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Devahastas

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Devahastas

Ganesha Hasta

Urogathabhyam hastabhyam

Kapithyo vignarata karaha

Hold the Kapitha hasta at chest level on your right hand and the same hasta facing down at the waist level on your left hand. Elbows shall be kept stretched towards the sides to get the actual beauty of the posture.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Ganesha.

Ganesha is a Sanskrit word which means the leader of a group. He is revered as the Lord who removes all the obstacles, the patron of arts and science and the god of intellect and wisdom. He is the son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi.

Puranic myths have many explanations of how Lord Ganesha got the elephant head. The most popular one goes like this…….Goddess Parvathi created him from the dirt from her body and asked him to guard her while she had her bath. During this time Lord Siva came and Ganesha did not allow him to enter in. Lord Siva got furious and beheaded him. Parvathi came to know that her son had lost his head she pleaded Siva to bring him back to life. Siva asked his people to bring the head of the being that they first see facing north and that was an elephant. Siva replaced his head with that of the elephant. He is being worshipped as a remover of the obstacles and the first offerings is given to him before starting of any endeavour.

Brahma Hasta

Brahma chaturo vamae

Hamsasya dakshinae karaha

Hold the hamsasya hasta on your right hand at slightly below the chest level and chatura hasta on your left hand at chest level in uttana prachara (facing up). Elbows shall be kept stretched towards the sides to get the actual beauty of the posture.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Brahma.

He is believed to be the Creator of the Universe and all the beings. It is said in the Hindu puranas that he first appeared sitting in a lotus flower that sprouted from Lord Vishnu’s naval. He created the fourteen planetary systems and all the living beings. He received the four Vedas from Lord Vishnu and transmitted the knowledge of Vedas to the earth thus being known as the creator of the Vedas.

Vishnu Hasta

Hastabhyam tripatakasthu

Vishnuhastaha kirtitaha

Hold the tripataka hasta on your right hand at the chest level and the same hasta on your left hand at chest level in paran mukha prachara (facing  away from oneself). Vishnu hasta is mentioned like this.
This Hasta is used to show Lord Vishnu.

He is believed to be the one who supports, preserves, sustains and governs the Universe and all the beings. Hindu puranas mentions that Lord Vishnu has got 10 incarnations (last one is yet to arrive) happened whenever he wanted to devastate the Adharma (injustice) from the material world. Lord Vishnu is venerated as Mukunda which means one who gives mukti or moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirths) to his devotees. Lord Vishnu’s eternal and supreme abode beyond the material universe is called the vaikunda where the realm of eternal bliss and happiness happens for the liberated souls who attained moksha.

Siva Hasta

Shamboo vamae mrigashirshas

Tripatakasthu dakshinae

Hold the tripataka hasta on your right hand at the chest level and the mrigashirsha hasta on your left hand at chest level .
This Hasta is used to show Lord Siva.

Lord Siva is one of the Trimurthi’s as believed in Hinduism, other being Brahma and Vishnu. While Lord Brahma is the creator and Lord Vishnu is the preserver, Lord Siva is the destroyer. He is depicted as an omniscient yogi who lives an ascetic life in mount kailash, as well as a householder who lives with his wife parvathi and two children ganesha and karthikeya and finally a cosmic dancer. The most iconographical attributes of Lord Siva is his third eye at his forehead that always remain closed. Adi sankara has interpreted the meaning of ‘Siva’ as “One who is pure” and “One who is not affected by the three gunas (qualities) of Parkriti(nature) which are Satva gunam, Tamo gunam and rajo gunam”. In Sanskrit the word Siva means “auspicious” and an other interpretation is “one in whom the whole creation sleeps after dissolution”.

Saraswathi Hasta

Suchikritae dakshinecha

Vamaecha samkritau

Kapithyakaepae bhataayaha

Karasyaditi sammathaha

Hold the suchi hasta on your right hand at right below the chest level and the kapitha hasta (in uthana hasta prachara – palm facing ceiling) on your left hand held straight pointing towards left side and above the shoulder level.
This Hasta is used to show Goddess Saraswathi.

Goddess Saraswathi is the godess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom and nature. She is consort of Lord Brahma and is revered as the mother of Vedas. Its is believed that she endows the humans with the power of speech, wisdom and learning. She is dressed in white which symbolizes purity and she rides on a white swan that symbolizes the satva guna (purity & discrimination

Lakshmi Hasta

Amsopakanthae hastabhyam

Kapithasthu sriyaha karaha

Hold the kapitha hasta at just below your chest level on both the hands

This hasta is used to show Goddess Lakshmi.

Goddess Lakshmi is the God of wealth, prosperity and fame. She is the consort of Lord Vishnu and she is revered  have eight forms (Ashta Lakshmi) like Adi Lakshmi, Dhanya Lakshmi, Gaja Lakshmi, Santana Lakshmi, Vijaya Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi and Dhairya Lakshmi. She is endowed with the auspicious divine qualities or gunas. Diwali festival is celebrated in her honor.

Parvathi  Hasta

Udhvardha prasudhavardha

Chandrakhyo vama dakshinou

Abhayo varadachaivo

Parvaryaha kareritaha

Hold the ardhachandra hasta on your right hand to the side of the chest level in paran mukha prachara (facing away from oneself) and the same hasta on your left hand held at the waist level facing downward showing the abhaya (fearlessness) and varadha (granting of boon).

This Hasta is used to show Goddess Parvathy.

Goddess Parvathy is believed to be the complete incarnation of the Supreme power Aadi parashakti. She is consort of Lord Shiva. Parvatha in Sanskrit means ‘mountains’ and parvathy means ‘she of the mountains’ and refers being born as the daughter of Himavan who is the lord of the mountains. She is the ultimate source of powers for all beings, Gods and Devas. It is believed that without her Siva remains as Shava or Corpse. She can destroy the whole world in seconds and hence the Trimurti’s Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Siva never try to make her angry.

Karthikeya  Hasta

Vamae karae trishoolaschya

Shikharo dakshinae karae

Urdhvam gathae shanmukhasya

Hastaha syaditikiritaha

Hold the shikhara hasta on your right hand to the side of the chest level and the trishoola hasta on your left hand held at the same level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Kartikeya.

Lord Kartikeya is the son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy. He is believed to be the God of war, victory, wisdom and love. He was leading the army of the Devas in the war against the asuras. It is believed that Lord Kartikeya is born from the six sparks that came from Lord Siva’s third eye in order to take action against the increasing conceit of Soorapadman. Lord Agni (fire) took these six sparks and left in a lotus in the Saravan river where Lord Kartikeya is born with six faces and hence the name Shanmukhan. He was brought up by the six krittika sisters until he turned teenage when he was sent back to Lord Siva and Parvathy. His six heads represents his control over the five senses(the panjendriyas) and the mind.

Indra Hasta

Tripatakascha swastikascha

Shkrhastaha prakirtita

Hold the tripataka hasta on both hands in swastika and hold it above the head.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Indra (Devendra) the king of all Gods.

Lord Indra is believed to be the leader of all Gods and the lord of Swargaloka (Heaven) in Hinduism as depicted in Rigveda. Indra is the twin brother of Agni (Fire God). He is refered to as the God of thunder, storms and rain. He is a great warrior and remains as a symbol of courage and strength. Indra rides on a white elephant (four tusked) called Airavata.

Hindu purana says that one Kalpa Yuga has 14 Indras because each kalpa is composed of 14 manvantaras and each manvantara has one Indra. One Kalpa Yuga makes one day in Lord Brahma’s life. There is a beautiful story behind Indra realizing this fact. It goes like this……

Being encrowned the post of King of all the Gods, Indra was full of pride and ordered Vishwakarma (The Architect of the Gods) to build for him a grand palace. While the work progresses Indra keep on demanding more and more improvements to the palace. Vishwakarma got exhausted and pleaded the help of Lord Brahma who in turn appeals to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu visited the palace in the form of a Brahmin boy. Indra welcomed him and honored him politely and respectfully. Vishnu started commenting that no former Indras have built such a beautiful palace seeding a fearful doubt in Indra’s mind about his unkown ancestors. The boy explains to him about the infinite number of worlds scattered through the entire universe each with its own Indra. In between, a possession of ants entered the palace and the boy laughed. Indra being astonished and dumbfounded asked the boy why he laughed. The boy revealed that those ants were the former Indras. Lord Siva entered the palace at the same time in the form of a solitary person. His chest had a circular cluster of hairs intact at the circumference with a gap in the middle. Lord Siva explained to Indra that each of the hair represents the life of an Indra. He said that when each hair falls one Indra dies and will be replaced by a new one. Having lost the longings for wealth and honor, Indra rewards Vishwakarma and decided to live a life without luxury. I am sure this story has a great moral for each one of us to understand and practise with.

Agni Hasta

Tripatako dakshninetu

Vamae kangoolahastakaha

Agni Hastaha sa vigneyo

Natyashastra visharadae

Hold the tripataka hasta onyour right hand and kangula hasta in the left hand both at the chest level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Agni (Fire God) .

Agni is thought to be the eldest son of Lord Brahma. He is assumed to be a evolved from the mouth of the Virat Purusha (the Cosmic man). According to Vayupurana, he has three sons Pavaka, Pavamana and Suchi each of them representing three different aspects of Agni (Fire) like electric fire, fire produced by friction and the solar fire respectively.

Varuna Hasta

Patako dakshinae Vamae shikharo

Varunaha karaha

Hold the pataka hasta onyour right hand and shikhara hasta on your left hand both at the chest level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Varuna (Water God).

Varuna is considered to be the God of water and the celestial ocean. The stars in the clouds are believed to be his thousand eyed spies watching every movement in the universe. He became the God of Oceans and rivers and keeper of the souls of the drowned in the post Vedic periods. He is considered as one of the guardians of the directions representing the west direction.

Yama Hasta

Vama pasham dakshinetu suchi

Yama Karaha Smritaha

Hold the suchi hasta on your right hand and pashaa hasta on your left hand both at the chest level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Yama (God of death).

In Hinduism, Yama is considered as the God of death. He rides on a black buffalo. According to Vishnupurana, he is the son of Lord Sun and his wife Sanjana, daughter of Vishwakarma. In the Vedas, Yama is considered to be the first mortal who died and by virtue of precedence he became the ruler of all the departed (pitrukal). Srivanchiyam temple in Tamilnadu (India) is dedicated to Yama. He is one of the guardians of directions, guarding the South direction.

According to the puranas Yama was once sentenced to death by Siva. The story goes like this….

Mrikandu rishi (a saint) and his wife Marudmati were devotee’s of Lord Siva and Lord Siva gave them a boon of begetting a son. They were questioned whether to get a son who is intelligent but having shorter life span or a low intelligent one with a long life span. They chose the former one and was blessed with an exemplary son named Markendeya but destined to die at the age of 16. While his life span was coming to the end, Yama’s messengers came to him to take his life. But as Markandeya was ceaselessly chanting Lord Siva’s name, Yama’s messengers could not approach him and returned. Now, Yama came himself and asked him to stop chanting Lord Siva’s name and come along with him as per his destiny. Markandeya refused and the furious Yama assumed a fearsome form and threw his noose (weapon) to Markandeya who embraced the Siva Linga (Idol of Lord Siva). When the noose struck the Siva linga, Lord Siva emerged out of it and killed Yama with his Trishula.Siva blessed Markandeya to live a life of 16 throughout seven kalpas. By the death of Yama, there was no one to make beings die and the world became burdened with evil beings. Sages, Gods and Markandeya appealed Siva to revive Yama and so he did. Yama worshiped Siva to atone for his sin.

Nirrti Hasta

Khatavacha shakhataschaiva

Keertitaou nirrti karaha

Hold the Shakhata /Brahmara hasta on your right hand at the chest level and Khatava hasta on your left hand slightly below the chest level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Nirrti (Guardian God of South West direction).

In Hinduism, Nirrti is the Goddess of death and corruption and one of the Ashtadikpalaks (Ashta –means eight , Dik means directions & palakas means guardians). She guards the South west direction.

Vayu Hasta

Hold the Arala hasta on your right hand at the chest level and Ardhapataka on your left hand to the side below the natyarambha level.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Vayu (God of Air/wind).

In Hinduism, Lord Vayu is the father of Bhima and Hanuman. In hymns, he is considered as fighter, destroyer, powerful and heroic. He is described as an exceptional beauty moving noisily in his shining coach driven by two or forty nine or one thousand white and purple horses.

Kubera Hasta

Hold the Mushti hasta on your right hand and Alapadmam on your left hand.

This Hasta is used to show Lord Khubera (God of wealth).

In Hinduism, Lord Khubera is regarded as the regent of the North and the protector of the world. His many descriptions extol him as the overlord of many divine species and the owner of treasures of the whole world. The scriptures describe the fact that Kubera ruled Lanka and was over thrown by his demon step brother Ravana. He was said to have settled later in the city Alaka in the Himalayas. Descriptons of the glory and splendours of his city are found in many scriptures.

 

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