Holi is a popular ancient Hindu festival, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is celebrated predominantly in India and Nepal, but has spread to other areas of Asia and parts of the Western world through the diaspora from the Indian subcontinent. Holi is popularly known as the Indian "festival of spring", the "festival of colours", or the "festival of love"; the festival signifies the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, for many a festive day to meet others and laugh, forget and forgive, repair broken relationships. The festival celebrates the beginning of a good spring harvest season, it lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima falling in the Vikram Samvat Calendar, a Hindu calendar month of Phalgun, which falls around middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhulandi, or Phagwah. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus as well in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.
In Mughal India, Holi was celebrated with such exuberance that commoners of all castes could throw colour on the Emperor. In addition to India and Nepal, the festival is celebrated by Indian subcontinent diaspora in countries such as Jamaica, Guyana and Tobago, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Fiji. In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love and colours. Holi celebrations start on the night before Holi with a Holika Dahan where people gather, perform religious rituals in front of the bonfire, pray that their internal evil be destroyed the way Holika, the sister of the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was killed in the fire; the next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colours and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are used to play and colour each other. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman and elders.
The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place and dance. People visit family and foes to throw coloured powders on each other and gossip share Holi delicacies and drinks; some customary drinks include bhang, intoxicating. In the evening, after sobering up, people visit friends and family. There is a symbolic legend to explain why Holi is celebrated as a festival of triumph of good over evil in the honour of Hindu god Vishnu and his follower Prahlada. King Hiranyakashipu, according to a legend found in chapter 7 of Bhagavata Purana, was the king of demonic Asuras, had earned a boon that gave him five special powers: he could be killed by neither a human being nor an animal, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither at day nor at night, neither by astra nor by any shastra, neither on land nor in water or air. Hiranyakashipu grew arrogant, thought he was God, demanded that everyone worship only him.
Hiranyakashipu's own son, however, disagreed. He remained devoted to Vishnu; this infuriated Hiranyakashipu. He subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Holika, Prahlada's evil aunt, tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was wearing a cloak; as the fire roared, the cloak flew from Holika and encased Prahlada, who survived while Holika burned. Vishnu, the god who appears as an avatar to restore Dharma in Hindu beliefs, took the form of Narasimha - half human and half lion, at dusk, took Hiranyakashyapu at a doorstep, placed him on his lap, eviscerated and killed the king with his lion claws; the Holika bonfire and Holi signifies the celebration of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu, of the fire that burned Holika. In the Braj region of India, where the Hindu deity Krishna grew up, the festival is celebrated until Rang Panchmi in commemoration of the divine love of Radha for Krishna.
The festivities usher in spring, with Holi celebrated as a festival of love. There is a symbolic myth behind commemorating Krishna as well; as a baby, Krishna developed his characteristic dark skin colour because the she-demon Putana poisoned him with her breast milk. In his youth, Krishna despaired whether the fair-skinned Radha would like him because of his dark skin colour, his mother, tired of his desperation, asks him to approach Radha and ask her to colour his face in any colour she wanted. This she did, Radha and Krishna became a couple. Since, the playful colouring of Radha and Krishna's face has been commemorated as Holi. Beyond India, these legends help to explain the significance of Holi are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, it is celebrated with great fervour in Mauritius. Among other Hindu traditions such as Shaivism and Shaktism, the legendary significance of Holi is linked to Shiva in yoga and deep meditation, goddess Parvati wanting to bring back Shiva into the world, seeks help from the Hin
Hiranyakashyap is an Asura and king of the daityas from the Puranic scriptures of Hinduism. His name translates to "clothed in gold", depicting someone one, fond of wealth. Hiranyakashipu's younger brother, Hiranyaksha was slain by Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu. Angered by this, Hiranyakashyap decided to gain magical powers by performing a penance for Lord Brahma, he is subsequently killed by the Narasimha avatara of Lord Vishnu. His tale depicts the futility of desiring power over others and the strength of God's protection over his surrendered devotees. Hiranyakashipu, according to legend, earned a boon from Lord Brahma that made him indestructible, he grew arrogant and thinking he was God, demanded that everyone worship just him. The story of Hiranyakashipu is in three parts; the first has to do with the curse of the Four Kumaras on the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha and Vijaya, which causes them to be born as the daityas Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. The second part deals with Hiranyakashipu's penance to gain a boon from him.
The final part deals with his efforts to kill his son Prahlada and his subsequent death at the hands of Narasimha. According to a story from Bhagavata Purana and Hiranyaksha are Vishnu's gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya, born on earth as the result of a curse from the Four Kumaras. In Satya Yuga and Hiranyaksha - together called the Hiranyas - were born to Diti and the sage Kashyapa, it is said that asuras were born to them as a result of their union at the time of dusk, said to be an inauspicious time for such a deed. After Hiranyakashipu's younger Brother Hiranyaksha's death at the hands of the Varaha avatar of Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu comes to hate Vishnu, he decides to kill him by gaining mystical powers, which he believes Brahma, the chief among the devas, will award to him if he undergoes many years of great austerity and penance, just as Brahma awarded powers to other Rakshasas. This seemed to work as planned, with Brahma becoming pleased by Hiranyakashipu's austerities. Brahma offers him a boon of his choice.
But when Hiranyakashipu asks for immortality, Brahma refuses. Hiranyakashipu makes the following request: O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought by any being other than those created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet the death from any entity, living or nonliving. Grant me, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.
In other Puranas, many variations of the boon are given. The Shiva Purana mentions that Hiranyakashipu asked Brahma that he would be invulnerable to dry or wet weapons, mountains, missiles or any form of weapon; the Vayu Purana mentions that Hiranyakashipu asked to be so powerful, only Vishnu would slay him. Other variations include not being slain by any living being, not at daytime or nighttime and not above or below. In section 14, the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata, the Sage Upamanyu mentioned to Krishna that Hiranyakashipu performed another penance to please Lord Shiva. Shiva granted Hiranyakashipu the boon that he would have unrivalled combat prowess, exceeding skill in the use of bow and other weapons as well as the powers of all the gods, including Indra, Kubera, Sūrya, Vayu and Varuna. In consequence of these two boons, Hiranyakashipu become so mighty that he was able to shake the Himalayas down to their roots. Ravana once tried to lift Hiranyakashipu's earrings but he was unable to do so because they were heavy.
The Brahmanda Purana mentions. Whilst Hiranyakashipu is performing the penance to be granted this boon and the other devas attack his home, seizing the opportunity in his absence. At this point the divine sage Narada intervenes to protect Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadhu, whom he describes as'sinless'. Narada takes Kayadhu into his care, while she is under his guidance, her unborn child Prahlada becomes affected by the transcendental instructions of the sage in the womb. Growing as a child, Prahlada begins to show symptoms of Narada's prenatal training and becomes recognised as a devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment. Hiranyakashipu becomes so angry and upset at his son's devotion to Vishnu that he decides he must kill him but each time he attempts to kill the boy, Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power; when asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent. To which Hiranyakashipu points to a nearby pillar and asks if'his Vishnu' is in it: "O most unfortunate Prahlada, you have always described a supreme being other than me, a supreme being, above everything, the controller of everyone, who is
Indra is a Vedic deity in Hinduism, a guardian deity in Buddhism, the king of the highest heaven called Saudharmakalpa in Jainism. His mythologies and powers are similar to other Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Taranis and Thor. In the Vedas, Indra is the king of Svarga and the Devas, he is the god of the heavens, thunder, rains, river flows, war. Indra is the most referred to deity in the Rigveda, he is celebrated for his powers, the one who kills the great symbolic evil named Vritra who obstructs human prosperity and happiness. Indra destroys Vritra and his "deceiving forces", thereby brings rains and the sunshine as the friend of mankind, his importance diminishes in the post-Vedic Indian literature where he is depicted as a powerful hero but one, getting in trouble with his drunken and adulterous ways, the god who disturbs Hindu monks as they meditate because he fears self-realized human beings may become more powerful than him. Indra rules over the much sought Devas realm of rebirth within the Samsara doctrine of Buddhist traditions.
However, like the Hindu texts, Indra is a subject of ridicule and reduced to a figurehead status in Buddhist texts, shown as a god that suffers rebirth and redeath. In the Jainism traditions, like Buddhism and Hinduism, Indra is the king of gods and a part of Jain rebirth cosmology, he is the god who appears with his wife Indrani to celebrate the auspicious moments in the life of a Jain Tirthankara, an iconography that suggests the king and queen of gods reverentially marking the spiritual journey of a Jina. Indra's iconography shows him wielding a lightning thunderbolt known as Vajra, riding on a white elephant known as Airavata. In Buddhist iconography the elephant sometimes features three heads, while Jaina icons sometimes show the elephant with five heads. Sometimes a single elephant is shown with four symbolic tusks. Indra's heavenly home is near Mount Meru; the etymological roots of Indra are unclear, it has been a contested topic among scholars since the 19th-century, one with many proposals.
The significant proposals have been: root ind-u, or "rain drop", based on the Vedic mythology that he conquered rain and brought it down to earth. Root ind, or "equipped with great power"; this was proposed by Vopadeva. Root idh or "kindle", ina or "strong". Root indha, or "igniter", for his ability to bring light and power that ignites the vital forces of life; this is based on Shatapatha Brahmana. Root idam-dra, or "It seeing", a reference to the one who first perceived the self-sufficient metaphysical Brahman; this is based on Aitareya Upanishad. Roots in ancient Indo-European, Indo-Aryan deities. For example, states John Colarusso, as a reflex of proto-Indo-European *h₂nḗr-, Greek anēr, Sabine nerō, Avestan nar-, Umbrian nerus, Old Irish nert, Ossetic nart, others which all refer to "most manly" or "hero". Colonial era scholarship proposed that Indra shares etymological roots with Zend Andra derived from Old High German Antra, or Jedru of Old Slavonic, but Max Muller critiqued these proposals as untenable.
Scholarship has linked Vedic Indra to the European Aynar, Abaza and Innara of Hittite mythology. Colarusso suggests a Pontic origin and that both the phonology and the context of Indra in Indian religions is best explained from Indo-Aryan roots and a Circassian etymology, he is known in Burmese as သိကြားမင်း, pronounced. Indra has many epithets in the Indian religions, notably Śakra, Vṛṣan, Vṛtrahan, Meghavāhana, Devarāja, Surendra, Vajrapāṇī and Vāsava. Indra is of unclear origin. Aspects of Indra as a deity are cognate to other Indo-European gods; the similarities between Indra of Hindu mythologies and of Thor of Nordic and Germanic mythologies are significant, states Max Muller. Both Indra and Thor are storm gods, with powers over lightning and thunder, both carry hammer or equivalent, for both the weapon returns to their hand after they hurl it, both are associated with bulls in the earliest layer of respective texts, both use thunder as a battle-cry, both are heroic leaders, both protectors of mankind, both are described with legends about "milking the cloud-cows", both are benevolent giants, gods of strength, of life, of marriage and the healing gods, both are worshipped in respective texts on mountains and in forests.
Michael Janda suggests that Indra has origins in the Indo-European *trigw-welumos "smasher of the enclosure" and diye-snūtyos "impeller of streams". Brave and heroic Innara or Inra, which sounds like Indra, is mentioned among the gods of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking people of Hittite region. Indra as a deity had a presence in northeastern Asia minor, as evidenced by the inscriptions on the Boghaz-köi clay tablet
Radha called Radhika and Radhe, is a Hindu goddess popular in Hinduism in the Vaishnavism tradition. She was said to be the head of the milkmaids, she is the lover of the Supreme personality of Godhead Lord Krishna in the medieval era texts. She is a supreme goddess in her own right, she is called Jagat Janani. She appeared as queen of milkmaids and queen of Vrindavan-Barsana, she taught selfless surrender to the Godhead Shri Krishna. She is considered the supreme goddess in Vaishnavism. Rasik Saints have mentioned Her as a descension of Supreme Goddess, Source of Infinite Lakshmi, original form of Yogmaya and Allhadini Shakti, main Power of Godhead Shri Krishna, she and her consort Krishna are collectively known as Radha Krishna, the combined form of feminine as well as the masculine realities of God. Lord Krishna underwent various kinds of "leelas" with Her. Radha is worshipped in some regions of India by Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Vaishnavas in West Bengal, Bangladesh Manipur, Odisha. Elsewhere, she is revered in the Nimbarka Sampradaya and movements linked to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srimati Radharani ji is considered a metaphor for soul, her longing for Lord Krishna theologically seen as a symbolism for the longing for spirituality and the divine. She has inspired numerous literary works, her Rasa lila dance with Krishna has inspired many types of performance arts till this day, her festival is Radhastami. The Sanskrit term Rādhā means "prosperity, success", it is a common name founded in various contexts in the ancient and medieval texts of India. Of these the most celebrated is the name of the gopi, the beloved of Krishna. Both Radha and Krishna are the main characters of Gita Govinda of Jayadeva. Radha in this context is considered the avatar of Lakshmi, just like Krishna is considered an avatar of Vishnu. In Hit Harivansh and Swami Haridas Literature, Radha is considered as the main form of deity. Here, Radha is not another form of supreme god Shri Krishn Himself. In Devi Bhagvat and Brahma Vaibtra Purana, Radha is mentioned as the source of infinite Laxmi and mother of infinite souls.
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj elaborately described the virtue of Radha and has given a brief description of Shri Radha in his lectures and Kirtans. He has said, "She is the Supreme Goddess and is worshipped by everyone including Godhead Shri Krishna himself and that's why she is called Radha; the term is related to Rādha, which means "kindness, any gift but the gift of affection, wealth". The word appears in the Vedic literature as well as the Epics, but is elusive and not as a major deity. In some Vedic contexts, states Sukumar Sen, it could mean "beloved, desired woman" based on an Avestan cognate. However, Barbara Stoller and other scholars disagree with the Avestan interpretation, they state that the better interpretation of Radha in these ancient texts is "someone or something that fulfills a need". Starting with the Bhakti movement and with Jayadeva's composition, her profile as a goddess and constant companion of Krishna became dominant in Krishna-related Vaishnavism. Rādhikā refers to an endearing form of Gopi Radha.
Radha is an important goddess in the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. She is a goddess whose traits, manifestations and roles vary with region. Since the earliest times, she has been associated with one of the most popular Hindu gods, the cowherd Krishna. In the early Indian literature, her mentions are illusive and not as common as other major goddesses of Hinduism, but during the Bhakti movement era she became popular among Krishna devotees whose strength is her love. According to Jaya Chemburkar, there are at least two significant and different aspects of Radha in the literature associated with her, such as Sriradhika namasahasram. One aspect is she is a milkmaid, another as a female deity similar to those found in the Hindu goddess traditions, she appears in Hindu arts as ardhanari with Krishna, an iconography where half of the image is Radha and the other half is Krishna. This is found in sculpture such as those discovered in Maharashtra, in texts such as Shiva Purana and Brahmavaivarta Purana.
In these texts, this ardhanari is sometimes referred to as Ardharadhavenudhara murti, it symbolizes the complete union and inseparability of Radha and Krishna. Radha's depictions vary from being an married woman who becomes an adulterous lover of Krishna in a secondary role, to being dual divinity equal to Krishna in Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, to being supreme object of devotional love for both Krishna and devotees in Rupa Gosvami's tradition. In some Hindu sub-traditions, Radha is conceptualized as a goddess who breaks social norms by leaving her marriage, entering into a relationship with Krishna to pursue her love. According to Heidi Pauwels, it is a "hotly debated issue" whether Radha was married or had an affair with Krishna while she remained married. Several Hindu texts allude to these circumstances. According to David Kinsley, a professor of Religious Studies known for his studies on Hindu goddesses, the Radha-Krishna love story is a metaphor for divine-human relationship, where Radha is the human devotee or soul, frustrated with the past, obligations to social expectations and the ideas she inherited, who longs for real meaning, the true love, the divine.
This metaphoric Radha finds new liberation in learning more about Krishna, bonding in devotion and with passion. The po
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, the Supreme Being or absolute truth in its Vaishnavism tradition. Vishnu is the "preserver" in the Hindu triad that includes Shiva. In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is identical to the formless metaphysical concept called Brahman, the supreme, the Svayam Bhagavan, who takes various avatars as "the preserver, protector" whenever the world is threatened with evil and destructive forces, his avatars most notably include Rama in the Krishna in the Mahabharata. He is known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Hari, he is one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism. In Hindu iconography, Vishnu is depicted as having a pale or dark blue complexion and having four arms, he holds a padma in his lower left hand, Kaumodaki gada in his lower right hand, Panchajanya shankha in his upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand. A traditional depiction is Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".
Yaska, the mid 1st-millennium BCE Vedanga scholar, in his Nirukta, defines Vishnu as viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā, "one who enters everywhere". He writes, atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati, "that, free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu"; the medieval Indian scholar Medhātithi suggested that the word Vishnu has etymological roots in viś, meaning to pervade, thereby connoting that Vishnu is "one, everything and inside everything". Vishnu means "all pervasive". Vishnu is a Vedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra and others. Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda, a 2nd millennium BCE Hindu text, are dedicated to Vishnu, he finds minor mention in the other hymns. Vishnu is mentioned in the Brahmana layer of text in the Vedas, thereafter his profile rises and over the history of Indian mythology, states Jan Gonda, Vishnu becomes a divinity of the highest rank, one equivalent to the Supreme Being. Though a minor mention and with overlapping attributes in the Vedas, he has important characteristics in various hymns of Rig Veda, such as 1.154.5, 1.56.3 and 10.15.3.
In these hymns, the Vedic mythology asserts that Vishnu resides in that highest home where departed Atman reside, an assertion that may have been the reason for his increasing emphasis and popularity in Hindu soteriology. He is described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth. In the Vedic hymns, Vishnu is invoked alongside other deities Indra, whom he helps in killing the symbol of evil named Vritra, his distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light. Two Rigvedic hymns in Mandala 7 refer to Vishnu. In section 7.99 of the Rgveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity or god referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Savitr, who bears the name Suryanarayana. Again, this link to Surya is a characteristic Vishnu shares with fellow Vedic deities named Mitra and Agni, where in different hymns, they too "bring men together" and cause all living beings to rise up and impel them to go about their daily activities.
In hymn 7.99 of Rigveda, Indra-Vishnu are equivalent and produce the sun, with the verses asserting that this sun is the source of all energy and light for all. In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra. Elsewhere in Rigveda and Upanishadic texts, Vishnu is equivalent to Prajapati, both are described as the protector and preparer of the womb, according to Klaus Klostermaier, this may be the root behind post-Vedic fusion of all the attributes of the Vedic Prajapati unto the avatars of Vishnu. In the Yajurveda, Taittiriya Aranyaka, Narayana sukta, Narayana is mentioned as the supreme being; the first verse of Narayana Suktam mentions the words paramam padam, which mean highest post and may be understood as the supreme abode for all souls. This is known as Param Dhama, Paramapadam or Vaikuntha. Rig Veda 1.22.20 mentions the same paramam padam. In the Atharvaveda, the mythology of a boar who raises goddess earth from the depths of cosmic ocean appears, but without the word Vishnu or his alternate avatar names.
In post-Vedic mythology, this legend becomes one of the basis of many cosmogonic myth called the Varaha legend, with Varaha as an avatar of Vishnu. Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times, it is an inspiration for ancient artwork in numerous Hindu temples such as at the Ellora Caves, which depict the Trivikrama legend through the Vamana avatar of Vishnu. Trivikrama refers to "three strides" of Vishnu. Starting as a small insignificant looking being, Vishnu undertakes a herculean task of establishing his reach and form with his first step covers the earth, with second the ether, the third entire heaven; the Vishnu Sukta 1.154 of Rigveda says that the first and second of Vishnu's strides are visible to the mortals and the third is the realm of the immortals. The Trivikrama describing hymns integrate salvific themes, stating Vishnu to symbolize that, freedom and life; the Shatapatha Brahmana elaborates this theme of Vishnu, as his herculean effort and sacrifice to create and gain powers that help others, one who realizes and defeats the evil symbolized by the Asuras after they had usurped the three worlds, thus Vishnu is the savior of the mortals and
Kali known as Kālikā or Shyāmā, is a Hindu goddess. Kali is one of a list which combines Sakta and Buddhist goddesses. Kali's earliest appearance is that of a destroyer of evil forces, she is the goddess of one of the four subcategories of a category of tantric Saivism. Over time, she has been worshipped by devotional movements and tantric sects variously as the Divine Mother, Mother of the Universe, Adi Shakti, or Adi Parashakti. Shakta Hindu and Tantric sects additionally worship her as Brahman, she is seen as divine protector and the one who bestows moksha, or liberation. Kali is portrayed standing or dancing on her consort, the Hindu god Shiva, who lies calm and prostrate beneath her. Kali is worshipped by Hindus throughout India in West Bengal. Kālī is the feminine form of "time" or "the fullness of time" with the masculine noun "kāla"—and by extension, time as "changing aspect of nature that bring things to life or death." Other names include Kālarātri, Kālikā. The homonymous kāla, "appointed time," is distinct from kāla "deep blue," but became associated through popular etymology.
The association is seen in a passage from the Mahābhārata, depicting a female figure who carries away the spirits of slain warriors and animals. She is called kālarātri and kālī. Kālī is the feminine form of Kāla, an epithet of Shiva, thus the consort of Shiva. Hugh Urban notes that although the word Kālī appears as early as the Atharva Veda, the first use of it as a proper name is in the Kathaka Grhya Sutra. Kali appears in the Mundaka Upanishad not explicitly as a goddess, but as the dark blue tongue of the seven flickering tongues of Agni, the Hindu god of fire. According to David Kinsley, Kāli is first mentioned in Hindu tradition as a distinct goddess around 600 AD, these texts "usually place her on the periphery of Hindu society or on the battlefield." She is regarded as the Shakti of Shiva, is associated with him in various Puranas. Her most well known appearance on the battlefield is in the sixth century Devi Mahatmyam; the deity of the first chapter of Devi Mahatmyam is Mahakali, who appears from the body of sleeping Vishnu as goddess Yoga Nidra to wake him up in order to protect Brahma and the World from two demons Madhu and Kaitabha.
When Vishnu woke up he started a war against the two demons. After a long battle with lord Vishnu when the two demons were undefeated Mahakali took the form of Mahamaya to enchant the two asuras; when Madhu and Kaitabha were enchanted by Mahakali, Vishnu killed them. In chapters the story of two demons can be found who were destroyed by Kali. Chanda and Munda attack the goddess Durga. Durga responds with such anger, causing her face to turn dark resulting in Kali appearing out of her forehead. Kali's appearance is dark blue, gaunt with sunken eyes, wearing a tiger skin and a garland of human heads, she defeats the two demons. In the same battle, the demon Raktabija is undefeated because of his ability to reproduce himself from every drop of his blood that reaches the ground. Countless Raktabija clones appear on the battlefield. Kali defeats him by sucking his blood before it can reach the ground, eating the numerous clones. Kinsley writes that Kali represents "Durga's personified wrath, her embodied fury."Other origin stories involve Parvati and Shiva.
Parvati is portrayed as a benign and friendly goddess. The Linga Purana describes Shiva asking Parvati to defeat the demon Daruka, who received a boon that would only allow a female to kill him. Parvati merges with Shiva's body, reappearing as Kali to defeat his armies, her bloodlust gets out of control. The Vamana Purana has a different version of Kali's relationship with Parvati; when Shiva addresses Parvati as Kali, "the dark blue one," she is offended. Parvati becomes Gauri, the golden one, her dark sheath becomes. Regarding the relationship between Kali and Shiva, Kinsley writes that: In relation to Shiva, she appears to play the opposite role from that of Parvati. Parvati calms Shiva, counterbalancing his destructive tendencies. Kali is Shiva's "other wife," as it were, provoking him and encouraging him in his mad, disruptive habits, it is never Shiva who must calm Kali. Kāli appears in the Death of the Mahabharata, she is called Kālarātri and appears to the Pandava soldiers in dreams, until she appears amidst the fighting during an attack by Drona's son Ashwatthama.
Another story involving Kali is her escapade with a band of thieves. The thieves wanted to make a human sacrifice to Kali, unwisely chose a saintly Brahmin monk as their victim; the radiance of the young monk was so much that it burned the image of Kali, who took living form and killed the entire band of thieves, decapitating them and drinking their blood. In Kāli's most famous legend and her assistants, the Matrikas, wound the demon Raktabija, in various ways and with a variety of weapons in an attempt to destroy him, they soon find that they have worsened the situation for with every drop of blood that is
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, art and learning. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma and Shiva to create and regenerate-recycle the Universe, respectively; the earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is in the Rigveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions; some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami in her honour, mark the day by helping young children learn how to write the letters of the alphabet on that day. The Goddess is revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India, as well as some Buddhist sects. Saraswati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras meaning "pooling water", but sometimes translated as "speech". Associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination therefore means "she who has ponds and pooling water" or "she who possesses speech", it is a Sanskrit composite word of surasa-vati which means "one with plenty of water".
The word Saraswati appears both as a significant deity in the Rigveda. In initial passages, the word refers to the Sarasvati River and is mentioned as one among several northwestern Indian rivers such as the Drishadvati. Saraswati connotes a river deity. In Book 2, the Rigveda describes Saraswati as the best of mothers, of rivers, of goddesses. अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति — Rigveda 2.41.16Best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, Sarasvatī. Saraswati is celebrated as a feminine deity with healing and purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters in Book 10 of the Rigveda, as follows: अपो अस्मान मातरः शुन्धयन्तु घर्तेन नो घर्तप्वः पुनन्तु | विश्वं हि रिप्रं परवहन्ति देविरुदिदाभ्यः शुचिरापूत एमि || — Rigveda 10.17May the waters, the mothers, cleanse us, may they who purify with butter, purify us with butter, for these goddesses bear away defilement, I come up out of them pure and cleansed. — translated by John Muir In Vedic literature, Saraswati acquires the same significance for early Indians as that accredited to the river Ganges by their modern descendants.
In hymns of Book 10 of Rigveda, she is declared to be the "possessor of knowledge". Her importance grows in Vedas composed after Rigveda and in Brahmanas, the word evolves in its meaning from "waters that purify", to "that which purifies", to "vach that purifies", to "knowledge that purifies", into a spiritual concept of a goddess that embodies knowledge, music, muse, rhetoric, creative work and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person. In Upanishads and Dharma Sastras, Saraswati is invoked to remind the reader to meditate on virtue, virtuous emoluments, the meaning and the essence of one's activity, one's action. Saraswati is known by many names in ancient Hindu literature; some examples of synonyms for Saraswati include Brahmani, Bharadi and Vachi, Kavijihvagravasini. Goddess Saraswati is known as Vidyadatri, Pustakdharini, Veenapani and Vagdevi. In the Hindi language, her name is written Hindi: सरस्वती. In the Telugu, Sarasvati is known as Chaduvula Thalli and Shārada.
In Konkani, she is referred to as Shārada, Pustakadhārini, Vidyadāyini. In Kannada, variants of her name include Sharade, Sharadamba, Vāni, Veenapani in the famous Sringeri temple. In Tamil, she is known as Kalaimagal, Kalaivāni, Vāni and Bharathi, she is addressed as Sāradā, Shāradā, Veenā-pustaka-dhārini, Vāgdevi, Vāgishvari, Vāni, Varadhanāyaki, Sāvitri, Gāyatri. In India, she is locally spelled as ￼￼Assamese_language:সৰস্বতী,Saraswati, Bengali: সরস্বতী, Saraswati?, Malayalam: സരസ്വതി, Saraswati?, Tamil: சரஸ்வதி, Sarasvatī?. In Odia as ସରସ୍ଵତୀ Saraswati. Outside Nepal and India, she is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, in Chinese as Biàncáitiān, in Japanese as Benzaiten and in Thai as Suratsawadi or Saratsawadi. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati has retained her significance as a goddess from the Vedic age up to the present day. In Shanti Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas, as the celestial creative symphony who appeared when Brahma created the universe.
In Book 2 of Taittiriya Brahmana, she is called “the mother of eloquent speech and melodious music”. Saraswati is the active power of Brahma, she is mentioned in many minor Sanskrit publications such as Sarada Tilaka of 8th century CE as follows, May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence, she who wears on her locks a young mo