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Showing posts from February 7, 2007

Why did Ancient Hindu Temples have Sex Sculptures?

Sex symbols have been associated with Hinduism from an early stage. These symbols were mainly part of nature worship. There is difference of opinion regarding the exact reason for sex sculptures in Hindu temples. And the notion of Hindu sex temples is wrong. A Classic example is Khajuraho were only 20% of the sculptures are sex sculptures that too they are depicted along with other aspects life. Kama (materialistic living which includes sex) is one among the four paths suggested in Hinduism to merge with Brahman or to escape from rebirth (Moksha). Many scholars think these sculptures were meant to explain the ‘Kama’ aspect to people. A closer study of Hinduism will reveal that sex was never a taboo during the ancient period. Some believe they were meant for sex education and there is nothing unnatural for temples to have them. In fact, the sex sculptures are all seen outside the Hindu temple along with other sculptures depicting materialistic way of life. Buddhism had completely devou…

Shivaratri Myths

There are numerous myths regarding the origin of Shivaratri. Most of the stories of Shivratri can be traced to the Puranas. A few important legends are detailed below. It must be noted that almost all the myths happened during night and this is one of the reason for celebrating Shivaratri during night.Myth of Shivratri based on Vishnu and Brahma searching for the origin of LingaLord Vishnu and Brahma wanted to know who was superior and this led to a fight. Lord Shiva intervened and said whoever can find out the origin or end of Shivling is superior. Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of a huge pillar of fire. Lord Vishnu went down searching and Brahma went up searching. Both traveled and traveled but never met the beginning or end.After the futile search, Lord Vishnu and Brahma prayed to Shiva and appeared before them in the form of Jyotirlinga and this day of the appearance of Lord Shiva is celebrated as Shivratri.The Story of Shivaratri based on Samudra ManthanThis is a fam…

History of Hindu Religion

Hinduism has no founder and therefore it is difficult to pinpoint a particular period as the beginning of Hindu religion. In reality the history of Hinduism is lost in the obscure misty millennia of ages past.1It must be noted that the term ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ is not found in any of the important ancient religious texts associated with Hinduism. The word ‘Hindu’ came into being with the arrival of Muslims invaders. They called the people who lived along the SindhuRiver as ‘Hindu’ and the place ‘Hindustan.’ The term Hindu and Hinduism was first widely used by the British.The Hindu word for religion is Dharma i.e one that holds society together from disruption and disintegration.2 So for a Hindu religion is ‘Sanatana Dharma’ – The eternal religion.The earliest evidence of Hinduism is found in the IndusValley civilization (3300–1700 BC). Several figurines unearthed from here are 3-faced indicating them to be the forerunner of Hindu trinity and some quite similar to Lingas – the worshi…

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