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India Renuka / Yellamma




<b>India</b> Renuka / Yellamma





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Renuka or Yellamma (Marathi: ???? ??????/ ???????? , Kannada: ???? ??????? ??????, Telugu: ???? ?????/ ????????) is worshiped as the Goddess (devi) of the fallen, in the Hindu pantheon. Yellamma is a patron goddess of rural folk of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Her devotees have revered her as the "Mother of the Universe" or Jagadamba. Legends say that Yellamma is the incarnation of Kali, who on one hand symbolizes the death of ego, and on the other hand is the mother who is compassionate about her children.

Yellamma is worshipped mostly in South India, including Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra, where the deity is known by many names: Mahankali, Jogamma, Somalamma, Gundamma, Pochamma, Mysamma, Jagadambika, Holiyamma, Renukamata, Yellu aai, and Renuka Devi.

In ancient ages, the Yellamma temples were cared for by women known as "devadasis" (which means the servants of gods), who dwelt in the temples and were educated as courtesans or artists. To this day, girls are being dedicated as devadasis to Yellamma, even though the practice is now illegal—the women lead a life as sex workers.

Origin story

The legends of Renuka are contained in the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa and in the Bhagavata Purana.

Early life

Renuka raja (father of Renuka) performed an yajna — a ritual performed to maintain peace and good health. He was blessed with a daughter, who originated from the fire of this yajna. Renuka was a bright and active child and became the most beloved child of her parents.

When she was eight, Agastya, who was the guru of the Renuka Raja, advised him to have his daughter married to Jamadagni when she reached maturity. Jamadagni was the son of Ruchik Muni and Satyavathi and had obtained the blessings of the gods by performing severe penance. Renuka and Jamdagni Muni lived in the Ramshrung mountains, near the present day Savadatti area of Belgaum district. Renuka helped the Jamdagni Muni in all of his tasks of performing various rituals and puja. Gradually she became close and dear to Jamdagni.

Renuka would wake up early in the morning to bathe in the Malaprabha River with complete concentration and devotion. Her devotion was so powerful that she was able to create a pot to hold water made only of sand, one fresh pot every day. She would fill this pot, on the bank of the river and would use a snake which was nearby, turning it into a rope-like convolution and placing it on her head, so that it supported the pot. Thus, she brought the water to Jamdagni for his rituals of oblation. ("Renuka" is derived from the Sanskrit for "fine grain of sand".) The Renuka temple is situated at near Zamania, Ghazipur

Later life

Renuka gave birth to five sons: Vasu, Viswa Vasu, Brihudyanu, Brutwakanwa and Rambhadra. Rambhadra was the youngest and most beloved, gaining the favour of Lord Shiva and Parvati and hence called Parashurama (the sixth incarnation of Vishnu).

One day when Renuka went to the river, she saw Gandharva spirits playing. These were young couples carelessly frolicking in the water with abandon. For a moment, she lost her concentration and devotion and fantasized about playing in the river with her husband. She wished she and her husband had such fun sometimes too, living so close to such a beautiful place. After some time, Renuka came to her senses and cursed herself for her indiscretion. She hurriedly bathed, as she had lost precious time, and tried to create the pot, but was unable to as she had lost her concentration. She even tried to catch the snake but it disappeared. Disappointed by this, she returned to the ashram in shame. Seeing Renuka returning empty-handed, Jamadagni became furious and angrily ordered her to go away.

After being cursed by her husband, Renuka went east and sat in the forest to meditate. In her penance, she met with the saints Eknath[citation needed] and Joginath; she prayed to them and asked to gain the mercy of her husband. They first consoled her, then instructed her to follow their advice exactly as told. They told her to purify herself, first bathing in a nearby lake, and then to worship a Shivalinga, which they had given to her. Next, she should go to the nearby town and beg for rice from the houses (this ritual, called "Joga Bedodu", is still carried out by women during a particular month in Karnataka). After collecting the rice, she was to give half to the saints and cook the remaining half, adding jaggery, partaking of the cooked rice with full devotion. They said that if she performed this ritual for three days, she would be able to visit her husband on the fourth day.
Knowing the anger of Jamadagni, they warned her that she may not be fully pardoned by him, and that she would have to experience the most difficult time of her life for a few minutes. "After that," they said, “you will be eternally revered and will be blessed with your husband.











Ganesh Visarjan




Ganesh Visarjan





from wikipedia

Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: Ga?esa Chatur?hi, sanskrit: ???? ???????) (Ganesh Festival) is an occasion or a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. It is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. It is the birthday of Lord Ganesha. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). This typically comes sometime between 20th of August and 15th of September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Ananta Chaturdashi.

Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

While held all over India, it is at its most elaborate in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and other areas which were former states of the Maratha Empire.
During the Ganesha festival, a household worships a murti of Shri Ganesha. The worship lasts an odd number of days (from 1 to 11 days, sometimes 13). xxx

This festival starting with the installation of beautifully engraved (sculptured) Ganesh idols in colorfully decorated homes and mandapas (pendals). The mandapas has been depicted by religious themes or current events. The idols are worshipped with families and friends. An enthusiastic spiritual atmosphere prevails.

The main sweet-dish during the festival is modak, also known as modagam [kozhakottai] in South India and karanjis. A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of coconut, jaggery and some other condiments. It can be either steam-cooked or fried and the coconut can be fresh/dry grated. A karanji is similar but has the shape of the 4th day moon.

There are also public celebrations of the festival, with local communities (mandals) vying with each other to put up the biggest murti. The festival is the time for a lot of cultural activities like songs, dramas and orchestra.

Wordly meaning of MODAK — MODA means happiness and K is a suffix. Modak means "That which gives (or brings) happiness".

Today, the Ganesh Festival is not only a popular festival - it has become a very critical and important economic activity for Maharashtra. Many artists, industries, and businesses survive on this mega-event. Ganesh Festival also provides a stage for budding artists to present their art to the public.

History say that Lord Ganapati (meaning "Lord"[pati] of the "semi-divine creatures that serve Lord Shiva"[ganas]) was created by goddess Parvati; wife of Lord Shiva. Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. Letting him stand guard at the door she went to have her bath. However, while Parvati was taking her bath, Lord Shiva returned and as Ganesha didn't know him, he didn't allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged and severed the head of the child and entered his house. After realizing that he had beheaded his own son, Lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha's head. In this way, Lord Ganesha acquired the image of the elephant-headed God.

To know more about this deity, please read Ganesha.

From then onwards, this festive occasion has grown in acceptance and today, commands the respect of millions of citizens all over Maharashtra. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak brought Ganesha as a deity out on the streets. It was a unique move by this freedom fighter, which he achieved with the Ganpati visarjana or immersion procession, wherein the mass output of several Ganesh mandals is taken out on a parade on the final day of the Ganesh festival and taken to be immersed. This process was started in 1892 and is now prevalent virtually all over Maharashtra, with special emphasis on Mumbai and Pune. Lokmanya Tilak attached this mass celebration to increase national awareness about the Freedom movement. Herein, neighbourhood Ganeshas are worshipped and brought to immersion sites, where huge crowds gather to bid him an emotional and frenzied farewell.

In Pune, as the sun sets over darkening rivers, the images are taken out in boats and as each one is immersed, a cry is raised asking him to return the next year. It is an emotional and public farewell to their beloved god as parthiva (of the earth), who like the Phoenix, will rise once again the following year.

The first day commemorates certain events connected with Ganesha. It is the day on which he materialised as Mayureshwara, to kill the demon Sindhu, who had acquired extraordinary powers through the worship of Surya. Mayureshwara is also one of the ashtavinayakas (the eight forms of Ganesha). This is also the birth that Shiva has chosen to celebrate in Kailasa.

A special puja is performed for Ganesha. The worship of the deity involves getting a corner ready to receive the god. Ganesha is invited with a special phrase and with material and verbal









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