Annapoorneshwari Devi

In Hinduism, Goddess Annapoorna, or Annapurna Devi, is the Goddess of food. She is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati; in essence one of the numerous forms of Shakti. In this incarnation she nourishes all living beings and therefore Hindus consider ‘ Annam ’ (food) as holy. There is an interesting incident involving Lord Shiva and Goddess Annapoorna, which explains that even Moksha (salvation) is not possible on an empty stomach.

In Sanskrit Language the word ‘Anna’ means food and grains and ‘Purna’ means full or complete. It is believed that by worshipping this goddess one will never be out of food anytime in life. Mata Sri Annapurneshwari Devi is the Goddess for the fourth day of Durga Navrathri. She is a form of the Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. She is depicted with a jeweled vessel containing food in one hand and a spoon in the other to distribute the food to her devotees. The Sri Annapurna Ashtakam composed by Shankaracharya is devoted to this goddess of Hindu religion.

In this sese, Aannapurna DEVI is a true MOTHER-beacause she "nourishes" her devotess and looks after her devotees just like a mother looks after her children.
We all know we cannot live without food -so by giving us food, in fact, moter Annapurna devi is keeping us alive- she supports us- food is indeed "brahman" says the CHANDOGYA upanishads.
THUS, ANNAPURNA PROVIDES US THE LIFE-GIVING "FOOD"! BUT, she also nourishes our soul ! "BUKTI-MUKTI Pradayini! "

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to play the game of dice. Once the game became so interesting that they started betting – Parvati kept her jewels and Shiva his trident. Shiva lost the game and lost his trident.
To get back his trident, Shiva betted serpent and this time too he lost the game. Finally, when the game ended, Shiva lost all that he had including his begging bowl.
A humiliated Shiva left for the Deodar forest. Lord Vishnu approached Shiva and asked him to play again to win back all that he had lost.
Taking advice from Vishnu, Shiva played again and won all that he had lost in the previous game.
Goddess Parvati grew suspicious about Shiva’s sudden turn of fortunes and called him a cheat. This led to a verbal duel between the couple. Finally, Lord Vishnu intervened and revealed that the dice moved as per His wish and they were under the illusion that they were playing.
Symbolically, life is like a game of dice - unpredictable and beyond control.
Verbal duel soon turned to philosophical discussion and Lord Shiva said that possessions are temporary…everything is Maya (illusion)…even the food we eat is Maya.
Goddess Parvati did not agree that food is illusion. She argued that if food is illusion I am also an illusion. She wanted to know how the world would survive without food and disappeared.
Her disappearance meant Nature came to a stand still. There were no seasonal changes. Everything remained barren. There was regeneration or birth. Soon there was severe drought and shortage of food.
Shiva soon realized that he is incomplete without Shakti.
Gods, humans and demons all kept praying for food. Goddess Parvati could not see her children perishing out hunger and appeared in Kashi ( Varanasi ) and started distributing food.
Shiva appeared before her with a begging bowl and Goddess Parvati fed Shiva. Shiva said that food cannot be dismissed as mere illusion as it is required to nourish the body in which resides the Atma.
Since then Goddess Parvati is worshipped as the Goddess of food – Annapoorna Devi.
Annapurna Puja
Mata Annapurna Puja or Goddess Annapoorna Devi Pooja is one of the important rituals in some parts of India mainly in Eastern Indian states. Annapurna Puja is observed with utmost devotion in West Bengal .
Goddess Annapurna Puja is observed in Shukla paksha of Chaitra month as per the traditional Hindu (Bengali) calendar.
Annapurna Puja festival is mainly observed by women. The important rituals and customs during Annapoorna Pooja day include - recitation of Annapurna Devi Stotram and observance of fast. In some places people worship Annapoorna Mata by installing idols and by setting up pooja mandap. All other rituals and customs are performed as per traditions.
Devotees who worship of Goddess Annapurneshwari will be blessed with prosperity and health. Women worship Annapurneshwari Devi for their better married life. They also perform Annapurneswari Pooja for their children’s health and better growth.
Annapoorne sadaa poorne Shankarah Praanavallabhe
Gnana Vairagya Siddhyartham Bhikshaan Dehi ca Parvati

Mother Annapoorna, You who are Eternally Complete, You, The very life of Lord Shiva,Give me food (in alms) So I can sustain my body To achieve the Supreme Knowledge.

Lord Hanuman

The true beginning of Hanuman's story begins in the court of heaven, of whom Indra is the king and Bhiraspati is the priest-advisor. In this court, a beautiful nymph, Punjkasthala, was persecuted for her indiscretions. She was sentenced to be reborn as a vanara, half-monkey and half human. Upon her grieving and remorse, the sentence was diminished, and she was told that she would be freed of the curse when she gave birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

In her next life, the woman was born as Anjani. She married another vanara, Kesari, who was brave and strong. Due to her past karma, her in born gunas inspired her to worship Shiva for years and years. Finally, Shiva was pleased with her penance and blessed her by saying that she would give birth to His next avatar, or incarnation.

In Ayodhya, Emperor Dashrath was severely disturbed by his disposition. He had three wives but no children. He sought help from his priest-advisor Vashishta. Vashishta instructed him to perform a yagna, or pooja and the demigods would surely be pleased and grant him boons. So Dashrath performed the pooja according to proper Vedic rites and finally, at the end of the pooja, when the fire went out, a bowl of payasa, or rice pudding was left in place of the fire. Priests instructed Dashrath to give each one of his wives some of the payasa. He gave each of his four wives, Koushalya, Kei Kei and Sumitra some of the payasa. When each of the wives had got their payasa, there was still some left in the bowl. Suddenly, a large bird came and snatched the bowl away. As the bird flew towards his home over the forest, by the force of a strong wind, he dropped the bowl. Under the point where he dropped the bowl, Anjani was performing meditation with outstretched hands. The bowl was guided by the wind and landed in Anjani's hand. Recognizing that the dropping of the payasa in her hand was no mistake. Anjani ate it. Soon, Koushalya gave birth to Shri Ramachandra, an incarnation of Sri Hari Vishnu, Kei Kei gave birth to Bharat, Sumitra gave birth to twins, Laxman and Shatrughna, and Anjani gave birth to Shri Hanuman, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Since His birth was secured by the wind, His godfather became Pavan, the divine personification of the wind and His true parents were Anjani and Kesari. His parents named him Anjaneya.

Seconds after Anjaneya was born, He became very hungry. Looking around the sky, he caught a glimpse of the sun. Seeing the sun's bright color and round shape, the Baby mistook it for a fruit and leaped towards it. His leap was so great that he reached the sun in no time. Opening his mouth wide, He swallowed the sun and the entire galaxy was overcame with darkness and lifelessness. Rahu, who controlled the eclipses, was unable to do his job when he saw that the baby had swallowed the sun. He rushed to Indra and reported that a demon baby had eaten the sun. Enraged, Indra mounted his elephant and flew towards the sun. Upon seeing the baby with the sun in his mouth, Indra struck Anjaneya with his bajra, or lightning bolt. The bolt struck Anjaneya on his chin which broke and Anjaneya fell unconscious back to earth. In Sanskrit, Hanu means chin, and therefore Anjaneya came to be known as Hanuman.

As Hanuman fell through the atmosphere, Pavan saw that his child had been injured by Indra and lay unconscious on the ground. He grew enraged and took hold of all pran vayu, or oxygen. All of earth's creatures began to die. All other gods soon intervened and negotiated. They brought Hanuman back to consciousness and each gave him powers and boons. For example, Yam gave him immortality, Brahma gave him immunity to the Brahma Astra, Indra gave him more strength than the Vajra, etc.

As Hanuman grew up, he became a very mischievous child. He was known to use his powers to play tricks on Rishis. On one such day, when Hanuman enraged one Rishi, the Rishi took him back to Anjani and told her that he cursed her child, that until he used his God given powers for good, he would forget how to use them. Hanuman did not use his powers any longer.

Time came for Hanuman to be educated. Since no Rishis would accept Hanuman, he flew back to the sun and asked Surjya to be his guru. Surjya agreed. Hanuman mastered all the scriptures, arts, philosophies and other skills in a very short time of only 60 hours. He became the strongest, smartest, most skilled being to ever live, an ideal human though He was a monkey. Hanuman then asked Surjya what he wanted for guru dakshina or tuition fees. Surjya instructed Hanuman to aid his son Sugriv in the southern state of Kishkindha. He also instructed that this would lead him to meet Lord Sri Ram, who would be his best friend and master forever. Hanuman paid a visit to his family who wished to return back to heaven as they were free from their curse and their son had grown. They returned to heaven and Hanuman set off for Kishkindha, where Sugriv lived.

Meeting of Hanuman with Rama is an important episode in the epic as from then on Hanuman was a great follower of Rama. At the latter part of the fourteen years exile, Rama and his brother Lakshmana were in search for Sita, who had been abducted by the Rakshasa emperor Ravana. They came near the mountain Rishyamukha where Sugriva and his followers along with Hanuman were hiding from his elder brother Vali, who had cast him out of the kingdom and kept his wife captive.
Sugriva sent Hanuman when he saw Rama and Lakshmana coming to ascertain their identities. Hanuman approached to them in the guise of a Brahmin and talked to them in such a way that Rama was very impressed. When Rama introduced himself, Hanuman revealed his own identity and fell prostrate before Rama`s feet. Rama embraced him warmly and then after Hanuman`s life was interwoven intimately with that of Rama. Hanuman introduced Rama with Sugriva and they committed for a friendship. He helped Sugriva to defeat Vali in battle and regain his kingdom. Sugriva with his monkey army assisted Rama to rescue Sita.

In the search of Sita a group of Vanaras reached on the southern seashore. They were sad seeing the vast see and thought how to cross it. Then wise bear Jambavanta reminded Hanuman about his power. Hanuman recalled his own ability and enlarged his body to cross the ocean in one jump. On his way a mountain that emerged from the seat offered him a rest on it, as it owed his father a debt. Hanuman did not want to waste time and proceeded on his way. He then encountered a sea-monster who challenged him to enter her mouth. Hanuman became larger and larger and so did the monster. Finally Hanuman became suddenly small and entered through the earof the monster and came out from her mouth. Thus he outwitted her. Finally Hanuman reached Lanka, the kingdom of ravana after killing Simhika, a shadow-eater Rakshasa.

Hanuman was marveled at the beauty of Lanka. He could find Sita in the Ashoka forest, sitting depressed and being observed by the `Cheri`s (the female Rakshasa). Hanuman revealed his identity to Sita and assured her that Rama was looking for him and soon she will be set free from captivity. She offered Sita to carry her back to Rama but Sita refused, as it would be disgraceful for Rama.

After meeting Sita Hanuman stated destroying Lanka and Ashokban. He killed many Rakshas including Jambumalli and Akshaa. After all the demons were failure to kill him Ravana`s son Indrajit came and applied a weapon Brahmastra on him. Though Hanuman was resistant to the weapon yet he allowed himself to be caught by Rakshasa in reverence to Brahma.The Rakshasa bound him and took him to the king Ravana. Hanuman thought that this was the opportunity to meet Brahma as well as assess the power of the Rakshasas. Rakshas made Hanuman to parade through the streets. Finally he reached Ravana`s court where Ravan insulted him by not offering him any seat. Hanuman extended his tail and coiled it and sat over it in such a way so that he attained a higher position than Ravana`s throne. He conveyed Ravana Rama`s message that Rama is willing to forgive him if he returns Sita with honour.

Ravana wanted to kill Hanuman. But his brother Vibheeshana intervened saying that the messengers could not be killed. Ravana then ordered to lit Hanuman`s tail. Hanuman began to lengthen his tail to such a great extent that Rakshasas, who were wrapping it with clothes, had no more clothes and felt tired. When they finally lit the tail, Hanuman changed his profile to a smaller one and could escape from the ropes. Trailing his inflamed tail, he set fire to all over Lanka. When the golden Lanka was burning, Hanuman extinguished his tail in the sea and heads back to Rama.

During the war between Rama and Ravana, Hanumana defeated Lankini, who was the principal guard of the city Lanka. When Lakshmana was severely wounded in the battle by Indrajit, Hanuman was sent to fetch Sanjivani, a powerful life-restoring herb from Dronagiri Mountain in the Himalayas to revive him. Ravana sent his maternal uncle Kalnemi to tempt Hanuman away with luxury but Hanuman killed him. He was unable to recognize the particular herb before nightfall and lifted entire Dronagiri Mountain to the battlefield in Lanka. Others helped to find the Sanjivani and Lakshmana got well. Rama became very emotional and hugged Hanuman declaring him as dear as his closest brother Lakshmana.

Once in the war Rama and Lakshmana were captured by the black magic done by Ahiravana and Mahiravana, who put them in captivity in Patala. Searching for them Hanuman reaches Patala, where Makardhwaja was guarding the gate. Makardhwaja was Hanuman`s son and partly fish and partly monkey. Hanuman did not know Makardhwaja was his son but he knew his father`s name though he never saw him. When Hanuman put his burning tail in the sea, a drop of sweat had fallen in the ocean. A female fish swallowed the droplet and became pregnant. This was discovered when the fish was brought to Mahiravana`s kitchen for cooking. Mahiravana rose up the child and employed him as a guard of Patalpuri`s gate. Makaradhwaja asked for Hanuman`s blessings but he fought a battle against him as his duty. Hanumana defeated Makardhwaja and tied him before entering Patalapuri to save Rama and Lakshman.

While he entered the Patala, Hanuman discovered that he must extinguish five lamps simultaneously, which are placed in five different directions in order to kill Mahiravana. Hanumana assumed a five-faced form (Panchamukha), consisting of Varaha, Narasimha, Garuda, Hayagriva and his own. Thus he could kill the Rakshasa and rescued Rama and Lakshmana. After this, Rama asked Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja as the king of Patalpuri.

After the completion of the war, Rama realized that his fourteen years of exile is about to be completed. He calculated that it would be a little late to reach Ayodhya. He remembered Bharata`s vow that he would immolate himself if Rama did not return to Ayodhya immediately after the inauspicious fourteen years are over. Hanuman again helped Rama to solve the problem. He speeded to Ayodhya to inform Bharata that Rama-Sita and Lakshmana was on their way back.

After returning to Ayodhya, Rama was crowned as the emperor of the kingdom. All of his friend and allies were awarded and honoured. Rama declared that he could never repay Hanuman for the assistance and services he offered to Rama. Sita however insisted to reward Hanuman with a great honour. Upon Hanuman`s request Sita gave her a necklace of precious stones from her neck. After receiving it, Hanuman immediately took it apart and peered each stone. Being asked for such behavior, Hanuman replied that he was making sure that Rama and Sita were present in each stone; otherwise the necklace would have no value to him. Few among the present guests mocked Hanuman saying that his love for Rama and Sita was not as deep as he was portraying. In reply, Hanuman tore his chest open, and everyone noticed with great surprise that Rama and Sita were literally present at his heart.

Legend of Sindoor on Lord Hanuman's Body: According to a popular belief, once when Sita was applying sindoora to her hair, Hanuman asked her the reason for doing so. She replied that by applying sindoora, she ensured a long life for her husband. The more sindoora she applied, the longer Rama's life would be. The devoted Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindoora, in an effort to ensure Rama's immortality. Hence Hanuman's idol is always daubed with sindoora.

After the completion of the war Hanuman went to Himalayas and continued his prayer to the Lord. There he wrote one Ramayana on the rocks of the mountain using his own nails. Later to satisfy Valmiki, Hanuman threw his creations in the sea.

When time came for Rama to set his journey for heavenly abode, many of his followers including Sugriva wanted to follow him. But Hanuman requested to remain on earth as long as people would venerate the name of Rama. Sita granted his prayer. Thus Hanuman is one of the Chiranjeevis (immortals) in Hinduism.

There is reference of Hanuman in Mahabharata, too. Hanuman is considered as brother of second Pandava, Bhima, who is also the son of Vayu. When Pandavas were in exile Hanuman appeared in the guise of a weak and aged monkey. His motto was to teach Bhima the value of humility and subdue his arrogance. Bhima entered a field where Hanuman was lying with his tail blocking the way. Bhima asked Hanuman to remove his tail without being aware of his true identity. Hanuman asked him to remove it by himself. Bhima tried a lot with all his power but he was failure. Bhima realized that the monkey was not the ordinary one but more powerful and superior to him. He asked his identity. Hanuman revealed his true individuality and two brothers then hugged each other. On Bhima`s request Hanuman showed him his enlarged form, which he used while crossing the sea in quest of Sita.

Hanuman also encountered with the third Pandava, Arjuna. When Arjuna was in Rameshwaram he saw the bridge built by the monkey battalion. He wondered why Rama took the help of the Vanaras, while he could make a bridge of arrows by his own. Hanuman appeared before him as a small monkey and asked to build him a bridge, which would be capable of bearing him alone. Unaware of the true identity of the monkey, Arjuna took the challenge and destroyed the bridge repeatedly as soon Arjuna built it. Arjuna was so upset about his failure that he wanted to commit suicide. Then Lord Vishnu appeared. He rebuked Arjuna for his vanity and also scolded Hanuman for making the accomplished warrior Arjuna feel incompetent. As an act of penitence, Hanuman promised Arjuna to help him by stabilizing and strengthening his chariot during the great battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna had the sign of Hanuman on the flag of his chariot. Legends say that, Hanuman is the one of the three who heard Gita directly from Srikrishna`s mouth, the other two being Sanjaya and Arjuna himself.


Vishvakarma (Tvastri) is the Hindu presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is the "Principal Universal Architect", the architect who fabricated and designed the divine architecture of the Universe at the behest of Brahma, the Lord of Creation. He is called 'Devashilpi' or 'The Architect of Gods'. His mother was Yogasiddha, sister of Brihaspati. His father was Prabhas, the eighth hermit of the legendary Astam Basu.

Vishvakarma, the Architect of the Gods, is the presiding deity of craftsman, artisans and builders in the Hindu cosmology. He is the manifestation of the creative power of the Supreme Being and designed the tripartite universe consisting of the mortal world, the heavens and the netherworld at the behest of Brahma, the Creator. Vishvakarma also built the palaces of the Gods as well as their many weapons and chariots. Although a minor divinity within the Hindu pantheon, Visvakarma is frequently mentioned in the Vedas and other scriptures in his capacity as the Celestial Architect.

The Rig Veda describes Viswakarma as the god with multi-dimensional vision and supreme strength. He is able to predict well in advance in which direction his creation will move. In later mythology sometimes identified with Tvastr, he is the divine craftsman of the whole Universe (RV 10.81.3), and the builder of all the gods' palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons and divine attributes. He is said to have revealed the Sthapatyaveda or fourth Upa-veda, and presides over the sixty-four mechanical arts.


Tvastri, or, as he is called in the later works, Visvakarma, is the architect and workman of the gods—the Hindu Vulcan. The heavenly places were formed by him, and the warlike gods are indebted to him for their wonder-working weapons. He sharpens the iron axe of Brahmanaspati (Agni), and forges the thunderbolts of Indra. He is intimately associated with men; he forms husband and wife for each other from the womb, and blesses the married couple with offspring. This accounts for the fact that the wives of the gods are his most constant companions. He made the world and all that is in it; and he is the protector of the creatures he has made. He shares with the other gods in the sacrifices offered by mortals.

Tvastri is in several passages connected with the Ribhus. These were sons of a man named Sudhanvan; who, owing to their great skill in working, obtained immortality and divine honours. The Ribhus made Indra's chariot and horses; also by their great austerities restored their parents to youth. They are spoken of as the pupils of Tvastri. It was through their skill in manufacturing four sacrificial cups out of one their master had fashioned that they became divine. This exhibition was made at the command of the gods, and exaltation to deity the promised reward. Tvastri was very angry at their success; and, ashamed of being seen, hid himself amongst the women. It is said that he even tried to slay his pupils. According to other accounts, he admired their skill and was pleased at the result. Tvastri was the father-in-law of Vivasvat (the Sun).

Indra is occasionally described as being in a state of hostility towards Tvastri and his son Visvarūpa, and ultimately caused the death of both. This Visvarūpa had three heads, called respectively, the Soma-drinker the Wine-drinker, and the Food-eater. On one occasion he declared in public that the sacrifices should be shared by the gods only; but in private he said the asuras (demons) should share them too. And as it is customary to keep promises that are privately made, Indra was afraid that the asuras, obtaining a share of the sacrifices, would be so strengthened as to be able to overthrow his kingdom; he therefore cut off the heads of Visvarūpa with his thunderbolt. The three heads were turned into birds: the Soma-drinker became a Kapinjala (a Francoline partridge), for Soma was of a brown colour the Wine-drinker became a Kalavinka (sparrow), because when men are intoxicated they make a noise like a sparrow; the Food-eater became a Tittiri (partridge), which consequently has a great variety of colour, for its body appears to be sprinkled with glut-and honey. Tvastri, enraged because Indra had slain his son, made a libation to the gods, but did not invite Indra to it. Indra, noticing this slight, by force took the vessel containing the Soma juice, and drank it. But he drank more than was good for him. Tvastri, being angry, at once broke off the sacrifice, and used the few drops of Soma left to give effect to a curse. He employed the right formula for accomplishing the death of Indra, but unfortunately laid stress upon the wrong word. So, instead of slaying Indra, he was himself slain by him.

In the Purānas, Tvastri appears under the name of Visvakarma. In the "Vishnu Purāna" he is styled "the author of a thousand arts, the mechanist of the gods, the fabricator of ornaments, the chief of artists, the constructor of the self-moving chariots of the deities, by whose skill men obtain subsistence." Though not named as an Āditya in the Vedas, he is generally reckoned as one in the Purānas. In other places he is called a son of Brahmā.


The literal meaning of the title Vishvakarma is “all-maker” (vishva means ‘all’ and karman means ‘maker’ or ‘doer’). The Rig Veda refers to Vishvakarma as the divine architect of the universe, a personification of the creative power of the Supreme Being.

Wise and mighty, Vishvakarma is usually portrayed as a powerfully built and aged deity. Although the Rig Veda describes him as having “eyes, mouth, arms and feet on all sides”, most popular representations show Vishvakarma with one face and four arms. He is usually depicted covered in gold jewelry, holding a water pot, a book, a noose and craftsman’s tools in his four hands. Because he represents an active creative power, Vishvakarma is portrayed with a reddish hue, with red being the color of passion and activity in Hindu philosophy. His mount, like Brahma, is a white swan.

Vishvakarma is the father of five great Hindu sages according to the Vedas, each of whom was master of a craft. Highly talented and versatile in their own fields, the sons of Vishvakarma were respectively the first blacksmith, first carpenter, first founder, first mason and first goldsmith. Each gave rise to the major artistic lineage in their respective fields, and artisans and craftsman in India continue to identify themselves with Vishvakarma through his sons.

Vishwakarma's Architectural Wonders

Hindu mythology is full of Vishwakarma's many architectural wonders. Through the four 'yugas', he had built several towns and palaces for the gods. In "Satya Yuga", he built the Swarg Loke, or heaven, the abode of the gods and demigods where Lord Indra rules. Vishwakarma then built the 'Sone ki Lanka' in "Treta yuga", the city of Dwarka in "Dwapar yuga", and Hastinapur and Indraprastha in the "Kali yuga".

Vishvakarma is attributed with the construction of the legendary cities in Hindu mythology as well as the divine weapons and chariots of the Gods. The jewelry worn by the gods were also fashioned by Vishvakarma. His creations include the palaces of Yama and Indra, as well as the underwater dwelling of Varuna, the Hindu god of the oceans. Vishvakarma also built the mythical city of Dwaraka , which was home to Lord Krishna and was submerged by the ocean after he departed the mortal world following the end of the Mahabharata war. Vishvakarma also built the cities of Hastinapur and Indraprashta, capital of the Kauravas and Pandavas respectively, the two warring parties in the Mahabharata.

Another legend relates Vishvakarma to the other great Hindu epic, the Ramayana. When Shiva wed Parvati, he bade Vishvakarma to build a palace worthy for them to reside. He built a magnificent golden palace on the island of Lanka , and to perform the grihapravesha, or house-warming ceremony, Shiva invited Ravana who was then a wise devotee of Lord Shiva. As recompense, Shiva offered anything that Ravana desired, and overwhelmed by the beauty of Vishvakarma’s architecture, he requested the palace itself. Obliged by the request, Shiva acceded and the golden palace became Ravana’s capital, setting the scene for the events of the Ramayana which was to unfold ages later.

The Markandeya Purana contains the story of Vishvakarma’s daughter Saranya who was married to Surya, the sun god, but unable to endure the heat and brilliance of the sun’s rays, requested her father to reduce their intensity. Vishvakarma then cut away an eighth part of the sun’s brilliance, and used fragments of the rays that fell to earth to build the discus of Vishnu, the trident of Shiva, the Vel of Muruga and other divine weapons for the devas. He also appears frequently in other Hindu scriptures and legends, where he is called upon to build palaces or weapons at the behest of the Gods.

Vishvakarma is said to have revealed the Sthapatya Veda, an upaveda (class of writings subordinate to the four main Vedas), which contains the science of mechanics and architecture. The work includes various treatises on the sixty-four traditionally recognized mechanical arts. Other Hindu manuals on architecture and sculpture are also attributed to Vishvakarma.

The Philosophy of Vishvakarma

Hindu philosophy associates Vishvakarma with Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, because of his creative ability. The goddess Saraswati, consort of Brahma and the presiding deity of wisdom, knowledge and the arts, is also said to possess creative powers. Some see Vishvakarma as the implementer of God’s designs, the active creative aspect of Brahma. In the pantheistic Hindu religion that deifies various aspects of nature, Vishvakarma as the Celestial Architect is the personification of creative action in the universe.As the ‘all-maker,’ Vishvakarma, while representing the multiplicity of forms and forces in the material world, is also representative of the ultimate unity in the universe.

Indian artists and craftsman accept Vishvakarma as the founder of the various arts who endowed humans with the knowledge required for their work, and work to honor god through their labor. This spiritual association is very apparent in the arts and crafts of India , a relatively large portion of which are dedicated to the divine. The number of temples and shrines dedicated to the various deities in the Hindu pantheon far outnumbers the palaces and forts of the mortal kings of India . The prevailing principle in India regards that only those crafts and architecture that honor God were worthy of attention and acclaim.

Lord Dattatreya

Om Namo Bhagavate Dattatreyaya
Dattatreya is a Hindu God who is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The word Datta means "Given", Datta is called so because the divine trinity have "given" themselves in the form of a son to the sage couple Atri and Anasuya. He is the son of Atri, hence the name "Atreya". In the Natha tradition, Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of the Lord Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adi-Nath sampradaya of the Nathas. The creative, the preservative and the disintegrating powers of God are supposed to be manifest in the personality of Lord Dattatreya. The name or word 'Dattatreya' is constituted of two terms, 'Datta' and 'Atreya'. In Sanskrit, 'Datta' means one who is bestowed as a gift, and 'Atreya' is an honorific which is derived from the name of a great sage called Atri. The son of Atri is Atreya. A descendent of Atri also is Atreya. One who is bestowed as a divine child on the great sage Atri, by the Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva themselves, is Dattatreya.

Birth Of Lord Dattatreya

Sage Narad praised Anusuya's "pativratyam" (Devotion to her husband) a lot before the wives of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva making them jealous of her. They requested their husbands to reduce her pativratyam. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva went to Anusuya as guests when Atri was not there at home and asked her to serve them food (lunch). When she agreed to do so, they said that they will accept her alms on the condition that she serves them without wearing clothes. Anasuya falls into a dilemma. If she comes without clothes in front of other men her pativratyam will be reduced. If she refuses then that is dishonor to the guests and they can take away all the power of Atri. Anasuya felt that the three guests who asked such a strange favour are not normal people since they are trying to place her in a tricky situation. Anasuya prayed to her husband in her mind and said that she doesn't have any fear serving them without clothes as she is not affected by lust. Since the guests asked for alms saying "Bhavati Bhikshan Dehi" (Oh Mother! Give us some food) and indirectly called her a mother, She decided that she will consider them as her children and serve them as requested. Because of her greatness and as per her thinking by the time she came to serve food the three gods became small children and her breasts started producing milk. She then breastfed them and put them to sleep in a cradle. Atri came back afterwards and hearing the story from Anasusuya praised the three gods sleeping in the cradle. They woke up in their original form and praised Anasuya's pativratyam and gave her a boon. Anasuya requested that these three should be born as her children--the incarnation of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma as Durvasa, Dattareya and Chandra (meaning moon).

Physical Details

Shri Dattatreya or Datta Guru, an incarnation who came to light the lamp of wisdom among the people. Shri Dattatreya is a splendorous form. His face radiates all wisdom and draws us away from the lures of the world. Though He is the Supreme Lord of this universe, yet He is a total and supreme recluse. Though He moves from place to place, His favorite abode is the Holy Audambar tree (A type of fig type, Ficus glomerate). He has matted hair on His head. His body is ever smeared with holy ashes and He wears tiger-skin for His garment. A cow and four dogs are always with Him as His constant companions. He is an 'Avadhoot', ever anchored in Spirit, but always overflowing with compassion for all the beings and the entire creation. He is the embodiment of total Godhead. All the aspects of Godhead are fully manifest in Him. His faces and form are ever radiant with peace and divine charm.

The Cow, which is always with Him, represents the Mother Earth and Dharma. She is the wish fulfilling cow 'Kamadhenu'.

The four dogs symbolise the four Vedas – the external repositories of Spiritual Wisdom.

The trident indicates that He has transcended the three gunas, which constitute the illusory world: Sattva-illumination, Rajas-activity and Tamas-inertia.

The 'Sudharshana chakra' , disc indicates that He is beyond the cycles of time i.e. the past, present and future and His holding of 'chakra' means He is the controller of time.

The conch represents the eternal sound ‘AUM’ – which is the manifestation of the Spirit. It is also the life principle in us and the cosmos.

The 'bhasma' ashes indicated His 'Vairaagya' dispassion as well as His purity. Ashes indicate the evanescent nature of all created nature of all created objects and the ultimate state of all matter.

He always carries a begging bowl so as to teach us the lesson that we will have to share our wealth and food with others.

The japa-mala, rosary He wears reminds us that our primary duty is chanting the sacred name of the Lord and meditating on the feet of the Lord, and our redemption depends on this discipline alone.

Shri Dattatreya, in order to bless His devotees and the righteous ones, wanders about in the guise of a random guest at the lunch hour. That's why it is said that a random guest has to be treated as the very embodiment of Lord Dattaterya.

Gurus and subordinate Gurus of Datta

The eleventh skandha (volume) of the Shrimadbhagvat narrates a conversation between Yadu and Avadhut. Here Avadhut names His Gurus and narrates what He learnt from them. Everything in the universe is a Guru because one can learn something or the other from it. From bad things one learns what defects to reject and from good things what good qualities to acquire.

Once, while he was roaming happily in a forest, he met King Yadu, who, on seeing Dattatreya so happy, asked him the secret of his happiness and the name of his Guru. Dattatreya said, “The Self alone is my Guru. Yet, I have learnt wisdom from twenty-four other individuals and objects. So they, too, are also my Gurus.” Dattatreya then mentioned the names of his twenty-four Gurus and spoke of the wisdom that he had learnt from each as follows:

1. The earth: One should acquire the virtues of endurance and tolerance of duality from the earth.

2. The wind: One should be detached like the wind. Just as the wind blows both in the hot and cold regions without being influenced by their qualities or defects so also those desirous of Liberation (mumukshus) should wholeheartedly tread along the path prescribed by the Vedas (Shrutis) in the hot and cold regions without paying attention to virtues or defects of others.

3. The sky: Just like the sky the soul pervades all animate and inanimate objects yet it remains unaltered, single and steady.

4. The water : Just like water one should behave with affection towards all. One should never be partial to anyone.
Just as water retains its impurity at its bed and cleanses others of their impurities so also should man renounce the impurities arising from attachment to the physical body, acquire the treasure of spiritual knowledge and cleanse people with vices, of their sins.
Just as water flows from a higher altitude uprooting impudent trees, nurturing humble vegetation on its way to the low lying land so also liberated souls should destroy the vain and wealthy, punish the hypocrite evildoers and redeem those who surrender to them, of their sins.
Man is akin to water which becomes impure by stagnation and gets purified as it flows. Hence men with a spiritual attitude should visit various places of pilgrimages (tirthakshetras) instead of living in one place.

5. The fire : Like fire, man should undertake austerities and get illumined with knowledge. He should partake of whatever is available, refrain from bad deeds and utilise his virtues only at the opportune moment for a worthwhile cause.
When on a pilgrimage, etc. one should eat whatever is available without accumulating it.
Always remaining pure like the fire one should behave with equality towards all.
Fire delivers the oblations to the deities made in it amidst chanting of their respective Names.
In order to realise the transient nature of the body the flame of fire is considered as a Guru. Just as hardly any time is required to kindle and extinguish a flame so also creation and dissolution of a body from the five cosmic elements does not take long.

6. The moon: There are in all sixteen phases of the moon including the subtle phase of the new moon and the fifteen of the fortnight. Though there is waxing and waning of the moon, it remains unaffected by them. Similarly, the soul is not affected by changes in the body.

7. The sun: The sun stores water taking the future into account and benevolently showers it on the earth at the appropriate moment. In the same way man should store useful things and make them available to all living organisms impartially, considering the time, place and the prevalent conditions.

8. The pigeon: A man who lives with intense attachment for his wife and children feeling that worldly life is pleasurable is destroyed with time just like a pigeon along with its family is devoured by a falcon. Thus a seeker desirous of Liberation (mumukshu) should be mentally detached from all this.

9. The python: The python lies in one place fearlessly having faith in its destiny. It is content with whatever food it gets and has no preferences about the quantity, taste, etc. It does not feel threatened if no food is available for sometime and inspite of having the strength does not make use of it. Similarly those desirous of the Final Liberation should partake of whatever little is available reposing faith in destiny and at times if nothing is available then they should become introverted and remain engrossed in meditating on the soul.

10. The sea : During monsoons just as the sea is neither pleased if the rivers bring in plenty of water nor is displeased if they do not, and consequently does not swell or shrink, so also man should remain steadfast to his duties and should neither feel elated if he experiences worldly pleasures nor unhappy if he is faced with tragedy. He should always remain immersed in Bliss.
One should not let anyone perceive one’s virtues just as the sea keeps its length, breadth, depth and the treasures in its bed hidden from everyone. However one should always utilise them favourably, for the sake of others.

11. The moth: The moth enchanted by the alluring radiance of the lit lamp, dives at it and is soon charred to death. A man who is similarly fascinated by a woman’s beauty and youth for the sake of sexual pleasure finally perishes in it just like the moth.

12. The queen bee and the honey collector : The queen bee: The queen bee builds a hive encountering several difficulties in a cumbersome location high up on a tree and collects honey in it. It neither eats it itself nor lets others feast upon it. Finally all of a sudden the honey collector kills it and takes away the hive along with the honey. In the same way the miser who accumulates wealth with relentless efforts finally either becomes unhappy when it is suddenly lost in the fire, stolen by thieves or taken away by the king or when unrighteous progeny is born to him which misuses it or if he dies issueless. Thus after his death the wealth either remains where it is or is acquired by someone unrelated to him. If at the time of death he still has attachment for that wealth then he harasses the one who enjoys it in the form of a spirit or a serpent. Thus learning that accumulation of wealth leads to sudden death like the honey bee, one should stop amassing wealth.
The honey collector: Just as the one who collects the honey acquires it effortlessly so also a male seeker should partake of food cooked in the home of a householder instead of spending time in making a fire, collecting utensils, firewood, etc. and should devote that time to realise God. Such seekers desirous of Liberation partake of food from householders and ultimately uplift them.

13. The elephant (Gajendra) : Although the elephant is so powerful, man tries to capture it by digging a pit in the ground, covering it with grass and placing a wooden cow elephant covered with elephant skin on that pit. Infatuated by the cow elephant the elephant craves for sexual pleasure and runs towards that wooden cow elephant with speed and falls in the pit. Thus it is easily made a captive by man. Similarly man lured by sensuous pleasure is instantly entrapped in bondage.
Men allured by adulterous women are destroyed in the same way as elephants overcome with lust die fighting amongst themselves.

14. The bumble-bee : The sunflower which blooms with sunrise closes with the sunset. At that time if a bumble-bee is seated on it, then it gets trapped in the flower. Thus realising that attachment to object pleasure gives rise to bondage, one should refrain from such attachment.
Just as the bumble-bee savours the fragrance of several sunflowers instead of one so also seekers desirous of Liberation should realise that every science will not be easy to grasp and hence should try to understand their implied meaning.

15. The Musk deer: The musk deer which is as swift as the wind and can be captured by none, gets enchanted with melodious music and loses its life to others. Keeping this in mind one should not get entrapped in any kind of attachment.

16. The Fish: When a fish-hook fastened with bait is thrown into the water, the fish lured by the bait swallows the hook and gets caught. Thus it loses its life. Man too is trapped in satisfying his taste buds and thus continues to suffer in the whirlpool of births and deaths.

17. The prostitute - Pingala: One night despite a long wait not a single client approached her. As she restlessly waited pacing up and down, hoping for a client she was finally bored and suddenly developed detachment. As long as man has desire he cannot sleep peacefully. The one who sacrifices desire is unaffected by unhappiness.

18. The lapwing: Seeing the lapwing fly with a fish in its beak hundreds of crows and eagles began chasing it, pecking at it and tried to snatch the fish, thus harassing it. This flock began following it wherever it went. Finally exhausted it dropped the fish. Just then an eagle caught the fish. No sooner had the eagle caught the fish than all the crows and eagles began chasing it. The lapwing however calmly perched itself on the branch of a tree. In this world there is peace only if sense objects are rejected, otherwise it leads to great distress.

19. The child: Forsaking respect and disrespect, believing that the universe is governed by destiny one should live carefree like a child and enjoy the Bliss.

20. The bangles: When two bangles strike each other a jingling sound is generated. The more the bangles the greater is the sound. Similarly when two persons live together it leads to conversation and when many persons live together there is strife. In both circumstances there is no peace of mind. Hence those doing meditation, yoga, etc. should search for an isolated place and live there in seclusion.

21. The artisan: One day an artisan was chiselling the blade of an arrow with great concentration. A king’s procession to the accompaniment of music passed by that way. A man arriving later approached the artisan and enquired, “Have you seen the king’s procession passing by this way, just now?” The artisan replied, “I was so engrossesd in my work that I was not aware of anything”. Just like this artisan a seeker desirous of Liberation (mumukshu) should meditate surrendering all his sense organs to The Lord.

22. The snake: Two snakes never live or wander about together. They move around cautiously never making any sound. Instead of making a home for themselves they occupy someone else’s habitat. They neither move around freely, criticise without reason nor get angry unless injured by someone. Thus two intellectuals should not move around together, should speak limitedly, should not quarrel with one another or ridicule anyone, should act thoughtfully, should not address a gathering and should spend their lives living anywhere instead of building a house for themselves. By building a house one develops vanity and consequently attachment develops.

23. The spider: The spider spins a web secreting a fluid from its belly and plays in it day and night. When it feels like it, it swallows the entire web and becomes free again. Similarly God creates the world when He wishes and indulges in various kinds of play in it. When He feels like it, with a resolve He destroys it and becomes single again. Just as a spider can weave a web with its fluid repeatedly so also can God create the universe by a mere resolve, dissolve it within Himself and recreate it at His will. Hence one should not attach importance to worldly events.

24. The wasp: The one who regularly meditates on an object finally merges into it. The wasp builds a house from mud and keeps a worm in it. It lightly blows air over the worm time and again. Consequently the worm meditates on the wasp and finally also becomes a wasp. A seeker desirous of Liberation should in the same manner meditate on God as advised by the Guru so that he merges into God.

Subordinate Gurus

A. The tree: The man who does unrighteous acts under the predominance of the tama component becomes a tree in the next birth and because of his vanity is compelled to remain standing as a tree all his life. These trees remain dependent on others and cleanse themselves of the sins committed in their previous births by pleasantly serving others till they die. That is why they happily offer shelter to birds and other creatures. They also protect their refugees by bearing the brunt of the cold, wind, heat, etc. onto their bodies and offer them their leaves, flowers and fruits for survival. Men break, cut, saw, peel, uproot them, rob them of their flowers, fruits, leaves and even their gum. They are debarked, cut, scraped and used as timber, firewood, etc. Suffering is inflicted upon them according to one’s wish and any possible task is undertaken making use of them. Just as the species of trees endures the suffering inflicted by people on them and continues to serve them till they live so also seekers desirous of Liberation should endure all suffering and continue to serve others till they die.
Just as trees offer shelter to travellers, householders should offer meals to guests coming to their doorstep and give them shelter. If by chance one acquires wealth then one should not become insolent. Just as trees blossoming with flowers and fruits bow down and serve others more so also if one becomes wealthy one should humbly render more service to others.

B. The mountains: The mountains and the earth store precious stones, etc. in their mines. As a result man is benefitted tremendously. Every man should acquire knowledge likewise and use it favourably. Just as in summer mountains quench the thirst of man with their springs so also one should develop the habit of talking melodiously so as to make others happy.

The king was highly impressed by listening to these enlightening words of Lord Dattatreya. He abandoned the world and practised constant meditation on the Self.


DATTATREYA Jayanthi falls during December-January on the full moon day of the month of Margaseersha.

On Dattatreya Jayanthi, get up at Brahmamuhurta and meditate. Fast and pray throughout the day. Do not mix with anybody. Live in total seclusion. Forget the body. Identify yourself with the blissful Self. Study Dattatreya’s glorious works, namely, the Avadhuta Gita and the Jivanmukta Gita. Worship Lord Dattatreya’s (or, your own Guru’s) form. Take wholesome resolves that you will follow the great teachings of Lord Dattatreya. You will realise the Self very soon.

Other Names of Lord Dattatreya

Avadhut - The One who controls the eight faculties in the body of an embodied soul and shows it the path to the unmanifest dimension through the manifest dimension. Avadhut is a medium that connects both the manifest form of Lord Datta and His unmanifest form. He is a manifest form (the gross manifestation) of the three principles - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv. He is also related to the unmanifest dimension (manifestation of these three principles in the form of light). 'Avadhut' comes alive with the radiance of Lord Dattatreya.

Digambar - Is the principle which gives company to an embodied soul till it gets Final Liberation in the radiance of the sky, i.e. beyond all the directions.

Sripad - 'Sri' is the never-ending principle of God. The principle that takes an embodied soul to that principle of God or to the Holy Feet of 'Sri' principle is the Datta principle in Sripad.

Vallabh - The Datta princ-iple in the form of Vallabh protects the Universe from the circular-shaped distressing frequencies that create a fear psychosis, and thus protects the embodied souls.


Vakratunda Mahakaya,
SuryaKoti Samaprabha,
Neervighna Kurume Deva,
Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada,
Om Ekdantaye Vidmahe,
Vakratundaaya Dheemahi,
Tanno Dhanti Prachodayaat,
Om Gum Ganapataya Namah!
Lord Ganapathi is the elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, the universe's divine couple. He is the chief (Isa) of Lord Shiva's army and attendants, hence the name Ganesha. In the name Ganapathi , Ga denotes "knowledge," na means "salvation," and pati means "lord." He is known for removing all of the obstacles(vignas) in the path of progress and wellbeing of his devotees, therefore he is known as Vigneshwara.

Myths about Lord Ganesha

When Goddess Gauri (wife of Lord Shiva) once, while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha's head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider. When Gauri came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief Shiva ordered His aids to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant's head was brought before Shiva. The Lord then joined the elephant's head onto the body of Ganesha.
Lord Shiva then made His son worthy of worship at the beginning of all undertakings, marriages, expeditions, studies, etc. He intended that the annual worship of Ganesha should take place on the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadnpada. Without the Grace of Sri Ganesha and His help nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support, Grace or blessing.
Why Hindus offer prayers to Sri Ganesh before a special occasion ?
In Shivpuran, a story narrates that once all the gods went to Lord Shankar to inquire as to who should be the chief amongst them. In response, Lord Shankar proposed that whoever went around the world thrice and returned to Mount Kailash first would be the most revered of all and declared as the foremost amongst gods.
Sri Ganesh’s mode of transport was a mouse. Surely it was too slow to undertake the journey. Using his ingenuity, Sri Ganesh went around his father Lord Shankar and mother Devi Paravati thrice. With folded hands, he then stood humbly before them. His silence and humility indicated that he had completed his mission. Delighted at His son’s ingenuity, Lord Shankar smilingly told him that none could be as clever and crafty as he was. By going around his parents thrice he had achieved more than he could by going around the world three times.
Pleased, Lord Shankar blessed Sri Ganesha and declared that whoever offered prayers to him before a ceremony or an auspicious occasion would never face obstacles. Since then all mankind has been offering prayers to Sri Ganesha before an auspicious occasion.

Why we offer grass (durva) to Lord Ganesha?

At one time a ruthless demon named Anlasur created havoc around the world. Even the gods in heaven were not spared. He would swallow saints, sages and innocent people alive. There were terror all around. The chief of gods, Indra, tried to control Anlasur several times by engaging him in battle. However, there was no respite. Anlasur was beyond Indra’s control.
Panic stricken by Anlasur’s terror, all the gods went to Lord Shankar for help. He revealed that only Sri Ganesha could help them. Sri Ganesh was pot-bellied and could swallow Anlasur. There was enough space in his belly to accommodate the demon.
The gods offered prayers and pleased Sri Ganesh, who agreed to help them. He chased Anlasur, caught and swallowed him whole. But this created a great burning sensation in Sri Ganesh’s stomach. Many remedies were tried. None worked. Sri Ganesh was in great agony. When sage Kashyap heard of Sri Ganesh’s plight, he went to Mt Kailash, collected 21 stems of of durva grass, and offered them. The moment Sri Ganesh ate this grass the burning vanished.
Since that time devotees are offering durva to Lord Ganesh.

Why is Ganapati with the right Sided trunk not commonly worshipped?

It is a popular belief that an idol with the tip of the trunk pointing towards the right and left are called right-sided and left-sided idols respectively; however this is not the case. One should not decide whether the idol is right-sided or left-sided depending upon which side the trunk is directed. It should be decided depending on the direction in which the initial curve of the trunk points. If the initial curve of the trunk in a Ganesh idol points towards the right and the tip of the trunk points towards the left yet the idol should be considered a rightsided idol. The reason for this is that, the initial curve of the trunk pointing towards the right indicates that the right (that is Sun) channel (nadi) of Ganapati is active.

Right-sided trunk: An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the right is called dakshinmurti or dakshi­nabhimukhi murti (the idol facing the south). Dakshin means the southern direction or the right side. The southern direction leads to the region of Lord Yama (Yamalok), the deity of death while the right side belongs to the Surya nadi (Sun channel). One who is able to face the direction of the region of Yama is powerful. So also, one with an activated Surya nadi is also radiant. Thus in both senses, the Ganapati idol with the trunk curved towards the right is said to be ‘active (jagrut)’.
One feels repulsed by the south direction because it is in that direction that scrutiny of one’s sins and merits is carried out after death, in the region of Lord Yama. Scrutiny akin to that done in the south after death, begins when alive if one faces the south or sleeps with the legs directed towards the south. The dakshinabhimukhi idol is not worshipped ritualistically in the usual manner because tiryak (raja) frequencies are emitted from the south. The ritualistic worship of this idol is performed by observing all the norms of ritualistic worship meticulously. Consequently the sattva component is augmented and one is not distressed by the raja frequencies coming from the south.

Left-sided trunk: An idol of Ganapati with the trunk curved towards the left is called Vamamukhi. Vam means the northern direction or the left side. The Chandra nadi (Moon channel) is situated to the left. It bestows tranquility. Besides, since the northern direction is spiritually favourable and bestows Bliss (Anand), mostly the Vamamukhi Ganapati is worshipped. It is worshipped ritualistically in the usual manner.


According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born (without mother) in the lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu at the beginning of the universe. This explains his name Nabhija (born from the navel). Another legend says that Brahmā was born in water. In this he deposited a seed that later became the golden egg. From this golden egg, Brahma the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha. The remaining materials of this golden egg expanded into the Brahm-anda or Universe. Being born in water, Brahmā is also called Kanja (born in water). Brahmā is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahman and the female energy known as Prakrti or Maya.

Why is there no temple for Brahma ?
Once the creator Brahma and the preserver Vishnu were caught up in a war of words, each of them was of the view that he was superior to the other. Brahma felt that being the creator he had the more important brief and was thus more powerful to Vishnu. Vishnu on the other hand felt that being the preserver was a more difficult job and thus made him more powerful than the creator. Their battle of words soon turned into a full blown war and before long they were at each other’s neck fighting with a vigour and rage that only those blinded by their own arrogance and ego possess. Soon, all the other gods noticed this and knew that it will not be good for the world if this fight between the two gods continued any further. So (as always) they went to Shiva and sought his help in settling this dispute.
Shiva then assumed the form of a great pillar of fire (light linga) and appeared between the two fighting gods. Seeing this immense shaft of light stunned Brahma and Vishnu and they were quiet for a moment, wondering what such an unknown and mighty force might be. They then heard an asariri ( a disembodied voice) from the sky commanding them to listen. The voice then continued to say that the dispute of which of the two gods were superior to the other, would be settled if one of them was able to ‘see’ the top or the bottom of the pillar of light before them.
At once, it was decided that Brahma would go up (towards the sky) and try to find the head of this pillar of Light (Shiva) and Vishnu would go down (under the earth) to find the foot of Shiva. It was agreed that whoever was able to find the limit (the head or the foot) would be superior to the other. Brahma then assumed the form of a swan and began his journey into the sky. Vishnu on the other hand, assumed the form of Varaha (wild boar) and bored through the earth to descend into the very depths of the world. The two of them went thus on their quest for thousands of years and even still could find no end to the pillar of light (as light has no limit). After proceeding in their quest for so long, the two of them began to tire and realise that the supreme Shiva was indeed greater than either of them. This realisation began to humble their ego and their arrogance. Vishnu decided to end his search (becoming humbled) and proceed back to the earth. At the same time, Brahma saw a Ketaki (fragrant screw pine – Pandanus Sativa, kewra in hindi and thAzhampu in tamil) flower slowly wafting downwards from the sky. He stopped the flower on its way down and asked it where it was coming from. On being questioned by the creator, the flower replied that it had been placed at the top of the pillar of fire as an offering by a devotee and had fallen from there. Unable to find the head of the pillar, Brahma decided to end his search and instead use the ketaki flower as evidence of him having reached the head.
Both Brahma and Vishnu came back to the earth in the end and when asked, Vishnu replied truthfully that he had been unable to find the feet of the fiery pillar even after a very long search going to the very ends of the universe. Brahma on the other hand (to prove his superiority over Vishnu) lied by saying that he had in fact reached the head of the pillar of fire and that he had brought the ketaki flower from the top as proof of having reached there. This false claim angered Shiva and he revealed his true form and then cursed Brahma that he would have no temple dedicated to his worship as he was undeserving (as a result of his falsity) and he also cursed the ketaki flower that henceforth she shall not be used in the worship of Shiva (as she had given false testimony when questioned). Thus through his manifestation as a fiery pillar of endless light, Shiva quelled the arrogance of Brahma and Vishnu and revealed to them (and us) their place in the pecking order!

Some other books says that : When Brahma was creating the universe, He made a female deity known as Shatarupa (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahma became immediately infatuated with Her. Shatarupa moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahmā. But wherever She went, Brahma developed a head. Thus, Brahma developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others. In order to control Brahma, Shiva cut off one of the heads. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupa was Brahmā's daughter, having been created by Him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahmā to become obsessed with Her. He directed that there be no proper worship on earth for the "unholy" Brahmā.

According to another legend: Brahmā is not worshiped because of a curse by the great sage Brahmarishi Bhrigu. Once a great fire-sacrifice (yajna) was being organised on Earth with Bhrigu being the high priest. It was decided that the greatest among all Gods would be made the presiding deity. Bhrigu then set off to find the greatest among the Trimurti. When he went to Brahmā, he was so immersed in the music played by Saraswati that he could hardly hear Bhrigu's calls. The enraged Bhrigu then cursed Brahmā that no person on Earth would ever invoke him or worship him again.