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Unknowingly, the man had pleased the deity by casting bilva leaves down upon the ground. At sunrise, the hunter looked down to find the tiger gone, and in its place stood Lord Shiva. The hunter prostrated himself before the Lord and attained salvation from the cycle of birth and death. To this day, bilva leaves are used by modern believers in ritual devotions to Shiva.

The leaves are thought to cool the deity's fierce temperament and to resolve even the worst karmic debt. Brahma, being the Creator, declared himself to be more revered, while Vishnu, the Preserver, pronounced that it was he commanded more respect.


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Both Brahma and Vishnu were awestruck by its rapidly increasing size, and, forgetting their quarrel, they decided to determine its dimensions. Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and went to the netherworld, while Brahma became a swan and flew to the skies, but neither was able to fulfill their task. This tale is used to explain why Shiva is often represented iconically in the form of a Shiva Linga carving in Hindu devotions. The king consented, but a saint informed him that a fatal curse was laid upon the young prince: He is doomed to die within a year.

The king told her daughter about the curse and asked her to choose someone else. The king finally agreed with a heavy heart. The wedding of Savitri and Satyavan took place with a lot of fanfare, and the couple went back to the forest hut. For a whole year, they lived happily. Under a tall tree, he made a seat of soft green leaves and plucked flowers for her to weave into a garland while he chopped wood.

Vedic Stories

Towards noon Satyavan felt a little tired, and after a while, he came and lay down resting his head in Savitri's lap. Suddenly the whole forest grew dark, and soon Savitri saw a tall figure standing before her. It was Yama, the God of Death. Yama replied, "Your time has not yet come, child. Go back to your home. Savitri asked, "Let me have wonderful sons.

Then Savitri said, "But how can I have sons without my husband, Satyavan? Therefore I beg of you to give back his life. Satyavan's body came back to life. He slowly woke up from the stupor and the two gladly walked back to their hut.

So strong was the single-minded love and determination of Savitri that she chose a noble young man for her husband, knowing that he had only a year to live, married him with all confidence. The Radha-Krishna amour is a love legend of all times. Krishna's relationship with Radha, his favorite among the 'gopis' cow-herding maidens , has served as a model for male and female love in a variety of art forms, and since the sixteenth century appears prominently as a motif in North Indian paintings.

Krishna's youthful dalliances with the 'gopis' are interpreted as symbolic of the loving interplay between God and the human soul. Radha's utterly rapturous love for Krishna and their relationship is often interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. Radha, daughter of Vrishabhanu, was the mistress of Krishna during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vrindavan. Since childhood they were close to each other - they played, they danced, they fought, they grew up together and wanted to be together forever, but the world pulled them apart.

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He departed to safeguard the virtues of truth, and she waited for him. He vanquished his enemies, became the king, and came to be worshiped as a lord of the universe. She waited for him. Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine Hindu Gods and Goddesses by W.

15 Popular God & Goddess of Hindu Sanatan Dharma

Often featured in publications on Hindu spirituality the late A. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was a close friend and patron , Sharma's paintings are colorful, vivid, and lush, with great attention to the details of clothing, jewelry, and the world of nature. In some ways, his paintings resemble traditional Christian hagiographic art, with androgynous figures divine or human , carefully draped garments, and symbolic items in profusion.

They are highly realistic not to say photographic yet they depict the unseen personages of mythology from Ganesh to Shiva. The book, in fact, is intended as a visual introduction to Hindu gods and goddesses, with Bae's thorough text clarifying the religious meaning of all the artistic detail. A practitioner of Yoga, Bae has spent the last three years living in India as a monk. A beautifully produced and relatively inexpensive large-format book, this is warmly recommended for public and academic libraries.

James F. Hindu Gods and Goddesses: Illustrations from "The Hindu Pantheon" This rich treasury of India's religious iconography was assembled from the work of one of the 19th-century's leading scholars.

Mythological Stories Of Lord Vishnu - Stories From Hindu Mythology - Vishnu & Lakshmi

Its captioned illustrations feature dramatic engravings and line drawings, including scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as temple images of Krishna, Vishnu, Siva, and other major deities. Hindu Gods and Goddesses Paperback by W.

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Includes 85 beautiful black-and-white illustrations culled from traditional sources. Her essence encompasses the ferocity of Durga, the compassion of Lakhsmi, the erudition of Saraswati and the terrible thirst for battle of Kalika. In her various incarnations Devi is warrior, mother, faithful wife and the fount of knowledge, delivering all that her devotees ask of her. Bulbul Sharma tells the fascinating story of Devi in this book, drawing upon the many strands of myth and legend contained in ancient scriptures and also in folklore.

She looks at how these stories were created, how they changed down the ages, and the vision of the world they uphold.

Rich in drama and symbolism, these stories live today with the same intensity as they did when they were first told.