Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Amorphous Angst of the Hijda

Hijdas are human far more human because of their genetic vulnerability, because of this they are far sighted, gifted , talented, and born dancers.
They are both genders in one the strength of a man the frailty of a woman.
They defy society inspite of the treatment meted out to them, they are ostracized driven away from the mainstream of human life.
The lowest rung has a hard time surviving the onslaughts of oppression, they beg, they solicit, they sell their bodies to keep their intangible tragic souls alive.
They have a very special regard for me, that is God gifted bonding, I understand their amorphous angst their androgynous apathy, their cry, their degradation...because they dared to to be different from the rest of us...

Laxmi Hijda Of Turner Road Bandra

On the right is Laxmi, I think she is one of the finest, soft spoken Hijda, she begs at the Turner Road Traffic Signal. She greets me on my way to work,,sometimes I give her money and she takes it gladly blessing me intensely..
Today I caught them having their meals away from the signal and took these random shots..

Hijdas of Turner Road Signal

I did not want to carry my camera to work this afternoon, but I did , and as a street photographer I make do with what I get, and photography is a expensive passion, and I am manacled to my work , I still manage to play truant and skip work on feast days like the Ganesha Visarjan, and business is bad so wife gets very upset at my photographic adventurism, I dont sell pictures either , as a Blogger I keep nothing give it all , share my world according to Garp.

Hijdas of Turner Road Signal Bandra

These are Indian transgenders called Hijdas, they are the beggar variety the lowest in the order of eunuchdom, they have a Guru or leader under whose auspices they work, these Hijdas man the traffic signals , and make their living.The Turner Road Traffic Hijdas work under Laxmi..this is not the metrosexual Hijda guru Laxmi , but a simpler version, she is a very kind person, and wishes me well.The Hijda in this picture is her chela or disciple..
They work from morning till late evening, food they manage with the leftovers of restaurants close to the traffic signal.The Turner Road Hijdas are very polite disciplined, and not the rough shod braggart type you see at other the Hijdas a tough competetion are the Traffic signal kids some nude, some semi nude displaying their gender rawness and making good money..
Most of the kids are drugged ...

The Marching Monks of Mandalay

Photo courtesy
New York Times agency France Getty images
BANGKOK, Sept. 24 — Myanmar’s military junta issued its first warning on Monday after a month of widening antigovernment demonstrations, saying it was prepared to crack down on the Buddhist monks who are at the heart of the protests.
Published: September 25, 2007

45 years of military rule
Economic failure corruption
That won’t go away
A united front of clergy students activists
Struggle to finds a way
To get rid of the junta along with
The marching monks of Mandalay
A Japanese photographer Kenji Nagaji
Was shot down by army in Yangon
Bullets on protesters they spray
while others they mercilessly slay
Free Burma a cry
On a global display
Aung San Suu Kyi
Under house arrest
Has an important role to play
Gen Than Shwe and
His junta brutalizing
The tears of an enslaved nation
A collective will but no way

poem dedicated to the memory of photographer kenji nagaji..of japan

Kali Mata and Tantra

Kali Temple Lucknow Chowk..
Here on Kali Puja Day devotees cut theirtongues that come back miraculously in 16 hours..

Tantra (Sanskrit: loom), Tantric Yoga or Tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Extolled as a short-cut to self-realization and spiritual enlightenment by some, tantric rites are often rejected as dangerous by most orthodox Hindus. There are two "paths" in Tantra: dakshinachara (also known as samayachara), the "Right-Hand Path", and vamachara, the "Left-Hand Path". The latter is associated with many ritual practices that go against the grain of mainstream Hinduism, including sexual rituals, consumption of alcohol and other intoxicants, animal sacrifice and flesh-eating. The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path have been adopted by Western occultists.

According to another popular view, Tantra is classified as either red (rajas or heat, fire, restlessness, anger), black (tamas or darkness, ignorance, stagnation) or white (sattwa pure, moderate, divine). These correspond to three Hindu conceptions of the qualities of existence first posited in Samkhya.

Some Tantric aspirants simply feel the union is accomplished internally and with spiritual entities of various kinds. For this reason, almost all Tantrik writing has a gross, higher and subtle meaning. This tripartite system of understanding readily obscures the true purport of many passages for those without the necessary background or deeper understandings so crucial to Tantra. Thus, a 'union' could mean the actual act of sexual intercourse, ritual uniting of concepts through chanting and sacrifice, or realization of one's true self in the cosmic joining of the divine principles of Shiva and Shakti in Para Shiva.

The Hindu Tantra Tradition

According to John Woodroffe, one of the foremost Western scholars on Tantra, and translator of its greatest works (including the Mahanirvana Tantra):

"The Indian Tantras, which are numerous, constitute the Scripture (Shastra) of the Kaliyuga, and as such are the voluminous source of present and practical orthodox "Hinduism." The Tantra Shastra is, in fact, and whatever be its historical origin, a development of the Vaidika Karmakanda, promulgated to meet the needs of that age. Shiva says: "For the benefit of men of the Kali age, men bereft of energy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kaula doctrine, O auspicious one! is given" (Chap. IX., verse 12). To the Tantra we must therefore look if we would understand aright both ritual, yoga, and sadhana of all kinds, as also the general principles of which these practices are but the objective expression."

- Introduction to Sir John Woodroffe's translation of "Mahanirvana Tantra."
The word "tantra" means "treatise", and is applied to a variety of mystical, occult, medical and scientific works as well as to those which we would now regard as "tantric". Most tantras were written between the 10th and 14th centuries CE.

While Hinduism is typically viewed as being Vedic, the Tantras are not considered part of the orthodox Hindu/Vedic scriptures. They are said to run alongside each other, The Vedas of orthodox Hinduism on one side and the Agamas of Tantra on the other. However, the practices, mantras and ideas of the Atharva Veda are markedy different from those of the prior three and show signs of powerful non-Aryan influence. Indeed, the Atharva Veda is cited by many Tantra texts as a source of great knowledge. it is notable that throughout the Tantras, such as the Mahanirvana Tantra, they align themselves as being natural progressions of the Vedas. Tantra exists for spiritual seekers in the age of Kaliyuga, when Vedic practices no longer apply to the current state of morality and Tantra is the most direct means to realization. Thus, aside from Vajrayana Buddhism, much of Tantric thought is Hindu Tantra, most notably those that council worship of Lord Shiva and the Divine Mother, Kali.

A Tantra typically takes the form of a dialogue between the Hindu gods Shiva and Shakti/Parvati, being that Shiva is known in Hinduism as being 'Yogiraj' or 'Yogeshwara,' 'The King of Yoga' or 'God of Yoga' and that his consort is known to be his perfect feminine equal. Each explains to the other a particular group of techniques or philosophies for attaining moksha (liberation/ enlightenment), or for attaining a certain practical result. [Agamas are Shiva to Shakti, and Nigamas are Shakti to Shiva.]

This extract from the beginning of the Yoni Tantra (translated by Mike Magee) gives an idea of the style.

Seated upon the peak of Mount Kailasa the God of Gods, the Guru of all creation was questioned by Durga-of-the-smiling-face, Naganandini.

"Sixty-four tantras have been created O Lord, tell me, O Ocean of Compassion, about the chief of these."

Mahadeva said:

"Listen, Parvati, to this highly secret one, Dearest. Ten million times have you wanted to hear this. Beauteous One, it is from your feminine nature that you continually ask me. You should conceal this by every effort. Parvati, there is mantra-pitha, yantra-pitha and yoni-pitha. Of these, the chief is certainly the yoni-pitha, revealed to you from affection."

History of Tantra

Tantra as a post-Vedic Hindu Yogic movement began in North India and flourished in the middle ages before declining in the nineteenth century, partly as a result of persecution by the British and orthodox Hindus, and partly, perhaps, because of the increasing popularity of Bhakti yoga amongst the masses.

Legend ascribes the origin of Tantra to Dattatreya, a semi-mythological yogi and the assumed author of the Jivanmukta Gita ("Song of the liberated soul"). Others see Lord Adinath, or Shiva, as the first Guru of Tantra. Things become a little more clear with Matsyendranath ("Master of fish" - so-called either because he was a fisherman, or, less probably, because he discovered a tantra inside a fish). He is accredited with authorship of the Kaulajnana-nirnaya, a voluminous ninth-century tantra dealing with a host of mystical and magical subjects, and occupies an important position in the Hindu tantric lineage, as well as in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. His disciple, Gorakhnath, founded laya yoga. Hatha Yoga was penned by Swami Swatamarama as the secrets of Lord Adinath (another name for Shiva) in the 15th century.

Tantra evolved into a number of orders (sampradaya) and diverged into so-called "left-hand tantra" (varma marg), in which sexual yoga and other antinomian practices occurred, and "right-hand tantra", in which such practices were merely visualized. Both groups, but in particular the left-hand tantriks, opposed many features of orthodox Hindu culture, particularly the caste system and patriarchy. Despite this, Tantra was accepted by some high-caste Hindus, most notably the Rajput princes. Hindu tantra even briefly enabled a yogic/sufi synthesis among some Indian Muslims. Nowadays Tantra has a large, though not always well-informed, following worldwide.

Buddhist and Hindu Tantra, though having many similarities from the outside, do have some clear distinctions. Scholars are unable to determine whether the Hindu or the Buddhist version of Tantra appeared first in history. Buddhist Tantra is always part of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, which has as main aim to help all sentient beings becoming free from problems (Dukkha), in order to achieve this aim, one should try to achieve Buddhahood oneself, in order to be the most profound teacher for others. Buddhist Tantra spread out from (North) India, chiefly to Tibet, where it became known as the Vajrayana school of Buddhism. It also had some influence on Chinese and Japanese Buddhism (notably Shingon)

Tantric practices

Because of the wide range of groups covered by the term "tantra", it is hard to describe tantric practices definitively. The basic practice, the Hindu image-worship known as "puja" may include any of the elements below.

Mantra and Yantra

As in all of Hindu and Buddhist yogas, mantras plays an important part in Tantra, not only for focusing the mind, often through the conduit of specific Hindu gods like Shiva, Ma Kali (mother Kali, another form of Shakti) and even Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom. Similarly, puja will often involve concentrating on a yantra or mandala.

Identification with Deities

Tantra, being a development of Atharva Vedic and pre-Brahmanical thought, embraced the Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Shiva and Shakti, along the Advaita (nondualist Vedic) philosophy that each represents an aspect of the ultimate Param Shiva, or Brahman. These deities may be worshipped externally (with flowers, incense etc.) but, more importantly, are used as objects of meditation, where the practitioner imagines him- or herself to be the deity in question. The ancient devadasi tradition of sacred temple-dance, seen in the contemporary Bharata Natyam is the example of such meditation in movement. The divine love is expressed in Sringara and Bhakti.

Concentration on the Body

Tantriks generally see the body as a microcosm; thus in the Kaulajnana-nirnaya, for example, the practitioner meditates on the head as the moon, the heart as the sun and the genitals as fire. Many groups hold that the body contains a series of energy centers (chakra - "wheel"), which may be associated with elements, planets or occult powers (siddhi). The phenomenon of Kundalini, a flow of energy through the chakras, is controversial; most writers see it as essential to Tantra, while others regard it as unimportant or as an abreaction. As it is, kundalini is nothing but the flow of the central sushumna nadi, a spiritual current, that, when moving, opens chakras, and is fundamental to the siddhi concept that forms a part of all tantra, including Hatha yoga.

Sexual intercourse is not at all a part of all tantric practice, but it is the definitive feature of left-hand Tantra. All tantra states that there were certain groups of personalities who were not fit for certain practices. Tantra was personality specific and insisted that those with pashu-bhava (animal disposition), which are people of dishonest, promiscuous, greedy or violent natures who ate meat and indulged in intoxication, would only incur bad Karma by following Tantrik paths without the aid of a Guru who could instruct them on the correct path.

There are three types of Tantric Sex: White, Gray, and Black. White Tantra never ejaculates nor reaches orgasm in order to awaken consciousness. Gray Tantra elongates the sexual act, and sometimes concludes with orgasm/ejaculation, but without any longing towards awakening consciousness. Black Tantra always concludes with orgasm/ejaculation in order to awaken consciousness. It is said that White Tantra awakens consciousness to the absence of desire, while Black Tantra awakens consciousness into desire. In Buddhist tantra, actual ejaculation is very much a taboo, as the main goal of the sexual practice is to use the sexual energy towards achieving full enlightenment, rather than ordinary pleasure.

Sexual intercourse, preferably with a low-caste partner, was one method by which traditional left-hand practice forced practitioners to confront their conditioned responses. Others include the eating of meat (particularly beef and pork) and drinking of alcohol. Fear has also been used as a method to break down conditioning; rites would often take place in a cremation ground amidst decomposing corpses. This, of course, also falls under the prerequisite of the practitioner's nature, in such cases demanding a vir- (heroic) or even devya- (godlike) -bhava (disposition of purity, self-control, suppression of pride, respect to parents and guru and often celibacy).

Tantra in the Modern World

Tantra is used in the West, as a general term which relates to sexual practice as a spiritual evolutionary scheme. There are in fact many different approaches as to how this manifests in American society. There have been many civilizations which have deified sexuality as the most approximate expression of cosmic love or God. Regardless, the point is that tantra is moldable. It changes with each moment and environment. It especially depends on the nature of the practitioner.

In traditional pockets of Tantric practice in India, such as in Assam near the venerated Hindu temple of Kali, Kammakha, in parts of West Bengal, in Siddhanta temples of South India, and in Kashmiri Shiva temples up north, Tantra has retained its true form. Its variance in practice is seen, where many tantriks are known to frequent cremation grounds in attempts to transcend their worldly attachment to life, and others are assuredly performing still more arcane acts. But what is common to them all is the intense secrecy in which their secrets are kept and the almost godlike reverence paid to the Guru, who is seen as a the pinnacle of Tantra. It would be safe to say that every single Hindu Tantra Yogin in India is a Shiva and/or Shakti worshipper, and the more wide-spread practices to which all Hindus commit themselves, like pooja and worship through devotion, are maintained while more occult yogic practices involving sacred rites continue. Tibet too has a very strong Buddhist Tantric background which continues, albeit many have been transplanted to monasteries in India, but can be said to widely cleave to the right-hand path, in contrast to the more varied Hindu counterparts.

Modern Tantra may be divided into practices based on Hinduism and Buddhism, Indian and Tibetan, traditions. In America, a mutilated and extremely narrow-minded, sensationalist approach encompassing only a misguided thinking about "sacred sexuality," with little reference to its true practice, has captured the Western mind. Real Tantra involves much more than mere wizardry or sexual titillation: like the rest of Yoga (Hindu and Buddhist), it requires self-analysis and conquering of material ignorance, often through the body, but always through a pure outlook of the mind. 'Real Tantra' is about transforming one's sexual energy into spiritual progress, and has nothing to do with 'sex just for fun'. Those without a guru or lacking in discipline of the mind and body are unfit. It is telling that a Tantrik in West Bengal, a devotee of the Hindu goddess Kali, once said that 'those most fit for Tantra almost never take it up, and those least fit pursue it with zeal.'

Nandi The Holy Bull

Bull Temple Bangalore

Bull Temple was constructed in 16th century and is dedicated to a sacred bull - Nandi carved out of a single granite block. The temple is a typical specimen of Dravidian architecture. Kallekai parse an annual festival is celebrated at the time of harvesting of peanuts during the month of Nov-Dec, thousands of visitors throng the city to participate in the festival from all over the state.

¤ About The Bull Temple

The "Bull Temple" is situated in Bangalore - the capital of Karnataka. The sculpture of bull is the holy deity in the temple, also known as "Nandi Temple". The gigantic bull measuring 4.57m in height and 6.10 m in length is carved out of a single rock. It is a sculptural magnum opus.
This Bull Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva's Vahana (vehicle), Nandi the bull. Large number of devotees visits the enormous monolithic statue of the sitting bull every day.

Nandi the bull of Shiva faces the temple of Lord Shiva haunch at the back with sculptures of God Surya and Goddess Candra on their chariots drawn by horses. There is a small Lingam shrine bedecked with the exquisite Gopuram. The underground "Sri-Gavi Gandadhareshwara Temple" holds its own charm, every year on 14th January known as Makara Sankranti festival, it is believed that a ray of light passes between the horn of a Nandi outside the temple and lights the idol kept inside. The Bull temple is full of liveliness during the Shivratri festival.

Non Hindus are not allowed in the temple. There are continuos festive celebrations throughout the year assisted by the musical programs held in the temple premises.

Timings: Entry to the temple is free and the daily timings are from 6a.m. to 8 p.m.

¤ Legend

The legend has it that the surrounding area of the temple, known as Sunkenahalli was cultivated for groundnut. A bull started grazing in the well-grown groundnut crop, at this, a farmer got furious and hit the bull with a club. Immediately the bull sat down becoming motionless and was transformed into a stone. Poor farmers were left stun and felt guilty. For their repentance they decided to build a temple for the bull, to their surprise the bull was growing in height. The worried farmer then prayed to Lord Shiva who advised them to redeem a trident buried a few feet away from the bull and place the trident on the forehead of the stone statue to stop it from growing. Farmers followed the Lord's advice and the bull stopped growing. Still one can see the trident place on bull's forehead.

Since then farmers offer their first crop of groundnut to the bull. The farmer's hold a Groundnut fair known as Kadalekayi Parishe, near the temple premises every year, to show their thankfulness. It is one of the worth visiting places in Bangalore.

¤ Architecture

The temple is a typical specimen of the Dravidian-style of temple architecture constructed by Kempe Gowda. The temple is nestling in Basavanagudi housing a scared bull of Lord Shiva, it is believed that the source of the river Vishwa Bharathi originates from the feet of the Nandi. There is a Ganesh temple inside the premises with a large deity all made of 110 kilos of butter. The deity of butter is distributed as a prashada (God's food) every four years.

Farmers offer the first groundnuts to the sacred bull. The Bhoganandiswara temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills goes back to the period of the Banas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar Kings. The image has been carved out of single granite rock. The original color of Nandi bull was gray which has now turned black due to the application of coconut oil by the devotees.

¤ Festivity

Anually, Kadalekayi Parishe -the Groundnut Fair is held near the temple during the month of November- December when the groundnut crop is harvested. Farmers offer the first groundnuts harvest to the sacred bull. Thousand of visitors and devotees throng the temple site from all over the state.

¤ Accessibility To The Bull Temple

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus regularly operates from the all over the state to the Park. Coaches of B.T.S., I.T.D.C., are also available. Tourist coaches and taxis are also available for the park.


Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
The Lingam (also, Linga, Shiva linga Sanskrit लिङ्गं liṅgaṃ, meaning "mark," or "sign,") is a symbol for the worship of the Hindu god Shiva. While its origins are debated, the use of this symbol for worship is an ancient tradition in India extending back to the early Indus Valley civilization.

The Sanskrit term लिङ्गं liṅgaṃ, transliterated as linga has many meanings, generally as a mark, sign, or characteristic.[1][2] It has a number of specific uses in Sanskrit that are derived from this general meaning. Vaman Shivram Apte's dictionary gives seventeen definitions of the term, including these examples:

The image of a god
A symptom or mark of disease
A spot or stain
A means of proof, a proof, evidence
The effect or product which evolves from a primary cause
The concept of grammatical gender
The phallus
An example of the use of the word linga in general Sanskrit usage to represent the concept of "sign" occurs in this passage from the Bhagavad Gita:

kair liṅgais trīn guṇān etān | atīto bhavati prabho || 14.21 ||

This is translated by Swami Gambhirananda as "O Lord, by what signs is one (known) who has gone beyond these three qualities?"[3] and by Winthrop Sargeant as "By what marks is he recognized, Who has transcended these three qualities, O Lord?".[4] In this quotation the word liṅgais is the instrumental plural form of liṅga, meaning "by what marks" or "by what signs".

An example of use of the word linga as a technical term in philosophy is given in this passage from the Sāṃkhya-Kārikā which describes the role of attributes in recognition of objects perceived by the senses:

Perception is the ascertainment of objects [which are in contact with sense-organs]; inference, which follows on the knowledge of the characteristic mark (liṅga) [i.e., the middle term] and that which bears the mark...."[5]

The term lingam is sometimes used synonymously for shivalingam, a specific type of icon or altar representing the god Shiva

A. L. Basham says that linga have been found in the Harappan remains, and provides these comments relating to the antiquity of the symbol:

"... Śiva was and still is chiefly worshipped in the form of the liṅga, usually a short cylindrical pillar with rounded top, which is the survival of a cult older than Indian civilization itself.... The cult of the liṅga, at all times followed by some of the non-Āryan peoples, was incorporated into Hinduism around the beginning of the Christian era, though at first it was not very important."[7]

Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami explains in the lexicon section of his book, Dancing with Siva, that "Sivalinga is the most prevalent icon of Siva, found in virtually all Siva temples. It is a rounded, elliptical, aniconic image, usually set on a circular base, or peetham. The Sivalinga is the simplest and most ancient symbol of Siva, especially of Parasiva, God beyond all forms and qualities. The Peetham represents Parashakti, the manifesting power of God. Lingas are usually of stone (either carved or naturally existing, swayambhu, such as shaped by a swift-flowing river), but may also be of metal, precious gems, crystal, wood, earth or transitory materials such as ice. According to the Karana Agama (6), a transitory Sivalinga may be made of 12 different materials: sand, rice, cooked food, river clay, cow dung, butter, rudraksha beads, ashes, sandalwood, darbha grass, a flower garland, or molasses."

Furthermore, there are instances in Hindu lore where a rock or pile of sand has been used by heroic personages as a Lingam or symbol of Shiva. For example, Arjuna fashioned a lingam of clay when worshipping Shiva. Thus, it is argued, too much should not be made of the usual shape of the Lingam. This view is also consonant with philosophies that hold that God may be conceptualized and worshipped in any convenient form; the form itself is irrelevant, the divine power that it represents is all that matters.

Hindu interpreters often use the underlying meaning of "sign" or "mark" for the Sanskrit word linga as the basis for their commentaries. For example:

The name Lingam appears as a name of Shiva in the Shiva Sahasranama where it is translated by Ram Karan Sharma as "(Identifiable as) a symbol of the origin of the Universe."[8]
Bansi Pandit, in his book, Hindu Dharma said, that "Shivalinga means "Shiva symbol."
Swami Sivananda, said that "Linga means a mark, in Sanskrit. It is a symbol which points to an inference. When you see a big flood in a river, you infer that there had been heavy rains the previous day. When you see smoke, you infer that there is fire. This vast world of countless forms is a Linga of the omnipotent Lord. The Siva-Linga is a symbol of Lord Siva. When you look at the Linga, your mind is at once elevated and you begin to think of the Lord." [1]
Western interpreters often use the concept of "male generative organ" as the basis for their interpretations. For example:

Monier-Williams provides one defition for lingam as: "The male organ... esp. that of Siva worshipped in the form of a stone or marble column..."[9].
Gavin Flood's An Introduction to Hindusim refers to the worship of Shiva "in his form as the Śiva liṅga or 'icon' found in most Hindu temples. The linga represents a phallus..."[10]

Various interpretations on the origin and symbolism of the Shiva lingam obtain. While the Tantras deem the Shiva lingam a symbol representing the regenerative aspect of the material universe, the Agamas and Shastras do not elaborate on this interpretation, and the Vedas fail altogether to mention the Lingam. But acccording to Vivekananda, the worship of Shivalinga originated from the famous Lingam in the Atharva Veda Sanhita sung in praise of Yupasthambha, the sacrificial post.[citation needed]

In Hindu Dharma, Bansi Pandit explains that "Shivalinga consists of three parts. The bottom part which is four-sided remains under ground, the middle part which is eight-sided remains on a pedestal and the top part which is actually worshipped is round. The height of the round part is one-third of its circumference. The three parts symbolize Brahma at the bottom, Vishnu in the middle and Shiva on the top. The pedestal is provided with a passage for draining away the water that is poured on top by devotees. The linga symbolizes both the creative and destructive power of the Lord and great sanctity is attached to it by the devotees."

In Veerashaivism, Siva divides from His Absolute state into Linga (Supreme Lord) and anga, individual soul, the two eventually reuniting in undifferentiated oneness. There are three aspects of Sivalinga.[citation needed]

Ishtalinga, personal form of Siva, in which He fulfills desires and removes afflictions -- God as bliss or joy;
Bhavalinga, Siva beyond space and time, the highest divine principle, knowable through intuition;
Pranalinga, the reality of God which can be apprehended by the mind.
The soul(anga) merges with Siva(Linga) by a progressive, six-stage path called shatsthala and this is called Shunyasampadane- earning eternal nothingness.

According to Swami Dharmananda[11] who is a master of Yoga there is a mysterious power in the Linga, its shape has been designed to induce concentration of the mind. Just as the mind is focused easily in crystal-gazing, so also the mind attains one-pointedness, when it looks at the Linga. That is the reason why the ancient Rishis and the seers of India have prescribed Linga for being installed in the temples of Lord Shiva.[12]

The great warrior Arjuna in epic Mahabharatha worshipped Linga for acquiring Pashupatasthra, great vedic scholar Ravana in epic Ramayana worshipped Shiva to present his mother Atmalinga, legendary rishi Markandeya and numerous rishis spread across timezones have worshipped the simplest looking Linga. Rishis used to leave all materialism to attain spirituality and a lump of soil in forest was what was required to worship and meditate. Scientifically from Lingayatism or Veerashaivism it helps one relate to cosmic energy through meditation of Istalinga worshipped by keeping it on palm.[13]

[edit] Naturally occurring lingams
Some of the information in this article or section may not be verified by reliable sources. It should be checked for inaccuracies and modified to cite reliable sources.
A lingam at Amarnath in the western Himalayas forms every winter from ice dripping on the floor of a cave and freezing like a stalagmite. It is very popular with pilgrims.

There is a great connection in marking the forces of nature to be worshipped. The following description has various forms of nature being worshipped as Linga.

The Vedas speak of the Ashta Murthys’ (forms) of Lord Shiva. Sarva, Bhava, Rudra, Ugra, Bheema, Pasupathi, Mahadeva, Eashana are the eight Murthys of Shiva. Puranas explain the Adhistanas for these eight forms, which are Sarva for earth, Bhava for water, Rudra for fire, Ugra for wind, Bheema for space, Pasupathi for yajamana, Mahadeva for moon and Eashana for Sun. Shiva is also called Pasupathi i.e. Lord Shiva with his enormous grace on the Jeeva means pasu, cuts the Pasa or the string and makes it move free to join him with devotion. In this way, his name Pasupathi is more meaningful. Each of the following Kshethras (places) in India & Nepal connected to the Lord ’s eight forms, so that the devotee can know clearly how the ancient puranas took care to locate these places both geographically and spiritually. Shiva, Brahma puranas are the main sources .

The following forms or forces of nature are worshipped in their primal form only without any special idols representing them.

Sarva :- Bhoomi Linga, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu. It is in Shiva Kanchi Kshetra, where the Lord is in the form of Kshiti Linga in the Ekamra tree ( Aamra ( Mango in Sankrit) tree, which yield only one fruit per year). Parvathi worshipped this form first. There is no Abhisheka done with water at this shrine, jasmine oil is used instead. The Devi’s name here is Kamakshi. All the desires of the devotees are fulfilled with her gracious eyes.
Bhava :- Jala Linga, Tiruvanaikoil, (Jambukeswaram), Tamil Nadu. This temple is located on the outskirts of Trichy, where Lord Jambukeswara is seated and showers all his blessings to his devotees. This Kshethra is called Jambhukeswara Kshetra, also known as Jala Linga. The devotees can see from the outside of Garbha Gruha the water bubbles coming out from Panipetham. There is a Jambu tree, which is very old and very big. The legends say Lord Shiva wanted to stay here along with the Jambu tree. So the devotees treat this tree as sacred as the Lord.
Rudra:- Agni or Thejo (Divine Light) Linga, Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu – Arunachaleswara. In Tiruvannamalai, Lord Shiva is seated in the form of Thejolinga. The whole mountain appears to be a Linga. As a result of Parvathi’s great penance, a sharp spark of fire came from Arunachala and took shape as Arunalinga.
Ugra:- Vayu Linga, Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh. The Sri Kalahasteeswara temple is situated on the banks of Swarna Mukhi River in Sri Kalahasti. Spiritually elevated souls only can see that there is a strong wind blowing around the Linga. Bhakta Kannappa story is connected to this temple. Even animals got salvation by worshipping this Lord. Three animals – Cobweb (Sree), Kala (snake), Hasthi (elephant) prayed to God with utmost faith and devotion and attained Moksha. One can see the symbols there on the Shiva Linga even today
Bheema:- Akasha Linga, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. This Kshetra is on the banks of Cauvery. We don’t see any Murthy in the temple Garbha Gruha. The puranas speak of this Kshetra very highly. No one can see the Lord’s Murthy, except the highest spiritual souls. There is a space in the Garbha Gruha and many Abharanas are decorated and the devotees assume the God is seated there. A very beautiful Nataraja murthy is in outer Garbha Gruha for worship and for the satisfaction of the devotees.
Pasupathi:- Yajamana(Lord) Linga, Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, Pasupathinadha Kshetra is famous and the Lord here is in human form. The devotee can see the God up to his waist only. The Murthy is decorated with Gold Kavacha always. Nobody can enter into the Garbha Gruha except the Archaka (not even the King of Nepal). Many devotees from all over the globe pray to this Lord with highest devotion and get their wishes fulfilled.
Mahadeva:- Chandra Linga, West Bengal. Chandra natha Linga is situated in West Bengal 34 miles away from Chatagav City. Many sacred thirthas surround this Kshetra. Devi purana lauded this Kshethra greatly.
Eashana:- Surya Linga, Konark Temple, Orissa. This Kshetra is in Orissa state near Puri Jagannath Kshetra. Konark is now in ruins and the temple is in fragments and now, devotees can’t see any God or Goddess here. The legend says that Sri Krishna’s son Samba suffered once from leprosy and was cured by worshipping the Sun God and the Linga here and since then this Kshetra became a remedy center for all diseases. Even in these days the worship is going on with same faith and devotion.
The Bijileshwar Mahadev[14](incidence of Vasishta in Rigveda) absorbs lightening and breaks into pieces, is then restored by butter every 12 years.

Shivling (6543m) is also a mountain in Uttarakhand (the Garwhal region of Himalayas). It arises as a sheer pyramid above the snout of the Gangotri Glacier. The mountain resembles a shivling when viewed from certain angles, especially when travelling or trekking from Gangotri to Gomukh as a part of a traditional Hindu pilgrimage.


Poet of Oz

Poet of Oz
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
Poetry is a traitorous mask
What you read is not what
You think it’s a mind game
By the devious shaman
Of a poet taking your naiveté
To task bubbly heady words
Overflowing from his hip flask
Pretentious palatable palliative
New wine fermented bootlegged
From a country hooch cask
Layers and layers of meaningless
Menagerie of rotten human emotions
That as a reader you try to unmask
Life living like feet trodden lichen
Trampled by karmic convolutions
Beneath a death mask


doomed heritage bandra hill road

first they give you an award
next they grab
your ancestors bones
your playgrounds
your religious heirlooms
yes blood suckers
want your walls
your porticos
your heritage
to build a
road widening tomb
while kutchi
gardens bloom
untouched by the
municipal broom
more newer malls
branded showrooms
more cars
more hawkers
no more room
hell road
once hill road
is now doomed
political apathy
municipal machinations
that cause gloom
water logging floods
malaria dengue chikungunya
a new threat looms

dedicated to legal land grabbers

we do care

we do care
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
in the deathly throes of living
savagery of a snare
pocketless paupery
no money
a blank wall stare
before he left for mumbai
they told him beware
keep hidden your
return fare
try your luck
the worst calamities prepare
pitfalls bear
if you return empty handed
we do care
this thought
to strengthen your
fight against despair
hold on to it
you wish
our prayer

you and me and the origin of the flame

photo courtesy

for flying like moth to the origin of the flame
yes love hide and hate seeks a game
you and me
me and you...
fires of hell could not tame
you became you i became me
what a shame

lady lambeth


Bollywood Struggler

grass is green on the other side
the bollywood struggler no place to hide
sleeps on the carter road parapet
his time running from one studio to the other
from one film office to the other divide
the gulf between his hope and his reality
is inreasingly wide ..
he awaits a break..
but waves of remorse
dont subside
tattered clothes
shattered shoes
is what remains of his pride
lady luck hidden away
he clutching an empty fist
the life of earlier
successful strugglers
as his guide..
to make it big
on the silver screen
waiting for a ride..
as joggers walkers
pass him by
a shore far away from
sea side

i am confused

i am confused
Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
sometimes your thoughts
add to my ensuing pain..
a dry region on the
plateau of my heart
where like drops of tears
secreted on my soul
wet and undrying
on a hanky you stain
stormy winds from
your hearts region
my inner being enchain
that you dont love me
is a thought you feign
if you see in the crystal bowl
of your pain
you will find me floating
clear and plain
with one stroke
a part of you
a part of me
both lie slain
words bleeding
wounds cant explain


Originally uploaded by flickr photographerno1
photo courtesy

The most disgusting
The most abusive
Sanitary sensitive
Most nauseating
Most polluted
Most diluted
Most refuted word
Ever heard
A four letter bad word
Corrupt weakens flesh
Interrupts cavernous hopes
Disrupts volcanic volatile
Venom erupts hate transferred
An exclamation mark abrupt
End result both giver and recipient
Prematurely interred

An Open Letter to Firoze Shakir from Ray Lucero

As you’ve made yourself inaccessible on Poemhunter
I offer the following open letter of apology herein:

Few in the U.S.A. know the great suffering,
pain and death perpetrated on the Shia.
The American crusade prosecuted by Bush,
Cheney and their ilk is beyond criminal, indeed
it’s pure evil. No human being in their right mind
could do the things these vile men have done.

U.S. will soon approach a trillion dollars spent on
two wars that cannot be won. God help us all when
they launch a third war against Iran. With the military
stretched beyond endurance, it’s likely that tactical nuclear
weapons will be used in hopes of a quick victory.

Let me be clear in expressing that the media and politicians
have failed to tell the American public the real reason for invasion of the
Middle East is oil, natural gas and pipelines…nothing more, nothing less.

The majority of Americans do not want war nor do I.

We must use non-violence displayed so valiantly by the
Burmese Monks, being eradicated as I write this message.
I wept while watching the news reports this morning and realized
that I do not remotely have the courage of my robed brothers.

Dialogue, diplomacy and universal brotherhood between all nations is what will bring a lasting peace.

I offer my profound apology to you and all Muslims for
the suffering and personal losses heaped upon you.
We must all recognize that we are citizens of the Earth,
without man-made boundaries that separate us.

I bid you peace,


Ray Lucero
Poet Poem Hunter

Firoze Shakir (9/28/2007 12:35:00 AM) | Delete this message
Thank You Ray
I reciprocate your good intentions and good wishes, Muslims come in various denominations, I am a human much before I was baptised Muslim, I am an Indian Muslim who adheres to Shiasm..
I think this planet was made not just for community, or ethnicity, it was meant for all living creatures, I know it sounds utopian, and foolish, but most of the people want to live in PEACE..but it is the political warlords warmomgers who have robbed and raped PEACE on this planet.. it is all muscle power under the pretext of spirtuality and religiosity..
I wish you well.
Thank you once again..
Firoze Shakir