This temple is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas located on the Indian subcontinent. The Devi is said be swayambhu (self-manifested) on a rock on the sheer face of a mountain. She is surrounded by seven (sapta in Sanskrit) peaks (shrungain Sanskrit), hence the name: Sapta Shrungi Mata (mother of the seven peaks). The image […]
The Qutub Minar (Urdu: قطب مینار) is a tower located in Delhi, India. It is the world’s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft). Construction commenced by Qutb-ud-din Aibak who won Delhi from Prithviraj under Muhammad Ghori as his commander in chief, and finished by Iltutmish. The Qutub Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex.
Structure Of Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar in red and buff sandstone is the highest tower in India . projected balcony encircling the Minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb design, more conspicuously in the first story.
Inspired by the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan and wishing to surpass it, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced construction of the Qutub Minar in 1193; but conical]] shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. Numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari characters in different places of the Minar reveal the history of Qutb. According to the inscriptions on its surface it was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq (AD 1351-88) and Sikandar Lodi (AD 1489-1517).
Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the northeast of Minar was built by Qutbu’d-Din Aibak in AD 1198. It is the earliest mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of 27 Hindu and Jain temples, Later, a coffee arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged,by Shams ud Din Iltutmish (AD 1210-35) and Allaud-din Khilji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of 4th century AD, according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of Lord Vishnu) on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra. A deep socket on the top of the ornate capital indicates that probably an image of Garuda was fixed into it.it is situated in delhi.
The Qutub Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Muqarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. The Qutub Minar is itself built on the ruins of the Lal Kot, the Red Citadel in the city of Dhillika, the capital of the Tomars and the Chauhans, the last Hindu rulers of Delhi. The complex initially housed 27 ancient Hindu and Jain temples, which were destroyed and their debris used to build the Qutub minar. One engraving on the Qutub Minar reads, “Shri Vishwakarma prasade rachita” (Conceived with the grace of Vishwakarma.)
The purpose for building this monument has been variously speculated upon. Some say the minaret was used to calling people for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosqueoffer prayer but it is so tall that you can’t hear the person standing on the top. The earliest extant mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. Many historians believe that the Qutub Minar was named after the first Turkish sultan (whose descendant- Wajid Ali Shah-repaired it), Qutub-ud-din Aibak, but others contend that it was named in honour of Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, a saint from Transoxiana who came to live in India and was greatly venerated by Iltutmish.
The nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutub complex. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety.
The minar did receive some damage because of earthquakes and lightnings on more than a couple of occasions but was reinstated and renovated by the respective rulers. During the rule of Firoz Shah, the minar’s two top floors were damaged due to lightning but were repaired by Firoz Shah. In the year 1505, an earthquake struck and it was repaired by Sikandar Lodi. Later on in the year 1794, the minar faced another earthquake and it was Major Smith, an engineer who repaired the affected parts of the minar. He replaced Firoz Shah’s pavilion with his own pavilion at the top. The pavilion was removed in the year 1848 by Lord Hardinge and now it can be seen between the Dak Bungalow and the Minar in the garden. The floors built by Firoz Shah can be distinguished easily as the pavilions was built of white marbles and are quite smooth as compared to other ones.
Gallery Of Qutub Minar
From a Russian Indologist
Interview of Dr. S.I. Tulaev with His Holiness
Dr. S.I. Tulaev, Russian Indologist of distinction, was visibly moved when he met His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya Svamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha on 24-2-1965 near Sunkuvar Chatram about forty miles from Madras.
His Holiness at the first instance made kind enquiries about Dr. Tulaev’s studies.
Dr. Tulaev: Sir, I am very much thankful to Your Holiness for having kindly given me the audience. I will not take much of Your Holiness time. I shall ask you only two questions. Sir could you kindly oblige me? The first is this: A man has no belief in religion He does not adopt any rituals, never goes to the temple or church, does not need any dogmas. But he always thinks good and does good throughout his life. Could you kindly tell me, Sir, whether such a man has any salvation at the end of his life?
His Holiness closed his eyes and was in meditation for a few seconds. The whole surrounding was absolutely calm, divinely calm. After the divinely pause, His Holiness replies `Yes’.
At this answer, Dr. Tulaev was overwhelmed with joy, a joy that he never experienced in life and for which his heart was longing all these years. He looked as if he has attained the unattainable. He whispered, `I thank you Sir, I thank you Sir, I thank you. I am satisfied’
His Holiness : (enlarging His answer) Do not think that I am giving you this answer after seeing the modern standards of life. No. This is said in our ancient scripture themselves. There are many aspirants. The Agnostics, those who enquire into the concept of God and by using their own brain, come to the conclusion that there is no God. Secondly there are the Buddhists, especially the Sunyavadins, who believe in non-existence. Thirdly the Jains, who believe in suffering by putting their body to various austerities, vratas. Fourthly, Saivaites, Aishnavites and others who believe in a personal God and spend their life in devotion; and lastly; the Advaitins who believe that the entire world, the cosmic reality is the apparent manifestation of one and the same ultimate Reality. All these aspirants get near the truth. the difference between them lies in their proximity to God. Step by step these five aspirants are neared the Reality. If one enquired into the nature of God by using his own mind, whatever be the conclusion arrived at, even if it is a total rejection of Godhood, such an aspirant is far higher than the idler who never worries about the search after truth. This no my saying but is said in our scriptures.
Dr. Tulaev who was very much satisfied with this answer, asked the second question.
Dr. Tulaev: Sir, I am able to understand Visishtadvaita to a certain extent. In Advaita I am puzzled by the word `Maya’. `Maya’, you say, is nothing. it does not exist. They why call it Maya?
His Holiness: Visishta-advaitins are also a particular type of Advaitins. They are qualified monists. They consider Maya as the body of God or Brahman. We (Advaitins) believe that Maya is the apparent manifestation of the Reality. I shall give you an example. One makes toys in the form of vegetables out of sugar and gives them appropriate colours. A child who sees them thinks that they re real vegetables. This knowledge is not a real knowledge. When the child grows old, he realises that they are all sugar and the forms are only apparent.
In this a knowledge that was not read did exist and on getting the real knowledge, the previous one disappears. In the same way, a rope is mistaken for a snake in dim light. It creates all the effects in spite of being unreal, but when the real knowledge is gained, the earlier one vanishes. Similar to this is Maya. The supreme Brahman is real. The universe with its varied forms is nothing but Brahaman. Yet we see the reality in its manifold forms. The thing that presents this varied manifestation is Maya. When the real knowledge is attained his manifold manifestation disappears as in the case of Brahmajnanis. You can neither say that maya exists nor that it does not exist. You may equate it with zero. Zero has neither value is it devoid of value. If you write simple `O’ it has no value. If you add any other numeral before, it gains value. Maya is something like that.
Dr. Tulaev was struck with he answer. He was seen repeating – “like zero”, now I understand”, like zero”.
The Acharya was seen smiling at this.
Dr. Tulaev: I am completely satisfied, Sir. Now I understand Advaita. I am very much thankful to you, Sir,
Dr. Tulaev was hesitating to ask further. He asked His Holiness permission to taking a photograph of His Holiness. His Holiness smilingly granted the request. Since His Holiness was standing in the shade. Dr. Tulaev was still hesitant, because of insufficient light. In a fraction of a second, the great Acharya realising the predicament of this new devotee, moved to sunlight, whereupon he quickly took a snap. His Holiness blessed the Russian with an apple.
On his way back Dr. Tulaev remarked: “Here is the true Indian sage who is living a simple life in the midst of such tiny villages, with people in such villages carrying the highest philosophy. It is only such sages that bless you with the answers you seek in a few seconds. I consider this a fortunate day in my life. I am happy that I have been able to meet him.”
(contributed by: Mohan Rao on 07.10.2011)
Bananas are an often-overlooked but excellent source of tryptophan, an amino acid your body converts into serotonin – which boosts your mood and promotes restful sleep. Bananas also contain magnesium and potassium, which help your muscles relax, and even have a bit of melatonin, a hormone your body produces when it’s time to go to sleep.
2. Tart Cherry Juice
Cherries are another natural source of the “sleep hormone” melatonin, and research shows that levels are elevated in people who drink tart cherry juice regularly. Plus, one study found that drinking tart cherry juice improved sleep quality, increased total sleep time by about 25 minutes and boost “sleep efficiency,” a measure of sleep quality, by up to 6%.[iii]
1. Almond Butter
Spread a tablespoon or two of almond butter on apple or banana slices, or even eat it straight from the jar. Almonds are a good source of sleep-promoting, muscle-relaxing magnesium, and they contain just enough protein to help keep your blood sugar levels steady while you sleep (without weighing you down like heavier protein sources).
It was the end of the school year, and a kindergarten teacher was receiving gifts from her pupils.
The florist’s son handed her a gift. She shook it, held it overhead, and said, “I bet I know what it is. Flowers.”
“That’s right!” the boy said, “But, how did you know?” “Oh, just a wild guess,” she said.
The next pupil was the sweet shop owner’s daughter. The teacher held her gift overhead, shook it, and said, “I bet I can guess what it is. A box of sweets.” “That’s right, but how did you know?” asked the girl. “Oh, just a wild guess,” said the teacher.
The next gift was from the son of the liquor storeowner. The teacher held the package overhead, but it was leaking. She touched a drop off the leakage with her finger and put it to her tongue. “Is it wine?” she asked.
“No,” the boy replied, with some excitement. The teacher repeated the process, tasting a larger drop of the leakage. “Is it champagne?” she asked.
“No,” the boy replied, with more excitement. The teacher took one more big taste before declaring, “I give up, what is it?”
With great glee, the boy replied, “It’s a puppy!”
(contributed by: Mohan Rao on 25.10.2011)