What are Prayag (Prayagraj) unknown facts, significance (About Veni Daan)
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First let us know the meaning of the word Prayag or Prayaga.
Here Prayaaga = Pra + Yaaga = Pra + Yaag = first + Yaag (Yagna).
It is said in Hindu Sanatana Dharma shastras (scriptures), Sri Brahma Deva, first chose a land on the earth to perform ‘Prakrista Yaga’ at the beginning of shrusti / creation and thus Sri Brahma Deva called it as a ‘Teertha Raja’,
That is, ‘King of all pilgrimage centers’ and thus the name Prayagraj (Prayagaraja) name came into existence.
Prayag or Prayagraj is a city in the State of Uttar Pradesh situated at the sangama (confluence) of the most sacred river Ganga and Yamuna rivers. With this anther river also exists as the invisible river known as Saraswati.
Prayagraj is one of the great four sites of Kumbha Mela.
The other three being Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nasik.
Prayagraj is a highly sacred and celestial place on earth and is one of the most important.
Most important is because, it is situated at the sangama (confluence) of the three holy rivers, that is, Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati.
These three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati together is known as Triveni Sangam.
In Sanskrit ‘Veni’ means river.
Thus ‘Triveni’ means three rivers, that is, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati and since these three rivers make the sangama / confluence in this place, this place is called as ‘Triveni Sangama’.
Puranic significance of Prayagraj
Prayagraj as said above is known as ‘Teertha Raj’, that is, the king of all pilgrimage centers.
The area of Prayagraj is known as the land of Prajapati and thus this great palce is also known as ‘Prajapati Kshetra’.
In Puranas like in Padma Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata etc Prayagraj’s sanctity has been clearly established.
As give the Padma Purana, Prayagraj is best among all the places of ‘teertha kshetras’ / pilgrimages.
Sanatana Dharma’s ‘Tridevas’, that is, Trinity lords Sri Brahma Deva, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara are the presiding Deities of this region.
Prayagraj is also called as ‘Aryavarta, as Aryans are said to have settled here first.
To know ‘The real meaning of Arya’, you can click the below link:
Along with Sapta Rishis, it is believed that all Devatas including Bhagavan Sri Vishnu eternally reside in ‘Prayagraj Kshetra’ (a great place called Prayagraj).
At Prayagraj Kshetra, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is worshiped with 12 different names and forms known as ‘Dwadasha Madhava’ as given below:
Great divine people who all visited Prayagraj
Before proceeding to nearby Chitrakuta, Bhagavan Sri Rama and along with his consort Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana had spent some time in Prayagraj at the Ashram of Rishi / Sage Sri Bharadwaja.
Yudhishtira, also called as Dharmaraja on advice of Rishi / Sage Markandeya, took sacred bath at the Sangama / confluence of Triveni Sangama after the Kurukshethra / Mahabharata war.
Prayagraj has been known as the greatest pilgrimage since Rig-Veda era.
Here Madhava has different meaning. Let us understand those meanings one by one:
Madhava means, someone who is the consort of Goddess Madhavi (this is Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi’s name).
Madhava means, someone who blesses us and he is has the supreme knowledge.
Madhava means, someone who has the propounded knowledge.
Madhava means, someone who has the highest authority.
Madhava means, someone who promulgate the knowledge of the Supreme (he himself is the Supreme).
Madhava means, someone who directs an individual towards performing of good Karma / deeds.
Madhava means, someone who directs an individual towards attaining tatva / true knowledge.
Some important facts about Prayagraj (also known as Triveni Sangam)
Triveni Sangama the most sacred confluence of three of the holiest rivers, that is, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.
Prayagraj is one of the four sacred spots where a few drops of the nectar ‘Amrita” spilled while it was carried by Bhagavan Dhanvantari (an avatar of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu) during the episode of ‘Ksheera Sagara Manthanam’.
Other three being Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain.
These four places are greatest ‘teerthas’ (highest pilgrimage places) and considered to be highly holy by Hindu Sanatana Dharma.
Among them ‘Triveni Sangama’, also called as Prayagaraj (or just Prayag) is regarded as the holiest and thus this place is called as ‘Teertharaj’.
The three rivers, that is, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati maintain their identity and are visibly different as they merge.
Ganga is very shallow,
Yamuna is deep – but calm and greenish in color, but forceful and clear,
Saraswati remains hidden, she makes her presence felt underwater.
Significance of Prayagraj
Prayagraj is widely known in the terrestrial and celestial multiverses.
If we get a chance of bathing in the holy waters of ‘Triveni Sangama’, then we will get ridd of all sins and we will get all our desires fulfilled.
(Kindly note that, if someone has made sins in his / her life, then it doesn’t means that if that persons goes and takes bath, then all the sins will be vanished immediately.)
(No it’s not like that. But instead that person should do austere penance by knowing his / her past sins and should request Bhagavan Sri Vishnu to forget the sins done by her / he. This should be done on everyday basis continuously as far as the sins are completed cleansed.)
If our austerity coincides with Kumbh Mela and also on other sacred days (In Sanskrit it is known as ‘Parvakal’) the results are manifold and more meritorious.
Triveni Sangama is the site for Annual Maagha Mela, Ardha Kumbha Mela and Kumbha Mela.
Magha Mela is held every year between mid January and mid February.
Maha Kumbh Mela attracts huge gatherings of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.
Prayagraj is world famous for Maha Kumbh Mela which will be held once in 12 years.
Millions of people take part in this huge Dharmic Sabha / carnival and it is the largest gathering of people on the earth.
How to reach Prayagraj
Triveni Sangama is just 12 km away from Prayagraj city railway station and can be reached easily by auto rickshaws that regularly ply on the route.
When once you reach there, you have to travel by boat to the Triveni Sangama spot for taking bath and also for performing Veni Daana.
One importance significance of Prayagraj
‘Magha Snana’ at Prayagraj, that is in ‘Triveni Sangama’ gives 100 times of ‘Ganga Snana Phala’
Veni Daan at Triveni Sangama
Here ‘veni’ means braid of hair and ‘Veni Daan’ is performed at Triveni Sangam (Prayaga).
This is an old practice being followed by married women for the longevity of their husbands.
Husbands are supposed to comb and plait (choti) wife’s hair, and after decorating it with flowers, the end of the plait is cutoff and offered at Triveni Sangama as a charity.
Normally hair floats on any water, but at this place hair sinks straight to the bottom.
Though thousands and millions of people offer their hairs everyday, there is not a single strand of hair seen floating on this Triveni Sangama.
Divine places at and around Prayagraj
Veni Madhava Devalaya / temple
Here there are 12 Madhava Deities (as said earlier – please see above) at Prayagraj. But the Veni Madhava temple at Daraganj close to the Triveni Sangama is significant.
It is a small temple with a small idol of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu representing Veni Madhava and his consort Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi.
As per the inscriptions on the walls of the devalaya / temple, it is said that Bhagavan Sri Vishnu came to this spot as ‘Veni Madhava’ to kill a demon who was trying to possess (by drinking) the three great rivers after he was cured of a skin problem when he took a bath in their confluence at Triveni Sangama.
Akshayavata (Akshaya + Vata)
Here akshaya + vata = eternal + tree
It is a divine vruksha / tree that is indestructible.
This is situated inside the Quilla on the banks of the river Yamuna. It is said and believed that anyone who prays at this vruksha / tree or dies under it, attains moksha / salvation and its branches hang out into the Yamuna River.
Note that Bhagavan Sri Rama spent a night near this vruksha / tree while on His way to the ‘vanavasa’ (forest exile) along with his consort Sita Devi and brother Lakshamana.
Bharadwaja Ashrama is located in ‘Colnelganj’ of the city near Anand Bhavan and it is the place where Bhagavan Sri Rama is said to have visited along with his consort Sita Devi and brother Lakshmana to seek blessings of Rishi / Sage Bharadwaja.
Alopi Devi Devalaya / temple
This devalaya / temple is also known as ‘Madhaweshwari’.
“Prayaga Madhaweshwari” also known as ‘Alopi Devi Devalaya’ is located in ‘Alopi bagh’ to the west of Daraganj. This is considered as one of the ‘Ashtadasha Shakti Pitas’ (eighteen shakti pitas).
It is a unique temple where its presiding deity is in the form of a small wooden Jhula (swing) which is placed above a marble platform.
Origin of the name Alopi (her Alopi means disappeared) lies in the Hindu Dharma, that when various body parts of Goddess Sati Devi (Lord Shiva’s consort) was cutdown by Bhagavan Sri Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra, fell at various places they were sanctified as holy places for pilgrimage called ‘Shakti Pitas’.
The last part fell at this location thereby named as “Alopi” (where disappearance was concluded) and the holiest of all.
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