God is watching us! Part-2

Whenever you’re sad remember someone’s watching you who laughs when you laugh smiles when you smile and feels devastated when you feel sad and what to say about his mental condition when you are depressed. Remember he loves you so much that he keeps an eye on you even when you are asleep. I know he does all these things. He is God. You may call him by different names as per your ideology and religion.

When he created us all with nature and all other creatures; he had done so so that we can enjoy it all with each other. It was all like a game, he made us forget him; that he only had sent us all, that he had played a game that we have to find him without knowing that he only had sent us. It was the task of game that we should find him. He-known for his mischievous behaviour-however created some twists. He created some good things some bad. He created wealth fame fortune along with penury darkness and doom. He created some more illusion(with his maaya) and created bonds that are almost impossible to get rid of. He created parents friends husband wife children and so many other bonds.

But then something very saddening happened. These hurdles and illusion didnt remain just what they were meant for. They took some other shape. We all suddenly got so busy in all these illusions that we all forgot him. He kept on waiting for us to remember him from heart but he couldn’t find us. He kept on waiting but couldn’t see us returning home. He couldn’t see us realising what he had sent us here for. He couldn’t even call us back as that could’ve broken the rule that we have to be here according to our karmas.

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Things then started assuming worst possible overtone. We humans started playing with the creation he had made with so much affection. We started annihilating not only what he had made with so much effort and love but we started subjugating other species weaker than us. And we still are sad.

We get affected from what not. Not getting good marks in school so attempting suicide, not getting good college hence weeping, not getting good lucrative job so getting depressed, lover is leaving us so devastated is our life, then not getting love is again a problem. Even if we get rid of all this then our children not getting good school is again a problem and this cycle keeps on going as it is going on since time immemorial.

Only he knows how many millions billions and trillions of years passed but we humans-no matter how boastful of our intelligence we are- couldn’t find our way back.
He’s still waiting. Not complaining not shouting not arguing not creating disturbance in the rules of game. But he is the one who created us from the part of his soul. His soul is connected with ours. He feels very sad when we cry and weeps for us. He smiles when we enjoy our life. He gets very disturbed when sees that we are upset because of someone our something. He feels helpless when he sees us doing things that keeps us under the illusion which doesn’t let us leave the circle of life and death.

So next time when you’re sad or you feel devastated remember someone is watching you feeling more mournful than you. When you do anything bad to anyone remember he’s feeling bad because he’s in every soul. And remember when you are happy next time, God is happier than you. So never be sad never retaliate negatively to hurt anyone.

Never hurt and destroy the other creations of God. And very importantly never be sad because problems are transient and work as a learning experience.
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Brahma- the creator of the universe in Hindu mythology

Hinduism is a vast religion and probably the oldest one on earth and since every religion has its own theory of birth or creation of the universe, it is apparent that the oldest religion with oldest mythology would probably have one as well. Though in Hinduism this theory is very vast and interesting and has many perspectives in accordance with many sects of Hinduism; there is one entity which is common among all the sects of Hinduism who is the creator of the universe whom we know as Lord Brahma or the creator.

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It was the time when time itself was unborn and nothing-literally nothing-existed moving or static. The whole space was asleep and Lord Narayan was at the centre of it-resting on Anant Sheshnaag when from his naval(naabhi kamal), Lord Brahma was born. When Lord Brahma asked Lord Narayan about the cause of his birth then he was told that it is his duty to create a universe. Lord Brahma obeyed the Lord and obliged and hence the universe came into existence.

There is also a theory of Hiranyagarbha i.e. the golden egg or the golden womb. It is believed that when none existed, the supreme soul or brahman existed and then he created cosmic waters and established a seed in it which turned out to be a golden egg or Hiranyagarbha. The Super Soul entered it and then it broke into two giving birth to the creation of the universe and from the same cosmic golden egg was born Lord Brahma.

Now lets talk about the life of Lord Brahma and what we know about him.

Lord Brahma is actually believed to reside in Brahma lok where he lives with his consort goddess Brahmani or goddess Saraswati. He with his four heads has created four Vedas and his first creation was the four kumaras- Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatan and Sanat who refused to lead the creation as they were completely engrossed in Lord Vishnu/Lord Narayan and were celibates. His life span is that of 100 ‘Brahma-years’ which is much more when compared with our 100 years. His few seconds involves many years for humans on earth.

The life span of Lord Brahma is 100 ‘Brahma-Years’. One day in the life of Brahma is called a Kalpa or 4.32 billion years. Every Kalpa creates 14 Manus(Manu is first male human created by Brahma for birth of humans on earth whose wife Satrupa is first female to give birth to humans on earth. They are like Adam & Eve of Hindu Mythology) one after the other, who in turn manifest and regulate this world’s 4 yugas(yugas=ages)-Satyug(golden age), Tretayug(silver age), Dwaparyug(bronze age), and Kaliyug(iron age in which we are living). At the end of it i.e., at the end of Brahma’s life span, the destruction by Lord Shiva takes place after which Lord Narayan again rests and Brahma gets dissolved in him.

So this is how this cycle takes place again and again and Brahma gets birth for the creation and gets dissolved in Lord Narayan at the end and this is how our universe comes into existence and then gets dissolved all over again with the dissolution of our creator-Lord Brahma.

Surkanda Devi Temple-Shiva, Sati, Daksh and the place where the head of goddess Sati fell

Who among us doesn’t know about lord Shiva and his consort goddess Sati who is the manifestation of Adi Parashakti- the supreme source of energy, the supreme power who has given birth to universe and all the planetary positions and all the demigods along with the three prime gods of Hindu pantheon who form a holy trinity- Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. Goddess sati was the first form of goddess Adi Shakti who took human form to marry lord Shiva. Sati loved Shiva since childhood but his father Daksh Prajapati was a staunch devotee of lord Vishnu but at the same time he barred people from worshipping lord Shiva. Not only this but he abhorred lord Shiva to such an extent that he disliked people who had any inclination towards Shiva. So much was this hatred that he abandoned his daughter sati whom he had loved the most in his life just because she had married Shiva against his wishes.

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Daksh Prajapati is considered as one of the sons of Brahma who after creating ten manas putra (born of his mind), created sons Daksh, Dharma, Kamadev, and Agni from his right thumb, chest, heart, and eyebrows respectively. It is believed that Daksh with his wife Prasuti practiced penance for thousands of years to get adi Parashakti as their daughter and happy with their devotion, devi gave them boon that she will be born to them and sati was born as daughter who was devi herself.

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With passage of time, Daksh turned arrogant with power and sense of feeling that even demigods and saptarishis come to meet him at his will and many of them are his sons-in-law. But he could not stop Sati from loving and worshipping Shiva despite of the fact that she loved her father a lot and was in extreme agony as to what to do with her life as she couldn’t let her father down and at the same time could not stop herself from loving Shiva as they were inseparable since the beginning of time.

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However, there came a time when sati married Shiva and left Daksh’s palace to live with Shiva on Kailash Mountains. Major turning point, however, in the development of sects of Shaivism and Shaktism was Daksh Yagna in which he invited all the gods, demigods, rishis and nobles from heavens and all over the universe but intentionally avoided inviting Shiva and Sati. Sati out of filial affection wanted to attend the grand yagna but Shiva stopped her from doing so because he could see the catastrophe that lay in the womb of time. After much discussion, sati got infuriated. It is believed that it was the first time when ten Mahavidyas of Devi durga emerged from the body of sati. Mahavidyas-the ten fiercest forms of Devi durga-are said to be emerged only because she got angry being stopped by Shiva. Hence Shiva allowed her to go to yagna.

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When sati reached her father’s palace which she had left some time ago, she was extremely glad to see all her sisters, her mother her relatives and others. But what she realized there stunned her to the core. Her sisters, relatives and her own mother neglected her and did not show any affection to her. No one spoke to her there and among all the demigods, saints and sages, and in front of whole society she felt extremely humiliated. But she could take it all had it not been the question of the respect and dignity of her husband, lord Shiva because what Daksh Prajapati did next was unacceptable to her. Daksh started insulting lord Shiva by calling him immoral, dirty roaming ascetic who accompanies ghosts and goblins. Sati unable to bear it took the form of adi Parashakti and made Daksh realize his mistake. All the guests present there got extremely petrified and that form of her struck terror into their hearts.

 She reminded Daksh who she was. She also reminded him that she was his daughter because she was happy with his penance but in arrogance of power he had forgotten that her relation with Shiva was divine and they were eternal consorts. She however did not kill Daksh-because in human form, he was her father and she couldn’t kill her father-or anyone present there but she couldn’t face her husband again either because he insisted her not to attend the yagna but she didn’t listen to him. She felt extremely remorseful that she disobeyed her husband who was stopping her for her happiness and allowed also for her happiness. Such was her anger and aggravation mixed with guilt that she immolated herself with the fire of her own body’s yoga Shakti.
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Everyone got petrified. They had no idea what would happen now when the mother goddess immolated herself and what would be the reaction of lord Shiva who is known for the accomplishment of the task of destruction among the holy trinity.

Atmosphere of yagna turned into that of rampage when Shiva got to know it. He invoked Veerbhadra and Bhadrakali to destroy Daksh yagna. Veerbhadra beheaded Daksh and Bhadrakali destroyed Daksh yagna which is the reason that one of maa Durga’s 108 names is Dakhshyagnavinashini (one who destroyed the yagna of Daksh).

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When Shiva reached the locale and heard all the cries and witnessed the bloodshed, he resurrected all those who were slaughtered and blessed them as he is known to forgive all. He also forgave Daksh and replaced his head with that of a goat. But it didn’t help grief stricken Shiva and he couldn’t get peace in his heart and mind.

After that, Shiva carried the burnt body of sati and rendered Taandav dance which is the dance of destruction which brings demolition of the whole creation. Demigods got agitated and prayed to lord Vishnu for help. Thus lord Vishnu had cut Sati’s body into 52 body parts using his Sudarshan Chakra which fell on Earth to become holy spots to pray to the Goddess named Shakti Peeths.
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All these Shakti Peeths also have lord Shiva in his Bhairav form. And this is how Shakti Peeths came into existence.

Now there are places on this earth where parts of sati’s body fell and devotees throng from all around the world to these holy Shakti Peeths to seek blessings of maa shakti. I visited one such temple recently in Dhanaulti near Mussoorie. Maa Surkanda Devi’s temple is believed to be the place where the head of sati fell. Though there are other temples which are believed to be the location where sati’s head fell, Surkanda Devi temple is a very known and revered temple.

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As the head of sati fell here it was originally called as Sirkhanda which with the passage of time became Surkanda. Temple has a black idol of maa durga which is beautiful and makes the devotees extremely ecstatic and delighted. It was a great experience for me to behold that look of maa durga with motherly affection and tranquility. The temple premise has a temple of Bhairav and maa Kaali as well like other Shakti Peeths.

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Besides, it also has lord Shiva and lord hanuman temples.

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It is situated on top of a hill in Dhanaulti from where the picturesque hills and valleys can be seen along with the Himalayan peaks. It’s so serene to be at the top of the hill, to have a look on the beautiful foggy hills that one really loves to get lost in the peaceful ambience of the temple. Open area outside temple gives beautiful scenic view to the devotees. The tiring trek to the temple vanishes with such experience and that is a great feeling one gets on top of the hill in temple.

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So this is the story of Devi Surkanda where the head of maa sati fell, and Shiva, Shakti (Sati) and Daksh and how Shakteepeeths came into existence. This is the story of love and pain of separation. This is the story of ignorance of Daksh who later felt remorseful and became a devotee of lord Shiva and spent all his life worshipping lord Shiva; passed his life visiting temples dedicated to lord Shiva.

But this could not end the love of Shiva and Shakti which is beyond time and reach of mortals. Sati once again took birth as Parvati as daughter of Himavan-king of mountains and Devi Maina. This time she married Shiva and they got their love to cherish it forever.

And this was my journey to the Surkanda Devi temple which I had been wishing to visit since last few years being a devotee of maa Shakti. The peace of mind that one gets at the temple of maa Shakti is beyond words. I simply can’t describe the motherly affection I feel I get from maa durga. So all that I can say or describe is that if you really wish to feel that divine affection of maa Surkanda or innocent Maa Sati and that serene atmosphere, you must visit the hill station of Mussoorie-Dhanaulti and must visit this divinely great temple amidst the colossal hills and beautiful valleys.

Pictures courtesy- Except wallpapers, all the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s photography-www.facebook.com/Shekharsphotography001/