Archive for the Dev Diwali Category

Within Your Own Heart

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“For the sake of it, you journey to sacred shrines and holy rivers; but this priceless jewel is within your own heart.”
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib – or Adi Granth, the religious text of Sikhism)

This is the heart of Lolark Kund, one of the oldest sacred sites of Varanasi (Benaras).
This rectangular tank of 15m height below the ground level is a sacred pond for many Hindu devotees who come here during Lolark Shasthi to worship the Sun God.
The word Lolark means “trembling Sun” and there is an image of Surya, the Sun God, in the water of the tank.
This tank is attached to the most important of 12 temples of Aditya (Sun God) in the city.
The entrance to the kund can be reached from either of the three flight of steps which descend down towards it.
Aditya is believed to prevent and cure leprosy or sterile women and to favor blessings on couples particularly those wanting to bring forth male progeny for various reasons including carrying on family name, economic bonanza,…
This is the reason why many devotees and childless couples come to have a daily dip in the waters of this sacred pond.

This picture was shot during the night of Dev Diwali while two priest started to display lotus flowers and marigold garlands on the holy water of the Kund (tank).

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Hope

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences

“When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God.”
(Charles Livingstone Allen – American Pastor,1913–2005)

This is Lolark Kund, one of the oldest sacred sites of Varanasi (Benaras)which is not far from Tulsi ghat along the Ganges.
This tank is attached to the most important of 12 temples of Aditya (Sun God) in the city.
Aditya is believed to prevent and cure leprosy or sterile women and to favor blessings on couples particularly those wanting to bring forth male progeny for various reasons including carrying on family name, economic bonanza,…
This is the reason why many devotees and childless couples come to have a daily dip in the waters of this sacred pond.
This picture was shot during the night of Dev Diwali.
A lingam (symbol of Shiva) was floating in the tank among lotus flowers and garlands made of marigold.
Everywhere candles were lit as a mark of welcome to God who is believed to descend on earth on that special day…

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The Healing Sun

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.
Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”
(Paracelsus – Swiss Renaissance physician, 1493–1541)

From Tulsi Ghat there is a long and narrow staircase which leads to Lolark Kund, one of the oldest sacred sites of Varanasi (Benaras).
This rectangular tank of 15m height below the ground level is a sacred pond for many Hindu devotees who come here during Lolark Shasthi to worship the Sun God.
The word Lolark means “trembling Sun” and there is an image of Surya, the Sun God, in the water of the tank.
This tank is attached to the most important of 12 temples of Aditya (Sun God) in the city.
The entrance to the kund can be reached from either of the three flight of steps which descend down towards it.
Aditya is believed to prevent and cure leprosy or sterile women and to favor blessings on couples particularly those wanting to bring forth male progeny for various reasons including carrying on family name, economic bonanza,…
This is the reason why many devotees and childless couples come to have a daily dip in the waters of this sacred pond.
Also many come back to Lolark Kund after the fulfillment of their wishes in order to perform Mundan Sanskar (head-shaving sacrament).

This picture was shot during the night of Dev Diwali.

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Eradicating Demons

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
(Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta known as Buddha, 563-483 B.C.)

This is a picture of Bhonsale Ghat during the night of Dev Diwali when the Lord comes down to Varanasi (Benaras).
After the moon is sighted everyone lights up Diyas (lamps) all over the ghats along the holy waters of the Ganges.
The meaning of this festival is to eradicate our inner demons while meeting the Lord.
Happy festival to eveyrone…!!!

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Devas and Men

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“… it is hard to realise that we are both human AND devic in the most profound aspects of our humanity.
We are indeed human and deva and the two inseperatable parts are needed to make a whole person – one part totally unable to function without the other.”
(From “Devas and Men” by Southern Centre of Theosophy, 1977)

Dev Diwali, or Dev Deepavali, as the name indicates is the Diwali celebration of the Devas (Demi Gods).
It is believed that Lord Vishnu returned to Vaikunta, his abode on this day after the Vamana incarnation and visiting King Bali.
Another legend has it that Lord Shiva killed the three demons, who were killing the Devas and humans, and destroyed the three cities built by them on this day.
The day is also known as Kartik poonam or Karthik Purnima and Tripurari Poornima.
Dev Diwali is observed tonight on the full moon day in the month of Kartik in traditional Hindu calendar and this is the most important festival in Varanasi (Benaras).
It marks the end of the fortnight of Diwali celebrations and a major event on the day is the lighting of Diyas (lamps) during night after the moon is sighted.
The meaning of this festival is to eradicate our inner demons while meeting the Lord.
After leaving king Bali, the Lord rejoined the devas on this day, the devas celebrated His arrival in jubilation and thus Dev Diwali came into being.
Though the devas celebrated the Lord’s return, we mortals celebrate Dev Diwali by eradicating our inner demons – the base instincts of ego, anger, greed, lust, … and the resulting manifestation of divinity within.

This picture was shot at the begining of the celebrations when the moon was reflecting in the holy waters of the Ganges, showing this boat carrying a few pilgrims to the main ghats.

Happy festival to eveyrone…!!!

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The Way to Heaven

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“If only the bone of a person should touch the water of the Ganges, that person shall dwell, honored, in heaven.”
(A popular śloka from the Mahabharata)

This is Manikarnika Ghat during the night of Dev Diwali in Varanasi (Benaras).
This place has a great significance not only in Hindu mythology and way of life but also in the philosophies of life and death as this is the “Maha-Shmashan” or the Great Cremation Ground of the entire Universe.
Hindu mythology teaches that this ghat is especially sacred and that persons cremated there receive moksha and are granted instant salvation, it is an instant gateway to liberation from the cycle of births and rebirths.
There stands the sacred fire (dhuni) which might be the oldest fire, it is said that this place is the “navel of the world”.

Today Western Christians will observe All Saints’ Day and I thought that this picture could make a bridge between the two cultures.
Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven and the “church militant” who are the living.
Tonight the tradition is to light candles while visit ing the graves of deceased relatives in cimeteries and the atmosphere will be very close to what I see along the sacred river at the same time of the year…

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The Gist Of All Worship

Posted in Dev Diwali with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by designldg

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“This is the gist of all worship: to be pure and to do good to others.
He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak, and in the diseased, really worships Shiva.
And if he sees Shiva only in the image, his worship is but preliminary.
He who has served and helped one poor man seeing Shiva in him, without thinking of his caste or creed or race or anything, with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.”
(Swami Vivekananda – Indian Spiritual leader of the Hindu religion (Vedanta), 1863–1902)

During Dev Diwali there is a dense crowd gathering at almost each ghat along the holy waters of the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
This huge painting of Lord Shiva at Dasaswamedh Ghat reminds the legend saying that the City of Light was founded by the deity several thousand years ago making this place the oldest living city in the world…
I took this picture from Anand’s boat in the heart of traffic jam on the sacred river.

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