Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Banganga or Banganga Tankis an ancient water tank which is part of the Walkeshwar Temple Complex in Malabar Hill area of Mumbai in India.
Tank was built in the 1127 AD, by Lakshman Prabhu, a minister in the court of Silhara dynasty kings of Thane.
The tank was rebuilt in 1715 AD, out of a donation for the Walkeshwar Temple by Rama Kamath. The main temple, has been reconstructed since then and is at present a reinforced concrete structure of recent construction.
Banganga in Mythology
Banganga Temple shikhara
According to local legend, it sprang forth when the Hindu god Ram, the exiled hero of the epic Ramayana, stopped at the spot five thousand years ago in search of his kidnapped wife Sita.
As the legend goes, overcome with fatigue and thirst, Rama asked his brother Lakshmana to bring him some water. Laxman instantly shot an arrow into the ground, and water gushed forth from the ground, creating a tributary of the Ganges, which flows over a thousand miles away, hence its name, Banganga, the Ganga created on a baan (arrow).
The Banganga also houses the 'Shri Kashi Math' and 'Shri Kaivalya or Kawle Math' of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins at its banks and samadhis of their various past heads of the Math.
The area also has a Hindu cremation ground which after 2003, received a makeover to house a Gas crematorium.
The area still has an old Hindu cemetery consisting of samadhi shrines of various Advaita gurus, such as Sri Ranjit Maharaj (1913–2000) and his guru Sri Siddarameshwar Maharaj (1888–1936).
The tank today is a rectangular pool structure surrounded by steps on all four sides. At the entrance are two pillars in which oil lamps called diyas were lit in ancient times.
The tank, as well as the main Walkeshwar Temple and the Parshuram Temple belong to the Goud Saraswat Temple Trust, which once owned most of the property in the complex. Many Goud Saraswat Brahmin families (Rege, Anaokar, Mulgaonkar, Kenkre, Sakhardande, Sukthankar, Keni, Marudkar, Naik, Warti, Warerkar, Bidikar, Bhende, Prabhawalkar, Pagnis) used to reside / still reside in the Temple Trust buildings in the complex.
The tank is spring fed and so its water remains sweet, despite being located only a few dozen meters away from the sea. Apart from being a cultural hub, the place over the years has provided inspiration to many artists, be it on film or on canvas.
I shoot Pitru Paksh every year since 2005 .
I shoot the entire length and breadth from each side and I consider myself lucky when Banganga boat owners allow me to use their boat and shoot from it capturing the essence of peace hope humanity .. and I dont shoot just a few pictures I shoot a eternity ..
I promote harmony through my pictures I dont just trumpet my own religion through my Faceboook status .. I am a Shia Muslim and water is the Essence of Truth of my Faith ..Hussain is Humanity I shoot Humanity in all its diverse color ..
And every religious season that affects my city affects me too, the tree of life changes its color .. I shot the Ganesh feast the Visarjan now I will shoot the Durga pandals later the Visarjan and than get ready to shoot Bakra Eid namaz ..
And come Moharam I shall do the Tandav .. cut my head on Ashura as a protest against an evil called Yazidiyat .. ..to the chant of Ya Hussain Ya Hussain.
Pitru Paksha (Sanskrit: पितृ पक्ष), also spelt as Pitr paksha or Pitri paksha, (literally "fortnight of the ancestors") is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha ("sixteen shraddhas"), Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.
Pitru Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. In southern and western India, it falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September–October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh festival and ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. In North India and Nepal, this period corresponds to the dark fortnight of the month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.
According to Hindu mythology, the souls of three preceding generations of one's ancestor reside in Pitru–loka, a realm between heaven and earth. This realm is governed by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying man from earth to Pitru–loka. When a person of the next generation dies, the first generation shifts to heaven and unites with God, so Shraddha offerings are not given. Thus, only the three generations in Pitru–loka are given Shraddha rites, in which Yama plays a significant role. According to the sacred Hindu epics (Itihasa), at the beginning of Pitru Paksha, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Virgo (Kanya). Coinciding with this moment, it is believed that the spirits leave Pitru–loka and reside in their descendants' homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.
When the legendary donor Karna died in the epic Mahabharata war, his soul transcended to heaven, where he was offered gold and jewels as food. However, Karna needed real food to eat and asked Indra, the lord of heaven, the reason for serving gold as food. Indra told Karna that he had donated gold all his life, but had never donated food to his ancestors in Shraddha. Karna said that since he was unaware of his ancestors, he never donated anything in their memory. To make amends, Karna was permitted to return to earth for a 15–day period, so that he could perform Shraddha and donate food and water in their memory. This period is now known as Pitru Paksha. In some legends, Yama replaces Indra.
Annadaana or giving food to the hungry is a central part of the rituals during these 16 days. On all these days, offerings are made to the departed, including those whose names or manner of death are not known. On these days tarpan, shraaddha and pinda daan are performed daily according to the procedures under the guidance of a priest. Although these rites are to be carried out daily in this fortnight, it is considered that to perform them on the last day i.e. on Mahalaya Amavasya or Sarva Pitru Amavasya is extremely important and sacred. The performance of Shraddha by a son during Pitru Paksha is regarded as a compulsory by Hindus, to ensure that the soul of the ancestor goes to heaven. In this context, the scripture Garuda Purana says, "there is no salvation for a man without a son". The scriptures preach that a householder should propitiate ancestors (Pitris), along with the gods (devas), ghosts (bhutas) and guests. The scripture Markandeya Purana says that if the ancestors are content with the shraddhas, they will bestow health, wealth, knowledge and longevity, and ultimately heaven and salvation (moksha) upon the performer.
The performance of Sarvapitri amavasya rites can also compensate a forgotten or neglected annual shraddha ceremony, which should ideally coincide with the death anniversary of the deceased. According to Sharma, the ceremony is central to the concept of lineages. Shraddha involves oblations to three preceding generations—by reciting their names—as well as to the mythical lineage ancestor (gotra). A person thus gets to know the names of six generations (three preceding generation, his own and two succeeding generations—his sons and grandsons) in his life, reaffirming lineage ties. Anthropologist Usha Menon of Drexel University presents a similar idea—that Pitru Paksha emphasises the fact that the ancestors and the current generation and their next unborn generation are connected by blood ties. The current generation repays their debt to the ancestors in the Pitru Paksha. This debt is considered of utmost importance along with a person's debt to his gurus and his parents.
Rules of Shradh
When and where
The shraddha is performed on the specific lunar day during the Pitru Paksha, when the ancestor—usually a parent or paternal grandparent—died. There are exceptions to the lunar day rule; special days are allotted for people who died in a particular manner or had a certain status in life. Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami, the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively, are allocated for people deceased in the past year. Avidhava navami ("Unwidowed ninth"), the ninth lunar day, is for married women who died before their husband. Widowers invite Brahmin women as guests for their wife's shraddha. The twelfth lunar day is for children and ascetics who had renounced the worldly pleasures. The fourteenth day is known as Ghata chaturdashi or Ghayala chaturdashi, and is reserved for those people killed by arms, in war or suffered a violent death.
Mahalaya marks the formal beginning of the Durga Puja festival
Sarvapitri amavasya ("all fathers' new moon day") is intended for all ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died. It is the most important day of the Pitru Paksha. Those who have forgotten to perform shraddha can do so on this day. A shraddha ritual performed on this day is considered as fruitful as one conducted in the holy city of Gaya, which is seen as a special place to perform the rite, and hosts a fair during the Pitru Paksha period. In Bengal, Mahalaya (Bengali: মহালয়া) marks the beginning of Durga Puja festivities. Mahalaya is the day when the goddess Durga is believed to have descended to Earth. Bengali people traditionally wake up early in the morning on Mahalaya to recite hymns from the Devi Mahatmyam (Chandi) scripture. Offerings to the ancestors are made in homes and at puja mandaps (temporary shrines). Matamaha ("Mother's father") or Dauhitra ("Daughter's son") also marks the first day of the month of Ashvin and beginning of the bright fortnight. It is assigned for the grandson of the deceased maternal grandfather.
The ritual is also held on the death anniversary of the ancestor. The shraddha is performed only at noon, usually on the bank of a river or lake or at one's own house. Families may also make a pilgrimage to places like Varanasi and Gaya to perform Shraddha.
Who and for whom
It is essential that Shraddha is performed by the son—usually the eldest—or male relative of the paternal branch of the family, limited to the preceding three generations. However, on Sarvapitri amavasya or matamaha, the daughter's son can offer Shraddha for the maternal side of his family if a male heir is absent in his mother's family. Some castes only perform the shraddha for one generation. Prior to performing the rite, the male should have experienced a sacred thread ceremony. Since the ceremony is considered inauspicious due to its association with death, the royal family of Kutch, the king or heirs of the throne are prohibited from conducting Shraddha.
The food offerings made to the ancestors are usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and typically placed on a banana leaf or cups made of dried leaves. The food must include Kheer (a type of sweet rice and milk), lapsi (a sweet porridge made of wheat grains), rice, dal (lentils), the vegetable of spring bean (guar) and a yellow gourd (pumpkin).
Rites of shraddha
The male who performs the shraddha should take a purifying bath beforehand and is expected to wear a dhoti. He wears a ring of kush grass. Then the ancestors are invoked to reside in the ring. The shraddha is usually performed bare-chested, as the position of the sacred thread worn by him needs to be changed multiple times during the ceremony. The shraddha involves pinda-daan, which is an offering to the ancestors of pindas (cooked rice and barley flour balls mixed with ghee and black sesame seeds), accompanying the release of water from the hand. It is followed by the worship of Vishnu in form of the darbha grass, a gold image or Shaligram stone and Yama. The food offering is then made, cooked especially for the ceremony on the roof. The offering is considered to be accepted if a crow arrives and devours the food; the bird is believed to be a messenger from Yama or the spirit of the ancestors. A cow and a dog are also fed, and Brahmin priests are also offered food. Once the ancestors (crow) and Brahmins have eaten, the family members can begin lunch.
Some families also conduct ritual recitals of scriptures such the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita. Others may be charitable and present gifts to the priests or pay them to recite prayers for the ancestor's well-being.
Morphing This Picture To Attack Anybody Is In Very Poor Taste .., a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
247,759 items / 2,053,261 views
The Crippled Beggar of Dhai Djinn Ka Jhopda Ajmer
People using this picture to attack Mr Salman Khurshid and his wife Mrs Louise Khurshid under India Against Corruption is in real bad taste ,.. it hurts me this beggar who is very close to me and it would hurt Mr Salman Khurshid and his wife too .. attacking people by morphing my picture is in bad taste and I hope my dear friend Mayank Gandhi Sab and ,,Ruben Robocop Mascrenhas take note of it and have it removed ...
This is blatant stealing of my creativity and my copyrighted picture ..
I have also participated in India Against Corruption but did not expect their standards of attacking to stoop to this level..
This picture was morphed and placed at Facebook posted by Asish Arora on his Facebook timeline .. it was bought to my notice by another Facebook friend Bharat J Gandhi..
I Hate Two Things On Facebook Being Tagged And Being Added To A Group Without My Permission, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
And it is time Mr Marc Zuckerburg did something about this stupid juvenile aspect of Facebook and Fuck Facebook Pokes ..
If You Are As Crazy About Barbers As I Am Than This Is The Place, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
And I shot .. in limitation because all my memory cards were stolen recently during Lalbagh Chya Raja procession , just to shoot all this I bought 3 cards of 8 Gb ..
I Shot All This For 3 Hours On A Leg With Suspected Hairline Fracture .., a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
And nothing happened , but what really caused me a lot of pain was walking the steps of Bandra Station and than the long walk on the skywalk from the top till Lucky hotel signal.
I was at Mrs Punam Sinhas house with my wife last night to deliver Sirs clothes when my wife saw the swelling of my feet , so from her house my wife bought me to the local bone setter near Bandra Jumma Masjid I dont go to orthopedists at all..and than he set it right , a painful process used lep and has called me tomorrow.
So I have to take it easy he told me ..and it was the first time I was not carrying my camera or I would have shot him fixing me leg..
And today I wish everyone an auspicious start to the Durga festival to all my friends ..
One regret this is the first time I or my grand daughter did not shoot the Durga workshops ...no time at all ...
pity those who talk about fine art photography dont even know what street photography is all about, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
And those mogul badshahs of camera clubs that looked down on photo bloggers are time pass are now working overtime on Facebook.. wah reh teri duniya ..
This Was A Short Series I Shot After The Lal Mitti Bandra Fire, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
Most of these basket weavers are inter related from one area of their hometown.. with the basket weavers of Mahim Mori Road or the Basket weavers from Mahim near the fishing village ..
They live on the pavements and sleep on the roads and it was at the one commune outside the Mahim station , where a drunk taxi driver , tried to molest a child under the mosquito net, on being apprehended by them slapped and allowed to go instead of being sent to a cop staion , in anger he came back and in inebriated state drove his cab over the sleeping children and the people seriously injuring a few that were being treated at Bhabha Hospital.
He left his cab and ran , but he was caught soon enough turns out he is a North Indian migrant , and he was angry so he drove his cab into the sleeping people ..I dont know more than what I read from the newspaper.
But I know one thing living in Mumbai for 58 years .. the evil man on the street is no more scared of the lax law and order or the inimitable Mumbai Police ..all the spate of crime done daringly show that the criminal is one up on the cops ....he is sure to beat the system one way or the other . and that the senior citizen killed so easily by a courier guy or a film executive killed by a watchman is glaring examples of a bad governance nothing else ..
The police force politically subordinated , demoralized ..can do nothing , imagine so many months and the slow pace of the Azad Maidan riot case , those that engineered this hateful campaign are still to be arrested .. only the foot soldiers and the grass root activists have been caught the guys who master minded this evil plot giving us all as Indians a bad name are laughing all the way to the bank.
I refuse to just call this a Muslim issue it affects all of us as law abiding citizens of this great metropolis.. an Indian is a Indian.. because if a few Muslims do wrong the entire Muslim society should not be targeted .. I refuse to be called just a Muslim in such cases I am Human fisrt like anyone of you what happens in my back yard affects me and all of us..
What happens across the border in Myanmar is that country's political problem needs to be addressed by them.. I have always maintained Muslims love killing Muslims .. and it is sad a single Malalah gets even Parsi friends heckled but what about those continuously raped abused as minority the nameless one in Muslim countries , nobody stands up for them.. not even Muslims shed tears when Shias are killed persecuted ..and a eunuch silence prevails ..
And suddenly the Muezzin too has gone silent to the cries of the oppressed in the Muslim World .
I am happy as an Indian we dont have such serious problems on our home soil.
This is a Blog .. and it is my personal view my pain my journey of life through the picture I shot of a basket weaver ...this is known as photo blogging .. without editorial constrains but within the moderation of sensitivity.
Waqt Kii, Ghardishthe Hai.N, Chaand Sitaaro.N Ka Nizam, Waqt Kii, Tokar Mei.N Hai.N, Kya Hukumath,Kya Samaj
The One Person Who Always Helps People In Distress is Salman Khan, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
Even during the last fire here at Nargis Dutt Nagar he went out of his way to help the people who had lost everything and that was a major fire total destruction..
The Unfortunate Whose Huts Got Burnt - Lal Mitti Bandra Reclamation Fire, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
Actually what I shot is a few huts in the front , but the major destruction was at the back that I could not access , the water for this was thrown from the Bandra Reclamation bridge.
I have a suspected hair line fracture on my ankle , so I could hardly be adventurous . however I just got my feet checked at the local Bandra bone setter and he has set it right just now .. I shall be walking with a limp for sometime the Pitru Paksh this morning shoot has aggravated the problem..