Why Buddhism Deserted in India?

In the era of the Buddha, India was regarded as a pioneer in many fields. India had an economic surplus, political stability and more importantly, a history of spiritual and intellectual innovation. India was viewed as a superpower similar to 21st century America. Buddhism was received with open hearts in other countries in Asia because of its origin in India.

Then why such a formidable culture lost in India? 

Before the birth of the Buddha, Indian society had become self-centered (the intellectual class) and ritualistic (the masses). Buddhism provided a new organized form of religious Sangha, which preached a simple message of compassion in Päli, the language of laypeople. This ease and simplicity helped the extensive spread of Buddhism.

Causes of decline:

The decline of Buddhism has been attributed to various factors, especially the regionalisation of India after the end of the Gupta empire (320-650 CE), which lead to a competition with Hinduism and Jainism and the loss of patronage and donations; and the conquest and subsequent persecutions by Huns, Turks and Persians.

Patronage and religious dynamics:

Loss of patronage and donations:

In ancient India, regardless of the religious beliefs of their kings, states usually treated all the important sects relatively even-handedly. This consisted of building monasteries and religious monuments, donating property such as the income of villages for the support of monks, and exempting donated property from taxation. Donations were most often made by private persons such as wealthy merchants and female relatives of the royal family, but there were periods when the state also gave its support and protection. In the case of Buddhism, this support was particularly important because of its high level of organisation and the reliance of monks on donations from the laity. State patronage of Buddhism took the form of land grant foundations.

Religious convergence:

Buddhism’s distinctiveness diminished with the rise of Hindu sects. Though Mahayana writers were quite critical of Hinduism, the devotional cults of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism likely seemed quite similar to laity, and the developing Tantrism of both religions were also similar. Buddhist ideas, and even the Buddha himself, were absorbed and adapted into orthodox Hindu thought, while the differences between the two systems of thought were emphasized.

Internal social-economic dynamics:

According to some scholars such as Lars Fogelin, the decline of Buddhism may be related to economic reasons, wherein the Buddhist monasteries with large land grants focussed on non-material pursuits, self-isolation of the monasteries, loss in internal discipline in the sangha, and a failure to efficiently operate the land they owned. With the growing support for Hindusim and Jainism, Buddhist monasteries also gradually lost control of land revenue.

Reform in Hinduism:

Buddhism had dealt a heavy blow to Brahminical faith. Threatened with extinction, Hinduism started to re-organize itself. Attempts were now made to give up the complex system of rites and rituals and make Hinduism simple and attractive. The Hindus even came to accept the Buddha as a Hindu incarnation and accepted the principle of non-violence. This helped revive Hinduism and made it popular again. This took away the fragrance out of the flower of Buddhism. The decline of Buddhism became inevitable.

Lose of Royal Patronage:

In course of time Buddhism came to lose royal patronage. No king, worthy of note, came forward to sponsor Buddhism after Asoka, Kaniska and Harsavardhan. Royal patronage works magically for the spread of any faith. Absence of any such patronage for Buddhism came to pave the way for its decline in the end.

Emergence of Rajputs:

Emergence of the Rajputs became an important reason for the decline of Buddhism. Kings of such dynasties as Bundela, Chahamana, Chauhan, Rathore etc. were militant rulers and loved warfare. They could not tolerate the Buddhists for their message of non-violence. The Buddhists feared persecution from these Rajput rulers and fled from India. Buddhism became weaker and faced decline.

Patronage of Brahmanism:

In course of time there was the rise of the Brahminical faith once again. Pushyamitra Sunga, the Brahmin commander of the last Maurya ruler Vrihadratha, assassinated the king and founded the Sunga dynasty replacing the Maurya dynasty.

Role of Hindu Preachers:

Harsavardhan drove away the Brahmins from the religious council held at Kanauj. These Brahmins, under Kumarila Bhatta, fled to the Deccan. Under Bhatta’s leadership, Brahmanism staged a come-back. Adi Sankaracharya also revived and strengthened Hinduism. He defeated Buddhist scholars in religious discourses which were held in many places in course of his tour of the whole of India.

Wars and persecution:

Hun Invasions:

Chinese scholars travelling through the region between the 5th and 8th centuries, such as Faxian, Xuanzang, Yijing, Hui-sheng, and Sung-Yun, began to speak of a decline of the Buddhist Sangha in the north-west parts of Indian subcontinent, especially in the wake of the Hun invasion from central Asia. Xuanzang wrote that numerous monasteries in north-western India had been reduced to ruins by the Huns.

Mihirakula:

Mihirakula who ruled from 515 CE in north-western region (modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north India), suppressed Buddhism as well. He did this by destroying monasteries as far away as modern-day Allahabad.

Turk-Mongol raids:

The image, in the chapter on India in Hutchison’s Story of the Nations edited by James Meston, depicts the Turkish general Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji’s massacre of Buddhist monks in Bihar. Khaliji destroyed the Nalanda and Vikramshila universities during his raids across North Indian plains, massacring many Buddhist and Brahmin scholars.

In the Gangetic plains, Orissa, north-east and the southern regions of India, Buddhism survived through the early centuries of the 2nd millennium CE. According to William Johnston, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and shrines were destroyed, Buddhist texts were burnt by the Muslim armies, monks and nuns killed during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Gangetic plains region. The Islamic invasion plundered wealth and destroyed Buddhist images:

From 986 CE, the Muslim Turks started raiding northwest India from Afghanistan, plundering western India early in the eleventh century. Force conversions to Islam were made, and Buddhist images smashed, due to the Islamic dislike of idolarty. Indeed in India, the Islamic term for an ‘idol’ became ‘budd’.

— Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism

The north-west parts of South Asia fell to Islamic control, and the consequent take over of land holdings of Buddhist monasteries removed one source of necessary support for the Buddhists, while the economic upheaval and new taxes on laity sapped the laity support of Buddhist monks.

In the north-western parts of medieval India, the Himalayan regions, as well regions bordering central Asia, Buddhism once facilitated trade relations, states Lars Fogelin. With the Islamic invasion and expansion, and central Asians adopting Islam, the trade route-derived financial support sources and the economic foundations of Buddhist monasteries declined, on which the survival and growth of Buddhism was based. The arrival of Islam removed the royal patronage to the monastic tradition of Buddhism, and the replacement of Buddhists in long-distance trade by the Muslims eroded the related sources of patronage.

Islamic invasion and rule:

Ruins of Vikramashila

Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji:

Vikramashila was destroyed by the forces of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji around 1200. Many Buddhist monks fled to Nepal, Tibet, and South India to avoid the consequences of war. Tibetan pilgrim Chöjepal had to flee advancing Muslim troops multiple times, as they were sacking Buddhist sites.

Fall of Pala Dynasty by Muslim Invaders:

A major empire to support Buddhism, the Pala dynasty, fell in the 12th century, and Muslim invaders destroyed monasteries and monuments. According to Randall Collins, Buddhism was already declining in India by the 12th century, but with the pillage by Muslim invaders it nearly became extinct in India in the 1200s. In the 13th century, states Craig Lockard, Buddhist monks in India escaped to Tibet to escape Islamic persecution; while the monks in western India, states Peter Harvey, escaped persecution by moving to south Indian Hindu kingdoms that were able to resist the Muslim power.

Conquest of Turk Shah:

Brief Muslim accounts and the one eye witness account of Dharmasmavim in wake of the conquest during the 1230s talks about abandoned viharas being used as camps by the Turukshahs. Later historical traditions such as Taranathas are mixed with legendary materials and summarised as “the Turukshah conquered the whole of Magadha and destroyed many monasteries and did much damage at Nalanda, such that many monks fled abroad” thereby bringing about a demise of Buddhism with their destruction of the Viharas.

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The Tippa song of movie Rangoon – by Keya Dutta

kangna

Tippa Tippa
Tip tip tapke

How can’t I love Vishal Bharadwaj’s movie?

He lands in the state with entourage of 6 members. They visited Komsing Bridge Point, Bodak, Raneghat Rafting site, Partung, Pasighat, Ziro.

How can’t I love Kangana Ranawat the “Queen” who built her own Kingdom without her king?

How can’t I love Zero?

where my grandfather servered as a Assam Military officer, where my mother spent her early childhood, where I too have visited the highest altitude of Zero to see the golden sands of mighty Brahmaputra river banks, sparkling against the sunlight, visible from 100 kilometres.

How can’t I love History being a History, Travel & tourism student once?

In the song, Kangana is seen travelling in a train on her way to Burma where she is being taken against her wish. Others on the train try to cheer her up. In the song, Kangana is seen dancing and crooning at the roof of the train with her co-travellers.

** (The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British conquered Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup d’état in 1962, a military dictatorship.)

Kangana Ranawat’s role is a depiction of Fearless Nadia a.k.a. Mary Ann Evans a.k.a. Mary Evans Wadia (8 January 1908 – 9 January 1996) was an actress and stuntwoman, who is most remembered as the masked, cloaked adventurer in Hunterwali (Woman with a whip) released in 1935, which was one of the earliest female-lead Indian films.

This sweet melodious song is sung by Rekha Bhardwaj, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan and O.S. Arun and it will surely cheer you up.

The song is written by Gulzar for hindi dubbed version of Alice In Wonderland, Now scratch at your memory further and you will remember another gem Tap Tap Topi Topi, which was the song for the dubbed animated version of Alice in Wonderland.

Tippa song location is in Jonai.

Tapkke taapke re hanssi
Lappki laapki re hanssi
Qatra qatraa khisski hain
Methi missri kisski hain

Galon main haalka sa
Tippa hain chalka sa..
#Rangoon #Vishalbhardwaj #Gulzar #Rekhabharadaj #kangnaranawat #film #song

How Swami Vivekanand Shaped the World Culture and Ethos

When the entire world was encapsulated with physical pleasures and materialistic race of leading a luxurious life, they needed someone to guide them to know real meaning of leading life. Hindu spirituality deals with body, mind and soul. Swami Vivekanand introduced world with the concept of oneness, soul and sole reason of taking birth as humans. The new concept thrilled the people across the globe and they got to know true realms of life through meditation and spiritual science of Hinduism.

Swami Vivekananda’s contributions in shaping the world culture is acknowledged by scholars of several countries.

Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…”

Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was a and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture 
Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…” Some of the main contributions that Swamiji made to the modern world are mentioned below:

1. New Understanding of Religion: One of the most significant contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the modern world is his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of transcendent Reality, common to all humanity. Swamiji met the challenge of modern science by showing that religion is as scientific as science itself; religion is the ‘science of consciousness’. As such, religion and science are not contradictory to each other but are complementary.
This universal conception frees religion from the hold of superstitions, dogmatism, priestcraft and intolerance, and makes religion the highest and noblest pursuit – the pursuit of supreme Freedom, supreme Knowledge, supreme Happiness.

2. New View of Man: Vivekananda’s concept of ‘potential divinity of the soul’ gives a new, ennobling concept of man. The present age is the age of humanism which holds that man should be the chief concern and centre of all activities and thinking. Through science and technology man has attained great prosperity and power, and modern methods of communication and travel have converted human society into a ‘global village’. But the degradation of man has also been going on apace, as witnessed by the enormous increase in broken homes, immorality, violence, crime, etc. in modern society. Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation, divinizes human relationships, and makes life meaningful and worth living. Swamiji has laid the foundation for ‘spiritual humanism’, which is manifesting itself through several neo-humanistic movements and the current interest in meditation, Zen etc all over the world.

3. New Principle of Morality and Ethics: The prevalent morality, in both individual life and social life, is mostly based on fear – fear of the police, fear of public ridicule, fear of God’s punishment, fear of Karma, and so on. The current theories of ethics also do not explain why a person should be moral and be good to others. Vivekananda has given a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the intrinsic purity and oneness of the Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman. Similarly, we should love and serve our neighbours because we are all one in the Supreme Spirit known as Paramatman or Brahman.

4. Bridge between the East and the West: Another great contribution of Swami Vivekananda was to build a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He did it by interpreting Hindu scriptures and philosophy and the Hindu way of life and institutions to the Western people in an idiom which they could understand. He made the Western people realize that they had to learn much from Indian spirituality for their own well-being. He showed that, in spite of her poverty and backwardness, India had a great contribution to make to world culture. In this way he was instrumental in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West.
On the other hand, Swamiji’s interpretation of ancient Hindu scriptures, philosophy, institutions, etc prepared the mind of Indians to accept and apply in practical life two best elements of Western culture, namely science and technology and humanism. Swamiji has taught Indians how to master Western science and technology and at the same time develop spiritually. Swamiji has also taught Indians how to adapt Western humanism (especially the ideas of individual freedom, social equality and justice and respect for women) to Indian ethos.

Historic neighbourhood

7 years in Secunderabad 

What started as an exclusive preserve of the army in the British Raj has now turned into a city in its own right. And a beautiful one at that. Let’s take you through a tour of Secunderabad, the twin.

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England during World War II, was posted in Secunderabad during the 1880s as a subaltern. He lived in a bungalow, surrounded by a large compound. It is still pointed out to visitors. He was very conscious of the fact that he and his colleagues were in Secunderabad to keep guard on the Nizam and the Old City of Hyderabad. They were convinced that it contained “all the scoundrels of Asia.” Legend has it that Churchill’s unit was transferred at such short notice that he was unable to settle his outstanding bill with the Secunderabad Club. This document is supposed to have become a part of the Club’s archives.

The Army still has a substantial presence in Secunderabad, which was founded at the end of the 18th century as a British cantonment. The Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company signed a deed of Subsidiary Alliance for military and political cooperation, to make this possible.

In terms of geographical area and population, the Secunderabad cantonment is said to be the biggest in India and also one of the largest in Asia. The infrastructure management and administration of the civilian areas in the cantonment are looked after by the Board. As per the Cantonment Act of 2006, Secunderabad cantonment is classified as a Class-I cantonment.

 

Resemblance of Indian and Greek God and Goddesses

Greek belief: Human Created God

Indian belief: God created all of us

Few years ago I met a Greek scholar in my Taiwan visit. There was a small conversation took place exchanging our countries (India & Greece) ideologies and current situations. In between the conversation I discovered that we have many similarities of Mythological Idolship.

Zeus and Lord Indra: God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice

Zeus:

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Zeus

Zeus was responsible for the weather and was shaping it according to his temper. When in high spirits, Zeus was blessing the world with fine weather; in case of bad mood, however, he would throw rain, winds, lightnings and thunderbolts to cause disaster to the mortals.

Zeus had his golden throne on the highest summit of Mount Olympus and was respected and awed by all Gods and mortals. All the kings boasted that they descended from Zeus.

Lord Indra:

Indra lordIndra lord is more often known as the god of thunder, wielding the celestial weapon Vajra, the lightning bolt. He also employs the bow, a net, and a hook in battle. He shows aspects of being a creator god, having set order to the cosmos, and since he was the one who brought water to earth, he was a fertility god as well. He also had the power to revive slain warriors who had fallen in battle.

His home is situated on Mount Meru in the heavens. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases Ushas (dawn) from the Vala cave, and slays Vrtra Asura(DemiGod of good and bad qualities)

Shesnag And Poseidon: God of the sea, earthquakes, storms

Poseidon :

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.

poseidon
Poseidon

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the “God of the Sea”. Additionally, he is referred to as “Earth-Shaker” due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the “tamer of horses”. He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.

 

Sheshnag:

krishna ji+sheshnag_432x768
Lord Krishna and Sheshnaga dance

According to Hindu mythology snake is animal for worship because snake have other names given in Hindu religion like nag(king cobra), nag devta(god). Sheshnag according to Hindu mythology Sheshnag is holding the lord Vishnu and they are sleep on its body. This respected giant snake Sheshnag having five heads, but more commonly as a many hundred-headed snakes, holding the whole weight of the earth and when Sheshnaga moved slightly it is make in result as earthquake, tsunami  or other calamity occurs on earth. Snake is also worship animal for Hindus because of lord Shiv, you can not found any temple or picture, statue without snake cling the neck of lord Shiva. Nagpanchami is celebrated in India as festival and worship is done by the believers.

 

Goddess Demeter and Lakshmi: Goddess of Prosperity 

Demeterdemeter_greek_mythology_by_t_rex79-d4gria6Demeter was a peace-loving deity and the source of all growth and life; she was the goddess who provided all nutrition on the earth and taught mortals how to cultivate the earth and ease life. Demeter was most appreciated for introducing wheat to mankind, making man different from animals.

In ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, Demeteris the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. Her cult titles include Sito,”as the giver of food or grain” and “Thesmophoros” (thesmos: divine order, unwritten law) “Law-Bringer,” as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.

Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleus.

Demeter was a rich-haired woman with golden tresses and slender feet. She was usually wearing a dark cloak and was holding a golden sword in her hands. The symbols of Demeter were the ear of wheat and the grains, as well as the crocus flower, the narcissus, the myrtle and the daffodil.

Goddess LakshmiSri LakshmiLike Demeter the Greek Goddess, Lakshmi also a giver of fortune, wealth, food, grain, prosperity, love, the harvest and autumn and prosperity. She is the goddess of wealth, luxury, fertility, fortune, purity, beauty, power, generosity and auspiciousness. She is claimed to fulfill the promises of material, wealth and contentment.

Generally, Lakshmi is portrayed as a beautiful lady with golden complexion, dressed in red color attire and adorned with precious jewels. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of divine truth. Cascades of gold coins are seen flowing from her hands, illustrating that she blesses people with wealth. The constant effort of two elephants is often shown standing next to the goddess and spraying water. It denotes that, in accordance with one’s dharma when governed by wisdom and purity, leads to both material and spiritual prosperity. Her symbols are a lotus, rice, coins and basil .The personal charm of Lakshmi is considered par excellence. An aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exists around her.

Apollo, Athena and Goddess Saraswati: God and Goddess of Wisdom, knowledge, skills

Apollo the God of Music: 

apollon-01
Apollo, the Greek God of Music

Apollo was the Greek god of the Music. He invented the lute(a plucked string instrument with a body shaped like a pear), but he was more popular for playing the lyre, which was invented by Hermes, the messenger of the gods. Apollo excelled in important music contests, competing against Greek god Hermes and the Satyr Pan as well as other deities.

athena
Goddess Athena

Goddess Athena: Goddess of intelligence, skill,Athena was the goddess who taught mankind various skills such as weaving and sewing to the women and agriculture and metallurgy to men. She was always giving precious advice and stood by on any danger. Athena protected the heroes as they went out to war and saved them on their coming back. She is also Goddess of warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus’s head, fully formed and armored. She is depicted as being crowned with a crested helm, armed with shield and spear, and wearing the aegis over a long dress. Poets describe her as “grey-eyed” or having especially bright, keen eyes. She is a special patron of heroes such as Odysseus. She is also the patron of the city Athens (which was named after her). Her symbol is the olive tree. She is commonly shown as being accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl.

Goddess Saraswati: 

goddess-Saraswati
Goddess Saraswati

Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas, and chants to her, called the ‘Saraswati Vandana’ often begin and end Vedic lessons.

Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego.

Saraswati’s birthday – Vasant Panchami – is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha. Hindus celebrate this festival with great fervor in temples, homes and educational institutes alike.

Skanda and Ares: God of war and defense 

Ares: 

Ares_the_God_of_War
Ares

Ares (literally meaning “battle”) is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.

The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares, although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering. His sons Fear (Phobos) and Terror(Deimos) and his lover, or sister, Discord (Enyo) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favored the triumphant Greeks.

In Sparta, Ares was viewed as a model soldier: his resilience, physical strength, and military intelligence were unrivaled. Human sacrifices were offered to him. Also, an ancient statue, representing the god in chains, suggested that the martial spirit and victory were to be kept in the city of Sparta.

Skanda:

Muruganmodernpainting
Skanda

Skanda, (Sanskrit: “Leaper” or “Attacker”)also called Karttikeya, Kumara, or Subrahmanya, Hindu god of war who was the firstborn son of Shiva. The many legends giving the circumstances of his birth are often at variance with one another. In Kalidasa’s epic poem Kumarasambhava (“The Birth of the War God”; 5th century ce), as in most versions of the story, the gods wished for Skanda to be born in order to destroy the demon Taraka, who had been granted a boon that he could be killed only by a son of Shiva. They sent Parvati to induce Shiva to marry her. Shiva, however, was lost in meditation and was not attracted to Parvati until he was struck by an arrow from the bow of Kama, the god of love, whom he immediately burned to ashes. After many years of abstinence, Shiva’s seed was so strong that the gods, fearing the result, sent Agni, the god of fire, to interrupt Shiva’s amorous play with Parvati. Agni received the seed and dropped it into the Ganges, where Skanda was born.

God Hephaestus and Vishwakarma:

God Hephaestus: 

Hephaestus-Greek-God-statue-US-WU75798A4 02
Hephaestus God

Hephaestus is the Greek god of blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. Hephaestus’ Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the gods. In another version, he was Hera’s parthenogenous child, rejected by his mother because of his deformity and thrown out of heaven and down to earth.

As a smithing god, Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and was worshiped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly Athens. The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos(an island of Greece in the northern part of the Aegean Sea). Hephaestus’ symbols are a smith’s hammer, anvil, and a pair of tongs.

God Vishwakarma:

vishwakarma-photo
Vishwakarma God

Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. Son of Brahma, he is the divine draftsman of the whole universe, and the official builder of all the gods’ palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons.

The Mahabharata describes him as “The lord of the arts, executor of a thousand handicrafts, the carpenter of the gods, the most eminent of artisans, the fashioner of all ornaments … and a great and immortal god.” He has four hands, wears a crown, loads of gold jewelry, and holds a water-pot, a book, a noose and craftsman’s tools in his hands.

 

Dionysus God and Lord Shiva:  God of Ecstasy

God of the Vine, Grape Harvest, Wine making,  Ritual Madness, Religious Ecstasy, and Theatre

Dionysus:

bacchus
Dionysus

Dionysus commonly represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites. Scholars have long suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace.

 

The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.

Lord shiva:

Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy

shivji
Lord Shiva smoking Ganja

Like Dionysus Lord Shiva of intoxicants and poisons, he is the keeper of secret occult knowledge and powers, for which he is worshiped by yogis and demons alike. Shiva dances both the joy of being and the dance of doom–but in every aspect he breaks through the false ego to reveal the true self lying within. This is his true power Lord Shiva drinks Bhang or smokes Ganja(also known as Marijuana or Cannabis or Weed or Pot in the western world.)  But,  Lord Shiva Himself, promote drugs? No, uses of Bhang that ancient Hindu scientists discovered thousands of years ago are – Dyspepsia, Nervous disorders, Severe pain, Insomnia, Dysentery, Gonorrhoea, Loss of appetite because of illness and even poisoning. (It’s AMAZING that ancient Hindu doctors were able to learn so much that western scientists are still catching up) Both men and women worship him for his ability to unite and balance masculine and feminine energies. But as the ascetic Shiva sits in deep meditation, shunning women, and none dare disturb him lest he open his third eye and immolate the entire universe. Lord of intoxicants and poisons, he is the keeper of secret occult knowledge and powers, for which he is worshiped by yogis and demons alike.

Lord Shiva sits on the tiger skin, which shows indications that he had conquered lust. The Elephant and Deer Skin – elephant skins worn by Lord Shiva represents pride and shows indications that he has conquered pride as well. The deer skins represent changing or flickering of minds. Apparently, Lord Shiva wears deer skins to indicate that he perfectly control the mind.

Goddess Aphrodite and Rati: Goddess of love, beauty, lust and pleasure

Goddess Aphrodite: 

aphro
Goddess Aphrodite

Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Although married to Hephaestus she had many lovers, most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. She was depicted as an extraordinarily beautiful woman, with poets praising the radiance of her smile in particular. Her symbols include roses and other flowers, the scallop shell, and the myrtle wreath. Her sacred animals include doves and sparrows. Her Roman counterpart is Venus. Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece.

 

Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat.

Goddess Rati:

rati1
Goddess Rati

Rati is the Hindu goddess of love, carnal desire, lust, passion and sexual pleasure. Usually described as the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, Rati is the female counterpart, the chief consort and the assistant of Kama (Kamadeva), the god of love. A constant companion of Kama, she is often depicted with him in legend and temple sculpture. She also enjoys worship along with Kama. Rati is often associated with the arousal and delight of sexual activity, and many sex techniques and positions derive their Sanskrit names from hers.

 

The Hindu scriptures stress her beauty and sensuality. They depict her as a maiden who has the power to enchant the god of love. When the god Shiva burnt her husband to ashes, it was Rati, whose beseeching or penance, leads to the promise of Kama’s resurrection. Often, this resurrection occurs when Kama is reborn as Pradyumna, the son of Krishna. Rati – under the name of Mayavati – plays a critical role in the upbringing of Pradyumna, who is separated from his parents at birth. She acts as his nanny, as well as his lover, and tells him the way to return to his parents by slaying the demon-king, who is destined to die at his hands. Later, Kama-Pradyumna accepts Rati-Mayavati as his wife.

P.S. There are many other factors and characteristics of each God and Goddess apart from their basic similarity

 

Manuscripts and stone inscription of Assam

Though Manuscripts and inscriptions from any era, any history always captivate me, but I am laying the first stone on Scriptures from North-Eastern Province of India a state called Assam. There are two reasons for that -My first reason is to highlight Assam’s History, the one in question of it’s wellspring been very much untold. My second reason is I am inhabitant of Assam, though I am not living there for past couple of years.