Tag Archives: Shakti

What Is Hindu Dharma?

What Is Hindu Dharma?
A Priest giving blessings

Few weeks back, I took Marriage Blessings in a church (with the same husband of mine, of the last five years). Why? There is quite an interesting story behind it…. promise to post it in my next writeup.

It’s not a big deal if you want to read your marriage vows again, but if you are a Hindu by religion and do some function, that too, of marriage sort of, in a Church than it’s bound to raise many questions. Some of them were less of a question and more of statements, coming from family and friends. Like, have you changed your religion?, or, Is it done for some christian belief?, or, did you forgot abut your culture?, or, You are now totally in influence of western culture… and blah blah…..

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Questions?

Questioning is good, it makes your mind curious, and makes you look out for the right answer. I am reading about religion, specially Hindu, since childhood, now a days I have taken a fancy about other religions too and their stories, about their evolution and coming to existence. Reading about other religions has in fact made me more closer to understanding my own religion – Hindu Dharma.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Durga

First of all, Hindu is not a religion, it’s a Dharma. If you go into translation, then Dharma (Hindi/Sanskrit word) is translated as Religion in English. But, Dharma has a more broad meaning to it than just Religion. Dharma means to hold, to bear, to believe; to hold what you believe, to believe what is true, to believe what is right. Dharma means to hold on to your rightful beliefs and truth.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

Hindu Dharma, Hinduism, or Sanatan Dharma as called popularly, actually speak of practices which are in harmony of nature, and manifestation of happiness and peace. When our Vedas and Upanishads speak of God, they do not talk of something which is out of reach and unimaginable. Bhaagvat and Shiv Puran when speak of, how God, or to say, super almighty came into existence and this universe is created, they say that God was always there, and he created man as his image. It also states that all the Devs and and Devis, resides in various forms in man’s body.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

But, why say that Gods resides in your own body? Why are we going to temples then? When our Vedas say, that everything is created by God, and He is residing in everything and everyone. He is everywhere in everyone, then why are we looking outwards for him? Why are we not respecting others and ourselves too, as God is within all of us.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Krishna

So, lets settle on the point that God is within you and me. But, does he resides in my American friend too? He is no Hindu. So maybe not my God, but the God that he believes in, maybe He is in him. But, does that mean that I should not respect him, as he has some other God? Wait, but it’s a God. Why take a Panga (make an issue), with any God? So, let’s respect all. Settled.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
Hiindu Deity

Now, coming to Church and temples. Hinduism is the oldest practices in this whole world, and the reason why it has survived for so long is mainly based on one of it’s founding principle of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”, which states that entire world is actually a big family. Acceptance of all the things as they are, and grasping every good thing is the key behind this ever evolving religion.

What Is Hindu Dharma?
What Is Hindu Dharma?

In it’s entire history, Hinduism have not embarked on any other religion or belief, to impose itself. Over the years it has learnt to live with peace and harmony, with others. This is what it teaches us too. As long as Hindu Dharma is preaching the above, I feel proud to be one. I have always believed in respecting others beliefs and rituals and will proudly do so, always. This is My Dharma, My Religion.

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Why We Pray to Shiva Linga?

Disclaimer: This article is based on my understanding made through reading various religious and spiritual books. Being a science student I have always looked for reasons behind everything, even when I know that some things can not be explained. Still, I have tried. Fool me. In no way my intentions are to hurt feelings or beliefs of anyone. In fact I am not strong enough to hurt your beliefs. So, try to read the below article with an open mind, otherwise you always have the choice of not reading it.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Shiva Linga

Every time we bring Lord Shiva to our thoughts, there are generally two images that come to our mind. One that has form of a male human God wearing animal skin, having a drum (dumroo) in the hand, Ganga flowing throw hairs and snakes curled around the blue colored neck. Another image is that of a Shiva Linga, to be precise, denoting male phallus and female sexual organ (yoni) at the base.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Shiva

But, why these two representation of Lord Shiva?

First lets discuss that why we are praying to what looks like the sexual organs of male and female body. So, while I was reading about the Kundalini, the Seven Chakras, and spiritual course of universe coming into existence from a single energy source. It struck me that what I have read in various religious books like Vedas, Shuk-Sagar and Shiv Puraan about Devas location and their role in universe creation, is actually so much related to our body, the Chakras inside and the sleeping Kundalini residing in the body.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Chakras

Kundalini which dwells in the base of our spine in the Muladhaar Chakra, sleeps there in the coiled form. It rests in coiled form and thus sometimes expressed as a serpent, also named Bhujungi. This Kundalini when awakened is The Shakti, the ultimate energy form in its full power. Shakti which as per Indian Vedas and Puraans is the AadiShakti and companion of AadiShiva. Shiva who is static, used his Shakti the kinetic energy, to create the universe and everything in the universe. It is The Shakti, who has created everything as per the intention of Shiva, and she is thus the Mother of all. Sometimes also, referred as Mother Nature (Prakriti), and Maya the illusion.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Shiva Shakti

Shakti and Shiva both complement and complete each other. Without his Shakti, Shiva is nothing, and without Shiva, Shakti is of no use. This can be stated in simple terms as, if Shakti is power, than Shiva is the Power Holder. If the power holder is not able enough or deserving to hold the power, then the power can not be put into any use. Same way, if a deserving power holder do not have enough power in his hands, he can not do anything useful. Thus, a union of Shiva and Shakti can be the only one powerful enough to create and hold everything in the union as one. That’s why when Shiva created this universe (Srishti), with the help of his Shakti, he took the form of Ardhnarishvar, God represented as half male and half female form.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Shiva Shakti
Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Why We Pray to Shiva Linga

Coming to how Kundalini is related to the universe creation and Shiva Shakti. Not going into much details here, (maybe in some another post), When Shakti was creating the Universe, one form that she took was, of Prakrti. As Prakrti she evolves Mind (Sixth Chakra), senses and matter of five forms namely Ether (fifth Chakra), Air (Fourth), Fire (Third), Water (Second), and Earth (last Muladhaar Chakra). When Shakti entered the last Chakra, her last creation of universe, she then went to rest there in her coiled sleeping form. This sleeping coiled Shakti is termed as Kundalini. This coiled Shakti, in her lowest form is represented as a serpent (Shakti) clinging to Linga (Shiva),or a yoni (Shakti) making a base for Linga (Shiva). Thus, when we are praying to a Shiva Linga we are also praying for the awakening of the Shiva’s Shakti.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Shiva Linga

In her true or active form, this Shakti travels through all the six Chakras upwards and move to the seventh Chakra, Shashrara lotus Chakra or Crown Chakra, the Chakra of Shiva. Shiva is said to reside in the Crown Chakra, the highest point. Shakti or Kundalini when awakened to her highest state moves to the Crown Chakra to unite with her Shiva. Here, with the union of Shiva and her Shakti, Moksha is achieved, as this is the stage of God. Here, Shiva and Shakti in union are represented as a point (Bindu), which is in reality the point of creation and also destruction of universe.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Chakra

Now, to mention why Shiva is represented as two forms, one as Shiva Linga and other as a God in human form. My rendition is that, Shiva when represented as Shiva Linga is shown in his true formless nature, the Aadideva Shiva, in union with his Shakti. But, Shiva when represented as human god, is Mahadev (not Aadideva), along with Parvati by his side (but, not in union). This is the place which Mahadev or Rudra has taken along with other MahaDevs like, Vishnu and Brahma to take care of the Srashti (Universe), created by the Aadidevas Shiva-Shakti.

Why We Pray to Shiva Linga
Why We Pray to Shiva Linga

Hope my interpretation is helpful in explaining what can not be explained.

Let Shakti be with you and you be the Shiva.