Why do Hindus say God is omnipresent?
- All Hindus believe God is omnipresent. One cannot see a tree hidden within a seed. The butter cannot be seen in milk. One cannot see the oil in mustard. The fragrance cannot be seen in the flower. One can feel pain, but cannot see it. We cannot......More
What Is the Hindu belief about the life cycle of the world?
- According to Hindu religious thought, the life cycle of this world is divided into four definite eras, or yugs. It is believed that when mankind was created it was totally pure. With time life degenerated. This degeneration can be seen in the......More
What is the Hindu belief about the Navgrah?
- A t a religious ceremony after making the first offering to Sri Ganesh, all Hindus make the next offering to the Navgrah or the nine planets. With the Hindu belief that God resides in all things, places and people, it is evident that everyone is......More
Why do Hindus hold Nature in great reverence?
- Hindus have always shown great reverence for Nature. Their places of pilgrimage are situated deep in the hills and mountains, alongside rivers, lakes or near the sea. They pray to the sun, the moon and the planets. Hindus believe that the Navgrah......More
Why do Hindus consider the Ganga holy and worthy of reverence?
- Emerging from the serene atmosphere of Gaumukh deep in the Himalayas and flowing over 2,500 kilometers to join the Bay of Bengal, the bountiful Ganga is a river of reverence to all Hindus. Not only has it been a source of great prosperity and......More
Why do Hindus greatly revere the sun?
- Of all heavenly bodies, the sun is most important. Everyone needs its benevolent favours. At the same time, everyone is afraid of its malefic influence. It is therefore natural for many people to hold it in high reverence. In the Suryopanishad,......More
Why do Hindus offer prayers to Sri Ganesh before a special occasion?
- Sri Ganeshaya Nama! Sri Ganesh is the most revered of Hindu gods. Before any special ceremony or auspicious occasion prayers are first offered to Sri Ganesh. He is vighanharta and master of Riddhi-Siddhi. This simply means that he removes all......More
Why do Hindus hold the moon in special reverence?
- Next to the sun, the moon has always attracted great attention and reverence. In Chandogya Upanishad it is said that whoever prays to Chandrama (the moon) lives a good life. All sins and bad deeds are absolved. One is free of problems and sorrow.......More
Why do Hindu revere trees?
- Hindus have always had great reverence for trees and other plants because they are the foundation of life. In the Puranas and other religious texts, great importance has been accorded to trees and plants, equating them with gods. It is......More
Why do Hindus consider the Peepal tree holy?
- Of all trees, the Peepal holds special significance amongst Hindus. In Taittriya Samhita, the Peepal tree is included amongst seven most important trees in the world. The importance of the tree is also attested in the Brahmvaivartpuran. In the......More
Why do Hindu consider Tulsi the most sacred plant?
- According to ancient Hindu belief, it is essential that at least one Tulsi plant exists in the courtyard of every home. It is customary to plant Tulsi in the month of Kartik. The Skandpuran says that one gets rid of the sins of as many lives as......More
Why do Hindus consider the cow sacred?
- Amongst Hindus, the cow is specially revered and equated with a mother and the gods. It is believed that all the gods reside within the body of a cow. It is therefore the responsibility of every person to accord it respect and do one's duty by......More
What is the Hindu attitude towards animals?
- If the cow is the most sacred of animals to Hindus, the other animals too are worthy of their reverence. Lord Shiv a uses the bull as his vehicle just as Durga rides a lion or tiger. Lord Vishnu's vehicle is Garuda, just as Lakshmi's vehicle is......More
What role do rites and rituals play in the Hindu way of life?
- Arite is a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use. It can also be referred to as a customary observance or practice. On the other hand, a ritual is a religious or solemn ceremony that......More
What is the influence of heaven and hell on the Hindu way of life?
- The mention of heaven and hell has a significant effect on the lives of Hindus. Other religions too give importance to the existence of heaven and hell. This means that people pass either through heaven or hell in between their death and rebirth.......More
The mention of heaven and hell has a significant effect on the lives of Hindus. Other religions too...
- For Hindus marriage is not just a union between a man and woman with the intention of living as man and wife or simply a physical relationship where a man and a woman live together, bear children and raise a family. It is a much deeper bond. The......More
Why do Hindus attach special importance to the selection of partners?
- Amongst Hindus it is a firm belief that marriage partners should not be from the same family. To ensure that the man and woman are not from the same gotra (lineage or ancestry), it is customary to check the gotra before marriage. Religious texts......More
Does comparing horoscopes help find compatible partners?
- Since Hindus believe that a child's destiny depends upon the configuration of the nine planets at the time and place of birth, it is commonplace to have a horoscope made soon after birth. The effect of the planets on the marital life of the......More
What is the importance of the Roka and Sagai ceremonies?
- When Then two families agree that the young man should marry the young lady, the very next step is to perform the roka or rokna ceremony. The literal translation of the word rok is to stop or halt, and the word rokna means to ban, prohibit,......More
What ceremonies are performed at a Hindu wedding?
- The marriage ceremony may vary in detail between different Hindu communities. However, despite regional variations and differences in languages, food and habits, the basic essentials of a Hindu wedding are common. On the day of the wedding......More
Why is a wedding procession taken to the bride's place?
- It is customary for the bridegroom to go to the bride's place in a procession. A band leads the procession and the groom is dressed in the finest clothes and rides a well-decorated horse. An attendant carries an umbrella over his head, as......More
Why is tying of the knot an important part of the Hindu wedding?
- Aknot literally means fastening together two ends of a string, rope or something similar. In the same way, when Hindus talk of gathbandhan in marriage, it means bringing together two individuals by symbolically tying the loose ends of their scarf......More
What ceremony fulfils the religious part of a Hindu wedding?
- Taking the pheras simply means going around the fire. Amongst Hindus it is customary for the couple getting married to go around the fire seven times in a slow formal walk. Sikhs walk around the Guru Granth Sahib. According to the religious......More
Why is Saptpadi an essential part of the Hindu wedding ceremony?
- After going around the fire seven times, the next ceremony is saptpadi; literally the seven steps. In Hindu law, a marriage is not complete without saptpadi. Here, the bride and groom move step by step in unison taking seven steps, with the......More
What marital vows do the husband and wife take in a Hindu marriage?
- After the marriage ceremony is concluded the bride and groom are told about their duties and responsibilities in married life. To affirm their faith in building a lasting marital bond, both partners make separate vows. These vows direct the......More
Vows by the Husband
- I will consider my wife to be the better half. I will look after her just as I look after myself. Accepting her as in-charge of the home, I shall plan things in consultation with her. I will never express dissatisfaction about any shortcomings in......More
What Is the purpose of changing seats on getting married?
- When Then a man and woman get married, the first thing they do is change seats so that the wife sits on the left of the husband. According to the Mahabharata, Shanti Parv, 235118, a wife is part of the husband's body. For this reason she is......More
What is the significance of the husband applying sindoor in the wife's hair?
- When Then the formal marriage ceremony is completed, the bride and groom change seats. Initially, the bride sits on the right side of the groom. Once married, the priest asks them to change seats. According to Hindu custom, the wife always sits......More
Why do married women wear a mangalsutra around the neck?
- Mangal refers to the planet Mars. Mangal also means auspicious. Sutra denotes thread. Therefore, Mangalsutra literally means an auspicious thread. According to Hindu custom, married women wear a mangalsutra around the neck since it is symbolic of......More
What is the purpose of Shiksha in a Hindu wedding?
- Shiksha literally means to teach or give instruction. Just when the marriage ceremony is complete and the newly wedded couple ready to leave, it is customary to impart shiksha to the young bride who will soon assume the responsibilities of a......More
What is the concluding ceremony In Hindu wedding?
- Doli is the ceremony when the groom and his family take the bride away to their home after marriage. The word doli means a palanquin, which was used in earlier times by women as a mode of travel. After the marriage, it was customary for a groom......More
What are Hindu views on conception and childbirth?
- Marriage brings a man and woman together and they start a new life where one complements the other. Hindus believe that neither the man nor the woman is complete. Together they project the complete picture. This is the first step in establishing......More
Why do many Hindus perform the Chhochak ceremony?
- It is customary that when a woman is blessed with a son, the child's maternal uncle (mama) and maternal grandfather (nana) present clothes, ornaments and other things to the baby, parents and relatives. This custom is known as chhochak ceremony.......More
What is the purpose of the Nishkraman ceremony?
- Nishkraman literally means going forth, or going out. This ceremony is performed the first time a child goes out of the home. The religious texts say: The nishkraman ceremony aims at wishing the child a long healthy life. The......More
What is the purpose of the Annprashan ceremony?
- In our religious texts it is said: The food reaching the child through the mother may not be as good as it should be. The child should be introduced to good food. To wean the child away from the food reaching him through the mother,......More
What is the purpose of the Mundan ceremony?
- The mundan or chudakarm ceremony is the time when a child's head is shaved. It is customary to perform this ceremony before a child is a year old, or after the completion of two years, that is, in the beginning of the third year. Some prefer to......More
What is the purpose of a choti?
- It is a common practice for Hindus to keep a choti or shikha - a braid of long hair on top of the head. The end of the hair is tied in a simple knot. Although modern youth avoid this, traditionalists still insist upon it since it is an ancient......More
It is a common practice for Hindus to keep a choti or shikha - a braid of long hair on top of the...
- Amongst traditional Hindus the teacher has always been accorded an important position. Even amongst kings and emperors, the role of the teacher was not diluted. The teacher was responsible for not only teaching the three Rs, but also etiquette......More
What is the importance of Diksha?
- The attainment of wisdom begins with diksha, meaning initiation. The guru's favour and the student's devotion together initiate the learning process. The guru agrees to share his wisdom and experience and the student surrenders himself to follow......More
What is the Importance of Dakshina to the teacher?
- When Then a student receives invaluable knowledge from a teacher, it is only appropriate that he makes token payment for it in the form of dakshina or an honorarium. By giving the honorarium the student affirms his faith and devotion to the......More
Why is the earth like the mother?
- For many Hindus it is customary to touch the ground with reverence on stepping out of bed. To all Hindus the earth is a mother. It provides all the needs of mankind just as a mother provides the needs of a child. The practice of touching the......More
For many Hindus it is customary to touch the ground with reverence on stepping out of bed. To all...
- The word pranayam is made up of two words, pran and ayama. The word pran means the vital breath or vital air. The word ayama denotes regulation or control So, pranayam means regulated or controlled breathing. The purpose of pranayam is to take......More
The word pranayam is made up of two words, pran and ayama. The word pran means the vital breath or...
- Amongst Hindus, service to parents is described as the best service. Religious texts equate parents with gods. Amongst parents, the mother has been accorded a higher position than the father. The mother who gives birth and the motherland that......More
What is the purpose of conveying respect through Charan Sparsh?
- The word charan means feet and sparsh denotes to touch. Together they mean to touch one's feet. It has been a Hindu tradition since Satyug, Tretayug and Dwaparyug to touch the feet of one's father and mother, teachers and elders. The custom has......More
Why do Hindus use the swastika on auspicious occasions?
- The swastika ~ is a benedictory or auspicious mark in the form of a cross, the four arms of which are bent at right angles. Besides Hindus, other communities and religions also consider this mark auspicious. It is therefore customary to make this......More
Why should all guests be respected?
- To Hindus a guest is like a god. Serving a guest is like serving God. It is believed that one can offer no greater welcome than to offer hospitality to a guest. The welcome of a guest at the doorstep is not only a responsibility but has been......More
Why do Hindus consider charity as a responsibility towards society?
- It is the responsibility of everyone to give charity. One should give charity as a duty towards society and expect nothing in return. It is very noble to feed a hungry person. However, imparting knowledge is even better. Feeding a person is......More
What is the purpose of fasts Hindus?
- The purpose of fasting is not to starve oneself. A fast is symbolic of self-control. Since food is the most common weakness in mankind, control over eating is considered difficult. There are ample examples in the Puranas that saints and sages......More
What benefits accrue from Maun-vrat?
- Maun-vrat literally means a vow to keep silent. For spiritual growth it is essential that one's speech must be pure. To acquire purity of speech the practice of silence is important. Hindu religious texts commend maun-vrat for this purpose. In......More
Why are prayers offered to Ma lakshmi on Diwali?
- On Diwali evening every Hindu offers prayers to Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity. It is believed that on Diwali Lakshmi visits all homes. As a symbolic gesture many people paint the feet of Lakshmi entering from the threshold. Prayers are......More
Do pilgrimages really benefit people?
- In ancient times, when people thought they were ready to learn more about God, they set out on a pilgrimage. The journey was difficult, but it would be a unique experiment in interacting with people and situations. They went to a place that was......More
Why do Hindus aspire to go on the Char Dham Yatra?
- Char means four. Dham denotes the abode of a deity and yatra refers to a pilgrimage. Therefore, Char Dham Yatra means pilgrimage to offer obeisance to the four important abodes of Hindu gods. It is noteworthy that the four dhams are situated at......More
Why are Kumbh Melas celebrated only at four places of pilgrimage?
- A pilgrimage unique to India is the Kumbh Mela celebrated every 12 years. It is celebrated at four different places of pilgrimage at different times. Millions of people from within the country and abroad get together to bathe in the holy......More
Does the 'evil eye' exist?
- Everyone is afraid of the evil eye. This is something not restricted to Hindus. Even in other countries people are wary of the evil eye. The evil eye does not hurt only living beings. It can damage inanimate things too. The evil eye can befall......More
Is prayer an important element in Hindu life?
- For Hindus, praying to God is a part of everyday life. It may be a short thanksgiving to God or a request for some favour. Many are involved in a complete session with all its frills. Some pray individually. Others pray in a group. India is a......More
Why should one face the east when praying?
- When Then offering prayers it is suggested that a person must face the east. Even during auspicious ceremonies the person conducting the ceremony faces the east. There are specific reasons for this. The sun rises in the east. The Vedas accord......More
What is the importance of the asana we sit upon when praying?
- Amongst Hindus it is customary to sit cross-legged on the floor during a prayer or ceremony. People use an asana to sit upon. An asana can be a small square piece of mat or carpet, or even the skin of a deer, leopard or tiger. Kusha grass is......More
Why is the lotus flower most important to Hindus?
- In Hindu spiritual contemplation the lotus has a special place. It is not only considered pure and beautiful, but also a symbol of goodwill, peace, prosperity and happiness. It helps get rid of unpleasant things and is referred to as the king of......More
What items do Hindus use at prayer time?
- Offering prayers is not a simple everyday routine for Hindus. It is a ritual. India is a land of gods and goddesses. Everyone has the option to choose the god or goddess of one's choice. Many pray to several gods at the same time. Even when a......More
Why do Hindus chant a variety of mantras during prayer?
- The word mantra is derived from Sanskrit and literally means instrument of thought. It could be a word, a phrase or sound recited or sung repeatedly. It aids concentration when meditating. The syllables in a mantra are linked in a definite......More
How often do Hindus pray everyday?
- In the religious texts and the code of recommended activities, praying at dusk has been accorded special significance. Therefore, sages and saints have been offering prayers thrice daily - at sunrise, midday and dusk, just as the sun dips below......More
Do all Hindus follow a complex procedure of prayer?
- Every individual is unique and at a particular level of mental and spiritual development. Numerous recommendations in religious texts should not overawe a person. The details are merely meant to acquaint one with what has been said. Adopt what......More
How important is group prayer for Hindus?
- Group prayers are common amongst all Hindus. Around the year there are many occasions when families or groups or even communities get together to pray, hear religious discourses and sing devotional songs. Religious discourses and activities have......More
Why do Hindus clap when singing devotional songs?
- It is customary to clap as one sings devotional songs and hymns in groups. Sri Ramakrishan too recommended clapping during morning and evening prayers. This helps cleanse one's sins. Just as birds fly away when one claps standing under a tree,......More
Why do Hindus revere the Sunderkand?
- To all Hindus the Ramayana is an important religious text. It describes the life of Sri Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is divided into seven parts. Of these, Sunderkand is considered the most important. The reading of Sunderkand......More
What are the essentials in religious ceremonies conducted by Hindus?
- Religious ceremonies have an important role to play in the lives of most Hindus. A Brahmin Priest usually conducts these ceremonies. He must be well versed with the shlokas and mantras recommended for specific ceremonies. Many of these are from......More
Why is a coconut used in all Hindu religious ceremonies?
- Amongst Hindus at all religious ceremonies, auspicious functions and activities the coconut plays an important part. The coconut is considered auspicious, symbolic of wealth, honour, progress and good fortune. Therefore it is customary to offer a......More
Why is a kalash seen at all Hindu religious ceremonies?
- When Then conducting religious ceremonies a kalash (water pot) takes the pride of place amongst other paraphernalia. It is mostly made of copper. Other metals used are brass or stainless steel. The kalash is filled with water and the top is......More
What is the purpose of sprinkling water at the beginning of a ceremony?
- When the person who is to perform the religious ceremony is seated the priest sprinkles water on him and chants the following mantra: One may be in a pure or an impure state. In any situation if one remembers Lord Vishnu, one becomes pure.......More
Why is lighting the lamp important at all religious ceremonies?
- In India there is a tradition of lighting a lamp at the beginning of a religious, social or cultural ceremony in the belief that the presence of Agni (fire) ensures success. Fire is one of the five elements that form the human body. Fire is also......More
Why is tilak applied on the forehead in a religious ceremony?
- A tilak is an ornamental or religious mark on the forehead, also called tika. According to Hindu religious texts, applying tilak or tika is necessary at all religious ceremonies, without which no Hindu ceremony is complete. From birth till death......More
What Is the purpose of aachman at the beginning of a ceremony?
- At the beginning of every religious ceremony it is customary for the priest and the person conducting the ceremony to take water in the right palm thrice and drink it. This water is termed aachman. Religious texts direct that aachman be......More
What Is the purpose of a yagya and offering ahuti?
- Ahuti is an oblation or offering. It can also refer to a sacrifice. However, when conducting a yagya it is customary to have a havan or fire sacrifice. The fire is ceremoniously lit, symbolic of inviting Agni, the fire God. Thereafter as mantras......More
Why is it important to chant mantras loudly?
- It is believed that during a yagya the gods come down and grant the wishes of a person performing the yagya. The power of Vedic and yagya mantras is such that the gods become helpless and are persuaded to come down. When mantras are ceremoniously......More
What is the importance of charanamrit in religious ceremonies?
- The word charanamrit comprises two words, charan and amrit. Charan means feet and amrit is the celestial nectar that makes one immortal Together the words means nectar of God's feet. In all temples after the morning and evening......More
What does Panch Mahayagya mean?
- Religious texts say the householder must perform Panch Mahayagya. In the Manusmriti, 3/70, it is said: The five mahayagyas include Brahmayagya - teaching of Vedas, Pitrayagya - devoted to forefathers, Devyagya - devoted to the gods,......More
Why are temples and deities important to Hindus?
- Of all living things only mankind has established places of prayer. It is immaterial in what country an individual lives or to what class, community or religion one belongs. It also does not matter whether an individual calls the place of prayer......More
Why do Hindus ring a bell when they enter a temple?
- Temples where bells keep ringing are ones where the deities are awake to the call of devotees. Bells are hung at the entry of the temple and rung to inform the deity of the devotee's arrival. The use of bells during arti is to tell all those......More
Why is pran pratishtha important before an idol becomes a deity?
- Pran pratishtha means infusing life into an idol. Without breath - pran - a human body is nothing. Similarly, an idol is a piece of metal, wood or stone until life is infused into it. This is done through a detailed ceremony by chanting mantras......More
Does Idol worship by Hindus promote religious feeling?
- Hindus are often criticised for their overwhelming belief in idol worship. In every Hindu home one finds pictures and small idols of gods. When Hindus believe in one Supreme Being and the omnipresence of God, what's the need for idol worship?......More
Why don' Hindus perform auspicious ceremonies during Chaturmas?
- Every year beginning with the 11th day of the moonlit period of Asadh (fourth month in the Hindu calendar) until the 11th day of the moonlit period of Kartik (eighth month of the Hindu calendar), i.e., a period of four months, it is believed that......More
Why do Hindu gods and goddesses use different animals as vehicles?
- It is said that all gods and goddesses have vehicles that make up for any deficiency they may have. For this reason, all gods and goddesses have different vehicles amongst birds and animals. The religious texts describe the different vehicles of......More
Why do Hindus walk around the deity in a temple?
- When in a temple, it is customary to circumambulate the deity. This practice is not based upon blind faith but has a scientific basis. When a temple is established and life is infused into the deity through a proper pran pratishtha ceremony,......More
What does a Hindu achieve through sanyas?
- The fourth and last stage of life is sanyas - a very significant period of life. According to Hindus, there are four basic aims of human existence. The first, dharm relates to discharge of one's duty. The second, arth relates to acquiring of......More
Why do Hindus cremate the dead?
- Whoever is born must die. Amongst Hindus it is customary to do the last rites by consigning the body to fire. On this occasion, all relatives, friends and acquaintances get together to mentally convey a farewell to the departed soul. Their......More
Why do Hindus immerse ashes of the dead in holy rivers like the Ganga?
- The remnant of the dead body after burning is left behind in the form of ashes. Hindus respectfully call these ashes phool - literally flowers - to express devotion and respect for the departed soul When children are symbolically referred to as......More
Is the soul really immortal?
- Hindu religious texts assert that the soul is part of the Supreme Spirit. Therefore, like God, the soul too is eternal. However, in this world the soul has an entity. When the soul enters a body it is given the name of the person. The soul has no......More
Meditation in Health and Diseases
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Meditation in Health and Diseases
- PSYCHODYNAMICS OF POSITIVE HEALTHEveryone wants to keep oneself healthy, But, most of the people think, that absence of disease is a sign of good health. It's a myth because a disease is like an iceberg. As only the tip of the iceberg is......More
Meditation in Health and Diseases
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Meditation in Health and Diseases
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Meditation in Health and Diseases
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