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Dr K K Aggarwal

Vahans (Vehicles) In Mythology

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The negative tendency of a man has been symbolized with the animal nature in mythology. Gods in Indian mythology have been symbolized as living a positive behavior. Every God has been given a vehicle or Vahan. And, both teach us how to live a positive life and control the animal tendencies.

Following are a few examples:

  1. Lord Ganesha rides a Mouse. Mouse in mythology is symbolized with greed and Ganesha as the one who removes obstacles. The spiritual meaning behind both is – one should learn to control greed to tackle obstacles in life.
  2. Lord Shiva riding Nandi (Bull is symbolized with uncontrolled sexual desires) and the duo signifies that for learning meditation, one needs to control sexual desires first.
  3. Saraswati (the goddesses of knowledge) sitting on Swan symbolizes that to acquire knowledge one must learn to control the power of discrimination or Vivek. Swan can drink milk and leave water from a mixture of milk and water.
  4. Indra (the one who has a complete control over the intellect) riding on the elephant Airavat symbolizes that intellect (Indra), for its development, requires control over Masti and madness (elephant).
  5. Durga (the perfect woman) riding a lion symbolizes that to become a perfect woman, one must learn to control her agitation or aggression (lion).
  6. Lakshmi (wealth) riding an owl symbolizes that to earn righteously, one must learn to control Owl like properties within us, which is not to get befooled.
  7. Lord Vishnu (the doer) riding eagle or Garuda (Eagles are opportunistic predators which means they eat almost anything they can find) means controlling your desires to eat unbalanced meals.
  8. Krishna riding five horses means one need to control our five senses.
  9. Kartikeya riding on Peacock symbolizes that should learn to control one’s pride (vanity) or ego.
  10. The vehicle of Goddess Kali is a black goat. Agni rides Mesha – a ram. Kubera, the God of wealth, also has a ram as his vehicle. A ram is an uncastrated adult male sheep. Goat also signifies uncontrolled sexual desires but lesser than the bull.
  11. Yamraj rides a buffalo, which is known for its rampant destruction. Lord Yama or Yamraja is referred to as the God of death, twin brother, lord of justice, Dharma Raja. One can do justice only if one has a control over anger and aggressive behavior.

Today is Akshaya Tritiya

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Akshay Tritiya, also called Akshaya Teej or Akha Teej is one day which is never “absent” from the lunar calendar.
  2. It is one of the most pious festivals in Hinduism. It marks the beginning of ‘Treta Yuga’.
  3. Akshaya means imperishable. Japa, worship, purification of body, donations etc. done on this day remain imperishable.
  4. All auspicious initiatives can be taken on this day without asking the priest.
  5. The Day is worshipped as an auspicious day in Jainism because it is said to have established the very first “ahar charya” a methodology to prepare and serve food to Jain monks. Shreyansha Kumara offered Tirthankara Rishabhadeva sugarcane juice after one year of fast.
  6. The day has great significance for taking holy dip in the Ganga River. The holy dip makes a person free from all sins and troubles (Best day for self confession).
  7. Sun baths during the month of Vaisakh also indicate the need for sun bath to remove vitamin D deficiency from the body.
  8. The day is also marked with the opening of doors of Badrinarayanji (Best time to start new ventures: Vishnu symbolizes doing ventures).
  9. It is believed that if you do charity on this day you will be blessed. The devotees should offer mishri and wet gram pulses.
  10. One should donate water with sesame and Kusha grass to forefathers (For treating attachment disorders).
  11. One should also install free drinking water or sharbat centers (pyau) on this day (Denotes need for safe water in the summer).
  12. This festival is charity–oriented (Anything which in excess can harm should be donated).
  13. One should also donate Sattu with sugar or Jaggery.
  14. One must consume Sattu on Akshaya Tritiya (Sattu is the fast food of summer with cooling properties; it’s a high energy drink).
  15. Fast should be broken with sugarcane juice (Sugarcane is the best summer drink provided it is hygienically prepared).
  16. Akshay Tritiya is also traditionally celebrated as the birthday of the Hindu sage Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of the god Vishnu, who represents the quality to fight injustice.
  17. The gold industry proliferates on the day and people like to buy gold on this day.
  18. It is also worshipped as a combined day of Kubera and Goddess Lakshmi and works on the principle “what was lost will come back to you.”