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Showing posts from September, 2006

When does a Hindu pray? - Pray Time of Hindus

I never knew when I started Hindu blog that I will have to answer questions like when does a Hindu pray or is their a Hindu Sunday or Friday or Shabbat? I got several mails asking questions like these. This shows that most people around the world are still ignorant about Hinduism.
There is no particular time for prayer in Hinduism. There are no compulsory obligations. You can still be a Hindu without praying.
But there are Hindus who make it a point to pray in the morning and evening. They light a lamp while praying. The lamp is a symbol. It leads a person from ignorance to knowledge. There are people who recite mantras, like the famous Gayatri Mantra, while praying.

There are Hindus who don’t visit temples. They don’t feel the need for any mediators. They pray in the mind or concentrate on any object.
There is no timeframe for prayer. Some people pray for a few seconds. There are others who spend hours praying.
Some Hindus pray based on the auspicious time as per panchang or r…

True Hindu spirit is coming out of the crowd

People find comfort in being a part of the crowd. They don’t want to be creative. Even if they have different thoughts from that of the society they subdue it. Coming out of the crowd means you are rebelling. Now, rebellion is a bad word for any society. The Hindu society is no exception. But this is not true Hindu character.
Hinduism accepts change. It moves with time. It incorporates the finding of scientific world. But the mindset of majority of Hindus is not willing to change. This is because they want to be part of the crowd. They are ready to sacrifice their individuality to bask in the glory of honor and respect provided by the crowd.

To achieve something, you have to break away from the collective mind. You have to tread new path. All discoveries and inventions of the world are the result of the moving away from collective thinking.
A major problem in Hindu society is its caste system. Many people know that it is bad. But are unwilling to openly speak or work against it. Thes…

Why so many gods in Hinduism?

A Christian reader of Hindu Blog wrote to me saying that Hinduism has too many gods and it is confusing. Too many gods is a criticism leveled against Hinduism. And it is also used by some people to attack Hinduism.
Now, if you put this question to a Hindu scholar, he/she will quote from religious texts to explain about the numerous gods. A common man might not understand many of the quotes and explanations.
Now, Hinduism is not a religion and it does not have a founder. It is a way of life. So depending on the need of the hour, region, Nature and environment, people are free to create their own gods, forms of worship and celebrations.

Some people need god to escape from the fear of death. Some need god for solving their day-to-day issues. After doing all the hard work, some people feel the need for that extra help, which is provided by God. So everyone needs ‘a form of God’ to pray to. Each individual depending on his/her need and liking, can choose a form to pray to.
After all no…

Janna – Kannada Jaina Poet of 12th Century AD

Janna was a famous Jaina Kannada poet of the 12th Century AD. He was patronized by King Ballala II and Narasimha II of the Hoyasala dynasty. He was give the title Kavichakravarti. His great skill in composition of inscriptional literature can be found in the inscription at Channarayapatna (179) and Tarikere (45).

Literary Works of Janna Yasodharacharite (epic poem – deals with Jaina tenets) – Though a translation of the original Sanskrit, it depicts the greatness of non-violence in simple and lucid style. Kannada nativity is introduced to get the teaching across the masses.Anantanatha Purana (epic poem – sketches the life of fourteenth Tirthankara)Anubhavamukura (treatise on erotica) His contribution to Kannada epigraphy is phenomenal.

Janna was also a warrior and administrator. He was a judge and minister during the reign of Narasimha II of the Hoyasala dynasty.

He is believed to have constructed numerous basadis (Jaina temples).

Quoting from ancient religious texts is not a solution for present day problems

Whenever there is a major issue in our society, the religious leaders quote from ancient text to validate their point. Can there be anything more foolish than this? The problems our society face are different from the time when these sacred books were written. Most of the problems of today might not have been even imagined by the writers of the religious texts.
A classic example is abortion. Biblical points have been analyzed countless times for abortion. When bible was written there was no country in the world with a population of more than a billion. Today, we have two nations – China and India. Will the quotes in Bible solve the problems of population explosion?
Another example is the caste system in India. Hindu religious texts are used to defend this evil system. But any person who thinks judiciously knows that the caste system has no value in the modern world.
Similarly, Koran is quoted for defending various practices in Islam.
Can the writings of some religious scholars be t…

Stop sacrificing animals in the open at Kalighat temple

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court has ordered to stop the animal sacrifice in front of the famous Kalighat temple in Kolkata. It is a shame that the court had to intervene to stop this awful practice. People resort to these medieval practices for pleasing god. No idea, which god will be pleased by such practices? These practices bring to shame to Hindu religion and the western media uses such practices to malign India and Hinduism.

The worst part is that even educated people participate in animal sacrifices. There is nothing much horrible than watching an animal being slaughtered in the public. Quite often these poor animals are transported in the most horrible manner. They are not fed properly and are left tied to poles for several days.

It is hard to change the mindset of the elderly people. But the youngsters should stop participating in such sacrifices. They should understand the true essence of Hinduism, which is the oneness of all that lives.
The court ruling will…

Ants and Termites Turn Barren Land into Agricultural Land

Ants and termites are of great help to Nature. They help in decomposing waste materials, which in turn act as food for plants. They play a key role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem.

A farmer near Chennai used the service of these tireless sentinels of nature to convert his barren land into agricultural land. Natesan, a farmer of Karanodai village, found it difficult to plough his land. This also made digging a well an impossibility. During monsoon, water used to get collected on the land. The land became parched during summer.

To prepare the land for agriculture, the farmer released ants, termites and earthworms. They burrowed into the hard land and made the soil porous. Rain water also seeped in through these holes.

How Natesan made his barren land productive can be found here.

Nature has answer to every problem. But unfortunately, we humans always look for shortcuts to make gains. This leads to the destruction of nature.

Time of Birth of Baby in Hinduism

Time of birth of baby in Hinduism is calculated based on three factors. Baby appearing on earth.Cutting of umbilical cord.First cry of baby. Among this child appearing on earth is not considered ideal by some astrologers as sometimes some babies enter the world feet first.

Cutting the umbilical cord is also rejected on the ground that it can be manipulated and sometimes the child may be still born.

First cry of child is considered the ideal time of birth of child in Hinduism as the child starts breathing in the world and confirms the first living state on earth. This gives more accurate horoscope results.

The time is calculated from the local sunrise. Kundali is prepared based on sunrise to birth time. Astrologically, each birth time requires some corrections, or rectification of the birth chart. All standard classical astrological works describe it on the basis of moon’s epoch or on the basis of horary astrology or ruling planets.

The personal experience of the astrologer plays an i…

Thoughts on religious conversions in India

Religious conversions are a major cause of tension among the various religious communities in India. In India, the main religious conversions are taking place from Hinduism to Christianity and Buddhism. It must be noted here that people do not convert because they have found a better religious teaching. Most of them convert due to oppression and economic reasons.

The main reason for people converting to Buddhism is the caste system in Hinduism. It is high time that the Hindu society got rid of the evil caste system. Lot has been said about this subject but there has been no change even in the mindset of educated Hindus. The oppressed castes will look for ways to express their anger against Hinduism. One method is converting to Buddhism.

The conversion of Hindus to Christianity is mainly for material gains. Poor and uneducated people are lured to their fold with money by several missionaries. The missionaries are paid for increasing the number of followers. Numerous young people are rec…

No sane person can equate Hindu temples with brothels

This article of Hindu blog is a reaction to an article in timesonline uk which stated that a millennium ago the temples of India were brothels. (the article is no longer available online)

The article states that ‘the Hindu temples of central and southern India can be startlingly erotic’ This sentence gives a feel that the walls of Hindu temples are all filled with erotic sculptures. But this is not true. Only few temples have erotic sculpture. The example used by the author is the temple of Khajuraho.
In reality, erotic scenes are only a small part of the carvings in Khajuraho and other temples. The author seems to have not seen the carvings in which women are shown as writing letters, women applying kohl to her eyes, women playing with children, women brushing her hair. All sculptors in Khajuraho are not based on women. There are carvings showing armies marching, court musicians, farmers and potters. Only 10 percent of the total sculptors in Khajuraho are erotic in nature. Please d…

An anthropological explanation to the erotic statues in Hindu temples

This is a reaction to an article published in timesonline under the title “Why is a Hindu temple like a Soho phone box? Must I draw you a picture?” by Terence Kealey.

The article quotes from several sources to state that ‘in short, a millennium ago the temples of India were brothels — they may have been more than that, but they were brothels too — and they advertised their wares as brothels always have.’

It seems the best way to attain popularity is to hurt the religious sentiments of people. Look at the words used to define Hindu temples. Terence Kealey is hurting the religious sentiments of more than one billion people.

The writer has every right to put forward thoughts on the erotic sculptors in Hindu temples. Some of the findings have scientific backing, according to Terence Kealey. The findings of the article are going to be debated.
But what is the author trying to prove by stating that the Hindu temples were brothels. There is a better way of saying things. Nobody says ‘I hear…

The lack of a spiritual leader who can represent the Hindu community is a boon

While traveling in a train, I overheard the conversation of a few new converts to Christianity from Hinduism. These new converts were poor rural Indians. But they were educated. One man was talking about how the meeting with the preacher of the new sect helped him to get rid of alcoholism. They were also talking about the lack of a proper religious leader in Hinduism to guide them.

People are happy to become followers. They want someone to guide them. People want to see miracles. They need to improve their lifestyle with the help of the spiritual leader. They need to be a part of group or sect to satisfy their ego. They need it to debate that my sect is better than yours.
But this comes with a price – loss of individuality. All the thoughts of these people are borrowed from the spiritual leader. It is like dead people programmed to walk by another man.

Fortunately, Hinduism does not have a spiritual leader who can represent the entire community. And I see this as a great advantage. A…

Plight of Hindu Widows

The treatment meted out to widows by certain section of Hindu society is appalling. The life of a widow in rural India is nothing short of dreadfulness. So much has been written about this aspect. It is high time the Hindu society took up the issue of widows.

Certain societies in India have changed during the past 60 years. A classic example is the Hindu society in Kerala. Primary education has done a world of good here. Remarriage is no longer a problem in Kerala. Hindu society should take lessons from Kerala. A reformation should take place within the Hindu society.

The story of India's widows by Dheera Sujan is an eye opener. “My mother became a widow at the age of 37. Soon after, she packed up her children and her belongings and left India for a job in Australia. 40 years later, her family still hasn't really recovered from losing us, and I think she's never stopped feeling guilty for leaving them. When I asked her why she'd made such a drastic move at a time when w…

Ayurveda might provide cure for Alzheimer's

Five plants used in Ayurvedic medicines might pave way to finding effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. These plants are known to prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters, responsible for the disease. 
These plants are being studied by the scientists of JadavpurUniversity and King's College, London. More details can be found here at BBC News (he link doest not support https so removed).

Researchers say ayurveda works in the same way as conventional drugs for boosting mental agility in the disease.  They found that the plants used in ayurveda acted to improve memory and concentration in Alzheimer's sufferers.  Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative and irreversible brain disorder. There is no known cure.  The disease causes intellectual impairment, disorientation and eventually death. Researchers from King's College, London and Jadavpur University in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta, studied five plants commonly used in ayurvedic medicine. They found th…

The growing intolerance among Hindu youngsters

Every religion uses youngsters to ignite violence. This is happening around the world and in India. Hindu fundamentalists too use them for political mileage and other sectarian needs. But unfortunately, most of the Hindu youngsters are ignorant about Hinduism.
There are two types of Hindu youngsters. One type goes to temple, prays, take part in festivals. They stay away from all the activities of organized religion. For them, religion comes to fore only during functions like marriage etc. Then they are off to their materialistic world and return to religion when they are depressed or suffer losses. They consider Bhagavad Gita and other spiritual texts for the old age or to be read in their retired life.

The second type is proud of being a Hindu. They take part in all activities associated with the religion. They argue about the superiority of their religion. This is when they are ignorant about the basic tenants of the religion. For them, Hinduism is building temples and taking on…

Janam Sakhi – Compositions on the life of Guru Nanak Dev - Life History Books of Guru Nanak Ji

Janam Sakhi is the name given to various compositions on the life of Guru Nanak and all of them contains the major events in Guru Nanak’s life. These texts contains the authentic life history of Guru Nanak Ji. Here are some of the important Janam Sakhi:
Puratana Janam Sakhi – compiled by Bhai Birsing, with accounts received in England and some valuable documents from Punjab.Sambhunatha Horoscope – compiled by Pyara SinghJanam Sakhi Guru Nanak Deva by Pyara SinghBhai Bale Wali Janam SakhiJanam Sakhi – Bhai Mani SinghJanam Sakhi – Bhai MihirbanBhai Balaji
Importance of Janam Sakhi Janam Sakhi is a primary source on the life of Guru Nanak and is held in great esteem. Many believe it to be the true narrative. Some texts contain incidents and episodes that have been questioned by others.

Bhai Bale Wali Janam Sakhi, the text by Bhai Mani Singh and Bhai Balaji are the most popular ones.

Janam Sakhi of Bhai Mani Singh was composed during the period of Guru Gobind Singh.

Bhai Bale Wali Janam S…

Thoughts on suffering

Ignorance is the root cause of all suffering. We tend to forget the physical suffering but not the emotional disturbances. We carry these sufferings with us. For what!! Did we bring these sufferings with us to the earth? No, we collected them from here with our ignorance.
The main reason for suffering is attachment. Attachment to wealth, position, people…When you do your duties, you will be rewarded. And you have every right to enjoy the fruit of your work. But after a while you will have to leave these rewards and walk forward. This is the law of nature. Nothing is constant. Everything has to undergo change.

But unfortunately, we humans hate change. We are ready to change, if we are offered more wealth, high position etc. But we are not ready to leave the fruits that we have reaped from here. This is against nature. The end result of desisting change is nothing but suffering.
To end suffering - know your desires and how your mind works. Stop being the slave of mind and desires. 

About Hindu Blog

What is Hindu Blog? Hindu Blog is an online magazine that updates regularly about matters related to Hinduism (like festivals, fasting, rituals), the latest developments in Hindu society and religion and explores Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).

What is the aim of the Blog? An attempt to learn the true teachings of Sanatana Dharma and share it. Hinduism believes in self realization and not borrowed self realization. Each individual should realize That (Brahman). Not by becoming blind follower of another but through self realization. This should happen without any external compulsion or constraint. Hindu Blog advocates practical Hinduism and reformation in Hindu society, especially the eradication of the caste system in its present form and other social evils. Also believes that Hindu society should give more emphasis on equality, education and philanthropic activities.
Who is the author of the blog? The blog is written by Abhilash Rajendran, a student of Sanatana Dharma and a professional b…