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-:: Our Deities ::-
Lord Narayana represents the aspect of the Supreme Reality that preserves and sustains the universe. He is generally symbolized by a human body with four arms. In His hands He carries a conch (shankha), a mace (gada), a lotus (padma) and discus (chakra). The four arms indicate Lord's omnipresence and omnipotence. The two front arms signify the lord's activity in the physical world and the two back arms signify His activity in the spiritual world. The right side of the body represents the creative activities of the mind and the intellect. The left side symbolizes the activities of the heart; that is, love, kindness, and compassion.
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Jagannath was called "Purusottama" since his origin at Puri or Purusottam - Kshetra (the abode of Purusottam) since pre-historic times. The Rig Veda refers to him as the Daru (sacred log of wood) of Purusottama, afloat on the eastern sea. The name "Jagannath" (Lord of the Universe) is invariably a collective representation of the Triad (Jagannath - Balabhadra - Subhadra) and has been in use since the dawn of the last millenium. Lord Jagannath, the symbol of universal love and brotherhood is worshipped in the Temple alongwith Balabhadra, Subhadra, Sudarshan, Madhaba, Sridevi and Bhudevi on the Ratnabedi or the bejewelled platform. Lord balabhadra is the elder brother, Lord Jagannath is Younger brother and devi subhadra is yougest sister.
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Goddess Durga represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. The Sanskrit word Durga means a fort or a place that is protected and thus difficult to reach. Durga, also called Divine Mother, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and ego. Goddess Durga, also known as Parvati or Lalitha is the wife (consort) of Lord Shiva and exists in various divine (both friendly and fearful) forms. Two of her fierce but very powerful forms are Durga (goddess beyond reach) and Kali (goddess of destruction).
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Lord Krishna is the eighth and the most popular incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born in approximately 3200 BCE in Vrindavan, where he was brought up by the cowherd family of Yashoda and Nanda. Of all gopis, Radha loved Krishna the most. In the forests of Vrindavan, Krishna often played his flute and gopis danced with him in ecstasy. The Gopis represent the individual souls trapped in physical bodies. Radha symbolizes the individual soul that is awakened to the love of God and is absorbed in such love. The sound of Krishna's flute represents the call of the divine for the individual souls. Of all the incarnations, Lord Krishna is revered as a full and complete incamation (purna avatara) of Lord Vishnu. He commands love, respect, and adoration from all Hindus of all walks of life.
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Siva, the last of the Trinities is the God of destruction & he is assisted in this by his consort Parvathi, the Goddess of disintegration. Parvathi represents sakthi, to disintegrate perishable matter, in the absence of which true and complete destruction by Siva becomes impossible. This could possibly be the meaning of the idea that Siva becomes nothing in the absence of Sakthi. Siva is generally worshipped in the form of the "linga" fixed on a pedestal. Lord Ganesha, the older son of Lord Shiva, is called Vinayak ( knowledgeable) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles). He is worshipped in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness. Kartikeya, the second son of Lord Shiva, is also known as Subramaniam, Skanda, Guha, Shadannana or Sanmukha (because he has six faces). He represents a person of perfection.
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Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The worship of Lord Rama is very popular among all Hindus. Rama is always shown with his faithful wife Sita, devoted brother Lakshmana, and his beloved devotee Hanuman. The bow and arrow convey that Rama is always ready to destroy evil and protect righteousness. He is himself an embodiment of dharma. Sita symbolizes an ideal daughter, wife, mother, and queen. She is revered as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the divine consort of Lord Vishnu. Lakshmana symbolizes the ideal of sacrifice. He sacrifices the amenities of his personal life to serve his elder brother. Hanuman symbolizes the qualities of an ideal devotee of God. The worship of Hanuman, therefore, symbolizes the worship of the Supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord.
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Hanuman, the mighty ape is a noble hero and great devotee of Lord Rama of the Ramayana. This deity is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. The character of Hanuman teaches the unlimited power that lies unused within each one of us. Hanuman directed all his energies towards the worship of Lord Rama, and his undying devotion made him such that he became free from all physical fatigue. His greatness lies in his complete merger with his Lord, which also formed the base of his genial qualities. He is also known as Mahaveera (the great hero), Pavan-suta, Bajarangbali..
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Ganesha "the elephant-deity riding a mouse" is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. Lord Ganesha is worshipped, or at least remembered, in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness. He is also called Vinayak (knowledgeable) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles). A unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving tiny mouse vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intelligence, and presence of mind.
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