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Estatua del dios hindú de la luna Chandra

Estatua del dios hindú de la luna Chandra


El hinduismo se divide ampliamente en el período Puránico y el período védico más reciente. El período puránico implicó la adoración de los dioses de los elementos de la naturaleza, como Surya, el dios sol Indra, el dios de la lluvia y el trueno Chandra, el dios de la luna, etc. yagnas elaborados rituales llevados a cabo por la casta sacerdotal conocida como la Brahmanes. Los tres dioses de la trinidad hindú ascendieron a la prominencia durante el período védico, al mismo tiempo que se popularizó la adoración de ídolos en los templos. En consecuencia, las representaciones de los dioses puránicos (o los dioses antiguos) son raras, mientras que los dioses védicos están fuertemente representados en relieves arquitectónicos, esculturas y pinturas.

Detalle de Shiva, Vishnu y Brahma adorando a Kali, ca. 1740, Basohli (India).
Fuente: LACMA, Los Ángeles.

19 dioses hindúes LGBT

Durante siglos, la literatura, la mitología y los textos religiosos hindúes han presentado deidades que desafían el binario de género.

La noción de género como espectro puede parecerle a algunos una revelación moderna, pero la literatura y la mitología hindú durante siglos ha enseñado acerca de las figuras que desafiaron lo binario. Y aunque la conexión reproductiva entre el hombre y la mujer siempre ha sido venerada en la fe, el hinduismo, a diferencia de la mayoría de las religiones occidentales, históricamente trata la homosexualidad como un comportamiento natural, documentado tanto en cuentos populares como en textos religiosos. He aquí esta lista incompleta de deidades hindúes y descendientes divinos que desafiaron las normas sexuales y de género en el pasado.

1. Shiva y Parvati
El dios supremo del Shaivismo, Shiva a menudo se ha considerado la máxima encarnación de la masculinidad, pero ya en la era Kushan, también ha habido representaciones de Shiva en la forma Ardhanarishvara, un compuesto andrógino de Shiva y su esposa, Parvoti. La forma se originó cuando Parvoti, deseando compartir las experiencias de Shiva, pidió que sus formas se unieran literalmente. “Lo que se está diciendo es que si lo masculino interior y lo femenino se encuentran, estás en un estado perpetuo de éxtasis”, explica el erudito hindú Sadhguru. Muy a menudo, el Ardhanarishvara se representa con la forma femenina de Parvoti a la izquierda y los atributos masculinos de Shiva a la derecha.

2. Vishnu / Mohini
Vishnu, una deidad importante de la religión considerada protectora del mundo, se describe claramente en la fe como un género fluido. Esta importante deidad hindú asumió con frecuencia el avatar femenino de Mohini. Vishnu incluso procreó con Shiva en la forma Mohini, lo que resultó en el nacimiento de Ayyappa, una figura importante todavía adorada por millones de personas que peregrinan a los santuarios de la India. El avatar que Mohini obtiene con frecuencia se describe como una hechicera que enloquece a los amantes.

3. Krishna
Una encarnación de Vishnu, la deidad popular Krishna también tomó la forma de Mohini para casarse con Aravan y satisfacer una de las últimas peticiones del héroe, según el Mahabharata. Después del fallecimiento de Aravan, Krishna permaneció en la forma de viuda del héroe durante un período significativo de duelo.

4. Shikhandi
Este guerrero en la guerra de Kurukshetra en la mayoría de los relatos del Mahabharata era una mujer al nacer, pero cambió de género más tarde en la vida. Nacida Shikhandini, la niña en una versión de la historia fue criada como un hombre por el rey Drupada, el padre de la niña. El rey incluso la había casado con la princesa de Dasharna. Ante las quejas de la nueva novia, Shikhandini huyó al bosque y conoció a un Yaksha e intercambió géneros. Ahora, tomando el nombre de Shikhandi, siguió siendo un hombre hasta su muerte en la batalla de Mahabharat.

5. Bahuchara Mata
Bahuchara Mata viajaba con sus hermanas y era amenazada por el merodeador Bapiya. Después de que ella y sus hermanas se autoinmolaron sus propios pechos, Bapiya fue maldecido por la impotencia hasta que comenzó a vestirse y actuar como una mujer. Hoy en día, la diosa hindú es adorada como la creadora y patrona de las hijras, los bangladesíes trans e intersexuales considerados en la fe como de un "tercer género".

6. Rama
Otra historia del origen de las hijras proviene del Ramayana, que cuenta la historia de Rama reuniendo a sus súbditos en el bosque antes de su aventura de 14 años. Les dice a los hombres y mujeres que regresen a sus lugares apropiados en Ayodhya, pero a su regreso de su viaje épico, Rama descubre que algunos no han abandonado el lugar de ese discurso y, en cambio, se han fusionado de manera intersexual. Otorga a las hijras la capacidad de conferir ciertas bendiciones, el comienzo de la tradición badhai.

7. Los templos de Khajuraho
Estos templos medievales incluyen representaciones de personas en congresos sexuales, una demostración de la importancia de la interacción sexual dentro de la fe hindú. En las tallas se incluyen una serie de representaciones de sexo gay, a veces en situaciones de orgía en las que varias mujeres tienen relaciones sexuales con un solo hombre, pero también hay imágenes de hombres teniendo sexo y haciendo felaciones entre ellos.

8. Agni
El dios del fuego, la creatividad y la riqueza se describe en la fe hindú como casado tanto con la diosa y Svaha como con el dios lunar masculino Soma. Connor y Sparks relatan que Agni recibió de manera importante el semen de Soma por vía oral. El erudito británico Phil Hine dice que Agni también le dio una mamada divina a Shiva, lo que resultó en el nacimiento de Skanda, el dios de la guerra.

9. Mitra y Varuna
Estos hijos de Aditi de la literatura védica se representan con frecuencia como iconos del afecto fraternal y la amistad íntima entre hombres, según la Asociación Vaishnava de Gays y Lesbianas. Los textos antiguos del Brahmana, de hecho, describen a los dos como fases alternas de la luna que se unen en relaciones del mismo sexo. En las noches de luna nueva, Mitra inyecta su semen en Varuna para iniciar el ciclo lunar, con el favor devuelto en la luna llena.

10. Budha Graha
Además de proporcionar un papel fundamental en la astrología hindú como uno de los planetas, específicamente Mercurio, Budh Graha también representó un gran golpe para el paradigma de los roles de género milenios antes de la moda actual. Criado como hijo del sabio Brihaspati y Tara, Budha fue en realidad el producto del adulterio entre Tara y el dios de la luna Chandra. Sage Brihaspati, enojado por esta revelación durante el embarazo de Tara, maldijo que el niño no nacería ni hombre ni mujer, y estableció la tradición de que el esposo de la madre de un niño sería considerado su padre.

11. Ila
El principal progenitor de la dinastía lunar, Ila aparece en muchas historias alternativamente como mujer o como hombre. En el Ramayana, una reunión con Shiva y Parvati resulta en que Ila alterna entre géneros todos los meses. Ila finalmente se casa con Budha, produciendo la descendencia Pururavas durante uno de los meses en que la anatomía lo permitió, produciendo así una dinastía lunar. En Vishnu Paraná, se dice que la hombría de Ila finalmente se hizo permanente, por lo que tomó el nombre de Sudyumma.

12. Narada
Un sabio védico y una figura similar a Job en el mito hindú, este devoto de Vishnu una vez se jactó de que estaba por encima de ser una víctima de maya. Vishnu animó a Narada a darse un chapuzón en una piscina, lo que borró los recuerdos del sabio y lo convirtió en una mujer. En ese estado, Narada se casaría con un rey y produciría varios hijos y nietos condenados a morir en la guerra. Mientras Narada estaba de luto, el género del sabio fue restaurado a masculino y tuvo una mayor comprensión del poder de maya.

13. Nammallvar
Una de los 12 santos alwar de Tamil Nadu, esta poeta mística a menudo se expresaba como mujer y escribió hasta 1,000 canciones devocionales en la persona de una mujer que suspiraba por su amante, Lord Vishnu. De hecho, en un festival anual, un icono de Nammallvar en drag es llevado a un santuario de Vishnu para unirse al amante literario con su señor.

14. Radha
Los Radha Krishna son conocidos colectivamente dentro de la fe hindú como los aspectos de las facetas masculina y femenina de Dios. Radha es considerada la diosa suprema que controla al dios Krishna, y los miembros de una secta de fe vaishnava sahajiya que se identificaba con Radha se vestían y vivían como mujeres como una forma de perfeccionar su amor por Krishna, según la literatura vedana. De hecho, un líder del siglo XV, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, afirmó ser una manifestación de Krishna en unión con Radha. ¿Como en "Yo soy Chait"? De acuerdo, tal vez eso sea una exageración.

15. El Kama Sutra
¿Quiere pruebas que demuestren a su tío homofóbico que las uniones entre personas del mismo sexo han sido reconocidas por los líderes religiosos durante miles de años? Dígale que tome esa copia del Kama Sutra que guarda en un cajón de la cómoda y lea el Capítulo 9, que además de ofrecer instrucción sobre felación deja en claro que esta habilidad también se puede usar de manera aceptable en interacciones homosexuales. Incluso ha sido citado por Human Rights Campaign. Es de destacar que el Kama Sutra existía como un texto religioso que celebraba la unión de los individuos en la interacción sexual.

16. Arjuna
Protagonista del Mahabharata, Arjuna pasó un año en el exilio, maldito por un rechazado Urvashi para vivir como un eunuco. Pero a pedido del rey Indra, esa sentencia se redujo y Arjuna vivió solo un año como mujer, tomando el nombre de Brihannala y enseñando a bailar a las princesas.

17. Samba
El hijo de Krishna hoy en día es considerado el patrón de los eunucos y las personas transgénero, pero su historia suena a mitos modernos sobre los baños de Target. Connor y Sparks escriben que Samba, o Shamba, se vestía con ropa de mujer para colarse más fácilmente en la compañía de las mujeres con el fin de seducirlas.

18. Las madres de Bhagiratha
Al rey hindú Bhagiratha se le atribuye haber traído el río Ganges a la Tierra, pero su llegada a la Tierra se originó en lo sáfico y lo divino. Los historiadores Ruth Vanita y Saleem Kiswai notan que el nombre del rey indica que nació de dos vulvas, y descubrieron una historia de Maharaja Dilipa, el rey de la Dinastía del Sol, muriendo sin heredero. Shiva declaró que las dos viudas del rey podían hacer el amor entre sí para producir una verdadera descendencia, y Bhagiratha fue concebida.

19. Bhagavati-devi
Bhagavati-devi es considerada hoy como la diosa del travestismo, y más de 5,000 devotos varones se visten como mujeres cada año para el festival ritual Chamayavilakku en Kollam. Los líderes del templo dicen que la tradición ha existido durante cientos de años.


El hermano de la diosa Lakshmi (Chandra)

Astronómicamente, la luna es el único satélite natural conocido de la Tierra. Gira alrededor de la tierra de oeste a este en aproximadamente 291/2 días con referencias al Sol o aproximadamente 271/2 días con referencia a las estrellas y tiene un diámetro de 2160 millas y una distancia media de la tierra de aproximadamente 238,857 millas. una masa aproximadamente una ochenta la de la tierra y un volumen aproximadamente una cuadragésima novena.

La gente del subcontinente indio ha otorgado a los planetas poderes tanto para el bien como para el mal desde la antigüedad y esa creencia sigue vigente. Los hindúes, budistas y jainistas comparten por igual esta creencia y en los tres sistemas religiosos los planetas son deificados y se les da una forma, atributos y montura o vehículo.

Hay muchas leyendas relacionadas con el origen del dios Luna. Según una versión, chandra es el hijo del sabio Atri (descendiente conceptual de Brahma). Otra leyenda hace de la luna uno de los emergentes del mítico océano lechoso, cuando fue batida por los dioses y los anti-dioses. Por lo tanto, es hermano de Lakshmi, quien también emergió del océano en la misma ocasión. A Purana menciona que Chandra se había casado con las veintisiete hijas de Daksha, pero estaba exclusivamente enamorado de una de ellas, Rohini. Indignado por la queja de sus otras hijas, Daksha maldijo a chandra por estar afligido con una enfermedad de consumo (kshaya). Posteriormente se modificó la maldición de que durante una quincena del mes menguaría y durante la otra aumentaría. Otro relato cuenta que chandra había realizado una penitencia en Avimukta-Kshetra, por lo que Shiva lo recompensó con un lugar en su propia cabeza y desde entonces él (Shiva) llegó a ser conocido como Chandrashekhara.

Chandra o dios de la Luna es el guardián de la dirección noroeste. Su tez es blanca. El lugar de residencia de chandra es el agua mientras él y Shukra se mueven en el agua. Los componentes corporales asociados con el chandra-Deva son vata, pitta y kapha. Produce felicidad en la vida de las criaturas.

Icono-plásticamente ha sido representado en muchas posturas y gestos materiales. Aquí se le ha mostrado sentado sobre un antílope, colocado sobre un pedestal. Tiene cuatro manos, la superior derecha sostiene una soga (?), Mientras que la inferior está en varada-mudra (gesto de caridad). Está adornado con corona, collar, aretes, brazaletes, brazaletes, tobilleras y cinturilla. También lleva una bufanda y un dhoti decorado con diseños. Hay un halo detrás de la cabeza. La silla de montar en el lomo del antílope está grabada con diseños estilizados.

Envío gratis. Entregado a todos los destinos internacionales en un plazo de 3 a 5 días, totalmente asegurado.


BRAHMANISMO E HINDUISMO.

INDIA, el hogar primitivo de la religión y la filosofía, exhibe una tendencia al monismo tan fuerte como la nación persa ha mostrado por el dualismo. Pero el antiguo monismo de la India tiende a perderse en el pantismo, una teoría según la cual el Todo solo (o más bien la concepción de lo absoluto como el Todo) está poseído de la realidad, mientras que todas las existencias concretas son consideradas como un mero farsa, una ilusión, un sueño. 1

El politeísmo del hinduismo popular 2 es prácticamente un panteísmo en el que las diversas deidades son consideradas como aspectos del Uno y Todo en el que se pierde de vista por completo una discriminación entre el bien y el mal. Así, la lucha entre el bien y el mal se contempla como un proceso de repetidas encarnaciones de Dios que se hacen necesarias, según la idea de los brahmanes, por la aparición de tiranía e injusticia, falta de reverencia por los sacerdotes, usurpaciones de la casta guerrera.

sobre la supremacía de los brahmanes, o algún otro desorden. Mientras que los enemigos de los dioses gigantes, demonios,


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EL BRAHMAN TRIMURTI. Debajo de las marcas de las sectas de Vishnu (1-12), Siva (13-30), Rama (36), Durga (31-32) y Trimurti (33-35). (Después de Coleman.)

y otros monstruos - no son radicalmente malos, y no pueden ser considerados como demonios en el sentido del Satanás cristiano,

los dioses Brahman, a su vez, no son en modo alguno representantes de la bondad pura. No sólo asumen con frecuencia formas que para el gusto de cualquier nación occidental serían excesivamente feas y diabólicas, sino que las mismas deidades que en un aspecto son poderes benéficos de la vida, en otro aspecto son demonios de destrucción.

Brahm, el dios supremo del brahmanismo, representa el Todo o la idea abstracta del ser. Se lo concibe como una trinidad que se llama Trimurti, que consta de Brahma, Vishnu y Siva.

Brahma, el primogénito de todos los seres, el señor de todas las criaturas, el padre de todos los universos, es la mente divina que es el principio de todo. El es llamado Aja, el no nacido, porque se originó, pero no fue engendrado.

Brahma se originó en hacer encaje, I. e., ser indiferenciado, en el que existió desde la eternidad en forma embrionaria.

La consorte de Brahma, Sarasvati, también llamada Brahmi o Brahmini, es la diosa de la poesía, el aprendizaje y la música.

Brahma es el creador del hombre. Se nos dice en el Yajurveda que el dios produjo a partir de sí mismo el alma, que es, en consecuencia, una parte de su propio ser, y lo vistió con un cuerpo, un proceso que se informa en el reverso.

orden en el Génesis hebreo, donde Elohim crea primero el cuerpo y luego insufla vida en el cuerpo, lo que hace del hombre un alma viviente.


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BRAHMA Y SURASWATI.
(Reproducido de Hermann G & oumlll.)

Brahma está representado con cuatro cabezas y cuatro manos, en las que sostiene una cuchara, una vasija de sacrificio, un rosario y los Vedas. Una de las cuatro manos se representa con frecuencia como vacía. Se sienta en un loto que crece en el ombligo de Vishnu, lo que representa el espíritu que se cierne sobre las aguas.

Brahma ocupa el primer lugar en las especulaciones de los filósofos, donde se le identifica con el aliento vital del mundo, el Atman o yo que aparece en el alma del hombre, pero no ha ejercido una gran influencia sobre la gente. Los dioses del pueblo deben ser menos abstractos, más concretos y más humanos. Por lo tanto, es natural que Vishnu, la segunda persona de la trinidad, la deidad de los avatares o encarnaciones, sea, para todos los propósitos prácticos, mucho más importante que Brahma.

Vishnu aparece en las siguientes diez encarnaciones: 1

En la primera encarnación, llamada Matsya-Avatar, Vishnu asume la forma de un pez para recuperar los Vedas robados por los demonios malvados y ordenados en las inundaciones de un diluvio que cubrió toda la tierra. Esta encarnación

es de interés porque leemos en el Pistis Sophia (uno de los libros gnósticos más importantes) que los libros de Ieou, que fueron dictados por Dios a Enoch en el paraíso, fueron preservados por Kalapatauroth de la destrucción en el diluvio "1.

Con el fin de permitir a los dioses procurar la bebida que da la inmortalidad, amrita, Vishnu apareció como un inmenso


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VISHNU, LAKSHMI Y BRAHMA.
[Vishnu se recuesta sobre una flor, sostenido por la serpiente Ananta (un símbolo de la eternidad), flotando en las aguas primigenias de la sustancia mundial indiferenciada.] Después de una ilustración nativa, reproducida de Hermann Gömlll.

tortuga en el kurm-avatar, su segunda encarnación. Levantó sobre su espalda el pilar del mundo, la montaña Mandaras, y la serpiente del mundo, Vasuki (o Anantas, es decir, infinito), estaba enrollada a su alrededor como una cuerda. Los dioses agarraron la cola, los demonios (daityas) la cabeza, y


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EL AVATAR MATSYA O ENCARNACIÓN DE PECES.


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LA ENCARNACIÓN DEL AVATAR KURM O TORTUGA.


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LA ENCARNACIÓN DEL VAR & AcircHA AVATAR O JABALÍ.


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EL NARASInorteHA ENCARNACIÓN DE AVATAR O HOMBRE-LEÓN.

comenzó a batir el océano, lo que produjo la gema de Vishnu, Kaustubha Varunani, la diosa del mar las Apsaras, duendecillos encantadores, correspondientes a las ninfas griegas El caballo de Indra, con siete cabezas Kamadhenu, la vaca de la abundancia Airavata, el elefante de Indra el árbol de la abundancia Chandra, el dios de la luna Sura, la diosa del vino y, filialmente, Dhanvantari, el indio y Eligsculapius, que está en posesión del agua de la vida. La serpiente empezó a escupir veneno, que cegó a los demonios, mientras los dioses bebían el Amrita.


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LAKSHMI, LA DIOSA DE LA BELLEZA (Mus & eacutee Guimet.)

Varunani, cuando se concibe como diosa de la belleza, se llama Lakshmi o Shri y es digno de mención que, como Afrodita de los griegos, se origina en la espuma del océano.

La tercera encarnación es Var & acircha-avatar, en la que Vishnu, con la forma de un jabalí, mata con sus colmillos al demonio Hiranyaksha, que amenazaba con destruir el mundo.

El hermano de Hiranyaksha, Hiranya-Kasipu, tuvo un hijo llamado Prahlada, quien era un devoto piadoso de

Vishnu. El padre antinatural trató de matar a su hijo, pero este último escapó de todo peligro porque no dejó de rezarle a Vishnu. Cuando Hiranya-Kasipu expresó una duda sobre la omnipresencia de Vishnu, declarando burlonamente que no podía estar en una columna a la que señalaba, el dios iracundo decidió castigar al burlador. La columna se partió en dos, y Vishnu, procedente de su interior en la forma de un monstruo mitad hombre mitad león, hizo pedazos a Hiranya-Kasipu. Esta cuarta encarnación se llama Narasinorteha-avatar. Su moraleja es inculcar a la gente el triste destino de aquellos que no creen en Vishnu.


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VISHNU NARASIMHA.
(Fragmento de un automóvil. Mus & eacutee Guimet.)

El nieto de Pralada, Balis, era un rey piadoso, pero por eso mismo era peligroso para los dioses, ya que estaba a punto de completar el centésimo gran sacrificio, mediante el cual habría adquirido el poder suficiente para destronar a Indra. Vishnu acudió en ayuda del dios del cielo y apareció ante Balis como un enano disfrazado de mendicante brahmán. Balis lo honró con regalos y prometió cumplir su deseo, ante lo cual el enano pidió tres pasos de terreno. Esto fue concedido con mucho gusto bajo un juramento rígido que sería vinculante para los dioses y los hombres. Entonces el enano adoptó una forma enorme y avanzó al primer paso por toda la tierra, con

el segundo sobre la atmósfera, con el tercero hacia el infinito de los cielos. Esta es la razón por la que Vishnu se llama Tripadas o Trivikramas, el dios de tres pasos. Por lo tanto, a Balis se le impidió completar el centésimo sacrificio e Indra estaba nuevamente a salvo en su trono. Esta encarnación enana se llama Vamana-avatar.


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HANUMAN, EL REY MONO, CONSTRUYENDO EL PUENTE SOBRE EL ESTRECHO ENTRE LA INDIA Y LANKA. (Reproducido de Hermann G & oumlll.)

La sexta encarnación, llamada avatar Parashura, es histórica en su carácter, ya que refleja las luchas entre la casta guerrera y los brahmanes por la supremacía. Se dice que Jamadagni, un piadoso Brahman, había recibido de los dioses la vaca milagrosa, Kamadugha (o Surabhi), que le proporcionó a él, a su esposa, Renuka, y a su hijo, R & acircma, todos los lujos. Karttavirya, un rey de la casta guerrera, lo visita y al ver el
pag. 83


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LA V & AcircMANA AVATAR O ENANARIO ENARNADO.


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LA ENCARNACIÓN DE PARASHURA AVATAR O BATTLE-AX.


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EL RAMA CHANDRA AVATAR.
Vishnu y su encarnación en R & acircma Chandra, asistidos por el Rey Mono Hanuman, derrotan a Ravana.


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EL AVATAR DE KRISHNA.
Vishnu nace como Krishna y milagrosamente se salva de los enjuiciamientos del tirano de Mathur & acirc.

riqueza del Brahman, trata de quitarle la vaca, pero la vaca mata a todos los que se atreven a acercarse a ella, y se eleva al cielo, tras lo cual Karttavirya en su ira mata al piadoso Jamadagni. R & acircma, el hijo del Brahman asesinado, invoca la ayuda de Vishnu para castigar al rey malvado, y el dios no solo le presenta un arco y un hacha de batalla, que se llama en sánscrito. paracus, el griego & # 0960 & # 8051 & # 0955 & # 0949 & # 0954 & # 0965 & # 0962 (de ahí el nombre de este avatar), pero también se encarna en R & acircma. Karttavirya se describe como poseedor de mil armas, empuñando mil armas, pero R & acircma, dotado de los poderes divinos de Vishnu, lo conquista después de una lucha decisiva.


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EL REY MONO SUGRIVA LUCHA. (Reproducido de Coleman.)

El avatar de R & acircma Chandra se ha apoderado firmemente de la mente india, y se describe en el Ramayana, una epopeya que es la Odisea hindú, cuya narración se encuentra en la leyenda de R & acircma. tiene un gran parecido.

R & acircma Chandra vivía con su esposa Sita (frecuentemente considerada como una encarnación de Lakshmi) y con su medio hermano Lakshmana en el desierto del sur, donde se había retirado para obedecer a su padre, quien injustamente lo desterró y nombró a Bharata, otro hijo suyo, como heredero al trono. El rey demonio, Ravana, hizo la guerra contra R & acircma y se llevó a Sita mientras él y su hermano estaban cazando. Es imposible relatar aquí las aventuras de Rama en detalle, cómo luchó

con gigantes y demonios, cómo los reyes monos, Lugriva y Hanuman, se convirtieron en sus aliados, cómo Hanuman saltó


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VISHNU Y SHRI-LAKSHMI COMO RAMA CHANDRA Y SITA DESPUÉS DE SU FELIZ REUNIÓN. (Reproducido de Coleman.)

a Lanka, la isla de Ceilán, para reconocer el país del enemigo, cómo los monos construyeron un puente sobre el estrecho arrojando piedras al agua, arco R & acircma

persiguió a Ravana hasta Lanka, y finalmente cómo venció a Ravana y recuperó a su fiel esposa Sita.

Como el sexto avatar, el avatar de Rama Chandra probablemente contiene reminiscencias históricas. También se parece tanto a la Guerra de Troya como a la Saga de Gudrun, las epopeyas de las naciones occidentales que relatan la historia de una esposa secuestrada. La parte mítica de todas estas historias describe los vagabundeos del dios sol en busca de su consorte, la luna.


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HANUMAN RECIBIENDO SUS AVENTURAS A RAMA CHANDRA Y SITA. (Reproducido de Coleman.)

En su octava encarnación, el avatar de Krishna, Vishnu ha alcanzado el hombre-dios ideal de los hindúes. Kansa, llamado Kalankura (es decir, grulla), el tirano de Mathura, recibe la profecía de que el octavo hijo de su hermana, Devaki, tomará su trono. Por tanto, decide matar a todos los hijos de su hermana. Su octavo hijo, Krishna, sin embargo, fue una encarnación de Vishnu, quien habló inmediatamente después de su nacimiento, consoló a su madre y le dio instrucciones a su padre, Vasudeva, sobre cómo salvarlo. Vasudeva llevó al niño, protegido por el rey serpiente, sobre el río Jamuna, y lo cambió en Gokula por una niña que Yasuda acababa de darle al pastor Nanda. Kansa agarró de inmediato a la niña, pero antes de que pudiera matarla, ella se levantó en el aire, le explicó al rey airado que Krishna se había salvado y desapareció en forma de rayo. Kansa ahora decidió


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KRISHNA ENAMORADO POR DEVAKI.
Después de una pintura hindú antigua y de colores vivos. (Reproducido del Panteón hindú de Moore, lámina, 59.)

para que mataran a todos los bebés de su imperio, pero Krishna escapó de nuevo. Una enfermera demonio fue enviada para envenenarlo con su venenosa leche, pero la mordió y la mató, mientras que su padrastro decidió trasladarse a un país más lejano para escapar de las continuas hostilidades del rey. Krishna mató a la enorme serpiente, Kali-naga, venció al gigante Shishoo-polu, mató al pájaro monstruo que intentó picotearle los ojos, y también a un asno salvaje maligno. También quemó las entrañas del Peck-Assoort con forma de cocodrilo que lo había devorado y estranguló a Aghi-Assoor, el dragón que intentó tragarlo. Cuando Krishna se convirtió en joven, se convirtió en el favorito de las muchachas de Gokula. Cuando tocaba la flauta, cada una de las bailarinas creía que el enamorado al que abrazaba era el mismo Krishna. Se enamoró de la campesina Radha, cuya historia se canta en el poema de Jagadeva, Gitagovinda. Protegió a los pastores de la tormenta y el fuego, y finalmente marchó contra Kansa, lo mató y tomó posesión de su trono.

Krishna también juega un papel destacado en el Mahabharata,


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KRISHNA.
Como un pastorcillo tocando la flauta [falta la flauta]. (Estatua de bronce. Mus & eacutee Guimet.)

la Ilíada de los hindúes, que describe la guerra entre los Kurus y los Pandus, 1 ambos descendientes de Bharata y ambos nietos de Vyasa. Dhritarashtra, el padre de los Kurus, era rey de Hastinapur, pero al ser ciego, Bhishma, su tío, reinó en su lugar. Después de una prueba de las facultades de los jóvenes príncipes, en la que el Pandu Arjuna, el hábil arquero y el Hindú Tell, se mostró superior a todos los demás, el príncipe Pandu más antiguo, Yudhisthira, fue instalado como heredero aparente. Los Kurus, sin embargo, que lograron mantenerse en el poder, intentaron quemar a los Pandus, pero escaparon y vivieron durante algún tiempo disfrazados de brahmanes mendicantes. Habiéndose aliado, por matrimonio con Draupadi, 2 la hija de Drupada, rey de Panchala, con un poderoso monarca, los Pandus reaparecieron en Hastinapur e indujeron a Dhritarashtra a dividir el reino entre sus hijos, los Kurus, y sus sobrinos, los Pandus pero en un festival, celebrado en Hastinapur, Yudhishthira, el jefe

de los Pandus, apostó en un juego de dados su reino, todas sus posesiones, y la propia Draupadi, y lo perdió todo. Los Kurus prometieron a sus primos devolverles su parte del reino después de trece años, si vivían doce años con Draupadi en el bosque y permanecían un año más en el exilio, pero cuando este período hubo transcurrido, los Kurus se negaron a ceder el país o cualquier parte. de


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KRISHNA, EL FAVORITO DEL PAÍS LASSES DE GOKULA.
(Reproducido de Coleman.)

y así la guerra se hizo inevitable. Entonces Duryodhana, el príncipe Kuru, y Arjuna, el héroe principal de los Pandus, pidieron ayuda y socorro a Krishna. Krishna decidió no tomar parte activa en la lucha por sí mismo, pero dejó a Arjuna, a quien había visto primero, el

elección entre su compañía (de Krishna) como mero consejero o su ejército (de Krishna) de cien millones de guerreros.


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LAS AVENTURAS DE KRISHNA. (Reproducido de Coleman.)

Arjuna eligió al propio Krishna y dejó los cien millones de guerreros a sus rivales, los Kurus. Los dos ejércitos se encontraron en el campo de Kurukshetra, cerca de Delhi.

[el párrafo continúa] Durante la batalla, como leemos en el Bhagavadgita, Krishna acompaña a Arjuna como su auriga y le explica la profundidad y amplitud de la filosofía religiosa de los hindúes. Los Pandus conquistan a los Kurus y Yudhishthira se convierte en rey de Hastinapur.

Después de varias aventuras adicionales, los Pandus mueren y van al cielo, donde encuentran el descanso y la felicidad que es inalcanzable en la tierra.


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LA BATALLA ENTRE KURUS Y PANDUS EN EL CAMPO DE KURUKSHETRA.
(Reproducido de Wilkins.)

El Mahabharata, al igual que las Guerras de las Rosas, no muestra a ninguna de las partes de manera favorable, pero la epopeya está escrita desde el punto de vista de los Pandus, cuyo comportamiento siempre se ensalza, mientras que los Kurus se caracterizan por ser extremadamente indignos y mezquinos.

Krishna es el Apolo hindú, Orfeo y Hércules en una sola persona, y no hay dios en el Panteón hindú que sea más querido para el corazón de Brahman que él. Muchos

de sus aventuras, como su huida del Herodes hindú, la masacre de niños, su transfiguración, etc., reaparecen en una forma modificada en las leyendas budistas y guardan cierta semejanza con los acontecimientos narrados de Cristo en el Nuevo Testamento.

En su novena encarnación, Vishnu aparece como Buda, el iluminado, para ser un maestro de moral, de pureza, caridad y amor compasivo hacia todos los seres. Está


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JAGANNATH CON SUS DOS COMPAÑEROS. (Después de Schlagintweit.)

Es difícil establecer las diferencias entre el avatar de Buda de los brahmanes y el Buda de los budistas. Este último, no cabe duda, fue una personalidad histórica, con el nombre de Gautama, el hijo de Shuddhodana de la casta guerrera, mientras que el primero es una mera figura ideal de perfección ética. Burnouf 1 propone considerar a ambos como bastante distintos, y tiene razón, pero no es necesario por ello negar que, por un lado, el ideal de un

El avatar de Buda fue un factor prominente en la formación del budismo, mientras que, por otro lado, las enseñanzas de Gautama, desde el surgimiento del budismo, afectaron poderosamente y modificaron considerablemente el ideal de Buda de los brahmanes. Cualquiera que sea la relación histórica entre el Buda hindú y el Buda de los budistas, esta


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SHIVA CON PARVATI.
En Nanda, el toro sagrado (Mus & eacutee Guimet.)


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SHIVA-TRIMURTI.
Apoyándose en el linga, símbolo de la facultad creativa. (Mus & eacutee Guimet.)

mucho es seguro: el Buda ha sido recibido por los brahmanes como uno de los miembros del Panteón hindú.

La deidad hindú más cercana en espíritu al avatar de Buda es Jagannath, el dios del amor y la misericordia.

El décimo avatar aún no se ha completado. Se espera que Vishnu aparezca en un caballo blanco alado para recompensar a los virtuosos, convertir a los pecadores y destruir todo mal.

El caballo tiene un pie levantado, y cuando lo pone, el tiempo de la encarnación encontrará su cumplimiento.

The third person of the Indian trinity is Siva, the Auspicious One, representing the end of the world and its regeneration. He is commonly represented by the linga as a symbol of the creative faculty and by the all-devouring fire, the tongued flame of which is pictured in a triangle turning its point upwards .


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SHIVA DANCING SURROUNDED BY A HALO OF FLAMES. (Bronze Statue. Musée Guimet.)

Sir Monier Monier Williams (in Brahmanism and Hinduism, pag. 68) says of this deity, which is "more mystical and less human than the incarnated Vishnu," that his symbol, the linga, is "never in the mind of a Saiva (or Siva-worshipper) connected with indecent ideas, nor with sexual love." The linga, or, as the Romans called it, the phallus, the male organ of generation, becomes at the first dawn of civilisation, almost among all the nations of the world, an object of great awe and reverence. As the symbol of the creative principle it is regarded as the most essential attribute of both the God-Creator himself and all those who hold authority in his name. The linga develops in the hand of the medicine man into a wand, in the hand of the priest into a staff,


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THE BUDDHA AVATAR OR VISHNU'S INCARNATION AS THE ENLIGHTENED TEACHER OF MANKIND.


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THE KALKI AVATAR OR THE WHITE HORSE INCARNATION.


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SIVA WORSHIP. (Reproduced from Picart.)

and in the hand of the king into a sceptre. The yoni, or female organ, is regarded as the symbol of Siva's consort, Parvati, and is worshipped in connexion with the linga by the sect of the Sactis. Perforated rocks are considered as emblems of the yoni, through which pilgrims pass for the purpose of being regenerated, a ceremony in which Hindus place great faith for its sin-expelling significance. (See Charles Coleman, The Mythology of The Hindus, pag. 175.)


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SIVA AND PARVATI. (Reproduced from Hermann Göll)

Siva's consort, Kali, is one of the greatest divinities of India. She is the goddess of a hundred names, representing not only the power of nature, but also the ruthless cruelty of nature's laws. She is called Parvati, the blessed mother, and Durga, which means "hard to go through," symbolising war and all kinds of danger. She is in the pantheon of modern Hinduism the central figure and in spite of the universality of Brahma in philosophical

speculations, in spite of the omnipresence of Vishnu and his constant reincarnations as told in ancient


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KALI, After an Indian picture. (Reproduced from Schlagintweit.)

myths and legends, in spite of the omnipotence of Siva, and the high place given him in Hindu dogmatology, she

is the main recipient of Hindu worship all over the country. As Kali she is identified with time, the all-devourer, and is pictured as enjoying destruction, perdition, and


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DURGA. Indian sculpture, (Reproduced from Schlagintweit.)

murder in any form, trampling under foot even her own husband. There is scarcely a village without a temple devoted to her, and her images can be seen in thousands of forms. Her appearance is pleasant only as Pavarti in

all other shapes she is frightful, and it is difficult to understand the reverence which the pious Hindu cherishes


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mKHA' sGROMA, THE TIBETAN KALI. Bronce. (Musée Guimet.)

for this most diabolical deity, who among the Buddhists of Thibet is changed into a devilish demon under the name of mKha' sGroma.

The Pantheism which lies at the bottom of the whole Hindu mythology finds expression in the worship of HariHara, who is a combination of Vishnu and Siva. En


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KALI-DURGA IN THE HINDU PANTHEON. (Reproduced from Wilkins.)

the Mahatmya, or collection of temple legends of the HariHara, a town in the province of Mysore, Isvara says:" 1

"There are heretics among men who reject the Vedas and the Shastras, who live without purificatory ceremonies and established rules of conduct, and are filled with hatred of Vishnu: so also there are heretical followers of Vishnu, who are similarly filled with hatred of Shiva. All these wicked men shall go to hell so long as this world endures. I will not receive worship from any man who makes a distinction between Vasudeva and my own divinity: I will divide every such man in two with my saw. For I have assumed the form of HariHara in order to destroy the teaching that there is a difference between us: and he who knows within himself that HariHara is the god of gods, shall inherit the highest heaven."

HariHara is depicted as a combination of the two gods in one figure, which is half male and half female, for according to the Southern version of the legend Vishnu assumed the form of a beautiful woman who was embraced so fervently by Siva that both became one.

There are in Hindu mythology innumerable other deities, among whom Indra, the thunder-god, is the greatest, as the hero among the gods of secondary rank, reminding us of the Thor of the Norsemen but Varuna, the Hindu Kronos, Agni the god of fire, have also at times been very prominent.

There are in addition gods of third degree, such as


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KAMA. (Reproduced from Wollheim da Fonceka)


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SIVA SLAYING A DEMON. (Reproduced from Wilkins.)

Kama, the Hindu Amor, Ganesa, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, 1 and Karttikeya, 2 the leader of the good demons., on the peacock, both sons of Siva, and others. In addition, we have a great number of devas, sprites, and goblins. Some of them are good, as the Gandharvas, others at least not naturally ill-intentioned, as for instance the Apsaras (a kind of Hindu elves), but most of them are dangerous and demoniacal. Such are the general mischief-makers, the Asuras, the Pretas, or ghosts, the Bhutas, or spook-spirits, the baby-killing Grahas, the Rakshasas, who are either giants or vampires, not to mention all the other demons of less power and importance.

Notas al pie

74:1 Pantism, the theory of the All (from πᾶν, root ΠΑΝΤ), is different from Pantheism, the theory which identifies the All (πᾶν) with God (ϑεός).

74:2 Sir Monier-Monier Williams distinguishes between Brahmanism, the old faith of the Indian Aryas, and Hinduism, the modern form of this same religion, as it developed after the expulsion of Buddhism from India.

77:1 Since it is our intention to be brief, we do not enter in this exposition of the ten avatars into any details that could be omitted and neglect to mention the variants of the myths.

78:1 MS., P 354, English translation from Schwartze's latest translation by G. R. S. Meade, p. 354.

79:1 All the Avatar pictures are from Picart.

88:1 The Pandus are also called Pandavas, and the Kurus Kamavas.

88:2 That the five Pandus held Draupadi in common as their wife, proves the high antiquity of the story. Polyandry was apparently a practice not uncommon in ancient times. It prevails still to-day among the less cultured hill tribes. But being at variance with the Aryan customs of the age in which the Mahabharata was versified, p. 89 Vyasa (the Homer or "arranger" of the poem, and its supposed author) tries to explain it allegorically by declaring that Draupadi is Lakshmi, and the five Pandu brothers represent five different forms of one and the same Indra.

92:1 Histoire du Buddhisme, I., 338.

100:1 The legends of the shrine of HariHara, translated from the Sanskrit by Rev. Thomas Foulkes.

103:1 Ganesa, which means the lord (isa) of hosts (gana), is originally Siva himself, and he was invoked under that name by writers of books to drive away evil demons.


Why There is Moon on Lord Shiva’s Head?

Lord Shiva has many symbols and one of them is the crescent shaped moon on his head. There is an interesting tale from our mythology that illustrates why Lord Shiva has a crescent moon on his head.

Twenty-seven of Daksha’s daughters were married to the moon-god Chandra. One of them was named Rohini and Chandra loved Rohini more than he loved the other wives. The other wives felt neglected and they complained to their father. Daksha repeatedly warned his son-in-law to devote himself equally to all twenty-seven wives. But Chandra was in no mood to listen. Daksha thereupon cursed Chandra that he would gradually fade away.

After the curse, Moon started losing it’s luminescence each day, Chandra didn’t know what to do. It got afraid and ashamed and thereafter disappeared into the ocean. As a result of this, there were many herbs which require the light of the moon to grow, which started suffering in the absence of the moon.

Moreover, due to the moon disappearing in the ocean, there was a lot suffering in the entire world and it was to end. The celestials advised the Moon to take refuge in the Lord Shiva. He also went and sought advice from Brahma and Brahma told him that the only rescourse was to pray to Shiva. Chandra went to Prabhasa tirtha and made a linga on the banks of the river Sarasvati. He prayed to Shiva for six months.

At the end of the tapasya Shiva appeared before Chandra and offered to grant him a boon. Chandra explained what the problem was. Listening to this, Shiva replied that Daksha’s curse cannot be entirely ignored and, thus, proposed a compromise. “During krishnapaksha you will wane. And during shuklapaksha (the bright part of the lunar fortnight) you will wax. That should satisfy everybody”, said Shiva. Chandra was delighted. He took refuge in Lord Shiva and being the graceful Almighty, Lord Shiva wore the moon crescent on His head, making him grow for 15 days and decay for 15 days periodically.

The linga to which Chandra prayed is Somnath, the first of the jyotirlingas. Shiva is always present at that tirtha.

Somnath means the “Protector of the Moon God”. Legend has it that the first temple at Somnath was built by Chandra Dev himself.

Shiva, therefore, bears on his head the crescent of the moon.

  • The crescent moon indicates that He has controlled the mind perfectly.
  • The crescent moon is shown on the side of the Lord’s head as an ornament. The waxing and waning phenomenon of the moon symbolizes the time cycle through which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. Since the Lord is the Eternal Reality, He is beyond time and has complete control over it.
  • The epithet Chandraśekhara (“Having the moon as his crest” – chandra = Moon, śekhara = crest, crown) refers to this feature. La colocación de la luna en su cabeza como característica iconográfica estándar se remonta al período en que Rudra saltó a la fama y se convirtió en la deidad principal Rudra-Shiva. The origin of this linkage may be due to the identification of the moon with Soma, and there is a hymn in the Rig Veda where Soma and Rudra are jointly emplored, and in later literature Soma and Rudra came to be identified with one another, as were Soma and the Moon. Because the moon adorns the head of Lord Shiva, which is the peak -point of any human being, he is called Chandrashekhara.
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Stories from Hindu Mythology

Very nice blog. Am please to see these kinds of blogs and learn from them.

One of my favorite stories of Ganesha :)

I thought it was Parvathi who cursed the Moon for laughing at Ganesha.

Well I guess there are different versions of Hindu mythology :-). Like, in the case of Ganesha's one tusk, one version I read is, he broke his tusk in writing mahabharatha. In another version I read, he used his tusk as a weapon to slay a mouse demon.

But wasnt it daksh prajapati cursing moon ?

Thanks for sharing us a great blog about Ganesha Puja. We learn lots of things from hereBuy Ganesha Staue

Do you have any scriptures to back/support this story. Or is it just a folklore?

We have scriptures and evidence for it.

It's really amazing story about Ganesha Glory. I studied your blog many times to get more knowledge about god.
Great blog post. "Buy Brass Statues of Ganesha idol" , Pooja Accesorries and make this Ganesh Chaturthi auspicious.


The Brother of Goddess Lakshmi (Chandra)

Astronomically, the moon is the earth's only known natural satellite. It revolves round the earth from west to east in about 291/2 days with references to the Sun or about 271/2 days with reference to the stars and has a diameter of 2160 miles and a mean distance from the earth of about 238,857 miles, a mass about one eightieth that of the earth and a volume about one forty-ninth.

The people of the Indian subcontinent have bestowed on the planets powers both good and evil since ancient times and that belief is still current. The Hindus, Buddhists and Jains alike share in this belief and in all three religious systems the planets are deified and they given a form, attributes and mount or vehicle.

There are many legends pertaining to the origin of the Moon-god. According to one version, chandra is the child of the sage Atri (conceptual offspring of Brahma). Another legend makes moon one of the emergents from the mythical milky ocean, when it was churned by the gods and anti gods. Thus he is the brother of Lakshmi, who also emerged from the ocean on the same occasion. A Purana mentions that chandra had married the twenty-seven daughters of Daksha, but was exclusively in love with one of them, Rohini. Incensed by the complaint of his other daughters, Daksha cursed chandra to be afflicted with a consumptive disease (kshaya). Later the curse was modified that during one fortnight in the month he would wane and during the other wax. Another account tells of chandra having performed a penance in Avimukta-Kshetra, for which Shiva rewarded him with a place on his own head and thenceforth he (Shiva) came to be known as Chandrashekhara.

Chandra or Moon god is the guardian of the north-west direction. His complexion is white. The sojourning spot of chandra is water as he and Shukra move about in water. The bodily constituents associated with the chandra-Deva are vata, pitta and kapha. He produces happiness in the life of creatures.

Icono-plastically he has been represented in many material postures and gestures. Here he has been shown seated on an antelope, placed on a pedestal. He has four hands the upper right hand is holding a noose(?), while the lower one is in varada-mudra (gesture of charity). He is adorned with a crown, necklace, earrings, armlets, bracelets, anklets and waist-band. He is also wearing a scarf and dhoti which is decorated with designs. There is a halo behind the head. The saddle on the back of antelope is incised with stylized designs.

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Statue of the Hindu Moon God Chandra - History

Could this famous Wonder of the World be an ancient Shiva temple?

Petra, the 'rose red city, half as old as time', located in modern day Jordan, is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic archaeological sites of the world.

In a recently conducted Internet poll, Petra was voted by internet users as one of the 'seven wonders of the modern world'. In this abandoned city, which lies hidden behind impenetrable mountains and gorges, magnificent rock-cut temples and palaces have been carved into towering cliffs of red and orange sandstone. The most famous of these structures is the 'Al Khasneh' (or the 'Treasury'), which was made famous in an Indiana Jones film.

Historians tell us that sometime during the 6th - 4th centuries BC, the Nabataeans, a nomadic tribe from north-western Arabia, entered the region of Petra, and established their cultural, commercial and ceremonial center at Petra. Petra was located strategically at the intersection of the overland Silk Route which connected India and China with Egypt and the Hellenistic world, and the Incense Route from Arabia to Damascus. It soon developed into a thriving commercial center.

Sometime during the 3rd century BC, the Nabataeans began to decorate their capital city with splendid rock-cut temples and buildings. [Derecha: The Khasneh or "Treasury"] Their economic prosperity and architectural achievements continued unabated even after they came under the control of the Roman Empire in 106 CE. The neglect and decline of Petra started soon after Emperor Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 324 CE. A series of earthquakes crippled the region in the 7th - 8th centuries and Petra disappeared from the map of the known world, only to be rediscovered centuries later in 1812, by a Swiss explorer named Johann Burckhardt.

While the architectural grandeur of Petra continues to captivate us, the mysterious religious beliefs of the Nabataeans have puzzled historians.

Within the temple of Al Deir, the largest and most imposing rock-cut temple in Petra, is present an unworked, black, block of stone, like an obelisk, representing the most important deity of the Nabataeans -- Dushara.

The term Dushara means 'Lord of the Shara', which refers to the Shara mountains to the north of Petra. The symbolic animal of Dushara was a bull. All over Petra, Dushara was represented symbolically by stone blocks.

At the entrance of Petra there are three massive standing blocks of stone, known as Djin blocks, which were sacred to the inhabitants. There are nearly 40 such Djin blocks present throughout Petra. In addition, at religious sites throughout the city, the Nabataeans carved a standing stone block called a baetyl, literally meaning 'house of god'.

A baetyl physically marked a deity's presence. It could be a square [Above, left] or rounded like a dome [Above, right]. Some baetyls' were depicted with a lunar crescent on the top. The Nabataeans also appear to be snake worshippers. One of the most prominent structures in Petra is the snake monument, which shows a gigantic coiled-up snake on a block of stone. [Debajo]

This unusual array of symbolic elements associated with the chief god of the Nabataeans, Dushara, may have confounded historians, but to anyone familiar with the symbolism of the Vedic deity Shiva, the similarities between Dushara and Shiva will be palpable.

Shiva is still worshipped all over India in the form of a black block of stone known as a Shiva Linga. A Shiva Linga, which is essentially a 'mark' or 'symbol' of Shiva, sometimes appears as an unworked block of stone, much like the idol of Dushara in the temple of Al Deir but typically it is represented by a smooth, rounded stone which resembles some of the rounded, dome-shaped, baetyls that we find in Petra.

Shiva is also associated with the mountains his residence is supposed to be in the Kailash Mountain in the Himalayas, to the north of India, where he spends most of his time engaged in rigorous asceticism. His symbolic animal is a bull, named Nandi, which is commonly depicted kneeling in front of the Shiva Linga. Pictorial depictions of Shiva always show a crescent-shaped moon in his matted locks, much like the lunar crescent that appears on top of certain baetyls in Petra and on top of the Shiva Linga is present a coiled-up serpent, bearing a strong resemblance to the serpent monument of Petra. It is evident that Shiva and Dushara are symbolically identical, leaving little scope for doubt that Dushara must indeed be a representation of the Vedic deity Shiva.

[Derecha: Black stone Shiva Linga in the coils of a seven hooded serpent. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India, 16th century. Left: The 123 feet high statue of Shiva in Bhatkal, India, with snakes coiled around his neck and the crescent shaped Moon on his matted locks. At the foot of the statue is Shiva's vahana (carrier), Nandi the bull.]

The similarities, however, do not end here. The consort of Dushara was known to the Nabataeans as Al-Uzza or Al-lat. She was a goddess of power y un goddess of the people, and was symbolized by a león.

Lions are present at many sites in Petra. En el Lion Triclinium in Petra there are two massive lions protecting the doorway. Lions are also seen at the Lion Monument in Petra, a public fountain, where refreshing water for the perspiring pilgrims would have sprouted from the water outlet at the mouth of the lion. En el Temple of the Winged Lions, a considerable amount of material has been found, including feline statuette fragments, which emphasize the 'feline' association of the mother goddess. The supreme mother goddess was also symbolically associated with vegetation, grains and prosperity, and was frequently depicted holding cereal stalks and fruits.

Not surprisingly, the lion is also associated with the consort of Shiva, known as Parvati, Durga or Shakti. As per the Puranic legends, when the entire humanity was threatened by the evil Mahisasura, the goddess Durga, invested with the combined spiritual energies of the Hindu Trinity -- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva -- and adorned with celestial weapons granted by the divine company of gods, rode her lion to battle this asura. The terrible battle raged over nine days, and on the tenth day Durga defeated and killed Mahisasura. Even now, the victory of Durga over the forces of darkness represented by Mahisasura, is one of the most widely celebrated religious festivals in India, known as Dussehra (or Dasha-Hara, Navratri, Vijaydashami) which is celebrated over a period of ten days.

[Above, left: Idol of Al-Uzza, found in the Temple of the Winged Lions Medio: One of the two reliefs of lion of the Lion Triclinium in Petra, Jordan Derecha: Durga on a Lion, slaying Mahisarura who has taken the form of a bull. Aihole temple complex, Karnataka, dating from the 6th century CE.]

There are indications that the Nabataeans, too, may have celebrated this ancient festival.

At Petra, an elaborate processional way leads from the center of the city to the temple of Al Deir. In front of the temple there is a massive, flat, courtyard, capable of accommodating thousands of people. This has led historians to suggest that the Al Deir temple may have been the site of large-scale ceremonies. It is possible that this was a celebration of Dussehra, since Al-Uzza was the 'goddess of the people' and Dussehra is the celebration of the victory of the goddess over the forces of evil.

It is not unlikely that the presiding god of the Nabataeans, Dushara, may have obtained his name from the festival Dussehra. The cult of Shiva-Shakti represented the sacred masculine and feminine principles, and the worship of Shiva has always been inextricably linked with the celebrations of the divine feminine. Even now in rural Bengal in India, the final day of celebration of Dussehra (Basanti Puja) is followed by an exuberant worship of Shiva. For these people, it remains the most important festival of their annual religious calendar.

It is unclear to historians whether all the representations of the female goddess found in Petra refer to Al-Uzza or to the Nabataean goddess triad of Al-Uzza, Al-lat and Manat. Although it is has been supposed that the consort of Dushara may be Al-Uzza, the depictions of Al-Uzza in other places of Arabia do not support such an association.

Al-Uzza (the 'Strong One') was the goddess of the morning and evening star. Isaac of Antioch referred to her as Kaukabta, 'the Star'. She was sometimes depicted riding a 'dolphin' and showing the way to sea-farers. She is, thus, the counterpart of the Indo-European goddess of dawn, Ostara, and the Vedic 'Usas'.

En el Rig veda, there are around 20 hymns dedicated to the Usas, the goddess of dawn, who appears in the east every morning, resplendent in her golden light, riding a chariot drawn by glorious horses, dispelling the darkness, awakening men to action, and bestowing her bounty and riches on all and sundry.

The phonetic and symbolic associations between 'Uzza' and 'Usa' indicate that they are derived from the same source. Al-lat, on the other hand, was widely regarded as 'the Mother of the Gods', or 'Greatest of All'. She was the goddess of fertility and prosperity and was known from Arabia to Iran. It is more likely, therefore, that the consort of Dushara at Petra, symbolized by the lion, was Al-lat and not Al-Uzza. However, it has been observed by historians that Al-Uzza and Al-lat were used quite interchangeably by the Arabs, and sometimes one gained prominence over the other.

It is worth mentioning in this context, that the Hindu goddess of death and destruction -- Kali -- bears stark resemblances to the third goddess of the Nabataean triad -- Manat -- who is generally represented as the terrible, black goddess of death.

Certain rituals associated with Shiva-Durga worship can also be found reflected in the religious practices of the Nabataeans. The Nabataeans ritually made animal sacrifices to Dushara and Al-Uzza, at the 'High Place of Sacrifice' in Petra. The Suda Lexicon, which was compiled at the end of the 10th century, refers to older sources which have since been lost. It states: 'Theus Ares (Dushrara) this is the god Ares in Arabic Petra. They worship the god Ares and venerate him above all. His statue is an unworked square black stone. It is four foot high and two feet wide. It rests on a golden base. They make sacrifices to him and before him they anoint the blood of the sacrifice that is their anointment.' The practice of anointing the Shiva Linga con red vermilion powder (Kumkum) continues to this date in India.

It has also been noticed that most of the Djin blocks at Petra are located close to sources of running water, a fact which has left historians in a dilemma. However, such a peculiar alignment of Djin blocks can be easily explained once we remember that one of the most common practices of Shiva worship is to pour a kettle of water (or milk, curd, ghee, honey etc.) over the Shiva-Linga. This act is symbolic of the sacred river Ganges, which, after emanating from the toe of Vishnu, flows down the matted locks of Shiva. This is the reason why nearly every Shiva temple is also associated with a natural well or spring or a source of running water.

The worship of Shiva-Durga, the sacred masculine and feminine principles, is as old as time itself. The presence of sacred pillars and dolmens, the ancient snake cults, the symbolism of the trisula / trident, the crescent moon etc. found at various archaeological sites across the world suggests that the worship of Shiva-Shakti was one of the most deeply entrenched belief systems of the ancient wisdom traditions.

Among the ancient Semites, a pillar of stone was a sacred representation of a deity. In many texts, the ancient Hebrews are recorded setting up stones as monuments. Jacob set up a pillar and anointed it, in a manner starkly reminiscent of the Shiva worship rituals:

"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had set up for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it." --Genesis 28 18-19

"And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon." -- Genesis 35 14

Pillars and Dolmens (stones arranged one on top of another) also constituted an essential part of Druidical worship, among the Celts of ancient Britain and France. En el Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions (1894), James Bonwick mentions that the Irish venerated their lithic temples. They not only anointed them with oil or milk, but, down to a late period, they poured water on their sacred surface so that the draught might cure their diseases. Molly Grime, a rude stone figure, kept in Glentham church, was annually washed with water from Newell well. los 'cup symbol' -- observed on stones at Fermanagh, and in the west of Kerry -- may have confused scholars, but to anyone familiar with the symbolism of Shiva, it can be immediately recognized as the 'crescent moon' present on the matted locks of Shiva.

The geographical distribution of stone monuments extends from the extreme west of Europe to the extreme east of Asia, and from Scandinavia to Central Africa. In spite of centuries of destruction, stone monuments of every type abound in the British and Irish Islands, and some of the most remarkable structures in Europe are found there.

In France some 4000 dolmens are present. In Northern and Central Europe they occur in Belgium, Holland and in the northern plains of Germany. They have been found in large numbers in Denmark and the Danish Islands, and also in Sweden. 'Meteoric stones mounted on carved pedestals' have been found in the farthest reaches of the Roman Empire, and one such piece is, at present, on view at the Etruscan Museum in Vatican, Rome.

Although this ancient cult was worshipped in large parts of the world since time immemorial, there appears to have been a renewed westward thrust of this faith, soon after the conquests of Alexander, which invigorated the ancient land and maritime trade routes, popularly known as the Silk Route, which connected India and China with the western world.

Encima: The ancient Silk Route

In 329 BC, Alexander established the city of Alexandria in Egypt, which became a major staging point in the Silk Route. In 323 BC, Alexander's successors, the Ptolemaic dynasty, took control of Egypt. They actively promoted trade with Mesopotamia, India, and East Africa through their Red Sea ports and over land. This was assisted by a number of intermediaries, especially the Nabataeans and other Arabs. Soon after the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, regular communications and trade between India, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, China, the Middle East, Africa and Europe blossomed on an unprecedented scale.

The Silk Route transformed into a highway for the cultural, commercial, technological, philosophical and religious exchanges between far flung kingdoms. Buddhism spread from the northern part of India into the farthest reaches of China.

The Eastern Han emperor Mingdi is supposed to have sent a representative to India to discover more about this strange faith, and further missions returned bearing scriptures, and bringing with them Indian priests. Together with coveted merchandise, rock-cutting skills travelled eastwards along the Silk Road from India to China.

Hundreds of rock-cut caves with statues of Buddha were built between 450 and 525 CE. Among the most famous ones are the Longmen Grottoes in China's Henan province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. The Longmen grotto complex contains 2345 caves and niches, 2800 inscriptions, 43 pagodas and over 100,000 Buddhist images collected over various Chinese dynasties.

los Yungang Grottoes near Datong in the province of Shanxi consists of 252 grottoes and more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes, mainly constructed in the period between 460-525 CE. Also on the Silk Road are the Mogao Caves in China's Gansu province. They are best known for their stunning and well-preserved Buddhist art that spans a period of 1,000 years from 366 CE onwards.

Left: Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi province, China Derecha: Longmen Grottoes, Henan province, China]

There was also a westward flow of Eastern wisdom along the Silk Route. The effect that this had on the flowering of Greek philosophy and sciences during this period has been grossly underestimated by modern historians. In the Preface to the Vishnu Purana, the translator Horace Hayman Wilson writes:

It is, therefore, quite possible that the ancient faith of Shiva-Shakti may also have migrated westwards along these ancient trade routes during this time. Besides, the Nabataeans, who were essentially a nomadic tribe that got rich by controlling the trade along the Silk Route, could not have suddenly acquired and mastered the technological and architectural sophistication necessary to execute the rock-cut monuments of Petra.

Achieving such a level of finesse and perfection in rock-cut architecture takes generations. Is it possible that, like the ancient cult of Shiva-Shakti, the technology for building these rock-cut monuments was also transferred along the Silk Route?

It may be no coincidence that around the same time that the rock-cut monuments of Petra were being executed, sometime during the 3rd - 2nd century BC, an incredible array of 31 rock-cut cave temples were being carved into the sheer vertical side of a gorge, near a waterfall-fed pool, located in the hills of the Sahyadri mountains in western India, at a place called Ajanta, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ajanta is located 100 kilometers from the medieval town of Aurangabad ('City of Gates'), which is situated right on the ancient Silk Route, and was a flourishing commercial center since time immemorial. In the ancient times, however, Ajanta itself used to be on the Silk Route. Buddhist missionaries used to accompany traders on busy international trade routes through India and the merchants, in turn, funded or even commissioned elaborate cave temple complexes that also offered lodging for traveling traders.

Some of the more sumptuous temples included pillars, arches, and elaborate facades. Like Petra, the Ajanta caves had fallen out of use, and remained lost for centuries until 1819, when they were re-discovered by a British officer who was hunting a tiger in the region.

Encima: Cave 9 at Ajanta, India. A Chaitya Gathering Hall meant for worship.

While in Petra only the exterior facade was decorated with sculptures, the cave temples at Ajanta are elaborately decorated, both outside and inside, with sculptures, paintings and murals, which are considered to be masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, and represent the most sophisticated rock-cut architecture of this period anywhere in the world. They mostly depict the Jataka tales that are stories of the Buddha's life in former existences as Bodhisattva. Many mythic elements from Hinduism are also depicted. Moreover, the interiors were designed to be functional, providing housing, worship halls, and even dining halls for the monks who lived there.

It is extremely improbable that two ancient cities located on the Silk Route, and worshipping deities that are culturally related, would happen to build some of the finest rock-cut temples of the world at around the same time, without having any cultural contact between them. Petra and Ajanta must be connected and since the rock-cut architecture of India represents the highest achievements of engineering and aesthetics of that period, it can be supposed that the Silk Route acted as a conduit for the westward transfer of the Shiva-Shakti cult and rock-cut architectural skills, across the Arabian Peninsula, during the 3rd - 2nd centuries BC. However, since Petra stood at the crossroads of the trade route between the east and the west, there has been an amalgamation of various influences in its architecture.

The Greco-Roman influence is apparent in the facades of many structures, which strengthened even further after the Roman occupation of Petra. Egyptian influences are also evident due to the presence of obelisks y funerary tombs throughout the city.

The Nabateans built a few other cities in the desert, one of which is the archaeological site of 'Shivta' built in the 1st century BC on the 'Perfume Road' between Petra to Gaza. Like Petra, Shivta too was abandoned by the 8th - 9th century CE, after the ascendancy of Islam.

A few kilometers from Shivta is located the ancient, biblical city of 'Tel Sheva', an archaeological site in southern Israel, which derives its name from a nearby 'well' or 'water source'. The phonetic and symbolic similarities between these cities and 'Shiva' are obvious. In fact, the cult of Shiva-Shakti was widespread across the entire Middle East and West Asia, and penetrated deep into the farthest corners of Europe in the centuries before Christ.

The biblical kingdom of 'Sheba' (Hebrew: Sh'va) believed to be in present day Yemen, as well as the archaeological site of 'Shibham', (Sanskrit: Shivam) located in Yemen, hint at the fact that entire kingdoms and cities were named after this deity.

It is unfortunate that these symbolisms and associations have been either overlooked or ignored by historians till now. What is even more regrettable is the fact that the Shiva Linga, and, in fact, any Pillar or Dolmen cult, has been uniformly interpreted as a form of phallic worship, when the information from the ancient sources clearly specify that the 'pillar' represents the 'Cosmic Mountain', the symbolic axis-mundi of the cosmos, around which the heavens revolve. It is a powerful cosmic symbol, fusing the divine masculine and feminine principles, whose meaning was universally understood by the ancient cultures, but whose real import has been lost to us now.

Unless we begin to acknowledge the widespread presence of the Shiva-Shakti cult in large parts of the ancient world, and make a sincere attempt to understand the vast array of symbolisms associated with this ancient faith, we will continue to concoct a version of history that is illusory, fragmentary, and ultimately meaningless.

Sobre el Autor: Bibhu Dev Misra is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management and has been working as an Information Technology consultant for more than 12 years, for various organizations across the world. He is also an independent researcher and writer on topics related to ancient civilizations, myths, symbols, religion and spirituality and has travelled to many places of historical, religious and architectural importance. His articles have appeared in various internet websites and magazines. He can be contacted at [email protected] and via his personal blog: http://bibhudev.blogspot.com

Indeed! And while one is contemplating the Shiva connection to Petra, one might also ponder why the Jews exiled to Babylon named their religious schools "Yeshivas." It's no coincidence. At the time of the exodus, the Jews called their Egyptian slave masters or taskmasters the 'naga,' (look up the word 'taskmaster' in any Strong's Concordance) which is a word that is pure Sanskrit and used since antiquity to denote India's most famous cult of serpent worshippers, a cult primarily devoted to the worship of Shiva.

Abraham's hometown of Ur in Chaldea, (Sumer) was dedicated to the Anunnaki lunar god, Nannar Sin. The name indicates that Ur's moon god represented the patriarchal god from the famous 'Sindh' region of ancient India. In the Sanskrit pronunounciation, the "dh" sound is sort of whispered. In Sumer the 'dh' was simply dropped and Sindh became Sin. The Sanskrit word 'Hindu' is based upon the older Dravidian word "Sindhu." Sumer's famous Lunar god, Nanner Sin, was undoubtedly a diety worshiped by the Sindhu, (i.e. Hindu's) as they began extending their territorial rule throughout the Near and Middle East.

In fact the very term 'Anunnaki', made famous by Zecharia Sitchin's ancient extraterrestrial hypothesis appears to have absolutely nothing to do with ancient astronaut theories. Anyone familiar with the Rig Veda knows who the tribe of Anu was. Anu was one of the five sons of the famous Vedic king named Yayati whose sons represented the five tribes of mankind in antiquity. Anu was one of the primary characters in the famous 'Battle of the ten kings' as told in the Rig Veda.

Anu and his followers lost that war and the Rig Veda records that "Of the Anus and Druhyus sixty thousand, six thousand and sixty six warriors were put to sleep." (RV VII.18, 11, 14) (An oh so familiar number, eh?) The bulk of the remainder of Anus tribe was driven out of India and declared a "fallen" race according to the religious dictates of the ancient Vedic Aryans. This tribe evidently migrated west and eventually established Sumer and even Egypt.

The Anunnaki were nothing more than exiled Aryans from India. Their kings and queens became deified "gods and goddesses" in the same manner that the Dali Lama, who is obviously very human, was declared a living god by the Buddhists.

Every single near and Middle Eastern god ever declared 'pagan' by Christian standards can be traced directly back to the Vedic Aryans of ancient India. For instance, the famous evil god of Canaan, Baal, is but a shortened version of the Hindu god, Balarama, and one and the same with the famous Egyptian god of evil, Seth.

Sumer represented the influx of the Lunar Aryan dynasties and their dedication to various avatars and attributes of Shiva, while Egypt became the primary focus of the Vedic Solar cults dedicated to Vishnu and all of his 1000 names.


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