Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
Here are a few of my favorites…
Back in the days, in Kerala,India, it was the practice among higher castes to excommunicate the person who crossed the sea. He would then be stripped of all privileges he enjoyed while belonging to a particular caste. He was not allowed to mingle with his people,to enter temples,or to touch the public wells, or tanks. I still don’t know why this was practiced.
The family deity of both the royal houses of Travancore and Tripunithura in Kerala, India is Lord Vishnu – as Ananthapadmanabha Swamy for the former and as Sree Poornathrayeesa for the latter. It is said that the Lord once appeared in a dream(?) of the heads of the two families at the same time and asked them to choose between progeny and prosperity. The head of the Travancore Royal family chose prosperity while the head of the Tripunithura Royal family chose progeny. Their wishes were granted.
Till date, there have been more adoptions into the Travancore Royal family than any other ruling family in Kerala, despite the fact that the temple that houses their family deity has wealth exceeding $22 billion worth of gold and jewels stored in underground vaults (not accounting for historical value), thus making it by far the wealthiest institution and place of worship of any kind in the recorded history of the world!
Tripunithura Royal family is not as wealthy as the Travancore Royal family but there is no dearth for children and it is today one of the most populous Royal households in Kerala. The family deity Sree Poornathrayeesa is also known as Santhanagopalamoorthy, or ‘The Bestower of Children’. It is believed that childless couples are blessed with children if they offer their prayers here.
The Dashavatara, or the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu as per Hindu beliefs, follows the exact route of evolution.
To quote from Wikipedia…
Some modern interpreters sequence Vishnu’s ten main avatars in a definitive order, from simple life-forms to more complex, and see the Dashavataras as a reflection, or a foreshadowing, of the modern. Such an interpretation was first propounded by in her 1877 opus , in which she proposed the following ordering of the Dashavataras:
- – fish, the first class of vertebrates; evolved in water(Indicates origin of Fishes in
- – amphibious (living in both water and land; but not to confuse with the vertebrate class amphibians)(Indicates origin of Amphibians in
- – mammals, wild land animals (Indicates Mammals origin in
- – beings that are half-animal and half-human (indicative of emergence of human thoughts and intelligence in powerful wild nature)
- – short, premature human beings
- – early humans living in forests and using weapons
- – humans living in community, beginning of civil society
- – humans practicing animal husbandry, politically advanced societies
- – humans finding enlightenment
- – advanced humans with great powers of destruction.
This has been accepted by a lot of modern thinkers. It seems believable too. However, here’s another take to it –. The sequence of the Dashavatara is, however, intriguing to say the least.