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Varaha avatar – Boar Incarnation of Vishnu

varaha avatar vishnu Hiranyaksha

The four Kumaras Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, and Sanat Kumara, once visited Vaikuntha by dint of their mystic prowess and thereby perceived exceptional bliss. After passing through the six entrances of Vaikuntha Puri, they discovered two guards, Jaya and Vijaya, outside the seventh gate. These guards were wearing fresh garlands and were armed with maces. They were adorned with jewelry, earrings, helmets, garlands, etc. The four sages, although the oldest of living creatures, appeared just like five-year-olds. They wore no clothes and covered their bodies only with the atmosphere. When the guards noticed the four Kumaras, they stopped them from proceeding further. This enraged the sages, whose eyes turned red due to their eagerness to meet with Sri Hari, the supreme Lord. The sages concluded that these guards should be cursed as they held the mentality of the material world where living entities had three kinds of enemies. But such a mentality was misplaced in Vaikuntha, which was devoid of any disharmony. The guards repented for their actions, but the sages cursed the guards, Jaya and Vijaya, to be born in the material world.

When the Supreme Lord Narayana, became aware of the situation, He came over to the spot with Lakshmi, His wife. On beholding the beautiful form of the Lord, the four Kumaras sang His praises and considered their lives successful. Lord Hari glorified the brahmanas identifying them as His own body. The Kumaras surrendered unto the Supreme Lord and awaited His instructions on the matter. Lord Hari remarked that though Jaya and Vijaya were cursed by the sages, the action was actually ordained by Him. They would soon be taking birth in a demoniac family, where they would possess a nature inimical to the Lord. In this way, they would be firmly united with the Supreme Lord through mental concentration intensified by anger. And before long, they would return to Vaikuntha again. The sages circumambulated and offered their obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, before departing.

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Rasa – Divine Mellow

yashoda krishna vatsalya rasa bhagavatamrasa

Rasa, or divine mellows, is remarkable and the most esoteric truth. It is the culmination of the transcendental pastimes of Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When devotion unto Krishna reaches the peak of purity and grows dynamically active, it transforms into ‘Krishna Bhakti Rasa’, the mellows of devotion towards Krishna. Unless a devotee attains pure devotion and reaches the stage of a ‘sadhaka’, he is not qualified to experience ‘rasa’. Krishna is the root cause of divine love whereas Krishna’s personal traits and paraphernalia act as ‘uddipana’ or that which evokes ecstatic love for Him. ‘Uddipana’ helps stimulate the devotee’s latent love for Krishna, which in course of time manifests itself as ‘rasa’. In this article, we are going to discuss the various facets of Rasa, it’s different types, their respective characteristics, etc.

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Shanta Rasa – Mellow of Neutrality

krishna radha gopis yamuna shanta rasa

Shanta rasa is the mellow of divine love (Rasa) that falls within the purview of Narayana pujan (worship of Lord Narayana). This is a neutral state in which the devotee neither feels any fondness for his worshipable Lord Narayana nor does he have any attachment towards the world. He offers the Lord his love in a manner sanctioned by the scriptures. The indifference of the servant towards his Lord is the chief characteristic of this stage. Shanta rasa is the neutral stage where there exists attachment for Krishna in the mood of awe and veneration; there is complete detachment from all material desires; nonetheless, in Shanta rasa, there is also a lack of intimacy between the devotee and the Supreme Lord. 

The bliss that is experienced in Brahman realization (brahmananda) by the impersonalists, or the pleasure of realizing the self (atmananda), experienced by the yogis steeped in meditation upon the inner self, is nothing compared to the delight felt in realizing the Supreme Lord. The beautiful form of the Supreme Lord is the source of all spiritual bliss. Devotees like Bilvamangala Thakura, Sukadeva Goswami, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya had attained nirvishesa brahma (impersonal brahman) through their pursuits of Jnana (speculative knowledge) but had rejected brahmananda (bliss in impersonal brahman realization) in favor of bhakti-rasananda, the nectarean divine bliss of devotion.

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All about Lord Rama – Life, Pastimes & Glorification

rama lakshmana sita forest

On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra in Treta Yuga, Lord Ramachandra appeared in Ayodhya, a city in northern India. This day has since been celebrated by the entire world as Ram Navami. The ninth canto of Bhagavata Purana states that Lord Ramachandra was born in the dynasty of Maharaja Khatvanga. The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu and his son was Raghu. Aja was the son of Raghu and the son of Aja was Dasaratha. Lord Ramachandra was the son of Dasaratha and mother Kaushalya. King Dasarath had three wives – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. Ramachandra was none other than Vishnu, the Supreme Lord and He had descended into this world along with His full quadruple expansion – as Lord Rama, and brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. Bharata was the son of Kaikeyi while Lakshmana and Shatrughna were the sons of Sumitra.

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Lord Rama fights Ravana and rescues Sita : Part 5

hanuman burns lanka

(Continued from Part 4)
In the previous article, we discussed how Rama and His army reached Lanka where a fierce fight ensued between Rakshasas and the monkeys. Both sides suffered heavy losses in the battle. One by one the Rakshasa generals were slain in battle. The atmosphere in the demon camp turned gloomy when Kumbhakarna and Indrajit were also killed. Unable to control his rage, Ravana decided to take the reins into his hand. Encouraged by his ministers, Ravana now wanted to confront Rama, his arch-enemy.

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Lord Rama – The war of Lanka : Part 4

Lod rama war

(Continued from Part 3)
In the previous article, we depicted how Lord Rama allied with Sugriva, after killing his brother Vali. Sugriva, then keeping his vow, ordered the monkeys to search for Sita. Finally, Hanuman leaped over the southern oceans to reach the city of Lanka, the capital of the Rakshasas. Hanuman finally discovered Sita being held captive in the palace garden. Hanuman conveyed to Sita how Rama had been thinking of her and was searching for her all over the world. Sita expressed her grief and how she was being tormented by Ravana, and his associates. Ravana who wanted to have Sita as his queen had given her up to one year to change her mind and accept union with him. Once the year had passed, Sita would be killed and served as meat to Ravana, if she did not comply. Hanuman comforted Sita, assuring her that Rama would soon come to rescue. Before leaving Lanka, Hanuman killed hordes of Rakshasas including Aksa, one of Ravana’s sons. Setting fire to the city of Lanka with his flaming tail, Hanuman leaped once again to return to Rama.

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Lord Rama – The search for Sita : Part 3

hanuman rama

(Continued from Part 2)
In the previous article, we recounted how Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana spent their time in the forest. We described how the demon Surpanakha endeavored to seduce Rama and was punished in the process. We have depicted the terrible war between Rama and the brothers of Surpanakha, Khara, and Dushana. They had attacked Rama with their formidable army of fourteen thousand Rakshasas. We have also described how a lusty Ravana kidnapped Sita and carried her to Lanka.

A mortally wounded Jatayu described to Rama how Ravana, the king of demons, abducted Sita and flew towards the South. Jatayu cried that he attempted his best but being old, he was defeated by Ravana. As Jatayu passed away, Rama and Lakshmana performed his last rites. As the two brothers continued searching for Sita, they encountered a Rakshasa named Kabandha, whose strength lay in his arms. After a brief fight, Rama cut off the arms of the Rakshasa. Kabandha then revealed that he was previously a Gandharva and had been cursed into Rakshasa life as he had made fun of sage Ashtavakra, whose body was bent in eight places. Now that Rama and Lakshmana were killing Kabandha, he would be able to return to his Gandharva life. Regaining his Gandharva form, Kabandha proposed that Rama and Lakshmana form a pact and ally with Sugriva, a leader of the monkeys. Vali, his elder brother, had exiled Sugriva. If Rama helped Sugriva regain his kingdom, he would become obliged to assist Rama in finding Sita. Kabandha also informed Rama that Sugriva could be found near the site of sage Matanga’s hermitage on Lake Pampa.

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Lord Rama – Life in the forest & Sita Haran Pastimes : Part 2

rama lakshmana sita forest

(Continued from Part1)
In the previous article, we have explained the divine identity and lineage of Lord Rama. We have talked about how He toured with sage Visvamitra to vanquish the Rakshasas and how He broke the celestial bow in Mithila to win Sita’s hand in marriage. We have narrated how Manthara poisoned Kaikeyi’s heart and how Kaikeyi halted the coronation of Lord Rama. We have described how Lord Rama was subsequently exiled to the forest, following the wishes of queen Kaikeyi, and how this plunged King Dasaratha, the royalty, and the entire city of Ayodhya into despair.

The citizens of Ayodhya followed Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita into the forest and would not desert them. ‘Without Rama, what is the use of our house, children or wealth?’, they thought. Feeling compassionate, Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita drove away in the middle of the night while these ordinary citizens lay asleep. In this way, Rama prevented them from any further agony. 

Finally, Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita reached Ushinara province, a territory that was ruled by Guha, Rama’s friend. Guha met with Rama at the shore of the Ganges. Though Guha had brought several gifts, Rama rejected them as He had taken a vow of leading an ascetic life. Guha and Lakshmana stayed awake guarding Rama and Sita as they slept on a bed of leaves. It was time to quit the chariots and go walking barefoot. Crossing over the river, the next morning, Rama bade goodbye to Guha and Sumantara, before entering the dense forests.

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Lord Rama – Early Pastimes, Marriage & betrayal : Part 1

sita haran in ramayan rama chaitanya mahaprabhu

On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra in Treta Yuga, Lord Ramachandra appeared in Ayodhya, a city in northern India. This day has since been celebrated by the entire world as Ram Navami. The ninth canto of Bhagavata Purana states that Lord Ramachandra was born in the dynasty of Maharaja Khatvanga. The son of Maharaja Khatvanga was Dirghabahu and his son was Raghu. Aja was the son of Raghu and the son of Aja was Dasaratha. Lord Ramachandra was the son of Dasaratha and mother Kaushalya. King Dasarath had three wives – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. Ramachandra was none other than Vishnu, the Supreme Lord and He had descended into this world along with His full quadruple expansion – as Lord Rama, and brothers Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. Bharata was the son of Kaikeyi while Lakshmana and Shatrughna were the sons of Sumitra.

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What is Yoga ? | All you need to know about Yoga

yoga ashtanga

Yoga, contrary to popular opinion, does not refer to some impossible physical postures. The actual meaning of Yoga does not merely refer to bending, curving your body, or even holding your breath. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create a union between body, mind, and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness.

The yoga system was originally meant for realizing God, and all varieties of yoga practice are assumed to bring one to that point. Success in Yoga ultimately depends on the quality of one’s consciousness and the will of the Supreme Person, rather than on our own gymnastic endeavors. The various yogic asanas, breath control, and withdrawal of the senses are meant to help pacify the mind so that one can focus one’s entire attention on the Supreme Lord (Paramatma) who is eternally present within our heart. In this article, we shall present all the relevant information and scriptural evidence that one needs to know concerning Yoga.

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