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5.05.2008

Pataleshwar temple, Shiva Temple in Rashtrakuta Style

Pataleshwar Temple, alias Panchaleshwara temple, Pune:

The ancient land of the Rashtrakutas displays fine craftsmanship in chiseling out a place of residence and worship right into the heart of the very earth that surrounds their land. The Rashtrakutas are better known during the 6th to 8th century for their contributions to the Ellora caves. Their sculpture is not the finest, being extremely broad shouldered sculptures with very small legs; they are rather disproportionate, such that the sculpture cannot carry his/her weight. This is the point of view of a current day art critic.

The Rashtrakutas provided places to stay for wandering intellects and tired travelers during the Monsoons. Pune would have been a fabulous destination during the ancient days. Today the city has grown swallowing up this tranquility into itself with cement residential areas coming up everywhere.

Please click on the photos to enlarge them
There was a time when intellects and monks stayed here in these caves for a brief period. During this time they discussed matters of philosophy and worshipped the Lord in the main shrine. Beating the Monsoons and providing a quiet ambience, Pataleshwar temple defines every inch of what rock cut cave architecture is about. The circular mandapa is a treat to the eye, with pillars carved into a single bed rock that stands sculpted in the middle of the courtyard. This whole temple complex would have once been a sheer solid rock outcrop and carving into it would have been an ambitious task.

Moving back to the era of the 8th century around which time this temple was planned, the initial landscape would have been that of a rocky boulder with probable thick vegetation surrounding it. Assuming the surface was flat, the initial ground plan would have been visualized to describe the form of a Shiva linga, with the current Nandi Mandapa forming the main linga circle of this temple in aerial view. Digging down into live rock, with acute sense of geometry and precision, this temple would have taken a few years to sculpt out of live rock. Situated on the river side, this temple has the perfect ambience of a Buddhist chaitya and vihara.

It was a perfect place to stay, with room like cells dug into the walls on either side of the main hall. The ambience was very close to that of a Buddhist vihara, with a reservoir/well for water supply. This place would have been spectacular during the Monsoons with wet rocky floor carpeted with green moss across. Pataleshwar temple is a simple structure. As a chaitya, it contains a unique central Nandi mandapa, circular on the outside providing a path of circum-ambulation around the stone idol of Nandi housed within 4 square pillars on a square base. Nandi looks on straight towards the shrine chamber of Lord Shiva.

The courtyard is simple, flattened out and smoothened, leading up to a small cave with 2 rows of simple square pillars very similar to those found at Ellora (Teen tala). This cave was carved during the same period hence the resemblance is very vivid. Walking deeper into the main hall, this cave was left half finished in the interiors. What was probably planned for was a path of circum-ambulation around the main sanctum which was left incomplete, mysteriously in the same way as that of the ancient cave temples in the south at Mahabalipuram. The plan for this sanctum was to have a single entrance only.

Two rows of distinctly crafted pillars carefully chiseled out indicates that as the temple was being dug into, there were a set of sculptors polishing up the exterior row of pillars while others had already begun to carve the iconography of the Lord onto the large niches. None of the sculptures remain; hence it’s largely guess work to identify the sculptures of Shiva that adorned these walls. The central zone has three chambers in a line; I would suspect that these were originally empty. The present sculptures of Rama, Lakshman and Sita are later additions, maybe belonging to our era. By iconographical reference, they do not fit into this temple given their Vaishnavite origin. During the 8th century, there was no mix of divinity in these forms.

The main shrine is a living temple today, with a rather small Shiva linga in the center of this little chamber. Given the monumental shrines we see at the sanctums of Ellora, Ajanta and Elephanta, this is particularly small. I would suspect the Linga had been destroyed in time and has now been reinstalled for this size does not fit that era. The shrine chamber definitely has been subjected to a high degree of renovation in current times, given the floor has tiles inlay for the peetha and a brass crown covers the present linga.

This is a beautiful example of Rashtakuta design in sculpture and architecture, a clear representation of deep faith, a result of all the sweat and hard work to sculpt this abode for the Lord. The crowning glory of this region of course is not remembered for the making of this cave temple during this period but later during this period of the Peshwas in 1749 A.D. when Maharaj Chatrapati Shivaji came to reside here with his mother.

The Rashtrakutas have faded into history, their dynamism stretching across Karnataka and Maharastra is embedded within these cave temples that now provide the much needed peace and tranquility in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city.

Photo courtesy: Flickr.com (creative commons)

41 comments:

JC said...

Hi Kavitha, ‘I’ waited for someone else to take the lead, but it appears no one is available…Maybe Shri Anon’s computer keeps her away from accessing the blog.
‘I’ had been to Poona (now Pune, perhaps derived from ‘punah’ that is ‘again’) first time in the year 1960 on the ‘Educational Tour’ from college with our batch of Civil Engineers. It was a bit hectic schedule of that region that included visit to under construction Koyna Dam before that. I remember only that in Pune we visited the Meteorological Department office, and Central Water & Power Research Station located at Khadagwasla where model tests are carried out related with multi-purpose Projects in the country…

In connection with an official work, ’I’ happened to revisit the Station once more in ’69 also. However, instead of staying in their guest house at Khadagwasla in a secluded place, ‘I’ decided to stay in the heart of the city in a cheap private Lodge on Jungli Maharaj Road itself…and enjoyed my evening walks, masala dosas and sugarcane juice in the evenings, for a few days…

It was during this visit that on a Sunday, in order to pass time, ‘I’ happened to visit in a conducted tour by bus the underground temple - located on that road itself - carved out entirely within the rock that fascinated ‘me’…However, those days ‘I’ wasn’t interested in the idols…and therefore do not remember to have seen any!

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle

The life on the comments section of this blog is you, and until you start no one really does.

Anonymous has gone silent and Anilji might be busy.

It would be a little silly if i left comments to myself :)

This temple is small, i think on the Jungli Mharaj road itself but the tranquility it displays and the ancient aura continues to hang well and strong over its walls.

To most of the world this would like another cave, half done with no idea as to why they took so much trouble.

And i was all too surprized to realize this beauty was not even covered in our under graduate history books

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

“Hari ananta, Hari katha ananta…” conveys the basic concept of different and innumerable view-points of the various ‘apparent truths’ that believably originated from the one and only Formless Nadbindu the ‘Absolute Truth’…In this respect, ‘I’ have come to believe the Bhagavad Gita to explain the basic concept of ‘maya’ that is illusion regarding human behaviour vis-à-vis the animal life forms seen apparently through the eyes of Krishna the flute player as the believable representative of Formless Vishnu/ Shiva the Yogeshwara…viewing through innumerable eyes its creation…Thus making it possible for each character in the drama to visualize oneself as one of the images of Shiva!

JC said...

The story of blind men describing an elephant is perhaps the simplest analogy that conveys the basic concept of illusion as it is conveyed in tehGita also, wherein Krishna says that the entire creation is within him, but because of Maya that is illusion each and every person sees Him within him/ her…

With the above in mind, being born in the present day Himachal Pradesh, ‘I’ can visualize ‘myself’ as Himalaya’s daughter Parvati’s son as an infant…who - like rain-water - reached New Delhi on the banks of River Yamuna at the age of 2 years…
on whose bank mischievous Krishna was born, but at Mathura!

Extending this thought to the visit to Pune in connection with some 'model tests' (with the background thought that 'I' myself am an image of God'!), and landing on a lodge in Jungli Maharaj Road without any pre-plan could relate the soul within me to its possible past life! Searching on the internet, ‘I’ learn, “Jangali Maharaj was a Maharashtrian saint who lived in Pune in the late 18th Century. And that "Jungle" (Jangali) "King" (Maharaj) is an eponym of Shiva.” And, as per historical records, our title ‘Joshi’ relates me to the present day Maharashtra, the state whose coastal region is the origin of ‘life-giving’ rain-water…
And, so on...for 'A poet can reach anywhere, even there where sunllight can't'!

JC said...

One learns from the internet that legend has it that Vishwatmak Gurudev, known as Jangli Maharaj, was sent into incarnation by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha as the embodiment of universal power. And that it was his coincidental meeting with Swami Samarth while passing through Akkalkot in Maharashtra whose advice transformed him from a person who had till then used his spiritual power for harming innocent people.

He went into the jungles for deep meditations and was, therefore, given the name of ‘Jangli Maharaj’…

Vishwatmak Gurudev visited Karad, Nerela, Rethere Harnaksha, and since then these places have reportedly been considered sacred.
[It is therefore interesting for ‘me’ to recall that we had to pass one night sleeping on the ‘dirty’ platform of Karad Junction on our bedrolls (while stray dogs moved between us), when we visited Koyna Dam, which was approachable from Karad…]

Finally, he is believed to have gone to Shivajinagar and sank into deep meditation in the Bhamburde jungle…

JC said...

‘I’ forgot to mention a peculiar incident while we were returning after the visit to the first underground (Patal) Koyna Dam being constructed in India to catch the next day's early morning train for Bombay (that is now Mumbai) - in the year 1960, on ‘educational tour’…

Now ‘I’ can perhaps call it a miracle that one of the students with the bed-roll in his hands came out safe like a spring, virtually instantaneously, having fallen between the gap of two coaches of the running train while attempting to enter any unreserved compartment in the absence of any advance reservation…The name of the lucky student happend to be Jagdish Raj, a jovial boy from Ganganagar in Rajasthan, popular for his jokes…

Maybe, Kavitha could associate it with the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta, who reportedly ruled a vast empire that stretched from the Ganga and Yamuna River doab in the north to Cape Comorin (Kanyakumari) in the south, believably ‘a fruitful time of political expansion, architectural achievements and famous literary contributions.’…

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

I was thinking about the name Jangli Maharaj, a rather strange name i thought, didnt know why he was called so.

Yes, I read about all the places and forests mentioned while i was digging up on Pataleshwar temple. I am still trying to understand why this temple has been named such. Given it is under grund is an obvious conclusion but the connection between Pataleshwar and Panchaleshwar didnt get me too far.

Hope to know more from you in this regard.

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

Kavitha, It appears that at a certain point in time in the ‘past’, the ‘planet earth’ – ‘non-living’ for the ‘present day scientists’ who apparently have still lot to learn, (but continue to get a egoistic feeling as if they are already there – thanks to Time, Kaliyuga the ‘Dark Age’!) - was understood by the ‘wiser ancients’ as the essence of the universe, which they expressed in just three words, “Satyam Shivam Sunderam.” That is, “Shiva is the the Truth (satya) / essence (satva) and He alone is beautiful”…

They cryptically conveyed that ‘Shiva’, in physical form, meant ‘Earth’ - by calling Shiva as ‘Chandrashekhara’ that is the one ‘who has the Moon on his forehead’, and also ‘Gangadhara’, the one ‘who holds in His locks (forests), the sacred River Ganga’, thanks to the valiant efforts of King Bhagirath (River Bhagirathi is the name of the Ganges in its initial reaches), the grandson of King Sagar (literally the ocean), who worshipped for 5, 500 years (!) near Gangotri Dham and managed to make Lord Vishnu agree to release the Ganga waters from His feet, (it is also believed that the River Ganga descended from Moon), and also Lord Shiva to agree to hold her on His head!

There can be many other such indirect hints, however, in short one apparently finds the ancients to have indicated Earth (Shiva), or its present centre, (‘patal’ or ‘heart’ that is its core, where His original consort Sati’s form is present as ‘Ma Kali’ the ‘destructive force’ in the form of the molten magma, and as Moon or Parvati the ‘shailputri’ the daughter of Himalayas, in the ‘sky’), itself as the original location of ‘Nadbindu’ (Vishnu) the source of infinite energy as the original Formless Creator whose energy is now stands distributed -concentrated at the centre of all heavenly bodies, that is, the centre of all galaxies that fill the infinite void of the universe as we believably see it today – which is apparently ‘anant’ or unending as it is still expanding with time…
In the forms of models in human forms Moon is indicated represented by Draupadi/ Panchali, as the wife of five Pandavas… These represent panchtatva/ panchbhoota of Shiva the Bhootnath that is the Formless Creator, and therefore Shiva called Pataleshwar as well as Panchaleshwar, both indicating the core of earth…

kavitha said...

Thank you Joshi uncle, that was really enlightening. therefore Patala as a place is not meant to be literally "hell" or a place one wouldnt want to find them selves. Maybe in hierarchy it belongs to the land of the Nagas. I am not sure whether this name was given during the Rashtrakuta period or later.

You have always believed in the representations of various forms of deities as part of the earth and solar system, and I have had a problem accepting it as a whole though some of your explaantions do make logical sense. :)

Your explanation of Pataleshwar and Panchaleshwar makes a lot of sense.

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

Yes Kavitha, Kavitha, The ancients used code langauage and thus different words to convey what Time or era was being considered in the mythological stories...

Although it was the molten magma inside the earth that was being referred as the source of earth’s satellite Moon, the ‘wise ancients’ called the father of Sati - believably the original consort of Shiva who died in a ‘sacred fire’ - as Daksha Prajapati (‘daksha’ meaning ‘expert’)…
The father of Sita (also meaning ‘cool’, say as Moon, as well as a grooves or furrows made on the top-soil by a plow for sowing seeds) in Treta Yuga, also indicated as born from underground, was called King Janak (the creator), and father of Draupadi, or Panchali, who was believably born in a ‘sacred fire’ in Dwaper Yuga was called Panchal Naresh (naresh meaning King, indicating the panchtatvas that believably go into the formation of all physical forms)…
Kavitha, To convey what Time or era was being considered in the mythological stories, although it was the molten magma inside the earth that was being referred as the source of earth’s satellite Moon, the ‘wise ancients’ called the father of Sati - believably the original consort of Shiva who died in a ‘sacred fire’ - as Daksha Prajapati (‘daksha’ meaning ‘expert’)…
The father of Sita (also meaning ‘cool’, say as Moon, as well as a grooves or furrows made on the top-soil by a plow for sowing seeds) in Treta Yuga, also indicated as born from underground, was called King Janak (the creator), and father of Draupadi, or Panchali, who was believably born in a ‘sacred fire’ in Dwaper Yuga was called Panchal Naresh (naresh meaning King, indicating the panchtatvas that believably go into the formation of all physical forms)…

JC said...

Sorry for the duplicate copy paste in the earlier comment!

Kavitha, It could be added that Shiva the Mahesha was also referred as Tripurari or Tripureshwar, the Lord of the three worlds, Sky, surface of earth (and water), and underground or underwater…Mahashiva referred the solar system, the term used to visualize human form as the various permutations and combinations of the essences of the selected members of the solar system, which are believed located at different levels from tail-bone end to head, for explaining the apparent hierarchy among the human race at any given point in time…

For indicating the negative aspect of Shiva, the word 'Tripurasur' was used...

JC said...

The ‘ancient advanced Hindus’ believed that which didn’t change with time as the ‘truth’ of the drama in human life…Therefore, ‘we the pople’ today unknowingly continue to live even today in ‘patal’, that is, underground in the modified topography of earth through human agency…

The ‘natural’ caves, in the past that were created by the panchbhootas directly by eroding the relatively soft sedimentaly rock intrusions in the harder surronding rocks and made available to ‘humans’ as chaityas or viharas; or to other animals as their dens etc., are now represented by man-made masonry edifices, temples or residential palaces/ flats etc!
And we are competing with the Himalaya-like high mountains!

JC said...

We the apparently ‘foolish people’, ‘due to lack of knowledge’ (as indicated also in the Gita, besides obsessive human nature for carnal pleasures; anger; ego; greed; and perhaps inferiority complex - as hurdles in achieving the goal of attaining ‘moksha’), helplessly act believably like Dwaper Yuga characters, such as naturally blind Kuru King, Dhritrashtra, and his wife Gandhari, who wasn’t naturally blind, but remained blind due to anger at being deceptively married to a blind man and, therefore, revenge as her goal…Due to lack of faith, they remained enemies of Krishna…And on the other hand, as a contrast, we have historical character, Surdas, who was naturally blind and yet remained a devotee of Krishna the sudershanchakra-dhari, who gets reflected even today in the form of cyclones/ hurricanes/ tornadoes and yet the majority remains blind to the existence of the believably undying Krishna! For examples, over 20 thousand Myanmarese are killed by ‘Nargis’ and yet the Military Govt., or Junta, like Kauravas, ‘foolishly’ believes itself stronger than Krishna even, because they are more powerful than peace-loving monks (as per the script written by mischievous Krishna, of course!)!

‘Hindus’ believed that there might be delay in God’s kingdom but justice is sure to be delivered in favour of the meek at long last when it’s the right time – even Brahma had to wait for Vishnu to act!

JC said...

'Nature' apparently played greater role in the 'past'...

It is the naturally available basalt rocks in this region, which are of volcanic origin and permit carving out underground structures, as well as the idols, in the available rocks itself that otherwise would need to have been carried out in masonry - as seen in some other regions of the country…It was because of the relatively higher earthquake proneness of the Himalayan region, compared to the South, (which was, in fact, believed to be almost earthquake free until the June 1967 earthquake in the Koyna Dam region that necessitated modification in the earthquake map of India since then), that big structures were originally virtually ruled out earlier. The Himalayan forest region thus had sparce population, consistingly mostly of spiritual souls who withdrew from the chaostic life in the other densely populated regions of the country…

Like advancement in technology due to space travels in the ‘present’, the 'past' experienced advancement of a different kind that was ‘spiritual’ in nature…and stories pertaining to the ancient times still continue to mystify the modern man…and perhaps need to be read between lines...

JC said...

From the character of Jangli Maharaj also one can learn how each individual is born with certain capabilities associated with any individual and with time apparently gets refined – like a beautiful figure sculpted out of a crude piece of soft or hard rock…
Vishwatmak Gurudev as a young person reportedly was unusually tall (more than seven feet), of athletic build, and very strong. He believably was a hatha yoga expert and an Indian style wrestler who, when young, liked to show off his yogic powers and used them against ordinary people. However, the ‘turning point’ in his life reportedly was his chance meeting at Akkalkot with Swami Samarth, a superior soul, a Guru who was responsible in his transformation into a sage with deeper meditation in the various jungles of Maharashtra…[In case of Mahatma Gandhi, the ‘turning point’ was his ejection from a First Class coach on to the railway platform in South Africa, for example]...

Time and place thus play the main role in the drama of human life as indicated by the wise ancients and they thus, after doing in-depth studies, apparently reached Mahakal Shiva as the cause of the drama for He is believably related with time and space ‘Zero’ while the physical universe is related with apparent time and space, and therefore subject to transformation with time…

kavitha said...

When we study art history, its very clear that the progress from rock cut cave architecture was gradual towards structural temple architecture.

Structural temple architecture came up only during the Gupta period and later at Aihole we see the transition to temples built independent of live rock. During the 2nd cen B.C. to 3rd cen A.D. people knew only how to dig into hill sides. It was not an after thought that they would not be able to query the stone.

The first caves dug into during the Mauryan period in hte Barabar hills in Bihar clearly indicate they had just started to learn this art.

Joshi uncle, architecture in India has been very very gradual, and temple architecture had reached its pinnacle well before fort architecture showed up. It had nothing to do with the foot hills of the himalayas as much as it had to do with the need for a quiet exit from the noise of society.

Thinking about the caves of Ajanta and Ellora, they were built along the river that cut through the western ghats so that access between these caves for the monks could easily be by ferry. More interestingly, these routes were part of a greater scale - one of the many routes that led to Bamiyan in Afghanisthan, the then caravan city and strong hold of literature for Buddhism.

Its very interesting to read about how architecture in this country progressed, specially with the cultural war between buddhism and brahmanical cults taking various twists and turns.

I would have loved to spend the rest of my life researching on the evolution of architecture in India.

Regds
Kavitha

JC said...

Kavitha, There is a saying, an essence of apparent study of behaviour of ‘Nature’ over long spans of time and at different locations, “Old order changes yielding place to new.”
‘India’ also is thus apparently undergoing change – much more rapid in the recent times, due mainly to ‘churning’ of a higher volume involved due to ‘population explosion’ all over the world and, therefore, more and more demand for ‘natural resources’ and additional space to fulfil requirements related with bread, clothing and residential accommodation for all, besides other innumerable needs for other sectors of ‘material development’ (perhaps at the cost of the ‘spiritual’, as well as for other ‘inferior animals’). However, surface area of earth is limited and the available topography presents new challenges, in all apparent fields of human activities…

JC said...

Perhaps it is high time now for Kaliyuga’s characters also to try to attain, if possible, Tretayuga’s Hanuman-like capabilities - as described by Tulsidas in his creation, Ramayana, in his words, “Sukshama roop dhari siyahi dikhawa, vikat roop dhari lank jarawa,” that is, he could get transformed to a smaller or bigger sized ‘vanar’ as the situation demanded it (‘va’, as in Shi-va-ya, might have stood for ‘vayu’ that is air, and ‘nar(ah)’ for ‘man’ capable of flying in air that perhaps, after passage of time, got linked with monkey or ape (as the believable forerunner of human race, as it has been found in the ‘present’ also – perhaps closer to a chimpanzee)…The Yogis believe that there is some astral place from where objects can be recalled to the planet earth and also where non perishables return even on their own!

JC said...

The Hindu mythological stories convey ‘rakshashas’ as ‘mayavi’ that is experts in creating illusion to any viewer.

The ‘devtas’ are believed to have not learnt this art initially because they were internally the same as was reflected by their exterior form. It is certain Gurus, that is Jungli Maharaj-type Yogis as their relatively inferior reflections, who at a later date, for example in Tretayuga, are depicted to have trained Lord Rama in this art in order to be victorious over Ravana, his son Meghanad, also called Indrajeet the one who won over Indra the king of devtas in the past, and their other relatives. Interestingly, however, Indra and Rama both are indicated to be models of Sun at different times. It is also known that besides the colours that become visible in the spectrum of white light, there are ultraviolet and infrared rays which also apparently manage to enter partially into earth’s atmosphere…

All ‘suryavanshi’ kings are thus indicated to have two Gurus, one for guidance regarding day-to-day drama of the physical forms and the other for ‘spiritual’ guidance over long terms, for attaining ‘moksha’ to the soul, which is entrapped within the exterior form…

JC said...

We have earlier seen elsewhere how Sun is indicated as the fifth head of Brahma and Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesha are referred as Tripurari evolved to perfection through ‘churning’ over four stages, starting from the Dark age that is ‘Kaliyuga’ related with Yogiraja Krishna (centre of our ‘Milky Way Galaxy’ (“Kshirsagar of Hindu mythology”) that apparently acts like a churner, that is, a centrifuge and similarly our solar system, like cream, is found located towards the outer periphery of our galaxy)/ Kali, who believably remains in the heart of Shiva the Yogeshwar that is the red molten magma in the core of our planet earth...

Stories indirectly indicate Trimurty Shiva (Bhairavnath) as mischievous by indicating Krishna as 'natkhat Nandlal', for He is related with real time as zero during which the creation apparently came into existence, and the 'present' indicates the apparent time during which the creation is being reviewed by Formless Creator...and it reflects teh beginning that is almlost the end of review of Kaliyuga's related events...

JC said...

Kavitha, Your blog has made me recall the name of Jungli Maharaj with whom ‘I’ appear to have been indirectly introduced during my two visits to Pune. First time it was in the year ’60, (after visiting engineering works in Karnataka, the geographical and cultural meeting point of the North and the South ‘India’), and also to Koyna Dam that has an underground power house (in ‘patal’), via Karad Junction associated with his name, where ‘I’ was apparently one of the witnesses of a ‘miracle’. ‘My’ heart sank when ‘I’ saw him disappear down the gap between two coaches, to reappear in the same manner the next moment to a much needed relief and happiness! The accident could have marred our further visit to Mumbai, for a few days, and from there to Madras (Chennai)…

And another visit to Pune once again (‘punaha’) in ’69 when ‘I’ physically visited the rock cut temple, on the road after his name where I happened to stay in a lodge (named Swagat, ie, welcome!), as part of the conducted tour of some other places around Pune city…
Later on, in the late Seventies ‘I’ was physically involved for some years, more of it related with pre-construction stage of a hydro-electric project that envisaged construction of an underground power house and a few tunnels (thanks to Pataleshwar, perhaps!)…Thus ‘I’ was perhaps luky to have participated in celebrating Vishwakarma Puja deep inside a small sized tunnel where a worker played a drum (which is associated with planet Saturn the Lord of the Rings, or sudershan-chakra dhari Vishnu) during the Puja…

JC said...

As ‘I’ had elsewhere informed, ‘I’ wasn’t naturally inclined to performance of rituals and believed it wasn’t my buisiness to poke my nose into His affairs, as He must obviously be busy with the care and maintenance of the infinite universe in its innumerable aspects…’I’ had no objection to visit temples when my elders asked me to accompany them to one…
It was only ‘my’ family members who became instrumental in my wanting to seek Her (Kamakhya/ Kali) when certain events happened that my ‘scientific mind’ couldn’t explain…My stay in the northeast region, also was instrumental in many of my vists to Kolkata the land of Ma Kali in the late Seventies and early Eighties. And, similarly in the last nine years ‘I’ have already visited Mumbai almost 10 times…and ‘I’ decided to visit temples located in Mumbai – particularly Siddhi Vinayak, Babulnath, Mahalakshami, and Mumbadevi Temples…which ‘I’ did once at least - escorted there with my relative(s) of course…For, based on my experience, incidents cited elsewhere already, now ‘I’ have no problem in accepting the presence of souls without forms as well as the Formless Creator as their King or Bhootnath…

JC said...

From my maternal uncle’s experience also, which ‘I’ had earlier narrated elsewhere in details, ‘I’ am convinced about possession of the body by a ‘soul’ that was apparently responsible for his chronic gout. Also another person once had told me how he had gone to some place in Rajasthan for exorcision of four ghosts that had possessed his sister that was indicated by change in her voice at certain fixed hours of the day regularly!

In fact, perhaps such souls that could possess anyone at times could perhaps be seen indicated by the Yogis as 8 numbers ‘chakras’ at different levels within the human form and believably having essences of selected eight numbers planets, Mars at the base (with the dormant 9th one attached to it) and Moon at the head level, the three VIPs, with 6 others at intermediate levels…

JC said...

The Yogis expressed this by calling ‘Krishna’, the representative of Vishnu (Nadbindu or a point, South Pole as the base of earth, ie, Shiva with form)/ Shiva (the formless, North Pole as the head of the earth) the Yogeshwar as ‘natkhat’ or mischievous…Saint Tulsidas also indicated that one sees God in the form in which one believes Him to be…

In view of the above-said, ‘wise ancient Hindus’ advised one to attempt reaching the Formless through any physical form according to one’s liking (for God believably resides within all forms)…

Krishna in the Gita indicates the only purpose of humans on earth is to seek the Formless as well as God with form…and the ‘wise ancient Hindus’ indicated God to be “Yatra, tatra, sarvatra,” that is ‘here, there, and everywhere’…even in a dust particle (and hence the application of ‘bhabhoot’ or ash on the forehead – for Shiva believably has ash applied on His body)…

JC said...

About lack of knowledge in ‘modern day’ mothers, there is an interesting example that is generally cited: A mother picks up her child from the floor and scolds it for spoiling its garments with dust, which is applied all over its face and arms too. She then gives it a bath and sprinkles another form of dust on its body – talcum powder!

And interestingly, an elephant after its bath in river water, similarly applies dust on its body by picking it up from the ground and sprinkling it on to its large body by blowing air through its trunk! And Hindus believe Ganesha to be elephant-headed demi-god or ‘devta’!

JC said...

We also know that dust or soil is generally classified in three categoies: Silt, sand, and clay.
Rocks also get naturally formed of the soils and also are classified in three categories: Sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous, depending upon the different processes of their formation…These also get disintegrated into soil particles through any of the innumerable different agencies located within the three worlds. And, these might also get worked upon/ sculpted to result in different shapes at different time periods…as it is observed to have been worked upon by natural agencies to result in different animal etc shapes of the continents/ sub-contients…

Use - in mega structures - of concrete (a mixture of sand, aggregate, cement and water) in the ‘present’ is credited to Romans as it is reportedly seen to have been used first in the construction of Pantheon that had the biggest dome constructed in concrete for almost 1,500 years…In ‘India’ however, stone, or bricks, (even sometimes with mud plaster for poor people), have apparently been put to more use since long in masonry works, in the ‘present’, that is, Kaliyuga, literally the ‘Dark Age’ when evolution had apparently begun, and during which darkness, or ignorance, believably ruled…The mythological stories, however, indicate much advanced human capacities progressively during Dwaper/ Treta/ Satya Yugas…and believably thanks to characteristic property of Time, it is beyond average man’s capacity to visualize that and only highly elevated souls at any time can experience the Absolute Truth – of humans being ‘images’ of God Himself/ Herself/ Itself at the end of Satyu Yuga…

kavitha said...

Joshi Uncle,

Quite a few interesting thoughts go through your ever active mind. There is change in the obvious sense, but there is also stability taht is not so apparent.

We continue to worship the same gods whose existence is currently being questioned by the Supreme court.

The Indian sentiment and belief is way too deep and ancient to be shaken by mere questions against visible proof of faith.

Isnt that a sign of equilibrium as an undercurrent. Isnt that a serious wake up call that we still find complete devotion in worshipping a God who looks like a hybrid creature to the world outside but is endearingly called Ganesha to our people?

Somethings will stay no matter what and it is that constant that people need to identify with themselves.

They just have their priorities misplaced, but with time this too shall change. Unfortunately there is a massive drift towards materialism, the never ending rat race controls the lives adn thoguths of people, and few "waste their time" on blogs like mine.

Yet its something they cannot ignore, they will realize with time how wrong they were. No one is prepared for old age. God bless them then.

JC said...

Kavitha, Once someone is convinced of infinite Universe, that is, infinite void filled with infinite numbers of revolving galaxies, or ‘chakras’, as God in physical form, who is also represented as its essence by our our Solar system as well as human form too, it becomes easier to enter the mind of the Formless Creator the believable ‘Nadbindu’ through the minds of the ‘wise ancients’ that is ‘advanced creations’, such as Krishna!

The universe is called ‘Brahmand’ in Sanskrit, the believably most evolved language in the ‘past’, literally means ‘Creator’s Egg’ in the words of the ‘wise ancient Hindus’, who indicated God to be Unborn, just as an egg represents ‘life’ remaining yet to be delivered till it is hatched by its mother!

Any human being’s soul also is believed to have earlier passed through a predetermind cycle of 8.4 million animal forms before it first attained the human form…and might continue to do so eternally. However, it is also indicated that that’s not the purpose of the Creator. It is perhaps like a reflection of the man-made similar cycles of line-production of certain end products where each creation is judged by representatives of the producer who might reject some samples and send them for recycling…

JC said...

A single thought might lead to many others. For example, ‘I’ recall the experience of a collegue’s wife in the UK, as told by him to me. She worked in a factory that produced hair brushes. She was employed for six months or so in the work related with inspection of the finished products at the end of the line of production: she would pick up for inspection each brush and put the rejected ones in a bin while forwarding the duly inspected ones for action by concerned marketing people…
Personally, ‘I’ could go back down the memory lane to the early Sixties when ‘I’ went for a 90-day training in the Steel Plant located at Rourkela, Orissa…where ‘I’ observed the processes involved in production of steel plates starting from raw materials, in a chain like fashion, passing through Blast Furnace, Rolling mills and so on…till rolls of plates as per the requird specifications were stacked…In this process additionally ‘I’ also got to compare attitudes of the German workers posted there, who apparently were much more dedicated and disciplined than us ‘Indians’ - workers and officers…and saw how there were strikes taking place every alternate day, resulting obviously in loss of time and money and unhappiness…at all levels, due mainly to human resource mismanagement, resulting from prejudices carried over through time, based on various factors, such as, castes, language, ‘sons of the soil’ vis-à-vis ‘foreigners’, and so on…that is applicable today at all regions...

JC said...

In the above comment, the rejected material, or ‘impurities’ that is ‘slag’ is removed from the Blast Furnace itself, separately for disposal, while steel in molten form is poured into ladles for transport via railroad to other workshops for preparation of slabs of predetermined size, which are further pressed when red hot to obtain the required length and thickness…
*********
To appreciate the drama of human life, traveling mentally to the apparently recent past, during the British Rule that stretched over centuries *as extension of ‘foreigners’ rule’, ‘India’ had come to a state of equilibrium. We the ‘natives’/ ‘tribals’ in different regions apparently had the liberty to enjoy life as we wanted it, in our own way, as long as we didn’t interfere with the regional government. One was satisfied with whatever one could produce on one’s own and didn’t look much for assistance to come from others. Famines therefore sometimes resulted in numbers of deaths at the same time in certain regions due to vagaries of ‘Nature’ (which aren’t under human control anyway, any time – and now farmers commit suicide, but over a period of time and, therefore, they themselves are responsible and not ‘Nature’!)…
We were apparently happier, because before that Rajas/ Maharajas that is Kings were fighting with each other. And that’s exactly what ‘state governments’ are apparently doing today even under the federal government, perhaps because the government at the centre was initially weak and has grown much weaker over a few decades itself…
It’s apparently like a heavy superstructure built on a weak foundation and which is becoming heavier, and still heavier, with passage of time, therefore, apparently waiting to collapse any time (and is symbolically represented by a camel that is being loaded – waiting for the last straw to be placed on its back!)…

The ‘wise ancient Hindus’ apparently realized Time or Mahakal Shiva responsible for it, while we in the ‘present’ blame each other…and apparently go along the periphery of the circle (like surface of earth, that is, Shiva) and never reach the centre (Kali/ Krishna/ Nadbindu)!

JC said...

The ‘present’ was realized by the ’wise ancients’ as ‘Kaliyuga’ the ‘Dark Age’ that is the remotest past at the beginning when darkness or ignorance (for Venus teh friend of Saturn ruled that is related ithe poison rflected by blue colour and metal steel)…and, therefore, with the perfect ‘Nature’ also observed apparently to exist in the background, which as a model is better reflected in human life in a family where there are grand parents, who belonged to the ‘past’, the parents represent the ‘present’, and their children or grand children who represent the ‘future’…

Thus when one gets to see the universe, he is perhaps reviewing the ‘past’ or bhoota that represent the Bhootnath - the Formless Creator’s album that reflects His successes as well as failures while He evolved from pure (sound) energy…It is perhaps reflected by planet Saturn, Shani (the word evolved from ‘sha-na-ee’ that is slow, as it takes 30 times more compared to earth to go around the sun, as it is known to present day scientists also during the recent past only, as also about existence of beautiful rings around planets Jupiter, Saturn (beautiful most), Uranus and Neptune…

And the Hindu mythology indicates Krishna as the representative of Vishnu the physical representation of Nadbindu the Creator and the source of Big Bang (which is perhaps reflected by the observed sound of drums, besides that of tinkle of bells and chirping of birds emanating from Saturn, perhaps being the representative or essence of the three-in-one God)…

JC said...

Not only Saturn, even our fiery Sun reportedly sounds like as if it is playing a stringed instrument, a harp, which the ancient ‘wise Hindus’ related with the ‘Indian’ stringed musical instrument, ie, (Rudra) Veena, and with the Goddess of knowledge and consort of Brahma, Saraswati! And also with sage Narada, who apparently reaches anywhere on earth or the heaven using the name of Vishnu like mantra, that is, ‘Narayana Narayan’…Also Lord Rama believably touched with His feet to revive Ahalya, who was turned in he last life in to stone and also Bharat ruled over Ayodhya with His sandals on the throne during Rama’s absence! And sunlight is believed to be the direct and indirect source of all life on earth!

But, a poet reportedly can reach where even sunlight can't!

JC said...

Thus the ‘wise ancient Hindus’ considered Brahma that is our Sun in the ‘sky’ as Brahma’s fifth head that was cut away by the three-in-one God, while four of its heads remained on earth to influence each of the cardinal directin…perhaps to keep life on earth out of reach of its harmful effect due to atomic radiation, as part of a grand design, and as one of the aspects of the apparently detached three-in-one Mahesha - that is our earth as one of its three aspects and, therefore, ‘Shiva the Destroyer’ pointing towards our earth as ‘mrityulok’, the place where death of ‘animal life’ is inevitable, but only after playing some important role in the leela or drama!

JC said...

In the ‘recent past’, ‘we the people’ have apparently come to know that our brain is a super analogous computer, whose reflection, in a relative inferior form, is seen in the man-made digitial computers that are continuously undergoing evolution to reach ‘perfection’ – that is in other words reach the true copy of the ideal man who is perfect in all aspects!

The ‘wise ancient Hindus’ have conveyed through various mythological stories in code words that physical forms - including ‘animal life forms’ as a whole - are instruments that are created primarily to serve the purpose(s) of their creator, who believably is the one and only Supreme Being that believably is unborn and unending and thus exists in some special form of energy called supreme soul (for energy is found indestructible even in the relatively inferior ‘present’ and therefore all round imperfection in humans who believably according to the ‘wise ancients’, in the east as well as the west, is a ‘true image’ of the creator itself)…

JC said...

Thus apparent ‘imperfection’ in humans that in a way serves the purpose of reflecting hierarchy is thus believably serving some useful purpose known to the Supreme Being only who alone is perfect, whereas we the humans, apparently each one of us, is given a feeling of ‘inferiority complex’, although as a race on the other hand we get a sense of superiority because of existence of other ‘inferior animal life forms’ who ‘naturally’ normally show respect and regard for the human race as a whole…and also keeps a large number busy trying to study peculiarities in their behaviour, and reaching some conclusion regarding the mystery of life…

JC said...

The ancients said, “Yatha Brahmand, tatha pinde,” and the ‘present day wise’ also express the same finding to the effect that macrocosm and microcosm function on the same principles…which to an average man could convey that perhaps the ancients have also tread the path in the ‘past’ which is being retraced in the ‘present’ also…And, the ‘wise ancient Hindus’ however, apparently based on much more in-depth overall studies, apparently reached the believable ‘Absolute Truth’ of the Formless Creator – His reviewing His Own Past again and again, through imnumerable other eyes, actually as projections in His Third Eye, that finds representation in humans as ‘mind’s eye’ where dreams apparently get projected…Krishna in the Gita also apparently said to the effect that the whole ‘Nature’ is copying Him directly or indirectly for He is present within all forms such that the apparently different exterior results only from Maya that is illusion!

‘I’ had earlier given the example of my exclusive album that believably contains only ‘my’ photographs - from birth to the ‘present’. And because ‘I’ am aware of it ‘I’ can say with confidence that it’s ‘me’ in all photos and that ‘I’ appear different in each of them because each one is my frozen image at a certain point in time in the ‘past’. If ‘I’ am asked how ‘I’ would look like in the ‘future’, ‘I’ would perhaps point with confidence towards ‘dust’ as the likely ultimate appearance of ‘my’ exterior only, but ‘I’ would remain ignorant about what happens to my ‘soul’!

JC said...

As per ‘Hindu belief’ the soul in ‘future’ might find itself either within a form that is superior to its position in the ‘present’, or maybe inferior. However, the believable ideal position would be to merge with the believably ever detached Supreme Soul…

And, for achieving that state’I’ would need to live a detached life while maintaining minimum attachment with the earth in the present itself…

For achieving this state, Krishna suggest surrender of all actions in Him!

JC said...

And, ‘Yogiraja Krishna’ (meaning ‘Black’) is indicated as the representative of Vishnu the Nadbindu, the Supreme Formless being to start with. Represented, say, by the ‘present’ South Pole of our planet earth, as the base or ‘mooladhar’ of the eventually attained ‘perfect’ earth, which is depicted as the essence of the unending infinite sized ever expanding ‘perfect’ universe. And, the perfect Earth, Krishna’s supreme form (Shiva the God with form), was believably attained through evolutionary processes, in four stages, by ‘Krishna’ eventually returning back to his perfect Formless state, with the North Pole as the head of the globe and thus Earth - Krishna’s supreme form on the whole - as ‘infinitely wiser’ compared to Krishna’s original formless state!
In the human form as the believable model of the universe, the Yogis conveyed ‘asht-chakra’ or energy of eight galaxies represented as essences of selected members of our solar system housed concentrated at eight points at different levels of the Central Nervous System (the ‘Merudand’ or spinal column) to represent the essence of the universe – the Poles represented by ‘Mooladhar Chakra’ at tail-bone end (essence of planet Mars), and “Sahasrara Chakra’ at the head level (essence of Moon)…

Maybe as a wild guess, because life is apparently realized as only symbolic, the unchanging fixed hexagonal formation, reportedly observed at the North Pole of planet Saturn (reflection of Vishnu) recently, indicate the six intermediate points (as images of Brahma/ Sun as Brahma’s detached head) that keep Ganesha (as the strong base that believably holds vital information tightly locked up, or dormant, unless ‘kundaini gets activated) away from his mother Parvati (in the head)…and therefore resultant ‘imperfection’ in humans particularly in the Kaliyuga the Dark Age that has its roots in the Dark Continent…

PuneMate said...

Good article, I have linked to your blog.
PuneMate

Anonymous said...

My understanding of the church's teaching about Satan is that if you err as a Christian, Satan may punish you. Part of the books of John and perhaps other scriptures say that the armies of God will destroy Satan and Satan's people. This means that the Christians will be pious and godly, thus avoiding the penance of Satan, and destroying their demons within. It is not meant to attack other people and races.

Tarun Agrawal
W'91, WG'98

JC said...

Thanks Shri Tarun Agrawal, The basic idea under 'Sanatan Dharm', ie, the practice continued in 'India' from the very beginning, the 'Yogis'/ 'Siddhas' the all-rounders realised man as a model of the universe (infinite dark void, ie, Krishna/ Kali)... Reflected through our Solar System, or/ rather the selected nine members of it, from Sun (the sole source of energy on earth surface responsible for sustenance of physical forms that inhabit the earth) to the cold planet Saturn (essence believed used in the form of the Nervous System, while essences of the other eight members of the solar system go in to the formation of different components of the physical body, essences used in different permutations and combinations in each form to reflect the grand variety that's apparent in 'Nature')...

Today a;so,'we' have come to know that the entire infinite sized universal void is filled up with innumerable, infinite sized galaxies... Maybe, single, or in clusters, or super clusters thereof...

In view of the above, one has to read the mythological beliefs between lines...