Saturday, July 15, 2017

Know Indian Culture: NATRAJ

Shiva as Lord of the Dance (“Nataraja”—nata meaning dance or performance, and raja meaning king or lord)
The visual form of Nataraja has Shiva with four arms dancing within a circle of flames (the prabhamandala.) lifting his left leg and standing on a dwarf, Apasmara, who symbolizes ignorance.
His upper right hand holds the drum of creation (hourglass-shaped drum), beating the pulse of the universe and also music for Shiva’s dance. 
The drum, called udukkai in Tamil, represents sound as the first element of an unfolding universe. 
In his upper left hand, Nataraja holds the fire of destruction, which according to Hindu mythology is the instrument of annihilation at the end of each cycle of creation. These two symbols, therefore, illustrate the intricate balance of the forces of creation and destruction in the universe.
Front right hand is in the abhaya mudra (the “fear-not” gesture, made by holding the palm outward with fingers pointing up.
The uplifted left leg signifies revealing grace that liberates souls from bondage.
The lower left hand, meanwhile, which points to the uplifted leg in assurance that Shiva’s foot is a refuge for all true believers, and surrender to God is the path to liberation.
In classic Sanskrit treatises on dance, this form, the most common representation of Nataraja, is called the bhujamgatrasa (“trembling of the snake”).
Shiva’s third eye is open. The destruction he brings is not blind but serves a purpose. And the open third eye, of the Ajna chakra of Wisdom symbolizes that he can see what we cannot. The stars and planets are entangled in his hair as ornaments which gives the universe itself.
The ring of fire around the figure of Nataraja represents the manifest universe.
Lotus pedestal on which the entire image rests places this universe within the heart or consciousness of each person. 
The flowing hair of Lord Shiva in his dance symbolizes a rejection of society, showing Shiva as an ascetic.
The figures of Ganges, crescent moon and skull are also usually found in Nataraja sculptures, and are common symbols of Lord Shiva. 
The snake around the waist of Nataraja represents the ‘kundalini,’ or divine force found in all beings.
The gestures of the dance represent Shiva’s five activities (panchkritya):
  1. shrishti(creation)
  2. Sthiti (preservation)
  3. Samhara (destruction)
  4. Tirobhava (illusion), and
  5. Anugraha (grace or salvation).

IT is a dual statement of stillness and motion, the static sculpture representing the intense activity of Lord Shiva. The stoic face of Lord Shiva represents his composure and neutrality, unaffected and above all forces.

Friday, July 07, 2017

बेसब्री से इंतज़ार किया

पारा पैंतालीस पार किया,
कितनों का फिर संहार किया!
उस प्रकोप से कौन बचे ,
जब ऐसा अत्याचार किया। 

धरती का आँचल सूख गया।  
नदियाँ भी हँसना भूल गयी। 
खेतों की हरियाली भी,
जाने कब से ग़ायब हुयी। 

आसमान से किरणों ने 
ताबड़तोड़ है वार किया। 
काली बदरी की फौजों का 
बेसब्री से इंतज़ार किया। 

फ़िर काली बदरी छाई है 
बूंदों की फ़ौज भी लायी है 
जो भी खोया किसान ने,
ये छोटी सी भरपाई है। 

तलवार चली फ़िर बिजली की,
और बाण चले हैं बूंदों के। 
जब सावन सबका मीत हुआ,
तो दुश्मन भी भयभीत हुआ। 

मानसून जो आया है। 
संग सौग़ात भी लाया है। 
न खोने का कोई ग़म रहा,
इतना जो हमने पाया है। 

एक ऐसा ही उपकार किया 
एक ऐसा ही उपकार किया। 

Swachh Iconic Places (SIP)

The Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission has included following 10 sites in phase-I of SIP:
  • Ajmer Sharif Dargah
  • CST Mumbai
  • Golden Temple, Amritsar
  • Kamakhya Temple, Assam
  • Maikarnika Ghat, Varanasi
  • Meenakshi Temple, Madurai
  • Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra, J&K
  • Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri
  • The Taj Mahal, Agra
  • Tirupati Temple, Tirumala. 

10 new Iconic places selected under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places are:
  1. Gangotri,
  2. Yamunotri.
  3. Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain,
  4. Char Minar, Hyderabad,
  5. Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi, Goa,
  6. Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam,
  7. Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola,
  8. Baijnath Dham, Devghar,
  9. Gaya Tirth in Bihar and
  10. Somnath temple in Gujarat.