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Goddess Parvati: The Divine Consort of Lord Shiva

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:31 AM 0 comments
Goddess Parvati is the consort of Lord Shiva and the mother of Ganesha and Kartikeya. She is a well known goddess in the Hindu mythology, who is considered as a representation of Shakti. She is beautifully presented in the Hindu scriptures as being beautiful. She has a charming personality. She is worshipped by married women for a happy married life. The word Parvati has been derived from a Sanskrit word "Parvat", which means mountain. So, the name Parvati suggests that she is the daughter of Himavan and Mena.

Goddess Parvati is believed to be one of the many forms of the ‘Divine Shakti’. She is also known as goddess Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga etc. Goddess Durga and goddess Kali are the two fierce but very powerful forms of Parvati. Goddess Parvati symbolizes noble virtues admired by the Hinduism. She married Lord Shiva, the most innocent and the fiercest lord in Hinduism. There are legends behind the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, being a great devotee of Lord Shiva, goddess Parvati did a long penance in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Her dedication was really true which made Lord Shiva to marry her.

Origin of Goddess Parvati
According to the Puranas, Lord Brahma created a beautiful maiden Sati who was born to a king called Daksha. Lord Shiva married her. One day, however, Sati heard that a major religious function was being celebrated in her father’s house. King Daksha did not like Lord Shiva therefore, he did not invite Shiva and Sati. She was a little upset that her parents had not invited her or her husband. So, she decided that she would go to his father’s religious function even if she was uninvited. Shiva did not want her to go uninvited. There, in her father’s home, Sati was insulted and Daksha also insulted Shiva. She could not bear the insult and jumped into the sacred fire of yagna. Lord Shiva was enraged after the death of Sati. He just could not bear the loss. As he carried her body across the country, different parts of her body are believed to have fallen off in many places and even today these places are sacred in Hindu mythology. 

After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva renounced the world and went into deep meditation in the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas. Meanwhile, the demons lead by Taraka, a powerful demon, rose from the netherworld, defeated the gods and took the heaven under his control. The gods wanted a warrior who would help them to regain the heaven. Lord Brahma advised them, only Shiva can father such a warrior, but he is unaware of the world. At the persistence of the gods, Sati agreed to take a rebirth as Parvati, the daughter of Himavan (the King of the Himalayas) and his wife Mena. It was only after performing intense austerities that Goddess Parvati succeeded in pleasing Lord Shiva and making him accept her again as his consort. Later, she became the mother of Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya. Kartikeya killed the demon Taraka and restored the heaven to the gods. 

 The divine motherly love of Parvati is visible with her two children Ganesha and Kartikaya. She is usually represented as a fair and beautiful woman. The color of her clothes is milk-white, the color of enlightenment and knowledge. She is generally depicted with Lord Shiva and two of her children Ganehsa and Kartikeya. The family of Lord Shiva, Parvati and their sons Ganesha and Kartikeya is an ideal example of family unity and love.

Goddess Parvati - Other Names
The word Parvati has been derived from a Sanskrit word "Parvat" meaning mountain. So, "Parvati" means "she of the mountains" and suggests that Parvati is the daughter of Himavan (the personification of the Himalayas) and the apsara (fairy) Mena. Lalita, Uma, Gauri, Kali, Durga, Haimavati etc are the other names for Parvati. Amba is the other name of Parvati being the mother of the universe and Ambika, being the 'mother'. As Lalita, she represents the aspect of beauty and magnificence. Lalita Sahastranama contains a thousand of her names.

Parvati - Her Symbolism
Goddess Parvati symbolizes noble virtues admired by the Hindu religion. Parvati is the better half of Lord Shiva, the most innocent and the fiercest god in Hindu tradition. The couple together symbolizes both power of renunciation and asceticism and the blessings of marital felicity. There are legends behind the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, being a devotee of Shiv-Shambhu. Parvati did a lot of tap in order to get Shiva as her soul mate. Parvati's dedication was really true which made Lord Shiva to marry her.

Fertility, marital felicity, devotion to the spouse, asceticism and power are different virtues symbolized by Parvati. These virtues are highly valued by the Hindu tradition. As per a famous literary work on the goddess, Saundarya Lahiri, Parvati is the source of all the power in this universe and Lord Shiva gets all his powers from her.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend india.

Goddess Kamala: The Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:20 AM 0 comments
Goddess Kamala is the tenth and last Mahavidya. She is considered the Hindu Goddess of consciousness, prosperity, generosity and creation. She is depicted as a beautiful woman with golden skin, seated or standing on a lotus. Her four hands represent four spiritual virtues. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus, a seat of the divine truth. Her personal charm is considered par excellence. An atmosphere of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction, and prosperity always exists around her. Her palm is always extended to bless people. She wears a resplendent crown and a silken dress. As a Mahavidya, she represents the unfolding of inner consciousness into the fullness of creation. Her greatest power is the removal of poverty, both material and spiritual. 

The name Kamala means "she of the lotus" and is a common epithet of Goddess Lakshmi. Indeed, Kamala is none other than the goddess Lakshmi. Though listed as the last of the Mahavidyas, she is the best known and most popular. She sits on the lotus. The lotus symbolizes a number of things. Kamala literally means ‘lotus’ in Sanskrit, and spiritually it denotes purity, auspiciousness and piety. Goddess Kamala is also considered the most beautiful Mahavidya and is the creative force, the power to create beauty and wealth around us. As the creative force, goddess Kamala blesses families with children. 

Goddess Kamala’s other names and epithets include, Mahashakti, Mahamaya, Durga, Gauri, Sati etc. The form of Goddess Kamla is similar to Goddess Lakshmi. As the goddess of material and spiritual wealth and beauty, goddess Kamala is worshipped for her most revered power, the power to eliminate poverty. In tough economic times, goddess Kamala or Lakshmi is worshipped in order to bring material wealth and prosperity. The elephants pouring nectar onto her are symbols of sovereignty and fertility.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Shodashi: The Goddess who is Sixteen Years Old

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 6:23 AM 0 comments
Goddess Shodashi or Tripura Sundari is represented as a sixteen-year-old girl, and is believed to actualize sixteen types of desire. She is one of the Dasha Mahavidyas. The word Shodashi literally means sixteen in Sanskrit. She is thus visualized as a sweet girl of sixteen. She has four hands and three eyes. She is seated on the lotus, which is placed on the body of Shiva who is lying in a peaceful posture. She holds a noose, a hook, a bow and an arrow in each of her hands. Her appearance is completely sober and gentle and her heart is full of compassion. A devotee who takes her refuge achieves great divinity like the deities. Even the Vedas are incapable of describing her greatness. Being pleased with her devotee she gives more than he demands. Goddess Shodashi is shown seated on a lotus that rests on the supine body of Lord Shiva, who in turn lies on a throne whose legs are the Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Rudra.

There is interesting story behind her supreme beauty. According to that story, Once Lord Shiva referred to Kali (his consort) by her name in front of some heavenly damsels who had come to visit, calling her "Kali, Kali" (Blackie, Blackie) in jest. This she took to be a slur against her dark complexion. She left Lord Shiva and resolved to rid herself of her dark complexion, through asceticism. Later, the sage Narada, seeing Shiva alone, asked where his wife was. Shiva complained that she had abandoned him and vanished. With his yogic powers Narada discovered Kali is living north of Mount Sumeru and went there to see if he could convince her to return to Shiva. He told her that Shiva was thinking of marrying another goddess and that she should return at once to prevent this. By now Kali had rid herself of her dark complexion but did not yet realize it. Arriving in the presence of Lord Shiva, she saw a reflection of herself with a light complexion in Shiva's heart. Thinking, that this was another goddess, she became jealous and angry. Shiva advised her to look more carefully, with the eye of knowledge, telling her that what she saw in his heart was herself. The story ends with Shiva saying to the transformed Kali: "As you have assumed a very beautiful form, beautiful in the three worlds, your name will be Tripura Sundari. You shall always remain sixteen years old and be called by the name Shodashi."

One of Goddess Shodashi’s epithets is 'Tripura-Sundari,' which means 'One who is beautiful in the three realms.' Her other name 'Lalita' implies softness. These two qualities give rise to images that depict her as ravishingly beautiful and of unsurpassed splendor. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Matangi: The fifth Mahavidya

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:19 AM 0 comments
Goddess Matangi is a primary form of the all-powerful Goddess known in Hinduism as Devi. She appeared most prominently as one of the Dasha Mahavidyas of Tantric Hinduism. She is worshipped for the attainment of great powers, power of speech, happiness in family life etc. She is the goddess of the Spoken Word, outward articulation of inner knowledge, all forms of art, music and dance. Thus, she is closely associated with goddess Saraswati. In certain interpretations, goddess Mathangi may be understood as something of a left-hand Saraswati Saraswati being is the patroness of the arts, sciences, literature and speech, music and dance. Mathangi also governs the same areas. So, she is invoked to achieve command over speech, creativity and knowledge, among others.

Goddess Matangi has three eyes and either a dark emerald or dark blue complexion. She is considered the daughter of the sage Matanga. She is said to be born as a chandala. Matanga was from the lowest caste known as Chandal, but did not believe in the orthodox caste system and achieved Brahmin hood through his karma. This likely suggests her origin as a tribal or non-Vedic deity. Generally, she is depicted as dark, very beautiful, sensuous with very large breasts, slender waist and long, flowing hair. She holds a goad, a noose, a sword and a sarod. She is an advisor of Tripur Sundari. Matangi resides in the throat chakra and is radiant like the Moon. 

Goddess Matangi possesses a moon on her forehead. The three-eyed goddess is seated on the crown decorated with jewels. Her luster is like a blue lotus and is destroyer of the demons by enchanting them first with her beauty and a fulfiller of every desire of her devotees. Being a goddess of the Tantra system, the crescent moon on goddess Matangi's forehead reminds the aspirant on the path of Tantra of the sacrifices, the devotees will have to make to obtain siddhis (supernatural powers).All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Chhinnamasta: A Unique Form of the Divine Mother

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:08 AM 0 comments
Goddess Chhinnamasta is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric goddesses and a ferocious form of the Divine Mother. She is the most mysterious and the most rewarding of the ten Mahavidyas. Chhinnamasta means the goddess who has beheaded herself. Like other mahavidyas, goddess Chhinnamasta, too, has a unique and fearsome appearance. She blesses her devotees with happiness, victory, success, health, wealth and knowledge. She is traditionally portrayed as a naked or scantily dressed woman, holding her own severed head. She is considered the goddess of courage and discernment and sexual energy. Traditionally, she is portrayed as a naked woman in the standing position. 

Once upon a time, goddess Parvati went to bathe in the river Mandakini with her two attendants Jaya and Vijaya. After having their bath all of them became hungry. Jaya and Vijaya asked for something to eat. Goddess Parvati told both of them to wait. Unable to control their hunger, they politely said to Parvati: "Mother gives food to her hungry children as soon as it is demanded. She was very pleased by their innocence as well as recognizing her as the Mother of all. She severed her head by her own hand and held the severed head in her left hand, three streams of blood started to squirt out from her neck. All of them satisfied their hunger by drinking the blood from the three streams of blood respectively. She is called Chhinnamasta because of her severed head. She is another form of the goddess Kali. She represents a higher state of consciousness and personal sacrifice for the sake of her loved ones. 

Goddess Chhinnamasta is popular in Tantric and Tibetan Buddhism, where she is called Chinnamunda. She is not as popular as an individual goddess. Her individual temples as well as her public worship are rare. Her hundred-name hymn and thousand-name hymn describe her fierce nature. She is pleased by human blood, human flesh and meat and worshipped by body hair, flesh and fierce mantras. Tantric practitioners worship her for acquiring supernatural powers (siddhis). The Tantric texts Tantrasara, Shakta-pramoda and Mantra-mahodadhih contain details about the worship of goddess Chhinnamasta and other Mahavidyas. There are two different interpretations of this aspect of Chinnamasta's iconography. One understands it as a symbol of control of sexual desire, the other as a symbol of the goddess's embodiment of sexual energy. She conveys reality as an amalgamation of sex, death, creation, destruction and regeneration.

Baglamukhi: The Eighth Mahavidya

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:37 AM 0 comments
Baglamukhi devi also known as Valgamukhi or Bagulamukhi mean yellow or crane faced goddess. She is the ultimate weapon to destroy all the enemies of universe. Baglamukhi is the super power which paralyses the evil forces. She has a golden complexion and her dress is yellow. She sits in a golden throne in the midst of an ocean of nectar full of yellow lotuses. A crescent moon adorns her head. She is the controller of the speech, movement and knowledge. 

Goddess Bagalamukhi is the eighth Mahavidya in the famous series of the 10 Mahavidyas. It is believed that to win over enemies, Baglamukhi can act as a perfect weapon. She paralyzes enemy's speech. She has the power to remove of the effect of Black Magic. It is believed that worship of goddess Baglamukhi acts like a weapon to stop your enemy from doing harm against you. Goddess Baglamukhi also has the power of turning things into its opposite. She can turn silence into speech, ignorance into knowledge, defeat into a victory, ugliness into beauty and poverty into wealth.

Goddess Bagalamukhi temple is situated at Guma in Mandi, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. Large numbers of devotees come here to worship the goddess. She is worshipped according to Vedic ritual to defeat enemies. Generally, she is depicted holding a club in her right hand with which she beats a demon, while pulling his tongue out with her left hand.

Goddess Bagalamukhi emerged from the 'Haridra Sarovara'. There is one legend behind the origin of Goddess Bagalamukhi. Once upon a time, a huge storm erupted over the Earth. As it threatened to destroy whole of the creation, all the gods assembled in the Saurashtra region. There goddess Bagala emerged from the `Haridra sarovara`. Appeased by the prayers of the gods, she calmed down the storm. Thus she helped the gods.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Mohini: An incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:24 AM 0 comments
Lord Vishnu is the protector and maintainer of the universe. He took many incarnations. Apart from his ten main incarnations, he had appeared on earth in some form to solve a specific problem. One of the better-known occasions is when he transformed himself into a beautiful damsel and enchantress, Mohini. Mohini was a female incarnation and one of the twenty-five incarnations of lord
Legend of Mohini Incarnation

According to the Hindu Puranas, as per the advice of lord Vishnu, demons and gods churned the ocean of milk to receive nectar (amrita of immortality) and when lord Dhanvantri appeared with the pot of nectar, the demons snatched the pot from Dhanvantri and thus a fight broke between them to drink nectar first. Lord Vishnu did not want the demons to drink the nectar, so in order to save the gods, Lord Vishnu took the form of a beautiful woman, Mohini to attract and lure the demons. When the demons saw the charming beauty of Mohini, they lost all self-control and she took the pot of nectar from the demons. She asked the gods to form one line and asked the demons to stand in another. She first gave a drop of the nectar to the god who was foremost in the queue. Then she turned around to serve the demon standing first in line. But as she turned around, she replaced the urn of nectar with a similar urn of water, and gave a drop of water to the demons. 

However a demon named Rahu saw through the trick and he quietly went and stood in the queue of the demi-gods. Thus he was given a drop of the nectar. Mohini realized that he drank the nectar, lord Vishnu assumed his original form and killed the demon with his Sudarshana Chakra. As Rahu had drunk the nectar, he did not die but persisted to live on as Rahu, the head and Ketu, the headless body. Rahu and Ketu are a part of the navagrahas or nine planets in Hindu astrology system. 

According to another legend, once lord Shiva granted a boon to the demon Bhasmasura, bestowing on him the power to reduce to ashes anyone whom he touches on the head. The evil demon decided to test the effect of the boon on lord Shiva. Shiva fled and was chased by Bhasmasura. Wherever lord Shiva went, Bhasmasura chased him. Lord Shiva turned to Lord Vishnu for help and protection. Lord Vishnu on hearing Shiva's problem, agreed to help him out. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of the beautiful and attractive Mohini. The demon was totally captivated by Mohini's sexuality and forgot about Shiva. He desired nothing but marrying Mohini. Mohini agreed on condition that Bhasmasura should copy her each dance steps. Bhasmasura accepted the Mohini’s condition and began to dance with Mohini. As Mohini placed her hand on her head, Bhasmasura followed Mohini, thus reducing himself to ashes.

The Mohini-Attam is a traditional dance form that evolved from the narration of how Mohini uses her charm to save lord Shiva from Bhasmasura.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.


Goddess Tara: Buddhist Savior-Goddess

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 2:46 AM 0 comments
Goddess Tara is a Buddhist savior-goddess especially popular in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. She is the most important deity in Tibet. The goddess of universal compassion, Tara represents virtuous and enlightened action. It is believed that she was born when the bodhisattva Avalokiteswara cried, the first tears of compassion as he witnessed the suffering of humankind. From his tears, Tara rose on a white lotus. Born from compassion, Tara is the very essence of compassion. She is one among the oldest Hindu goddesses still worshipped widely, who is the symbol of peace and protection. She is also a Hindu symbol of eternal light and love, a Buddhist goddess of compassion, teaching the wisdom of non-attachment and a Tibetan goddess of love. It is said that her compassion is stronger than a mother's love for her children. She also brings about longevity, protects earthly travel, and guards her followers on their spiritual journey to enlightenment. She governs the Underworld, the Earth and the Heavens. She is depicted as a slender and beautiful woman of white complexion, long golden hair and blue eyes. 

There are many incarnations of Tara, but the best known are White Tara and Green Tara, whose energies are very different. The peaceful, sympathetic White Tara gently protects and brings long life and peace. White Tara is sometimes called the Mother of all Buddhas and she represents the motherly aspect of compassion. Her white color signifies purity, wisdom and truth. Her right hand makes the boon-granting gesture and her left hand holds an elaborate lotus flower that contains three blooms. She is believed to help her devotees to overcome obstacles. She is also associated with longevity. Green Tara, the more dynamic goddess, is the 'Mother Earth' that brings fertility to the earth, overcomes obstacles and saves us from physical and spiritual danger. She is a goddess of activity and the fiercer form of Tara, but is still a savior-goddess of compassion. She is the consort of Avalokiteshvara and considered by some to be the original Tara. She is believed to help her followers overcome dangers, fears and anxieties, and she is especially worshipped for her ability to overcome the most difficult of situations.

Goddess Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom. She is considered the supreme creator and mother of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In Hindu scriptures, she is a gorgeous looking deity whose favorite animals are the sow, mare, owl and raven.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Bhuvaneshvari: The Queen of the Universe

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:56 AM 0 comments
Goddess Bhuvaneshvari is the queen or ruler of the universe (Bhuvana). She is the Divine Mother and the queen of all the worlds. She is the fourth of the ten Mahavidyas. she is considered as the supreme goddesses who creates everything and destroys all the unnecessary evils of world. She is also considered as the Mother goddess of Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. She is also known as Om Shakti or Adi Shakti. According to the Hindu mythology, she is considered as the most powerful goddess in the universe. The whole universe is considered her body. She resides at Manidweepam, which was created out of her own thought.

Worshipping her promotes a cosmic vision and absolves us from the narrowness of opinion and belief. She gives us world vision, a global understanding and a sense of the infinite. There are numerous legends associated with her. In all forms she played the role of creator and protector. She is mainly associated with lord Shiva and some consider her as an incarnation of the goddess Parvati. Goddess Bhuvaneswari is a symbol of beauty and grace. She represents knowledge and intelligence. She is the giver of wealth, health and happiness. Scriptures describe her brighter than thousand of Suns. She is also worshipped by Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Goddess Bhuvaneshwari is the preeminent and a nurturer of the whole humanity. Her appearance is somber and her complexion is red. She blesses her devotees by making them fearless. Her complexion is red like a rising Sun and has three eyes. She possesses moon in her crown. Her soft smile gives information about her favor and kindness. A hook and a noose in her hand exhibit her controlling power over the universe. She is capable of turning situations according to her wish. It is considered that even the navagrahas cannot stop her from doing anything. She is always depicted with a smiling face. Her smiling face is meant to cheer-up devotees for happiness. She has the four hands; two of which bless the devotees. Bhuvaneshvari Jayanti is believed to be the day when Goddess Bhuvaneshvari incarnated on earth. On this day, she is worshipped throughout India and special worships are performed in her honor. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Dhumavati: The smoky Form of Shakti

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:47 AM 0 comments
Goddess Dhumavati is one of the Mahavidyas, a group of ten Tantric goddesses. The others are Kali, Tara, Shodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Matangi, Kamala and Baglamukhi. The Mahavidyas represent some incarnations or manifestations of the Divine Mother. Dhumavati is the smoky form of Shakti, who is also known as the eternal widow, the Shakti without Shiva. She represents the fearsome aspect of the Divine Mother. She is often portrayed as an old, ugly widow, and is associated with things considered inauspicious and unattractive in Hinduism. In this aspect, the Divine mother is often portrayed as a hideous hag with cruel eyes, sagging breasts and a toothless mouth; riding in a chariot drawn by crows. She is not commonly known. Her symbolic animal is the crow, a carrion eater. 

Goddess Dhumavati is described as a giver of the supernatural powers (siddhis), a rescuer from all troubles and a granter of all desires and rewards, including ultimate knowledge and salvation. Goddess Dhumavati has a thin, tall, unhealthy body and has a pale complexion. Dhumavati is always considered a widow, and thus, is the only Mahavidya without a consort. She is described as restless and wicked, who wears old and dirty clothes. Her eyes are fearsome, her nose long and crooked, her ears are ugly and rough and her breasts hang down. Her worship is also prescribed for those who wish to defeat their foes. Her worship is considered ideal for unpaired members of society, such as bachelors, widows etc. It is considered better to worship her during the night. The place for her worship is cemetery, where worshipper should worship her with naked body except underwear or it should be a lonely place. There are very few temples dedicated to Dhumavati, but her worship by Tantric ritual continues in private in secluded places like cremation grounds and forests.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Chamunda: The Terrifying Aspect of Goddess Durga

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 1:40 AM 0 comments
Goddess Chamunda is the terrifying and fearsome aspect of the Divine Mother. She is considered as the furious form of goddess Durga, but she is kind to her true devotees. She is also known as Chamundi and Chamundeshwari. The word 'Chamunda' has been derived from two words, 'Chanda' and 'Munda'. Chanda and Munda were the two powerful generals of Shumbha and Nishumbha, who were killed by goddess Chamunda. She is closely associated with goddess Kali, another fierce aspect of Shakti.

The black or red colored goddess Chamunda is described as wearing a garland of severed heads or skulls of demons. She is described as having four, eight, ten or twelve arms, holding a Damaru (a small musical instrument), trident, sword, a snake, skull-mace, thunderbolt, a severed demon head and wine cup, filled with blood. She is also described as having a skeletal body with three eyes, a terrifying face, protruding teeth and long nails, who is depicted adorned by ornaments of bones, skulls, serpents and scorpions. Sometimes, a crescent moon is seen on her head. She is worshipped by ritual animal sacrifices along with offerings of wine and in the ancient times, human sacrifices were offered too. 

The Emergence of Goddess Chamunda
According to Hindu mythology, a terrifying goddess, who is known as Kali, emerged from the goddess Durga to kill the demons Chanda and Munda. She fought a fierce battle with the demons and with her immense power, the goddess killed the demons. After killing them, Kali offered the heads of Chanda and Munda to the goddess Durga, who became immensely pleased with the slaughter and blessed the goddess Kali that she would be known and worshipped as the goddess Chamunda.

According to another legend, goddess Chamunda appeared from the frown of the goddess Parvati to kill Chanda and Munda. As per this story, goddess Chamunda is viewed as a form of mother Parvati.

Temple of the goddess Chamunda is a renowned holy shrine of the Hindus, which is located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, on the bank of Baner River. The temple is nearly seven hundred year old and is dedicated to the goddess Chamunda. It is believed to be the abode of lord Shiva and Shakti. Therefore, it is also known as Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham. There are statues of other Hindu god and goddesses as well. The place is full of natural beauty, peace and bliss. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Ketu: The South Node of the Moon

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:16 AM 0 comments
Ketu graha is not a planet but a node of the moon like Rahu. Ketu, just like Rahu, is also an imaginary planet, a node. It is said according to Indian mythology that Ketu represents the tail of demon and Rahu represents the head. Both the planets are the parts of the same demon.

According to the Hindu mythology, when lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini, was distributing nectar (amrita), Rahu, the demon, observed that nectar is being given to the gods, so he joined the company of the gods and drank nectar; after then lord Vishnu cut his body into two parts with his discus. Rahu had already drunk the nectar, so he became an immortal head, disassociated from an immortal body.

Ketu is also not a real luminary and therefore doesn't rule any zodiac sign. He is associated with the deity Ganesha, the elephant god, in his role of Ganpati, the remover of obstacles. His can be Brahmin-like since he is a spiritual seeker. He is always in the opposite sign to Rahu and moves at the same speed of about 18 months in a sign of the zodiac. He is friends with Mars, Venus, and Saturn; he considers Sun and Moon as his enemies and is neutral to Mercury and Jupiter. He is akin to Rahu, who is shown with two arms, one holding a mace while the other gives a gesture of blessing. He is the headless body of Rahu, but is shown with a head out of respect. He is represented by comets and by waving flags.

Ketu’s body is smoky and he wears multicolored, striped or black clothes. He rides upon a vulture. Like Rahu, he was conferred the title of planet by Lord Brahma after he was made immortal from drinking the divine nectar (amrita).All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Rahu: The North Node of the Moon

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:08 AM 0 comments
According to Indian mythology, Rahu represents the head of a demon. Rahu is responsible for Solar Eclipse. When Rahu, Sun and Moon are in the same zodiacal longitude Solar Eclipse takes place. He is a 'shudra graha', hence people influenced by Rahu behave like illiterate and uncultured people. It rules over thieves, witches, magicians, poison, snakes etc.

Rahu has a smoky appearance with a blue mixed physique. He resides in forests and is horrible. He is vata in temperament and is intelligent. Rahu is depicted in black clothes, who holds a sword, a shield, and a trident in his three hands, respectively. His fourth hand is raised in a gesture of blessing. He sits on a lion. Rahu's chariot, which is pulled by eight black horses, is represented as a form of darkness itself. Rahu is considered the deity of the shadow (Chhaya) of the Earth. He covers the Earth with this shadow during eclipses to such a degree that people on Earth get confused by the darkness he creates. While Rahu has no body like the other planets, and is the point where the Sun and Moon's orbits cross each other, Rahu can be seen by the shadow he creates.

Rahu is friendly towards Saturn, Mercury and Venus and neutral towards Mars and Jupiter. He is the enemy of Sun and Moon. For Rahu related problems worship lord Bhairava or lord Shiva, recite the Rahu stotra, fast on Saturdays and wear an 8 mukhi Rudraksha.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Brihaspati (Jupiter): The Teacher of the Gods

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:32 AM 0 comments
In Vedic astrology, the planet Jupiter is known as Guru, Brihaspati and Devaguru, the teacher of the gods. Jupiter is a beneficial planet and considered to be the most auspicious, helpful, generous and beneficent of the planets. He rules over the two sidereal signs of Sagittarius and Pisces and presides over Guruwar or Brihaspatiwar (Thursday). Jupiter's epithets are sacred and many such as "Lord of sacred speech", "Lord of power", "Guru of the Gods", "reader of minds" and "beloved by the Gods". There is a golden crown on his head and beautiful ornaments around his neck. 

According to Hindu scriptures, he is the guru (teacher) of the Devas (gods) He is also known Guru, the god of wisdom and eloquence. His caste is Brahmin (Priest) and his best direction is Northeast. Worship of Brihaspati is dedicated to planet Jupiter. His worship results in progeny, good education, valour, longevity of life and recovery from physical illness. He is friends with the Sun, Moon and Mars; Mercury and Venus are his enemies; he is neutral with Saturn; friendly to Rahu but neutral to Ketu.

Jupiter (Brihaspati), the ‘Lord of Prayers’ is also known as the Gurudeva (the Guru of the Gods), who has a big body, tawny hair and eyes and is intelligent, and learned in shastras. He holds a stick, holy Rudraksha beads and a small pot in three of his hands. His fourth hand is raised in a gesture of blessing. Jupiter rides in a golden chariot drawn by eight golden horses that are as fast as the wind. His weapon is a golden staff. He has a golden complexion and is dressed in yellow garments. He is often shown seated on a lotus flower. Jupiter is the son of Maharishi Angirasa, whose wife performed a special vow with great devotion to the Sanat Kumars (Ashwinis). They granted her a boon of a very wise son, who would know all the shastras and Vedic scriptures. One story tells us that the demons (asuras) were attempting to weaken the gods (devas) by obstructing the offerings from a yagya (sacrificial ritual) being performed for them. Jupiter used a special mantra and drove off the asuras, allowing devas to nourish themselves with the ritual offerings. In order to become the guru of devas, Jupiter did a special penance to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased with Jupiter's dedication and granted him the privilege of being the "Guru to the Gods." All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Shukra (Venus): The Sixth Largest Planet

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The planet Venus is known as Shukra graha in the Vedic astrology. Shukra means ‘white or bright in Sanskrit’. Shukra is the name of the son of Bhrigu, and preceptor of the demons and the teacher (guru) of the demons, identified with the planet Venus (Shukra). Sage Bhirgu, an astrologer, taught his son all of the spiritual sciences and scriptures. Venus or Shukra was enemy to Brihaspati (Jupiter), so Shukra agreed to be the teacher of the asuras (demons). He became their preceptor to protect them against the gods and demigods. His caste is Brahmin and he presides over Friday. 

Venus is charming, has a splendorous physique, is excellent or great in disposition, has beautiful and bright eyes, is a poet and has curly hair. While Jupiter is the Guru of the Gods, Venus is the Daityaguru (Guru of the demons). He is represented as very youthful some say as young as seven. He rides a white chariot adorned by flags and pulled by eight fiery horses. He is of white complexion and he holds a stick, holy Rudraksha beads, and a small pot in three of his hands. His fourth hand is raised in a gesture of blessing. Venus performed severe tapas (penance) to Lord Shiva, and being pleased, lord Shiva granted Venus a special knowledge called Mritasanjivani, which enabled him to raise people from the dead. Lord Shiva also made him incapable of being killed and granted him the role of "Lord of Wealth." He is a master of herbs and mantras and is skilled in generating all kinds of tastes. In his role as guru of the demons, he revived the demons after they had been killed in battle with the demigods. Venus eventually gave all his wealth to the demons (asuras) and retired as an ascetic. Lord Brahma also conferred upon him the position of a planet. One of his skills as a planet is to pacify the other planets, who might cause an obstruction to rain, an essential part of India's monsoon-based agriculture.

In Vedic astrology Shukra (Venus) rules over the signs Taurus and Libra. The planets Mercury and Saturn are considered friendly to Shukra, the Sun and Moon are hostile and Jupiter and the rest are considered neutral. In astrology Shukra represents love, romance and sexuality, artistic talents and wealth. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Budha (Mercury): The Closest Planet to the Sun

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Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun and it is the eighth largest of the nine planets.In Hindu mythology, Budha is the name for the planet Mercury, a son of Chandra (the moon) and Tara, the wife of Brihaspati, the Guru of the gods. He is also the god of merchandise and protector of Merchants. Budha is the zodiac ruler of Gemini and Virgo. He is friendly to the Sun and Venus; enemy to the Moon; neutral to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. 

Budha is represented as being mild, eloquent and of greenish color. He is represented holding a sword, a club and a shield. He is considered to be about 20 years old. He is endowed with an attractive physique and the capacity to make puns and use words with double meanings. He has a sense of humor. He wears green clothes and his vehicle is lion. He rides in a white chariot illuminated by light and drawn by ten horses that are as fast as the wind and the thought. His caste is Vaishya (merchant). He was given the name Budha, which means ‘intelligent or wise’, by Lord Brahma because of his quick mind. Lord Brahma made Budha (mercury) the lord of the Earth and gave him the status of a planet. He is generally considered auspicious but sensitive, and if disturbed he can trigger natural disasters such as droughts, floods and earthquakes. He is dominated by the three doshas, the wind, bile and mucus and is the lord of the direction North.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Mars (Mangala): The Red Planet

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:51 AM 0 comments
In Vedic astrology, the planet Mars is known as Mangala, Kuja and Angaraka. These names in Sanskrit mean auspicious, burning coal and fair. Mars is the zodiac ruler of Aries and Scorpio. He is considered to be about 16 years old. He has four arms, holding a mace, trident and other war weapons. He has red hair and his hairy body is also reddish. His vehicle is a ram and he wears red garments. Mars is regarded as Bhumiputra or Kuja, the Son of the Earth. At one point in creation, the planet Earth was submerged in the celestial waters. Lord Vishnu came and lifted the earth out of the water, placing it in its orbit. Mother Earth was most grateful for this and offered to bear a child for lord Vishnu. He agreed, and out of their union came the planet Mars. A variation on this myth states that Mars was the result of the union of Shiva and Mother Earth. 

Once when Lord Shiva was engrossed in deep meditation upon his abode Mount Kailash, three drops of perspiration originated from his forehead and fell down on the earth. From those drops manifested a very beautiful infant, who was of reddish complexion and who had four arms. The child was handed over to the mother Earth for upbringing by Lord Shiva. The child was named Bhauma as he was nurtured and brought up by 'Bhumi' (mother Earth). The planets Sun, Moon and Jupiter are all considered friendly to him, while he is hostile to Mercury. His caste is Kshatriya (warrior). 

Mars is also called Angaraka or Burning Coal. Some people are fearful of Mars's fierce effects and try to appease him by calling him mangala, "The Auspicious One." Great importance has been attached for Mars’ worship in our sacred books. Mangal Pooja is performed to appease planet Mars. Mars is the ‘Prince’ among all the planets. Performing Mangal pooja can reduce the troubles and hurdles caused due to malefic position of Mars in the horoscope. Mars represents the virtues of bravery, patience, tolerance, spirit, steadiness and also the vices of anger, lies, disgustingness, jealousy, protectiveness and excitements etc. A prayer to this planet frees one from debts, poverty and illness.All paintings are Courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Lord Shanideva: The Son of Lord Surya and Chhaya

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Shanideva is one of the most popular deities that the Hindus pray to ward off evil and remove obstacles. He is one of the Navagraha which are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology. He is embodiment of the planet Saturn and the Lord of Saturday; the seventh day of the week. It is the day denoted to Lord Shani and it is believed that those who have Shani as their swami should to wear the stone of Lord Shani - Sapphire. He is considered to be the strongest malefic and a good teacher who represents patience, effort, endeavor and endurance and who brings restrictions and misfortunes. He is depicted as having a dark complexion, dressed in black colored clothes; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and variously mounted on a black vulture or a raven. He is believed by many to be an incarnation of lord Shiva.

According to the Hindu mythology, Shanideva is the son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (the Shadow goddess) and hence he is also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yamraja (the Hindu God of death). God Surya has two sons Shani and Yamraja. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards, whereas Yamraja grants the results of one's deeds after death. Shanideva is very harmful for those who follow the path of betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge. He is known in Hindu scriptures as the greatest trouble giver as well as the greatest well wisher. In the mythology, he is represented as riding a chariot, pulled by a vulture or crow holding a bow and arrow.

Shanideva is known by many names such as Shanaishwar, Shani Bhagavan, Shaneesvara, Shanaiscarya, Asita, Saptarchi, Kruradris, Kruralochana etc. He is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion millions of people from all over the world. In Vedic astrology, the planetary position at the time of birth determines the future of a person. So, Hindus accord immense importance to the planets and Saturn (Shani) is one such planet which they fear the most for ill-luck. The birth under the influence of this planet is considered very bad. This powerful god is believed to have the control of making a king into a pauper as well as changing the fortunes of a sufferer. He occupies the major position among the pantheon of Hindu deities in warding off evil and to get rid off obstacles. Shanideva is a devotee of Lord Shiva and hence those who want to appease him pray to Lord Shiva along with Shanideva.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Kalabhairava: The Fierce Manifestation of Lord Shiva

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:57 AM 0 comments
Kalabhairava is the fierce manifestation of lord Shiva. The Sanskrit meaning of the word ‘Bhairava’ is ‘terrible’ or ‘frightful’. He is depicted ornamented with a range of twisted serpents, which serve as earrings, bracelets, anklets and sacred thread. He wears a tiger skin and a ritual apron composed of human bones. Bhairava has a dog as his vehicle. He is worshipped as an incarnation of Lord Shiva by some Shaivaites. He is one of the most important deities of Nepal. He is blue-throated from swallowing the poison to save the world; He is three-eyed with eternal supreme wisdom in his third eye. His eyes are like Lotus flowers. He is Death of death being the vanquisher of death. He is indestructible, wears the garland of human skulls and carries the trident. It is believed that if we worship Lord Bhairava, he would protect our assets and wealth. He is the form of Shiva who controls the growth and management of time. Whoever wants to spend, manage or ration their time in a proper manner should worship him. He is also considered the guardian of temples of Lord Shiva. 

Kalabhairava is usually depicted in a fierce form decorated with serpents and carrying a head, which according to the Puranas, was the fourth head of Lord Brahma which lord Shiva in his aspect as Kalabhairava cut off to teach him a lesson. Kalabhairava is one of the eight Bharaiva fierce manifestations of Lord Shiva. Eight manifestations of kala Bhairava are said to guard the eight spatial directions and the abode of Lord Shiva. The eight manifestations are Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava.

Origin of Kalabhairava
The story of origin of Kalabhairava is interesting. Once, lord Vishnu asked Lord Brahma that who is the supreme creator of the Universe. Arrogantly, Brahma told Vishnu to worship him because he (Brahma) is the supreme creator. This angered lord Shiva who, in reality is the creator of all. Therefore, lord Shiva incarnated himself in the form of Kalabhairava to punish Brahma. Bhairava beheaded one of Brahma's five heads. Cutting off Brahma's fifth head made him guilty of Brahmanicide, and as a result, he was forced to carry around the head for years until he had been absolved of the sin. He was advised to go to Varanasi and worship Goddess Annapurneswari to get rid of the sin. He did so and freed himself from sin. Lord Shiva then appointed him to guard the holy city of Varanasi.

One another story of the origin of lord Kalabhairava is the story of Sati, the daughter of Daksha and wife of lord Shiva. After the marriage of Shiva and Sati, Daksha organized a yagna (a ritualistic sacrifice) and invited all the gods, excepting Shiva and Sati. Sati came to the yagna alone, where Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate her husband’s insult and offered herself to the sacrificial fire. 

When Shiva came to know about the incident of Sati, he destroyed Daksha’s yagna and beheaded him. Shiva carried Sati's corpse on his shoulders and ran uncontrollably all around the world for days. Since this would eventually destroy all creation, lord Vishnu used his divine discus to cut Sati's body into pieces, which then fell all around. These spots where Sati's body parts fell are now known as Shakti Peethas. In the form of the frightful Bhairava, lord Shiva guards each of these Shaktipeeths. Each Shaktipeeth temple is accompanied by a temple of lord Kalabhairava. 

Kalabhairava is worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike. He is also referred to as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya. It is believed that worshipping Kalabhairava would solve most of the problems which are pending for a long time. Those who wish to improve their time management skills should worship him.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Bhairavi: The Incarnation of Goddess Shakti

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:37 AM 0 comments
Goddess Bhairavi is an incarnation of goddess Shakti and is a popular deity in Hindu rural folklore and among tantric practitioners. She is believed to reside in the netherworld (Patal). She is one of the most ferocious forms of Goddess Shakti and is equated with the Kal Bhairava form of lord Shiva. She is also known as Shubmkari, Good Mother to Good People. It is believed that when goddess Bhairavi entered the battle field, her horrible appearance made the demons weak and very feeble, and the most of the demons started panicking as soon as they saw her. Goddess Bhairavi is seen mainly as the goddess Kali in the Durga Saptashathi version of slaying powerful demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. However, she also killed and drunk the blood of Chanda and Munda, so goddess Parvati gave her a boon that she would be called Chamundeshwari. She is shown holding weapons such as a trident axe and thunderbolt. 

Goddess Bhairavi embodies the principle of destruction. She is considered the consort of Bhairava,the fierce form of lord Shiva and is an ever-present goddess who embodies the destructive aspects of the world. Destruction is not always negative, creation cannot continue without it. Her complexion is red similar the thousands of rising-sun, wears smooth clothes and has a garland of heads roughly her collar. Goddess Bhairavi’s lips are depicted with blood and she has three eyes. Goddess Bhairavi is known as Durga, the Goddess who saves us from difficulties. Goddess Durga rides on a lion, a symbol of fire or solar energy, from which she wields her weapons of light to kill the demons or negative forces. She is one of the Mahavidyas.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Lord Chitragupta: The Chief Accountant of Yamaraja

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:23 AM 0 comments

Chitragupta is the Hindu god, who keeps complete record of deeds of human beings. He is considered omnipresent and omniscient and believed to keep accurate records of the actions of all human beings from their birth to death. He is lord Yamaraja’s chief accountant and minister. The primary duty of lord Chitragupta is to create log of the lives of all human beings. According to his records, a man is sent to either heaven or hell depending on his actions on the earth. He holds a special place in the Hindu pantheon. In some beliefs, lord Chitragupta is the son of Lord Brahma and the younger brother of Yamaraja, the god of death.

The Emergence of Lord Chitragupta.
 According to Hindu mythology lord Brahma is the creator of the whole universe. He first created sixteen sons from the different parts of his body. Few of them are Gorh, Mathur,Bhatnagar, Saxena, Asthana, Shrivastava, Ambastha etc. Then Lord Brahma created his seventeenth son Chitragupta from his belly. So, Chitragupta is also called `Kayastha` because he was created from Lord Brahma’s body (Kaya). He is the divine incarnation in human form, who determines the merits and demerits of men. 

Once upon a time, Yamaraja, the god of death, complained to Lord Brahma about his difficulties in performing his most responsible duties of keeping records of the deeds of men and doing justice to them. He become confused sometimes when dead souls would come to him and occasionally sent the wrong souls to either heaven or hell. In order to solve the problem, Lord Brahma, meditated for many thousands of years. Finally, when he opened his eyes, a man sprang from his body with a pen and inkpot. As Chitragupta was born of Lord Brahma’s body (kaya), so Lord Brahma declared that his children would forever be known as Kayasthas. Lord Brahma then enjoined Chitragupta to dispense justice and punish those who violate the dharma.
The Hinduism believes in the life cycle and rebirth. It is assumed that those who did misdoings in life have to take rebirth after a punishment period in the hell to complete their life cycle. After the death of the creatures lord Chitragupta judges and sends them to heaven or hell according to their works. The records of lord Chitragupta contain all the accurate actions of each person from birth to death, they can be said to contain every action taken in the universe. Lord Chitragupta’s judgements, as to whether the soul of a particular individual should be sent to hell or heaven, are accepted by Yamaraja.

The Kayastha families in India considered themselves to be descendant of lord Chitragupta, who married Irawati and Nandini. They worship Lord Chitragupta, in which books and pens are worshipped, indicating the importance of study for the Kayasthas. Items associated with Chitragupta in his puja include the paper and pen, ink, honey, betel nut, matches, mustard, sugar, sandalwood and frankincense. Chitragupta puja is performed on the same day of Bhaiduja that is day after tomorrow of Diwali. This is the main puja of Kayastha caste of Hindu. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Lord Dhanvantri: The Father of the Ayurveda

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 5:03 AM 0 comments
Lord Dhanvantari is considered an incarnation of lord Vishnu. He is regarded as the god of ayurvedic medicine (Ayurveda) in the Hindu religion. He appeared as lord Vishnu during the churning of the ocean with four hands, holding medical herbs and pot containing nectar (amrita). Dhanvantari appears in the Vedas as the physician of the gods. Lord Vishnu himself incarnates as Lord Dhanvantari and reestablishes the tradition of Ayurveda in the world to help relieve some of humanity’s sufferings. Lord Dhanvantari is known as the father of Ayurveda, since he was the first divine incarnation to impart its wisdom amongst humans.

The Emergence of lord Dhanvantari
Lord Dhanvantri appeared from the churning of the ocean of Milk to deliver nectar of immortality to the demigods. He is the first teacher of the Ayurveda, the Vedic medical science. The churning of the ocean of milk is a famous episode in the Puranas. The story goes thus; Indra, the leader of the demigods, was riding on his elephant, seeing the leader of the demigods, sage Durvasa honored him by giving him a special garland, Indra accepted garland placing it on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant, irritated by the smell of the garland, threw it to the ground. This enraged the sage Durvasa and he became very upset by this display of disrespect. So, he cursed Indra and all demigods to be bereft of all strength, energy and fortune. Taking advantage of this situation, the demons, under the guidance of king Bali, attacked the demigods and gained control of the universe. Indra with other demigods rushed to Lord Brahma for help. Brahma suggested them to take help of Lord Vishnu, who advised them to churn the ocean of milk together with the help of demons for the nectar of immortality. The demigods agreed because Lord Vishnu told them that he would make sure they alone would obtain the nectar and recover their strength and power to defeat the demons.

Using the mountain Mandara as the rod and Vasuki the serpent as the cord, both demigods and demons churned the ocean of milk. During the churning of the ocea , many divine objects and beings emerged from the ocean, including Kamadhenu (the wish fulfilling cow), Ucchaisrava (the white horse), Airavata (the white elephant), Kaustubhamani (a rare diamond), Kalpavriksha (the wish fulfilling tree), Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth etc. The churning of the sea also produced a deadly poison, which was swallowed by Lord Shiva. As the churning continued, Lord Dhanvantari appeared. He was young and strongly built, his chest was very broad and his complexion bluish black.

Seeing the nectar in the hands of lord Dhanvantari, the demons greedily snatched the pot of nectar from him and started quarreling about whom of them would drink the nectar first. Frightened, demigods appealed to lord Vishnu, who then took the form of Mohini. As a beautiful and enchanting damsel, Mohini distracted the demons, took the nectar (amrita) and distributed it among the demigods.

Lord Dhanvantari is an early Indian medical practitioner and one of the world’s first surgeons. Based on Vedic traditions, he is regarded as the source of Ayurveda. According to traditions, he taught surgery methods and procedures to Susrutha, the Father of Ayurvedic Surgery. Lord Dhanvantari’s birthday is celebrated with great enthuiasm and interest by the practitioners of the Ayurveda every year, on Dhanteras, two days before Deepwali.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

Goddess Sita: The Wife of Lord Rama

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According to the great religious Hindu epic Ramayana, goddess Sita is the wife of lord Rama. In the Treta Yuga she was born as a human to fulfill the rites of a wife as the partner of lord Rama. She is considered an incarnation of goddess Lakshmi, the supreme consort of lord Vishnu. She is one of the principal characters in the Ramayana, who is also one of the most popular goddesses of Hindu religion. She is considered as the ideal daughter, ideal wife, ideal queen and ideal mother since ages. She is known by many names, such as Janaki, Maithili, Ramaa and Vaidehi.

Goddess Sita is a brave woman of extraordinary brilliance. She has got all the values that people believe, a woman must have in her character. Through her great character, she has captured hearts of millions of people. The legend behind the birth of Goddess Sita is divine and supernatural. As per the mythological concept, Sita was discovered in a furrow in a ploughed field by King Janaka, and for that reason is regarded as a daughter of Goddess Mother Earth. She was reared by Janaka, king of Mithila and his wife Sunayana, hence she is also called Janaki. 

She later got married to Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. She is seen as a symbol of power by every female. Her entire life constitutes an example of idealism. She is a perfect example of loyalty and morality, who sacrificed all the amenities, in order to stay in exile with her husband, Rama. During the period of exile, 2 was abducted by Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka. Lord Rama to rescue his wife Sita, fought a great war against Ravana with the help of monkey army. When Ravana was killed and Sita got freed, she proved her sanctity to Lord Rama by giving Agni - Pariksha (Fire Ordeal). She in her mind and physical form remained chaste and completely dedicated to her husband Lord Rama. She cleared the fire ordeal and proved her chastity to all present around her.

Goddess Sita: The Mother of Luva and Kusha

After returning from the exile, Ram and Sita were declared as the king and the queen of Ayodhaya, respectively. Lord Rama loved his wife, but he banished Sita from his household. Sita again found herself in exile, this time she was not only alone but also pregnant. Sita got refuge in the hermitage of sage Valmiki, where she gave birth to twins and named them Luv and Kush. Luv and Kush were brought up in the hermitage by Sita. After giving the responsibility of the sons to their father Rama, goddess Sita refused to return to the kingdom of Ayodhya. She gave up her mortal body to goddess Earth (Bhudevi) to relieve herself of any more hardships she might have to face in human birth. She is worshipped all over India in innumerable Hindu shrines, along with the idols of Lord Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman. All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.

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