This category is for questions and answers about Hinduism. Hinduism is the third most followed religion worldwide. Some of the principles of Hinduism include traditionalism, reincarnation, personal duty, and karma.
Asked in Hinduism, Authors, Poets, and Playwrights
Who wrote the book 'Rashtrapitamah Swami Dayanand Saraswati'?
Asked in Hinduism, Philosophy and Philosophers
General philosophy of Swami Dayanand Saraswati?
Swami Dayanand Saraswati did not spell out any new religion, faith or philosophy. He preached only to go back to true original Vedas - to follow their teachings and lessons to become Aryas- the Shreshtha men or the perfect men. For that he founded Arya Samaj and gave the Ten Principles of Universality. Dayanand preached for Total and Absolute faith in God and Truth. By adopting these Principles of Sarvey Bhavantu Sukhina, Sarvey Bhavantu Niramaya ( May all the people be happy, comfortable and stay healthy ) The whole Universe shall be one family of equals sharing brotherhood. He believed in the welfare of all living beings of the Universe as enunciated in the Ten Principles of Arya Samaj
Asked in History of India, Hinduism, India
In what way Swami Dayanand contributed to freedom movement of India?
Asked in Hinduism, Religious Literature
What are the sacred texts of Hinduism?
THE VEDAS are the most important and sacred texts of Hindus. The Vedas are the world's most ancient scripture. The earliest written Vedas date to about 1400 B.C.E (Before the Common Era), but the songs they capture in letters are a great deal older, although no one can say by how much. The language of the Vedas is Sanskrit, a language that is so holy that the very word Sanskrit means "perfect". There are four Vedas: The Rig Veda The Sama Veda The Yajur Veda The Atharvana Veda Each Veda has four layers: Samhithas (a collection of hymns) Brahmanas (directions about sacrifice) Aranyaka (the forest songs) Upanishads (which searches for the meaning behind it all) Other sacred texts of Hindus are: Ramayana Mahabharata Bhagwad Geeta Srimad Bhagvatam Manusmriti Shiva Purana Hinduism doesn't have a single Holy or Sacred Book which has to be followed. Also, some say Hinduism is a way of life than a religion to have one set of rules. Vedas, Bhagavadgeeta, Bhgavatam, Ramayana, mahabharata, Upanishand, Purana
In Hindu mythology what is snake symbolic of?
To know the answer to this question we must know the seven basic forces we have and the gods associated with them. The seven basic forces and gods: 1. Dreaming force - Indra 2. Illusory force - Shakti 3. Voluntary force - Brahma 4. Semi voluntary force - Vishnu 5. Involuntary force - Shiva 6. Status altering force - Shani 7. Compulsive force - Yama. Hindu gods with snakes: It is obvious that of the seven basic gods only Vishnu and Shiva are associated with snakes. Vishnu has five or seven headed Shesha. Shiva has a single headed cobra around his neck or upper arms. Thus, the snakes have something to do with the Semi voluntary and Involuntary forces. It must be mentioned here that the Involuntary force is just the negative half of the Semi voluntary force. The Semi voluntary force: In this, there is a layer of Voluntary force trapped between two layers of Involuntary force. Beyond the two layers of Involuntary force are the positive and negative attitudes, which act as walls of this force. The central layer of Voluntary force is what we call 'I'. It is the reference state for our thoughts and movements and emotions are produced in reference to it. The Semi voluntary force and the serpent: Whenever there are changes in our comfort we raise or lower our reference state to avoid production of emotions. Since this movement is limited by our positive and negative attitudes the graph of movement of the reference state looks like the movement of a serpent. Thus, Vishnu is prominently associated with the serpent Shesha. The Semi voluntary force is the default force and the other forces are just modifications of this force. Thus, Vishnu enables us to select any of the remaining six gods. Because Vishnu gives us seven options the serpent has seven heads indicating the seven options that we have. Since Indra and Yama are supposed to play a role after our death only, our options may be just five and thus Shesha may have just five heads. The Involuntary force: The Involuntary force is just the negative half of the Semi voluntary force. The movement of the reference state here is minimal and the option is just one. Thus, Shiva has a single headed small cobra around his neck or upper arms. Thus, in Hindu mythology snake is symbolic of our reference state 'I'.
Asked in Hinduism, India, History of India
What are the achievements of Swami Dayanand?
Why are the Vedas important to Hindus?
Vedas are considered the sacred books in Hinduism. There are four Vedas: Rig Veda Yajur Veda Sama Veda Atharvana Veda Vedas contain complete knowledge of life and beyond. Most of the Hinduism's rituals, beliefs and practices are based on these Vedas. Laymen cannot understand the Vedas as they may not be well versed in the language - Sanskrit. As a result only few scholars devote their time, in the study of Vedas. However, Srimad Bhagwatam and the Bhagwad Gita contains the essence of Vedas and are easily understood by most people. Hence, Vedas are important for Hindus.
Asked in Hinduism
What is the link between karma dharma and moksha?
Before trying to understand the relationship between Karma, Dharma and Moksha we have to keep in mind that Moksha, in its original form, was banned as it gives unlimited freedom to individuals, which would make the life of the individual and the society he lives in highly unstable. Karma, Dharma and Moksha as we know today: We believe that good Karma or good deed enables us to have a higher Varna in the next life and a bad Karma makes us have a lower Varna. Moksha is defined as putting an end to cycles of reincarnations. Dharma enables us to attain Moksha without getting any freedom. Moksha attained through Dharma just makes us follow Dharma effortlessly and redefine Dharma to a small extent. The original Karma, Dharma and Moksha: 1. Karma: Karma is a means to attain Moksha. Moksha enables us to have freedom to change our Varna. There are four Varnas. 1. Brahmana 2. Kshatriya 3. Vaishya 4. Shudra. All the four are a blend of rest and activity. Karma enables us to blend rest and activity in four distinct ways. In other words there are four distinct kinds of Karma, each enabling us to have a distinct Varna. 2. Moksha: Moksha is a means to unlimited controllable and reversible freedom. In Brahmana Varna there is no freedom. The freedom is more in Kshatriya Varna, still more in Vaishya Varna and practically unlimited in Shudra Varna. 3. Dharma: Dharma is virtual law. It is law that we can't violate even if we want to. Thus, Dharma is eternal. Dharma is maximum in Brahmana Varna and least in Shudra Varna. In the redefined form we have to attain Moksha through Dharma only. Thus, when we attain Moksha we would not get any freedom but would just be able to follow Dharma effortlessly. Thus, Dharma and Karma are means to attain Moksha.
Asked in Hinduism
What is the Kalpa Vigraha?
I have gathered the information below from various postings on the net. The Kalpa Vigraha is a small image of Shiva that is believed to be the oldest Hindu idol discovered so far on earth. University of California Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley which conducted the carbon dating of the wooden box that contained the idol and organic deposits in crevices of the idol itself indicated that it was at least 28,450 years old. This means that the idol was not even from the Kali Yuga. It was from a previous Yuga called the Dwapara Yuga. None of the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia or Mohendojaro-Harappa had even begun at that time. The wooly mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger were still roaming the planet! The Kalpa Vigraha is quite small, weighing only about 47gms. In size it is almost small enough to hide in a fist of your hand. No photographs of the Kalpa Vigraha are available except the four photographs released by the American CIA showing the front, back, top and bottom of the idol. The photographs seem to indicate that it is made of a brass-like alloy and it is quite worn-out. There is also pitting of the metal at the base of the pedestal of the vigraha. Though it is a Hindu idol, its origin is not modern India. It was brought from Tibet to Nepal by a Buddhist monk in an unusual wooden box about the year 1959. Later the Tibetan monk and his guards were killed by invading Chinese forces. American CIA officials posted in Nepal, not knowing what to do with the wooden box containing the Kalpa Vigraha, sent it to a secret airbase in India and later transported it to a military camp called Camp Hale in Colorado. It was later kept at a CIA store-room in Washington DC labeled "ST Circus Mustang-0183". Initially the Americans did not know what it was or why the monk had placed it in their care. Or possibly they had been given some information which they did not publicize at that time. It was the loss of the Kalpa Vigraha and the result of a CIA experiment that broke the news about the vigraha world-wide. The vigraha is now believed to be somewhere in India. The CIA conducted some experiments that involved making subjects drink water in which the vigraha was immersed for nine days. Upon monitoring the lives of all the subjects who drank this water it was found that they all lived unusually long lives. Many had crossed the age of 110. It was this astounding discovery, a direct result of the experiments, which made breaking news when retired CIA officials revealed this to the media in 2008.
Asked in Hinduism, Religious Literature
Why lord shiva is worshiped in the form of linga?
There is a long story behind this : Once upon a time lord brahma and lord vishnu started quarrelling.The topic was that who is more stronger between them.Then lord shiva appeared as a linga and said whoever reaches the top of the linga will be declared the winner. Both of them started to climb on the kinga but none of them reached the top.From that day it was declared that lord shiva is the strongest of all.And this form of shiva is mostly worshipped The absolute fact about linga worship: To understand about the worship of linga we must know about the seven basic Hindu gods. The seven basic Hindu gods: They are, 1. Dreaming force - Indra - feet 2. Illusory force - shakti - knees 3. Voluntary force - Brahma - hip/ genitals 4. Semi voluntary force - Vishnu - abdomen 5. Involuntary force - Shiva - chest 6. Status altering force - Shani - neck and shoulders 7. Compulsive force - Yama - head Vishnu, the preserver, is the default Hindu god and thus he enables us to maintain status quo. Vishnu force therefore has inbuilt control mechanisms. The advantage of Shiva: In a crisis, Shiva enables us to achieve more than Vishnu can enable us to. Thus, Shiva worship is innovated to enable us to achieve more even in the absence of a crisis. This we achieve by inhibiting our sexual urge, which is symbolized by destruction of Kama (the god of sex), whom Shiva destoys by opening his third eye. Shiva and the linga: The Shiva force is uncontrollable force. We may even inadvertedly start using Status altering Shani force and Compulsive Yama force, thus inviting disaster. Therefore, whenever we worship Shiva we need a counter force. The Brahma force, is the best antidote for this. Brahma, the creator, is symbolized by the genitals. Since we use Shiva force by destroying our sexual urge, the sex symbol is the logical counter force. Brahma and linga: Originally, Brahma represented the hip and thus the genitals. However, worshipping Brahma as an independent god resulted in starting of bad parallel lives independent of our main life, symbolized by demons. It is for this reason that we believe that Brahma is the god of demons. Therefore, Brahma was supposed to originate from the navel of Vishnu and thus represent the voluntary component of the Semi voluntary force. Thus, the genitals remained unrepresented. The linga later got associated with Shiva, thus making Shiva a complete and independent god. Therefore, we don't worship Shiva in the form of a lingam. We worship linga when Shiva makes us uncontrollable. Together, Shiva and linga enable us to have a powerful controllable force. linga has no front or back;beginning or end pointing infinite god;linga is for identity
Asked in Hinduism
Pinda Daan or Pind Daan at Gaya?
WHAT IS PIND DAAN This is the Hindu belief that after the death, soul of human being still remain in this materialistic world. Just because of the loss of body ( due to death ) someone can not detach himself / herself from this world. The pull of Love, kindness, affection for his / her family, friends, relatives etc. and the affinity for the materialistic world prevent him to go for the extreme and ultimate departure. As a result, being a bodiless state that man (without body) gets pain. He wants to do many things but can not. They can not or even do not want to make themselves free from this materialistic world. 'PINDA DAAN' according to Hindu Belief Gives them an ultimate relief and paves the way for their departure to the ultimate world of Peace. Gaya is extremely Holy place for offering of Pindas. Pindas are offered in personalised way on your behalf on the Foot print of Lord Vishnu, on Akshya Bot and beside the River Falgu maintaining proper Hindu religious customs so that the Departed soul of the Dead persons rest in peace permanently. In many cases it is happened that if someone is died unnaturally (unnatural death due to accident, suicide, murder or get killed) then his/her unsatisfied spirit can not go to the super natural world (his / her "Atma" i.e. soul do not get 'Mukti' - freedom) and comes to this materialistic world again and again and sometimes try to frighten people in many ways. And then it is required to offer "Pindas" (Pinda Daan) for him or her. On Getting 'Pindas' unsatisfied spirit is spiritually satisfied, leaves "Maya" i.e. affinity for this materialistic world and get the Salvation ('Mukti'). Pls. note that "PINDA DAAN" is a very old but VERY effective process to clear the way so that the departed soul of the dead man or woman get freedom from the affinity to this living materialistic world and can move towards the ultimate ... ... divine destination.
What is the surname of lord Rama?
In those times, surname was not used in Indian society. A family name, surname, or last name is the part of a person's name that indicates to what family he or she belongs. Until the 12th century, most people throughout the world did not use or have a family name, and they were called by the single name they had (which was called a "first" or "given name" only after family names came into use). One of the most accepted theories for the origin of surname use attributes their introduction to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086. The use of surnames gradually became an accepted practice throughout Western Europe in the Middle Ages. In parts of the world, family names did not appear in common use until the 17th to 19th centuries, and they are unused in some cultures even today. However, Kshatriyas were known by the Vamsha and Lord Rama was from Ikshvaku dynasty / Suryavamsha (Sun Dynasty or Solar Dynasty).
Asked in Hinduism
What are the advantages of Kali Yuga?
Kali Yuga, the worst Yuga has many advantages over Krita Yuga, the best Yuga. 1. In Krita Yuga people live under ideal conditions or under just one set of conditions only. Thus, there is no freedom. In Kali Yuga freedom is more than one can dream of! 2. In Krita Yuga the status of an individual is determined by his average skill. Therefore, an outsider can't enter a society because it may not be enough even if he willfully transforms his entire life. In Kali Yuga there is no status at all and thus any one can enter it 3. In Krita Yuga people live under ideal conditions. Thus, in presence of a change they become helpless. In Kali Yuga people live under constantly changing conditions and therefore, a change of any kind or magnitude is not a problem at all. 4. In Krita Yuga the status of an individual is determined by his average skill, which is the same as that of his entire society. To increase his status it is not enough if he increases his average skill, which it self is an impossible task. He has to increase the average skill of the entire society he lives in, a task he can't even dream of. In Kali Yuga the status of an individual is determined by his maximum skill in just one activity, a very simple task. 5. In Krita Yuga life is a single giant activity and therefore a part of it can't be changed without affecting the rest. In Kali Yuga all parts of life are independent of each other and therefore any part of it can be changed without affecting any other. 6. In Krita Yuga knowledge is logic based thus it can be transferred to people of a particular class only In Kali Yuga knowledge is reason and movement based and thus any one can learn anything. 7. In Krita Yuga progress is mainly internal and therefore there is not much visible progress. In Kali Yuga progress is mainly external and thus amazing materialistic progress occurs in a short time. Answer 2 Dt. 25.4.2013 The difference from spiritual POV is that reaching God is easier than it was in krita yuga, as the ideals required to qualify for being disciple were very high and strictly followed. If you see Gita and Upanishads, in upanishads, a disciple asks a question to a Guru while in Gita, in some places, krishna answers or guides disciples before the question arises. Even the duration of meditation i.e. no of years to achieve moksha are said to be decreased as compared to years or some say 100s of years in Treta Yoga., the atmosphere was all sattvik and even asuras followed a code of conduct during war. Now-a-days, even sanyasins breaks the code of conduct. Earlier disciple came to God and Guru. Now it is said that when disciple is ready, Guru appears. Sri Ramakrishna said that if you take one step towards God, God takes 9 steps towards you. Very few people devote 100 % towards spirituality. Many things or behaviour which are not tolerated by guru are now forgiven (code of conduct is a bit diluted)
Asked in Hinduism
Why do Hindus feed their Gods milk?
What can be more pure than milk? The main reason of offering (not feeding) God with milk is to show the respect the gratitude for everything, for every breath Bhagwan has give us. Milk is the sign of purity and peace, it is offered to Bhagwan as he is the most pure and most kind of all. Who gave us everything and forgives our each and every mistake. I AM PROUD TO BE A HINDU