The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel “spear” so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.Thaipusam or Thai Poosam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. It falls in Tamil Solar month Thai which is Solar month Makara in other Hindu calendars. It is celebrated not only in countries where the Tamil community constitutes a majority but also in countries where Tamil communities are smaller such as Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia. This festival is also referred as Thaipooyam and Thaippooyam.
This festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel or spear so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadam. Don’t assume that you have to be in India to see Thaipusam. The festival is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Mauritius, and pretty much anywhere that there is a sizable Tamil community.
Ratha Yatra or the Chariot Festival is a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India. This annual festival is celebrated on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya. The Puri Rath Yatra is world famous and attracts more than one million pilgrims every year, not only from India but also from the different parts of the world.This festival is a symbol of equality and integration. The 3 deities, Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are worshipped within the temple, on this festival they are taken to the streets of Puri so that everyone can have the fortune to see them. The 3 deities make an annual journey to their aunt’s temple (Gundicha Temple), 2 km away from Lord Jagannath temple.
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide.Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings.
The origin of river Ganges lies at the height of 13,800 feet in the mountain ranges of Himalayas, in Tehri Garhwal, near Gangotri. It begins high in the Himalayas as a pair of head streams. It begins in an ice cave in the mountains about 10,300 feet above sea level. Gangotri is known as the place of origin of the revered Ganges river, known as Ganga in India it is also consider one of the holy place in chota char dham . The holiest of the Indian rivers, is the longest river in India and the greatest waterway in India. The river has been declared as India’s National River. Ganges is the source of sustainment of life in the great Indian plains and it is at Gangotri that the journey of Ganga begins. River Ganges gets water from the melting snow of Nanda devi, Gurla, Mandhata, Dhaulagiri, Gesaisthan, Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest. Many small and big rivers merge with the Ganges in the Himalayan region. The Ganges river flows through Bangladesh, but the greater part of it flows through India. The river flows across the northern corner of India. The Ganges flows across India and Bangladesh until it empties out into the Bay of Bengal. The great river provides water to many places, and many places rely on it.
There are many versions of stories regarding the origin of Ganges. In another story the sage Valmiki of Ramayana, Ganges was the daughter of ‘Himalaya’ and ‘Maina’. The deities abducted her and took her to heaven and from then onwards, ‘Ganga’ started living inside the ‘Karmandala’ (a spout shaped vessel). According to Kritivas Ramayana the deities had taken ‘Ganga’ to Lord Shiva to get her married with him. When ‘Maina’ did not find her in the house, she cursed to attain the form of water.
The word “tantra” is derived from the combination of two words “tattva” and “mantra”. “Tattva” means the science of cosmic principles, while “mantra” refers to the science of mystic sound and vibrations. Tantra therefore is the application of cosmic sciences with a view to attain spiritual ascendancy. In another sense, tantra also means the scripture by which the light of knowledge is spread: Tanyate vistaryate jnanam anemna iti tantram.
There are essentially two schools of Indian scriptures – “Agama” and “Nigama”. Agamas are those which are revelations while Nigama are the traditions. Tantra is an Agama and hence it is called “srutishakhavisesah”, which means it is a branch of the Vedas.
The original name of Hinduism is Sanatan Dharm. ‘Sanatan’ means eternal and ‘Dharm’ means those actions, thoughts and practices that promote physical and mental happiness in the world and ensure God realization.
The mind, devoid of its passions, becomes like a well-tamed animal, obedient, useful, more productive and more exact.