlimited power and uses it to protect virtue and destroy evil.

Durga manifests fearlessness and patience, and never loses her sense of humor, even during spiritual battles of epic proportion. Legend has it that Durga’s mighty roar of laughter caused the worlds to quake and the oceans to churn.

It is said that worship of the goddess Durga removes the effect of all types of black magic, unfavourable effect of negative planets, bad luck, health problems, problems due to enemies etc.

I really love the stories of the hindu goddesses they are all depicted as so fierce. Durga Maa!

Photo by Indranil on Flickr via CC license

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Today many in India are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi or the Hindu god Ganesha’s Birthday.  I posted earlier about Ganesha, my favorite Hindu god–the God of mischief,  new beginnings, prosperity and wisdom.

In India, to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, clay statues of Ganesh sit decorated with red paste and flowers in Indian homes for ten days until today when they will be taken to bathe in rivers, lakes or another body of water to symbolize Lord Ganesh sailing to Mt. Kailish, his birthplace.
In honor of the birthday boy Ganesh, I’m posting MC Yogi’s “Ganesh is Fresh”. May you enjoy good mischief, new beginnings, prosperity and wisdom. Jai Ganesha.

Photo:  Flickr by WadeM via CC license

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Earlier I posted about my favorite Hindu God Ganesha–in my favorite incarnation as the god of mischief.

Now I want to tell you about my new favorite goddess, Kali. She is the Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy and the destruction of ignorance. Kali helps those who strive for knowledge of God. She represents the inherent creative and destructive rhythms of the cosmos. At her essence, Kali represents transformation. Her name means “The Black One”. She is the consort of Shiva whom she is shown standing upon. This posture is said to signify Kali as Shiva’s shakti or life force.

Kali is represented as fearsome with wild black hair, black skin and red eyes. She sticks out her dark red tongue. Kali is most often depicted with four arms. In one hand she holds a sword, in another a trident, in the third a severed head and in the last hand she holds a bowl catching the blood of the severed head. Kali wears a necklace with fifty-two severed heads, one for each letter of the sankskrit alphabet. The only clothing she wears is a skirt made of dead men’s hands. Fierce indeed.

Because of Kali’s fierce appearance she can be misinterpreted as signifying death and destruction. In fact, Kali characterizes destruction or letting go of the past to make room for a more purposeful present and future. She stands for the concept of Mother Nature as not only a potent, destructive force but also a force that cleanses away the old to allow room for new, fertile ground.

Fierceness, destruction of ignorance, timelessness, goddess of transformations and new beginnings….Kali, its good to get to know you.

Do any of you have insights on Kali that I missed. I’m so intrigued to learn more.

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Ganesha is my favorite Hindu god. If you are following @dcdharma on twitter (and you should be) you’ll see that my avatar is a hot pink Ganesha.

Click to continue reading “Know Your Hindu Deity: Getting to Know Ganesha”

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