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Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Interesting Tale of Undersea Nishkalankeshwar Temple


Have you heard of an undersea temple in India? It is very much there in Bhavnagar district of Western Indian state of Gujarat. The temple in question is situated off the coast of a village called Koliyak. At this village, the people reach out to Lord Shiva temple about 1.5 kilometers into the sea. This place of worship is known as Nishkalank Mahadev temple. The devotees cannot visit most of the time throughout the day. There are fixed timings for that. Despite this restriction, thousands throng this temple to offer their prayers to the presiding deity. In this blog post, we will look at this wonderful temple and the mythology associated with this undersea temple for the benefit of our inquisitive readers.

Undersea Temple

Located off the coast of the village Koliyak in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat is the famous underwater Shiva temple that is thousands of years old. It is known as Nishkalank Mahadev temple. It is situated about 1.5 kilometers in the Arabian Sea. As the name of the temple suggests, it is expected to cleanse and purify the soul of the devotees who worship the presiding deity in obeisance. The older generation people say the sight of Lord Shiva at this temple washes their guilt off. There is a peculiarity about this temple. It is situated in the Arabian Sea, about 1.5 kilometers off the coast of the village Koliyak. On a heavy tide day, sitting on the coast, all the people can see are flag and pillars. One can visit this temple only two times in a day. The temple becomes only accessible only when there is a low tide. The temple is visible only during the high- and low-tide periods during the course of the day. Due to this reason, the temple is accessible only for few hours for the people. During Full Moon and New Moon days, the sea recedes to the maximum levels when the Sun, Moon and the Earth are in straight line alignment. Hence, people throng this temple to the maximum during these days.

undersea temple

Features of the Temple

This temple is about 2000 feet long and 500 feet high. Five distinct Swaymbhu Shivalingams can be seen inside the temple. These lingams are spread across a square platform. Before each lingam, the devotees can see the Nandhi or Bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. They can even see a pond in the premises of the temple. There is a guest house for the people coming from different locations. This guest house has been named as Dharamshala. Since it is inside the sea most of the time, there are no facilities for food and treatment.

shivling and bull

Legends and Activities of the Temple

Legends say this temple pond was used by Pandavas to wash their hands after their epic war with the evil cousins, the Kauravas. The legends further add that with this act, Pandavas had washed their sins off.  This is the reason why devotees first wash their hands and legs before entering the temple. On New Moon day, the people assemble at this temple in large numbers as it is considered as an auspicious day. It falls in the month of August every year. This month corresponds to Bhadra of Hindu calendar year. On this day, the sea recedes maximum. Aartis of the deities take place at 6:30 AM in the morning and 7:00 PM in the evening every day. This is the reason why many people come to this temple to dissolve ashes of their departed kith and kin.

people visiting temple

Video Grab

For visual narration and first-hand information, the readers are welcome to go the under-given video link and click it. It will also give more elaborate information about this natural wonder and its mythological significance in Hinduism. This video also takes into account the local legends about this beautiful temple. While clicking, please mention "Har Har Mahadev!"

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sister Nirmala is No More


Another torch bearer of the Mother Teresa’s legacy has gone behind the curtain of eternity. The past Superior General of Missionaries of Charity Sister Nirmala passed away on June 23, 2015 after a brief illness. She was 81 years old. She had the health problems for some time and was desisting from the public engagements for that reason. Sister Nirmala took up the mantle of running the organization after the death of the Nobel Laureate Mother Theresa back in 1997. The condolences are pouring from different parts of the world. People from all walks of life, including the leaders from Church, polity, etc., are mourning the death of a great soul that devoted its life for the humanity.

sister nirmala

Legacy of Sister Nirmala

After taking the mantle of running the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity in 1997, the fame and work of the organization spread far and wide. In fact, she completed her tenure as the Superior General of Missionaries of Charity twice successfully. Paying tribute to her good work and astute leadership abilities in steering the modern plans of the organization, she was re-elected for the third time to lead it. She, however, politely refused the offer, citing the failing health as the prime reason. When Mother Teresa passed away, the Missionaries of Charity had a presence in 123 countries and operating about 605 homes worldwide. Under the guidance and leadership of Sister Nirmala, the number of homes increased to 720 in as many as 145 countries.

mother terasa

Profile of Sister Nirmala

Sister Nirmala was born as Nirmala Joshi to a Nepali Hindu Brahmin family based in Ranchi in 1934. She got impressed with the kind of work done by Mother Teresa and her organization Missionaries of Charity. Hence, she decided to join the organization and got herself converted to a practicing Christian at a young age of 24 years. Since then, she rose through the ranks of the organization and worked alongside Mother Teresa. Due to this reason, late Mother Teresa had some liking for her. While working for the Missionaries of Charity, she got a degree in Political Science and law. She was selected the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity after the demise of its founding Superior General Mother Teresa. Immediately after swearing-in, she took a vow to follow the footsteps of her mentor. She proved through her works and dedication what personality had. Looking at her work and the compassion for power, just like her mentor Mother Teresa, many people suggested that she should be called Mother Nirmala. However, she turned down the suggestion and told them that she was content with the name Sister Nirmala. According to her, the prefix Mother is befitting only for her mentor Mother Teresa. This was the kind of devotion and respect she had towards Mother Teresa.

sister nirmala profile

Monday, 22 June 2015

Secrets Hidden in 350-year-old Coffin Revealed


When the revered coffin of Bishop Peder Winstrup was opened, the scientists and museologists were in for a surprise. There was a secret hidden in the coffin of this Swedish Bishop. The mortal remains of the Bishop Peder Winstrup were lying quietly in this coffin in the crypt of the magnificent cathedral at Lund in Sweden. Till it was opened, it looked like an enclosure for the revered Bishop. After it was opened, they found that the coffin contained not only the mortal remains of the Bishop but also that of a tiny baby.  The body of the baby was tucked under his feet. Hence, the authorities could not detect the body of the baby within the coffin when it was previously excavated for maintenance.

bishop's coffin

350-year-old Secret in a Bishop’s Coffin  

The coffin bearing the mortal remains of Bishop Winstrup was lying quietly beneath the magnificent Lund Cathedral in Sweden. In the previous excavation, the body was found to be in excellent condition, except for the fading of colours of the clothes worn by it. The church authorities requested the museologists to take a second look at the mummified body of the late Bishop. The study was undertaken to apply modern scientific techniques to preserve the embalmed body and bring to light some other fascinating facts about this revered figure in Sweden. Therefore, the scientists and other staff at the museum subjected the coffin to a CT scan to check its state. When the film was examined, they were in for a pleasant surprise. They could see a dead body of an infant underneath the feet of the bishop. This was not all expected.

secret in coffin

CT Scan Details

From the analysis of CT scan, the scientists have concluded that it could be that of a premature baby. They suspect that the baby could have been born several months prematurely and illegitimately. According to the Per Karsten, the director of the historical museum at Lund University, the five- to six-month-old baby was deliberately concealed under the feet of the Bishop at the time of his burial.  Suspecting some connection between the child and the Bishop, the authorities are planning to conduct the DNA tests to find any linkage between them. There was another surprise in store for the scientists from the University of Lund museum. The scan revealed that the body of the pontiff was not embalmed in the literal sense. In all likelihood, the body was naturally dried out keeping intact all the internal organs. It further revealed that the body of the Bishop was wrapped in a mattress made of herbs like juniper and wormwood. The head of the Bishop was supported by a pillow of hops. These wrappings were given to ensure that the body was naturally dried out and the smell from it could be masked.

ct scan

Life of Swedish Priest Peder Wintstrup

The latest excavation was designed to unravel the life of this Bishop and the social conditions that were in existence during his time. Widely, he was believed to have lived in the 17th century AD. According to the church records, Bishop Peder Winstrup was a scholar, collector, scientist and theologian. He is considered as one of the founders of Lund University in Sweden. He was appointed as the Bishop of Lund when the region was transferred from Danish control to Sweden Diocese. He held this post till his death in 1679.

swedish priest