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HISTORY OF DURGA DEVI

In Jainism, Ambika (Sanskrit: अम्बिका, Odia: ଅମ୍ବିକା Ambikā "Mother") or Ambika Devi (अम्बिका देवी Ambikā Devī "the Goddess-Mother") is the Yakṣi "dedicated attendant deity" or Śāsana Devī "protector goddess" of the 22nd Tirthankara, Neminatha. She is also known as Ambai, Amba, Kushmandini and Amra Kushmandini. A sculpture of Ambika was discovered at Karajagi village in Haveri taluk. The sculpture has a two-line Sanskrit inscription in Nagari script about the date of its installation - “Ambikadevi, Shaka 1173, Virodhikrit. Samvatsara, Vaishakha Shuddha 5, Guruvara.” This corresponds to Thursday, April 27, 1251 AD. According to the tradition, her colour is golden and her vehicle is lion. She has four arms. In her two right hands she carries a mango and in the other a branch of a mango tree. In one of her left hands, she carries a rein and in the other she has her two sons, Priyankara and Shubhankara 
The major temples of Shri Ambika Devi include:
Shri Neminath Adhisthayaka Nagotra Solanki Gotria Kuladevi Shri Ambikadevi Jinalaya in Santhu near Bagra (Marwar)|Bagra, in Jalore district of Rajasthan state.
Shri Kuladevi Ambikadevi Jain Temple, Takhatgarh in Pali district of Rajasthan state.
Shri Kuladevi Ambikadevi Jain Temple, Padarli, Rajasthan.

Later this Ambika Devi got borrowed into Buddhism and became "Tara" devi in Buddhism.

Within Tibetan Buddhism Tārā is regarded as a Bodhisattva of compassion and action. She is the female aspect of Avalokiteśvara and in some origin stories she comes from his tears: Then at last Avalokiteshvara arrived at the summit of Marpori, the 'Red Hill', in Lhasa. Gazing out, he perceived that the lake on Otang, the 'Plain of Milk', resembled the Hell of Ceaseless Torment. Myriads of being were undergoing the agonies of boiling, burning, hunger, thirst, yet they never perished, but let forth hideous cries of anguish all the while. When Avalokiteshvara saw this, tears sprang to his eyes. A teardrop from his right eye fell to the plain and became the reverend Bhrikuti, who declared: "Son of your race! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, and I shall be your companion in this endeavour!" Bhrikuti was then reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's right eye, and was reborn in a later life as the Nepalese princess Tritsun. A teardrop from his left eye fell upon the plain and became the reverend Tara. She also declared, "Son of your race! As you are striving for the sake of sentient beings in the Land of Snows, intercede in their suffering, and I shall be your companion in this endeavour!" Tara was also reabsorbed into Avalokiteshvara's left eye, and was reborn in a later life as the Chinese princess Kongjo (Princess Wencheng). Tārā is also known as a saviouress, as a heavenly deity who hears the cries of beings experiencing misery in saṃsāra. Whether the Tārā figure originated as a Buddhist or Hindu goddess is unclear and remains a source of inquiry among scholars. Mallar Ghosh believes her to have originated as a form of the goddess Durga in the Hindu Puranas.[4] Today, she is worshipped both in Buddhism and in Shaktism as one of the ten Mahavidyas. It may be true that goddesses entered Buddhism from Shaktism (i.e. the worship of local or folk goddesses prior to the more institutionalized Hinduism which had developed by the early medieval period (i.e. Middle kingdoms of India). Possibly the oldest text to mention a Buddhist goddess is the Prajnaparamita Sutra (translated into Chinese from the original Sanskrit c. 2nd century CE), around the time that Mahayana was becoming the dominant school of thought in Indian and Chinese Buddhism.[dubious – discuss] Thus, it would seem that the feminine principle makes its first appearance in Buddhism as the goddess who personified prajnaparamita.Tārā came to be seen as an expression of the compassion of perfected wisdom only later, with her earliest textual reference being the Mañjuśrī-mūla-kalpa (c. 5th–8th centuries CE). The earliest, solidly identifiable image of Tārā is most likely that which is still found today at cave 6 within the rock-cut Buddhist monastic complex of the Ellora Caves in Maharashtra (c. 7th century CE), with her worship being well established by the onset of the Pala Empire in Eastern India (8th century CE). Tārā became a very popular Vajrayana deity with the rise of Tantra in 8th-century Pala and, with the movement of Indian Buddhism into Tibet through Padmasambhava, the worship and practices of Tārā became incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism as well.She eventually came to be considered the "Mother of all Buddhas," which usually refers to the enlightened wisdom of the Buddhas, while simultaneously echoing the ancient concept of the Mother Goddess in India. Independent of whether she is classified as a deity, a Buddha, or a bodhisattva, Tārā remains very popular in Tibet (and Tibetan communities in exile in Northern India), Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, and is worshiped in a majority of Buddhist communities throughout the world (see also Guanyin, the female aspect of Avalokitesvara in Chinese Buddhism).

 

Later this "Tara" devi or "Ambika" Devi got absorbed in Hinduism and became consort of Shiva. She got named as "Parvati, Durga, Gauri, Kali etc.. At earlier forms of Durga in Hinduism were in form of War-Goddess. She got worshipped by the dwellers of the Himalaya and the Vindhyas".Durga then transformed into Kali as the personification of the all-destroying time, while aspects of her emerged as the primordial energy (Adya Sakti) integrated into the samsara (cycle of rebirths) concept and this idea was built on the foundation of the Vedic religion, mythology and philosophy. Epigraphical evidence indicates that regardless of her origins, Durga is an ancient goddess. The 6th-century CE inscriptions in early Siddhamatrika script, such as at the Nagarjuni hill cave during the Maukhari era, already mention the legend of her victory over Mahishasura (buffalo-hybrid demon). After Jain Philosophies got inserted into Hinduism in form of "Upanishads" - seperate Upanisads were written for Durga Devi. Devi's epithets synonymous with Durga appear in Upanishadic literature, such as Kali in verse 1.2.4 of the Mundaka Upanishad dated to about the 5th century BCE. This single mention describes Kali as "terrible yet swift as thought", very red and smoky colored manifestation of the divine with a fire-like flickering tongue, before the text begins presenting its thesis that one must seek self-knowledge and the knowledge of the eternal Brahman.Durga, in her various forms, appears as an independent deity in the Epics period of ancient India, that is the centuries around the start of the common era. Both Yudhisthira and Arjuna characters of the Mahabharata invoke hymns to Durga. She appears in Harivamsa in the form of Vishnu's eulogy, and in Pradyumna prayer. Various Puranas from the early to late 1st millennium CE dedicate chapters of inconsistent mythologies associated with Durga. Of these, the Markandeya Purana and the Devi-Bhagavata Purana are the most significant texts on Durga The Devi Upanishad and other Shakta Upanishads, mostly dated to have been composed in or after the 9th century, present the philosophical and mystical speculations related to Durga as Devi and other epithets, identifying her to be the same as the Brahman and Atman (self, soul).

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