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In Vedic literature, Devas and Devis are worshiped in the form of Deities, represents the forces of nature and moral values , each symbolizing the epitome of a specialized knowledge, creative energy, exalted and magical powers. The below deities are planned at the proposed Sri Dasavathara Venkateswara Swamy Temple and Cultural Center, Columbia SC

  • Sri Dasavathara Venkateswara Swamy
    According to the Hindu scriptures, Lord Vishnu the sustainer of Trimurties, whose main aspect is to fight evil and restore Dharma, out of love towards his devotees, incarnated as Sri Venkateswara Swami and appeared for the salvation and upliftment of humanity in this Kali Yuga age. Venkateswara (vem+kata+eeswara) means The Eeswara who destroys all the sins. Lord Venkateswara possess all the following Vishnu Avatarams . The Mathsya (Fish) - Lord Vishnu incarnated as The Matsya and gave direction to Satyavrata &Sapta Rishis during PRALAYAM(The End of Age) and gave them Brahmagyaan and restored Vedas. The AADI KURMAM (Giant Tortoise) - Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of a tortoise/turtle to support the foundation for the cosmos and the cosmic churning stick (Mount Mandara) to obtain Amruta(The Nectar of immottal life) for Gods} The AADI VARAHA (The Pig– the left side face) - Lord Vishnu incarnated as AADI VARAHA to slew the demon Hiranyaksha and retrieved the Earth from the ocean, lifting her on his tusks, and restored Bhudevi to her place in the universe when it sinked into primordial waters. The NARASIMHAM (Right side face) - Lord Vishnu incarnated as Narasimha –one of poorna avataram to save Prahlada and kill the Demon Hiranyakasyapa The VAMANA (The Short one-Umbrella on one of his right hand which is symbol for VAMANA) - Lord Vishnu Incarnated as Vamana to restore dharma in the time of crisis by creatively defeating MahaBali The RAMA (Bow on one of the Right hand which Symbolizes KODANDARAMA) - Lord Vishnu incarnated as the Ramachandra , to show Dharma to the world and to kill the Ravana-The Asura.} The PARASURAMA (The Axe on one of his left hands Symbolizes PARASURAMA) - Lord Vishnu appeared as Parashurama at a time when overwhelming evil prevailed on earth to correct the cosmic equilibrium by destroying the Kartyaveerarjuna and Kshatriya warriors, who had begun to abuse their power} The BALARAMA (The Plow on one of his left hands Symbolizes BALARAMA) - Aadi Seshu the servant and a manifestation of Vishnu incarnated as Balarama-the elder brother to Krishna and killed Pralambhasura and Gardhabhasura. The SRI KRISHNA (Peacock Feathers on his crown symbolizes KRISHNA) - Lord Vishnu incarnated as Sri Krishna and killed Kamsa, helped pandavas in KURUKSHETRA and became JAGADAACHARYA, gave BHAGAVADGEETA an epic to the world through Arjuna. The anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are generally titled as Krishna Leela . The KALKI (The Sword on his left hand Symbolizes KALKI) - Kalki is the final incarnation of Vishnu in the current Mahayuga, foretold to appear at the end of Kali Yuga in Shambhala village . The Puranas foretell that Kalki will be atop a white horse with a drawn blazing sword. He is the harbinger of the end time in Hindu eschatology, after which he will usher in Kruta Yuga.
  • Sri Shiva
    Lord Shiva also known as Mahadeva, Rudra, Dakshinamoorty, Nataraja is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is one of the supreme beings within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is known as "The Destroyer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is one of the supreme beings who creates, protects and transforms the universe. In the tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism, the Goddess, or Devi, is described as one of the supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power (Shakti) of each, with Parvati (Sati) the equal complementary partner of Shiva. He is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism. According to the Shaivism the highest form of Ishvar is formless, limitless, transcendent and unchanging absolute Brahman, and the primal Atman (soul, self) of the universe. There are many both benevolent and fearsome depictions of Shiva. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya. In his fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts. The iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, and the damaru drum. He is usually worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. The word shivoham means the consciousness of one individual, lord says that he is omnipotent, omnipresent, as he is present in the form of one's consciousness. Tamil literature is enriched by Shiva devotees called 63 Nayanmars(Nayanars).
  • Sri Durga Mata
    Durga, also identified as Adi Parashakti, is a principal and popular form of Hindu Goddess. She is the warrior goddess, whose mythology centres around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity and dharma of the good. She is the fierce form of the protective mother goddess, willing to unleash her anger against wrong, violence for liberation and destruction to empower creation. Durga is depicted in the Hindu Mythologies as a Goddess riding a lion or tiger, with many arms each carrying a weapon, often defeating Mahishasura (lit. buffalo demon). The three principle forms of Durga worshiped are Maha Durga, Chandika and Aparajita. Of these, Chandika has two forms called Chandi who is of the combined power and form of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati and of Chamunda who is a form of Kali created by the goddess for killing demons Chanda and Munda. Maha Durga has three forms: Ugrachanda, Bhadrakali and Katyayani. Bhadrakali Durga is also worshiped in the form of her nine epithets called Navadurga. She is a central deity in Shaktism tradition of Hinduism, where she is equated with the concept of ultimate reality called Brahman. One of the most important texts of Shaktism is Devi Mahatmya, also known as Durgā Saptashatī or Chandi patha, which celebrates Durga as the goddess, declaring her as the supreme being and the creator of the universe. All the cultures celebrates Durga pooja , nine day festival in Sharad rutuvu.The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijayadashami (Bijoya in Bengali), Dashain (Nepali) or Dussehra (in Hindi) – these words literally mean "the victory on the Tenth (day).
  • Sri Rama Parivar
    Lord Rama or Ram, also known as Sri Seeta Ramachandra, is a major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, one of his most popular incarnations along with Krishna and Gautama Buddha. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Being. Rama was born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, the ruler of the Kingdom of Kosala. His siblings included Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. He married Sita. Though born in a royal family, their life is described in the Hindu texts as one challenged by unexpected changes such as an exile into impoverished and difficult circumstances, ethical questions and moral dilemmas. Of all their travails, the most notable is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the determined and epic efforts of Rama and Lakshmana to gain her freedom and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds. The entire life story of Rama, Sita and their companions allegorically discusses duties, rights and social responsibilities of an individual. It illustrates dharma and dharmic living through model characters. Rama's life story is imbued with symbolism. Rama is especially important to Vaishnavism. The primary source of the life of Rama is the Sanskrit epic Ramayana composed by Rishi Valmiki. His ancient legends have attracted bhasya (commentaries) and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts. Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana – a spiritual and theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries, and the Ramcharitmanas – a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances during autumn every year in India. Rama Navami is a spring festival that celebrates the birthday of Rama. The festival is a part of the spring Navratri, and falls on the ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra month in the traditional Hindu calendar. Rama Navami day also marks the end of the nine-day spring festival celebrated all over India
  • Sri Ganapathi
    ​ ​Ganapathi known as Ganesh, Vinayaka, Pillayar or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu Tradition. He is the elder son of Shiva Parvati. In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesh is the supreme deity. Lord Ganesh is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesh is also invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Hindu mythologies says that Lord Ganesh wrote Mahabharata while Vyasa was narrating. Ganesh Chaturdi is a big festival in India and celebrated by so many cultures. Hindu Puranas says Ganesh connects Vaishnavism with Shaivism. There are various forms of Ganapati like Natya Ganapati, Lakshmi Ganapati, Siddhi Ganapati, Bala Ganapati. There are various stories for these forms about Lord Ganesh Kindness, Forgiveness, Valour. In some traditions Lord Ganesh Shown as married with Siddhi and Buddhi. Lord Ganesh rides mouse as his vehicle and destroys all the obstacles.
  • Sri Ayyappa
    Lord Ayyappa also known as Ayyappan, Sastavu, Hariharaputra , manikanta,Shasta or Dhrma Shasta is the Hindu god of growth. He is a syncretic deity, the son of Shiva and Mohini – the female avatar of Vishnu. Ayyappa being Sastava (Sasta, Sashta, Sastra), a Vedic term that also means "Teacher, Guide, Lord, Ruler). The iconography of Ayyappan depicts him as a handsome god, who has pledged an oath of Naishthika brahmacharya, in a yogic posture and as an epitome of Dharma, who wears a bell around his neck. He was born with the powers of Shiva and Vishnu to confront and defeat the buffalo headed demoness Mahishi. He was raised by a childless royal couple, and grows up as a warrior yogi champion of ethical and dharmic living. Ayyappan rides a tiger, but in Sabarimala temple he is shown with a horse, named Vaaji. This horse is featured on dwajastamba, the holy flag tree of Sabarimala. In the Harivarasanam song he is referred to as Vaaji Vahanam. He rides a tiger after killing Mahishi and while returning home. Ayyappa popularity has grown in many parts of India, and the most prominent Ayyappa shrine is at Sabarimala, nestled in the hills of Pathanamthitta of Kerala. The shrine receives millions of pilgrims every year in late December and early January, many of whom prepare for weeks before and then climb the hill barefoot, making it one of the largest active pilgrimage sites in the world. The most significant festival linked to him is the Makaravilakku (Makara Sankranti), observed around the winter solstice.
  • Sri Murgan
    Lord Murugan also known Karthikeya, Shanmukha Kumara, Skanda, Kadirvela among other names is the God of war. He is very a popular Hindu deity and worshipped in Southern India. Lord Murugan is the son of Shiva Parvati and the supreme general of the demi-gods and led the army of the devas to victory against the demons. The six sites at which Karthikeya sojourned while leading his armies against Surapadman are Tiruttanikai, Swamimalai, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Pazhamudirsolai, Tirupparamkunram and Tiruchendur. These six sites collectively came to be known as "Arupadai Veedu" meaning the six battle camps of the Lord. In many Hindu stories, Consequently, Murugan is often worshiped as a child-god. Other Hindu myths have him married to two wives, Valli and Devasena. Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance (called Vel in Tamil) is a weapon closely associated with him. It was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. The flag of his army depicts a rooster. In the war, the demon Soorapadman was split into two, and each half was granted a boon by Murugan. The halves thus turned into the peacock (his mount) and the rooster.
  • Sri Sadhguru Shirdi Sai Baba
    Sri Sadhguru Shirdi Sai Baba, is an Indian spiritual master who is regarded by his devotees as a saint, a fakir, a satguru and an incarnation (avatar) of Lord Shiva and Dattatreya. He is revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees during, as well as after his lifetime. Saibaba is now revered as incarnation of Sri Dattatreya and considered as Saguna Brahma. He is attributed to be the creator, sustainer and destroyer of this universe by his devotees. He is decorated with jewels and all forms of Hindu vedic deities as he is believed by his followers to be the supreme God. According to accounts from his life, he preached the importance of realization of the self and criticized love towards perishable things. His teachings concentrate on a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace and devotion to the God and guru. He stressed the importance of surrender to the true Satguru, who, having trod the path to divine consciousness, will lead the disciple through the jungle of spiritual training. Sai Baba also condemned distinction based on religion or caste. He gave the Hindu name Dwarakamayi to the mosque in which he lived, practiced both Hindu and Muslim rituals, taught using words and figures that drew from both traditions and took samadhi in Shirdi. One of his well-known epigrams, Allah Malik (God is King) and Sabka Maalik Ek (Everyone's Master is One), is associated with both Hinduism and Islam.
  • Sri Bhakta Anjeneya
    Lord Anjaneya also known as Hanuman, Kesari Nandan, Maruti Anjaneyar and Swami Hanuma known as the Lord of Celibacy was an ideal "Brahmachari" or called Naistika Brahmachari in Sanskrit and is an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and Seetha. Hanuman is the son of Anjani and Kesari and is also son of the wind-god Vayu, who according to several stories, played a role in his birth and Hanuma is one of the Chiranjeevis. Hanuman is the ideal combination of Shakti and Bhakti. Lord Hanuman played a vital role in Indian Epic Ramayana by Helping Rama to kill Ravana. Hanuman is the quintessential yogi having a perfect mastery over his senses, achieved through a disciplined lifestyle tempered by the twin streams of celibacy and selfless devotion (bhakti). He is also a perfect karma yogi since he performs his actions with detachment, acting as an instrument of destiny rather than being impelled by any selfish motive. The Hindu texts such as the Bhagavata Purana, the Bhakta Mala, the Ananda Ramayana and the Ramacharitmanas present him as someone who is talented, strong, brave and spiritually devoted to Rama. The Sundara Kanda, the fifth book in the Ramayana, focuses on Hanuman. Tulsidas wrote Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional song dedicated to Hanuman.
  • Navagrahas
    Navagraha means "nine celestial bodies" in Sanskrit and are nine astronomical bodies as well as deities in Hinduism and Hindu astrology The Navagraha are: Surya (Ravi), the Sun Chandra (Soma), the Moon Mangala (Mangal), Mars Budha (Budh), Mercury Guru (Brihaspati), Jupiter Shukra, Venus Shani, Saturn Rahu, Lunar ascending node Ketu, Lunar descending node According to Hindu Dharma, we worship Navagrahas for prosperity, health, wealth and wellness.
  • Nandi
    Nandi is the gate-guardian deity of Kailasa/Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. He is usually depicted as a bull, which also serves as the mount to Shiva. According to Saivite siddhantic tradition, he is considered as the chief guru of eight disciples of Nandinatha Sampradaya, namely, Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali, and Sivayoga Muni, who were sent in eight different directions, to spread the wisdom of Shaivism. Agamas describe him in a zoo-anthropomorphic form, with the head of bull and four hands, with antelope, axe, mace, and abhayamudra. In his mount form, Nandi is depicted as a seated bull in all Shiva temples, all over the world.
  • Garuda Alwar
    The Garuda is a legendary bird or bird-like creature in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology. He is variously the vehicle mount (vahana) of the Lord Vishnu, a dharma-protector. Garuda is son of Kashyapa Prajapati and Vinata. Hindu puranas describe him as the one who got Amruta from Indra to free his mother. Rigveda mentions him as celestial deva with wings. Garuda is described as the king of birds and a kite-like figure. He is shown either in zoomorphic form (giant bird with partially open wings) or an anthropomorphic form (man with wings and some bird features). Garuda is generally a protector with power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent. He is also known as Tarkshya and Vynateya. Garuda is the personification of courage. He is a powerful creature in the epics, whose wing flapping can stop the spinning of heaven, earth and hell.
  • Balipeetam
    Balipeetam is a sacrificial pedestal in Hindu Temples to offer food for the Kshetrapalakas(Gaurding dieties of main god) protecting the temple. According to Aagama sastra Balipeetam is placed in front of the deities. Devotees leaving their ego and ill feelings, enter with a pure mind leaving all their bad thoughts offer at the Sacrificial pedestal. They completely surrender themselves to the Almighty with their minds filled of Lord’s pure thoughts. Sacrificial pedestal is the symbol of dharma where priests offer food and devotees pray with humility and true devotion.
  • Dwajasthambam
    The Dwajasthambam is referred to as being a medium for the Heavens to be connected to the earth, which would refer to it being a spiritual connector between us earthlings, and the Supreme Being, God.The Sanskrit word for the flag is ‘dhvaja’ and it means whatever is raised. In the religious sense, whatever raises man to a higher level of understanding and activity is a ‘dhvaja.’ The flag also suggests hope and desire to overcome ignorance. There is a widespread belief that the Dwajasthambam gives an idea to a devotee from a long distance about the idol installed in the temple. A Dwajasthambam usually represents the prosperity and pride of a temple. But some texts do suggest that the bottom of a flag post symbolizes Shiva, middle portion Brahma and the top portion Vishnu.
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