Indian Culture & History

Messenger of the Gods… #writephoto

via Thursday Photo Prompt: Messenger #writephoto

A Pitru Paksha special Re-post!

Piyru paksha (Pitri paksha or Pitr Paksha) is a 16–lunar day period in Hindu calendar when Hindus pay homage to their ancestor, especially through food offerings.

This was written for yet another Photo Prompt which was posted by Sue Vincent. This article will give a little insight in the mythological and cultural significance of a crow.

Crows are birds of spirit and are associated with the mysteries of life and death in almost all of the cultures. These long living birds of mysteries are the omens of change and are said to manifest the mysteries of time.

 

 

In Hinduism they represent the spirits of the dead and are considered to be messengers from the world of the Pitr (ancestors). The crowing of the crow is also considered as a good omen or a message believing that either a letter (news) will come from relatives not heard from for a long time, or that some unexpected guests/visitors will arrive.

According to a reference found in Valmiki’s Ramayan, it is believed that when Lord Rama pierced an arrow in the eyes of Jayant (Lord Indra’s Son, who disguised himself as a crow to flirt with Sita –Rama’s wife), he cursed the crows to lose the sight of one eye and be able to use only one eyeball at a time. But having mercy on them he further added that crow’s eyes will have magical powers and will be able to see ancestors and unsatisfied souls.

Further crows are also the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shani (protector of the wealth and property).

 

 

During the Pitru Paksha (literally: the forth-night of the ancestors) balls of cooked rice (Pinda Daan) is ceremoniously offered to the crows who are believed to be none other than the spirits of one’s ancestors. Crows also play a very important role in the death rites of a Hindu.

 

 

According to Norse mythology, Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) are two ravens that help spirits of the God Odin. They are believed to sit on Odin’s shoulders and whisper all the news which they see and hear into his ear. Crows along with being the spirits of the dead and magical, are also believed to be the birds of intellect and power.

 

In Greek mythology there are said to be a symbol of good luck and the messengers of the Gods to the mortal world.
Crows have a great mythology about them. They are the messengers calling us to see and understand the symbols of spiritual strength, creation and magic that is alive within our world.

 

In India seers and devotees alike have found the crowing of crows to be an invitation from the Gods. Sharing here with you an Abhanga (devitional song) composed by Sant Dnyaneshwar. This song is all about the saint’s devotion to Lord Vitthal (Vishnu).

 

 

When roughly translated it means:

“The crow’s crowing from the banks of the river is good omen

It should be a definite indication that Vitthal is coming to my home.

Oh crow, thank you for the message, I will adorn you with gold, give you curd rice and milk.

Tell me is it true that my lord (Vitthal) is coming to visit me?

Without a delay, please tell me when is he coming?”

 


The translation does no justice to the meaning and the essence of the Abhanga composed by this great saint of Maharashtra, but the music composition by Pandit Hrudhyanath Mangeshkar in Raaga Bairaagi Bhairav sung in the sweet voice of Lata Mangeshwar will surely transport you to another world.

For the power of music knows no linguistic limitations!
© 2017 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
All Rights Reserved

Hi, I'm a nature lover, a trekker and an ardent reader from Mumbai, India. After playing Lawyer for a time, I shifted to my passion and love – History! A 9 to 6 job as a Senior Executive: Research, Content Writer and Editor helps me earn by bread and butter which is ultimately spent on travel and food :)

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