Kailasa Paramparagatha Atal Peetham

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The Divine Lineage (Daiva Paramparā)

ŚRĪ BHAGAVĀN PARAMAŚIVA
ŚRĪ MAHĀGAṆAPATI

The Presiding Deity, coronated by Paramaśiva For the Atal Peetha

ŚRĪ ĀDI SHANKARA (reviver)

The unbroken lineage of Mahāmanḍaleśvars (religious leaders)

The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism. Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam,

His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam

Atal Peethadheeshwar Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar

Reviving the great kingdom as the current successor king

BHAGAVĀN ŚRĪ PARAMAŚIVA

Paramaśiva, the Cosmic Source and ultimate Divinity, started the lineage of Akhāḍās with the ascetic warriors (Nāgā Sādhus) along with His direct disciples and descendants - called the Paramaśiva Ganas. ( https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/paramashiva;)

It is from Bhagavan Sri Paramaśiva, the Primordial Source, came forth the most ancient living lineage of ĀdiŚaiva traditions and sanyas (monkhood) called ‘Akhāḍās’ of ascetic warriors who defend the land and Dharma (the Cosmic law). Paramaśiva came down to the sacred city of Varanasi in North India with his empowered direct disciples (Śiva ganas) and sons Śrī Kumara and Śrī Gaṇeśa (king of Gaṇas, followers of Paramaśiva) and established the eternal unbroken spiritual flow of ascetics, forming the first Akhāḍā.

The Original Akhāḍā Structure - Kailaasa established by Paramasiva

Daksha, Son of Lord Brahma was called Daksha Prajapati as he functioned as the President of humanity during his times. He delivered the Daksha Smṛti - The Do's and Dont's - for Humanity. He organised a massive Yaga (sacrificial fire) for which he deliberately avoided calling his daughter Sati and Her Divine Consort Paramaśiva Himself. When Sati, pulled by parental bonding, went by herself to the Yaga, Daksha further insulted her in front of the entire gathering. Sati unable to withstand the insult of her own father, self-immolated herself in the sacrificial fire. News reached Paramaśiva, who invoked Vīrabhadra to slay Daksha's head.

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A portrayal of the incident of Sati’s insult and self-immolation at her father Daksha’s court.

(Ref:https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_gallery.aspx?assetId=790923001&objectId=3267281&partId=1)

Daksha fell low in the eyes of all after this incident. The Sapta Rishis (seven enlightened beings who are revered as patriarchs of Hinduism from yore) refused to henceforth follow Daksha Smṛti as they saw that Daksha was no more integrated to Paramaśiva, (Primordial Hindu Divinity). They requested Paramaśiva to reveal the guidelines yet again to them so they can follow. The sacred spot where Paramaśiva revealed the Agamas to them, is the Daksheshwar temple of Mayapur in Haridwar, where the Mahanirvani Peetha is headquartered. Even from during the times of Daksha, this temple was the headquarters of the Peetha.

After revealing the Agamas, Paramaśiva appointed Sage Kapila as the Head of the Mahanirvani Peetha, thus establishing the enlightenment ecosystem - Kailaasa Paramparagatha Mahanirvani Peetham.

Thus, Paramaśiva, the ultimate Divinity, having the Supreme Sovereignty of his cosmic kingdom, institutionalized the constitution, administration and protection for the enlightenment ecosystem on the planet by establishing the ‘Akhāḍās’ (traditions within Hinduism) with His direct disciples and descendants called the Paramaśiva Gaṇas and warrior ascetics (Nāgās) from Varanasi, the most ancient living city of earth. Under His divine ordainment, the enlightenment ecosystem with spiritual, religious, historical, political, economic and social legitimacy was formally established. (Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhara).

One of the main responsibilities of the Akhāḍās is teaching and transmitting the great teachings of Shāstras (revealed scriptures from Paramaśiva). Thus the ascetic monks (Nāgās) are called Shāstradharis (Shāstra - the scriptures; dharis - bearers) in Sanskrit. They also use Śastra (weapons) to protect the sacred traditions from external negative forces. Wielding of both Śāstra and Śastra - knowledge of scriptures and weapon - within the scope of the Dharma (Cosmic Law) is the main responsibility of the Akhāḍās.

The Atal Akhada

(Ref.: http://akhada.org/history-of-atal-akhada/) is one of the oldest Akhāḍās in the world established by Paramasiva as Kailaasa, the enlightenment ecosystem, and is affiliated to the larger Mahanirvani Akhada, which has the largest influence in the country and runs some of the most visited temples in India such as the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain and the Annapurneshwari temple in Kashi (Varanasi). Each of these temples attracts tens of millions of people from around the world every year.

The Presiding Deity and the first coronated king of the Atal Akhada is Mahaganapati.

Bhagavan Sri Paramaśiva founded the Atal Akhada (Ref: http://akhada.org/sadashiva/) when He performed the ceremonial coronation of His direct descendant and son Sri Ganapati, ordaining him on the royal spiritual seat of the kingdom called ‘Kailaasa Paramparagatha Atal Peetham to govern and protect the world through the cosmic constitution (reference - Śrī Gaṇapati Purāṇa). Śrī Gaṇapati as the ruling divinity and presiding deity of the Atal Akhada is represented by the Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar (the senior pontiff) who continues the cosmic lineage as the inheritor of the Atal kingdom.

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Śrī Mahāgaṇapati, the original Peethadheeshwar (king of the divine kingdom of Atal) seated on the divine throne called ‘Atal Peetha’

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Mahāgaṇapati as the Śrī Paramaśiva direct heir and inheritor of His religious kingdom and throne of Sri Atal Akhada

Revival of the Mahanirvani Akhada

In 748 A.D., a group of seven sadhus of Atal Akhada performed tapas (intense spiritual penance) at a place called Gangasagar. They were graced with the darshan (divine vision) of Saint Kapila Mahāmuni, an incarnation of Paramaśiva. With his blessings, they revived the Nāgā tradition with an official name – Mahanirvani Akhada – near Neel Dhara in Haridwar. Even today, the chief deity (upāsyadeva) of the Mahanirvani Akhada is Śrī Kapila Mahāmuni as appointed by Paramasiva HImself. The Atal Akhada is affiliated to the Mahanirvai Akhada. ( Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahanirvani_Akhara )

Office Holders: A few of the Sri Mahants of the Atal Akhada on record

  • Balram Bhart
  • Satyam Giri
  • Hari Giriji
  • Sunder Giri
  • Mangat Puri
  • Sanak Puri
  • Brahma Puri
  • Pavan Giri
  • Prem Giriji Sachiv
  • Sanatana Bharat
  • Mansapuri
  • Purushottam Giri

Śrī Ādi Śankarācārya - The Reviver and Organizer of the Akhāḍās

Sri Ādi Śankarācārya is an incarnation of Paramaśiva, who assumed the body in the 8th century. He organised and unified the main thought currents (Truth threads) that exist within Sanātana Hindu Dharma, in the form of various traditions or Sampradāyas called Akhāḍās. He is the reviver of the Dashanami Sampradāya (the monastic tradition), organizing a section of the Ēkadaṇḍi monastics (monastics carrying a single staff) under an umbrella grouping of ten names (‘daśa’ meaning ten, ‘nām’ meaning name in Sanskrit). He also revived and organized the Mahanirvani Akhāḍā. He formally organised it in 748 A.D constituting a democratic structure giving stability and legitimacy to Hinduism’s core spiritual traditions (sampradāya) in the form of the Akhāḍās or Apex bodies of Hinduism. (Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adi_Shankara )

The Ekadandi Sanyāsis (wandering renunciates and monks bearing a single staff) were organised into ten sects (daśanāma; dasa - ten; nama - name), which fell under four Mathas or monasteries under the sacred system entirely based on the guru-disciple tradition, where the lineage of each sect was maintained and inherited from Guru to disciple. (Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashanami_Sampradaya#%C4%92kada%E1%B9%87%E1%B8%8Dis

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(left) The Deity of Ādi Shankara at Kedarnath Temple, Kedarnath, North India; (right) image of Ādi Shankara ruling the kingdom seated on the Mahanirvani Peetha, while being worshipped and served by the regent Kings along with his disciples.

All the knowledge and traditions of Sanātana Hindu Dharma (Hinduism) are traced back to the original source, which is Paramaśiva. The Guru-parampara (Guru’s lineage) begins with Paramaśiva as the primordial Guru, who descends as the Incarnation from time to time to transmit, preserve and protect the Science of Enlightenment and the enlightenment ecosystem to for his disciples and humanity at large. This is the Daiva-Paramparā, which is followed by the Rishi-Parampara, where the enlightened seers were able to transmit the direct words of Paramaśiva to the next generation of seekers. Finally, comes the Mānava-Paramparā, where the disciples who received this knowledge maintain and uphold the tradition from one generation to the next.

Background of the Akhāḍās

Akhāḍās (also called Akharas) form the core body of the Hindu tradition. They are the oldest and largest Apex body of Hinduism. As of now at least 1 million dedicated Sādhus (saints) live under the Akhada Parishad, which is the apex council body of Hinduism with a democratic selection structure of its spiritual leaders, where all the fourteen Akhadas are members.

14 Akhāḍās are accepted widely as mainstream Akhāḍās, but there are many minor Akhāḍās affiliated to these, which function as their sister organizations or subsidiaries, carrying the ideological connection yet having their independent identity.

Kashi (also called Varanasi. Located in North India) is the spiritual headquarters of the Atal Peetha

Sectarian Structure of the Sadhus (ORTHODOX SHAIVA SAMPRADAYAS - Shaiva Traditions)

Dashnami Sampradaya Dashnami Sanyasis are broadly divided into two sections namely, Astra Dharis (weapon-holders) and Shaastra dharis (scripture holders). Astra Dharis are ascetic warriors and Shaastra dharis are learned ascetics.

Shankaracharya, the reviver saint of the Dashnami Order, realised that unless there is a warrior class of ascetics who fiercely protect it, the Order re-established by him cannot last long. Similarly, Hinduism had undergone extreme persecution where its scriptures, palm leaf manuscripts, books and such sources of knowledge were stolen, burnt, destroyed and maliciously misinterpreted. There was now a need for the Sanyasis of the country to physically protect against invasions, as well as protect the knowledge and ancient heritage of Hinduism itself. So, he recruited warrior and scholarly Sanyasis to form the ten orders of Sanyasis who came to be known as Dashnami Sanyasis.

Dashnami Naga Sanyasis in particular were imparted military training, as well as expected to be highly knowledgeable in the Hindu scriptures.

A short account of the original Dashnami Akharas is given below:

1. Awahan Akhara: It was revived in 546 A.D. The tutelary deity is Gajanan Dattatreya. The head office of this Akhara is situated at Kashi (Varanasi) and branches are at Haridwar and Prayagraj.

2. Atal Akhara: It was revived in 646 A.D. in Gondwana with Ganesh (Paramasiva’s own son) as its tutelary deity. This Akhara has its branches in Haridwar, Ujjain and Baroda, and its head office at Kashi (Varanasi).

3. Mahanirvani Akhara: It was founded at Jharkand (Vaidyanath Dham) in 748 A.D. with Kapil Muni as its tutelary deity. This Akhara has its head office at Haridwar and branches at Kankhal, Kashi, Nasik and Ujjain.

4. Anand Akhara: This Akhara was revived in 855 A.D. with Surya Deva (Sun God) as its tutelary deity. The Atal, Anand and Awahan Akharas are affiliated to Nirvani, Juna and Niranjani Akharas respectively.

5. Niranjani Akhara: It was revived at Kachcha Mandavi in 903 AD. with its head-office at Prayag and branches at Ujjain and Udaipur. The tutelary deity of this Akhara is Kartikeya (or Subramanya - Parasiva’s own son). It is the protective army of Kartikeya that turned into the Niranjani Akhara of Sadhus.

6. Juna or Bhairo: It was revived in 1145 A.D. at Kama Prayag with Rudravatar Dattatreya as its special deity. Main centres of this Akhara are situated at Kashi, Prayag, Hardwar and Ujjain.

7. Nirvani Akhara: Nirvani and Niranjani akhada are considered as the leading akhadas from the point of view of the number of members and movable property.Only advanced aspirants are initiated into these Akharas who have already received preliminary instructions from the Guru.

Shankaracharya also organized the Dashnami order, which includes the following ten categories of Sanyasis. (1) Giri (hill) meaning living in the hills (2) Puri (City) meaning living in the city (3) Bharati (goddess of learning) meaning to be established in learning (4) Vana (Wood) meaning living in the woods (5) Parvata (Mountain) meaning living in the mountains (6) Aranya (forest) meaning living in the forest (7) Sagara (ocean) meaning living by the ocean (8) Tirtha (Pilgrimage) meaning travelling, visiting holy shrines and enriching people (9) Ashrama (hermitage) meaning living in a hermitage (10) Saraswati (symbol of knowledge) meaning being blessed by Goddess Saraswati and therefore well established in the ocean of knowledge.

Shankaracharya also established four big monastic centres namely Jyotir Math. Shringeri Math, Govardhan Math and Dwaraka or Sharda Math in North, South, East and West respectively and installed his disciples there to propagate his religious message to the world.

The four great Mathas of the Dashnami order, have in the course of centuries come to adopt certain definite rules of affiliation and organisation. A Sanyasi must first of all enrol himself in a Marhi (recruiting centre). A Math can take members belonging to one Marhi only but all the fifty-two Marhis can become the members of Akharas.

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Picture: Dandi Sanyasi, a Hindu ascetic, in Eastern Bengal in the 1860s

The Dashnami Sanyasis are further divided into two broad sections namely Dandadharis (staff holders) and Paramahamsas (not holding a staff). Out of the ten sub-sects of the Dashnami Order, Sanyasis of only three sub-sects that is, Tirtha, Ashram and Saraswati, hold a staff and the rest called Paramahamsas do not hold a staff. The three Dandi sub-sects initiate only Brahmanas as ascetic disciples but in the rest, persons from Kshatriya (warrior caste) and Vaisya (merchant community) Varnas (castes) may also be initiated.

In Varanasi, the home of Shaiva ascetics, twenty-eight Mathas (monastic centres) are managed by Dandis and fifteen are managed by Paramahamsas.

Dashnami ascetics are graded according to their spiritual attainment into four categories as follows:

  1. Kutichaka: He is an ascetic who has renounced the world and lives in a hut engaged in contemplation and worship. He subsists on alms given to him by others.
  2. Bahudaka: Such ascetics collect alms in kind but never in cash.
  3. Hansa: Such ascetics are well-versed in Vedanta (Scriptural knowledge) and pursue the aim of attaining complete knowledge of the Supreme Being.
  4. Paramahamsa: Such ascetics represent the stage of highest spiritual evolution.

Kumbh Mela

Along with the Mahanirvani Akhāḍā, Kapila created the tradition of the Kumbh Mela – till date the world’s largest gathering of humanity and the ultimate celebration of freedom from all bondages of the world. The Kumbh Mela happens even up to 55 days and provides an extremely high energy enlightenment ecosystem where clairvoyance happens and one’s peak possibilities for enlightenment are awakened through various means.

Puranic History of the Kumbh Mela festival - the largest gathering of humanity in the world

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Following are extracts from the narration of the story of “the Churning of the Milky Ocean” by His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam on 4 Aug 2007:

“It was Narada (Hindu Sage) who started everything. One day, he saw the jewel on the chest of Vishnu, a new jewel - the Shamantaka, a beautifully shining jewel on Vishnu’s chest. And he asked, “Bhagavan, from where did you get that? He said, “Some devotee gave. Varuna raja, King of the Ocean.” Narada thought, “Oh god! Such a pretty jewel.” He went and spoke to Indra (chief of Gods). He told Indra, “Indra, look! Varuna is your servant but he took the Shamantaka and gave it to Vishnu; he did not give it to you.” Indra got very annoyed but he can’t show that directly to Narada because he knows Narada will go and tell Vishnu. So he said, “No, no, no! He gave it to Bhagavan (a term used to refer devotionally to God) , it’s ok, leave it. It should be with Bhagavan.” But immediately he called Kubera (Lord of wealth) and said, “How dare Varuna will hand this over to Vishnu without asking us?” This was because, all the Nidhi (wealth) of the Planet Earth and the Ocean, belong to Kubera. Conch is the wealth of the Ocean. All the things and jewels of the ocean are denoted by the Shankha, conch. All wealth that comes from the land is denoted by the Padma - the lotus. So, both belong to Kubera.

Now Kubera calls Varuna and straight away asks, “How come this did not come to my treasury?” Varuna says, “You are Yaksha, He is Lakshmi.” Yaksha means the one who possesses wealth but neither enjoys it nor lets others enjoy it. Lakshmi means the one who keeps the currency moving; who enjoys and lets others enjoy. So Yaksha gives importance only to hold wealth; Lakshmi means “rotating currency”. Varuna says, “Even if I give it to you, it will only be sitting inside a treasury. No one will ever know, nobody will see it. Don’t you see how pretty it looks on the chest of Vishnu? That is why I offered it at the feet of Vishnu. He is wearing, He is enjoying.”

Kubera makes a petition to Indra saying, “This cannot be accepted. Now we don’t know what all wealth Varuna is hiding, so let us churn (the ocean) and bring everything out. Let us bring the whole thing to the treasury now itself. Nothing should be left with the Varuna Raja.” This is where the problem started. Now, both Indra and Kubera decide to churn Varuna Raja, the ocean and get all the wealth out and put it in Kubera’s treasury; they decided that it should not be left with Varuna anymore. They decided that they will not inform or invite the Trimurtis (Trinity of Paramasiva, Brahma, Vishnu) because the whole plan is against Vishnu!

Varuna falls at the feet of Vishnu saying, “Bhagavan, I don’t know what happened and what they are trying to do. They decided to form a friendship with the Asuras (demons).” Then, Vishnu smiles and says, “Forget it, they will come to me because they have bought trouble. Where else will they run? I will take care.”

Then, the Asuras and Devatas, demons and divine beings decide that the Meru mountain should be the spindle for churning. Meru is the sacred five-peaked mountain of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. Vasuki, the snake on which Vishnu is resting, was used as the rope.

The rope is Vishnu’s, the Spindle is Paramashiva’s! Now, they discuss what to do, and how to get both these items from Vishnu and Paramashiva. They need to get the two items without telling them because they may ask for their share of whatever comes out. They finally decide to send Narada as their representation. Narada goes and says to Vishnu, “Bhagavan, we need your Vasuki and the hill of Paramashiva for churning the ocean.” Vishnu says “What is there, please take it.” Similarly, Paramashiva also gives the Meru mountain to Narada Muni.

As always, Narada begins to stir some trouble. He goes and slowly tells the Devatas, “See, the Devatas are leaders, so hold Vasuki’s head, not the tail. So, now the fight starts, to see who will hold the tail of Vasuki and who will hold the head. All the Devatas say, “We are superior, we will hold the head.” The Asuras say, “Are we lower than you? We will hold the head!” So, the fight starts. They have already placed the Meru mountain in the ocean, which is sinking every minute that they delay churning. There is an intense fight, and the demons surround the chief of the Devatas, Lord Indra. Now, Narada runs again to Vishnu Loka (Vishnu’s abode). “Oh Lord, see what has happened. Please, you have to do something!” All the devatas run and fall at the feet of Vishnu and say please forgive us, it is Indra’s mistake. Please do something immediately. Then Vishnu says, “Alright, I will do something. Go, I will come.” He waits till Indra’s karma is exhausted, he doesn’t go immediately.

Finally, Vishnu decides to go and says, “As the Devatas are elders, they will only hold the head.” However, the demons try to argue with Vishnu also. They say, “No, we will only hold the head.” Finally, Vishnu says, “Alright, we will come to a compromise. You guys will hold the head. Then, if Amrita (nectar) comes first, Devatas will drink first. Whoever wants to hold the head, they should give priority to the other person for sharing the Amrita.” The Asuras agree to this. Losing wealth for the sake of ego is demonic; it makes one an Asura. Gaining wealth along with ego is being like the Devatas (divine beings). Gaining wealth and enlightenment is like the Rishis (enlightened Sages)!

The Asuras did not even have the idea that they are losing Amrita, Nectar! Vishnu goes and tells the Devatas, “Fools, Vasuki will emit poison if she is used as a rope because she will be pulled this side and that side. He will sweat and his sweat is poison, will you be able to handle it?” The Devatas immediately rush to Vasuki’s tail.

They start churning and the sound which is created deafens the whole world. Treasures within the ocean start to come out. The seahorse, Apsaras (celestial beings of great beauty), Patala loka (subterranean realms of the universe), Kamadhenu (a divine bovine-goddess), Kalpavriksha (celestial wish-fulfilling tree) - all of these began to emerge from the sea. There were so many things coming out of the ocean that many of the Devatas and Asuras ran helter-skelter in trying to grab as much as they could. Finally, Goddess Lakshmi (the consort of Lord Vishnu) came and Vishnu took her.

Suddenly, Vasuki, became very tired. However, both the Devatas and Asuras were both so greedy, that they do not allow Vasuki to take a break. They continued to pull Vasuki, and she became longer. When she became a little longer, the spindle starts to sink. The Meru mountain then started to weigh down Vasuki, and she began to emit poison. The moment poison was spit out by Vasuki, they all left everything and ran away.

The spindle was sinking continuously. Immediately Vishnu took the form of a tortoise and went and held the spindle to save it from sinking further. All the Devatas ran to Paramashiva to save them because Vishnu is already doing the job of holding the spindle. What Paramashiva gave, Vishnu took care of, what Vishnu gave, Paramashiva took care of! Vishnu gave Vasuki so Paramashiva took care of Vasuki’s poison. Paramashiva gave Meru, Vishnu took care of that. So, Paramashiva says, “Alright don’t bother, I will take care of the poison.”

He takes the poison and swallows it. Devi holds Paramashiva’s neck and the poison stays there. This earns Paramashiva the name Neelakantha, or the Blue-Throated one. Even if poison is added to an enlightened being, not only he does not die, the quality of poison disappears. It becomes divine!

Vishnu balances the tortoise, and finally comes out the Amrita, or Nectar. From below, the Amrita Kalasa (pot of nectar) comes out and the moment it comes out, all their agreement and morality is lost. According to the agreement, Devatas should have the first share, but the Asuras started running to catch the Kalasa (pot) and finish the Amrita themselves.

The Devatas were afraid of what will happen if it goes to the Asuras. The Asuras would not give even the water used to wash that pot to the Devatas. In the gap, Dhanvantari, who is the Lord of Medicine, keeps the Amrita Kalasa secretly hidden in four places on Planet Earth - that is Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain (where the Kumbha Mela festival happens!). Twelve years for human beings is one Kshana (time gap between two thoughts) for them. So, in one Kshana, he changed three places.

Finally, Vishnu takes a Mohini incarnation (the form of a beautiful young woman). He takes the form of a seductive woman, and says, “Both of you stop fighting, I will share the Amrita, and give you both.” The moment they see the Mohini, they forget about the Amrita! They arranged themselves in neat rows and Mohini starts serving the nectar to the Devatas first. Nobody had the guts to ask Mohini or question her. However, two demons, Rahu and Ketu, even though they are seduced by Mohini, they are cunning and intelligent. They go and sit on the side of the Devatas. However, not only does she not serve them, but knocks them with the serving spoon, making them lose their heads. That is why they belong neither to the Asuras, nor to the Devatas. They become shadows.

By the time the devatas finish, the Amrita Kalasa becomes empty and Mohini also disappears. Since the Devatas drank the Amrita, the Asuras were not able to kill them. The fight starts again and the Asuras are not able to sustain it. They themselves run and hid under the ocean. The Devatas thus rejoice over their victory.”

Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain - These four sacred places, thus, have acquired mystical powers and purity, holding cosmic energies of immortality. Amrita, the nectar is the nectar of immortality. It is because 12 days of Gods are equivalent to 12 years for humans; the Kumbh Mela is celebrated once every 12 years in each of the four sacred places - banks of river Godavari in Nasik, river Kshipra in Ujjain, river Ganges in Haridwar, and at the Sangam of Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati in Prayag, where the drops of nectar fell. Millions of devout, come together to partake in ritualistic bathing and ceremonies to cleanse themselves of all sins at this time.

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Haridwar Kumbh Mela by the English painter J. M. W. Turner. Steel engraving, c. 1850s.

Peshwai and flag-hoisting

Before the beginning of the Kumbh Mela, the various Akharas enter the city in a ceremonial procession known as peshwai, sometimes also called praveshai. The peshwai is an occasion for residents of the city and tirthayatris (visiting pilgrims) to welcome the Akhara sadhus to the Kumbh Mela. Sadhus who usually eat food only once a day, traditionally eat khichdi (cooked rice and lentils) before the peshwai procession. The peshwai is a royal procession where the sadhus travel on horses and elephants, with bands playing music. The Mahamandaleshvars or Shri Mahantas of the akharas are seated on vehicles converted into chariots and the Naga sadhus display unimaginable yogic feats and martial skills with sticks, swords and spears. The residents of the city and the tirthayatris packed along the sides in lakhs, cheer them, while some accompany them in the procession.

Shortly after the peshwai, the dharma-dhvaja (“flag of dharma; dharma - Cosmic law") is hoisted by the Akharas. The raising of the flag marks the ceremonial beginning of the Kumbh Mela. The flag is lowered when the Mela ends. The flag raised at Nashik in 2015 was made of five metals (pancha-dhatu) and had engravings of Guru (Jupiter), Surya (the Sun), Chandra (the Moon), Godavari, a crocodile (believed to be the mount of Goddess Godavari), all the eight directions, twelve zodiacs, and the svastika (sacred Hindu symbol for protection). The flag was hoisted at a height of 31 feet from the ground.

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Grand Peshwai at Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, 2013

Rituals, yogic feats and austerities at the Kumbh Mela

(Ref:http://www.dsource.in/resource/kumbh-mela-ujjain/rituals-kumbh-mela)

The highlight event of the Kumbh Mela is the Shahi Snan - Royal bath. It is the ritualistic dip in the waters of the sacred river flowing in the holy city where the Kumbh Mela is being held. It is the Kshipra in Ujjain, the Sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag, the Godavari in Nasik and the Ganga in Haridwar. The Naga Sadhus of the Akharas are covered with only sacred ash from head to foot. Naga - means naked. The spiritual practice of living without clothing symbolises the liberation from the delusionary material world and its bondages.

The Sadhus display their lifelong austerities and unimaginable yogic feats during the Kumbh Mela. Sadhus such as the Urdhwavahurs put their bodies through severe austerities, the Parivrajaka Sadhus take a vow of lifelong silence and alert others of their presence through ringing a bell, the Shirshasin Sadhus who stand all 24 hours on their heads and meditate, the Kalpvasis who bathe thrice a day as an austerity. The Kumbh Mela is a splendorous display of the different sects of saints, vairagis (the austere ones), and yogis who have renounced the material world.

Apart from them, one can also see sadhus performing impossible acts such as penance while sitting on a treetop, lifting of one hand hand in the air for 20 years continuously, lifting of one leg and functioning with the support of the other leg for years together, folding of the legs and functioning in that posture for years together, burying the head beneath the ground and continuing to breathe through intake of prana (life energy) through the skin instead of using air as a carrier and breathing through only the nose and many more.


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(left) A Sadhu who has been standing on one leg for ten years. (Photo: Laura Spinney); (right) Lakshman Giri is famous for his crown of the sacred rudraksha seeds that he has worn for 16 years.

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(left) A sadhu who has developed the yogic power of being able to pull an entire tractor with his Genitalia - a power developed after years of penance and Brahmacharya (celibacy); (right) Similarly, a Sadhu lifting bricks with his genitalia.

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“Hatha Yoga baba” at the Ujjain Kumbha Mela, 2016. He is able to retain this yogic posture for extended hours at a time

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A Sadhu performing Shirsasana (head-stand) - a position that he is able to hold for many hours.


Darshana, or auspicious sight, is an important part of the Kumbh Mela. People make the pilgrimage to the Kumbh Mela specifically to see and experience the religious and spiritual fervor of India and its ascetic communities. The two groups of people that converge in the Kumbh Mela include the Sadhus and the pilgrims. The Sadhus travel to the Kumbh Mela to make themselves available for the pilgrims. The Kumbh Mela is arranged in camps that give the pilgrims access and “darshana” of the Sadhus. Through their powerful yogic practices, the Sadhus articulate the transitory aspect of life. The pilgrims are able to "seek instruction or advice in their spiritual lives." The darshana is an important experience at the Kumbh Mela as it reminds and steers one towards one’s own original purpose of life which is enlightenment.

After the Royal Bath, people visit the temples situated on the banks of the river or near by places.

The Kumbh Mela is the place where for tens of thousand of years both the Shāstradharis (those who are well versed in the scriptures - the intelligentsia) and the Shastradhaaris (bearers of weapons) meet, celebrate and uphold the spiritual teachings.

The Kumbh Mela begins with the immersion of the Kumbh (urn) containing Kapila Mahamuni’s skull into the sacred waters of the Prayagraj (confluence of the three sacred rivers namely Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati). In his memory and living presence, the followers of Hinduism celebrate every twelves years, the liberation that is enlightenment – Nirvāṇa, through the Kumbh Mela festival. (Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi)

Types of Kumbh Mela

The Kumbh Melas which follow the Hindu calendar, are classified as:

  • The Kumbh Mela that happens every 12 years at a given site is called the poorna Kumbh Mela. The Kumbh Mela at Allahabad is celebrated approximately 3 years after Kumbh at Haridwar and 3 years before Kumbh at Nashik and Ujjain (both of which are celebrated in the same year or one year apart).
  • Ardh Kumbh ("Half Kumbh") Mela occurs every 6 years between the two Purna kumbh Melas at Allahabad and Haridwar.
  • The Maha Kumbh occurs after 12 Purna Kumbh Melas i.e. every 144 years.


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Mystical and Powerful Ascetics Seen at Kumbha Mela

Naga Sadhus of the Atal Akhada at Kumbh Mela

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2013: A Naga Sadhu at Kumbh Mela displaying his long Jattas (dreadlocks) during the Peshwai Procession at Kumbh Mela at Prayag in 2013.

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2013: A Naga Sadhu shows the long nails on his fingers, which he has been growing for many decades.

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2013: Naga Sadhus of the Atal Akhada make their way to the Shahi Snan - Royal Ritualistic Bath - to the Sangam (confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag.

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2013: Atal Akhada Sadhus sporting their long jatas (Dreadlocks) - the length of the Jatas signifies how long they have been Naga Sadhus.

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2013: Some elderly Naga Sadhus of Atal Akhada waiting to take a dip during Kumbh Mela celebrations.

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2013: A Naga Sadhu performs yogic feats at kumbh Mela - as seen above, he is twisting his genitalia and experiencing no pain. This is a state achieved by long years of yogic practice and Brahmacharya (vow of celibacy)

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2013: Naga sadhus from Atal Akhada join the Royal Procession in Trimbak. The Peshwai marks the arrival of the members of an Akhara or sect of sadhus, at the Maha Kumbh Mela venue. Thousands of members of Akhara, including ash-smeared Naga sadhus who are bare-bodied and others who are clad in saffron robes, led the procession. The procession, includes dozens of beautifully decorated horses, elephants and musical bands playing devotional tunes, as it commenced in Trimbak City.

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2013: Sadhus dancing and celebrating on their way to the ritualistic Snan (bath) at the river Sangam (confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Prayag.


Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, 2013

Sadhus of Atal Akhada at Prayagraj Kumbh

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An Acharya (teacher) of Atal Peetha at the Kumbh Mela, Prayagraj in 2013

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5th Feb, 2013: At the Prayag Kumbh mela in 2013.

Anna Daan

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Anna Daan (free distribution of food) at the Prayag Kumbh Mela, where subjects of the Atal Akhada Kingdom gather to have the sattvic, organic, vegetarian food offered for free by the Sanyasis of His Divine Holiness.

Free Medical Camps

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9th Feb, 2013: A free medical camp for all the pilgrims at Prayagraj. Many who come from remote villages and are weary from travel are attended to.

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Sacred deities of Nithyanandeshwara and Nithyanandeshwari consecrated at Prayagraj. Each day, lakhs visited the premises to receive the blessings of these deities, to whom daily rituals of worship were performed.

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9th Jan, 2019: Peshwai at Prayagraj Kumbh Mela.

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9th Jan, 2019: Sadhus of the Atal Akhada welcomed and garlanded at the 2019 Prayagraj Kumbh Mela.

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Kumbh Mela

Celebrations at Atal Akhada

Mahashivarathri

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Picture: A painting depicting Lord Paramashiva manifesting as a fiery column of light, while Brahma takes the form of a Swan and flies upwards, while Vishnu takes the form of a boar and goes downwards, both in search of the beginning and end of Paramashiva.

Mahashivarathri is the day Lord Paramashiva assumed a form from his formless space. Paramashiva has existed eternally, with no beginning or end. He created Brahma and Vishnu, empowered Brahma to create and Vishnu to maintain the universe, and then he continued to remain in the formless space. However, when there was a conflict between the two, he appeared in the form of an infinite fiery column of light.

According to the Śiva Mahāpurāṇa, once Brahma (the god of creation) and Vishnu (the form of God during Preservation) had an argument over supremacy of creation. To settle the debate, Supreme God Shiva pierced the three worlds appearing as a huge Infinite Pillar of Light, the Jyotirlinga which later cooled into the Holy Mountain Annamalai (on which the Temple of Arunachaleshvara is located). Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either direction. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Paramashiva, to cleanse Brahma of his Ego, cut off his fifth head, and cursed him that he would never be worshipped in any temple, while Vishnu would be worshipped forever.

This auspicious day is celebrated as Mahashivarathri each year, where devotees of Lord Paramashiva imbibe the very first teaching in Shaivism - “Shivoham” or “I am Shiva”. This day is celebrated by worshipping Paramashiva in the form of a Linga through rituals such as Rudrabhishekam (worship of the Shiva Linga through a ritual of pouring sacred items on it). Additionally, devotees fast on that day, and stay awake the entire night. Many visit the various Jyotirlingas of Paramashiva (shrines where He appeared in the form of a fiery column of light) across the country.

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Mahashivaratri Celebrations by Mahants (Mahants belong to a particular administrative order) of Atal Peetha in Surat, Gujarat (West India)

Hanuman Jayanti

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Lord Hanuman was born on the Anjaneri mountain. His mother Anjana was an apsara who was born on earth due to a curse. She was redeemed from this curse on giving birth to a son. The Valmiki Ramayana states that his father Kesari was the son of Brihaspati, he was the King of a place named Sumeru.Anjana performed intense prayers lasting 12 long years to Shiva to get a child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them the son they sought. He is known to be the incarnation of Paramashiva Himself.

Lord Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Rama and is widely known for his unflinching devotion to Sri Rama. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. He is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield the gada (including many celestial weapons), move mountains, dart through the air, seize the clouds and equally rival Garuda (the vehicle-mount of Lord Vishnu in the form of an eagle) in swiftness of flight.

Lord Hanuman is worshipped as a deity with the ability to attain victory against evil and provide protection.

The devotees visit temples and apply tilaka of sindoor to their foreheads from Hanuman's idol. As per legend, When Lord Hanuman found Sri Sita applying sindhūr to her forehead, He questioned her and she replied that doing so would ensure a long life for her husband, Lord Sri Rama. Lord Hanuman then proceeded to smear his entire body with sindhūr, thus ensuring Lord Sri Rama's immortality.

(Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanuman_Jayanti)

It is also common practice to chant the Hanuman Chalisa (verses praising Lord Hanuman). On this day, large statues of Hanuman can be seen in procession on the streets across North India, particularly in Maharashtra. The deity of Hanuman is taken across the town with great celebration and pomp, where devotees sing and dance in His praise.

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(above) the sacred deity of Lord Hanuman, a divine incarnation of Paramashiva; (below) Hanuman Jayanti (Birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman) Celebrations at Atal Peetha

Guru Purnima

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Picture: A painting of a Guru blessing his student

Guru Purnima is the traditional Hindu tradition of paying gratitude and reverence to one’s spiritual master, or Guru. This festival is traditionally observed by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains to revere their chosen spiritual teachers / leaders and express their gratitude. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July) as it is known in the Hindu calendar.

The primary, fundamental, foundational first principle of Sanatana Hindu Dharma is Guru-Disciple relationship. On this day, devotees express their gratitude to their guru by making a traditional offering of coconut and rice to the Guru, called “Guru Mudi”. Coconut signifies ego, and rice signifies Karma, or a collection of unfulfilled experiences that stay in us and which constantly pull us to fulfill them. These are offered at the feet of the master, who takes away the ego and Karma of the disciple and gives him a new life.

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Veda Vyasa - the Compiler of the four Vedas.

This was the day when Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa – author of the Mahabharata – was born to sage Parashara and a fisherman's daughter called Satyavati; thus this day is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima. Veda Vyasa is also the compiler and organiser of the four Vedas (source text of Hinduism), by dividing them into four parts based on their use in the rites, characteristics and teaching them to his four chief disciples – Paila, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Sumantu. It was this dividing and editing that earned him the honorific "Vyasa" (vyas = to edit, to divide). "He divided the Holy Veda into four, namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. The histories and the Puranas are said to be the fifth Veda."

(Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Purnima)

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(top) Guru Purnima celebrations at Atal Peetha, where one pays respects and gratitude to their Guru or spiritual Master. Above is a picture of a disciple washing the feet of his Guru on this auspicious occasion; (bottom) devotees gather to felicitate Their Guru and and receive blessings.

Rama Navami

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A group of devotees enact the scenes of Ramayana, the glorious life story of Lord Rama when He incarnated as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Rama Navami is the day when Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form in the land of Ayodhya, North India. The word “Rama” literally means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others, and one in whom the wise Sages rejoice.

Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the waxing moon in the Vedic month of Chaitra (April/May). This day is also observed as the divine marriage ceremony day of Rama and His Consort Sita and thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam.

The story of the Ramayana is a classic, eternal, universal message of Dharma versus adharma, of deva versus demon, of good versus evil, as represented in the battle between Rama and the demon King Ravana.

Lord Rama is an Avatar of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravana in human form. Lord Brahma had been receiving complaints from all the gods about the havoc that Ravana was wreaking on earth, but because Lord Brahma had granted Ravana so many boons, he could not be killed by a God. But Ravana had become so overconfident that he would never expect an attack from a human being. So Lord Vishnu agreed to go down to Planet earth in the form of Prince Rama, the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya and destroy Ravana. The killing of Ravana is symbolically the killing of the deep ignorance and negativity inside every unenlightened human, so he may attain enlightenment or superconsciousness.

Dussehra or Navaratri

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Dussehra or Navaratri is an important festival which is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Every year as per Hindu calendar, this important festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the Vedic month of Ashvini (Sep - Oct).

The day marks the victory of the seventh incarnation of Vishnu – Lord Rama when he killed the ten-headed demon Ravana and thereafter handed over the throne of kingdom Sri Lanka to Ravana’s brother Vibhishana. The word ‘Dussehra’ is derived from two Sanskrit words – ‘dasha’ and ‘hara’ – that mean defeating the ten (referring to the ten heads of the evil force of Ravana). The day also marks the end of Durga Puja, where people remember goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasur and a host of demons as narrated in the chant “Chandi”, to help restore Dharma.

Durga led a battle against Mahishasur and it lasted for nine days and nine nights killing several demons in the event. Durga killed Mahishasur on the tenth day. Therefore, different manifestations of goddess Durga are worshipped during the nine-day long Navratri festival each year. The tenth day is dedicated to Durga and is called Vijayadashmi. The feminine power is worshipped and celebrated during the festival of Navratri. Navratri celebration culminates with Dussehra on the tenth day, when the deity of goddess Durga is immersed in a river or a lake sending her away ceremoniously into the divine space where she came from for the ten days of worship..

People celebrate the festival in different ways across the country. In North India, various colorful fairs are organised. Plays based on the story of Ramayan, which is known as Ramleela are performed. On the day of Vijayadashami, huge effigies of Ravan, Meghnad (Ravana’s son) and Kumbhakarn (Ravana’s brother) are also set on fire.

Reference - https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/dussehra-2017-history-importance-significance-of-this-festival/875622/

Krishna Janmashtami

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Krishna, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the most bold and courageous lover. He is the embodiment of completion and love, simply in romance with the whole Cosmos. He is soaked in an eternal devotion. In fact, he was one of the Mahamandaleshwars of the Mahānirvaṇi Peetha, and refers to himself as the “Kapila” among the Siddhas meaning the perfect enlightened being.

Krishna shows the way to live life out of pure completion. He shows the way to radiate life with joy and bliss wherever you may be.

Janmashtami, the day of advent of Lord Krishna on the Planet is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India in the month of July or August. According to the Hindu calendar this religious festival is celebrated on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the waning moon in the Vedic month of Bhadrapada.

Sri Krishna assumed the human body around 5,200 years ago in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, North India. The sole objective of Sri Krishna's birth was to free the Earth from the negative demons. He is the incarnation who steered the Mahabharata war and who delivered the Bhagavad Gita which taught bhakti (devotion) and good karma which are narrated so deeply in it.

Sri Krishna was born in a prison in the custody of the cruel King Kansa of Mathura. Vasudev, His father immediately thought of his friend Nand and decided to hand over his child to him to save Krishna from the clutch of Kansa. Krishna grew up in Gokul in Uttar Pradesh, North India and finally destroyed his evil uncle, King Kansa.

The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be borned on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa. All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas (ritualistic worship), arati (offering of the sacred flame to Sri Krishna), blowing of the Conch and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna. (Ref: https://www.calendarlabs.com/holidays/india/janmashtami.php)


Diwali

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Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Deepawali is one of the most important, hugely waited and immensely cherished festival celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Originally, the name was Deepawali, which has its origin from Sanskrit, meaning “Rows of Deep” (deep meaning Light).

According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Diwali is celebrated on the new moon day that marks the end of the Vedic month of Ashwini and beginning of the month of Kartika (November -December.

Significance:

The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but has importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana.

On the day of his return, King Rama was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of Deep (lamps), lit throughout the kingdom.

Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness.

Hindus, also make preparations to welcome goddess Lakshmi by drawing Rangoli, and Paduka (footsteps) at the entrance that would allure Goddess Lakshmi to visit one’s home and bring prosperity along with her.

Customs:

There are numerous customs and traditions associated with Diwali, such as bursting of firecrackers, lighting of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets, exchange of gifts etc. The crackers symbolise illumination in one’s life after dispelling of the darkness.

A Five Day Festival

Diwali celebrations spread across five days in North India, with each day having its own significance and set of rituals.

The first day is called “Dhanteras”, on which new utensils and silverware is brought to the house. The second day is called “Chhoti Diwali”, which normally involves preparation for the next day. The third day is the “Badi Diwali”, which involves the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. The fourth day is the Govardhan Puja and finally the five days end with Bhai Dooj.

The festival of Diwali is truly a “Festival of Lights”, as it not only involves lighting of Lamps but, it brings the light of happiness, togetherness, spiritual enlightenment and prosperity for everyone.

Reference - https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/importance-of-diwali


Ganesh Chaturthi

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Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout India with great devotion and also by the Mahanirvani Peetha. Ganesha is Paramasiva’s own son This day is celebrated as the date of his advent. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of completion, wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Completion means being free from all inadequate painful cognitions about past happenings and people and being an embodiment of pure joy and bliss. He is the only deity who does not demand any rules or Agamic procedures (Agamic meaning from the revealed scriptures of Paramasiva) to be followed in His worship - simply remember Him and He appears!

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on Shukla Chaturthi (meaning the waxing phase of the moon, when the moon is 48 longitudinal degrees from the Sun) of the Hindu month of Bhadra (generally falls between August and September). People bring deities of Lord Ganesha to their homes and offer worship. The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition. On the last day of the festival all the Ganeshas from all private and public places are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and immersed traditionally in a water body.

As per Hindu History, Lord Ganesh is considered as "Vigna Harta" (one who removes obstacles) and "Buddhi Pradaayaka" (one who bestows intelligence). This festival is very important for students, as they enter into Oneness with Lord Ganesh to illumine their minds.


The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam, His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam Recognized as Incarnation and Declared Atal Akhada’s Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar

On November 6, 2013 The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam, His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam was nominated and declared by the Atal Akhada Peethadheeshwar (the current senior most religious king), Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar Swami Sukhdevanandji as his successor and legal inheritor of the Atal Peetha namely the Kailaasa Paramparagatha Atal Peetham. As the Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of the Sri Panchayati Atal Akhada, The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism assumed the most prestigious and honored role holding the responsibility, governing power and all customary rights when Swami Sukhdevanandji attained liberation in October 2018. Sri Panchayati Atal Akhada is the most ancient spiritual kingdom of India with its capital city in Multan in present day Pakistan. The base or the main branch of Atal Akhada is at Kutwapara Shakh Hanuman, Varanasi, with vast branches in the holy cities such as Haridwar and Nasik, North.

As the current Atal Akhada Ācārya Peethadeeshwar, His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam inherits the vast responsibility to govern this spiritual kingdom of India.

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5th Nov, 2013: The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism coronated as the Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Kailaasa Paramparagatha Atal Peetham

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5th Nov, 2013: The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with preceding Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Atal Peetha - Swami Sukhdevanandji

Swami Sukhdevanandji - Predecessor of The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism as Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Atal Akhada</big>

Swami Shukdevanand ji was born in a Brahmin Family in the district of Jahanabad, in the state of Bihar in India, in 1940. Swami Shukdevanand was the Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of the Atal Akhada as well as a Mahāmanḍaleśvar of the Mahanirvani Akhada. (Ref.: http://muktanand.org/swami-shukdevanand.html)

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Swami Sukhdevanandaji, preceding Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Atal Akhada and Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Mahanirvani Akhada

The Official Declaration as Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar (senior most spiritual kingship)

The historical occasion when revered Swami Sri Sukhdevanandji declared and officially announced The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam, His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam as his legal successor and inheritor of the Atal kingdom as Peethadhīshwar Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar (senior most spiritual kingship) of Śri Pañcāyati Atal Akhāḍa. Swami Sri Sukhdevanandji also categorically recognized the divinity and extraordinary socio-religious and spiritual achievements of The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism marking him as the most suitable heir to the vast kingdom of India of the ancient religious empire under which come millions of monks and citizens.

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Video: https://kailaasa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/atal-acharya-mahamandaleshwar-declaring-atal-acharya-mahamandaleshwar-declaring-video-1.mp4


Excerpts of Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar Sukhadevanandji Speech (translation from Hindi)

“Worthy of supreme reverence. Worthy of remembering at dawn. Mahāmanḍaleśvar Sri Nithyananda ji Maharaj and other revered respective head of mandalas present here.

Today, I was supremely delighted to have attended the grand celebration of the welfare and spiritual birth of infinite jīvas. Śri Nithyananda Mahāraj, whom we highly revere, blessed is the mother who has given birth to the great being, blessed is that father, and land which has given birth to such divine beings.

They are all incarnations. This is Avatāran (descent of the divine being), not birth. Taking human body such distinct divine personalities manifest themselves in this world. Some people at that time don’t cognize them. Because we are idol worshipers, only later we worship them as idols by calling them God.

I am coming here for the second time, at this place, this special place, this divine action field of yours, where I am seeing so many people, coming from their houses, on the grand celebration of your birthday, bearing so many hardships, walking for 15 -15 days, it amazes me. I have seen people going to Sabarimala and at many other places, but here too, I see them coming in a procession, blowing trumpets, beating drums, singing songs, doing kirtans. It makes me very happy. It is not a simple act. Some people writhe in pain seeing this. But I feel only happiness. It is that distinct supreme lord, which incarnates, manifests Himself in infinite forms for the betterment of this world.

It is a divine play. They do such leelas in many forms. Sometimes in the form of a Guru, sometimes as a dear friend, sometimes as a brother.

The Holiest being who is present here has come from in your midst. Lotus sprouts from the mud only. But there no stench of the mud, what it has is the divine beauty and smell. So today, what I had today is the direct darshan of Satyam (eternal Truth), Śivam (Eternal auspiciousness) and Sundaram (eternal joy).

Secondly, and it gives me great happiness to say this, I am the Atal Peethadheeshwar, and even if it is possibly in the womb of the future, but I announce that in the near future, Swami Nithyananda ji will be felicitated as the Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar of Atal Peetha.”

Videos

Coronation of The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism as the 1008th Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvara (the highest title conferred to lead the divine kingdom of the North to Northwest regions)


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Atal Peetha 1008th Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar coronation of The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam, His Divine Holiness Bhagavan Nithyananda Paramashivam

Video link as below:


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(left to right) The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with Vishvaguru - Mahāmanḍaleśvar, Paramahans Swami Maheshwarananda - Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar, Sri Vishwadevanandji Maharaj - Mahāmanḍaleśvar and Sri Atmanandaji

15 February 2013: The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism visited Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar Sri Sukhdevanandji and closely convened with him on religious matters concerning the governance of the North and Northwestern kingdom for the welfare of the people.

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The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with Sukhdevananda ji during the former’s visit

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Sukhdevanandji talks in private to The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism during the visit

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His Divine Holiness hosts “Bhanḍārā”, the ritualistic sacred food ceremony for the various spiritual leaders of Akhāḍās, Hindu spiritual organizations at the Kumbh Mela in Nasik, September 2015

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The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with various religious leaders of the Sri Atal Akhada

5 November 2015: The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism welcomes Atal Peetha 1008th Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar Swami Shukdevanand ji at the Dhyanapeetha Matha, Bengaluru Aadheenam. With the ultimate responsibility to govern, administer, protect and expand the great religious kingdom of Atal Peetha, The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism convenes with the predecessor of the Atal Peetha.

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5 Nov 2016 - The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with Sri Sukhdevanandaji at the Dhyanapeetha Matha in Bengaluru

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5 Nov 2016 - (Above) The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with his predecessor Ācārya Mahāmanḍaleśvar Sri Sukhdevanandji at the main temple and sacred Banyan tree at the Dhyanapeetha Matha, Bengaluru

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5 Nov 2016 - Sukhdevanandji is at the Nithyananda Gurukul (enlightenment-based traditional Vedic school) in Dhyanapeetha Matha, Bengaluru, imparting the sacred knowledge of the religious kingdom and ancient lineage of Akhāḍās, to the young future inheritors of the same.

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The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism with various religious leaders of the Sri Atal Akhada and various other Akhāḍās at the Mahakumbh Mela, Ujjain

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Activities of the Atal Kingdom

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29th July, 2016: Subjects gather weekly at the Atal Akhada ashrams to prepare vegetarian and organic food for free distribution to all in the Kingdom.

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29th July, 2017: Free eye check up for the subjects of the Atal Kingdom

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1st Aug, 2017: Daily worship of Lord Paramashiva by the subjects, who are given this opportunity to connect with the deities and participate in Pujas and rituals.

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4th Aug, 2017: Anna daan on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti

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6th Aug, 2017: Daily worship the Lord Paramashiva by Sadhus of the Atal Akhada.

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30th Aug, 2017: Traditional music festivals take place in Atal ashrams across the country and offered at the feet of Lord Ganesha, the presiding deity of the Atal Akhada. Subjects are invited to enjoy the culture of the Atal Kingdom through these cultural events.

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17th Sep, 2017: Regular yoga classes conducted for the health and well-being of the community and subjects of the Atal Kingdom.

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22nd Feb, 2018: Various Sadhus and saints of the Atal Akhada gather to discuss spiritual matters, as well as discuss the affairs of the kingdom.

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27 March, 2018: Bhagavad Saptah: a discourse of Srimad BHAGAVATAM is notified publicly at all places in the village/town requesting each and every one, along with families come and attend and participate in the discourse.

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5 April, 2018: Sadhus of Atal akhada conduct Hinduism classes on various topics such as The Vedas, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, and so on. This is even telecasted on reputed television channels.

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23rd June, 2018: ‘Vastra Vitaran’ - distributing clothes to those in need by the Sadhs of the Atal Akhada

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23 June, 2018: Free distribution of books, stationery and other essential items to the local schools.

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7th Dec, 2018: Bhagavad Gita discourse given by Sadhu of Atal Akhada.

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21st Dec, 2018: Shiva Katha (The Story of Paramashiva) explained by an acharya (teacher) of Atal Peetha.

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26 April, 2019 - Hanuman Jayanti Anna daan.

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28 April, 2019: A sadhu of the Atal Akhada addresses the subjects of the Atal Kingdom.

News & Media

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - Titled “Not only in our country but also in other countries, the fame of Paramahamsa Nithyananda ji has spread.” This article mentions the large reach that The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism has worldwide in inspiring thousands from various cultures to live the lifestyle of Hinduism.

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - Article featured about Nithyananda Gurukul (Spiritual-mystical school) explaining how the students at the Nithyananda Gurukul learn and imbibe knowledge through initiation and knowledge transmission.

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - Titled “In the camp of Paramahamsa Nithyananda maharaj the amazing scene of Ajna chakra”.The article elaborates on the workings of the Ajna Chakra, or the third eye, and how extraordinary Balasants (Child-saints) of the Nithyananda Gurukul are able to express powers through mere initiation.

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - Titled “Places of food distribution with taste like nectar”. The article praises the amount of food cooked, and made available to the public at The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism’s Ujjain Kumbh Mela camp. More than 100,000 people were fed each day at the camp.

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - This article elaborates on the spiritual austerities observed by The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism in his early life, and how that has contributed to his personality and spiritual powers today.

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7th May 2016: From newspaper daily called “Avantika Prahari” - Titled “Nithyananda has been able to inspire even foreigners to sport the traditional “Śiva jataas” (matted locks of Paramasiva) where they praise The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism for being an inspiration to so many around the world to adopt the Hindu lifestyle of carrying Śiva jataas on their heads.

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From newspaper Daily called ‘Central Chronicle’ with an article title “Simhasth’s center of attention is Nithyanand Peetham”. The article mentions the large crowds gathering at The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism’s camp each day, along with the elaborate and grand processions held by The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism and His monks at the Kumbh Mela.

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Another Hindi Daily publishes an article titled “Here more than 100,000 people visit each day”, referring to the Ujjain Kumbh Mela camp belonging to The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, where each one received personal audience with The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, and was offered organic and vegetarian meals through the day.

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A Hindi Daily publishes an article titled “Over 1 million devotees from 71 Countries followed His Divine Holiness Nithyananda Paramashivam for Shahi Snan and had a Sacred Dip” published about His Divine Holiness during the Simhasth Kumbh Mela.

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28 April, 2016: Newspaper daily called “Dainik Jagaran” publishes article titled “Nithyananda awakens third eye” which explains the third eye initiations that The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism was giving his disciples at the Kumbh mela, and also His efforts to revive the Vedic tradition in complete authenticity.

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28 April, 2016: Newspaper daily called “Dainik Jagaran” publishes article - The article also mentions how The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism is reviving the Hindu way of celebration, with the elaborate and grand set up of hid Kumbh Mela camp, where hundreds of thousands of visitors visit each day. They mention that his camp is a grand attraction in the whole of the Kumbh Mela.

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A Hindi Daily publishes an article titled “Nithyanandaji’s pandal’s (camp) beautiful glimpse” where the article mentions the beauty and grandeur of the authentic Hindu culture that is displayed in The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism’s Kumbh Mela camp.

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A Hindi Daily publishes an article showing the various Mahamandaleshvars of various akhadas at the Simhasth Kumbh Mela - In the centre is a photo of His Divine Holiness during the procession after being coronated as Mahamandaleshvar and emperor of the Mahanirvani Kingdom.

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Another Hindi daily publishes an article titled “Devotees from 71 countries celebrate at Kumbh” - the article describes the participation of devotees from 71 different countries, particularly seen at the camp of His Divine Holiness, where Hinduism is being practiced by devotees all over the world.




References

1 Atal Peetha Akhada https://akhada.org/history-of-atal-akhada

The Atal Akhada is one of the oldest Akhadas and is closely associated with the Mahanirvani Akhada. There are seven Akhadas in Dashnami Sanyas, of which only one is ‘Atal’. It was founded in 722 AD, almost 1400 years ago, by Jagatguru Shri Shankaracharya. It was founded for revival and sustenance of Sanatan Vedic Dharma. He founded 4 Mathas in four directions for sustenance and revival of the four Vedas. Dashnami Sanyas Sampradaya was also initiated by Him. Seven Akhadas were founded, one of which is Shambhu Panchayati Akhada. Presently we have approx 500 sadhus in the Akhada.The presiding deity and first coronated king of the Atal Akhada is Mahaganapati.

https://www.tourmyindia.com/blog/kumbh-mela-history-and-hindu-saint-akharas Atal Akhara- The headquarters of the Atal Akhara is in Varanasi and claims to be one of the oldest akharas. The Atal Akhara worships Lord Ganesha and only Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas get the initiation to this akhara. Out of all the other akharas in Kumbh Mela, it is the Atal Akhada that conduct an ordination ceremony of Naga sadhus in the second Shahi Snan (royal bath)

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/the-famous-akhadas-at-kumbh-mela/story-x5TCnQW9n51cwXkkR4lfJJ.html Atal Akhada with Headquaters at Varanasi, is One of three oldest Akhadas, Following: Shaivites (Followers of Shiva), The akhada worships Lord Ganesha In the Kumbh Mela, Atal

2 Adi Shankaracharya http://akhada.org/shankara/

Shankara-The Reviver of Sanatana Hindu Dharma

https://www.kumbh.gov.in/en/spirituals-gurus

Adi Guru Shankracharya attempted to unite organizations of ascetics to protect the ‘Sanatan’ way of life. Therefore, various Akharas were established for uniting followers of similar religious customs, views and ideologies

3

The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism declared as the next Acharya of the Atal Peeta

https://akhada.org/swami-nithyananda-declared-atal-akhadas-next-acharya-mahamandaleshwar/

Atal Akhada Peetadeeshwar Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Sukhdevanandji in his speech declares that Swami Nithyananda is going to be the next Acharya of the Kailaasa Paramparagatha Atal Peetham

4 Swami Sukhdevanandj http://muktanand.org/swami-shukdevanand.html
5 King Rajarajachola

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raja_Raja_Chola_I

This table contains links to documentaries, movies and television serials that have been produced (in multiple languages) by various production houses, on the illustrious personalities mentioned in the divine lineage of the Surangi Kingdom. These videos give an educative deeper insight into the lives of these divine personalities.

Raja Raja Cholan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVnEI557glM Tamil Movie Sivaji Ganesan
Raja Raja Cholan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m50KbOOnso Tamil Documentary Tanjore temple | Temples of Chola Part-1
Raja Raja Cholan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G90Ln_leYac Tamil Documentary History of Raja Raja Cholan
Paramashiva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zztzKqHb66c Tamil Movie Thiruvilayadal Tamil Devotional Movie
Paramashiva https://www.hotstar.com/tv/mahadev/s-4 Hindi Serial Devon Ke Dev.. Mahadev
Paramashiva https://epicon.epicchannel.com/tv-shows/devlok-with-devdutt-pattanaik/season-1/s1-e4-shiva English Documentary Devlok With Devdutt Pattnaik
Paramashiva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ni7rBN_hTs Hindi Movie Shiva Mahima Full Hindi Movie I T-Series Bhakti Sagar
Adi Shankaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl1vWInhT68 Telugu Movie Jagadguru Adi Sankara Full Length Telugu Movie
Adi Shankaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLdUesiPSb0 Hindi Movie Bharatvarsh: Episode 4: Watch the glorious story of Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYAOs-9NCsM Sanskrit Movie Aadi Shankaracharya Full Movie in Sanskrit
Adi Shankaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4PtFFg-khQ Tamil Movie Aadhi Shankarar in Tamil Part 1
Adi Shankaracharya https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GeVPdch0MU Tamil Movie Aadhi Shankarar in Tamil Part 2
Ganesha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejrwe7a6XIU Hindi Movie Bal Ganesh (Hindi) - Popular Animation Movie for Kids - HD
Ganesha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mS_RGe2Zqo&list=PLzufeTFnhupygZG_sczSJ_j7efFT1Kst_&index=417 Hindi Serial Vighnaharta Ganesh