The Ashtamangala are a sacred suite of Eight Auspicious Signs endemic to a number of religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. The symbols or "symbolic attributes" are teaching tools. Not only do these attributes point to qualities of enlightened mindstream, but they are the investiture that ornaments these enlightened "qualities". Many cultural enumerations and variations of the Ashtamangala are extant. Groupings of eight auspicious symbols were used in India at ceremonies such as an investiture or coronation of a king. An early grouping of symbols included: throne, handprint, hooked knot, vase of jewels, water libation flask, pair of fishes, lidded bowl. In Buddhism, these eight symbols of good fortune represent the offerings made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha after he gained enlightenment. Tibetan Buddhists make use of a particular set of eight auspicious symbols, ashtamangala, in household and public art; some common interpretations are given along with each symbol although different teachers may give different interpretations: The right-turning white conch shell represents the beautiful, melodious and pervasive sound of the dharma, which awakens disciples from the deep slumber of ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and the welfare of others.
The conch shell is thought to have been the original horn-trumpet. The Indian god Vishnu is described as having a conch shell as one of his main emblems. In Hinduism, the conch is an attribute of Vishnu along with the Sudarshana Chakra. Vaishnavism holds; the endless knot denotes "the auspicious mark represented by a curled noose emblematic of love". It is a symbol of the ultimate unity of everything. Moreover, it represents the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, the mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs, the union of wisdom and method, the inseparability of śūnyatā "emptiness" and pratītyasamutpāda "interdependent origination", the union of wisdom and compassion in enlightenment; this knot, net or web metaphor conveys the Buddhist teaching of interpenetration. The two golden fish symbolise the auspiciousness of all sentient beings in a state of fearlessness without danger of drowning in saṃsāra; the two golden fishes are linked with the Ganges and Yamuna nadi and carp: The two fishes represented the two main sacred rivers of India - the Ganges and Yamuna.
These rivers are associated with the lunar and solar channels, which originate in the nostrils and carry the alternating rhythms of breath or prana. They have religious significance in Hindu and Buddhist traditions but in Christianity. In Buddhism, the fish symbolize happiness, they represent abundance. Drawn in the form of carp, which are regarded in the Orient as sacred on account of their elegant beauty and life-span. In Islam the fish has a significant role in the meeting between Khidr; the lotus flower, represent the primordial purity of body and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. The lotus symbolizes renunciation. Although the lotus has its roots in the mud at the bottom of a pond, its flower lies immaculate above the water; the Buddhist lotus bloom has 8, 16, 24, 32, 64, 100, or 1,000 petals. The same figures can refer to the body's'internal lotuses', to say, its energy centres; the jewelled parasol, similar in ritual function to the baldachin or canopy: represents the protection of beings from harmful forces and illness.
It represents the canopy or firmament of the sky and therefore the expansiveness and unfolding of space and the element æther. It represents the expansiveness and protective quality of the sahasrara: all take refuge in the dharma under the auspiciousness of the parasol; the treasure vase represents health, wealth, prosperity and the phenomenon of space. The treasure vase, or pot, symbolizes the Buddha's infinite quality of teaching the dharma: no matter how many teachings he shared, the treasure never lessened; the iconography representation of the treasure vase is very similar to the kumbha, one of the few possessions permitted a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni in Theravada Buddhism. The wisdom urn or treasure vase is used in many empowerment and initiations; the dharmachakra or "Wheel of the Law" represents the Dharma teaching. This symbol is used by Tibetan Buddhists, where it sometimes includes an inner wheel of the Gankyil. Nepalese Buddhists don't use the Wheel of Law in the eight auspicious symbols.
Instead of the dharmachakra, a fly-whisk may be used as one of the ashtamangala to symbolize Tantric manifestations. It is made of a yak's tail attached to a silver staff, used in ritual recitation and during fanning the deities in pujas. Prayer wheels take the form of a dharmachakra guise; the Sudarshana Chakra is a Hindu wheel-symbol. The dhvaja (Sanskrit.
Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. The term has been used as a geographical and religious identifier for people indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; the historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims; the historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars.
A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma and contrasted it with Turaka dharma; the Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant. At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Muslims.
The vast majority of Hindus 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, United States, United Kingdom and Myanmar; these together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010. The word Hindu is derived from the Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit word Sindhu, which means "a large body of water", covering "river, ocean", it was used as the name of the Indus river and referred to its tributaries. The actual term'hindu' first occurs, states Gavin Flood, as "a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the Punjab region, called Sapta Sindhu in the Vedas, is called Hapta Hindu in Zend Avesta. The 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I mentions the province of Hidush, referring to northwestern India; the people of India were referred to as Hinduvān and hindavī was used as the adjective for Indian in the 8th century text Chachnama.
The term'Hindu' in these ancient records is an ethno-geographical term and did not refer to a religion. The Arabic equivalent Al-Hind referred to the country of India. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by the Buddhist scholar Xuanzang. Xuanzang uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious" according to Arvind Sharma. While Xuanzang suggested that the term refers to the country named after the moon, another Buddhist scholar I-tsing contradicted the conclusion saying that In-tu was not a common name for the country. Al-Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, the texts of the Delhi Sultanate period use the term'Hindu', where it includes all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists, retains the ambiguity of being "a region or a religion". The'Hindu' community occurs as the amorphous'Other' of the Muslim community in the court chronicles, according to Romila Thapar.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith notes that'Hindu' retained its geographical reference initially:'Indian','indigenous, local', virtually'native'. The Indian groups themselves started using the term, differentiating themselves and their "traditional ways" from those of the invaders; the text Prithviraj Raso, by Chanda Baradai, about the 1192 CE defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori, is full of references to "Hindus" and "Turks", at one stage, says "both the religions have drawn their curved swords. In Islamic literature,'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350, uses the word'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word'hindu' to mean'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu religion"; the poet Vidyapati's poem Kirtilata contrasts the cultures of Hindus and Turks in a city and concludes "The Hindus and the Turks live close together. One of the earliest uses of word'Hindu' in religious context in a European language, was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.
Other prominent mentions of'Hindu' include the epigraphical inscriptions from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim dynasties in the 14th century, where the word'Hindu' implies a religious identity in contrast to'Turks' or Islam
Vahana denotes the being an animal or mythical entity, a particular Hindu deity is said to use as a vehicle. In this capacity, the vahana is called the deity's "mount". Upon the partnership between the deity and his vahana is woven much mythology. Deities are depicted riding the vahana. Other times, the vahana is depicted at the deity's side or symbolically represented as a divine attribute; the vahana may be considered an accoutrement of the deity: though the vahana may act independently, they are still functionally emblematic or syntagmatic of their "rider". The deity may be seen standing on the vahana, they may be riding on a saddle or bareback. Vah in Sanskrit means to transport. In Hindu iconography, positive aspects of the vehicle are emblematic of the deity that it carries. Nandi the bull, vehicle of Shiva, represents virility. Dinka the mouse, vehicle of Ganesha, represents sharpness. Parvani the peacock, vehicle of Skanda, represents majesty; the hamsa, vehicle of Saraswati, represents wisdom and beauty.
However, the vehicle animal symbolizes the evil forces over which the deity dominates. Mounted on Parvani, Skanda reins in the peacock's vanity. Seated on Dinka the rat, Ganesh crushes useless thoughts. Shani, protector of property, has a vulture, raven or crow in which he represses thieving tendencies. Under Shani's influence, the vahana can make malevolent events bring hope; the vehicle of a deity can vary according to the source, the time, the place. In popular tradition, the origin of each vehicle is told in thousands of different ways. Three examples: While the god Ganesha was still a child, a giant mouse began to terrorize all his friends. Ganesha made him his mount. Mushika was a gandharva, or celestial musician. After absent mindedly walking over the feet of a rishi named Vamadeva, Mushika was cursed and transformed into a mouse. However, after the rishi recovered his temper, he promised Mushika that one day, the gods themselves would bow down before him; the prophecy was fulfilled. Before becoming the vehicle of Shiva, Nandi was a deity called Nandikeshvara, lord of joy and master of music and dance.
Without warning, his name and his functions were transferred to the aspect of Shiva known as the deity Nataraja. From half-man, half-bull, he became a bull. Since that time, he has watched over each of Shiva's temples. Kartikeya, the war-god known as Murugan in Southern India, is mounted on a peacock; this peacock was a demon called Surapadma, while the rooster was called the angel. After provoking Murugan in combat, the demon repented at the moment, he began to pray. The tree was cut in two. From one half, Murugan pulled a rooster, which he made his emblem, from the other, a peacock, which he made his mount. In another version, Karthikeya was born to kill Tarakasura, he was led the divine armies when he was 6 days old. It is said that after defeating Tarakasura, the god forgave him and transformed him into his ride, the peacock; the vahana and deity to which they support are in a reciprocal relationship. Vahana are served in turn by those who engage them. Many vahana may have divine powers or a divine history of their own.
Case in point, the aforementioned Nataraja story, represents a conflation of Hindu gods with local gods, syncretizing their mythos as their territories began to overlap. According to one source, "they could be a synthesis between Vedic deities and autochthonous Dravidian totemic deities; the animal correspondences of Hindu vehicles are not consistent with Greek and Roman mythology, or other belief systems which may tie a particular animal to a particular deity. For example, the goddess Lakshmi of the Hindus has elephants, or an owl, or the lotus blossom as her vehicle; the goddess Athena of ancient Greece had an owl as her emblematic familiar, but the meanings invested in the owls by the two different belief systems are not the same, nor are the two goddesses themselves similar, despite their mutual identification with owls. Lakshmi is, among other things the goddess of wealth, her owl is a warning against distrust and isolationism selfishness. Athena, though a goddess of prosperity, is the goddess of wisdom, her owl symbolizes secret knowledge and scholarship.
Due to their shared geography, the Greco-Roman interpretation is paralleled in Roman Catholic iconography, in which St. Jerome, most famed for editing the New Testament, is depicted with an owl as a symbol of wisdom and scholarship. Depending on the tribe, Native American religious iconography attributes a wide range of attributes to the owl, both positive and negative, as do the Ainu and Russian cultures, but none parallel the Hindu attributes assigned to the owl as Lakshmi's divine vehicle; some hold that similar analyses could be performed cross-culturally for any of the other Hindu divine vehicles, in each case, any parallels with the values assigned to animal totems in other cultures are to be either coincidence, or inevitable, rather than evidence of parallel development. In dialectic, this is countered by the retort that each totem or vahana, as an aspect of ishta-devata, has innumerable ineffable
Tagetes is a genus of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the sunflower family. It was described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1753; the genus is native to North and South America, but some species have become naturalized around the world. One species, T. minuta, is considered a noxious invasive plant in some areas. Tagetes species vary in size from 0.1 to 2.2 m tall. Most species have pinnate green leaves. Blooms occur in golden, orange and white colors with maroon highlights. Floral heads are to 4–6 cm diameter with both ray florets and disc florets. In horticulture, they tend to be planted as annuals, although the perennial species are gaining popularity, they have fibrous roots. Depending on the species, Tagetes species grow well in any sort of soil. Most horticultural selections grow best in soil with good drainage though some cultivars are known to have good tolerance to drought. Shores, springs, quiet waters in streams, wetlands, wet meadows, waterside swamps and meadows which are prone to flooding, damp hollows in broad-leaved forests, snow-bed sites, sometimes underwater.
The name Tagetes is from the name of the Etruscan Tages, born from the plowing of the earth. It refers to the ease with which plants of this genus come out each year either by the seeds produced in the previous year, or by the stems which regrow from the stump in place; the common name in English, "marigold", is derived from "Mary's gold", a name first applied to a similar plant native to Europe, Calendula officinalis. The most cultivated varieties of Tagetes are known variously as African marigolds, or French marigolds; the so-called signet marigolds are hybrids derived from Tagetes tenuifolia. Depending on the species, marigold foliage has a musky, pungent scent, though some varieties have been bred to be scentless, it is said to deter some common insect pests, as well as nematodes. Tagetes species are hence used in companion planting for tomato, chili pepper and potato. Due to antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, Tagetes should not be planted near any legume crop; some of the perennial species are rodent - and javalina or peccary-resistant.
T. Minuta from South America, has been used as a source of essential oil for the perfume and industry known as tagette or "marigold oil", as a flavourant in the food and tobacco industries, it is cultivated in South Africa, where the species is a useful pioneer plant in the reclamation of disturbed land. The florets of Tagetes erecta are rich in the orange-yellow carotenoid lutein and are used as a food colour in the European Union for foods such as pasta, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, baked goods, dairy products, ice cream, citrus juice and mustard. In the United States, the powders and extracts are only approved as colorants in poultry feed. Marigolds are recorded as a food plant for some Lepidoptera caterpillars including the dot moth, a nectar source for other butterflies, they are part of butterfly gardening plantings. In the wild, many species are pollinated by beetles; the species Tagetes lucida, known as pericón, is used to prepare a sweetish, anise-flavored medicinal tea in Mexico.
It is used as a culinary herb in many warm climates, as a substitute for tarragon, offered in the nursery as "Texas tarragon" or "Mexican mint marigold". Tagetes minuta, native to southern South America, is a tall, upright marigold plant with small flowers used as a culinary herb in Peru and parts of Chile and Bolivia, where it is called by the Incan term huacatay; the paste is used to make the popular potato dish called ocopa. Having both "green" and "yellow/orange" notes, the taste and odor of fresh T. minuta is like a mixture of sweet basil, tarragon and citrus. It is used as a medicinal tea in some areas; the marigold was regarded as the flower of the dead in pre-Hispanic Mexico, parallel to the lily in Europe, is still used in the Day of the Dead celebrations. The marigold is significant in Nepalese culture, where marigold garlands are used in every household during the Tihar festival, it is always sold in the markets for daily rituals. The marigold is widely cultivated in India and Thailand the species T. erecta, T. patula, T. tenuifolia.
Vast quantities of marigolds are used in garlands and decoration for weddings and religious events. Marigold cultivation is extensively seen in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh states of India. In Ukraine, chornobryvtsi are regarded as one of the national symbols, are mentioned in songs and tales. Accepted species Marigold Commercial Greenhouse Production Growing African Marigolds
A Diya, deya, deepa, deepam, or deepak is an oil lamp used in the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oils. Diyas are native to the Indian subcontinent used in Hindu, Sikh and Zoroastrian religious festivals such as Diwali or the Kushti ceremony. Clay diyas are used temporarily as lighting for special occasions, while diyas made of brass are permanent fixtures in homes and temples. Diwali: The lighting of diyas forms a part of celebrations and rituals of the festival. Houses are decorated with small diyas placed at entrances. In fact, the name of Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means the row of lights. Karthikai Deepam: Diyas known as deepam in Tamil Nadu, can be lighted during the Karthikai Deepam. A diya placed in temples and used to bless worshippers is referred to as an aarti. A similar lamp called. Death: The lighting of diya is part of the Hindu religion rituals related to death. Butter lamp Oil lamp Aarti Rangoli
The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the Mahābhārata is an epic legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes. It contains philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or puruṣārtha. Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Rāmāyaṇa, the story of Ṛṣyasringa considered as works in their own right. Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahābhārata is attributed to Vyāsa. There have been many attempts to unravel compositional layers; the oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text reached its final form by the early Gupta period. According to the Mahābhārata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called Bhārata; the Mahābhārata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as "the longest poem written". Its longest version consists of over 100,000 śloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines, long prose passages. At about 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa. W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahābhārata in the context of world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of William Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Quran. Within the Indian tradition it is sometimes called the Fifth Veda; the epic is traditionally ascribed to the sage Vyāsa, a major character in the epic. Vyāsa described it as being itihāsa, he describes the Guru-shishya parampara, which traces all great teachers and their students of the Vedic times.
The first section of the Mahābhārata states that it was Gaṇeśa who wrote down the text to Vyasa's dictation. The epic employs the story within a story structure, otherwise known as frametales, popular in many Indian religious and non-religious works, it is first recited at Takshashila by the sage Vaiśampāyana, a disciple of Vyāsa, to the King Janamejaya, the great-grandson of the Pāṇḍava prince Arjuna. The story is recited again by a professional storyteller named Ugraśrava Sauti, many years to an assemblage of sages performing the 12-year sacrifice for the king Saunaka Kulapati in the Naimiśa Forest; the text was described by some early 20th-century western Indologists as chaotic. Hermann Oldenberg supposed that the original poem must once have carried an immense "tragic force" but dismissed the full text as a "horrible chaos." Moritz Winternitz considered that "only unpoetical theologists and clumsy scribes" could have lumped the parts of disparate origin into an unordered whole. Research on the Mahābhārata has put an enormous effort into recognizing and dating layers within the text.
Some elements of the present Mahābhārata can be traced back to Vedic times. The background to the Mahābhārata suggests the origin of the epic occurs "after the early Vedic period" and before "the first Indian'empire' was to rise in the third century B. C." That this is "a date not too far removed from the 8th or 9th century B. C." is likely. Mahābhārata started as an orally-transmitted tale of the charioteer bards, it is agreed that "Unlike the Vedas, which have to be preserved letter-perfect, the epic was a popular work whose reciters would conform to changes in language and style," so the earliest'surviving' components of this dynamic text are believed to be no older than the earliest'external' references we have to the epic, which may include an allusion in Panini's 4th century BCE grammar Aṣṭādhyāyī 4:2:56. It is estimated that the Sanskrit text reached something of a "final form" by the early Gupta period. Vishnu Sukthankar, editor of the first great critical edition of the Mahābhārata, commented: "It is useless to think of reconstructing a fluid text in a original shape, on the basis of an archetype and a stemma codicum.
What is possible? Our objective can only be to reconstruct the oldest form of the text which it is possible to reach on the basis of the manuscript material available." That manuscript evidence is somewhat late, given its material composition and the climate of India, but it is extensive. The Mahābhārata itself distinguishes a core portion of 24,000 verses: the Bhārata proper, as opposed to additional secondary material, while the Aśvalāyana Gṛhyasūtra makes a similar distinction. At least three redactions of the text are recognized: Jaya with 8,800 verses attributed to Vyāsa, Bhārata with 24,000 verses as recited by Vaiśampāyana, the Mahābhārata as recited by Ugraśrava Sauti with over 100,000 verses. However, some scholars, such as John Brockington, argue that Jaya and Bharata refer to the same text, ascribe the theory of Jaya with 8,800 verses to a misreading of a verse in Ādiparvan; the redaction of this large body of text was carried out after formal principles, emphasizing the numbers 18 and 12.
The addition of the latest parts may be dated by the absence of the Anuśāsana-parva and the Virāta parva from the "Spitzer manuscript". The oldest surviving