Bhubaneswar before becoming the capital of Orissa in 1948 had been a temple town. As a temple town it prospered and thrived, becoming an important Hindu cultural and religious center...it is generally believed that the town probably developed around the Lingaraj temple, erected to commemorate Lord Shiva. Thus the name Bhubaneshwar – the Lord of the Three Worlds: Tribhuvaneshvara.
The Mahapuranas contain 400,000 slokas . They are four times the size of Mahabharata . In these, six are Satvic or Vaishnava Puranas and glorify Lord Vishnu, six are Rajasic or Brahma Puranas and glorify Lord Brahma, and six are Tamasic or Shiva Puranas and glorify Lord Shiva.
The temple town of Bhubaneshwar is predominantly saiva , and the Oriya Hindus who live here belong, for the most part, to families of hereditary servants (sevaka) of Lingaraja, the form in which Shiva is worshiped here.
Earlier legends arising in the region suggest a dynastic conflict mirrored in the devotees of Krishna , the eight peasant incarnation of Vishnu , and those of Shiva , the god of creation and reproduction , represented with phallic imagery.
Ahoms, a tribe from Burma , who controlled the region from thirteenth to eighteenth centuries, who absorbed Hindu culture, were the original builders of Guwahati’ most famous site, a shrine to the goddess Sati, also known as Kali , consort of Shiva .
Because the goddess has come to the great mountain Nilakuta to have sexual enjoyment with me [Shiva], she is called Kamakhya, who resides there in secret. Because she gives love , is a loving woman, is the embodiment of love, is the beloved, she restores the limbs of Kama , she is called Kamakhya. Now hear of the great glory of Kamakhya, who, as primordial nature, sets the entire world in motion.
The introduction of the Shiva as the central deity to the form, a god who incinerates impurity introduced to Bharata Natyam, a modality quite outside that of devadasi dance, a dance preoccupied with cataloguing the infinite shadings of feeling in love.
Generally Shiva is associated with Tandava dance...found in the Natyashastra of sage Bharata.
She, the Ganga, is my supreme image, having the form of water, the very essence of Shiva ’s soul , She is nature (Prakriti) supreme and the basis of countless universe . For the protection of the world , I playfully uphold the Ganga. Who is mother of the world, the supreme Brahman ’s embodiment .
O Agastya , one should not be amazed at the notion that the Ganga is really Shakti , for is she not the supreme energy of the eternal Shiva, which has taken the form of water?
Om , Praise be to the auspicious Ganga, gift of Shiva, O Praise! Praise be to her who is Vishnu embodied, the very image of Brahma, O praise! Praise to her who is the form of Rudra, Shankara , the embodiment of all gods, the embodiment of healing, O praise!
One should not be amazed ... that this Ganges is really Power , for is she not the Supreme Shakti of the Eternal Shiva, taken in the form of water? This Ganges, filled with the sweet wine of compassion , was sent out for the salvation of the world by Shiva, the Lord of the Lords. Good people should not think this Triple-Pathed River to be like the thousand other earthly rivers, filled with water.
Eck describes the creative power of the Ganga as “liquid Shakti ”, evidenced by the fertility of fields along her banks and her position as a second consort and active principle of Shiva .
...Purusha was personified as Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva while Prakriti was personified as Saraswati , Lakshmi and Shakti .
The Puranas are post- Vedic texts which typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology and geography. There are 18 canonical Puranas, divided into three categories, each named after a deity: Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva . There are also many other works termed Purana, known as 'Upapuranas.
The Shiva Puranas are Shiva Purana, Linga Purana, Kurma Purana, Markandeya Purana, Skanda Purana, and Varaha Purana.
If the Purana written by Vyasa were still existing, then it would be honoured as a “Sruti”. In the absence of this Purana and the one written by Lomaharshana, the eighteen Puranas that still exist cannot all be given the same place of honour; among them, the Vishnu and the Bhagwata Purana composed by accomplished yogis are definitely more precious and we must recognise that the Markandeya Purana written by a sage devoted to spiritual pursuits is more profound in Knowledge than either the Shiva or the Agni Purana.
Vamana Purana is that in which the four faced Brahma taught the three objects of existence , as subservient to the account of the greatness of Trivikrama, which treats also of the Shiva Kalpa , and which consists of ten thousand stanzas. It contains an account of the dwarf incarnation of Vishnu ; but it is related by Pulastya to Narada , and extends to but about seven thousand stanzas. Its contents can scarcely establish its claim to the character of a Purana.
Most of the puranas are highly sectarian as is the Shiva Purana, which is one of the longer and larger puranas. It gives an exhaustive account Shiva’s mythic deeds – many of which have become the common mythic currency for many traditional Hindus – as well as instructions for how, where, and when Shiva is to be worshipped.
The first and ultimate principle of the Universe is a feminine power, Shakti, whose personified form is Beauty and whose essential nature is consciousness and bliss . It exists eternally associated with the male principle, Shiva , who plays a secondary role. The “Srichakra” is the diagrammatic representation of their union.
...if we study the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, we find that though He taught the truths contained in the Upanishads, He illustrated these principles to us by methods that are Tantric in origin and content. His worship of and devotion to Mother Kali, Sri Krishna, Mother Sita, Lord Chaitanya, Lord Shiva, and others, reveal His wonderful Tantric nature and point to the many ways of practicing the Vedic truths.
Hindus offer devotion and offering to them Gods - Vishnu and Shiva at shrines in their homes and temples .
According to some accounts, the Ganga split into seven streams as she emerged from the hair of Shiva , three flowing to the east, three to the west, and the Bhagirathi to the south. This tradition recalls the seven rivers of the Vedic hymns and reminds us that the Ganga in essence waters the whole earth . Indeed, when Bhagiratha brought the Ganga to earth, her waters not only restored the ashes of the dead but also replenished the ocean , which had been swallowed by the sage Agastya .
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