Hindu devotees around the world worship Hanuman, who is one of the most respected gods in the Hindu religion. Hanuman has 108 different names, with Maruti, Bajrang Bali and Anjaneya being three of them.
Important temples like Jahkhu temple in Shimla, Sri Anjaneyar Temple in Ambur in Tamil Nadu and Sankat Mochan Temple in Varanasi are built to worship Hanuman. Another temple dedicated to him has been built in Trinidad with an 85-feet tall statue of the lord.
Maruti was born as a monkey-like human belonging to the ‘vanara’ race. He became Lord Rama’s follower when Rama was out of his kingdom and helped him to release Goddess Sita from evil King Ravana. He single handedly helped Lakshman get back his life, bringing ‘Sanjeevani’ by transporting the ‘Gandhamadan’ mountain.
That is why he is revered by devotees for his courage and might. His sincerity to Lord Rama is also well-known. A lot of Hindu shrines have his idol next to Lord Rama’s suggesting lifelong loyalty and friendship.
Devotees celebrate Hanuman Jayanti in the month of ‘chaitra’ that falls between March and April as per the Gregorian calendar. Fasts are observed and devotees throng to temples to offer their prayers to Hanuman. ‘Chalisa’, a special prayer which consists of 40 verses in it, is chanted by devotees of Anjaneya.
Devotees put on red or saffron colored clothes and bands on wrists. Legend says, Hanuman asked Sita the purpose of wearing sindhur on the forehead; she replied that it signifies Lord Rama’s long life. He is believed to have coated sindhur throughout his body for the long life of Lord Rama.
Hindu devotees believe that Anjaneya is the ‘immortal one’ and still lives today in caves, reciting the name of Lord Ram.
Read about Lakshmi on Prabhubhakti.
All devout Hindus give a lot of significance to religious Hindu hymns and poems in their everyday lives. Most of these chants are chanted on particular events or as a daily routine while there are others that can be recited or heard according to the wishes of the followers. The first poem that strikes your mind when talking about the religious Hindu music is Tulsidas’ ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ that is a religious poem devoted to the god Hanuman.
Hanuman chalisa text is a well known sacred poem that is frequently sung by the Hindus across the globe. Every Tuesday and sometimes on other days of the week, many Hindus sing it in praise of Hanuman.
Mirabai’s bhajans also have a great reverence in holy Hindu poetry. Dedication and devotion are evident in these bhajans which are similar to poems. These bhajans in the bhakti tradition are sung in praise of Lord Krishna.
Mirabai’s poetry puts love for Krishna above everything else in life. In her bhajans, she talks about Krishna as her husband and a romantic partner. They are depiction of Mirabai’s intense longing for union with her Lord. Thus, Mirabai’s music has a religious as well as a loving quality and tone.
The popular songs of Surdas, ‘Sur Sagar’ or Ocean of Melody can not be forgone mention here. Surdas is renowned for this great piece of work, which is a compendium of 100,000 poetic song compositions. However only around eight thousand of them can be found these days.
These poems mainly deal with the life and adventures of Lord Krishna, and reflect the poet’s adherence to the Bhakti movement. They often depict the sacred union of the lovers Radha and Krishna and the heavenly dances they indulged in called Lilas. Any discussion of Hindu spiritual poetry would be incomplete without including Kabir’s composition Bijak or Seedling that contains many songs that deal with a secular approach towards god and philosophy.
The poems are full of ideas of atman, brahman and karma, and have a strong bhakti undertone. They suggest that each of us must look beyond their religious texts and scriptures so as to achieve the unity or ekatwa with the God. Om Jai Jagdish Aarti is also popular Hindu hymn.
Gayatri mantra is considered to be the mother of all Vedas and is highly revered in Hinduism. The mantra is the most powerful mantras of all according to Hinduism and has been described in Rigveda. It is a prayer to God to bring the light of wisdom to us and remove all pains and ignorance. The mantra is receded with Aum which awakens our spirits. Aum is followed by Bhur, Bhuvah, Swaha which are called Vyahrities and they mean Earth, Air and Heaven.
The Gayatri mantra holds three concepts like glorifying God, meditation and offerings to God as prayer. As the mantra raises our consciousness to its highest level it is also known as Savitri mantra. Savitr means stimulator. It can also mean Sun who is the life stimulator or the one who offers light and heat to all living and non-living beings in the universe. That is why Gayatri mantra is chanted as a mantra to Suryadeva, one of the Hindu gods who is the reason for life on Earth. Gayatri mantra is also called Guru Mantra. This mantra has scientific importance also as the sounds created by the words in this mantra balances the energy flowing in this universe. This mantra is praised in Hindu texts like Manusmriti, Bhagavat Gita and Harivamsa.
Read about Hanuman chalisa and understand the relation between Hanuman and Rama, through Prabhubhakti.
Believers of Hinduism and its ideology consider Amarnath as one of the holy places to visit before they leave the physical body and leave the world. The caves of Amarnath, situated in Jammu and Kashmir in India are believed to be more than 5000 years old. These caves are considered as sacred Hindu shrines and most important for place for Hindu pilgrimage. People believe pilgrimage to Amarnath will help them to wash away their sins and bad habits in this present life.
According to history of Hinduism, Amarnath caves are the abode of Lord Shiva. It is believed that, it was in this place where Lord Shiva disclosed the secret of life and eternity to Goddess Parvati, his consort. These caves are known for their pious and calm environment which ultimately resonates in your mind. It’s because of these energizing vibrations you feel fresh and rejuvenated at the end of your journey. It has been observed for several centuries that a Linga which represents Lord Shiva appears every year and continue in this shape from May to August. Pilgrims from different parts of the world come to offer their prayers to this Shiva Linga and request for forgiveness. Groups of devotees visit this holy place every year from July to August, which is celebrated as Shravani Mela, by travelling four to five days.
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