Diksha is a ceremony of initiation and the entering of a religious order. It involves a guru giving a mantra to a disciple and having the disciple agreeing to follow a certain religious practice. During diksha, a Guru provides a disciple with a Guru Mantra. The sole aim of the Guru Mantra is to control the senses and set the individual in the path of Brahman consciousness.
What connects Bengal and the Indus Valley Civilisation? A 2,500-year-old archaeological site, suffering from neglect might have the answer. A thriving settlement between the 4th century BCE and 12th century CE, Chandraketugarh is often thought to be the kingdom of Gangaridai as referred to by ancient Greek and Roman writers. Apart from its historical significance, Chandraketugarh is of great cultural importance, associated with Bengali poet and astrologer Khana, the daughter-in-law of Varahamihira, the famed astronomer and mathematician who was part of Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s court.
Budaun is a historical city with its history lost in its dusty avenues and sleepy streets. It seems nothing more than a secluded small town. But moving around the city, you can come across numerous historical ruins and monuments that reveal many legends from its past. Situated on the banks of the river Ganga, Budaun is indeed a hidden gem of Uttar Pradesh. Budaun was the capital of Delhi Sultanate for four years from 1210 CE to 1214 CE during Sultan Iltutmish rule (reign: 1210-1236 CE).
The festival season in India means bright colours, lights, giant floats, ceremonies and excitement. The major Indian celebration is Durga…
Read More Durga Puja in Varanasi
Kolkata, the City of Joy, is known for its cultural significance. The 350-year old metropolis boasts of a rich heritage and several popular landmarks that exude a distinct charm. As the sun sets, painting an evening sky with a hundred shades of red and orange, the cruise sails through the Hooghly river.
The Kumbh Mela — the largest congregation in the world — sees world gathering of saints, pilgrims, devotees to take holy dips in the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Saraswati. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse and purify ones’ soul of all sins. Recognized by UNESCO as India’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, Kumbh Mela never ceases to amaze and its amazement is always felt in the grandeur of it being the largest religious-cultural festival in the world.
The arrival of annual visitors — the Siberian gulls — at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad heralds the onset of winters. With the onset of winters, these Siberian birds spread their wings to take flight of thousands of kilometres all the way from Siberia via Afghanistan, Mongolia and Tibet crossing high Himalayan mountains.
A river in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be legally recognised as a living entity and granted the same rights as a human. The sacred river will be granted all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person after a 170-year battle led by a local Maori tribe known as the Iwi. Rights of Nature or granting legal personhood to nature may finally provide balance in legal systems around the world that tend to view nature as only an economic resource for humans.
Makar Sankranti is about nature, energy of the sun, harvest of new crop, and progress of mankind. It marks the end of Malmaas, an inauspicious month in the Hindu (Panchang) calendar, and the transition of the Sun to the zodiacal sign of Makar (Capricorn) to herald a change in season.
In Hindu tradition Triveni Sangam is the "confluence" of three rivers. Sangam is the Sanskrit word for confluence. The point of confluence is a sacred place for Hindus. A bath here is said to wash away all of one's sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth. One such Triveni Sangam, in Prayagraj (Allahabad) has two physical rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and the invisible or mythic Saraswati River. The site is in Prayag (Allahabad).