The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism from the Princeton Bollingen Series (Princeton/Bollingen Paperbacks)
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The study of Hindu mythology explores the significance of the most prominent Hindu dieties as they are envisioned by the Hindus themselves. Referred to by its adherents as the "eternal religion," Hinduism recognizes for each age and each country a new form of revelation--and for each person, according to his or her stage of development, a different path of realization.
This widely praised study of Hindu deities reveals the message of tolerance and adaptability at the heart of this ancient religion.
five letters of the Siva mantra represent the symbols of the fivefold aspects of all the forms of the world of life, beginning with the five elements. PURPOSE: Spiritual realization as well as worldly achievement and warding off danger and fear. NUMBER OF REPETITIONS: 108, thrice or five times daily. REFERENCES: Śiva Purāṇa, Śiva Āgamas, Brahma-jābāla Upaniṣad 2.4.  Haṁsa-mantra, the Thought-Form of the Swan of Knowledge TEXT: AUM Haṁsaḥ So-ham Svāhā.  Haṁ is the Seed-of-Ether
"The Goddess is to be worshiped in the sex emblem, a book, a symbolic drawing on the ground, an image, water, or a stone." (Yoginī Tantra.) Once we know the traditional meaning of their geometrical elements, we can easily read the outward meaning of all yantras. The inner meaning, which is the nature of the deity, is, however, difficult to grasp and can be normally experienced only through the vision of its radiance gained by the practice of yoga. The secret of the yantras is one of the
(Surabhī). He is also one of the eleven Rudras (Padma Purāṇa, Sṛṣṭi khaṇḍa, ch. 40). He is the lord of elves (nairṛta), ghosts (bhūta), and night-wanderers (rākṣasa) and also the lord-of-the-directions (Dikpāla). People worship him to gain victory over their enemies. (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 2.3.9.) A legend says that once there was a virtuous king of the criminal tribe of the Śabara named Brown-Eye (Piṅgākṣa). One day in the forest he heard people crying for help. He ran and found travelers being
who had thrown the earth to the bottom of the sea. "He then rescued the earth and reestablished it floating over the ocean like a large ship. After planing the earth, he adorned it with mountains and then divided it into seven continents. After this, the god Remover-of-Sorrow (Hari), taking the shape and the four faces of the Immense-Being (Brahmā) and, in accordance with the revolving-tendency (rajas), created life." (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.4<.4<5-50. ) In the Taittirīya Saṁhitā (7.1.5) the
Wings-of-Speech (Garuḍa) is the pippala tree; the friend Sudāma is the sage Nārada; devotion is Rādhā. . . . Action is his intellect, which enlightens all beings, for this visible world is neither distinct nor nondistinct from him. With him the entire heavenly world, with its inhabitants, manifests itself on the earth." (Kṛṣṇa Upaniṣad 1.3-26. ) Mathurā, the sacred city of Kṛṣṇa, is described as the abode of wisdom. As the transcendental Being Kṛṣṇa dwells in absolute knowledge, of which