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Thread: A few Questions :)

  1. #1

    A few Questions :)

    Namaste,
    First, I must compliment you all for having such a wonderful site. The moderators are doing a wonderful job, and the regular users are very wise and helpful. I'm not sure where exactly to put this thread, since I expect it to span several topics that I had questions about. I hope that this forum is acceptable.

    My first set of questions is about puja. Are puja's standardized? Do you say the exact same thing every time you do a certain puja to the same deity? Are there maybe advanced and beginner puja's? Are puja's always done in Hindi? What scriptures explain how a puja is to be performed?

    Next is about the three shakti's of Lord Shiva, the Power of will (Iccha), the Power of knowledge (Jnana) and the Power of action (Kriya). Where can I find these explained? What scripture do they come from?

    I just read that Shiva has "Muslim Devotees"? How does that work?

    I guess that will be enough for now... until I think of more questions. Thanks!
    ~Har Har Mahadev~


    Where there is Truth there is Victory

    "The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it." - Michel de Montaigne

    ~Om Namah Shivay~

  2. #2
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    Re: A few Questions :)

    Vannakkam Giza ... As you probably already know, you will get varying answers.

    Pujas aren't really standardized, but usually individuals, once they learn a certain puja, will stick with the same one, only perhaps having minor modifications for shortening it in time.

    The language is Sanskrit, both for home pujas, and in temples.

    If a Moslem were to follow Siva, he wouldn't be a very good Moslem.

    Siva's Powers will vary, according to what you read, or who you talk to. I think a more common idea is 5 .. roughly translates as creation (emanation) preservation (sustaining) dissolution, revealing grace, and concealing grace.

    Hope this helps a bit, but I'm sure other will add to it.

    Aum Namasivaya

  3. #3

    Re: A few Questions :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam Giza ... As you probably already know, you will get varying answers.

    Pujas aren't really standardized, but usually individuals, once they learn a certain puja, will stick with the same one, only perhaps having minor modifications for shortening it in time.

    The language is Sanskrit, both for home pujas, and in temples.

    If a Moslem were to follow Siva, he wouldn't be a very good Moslem.

    Siva's Powers will vary, according to what you read, or who you talk to. I think a more common idea is 5 .. roughly translates as creation (emanation) preservation (sustaining) dissolution, revealing grace, and concealing grace.

    Hope this helps a bit, but I'm sure other will add to it.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Maybe I'm confused, isn't Sanskrit the old written form (before Devangari) of the spoken language Hindi? Sanskrit wasn't a language unto itself was it?
    ~Har Har Mahadev~


    Where there is Truth there is Victory

    "The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it." - Michel de Montaigne

    ~Om Namah Shivay~

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    Re: A few Questions :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Giza View Post
    Sanskrit wasn't a language unto itself was it?
    Vannakkam: Yes it was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit Our Indian brothers will have more to add as to the relationship between the two languages. I know nothing.. I see Devanigiri is used for a couple more languages as well ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #5

    Re: A few Questions :)

    ...
    ~Har Har Mahadev~


    Where there is Truth there is Victory

    "The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it." - Michel de Montaigne

    ~Om Namah Shivay~

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    Re: A few Questions :)

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Pañcavaktrāya पञ्चवक्त्राय pañ पण् is to honor or praise; pañca is 5; vaktra वक्त्र is face or mouth. Hence śiva is being hailed as the 5 faced One. What are those 5 faces? Some call this pañcakṛityavidhiḥ - śiva's 5 great acts. They are:
    • sṛiṣṭi - the creative act
    • sthiti - the protective or maintenance ( stability) act
    • saṁhāra - the destructive act
    • tirodhāna - the act of enfolding or concealing His nature
    • anugraha - that act of revealing his nature - His Grace
    Another way of viewing the 5 (pañcakṛtyavidhiḥ) :
    • sṛṣṭi सृष्टि - letting go or emanation or emission - from this all of creation as we know it unfolds. Note it is an emission of all the tattva's that make up creation
    • sthiti स्थिति - continued existence; continuance in being . We may see this as the maintenance of life or of all creation
    • saṁhāra संहार - contraction; drawing in (like an elephant's trunk); fetching back. Note many like to use the word destruction (vilaya - dissolution , liquefaction , disappearance , death , destruction ) yet this is not what is being communicating here, it is tat of drawing back in.
    • tirodhāna तिरोधान - concealing; covering ( like a sheath , veil , cloak ) ; this covering people wish to call māyā, and we have many posts on this subject.
      Yet here in this darśana (view , doctrine , philosophical system ) māyā is the śakti of the Supreme, in this case of śiva. It is His own self-imposed limitation on his own Self.
    • anugraha अनुग्रह - grace; showing favor, kindness; This we know as His blessings and the main act that brings one to kevala¹


    Siva as 3 fold: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3375


    There is much much more to this, its reasoning and origins. My views are rooted in kaśmir śaivism; these views and insights are found throughout HDF.



    praām


    words
    kevala - simple , pure , uncompounded , unmingled ; the doctrine of the absolute unity of spirit ; some call this mokṣa
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A few Questions :)

    Namaste,

    Devnagari is the script and Sanskrit is the language of the gods. All scriptures are written in the Sanskrit language using devnagari script. Hindi is a derived language which uses the same devnagari script. Sanskrit is the mother language, not in much use today; but all the different Indian languages (20+) are derived from Sanskrit. They do have different scripts though and are used in different geographical locations (states) by different ethnic groups. With this ethnic/linguistic diversity, and resistance to Hindi being declared and used as the national language, English helps to bridge the gap.

    Various shalokas during pujas are in Sanskrit, but the pujas are not standardized throughout the country. The Vishnu aarti (Om Jai Jagdish Hare...) is the most common one, recited in North India at the end of a puja. Various parts of India and devotees of different deities have their own traditions/rituals/pujas. Bhajans (hymns) sung during the puja are all in the native tongue of the area the temple is located in; ditto for the parvachan (spiritual lecture), if that is part of the tradition for the temple belonging to a particular sect of a deity. I am sure others will add on more info and correct me if I have made any errors in my description/explanation.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 29 June 2012 at 12:47 AM.

  8. #8

    Re: A few Questions :)

    Excellent answers guys. Thank you.
    I'm interested specifically in the Iccha shakti, Jnana shakti, and Kriya shakti of Lord Shiva. I've read that these are one of the things that Trishul (his trident) is supposed to represent, anyone know where I might find these in scriptures?

    Random question: I've read the names Swami Lakshmanjoo and Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami often enough to know that they are both highly regarded teachers/authors. (I was lucky enough to find one of Lakshmanjoo's books for $3 at a used bookstore today ) What other Shaivite authors are well-known/respected?
    ~Har Har Mahadev~


    Where there is Truth there is Victory

    "The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it." - Michel de Montaigne

    ~Om Namah Shivay~

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    Re: A few Questions :)

    Namaste

    In the puranas and agamas. It's a very important part of the esoteric cosmologies of the subtle body. I suggest we discuss this aspect more in the chakra systems thread.

    The trishakti is probably also in some middle & late upanishads.

    Pujas are standardized in the sense Believer spoke of - they come from within a parampara, recorded within the scripture (agamas, puranas, some as far back as the Vedas) and are passed down, more or less the same.

    Namaste

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    Re: A few Questions :)

    Vannakkam Giza, everyone.

    As for the first question, I think different people have slightly different ways of performing a puja, depending on how they were taught and the person who taught them. The same goes for priests. But for priests, it also depends on which deity they specialise in. For instance, a priest who specialises in the worship of Vinayagar (Ganesha), might not perform an elaborate puja for Murugan, only the basic and important parts. Likewise for a Saivite priest performing on a Vaishnavite God, although the basic rituals for most important Gods are known by all priests. This is the reason why most famous temples have more than one priest, each specialising in his own, though the rituals for the main deity of the temple are known by all of them.

    As for the language, I'd second what Believer said. It's always Sanskrit for pujas, though the hymns sung later depends on the regional language, for example Tamil, Bengali, etc. Hindi is derived from Sanskrit, and Sanskrit is the Mother of all if not most languages, including European, but some researchers say there was a more ancient language called proto-Indo-European. Sanskrit was spoken by most people in the Indus Valley region thousands of years ago but today retains its ancient stature largely in religious rituals and hymns.

    Puja procedures are stated in many scriptures, including the Vedas themselves.

    The three shaktis you mentioned are specifically those of Lord Murugan and not exactly Lord Shiva. Lord Murugan's Vel (spear) represents Gnana Shakti (power of wisdom) while His consorts Valli and Deivayanai embody Iccha Shakti (power of desire/aspirations) and Kriya Shakti (power of actions/creativity) respectively. Murugan is part of the Saivite pantheon though He has His own Kaumaram sect.

    Now about Shiva's "Muslim devotees". It's a belief that the Kaaba in Mecca contains a Shiva statue or Shivalingam (or some Shiva emblem). Some say the Kaaba used to be a Hindu Shiva temple. Others say a Shiva statue lies buried under the Kaaba. Therefore Muslims performing their 'Haji' are thought to be worshipping Shiva, but keep it a secret. I'm not sure how true this is though, and if this is what you meant by Shiva's 'Muslim devotees'.

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