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Showing posts from January, 2007

Experience Of Maintaining a Hindu Religious Blog

When I started out writing Hindu blog, I was totally in dark and didn’t know what to write. There are very few religious blogs that have succeeded. And many of the top bloggers even today consider it not a good idea to do spiritual blogging. But what prompted me to maintain a Hinduism blog was my interest to know about what is happening around the world in regard with Hindu religion.
When I began blogging, there were only a few blogs dealing with Hinduism. Some blogs showed high enthusiasm in the beginning and the bloggers lost interest as there were not much visitors. Some people wrote a few posts mostly defending Hinduism from the attack of other bloggers. Some were frustrated with the pseudo-secularists in India and their blogs concentrated on talking about the plight of Hindus in India. Some met hatred with hatred.

So initially I just collected links from other blogs and newspaper articles. Put a daily quote on the blog. After a month or so I started receiving mails asking about …

Exploring how the tribals interpreted the Mahabharata

Professor Satya Chaitanya, a faculty at XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, will be throwing light on how the tribals interpreted the Mahabharata at a seminar in Delhi on February 5, 2007. The three-day seminar is being organized by the National Manuscript Mission under the Union ministry of culture. Researchers and scholars from India and abroad will be presenting papers on the interpretation of Mahabharata in various languages and cultures.
Professor Chaitanya will be presenting a paper on “Text and variations of Mahabharata: contextual, regional and performative traditions.”

The Telegraph Calcutta reports Prepared after a thorough research of two years, Chaitanya has studied the Bheel Mahabharata, a tribal folklore on the epic written by the Bheel community residing in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.  “Bheel Bharat is different from the Sanskrit Mahabharata where women and sexuality plays vital roles,” added Chaitanya.  The scholar also p…

Sanjivani Booti of Ramayana - Research on its survival instincts

Sanjivani Booti – which Lord Hanuman brought to save the life of Lord Ram's brother Lakshman – is being researched upon by scientists for its survival instincts. Sanjeevani means ‘one that infuses life.’ The Sanjeevani plant is well known for its medicinal properties and is mentioned in Ayurveda and other ancient texts.
National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) is trying to identify the gene that helps Sanjivani Booti to survive severe droughts. The plant existed before 300 million years and comes under a group of plants which were the first vascular plants on earth.

When there is no moisture the plant curls up and assumes the form of a brown crust. Sanjivani Booti regains its original form when it comes in contact with water or moisture. The plant is found throughout India and it grows in rocks and arid lands.

The plant, famous after its mention in the Ramayana, is credited to have the power to cure all physical ailments. In the epic, Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshman is cured us…

World Congress on Vedic Sciences 2007

The World Congress on Vedic sciences is being organized at Varanasi by BanarasHinduUniversity in collaboration with SampurnanandSanskritUniversity and Vijnana Bharati. The event is being held from February 9 to 11 at Swatantrata Bhawan in BanarasHinduUniversity.
The World Congress is expecting more than 1000 delegates from India and around the world. A book exhibition displaying Vedic literature from India and abroad is part of the event.

The Hindustan Times reports Prof Lal, organizing secretary of the World Congress, said that this congress was an attempt to decipher the manuscripts and ancient works to unearth more knowledge of Vedas still not known to the society. “One has to rediscover Vedas for the modern world and this will be the noblest contribution, which modern India can provide to solve the innumerable hardships being faced by the modern man.”  “The roots and seeds of all sciences could be traced to the Sacred Vedas, the oldest of world literature. These seeds germinated …

Worship of Linga in Hindu Religion

No one exactly knows when the worship of Linga or Lingam started in Hindu religion. But throughout the history the worship of Linga has been identified with Lord Shiva. And thus Linga is also known as Shivling or Shivlingam and is of great importance in Hinduism.
Significance of Shivling Lord Shiva from time immemorial has been worshiped in the form of ‘ling’ or ‘lingam.’ The word ‘ling’ means ‘symbol’ or ‘sign.’ It is the visible symbol of Nirguna Brahman (the supreme being) and is present in all the living beings.

Bansi Pandit writes in Hindu Dharma.. “linga is derived from the two Sanskrit words laya (dissolution) and agaman (recreation).” Thus the linga symbolizes both the creative and destructive power of the Lord and great sanctity is attached to it by the devotees.
Today, the ‘ling’ has numerous interpretations and symbolisms. Thousands of pages have been written about the symbolism of Shivling.
But the best explanation is that the ‘ling’ is a visible form of Brahman which r…

Yoga in Public Schools in United States

When Tara Guber first approached a public school to teach yoga in United States, the Hindu roots of Yoga was opposed by Christian fundamentalists and secularists. She removed chanting and translated Sanskrit words in yoga into English to allay the fears of those who opposed it on religious lines. Today more than 100 schools in 26 States have adopted Yoga. Teachers say it helps children with attention-deficit disorder and reduce obesity.
Rachel Konrad, an Associated Press Writer, has written in detail about Yoga in public schools.

The Sages who invented yoga never talked about Hinduism. Because the very word Hinduism was coined hundreds of years later. The sages only wanted to help humanity with their knowledge. And if it is helping humanity even after thousands of years it is the greatness of their knowledge and the way of life they led.

Maa Vindhyavasini Temple, Mirzapur

VindhyavasiniTemple in Vindhyachal, which is about 7 km from Mirzapur, is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is one of the sacred spots in Hinduism. Located on the banks of Ganga, this Hindu temple is popularly known as MirzapurTemple and is midway between Prayag (Allahabad) and Kashi (Varanasi). Vindhyachal Dham - Shaktipeeth Vindhyachal Dham is one among the important Shaktipeeths and legend has it that Sati’s left toe had fallen here after she destroyed herself on hearing the humiliating words from Daksha about her husband Lord Shiva.

Goddess Durga after eliminating the fierce demon Mahishasura decided to reside on the hills here and thus she came to be known as Vindhyavasini. Residing here she continued to eliminate several other demons.

Devotees believe that by worshipping Maa Vindhyavasini all their desires will be fulfilled.
Lal Bhairav Before approaching Vindhyachal Temple, on the way there is Bhairava Temple – Lal Bhairav. It is one kilometer before the main Mother Goddess temple…

Temples in Trivandrum, Kerala

Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram is home to some of the most popular Hindu temples in India. Thiruvananthapuram itself means ‘City of Lord Anantha.’ Some of the most important Trivandrum temples are listed below.

SriPadmanabhaswamyTemple: This Dravidian style temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The idol is in the Anananthasayanam posture. The lord is in reclining position over Adi Shesha or Anantha. The temple is located in the heart of the city in East Fort. Only Hindus are allowed in the temple. Men should be in ‘mundu’ (dhoti) and should not wear anything on the upper part. Women should be in ‘sari.’ Even Churidhar is not allowed in. (It might sound strange but things are like this at this temple. Hope it changes for the good) Young girls are allowed in with Pavadai. No mobile phones or cameras are allowed inside.
There is small counter in the temple premise which provides dhoti and pavadi to visitors at a fee. It also keeps your foot wears. STRICTLY AVOID IT.  That counter is j…

Catholic Church with Hindu and Buddhist Symbols

You will find the statue of Christ in padmasna posture at the Jagat Jyothi Mandir, a meditation centre constructed by the Quilon Social Service Society (QSSS), on the banks of AshtamudiLake at Parimanam in Kollam District, Kerala. The statue of Christ resembles Buddha. Christ and the 12 Apostles sit on the floor and are served on banana leaves in the famous last supper painting found here.

Ignatius Pereira writes in The Hindu The walls of the mandir are decorated with symbols of `pancha boothas' and the four Gospels are represented as vulture (St. John), bull (St. Luke), lion (St. Mark) and angel (St. Matthew). Symbols of all religions are painted on the roof. In fact, the mandir looks like a typical Hindu temple with a 12-foot-tall stone lamp in front. Incidentally, the Kollam diocese to which the new church belongs had adopted the Hindu symbol ‘OM’ two decades ago.

Eunuchs in India - Transgender in Hindu Religion

Indians are slowly accepting the existence of sexual minorities in its society. The recent discussion in India on homosexuality and the petitions filed to repeal the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code points to this fact. Sex education is soon going to be a part of curriculum in schools. But the sexual minorities in India are still a struggling lot. Especially the eunuchs or hijras or hijadas or Zenanas or transsexuals or transvestites. They are known by so many names but it all means that they are neither male nor females for the society and are a sexual minority.

Mahabharata, one of the epics of Hinduism, talks about Shikandi, a eunuch. Shikandi was used as shield by Arjuna to defeat Bhisma. Bhisma had earlier taken a vow that he will not fight a eunuch. Transgender find mention in several ancient Indian texts.
They are also widely mentioned in Indian history, especially as keepers of harem. On close scrutiny of historical data, we find that the eunuchs were being used mostly…

Hindu Temples in Trinidad

The two of the most important Hindu temples in Trinidad and Tobago are the KaryaSiddhiHanumanTemple and the Temple in the Sea or the Waterloo temple.

KaryaSiddhiHanumanTemple The 85-foot tall idol of Lord Hanuman is the center of attraction here. The temple light rose in color is built on Dravidian architectural lines.
The Temple in the Sea or the Waterloo temple This temple is the result of the unwavering dedication of Sewdass Sadhu – an indentured laborer – who was arrested and sent to prison for building a temple on the farmland in which he worked. Returning from the prison, Sewdass Sadhu decided to build the temple in the sea.

Hinduism Today in its June 1997 issue wrote Every day thereafter Sewdass Sadhu would pack a small leather bag with foundation blocks and journey to the seaside on a bicycle. He placed these in the ocean, and gradually built up the stones until a small island rose from the water. In time, Sewdass Sadhu built a cement structure above the ocean waters, which…

Krishna – Makan Chor to be premiered on cartoon Network on Republic Day

Krishna: Makhan Chor’ will be aired on Friday, January 26, 2007 at 12 noon and 7:30 p.m Indian time. The episode contains the playful years of Krishna at Gokul. Krishna also takes on the demons of ‘Kans mama’ in the episode.
The first part ‘Krishna: the Birth’ was a major success for Cartoon Network India.

This episode in a simple way takes the story forward. It introduces the pranks and divinity of Krishna to children.

Rated as No.1 program across all children'ss channels for the week of 21st to 27th January 2007 (CS 4+ yrs). Winner of Special award from Japan's TBS DigiCon 2007.  Krishna - Makhan Chor shows the infant Krishna growing up in Gokul under the love and care of his foster parents, Nand-Lal and Yashoda, to become the popular, mischievous but lovable "KANHA" of Gokul.

Jeffery Long's New Book Calls Hinduism a Universal Religion

Jeffery Long, an ElizabethtownCollege religion professor, has written a book that presents Hinduism as the "universal" religion, capable of providing a model for global inter-religious cooperation and world peace. The book is titled "A Vision for Hinduism: Beyond Hindu Nationalism."
In his book, he argues for a traditional pluralistic understanding of Hinduism - as articulated by such figures as Sri Ramakrishna and Mahatma Gandhi - in opposition to the narrow identification of Hinduism with Indian nationality and ethnicity that characterizes contemporary Hindu nationalist movements.

Long asserts that Hindu nationalism is not only destructive of communal relations, but that it also prevents Hinduism from emerging as a world religion in the true sense of the term. He presents a vision of Hinduism as a tradition capable of pointing the way toward a future in which all the world's religions manifest complementary visions of a larger reality - and in which they all…

Japanese Woman Performs 72-hour Samadhi for World Peace during Ardh Kumbh Mela 2007

She stayed in an unventilated underground chamber at the Ardh Kumbh Mela grounds in Prayag for 72 hours. Yogmata Kiko Ikoba, the Japanese woman, performed this Samadhi for world peace.
She entered the nine-feet by nine-feet chamber on January 18, 2007 after rituals and prayers. On completion of the ‘Samadhi’, she was conferred the title of 'mahamandaleshwar' by Joona Akhara.

One of the largest of Hindu orders, Juna Akhara has 150,000 sadhus as its members.
Joona Akhara is a Shaiva sect and they have lot of privileges during Kumbh Mela. The tutelary deity of Joona Akhara is the Bhairava form of Shiva.
The seven Dashnami Akharas are Nirvani and Atal, known together as Nirvani Akhara, Niranjani and Anand known together as Niranjani Akhara, and Joona, Awahan and Agni, known as Joona Akhara.

Hindu Temple in Malaysia gets ISO 9001 Certification

SriSundararajaPerumalTemple in Klang, Malaysia, achieved the ISO 9001:2000 certification for its quality in religious, cultural, and social services to Hindus. It is believed that the temple – which is about 100 years old and also known as Tirupati of Southeast Asia – is the first temple to get such a certification.
The staronline reports Temple president S. Anandakrishnan said that with the ISO award, religious activities would be standardised to set a precedent for other Hindu temples. “Other temples are not bound to follow our standard operating procedure (SOP), but we wanted to set a benchmark so that people will know we provide quality services,” he said. If an ‘ISO certificate’ can keep a temple premises clean and pollution free then it is well and good. It should be employed in India too as the outer premises of some temples in India are in pathetic condition.

Vrishabha Rashi Shiva Mantra | Benefits | How to Chant the Mantra?

Vrishabha Rashi Shiva mantra is a personal and special mantra for Vrishabha Rashi or Taurus born people. Chanting this mantra, dedicated to Lord Shiva, will help in solving professional problems. It will help in solving financial problems like debt and it is an ideal mantra for solving fights in the family. Below is the Vrishabha rashi mantra dedicated to Shiva. Benefits of the prayer and a brief procedure on how to chant the mantra is given below. Vrishabha Rashi Shiva Mantraद्रोंॐनम: शिवायद्रों Droom Om Namah Shivaya Droom Benefits of Vrishabha Rashi Shiva Mantra A perfect solution to all kinds of problems related to bad positioning of Navgrahas in Janam Kundli or horoscope of Vrishabha Rashi born people.For early job.To find relief to health issues.Good for those having problems in family as it will help in better understanding among family members.Chanting of mantra will help in solving relationship issues.It will help in getting job. How to Chant Vrishabha Rashi Shiva Mantra? Chan…

Women Pundits for Hindu Pujas and Hindu Marriage Ceremonies

Conservatives might find it hard to digest but young women in India are choosing it as a profession and are becoming Hindu pundits ....sorry…. punditai. Soon you will find women solemnizing marriages. Women performing religious ceremonies are becoming a common scene in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The number of women pundits is still negligible in India. But with more and more women candidates queuing up for the Functional Sanskrit course in universities in India the number is sure to increase.

Hindustan Times reports Dr Asha rai, D.Litt in Dharmashastra, who teaches the subject in LucknowUniversity feels that the field should no longer be a male domain and gender bias must end. "Touching a woman purohits feet should not be considered an insult. In ancient times women used to perform rituals and various types of poojas." As expected, male pundits have already expressed their reservations on women performing pujas. But people who have hired women pundits feel they are far better …

The Draupadi Phenomenon – A oddisi dance drama on women’s rights

The Draupadi Phenomenon – an Oddisi composition – by noted dancer Sanchita Bhattacharya makes use of mythology to discuss the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006. The composition represents modern day woman and urges the society to let women live their lives with freedom and dignity.
The dance drama uses Draupadi of Mahabharata as story teller to enlighten the audience about the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006.

The Hindustan Times reports "The Draupadi Phenomenon is something close to my heart. The 3,000-year-old Odissi dance and the 5,000-year-old Draupadi character from Mahabharata have culminated to tell the story to remind everyone that it's high time women got their rights to live by their own choices. Women should be allowed to live their lives on their own terms. Stop deciding for them," said Sanchita. The character of Draupadi in Mahabharata is that of one of the most wilful woman in literary history who, ironically, was nev…

Hindu Blog on Hinduism and various aspects of Hindu religion

Hindu Blog started three months ago without any clear idea. First attempt was on collecting quotes and some links on Hinduism. But gradually it evolved into a full-fledged blog discussing various matters concerning Sanatana Dharma. The Hindu blogging experience was indeed great.
Numerous people and blogs encouraged me. Some challenged and some scoffed. Some played tricks like copying articles from Hindu Blog and some even posted it on Wikipedia but thanks to Wikipedia they removed it and gave me credit for the articles.

Then I realized this is a dangerous arena. I don’t mind people using my article if due credit is given. Well, I hope to move ahead and become a full-fledged blogger. But the main difficulty is finance. Some people came forward to fund but they had vested interests, so I did not encourage it.
Hope to keep the blog moving…

Vishnu Idol Excavated from an Old Russian Town

The ancient Vishnu Idol was excavated from Staraya Maina in the Volga region of Russia. The idol dates back to VII-X century AD and the region was populated even before 4th century AD. Staraya Maina was ancient town on the banks of Samara, a tributary of Volga. Numerous coins, weapons and other artifacts have been recovered from this region.

Today, Staraya Maina has a population of more 8,000 but archaeologists believe that the town had a huge population during ancient times.
Mosnews writes “We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin told state-run television Vesti. More research will throw light on the spread of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).

What is the difference between Hindi and Hindu?

What is the difference between Hindi and Hindu?

Hindi is the national language of India. It is spoken  by more than 310 million people in the world and it is the fourth largest language spoken in the world.

Hindu (Hindus) is a person who practices Santana Dharma (Hinduism – Hindu Religion). There are a billion Hindus around the world and majority of them live in India.
(I know many Indians and Hindus might find this post odd but I get numerous mails asking the difference. There are also numerous articles written which use Hindi instead of Hindu and vice versa.)

Even google used to be confused early when we type in Hindi and Hindu. There used to be lot of problems but they have corrected it.

The name Hindu itself is the result of a wrong pronunciation of the River Indus. The name Hindu was coined by the European colonizers of India.

Polluted Water Keeps Millions of Devotees Away from Ardh Kumbh Mela 2007

Yesterday during Paush Poornima several hundreds of devotees kept away from taking the sacred bath at Sangam, Allahabad, due to the polluted water in GangesRiver.

Many people preferred to stay on the banks of Ganga and did not take ‘snan.’ Some decided not to turn up due to the polluted water.

Holy Men have threatened ‘jal samadhi’ (suicide) during Ardh Kumbh Mela, if the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) level of Ganges was not restored. Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a measure of the oxygen used by microorganisms to decompose waste.Microorganisms such as bacteria are responsible for decomposing organic waste. When organic matter such as dead plants, sewage, and food waste is present in a water supply, the bacteria will begin the process of breaking down this waste. When this happens, much of the available dissolved oxygen is consumed by aerobic bacteria, robbing other aquatic organisms of the oxygen they need to live. (from k12science) The mela administration is trying to cover…

Ardh Kumbh Mela Map Allahabad

Ardh Kumbh Mela Map Allahabad

There is a detailed map of the Ardh Kumbh Mela area at

By bathing in the holy waters of the Sangam (Prayag or Allahabad) one is ridden of all sins.

Ardh Kumbh happens exactly six years after Purna Kumbh Mela.

Next Ardh Kumbh Mela will be held in 2019.

With modern technology and smartphones, such maps have become irrelevant but they were of great help in 2006 and 2007.

We are retaining and storing this page for its archaic value.

Naga Sadhus

Naga Sadhus – often misunderstood and jeered by the western media – are the epitome of renunciation. Nag Sadhus don’t bother whether they are misunderstood or called the naked holy men of India or ash-smeared and naked Hindu saints. They represent human beings in purity and are representatives of Lord Shiva.

The Naga Sadhus – part of a mysterious and secret society – are worshippers of Lord Shiva. Nag means ‘naked’ and they are also known as Nag Babas and Warrior-Ascetics. The mainly appear in public during the Kumbh Mela. The order of Naga Sadhus was founded by Dattatreya and the date of founding is lost in time. Perhaps an age when humans never cared for time. Shankaracharya first organized the Nagas to protect Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism).
They never bother about the materialistic world and practice celibacy to escape from the cycle of rebirth and to merge with the Brahman. As they belong to the Shaiva sect, they have matted locks of hair and their bodies are covered in ashes like L…

Arudra Darshan at the Sydney Murugan Temple - Photos

Arudra Darshan was celebrated at the SydneyMuruganTemple starting from 3.45am with Thirupalli Ellichi. Over 200 people participated in the Arudra Darshan in January 2007.

Significance of Arudra Darshan

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva (Nataraja) represents five activities – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and apocalypse. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and this is the source of all energy. The movement of Lord Shiva is Shakti. Hence, Arudra Darshan is celebrated in appreciation of the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.

Information and photos sent by Ravi Ravindrarajah
Faculty of Engineering
University of Technology, Sydney
9514 2625

Large Scale Excavation to Reveal the Past of Krishna’s Dwarka

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has launched excavations near Dwarkadheesh temple in Gujarat to reveal Dwaraka’s past. Dwarka was the golden city founded by Lord Krishna and is one of the four dhams in Hinduism.

Earlier, the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) had carried out extensive undersea excavations. NIO had excavated large number of stone structures of various shapes. Some stone structures give the indication that Dwarka was a busy port.
Now ASI along with navy is planning to conduct both offshore and onshore excavations. The onshore excavations will be near the Dwarkadheesh temple and at Gomti Ghat.
Indian Express reports
‘‘The ASI plans to take up research with a different perspective, while keeping in mind earlier findings. Post-excavation, we will involve a range of experts to analyse the findings of our 20-member team,’’ said Tripathi.

Enlightenment Credit Card

This is no joke. A website is promoting enlightenment credit card – a socially conscious credit card.

The web site says money is energy and if used positively it can change lives and the world.
So what does ‘enlightenment credit card’ offer?
People who have the card get points for spending money positively.
From the web site "…people can earn points towards positive products and services that enhances their overall “conscious” life path? Some of the categories of rewards you can earn points toward are yoga classes and merchandise, organic products, retreats + workshops, exotic travels, books+ DVD’s, personal care, spa treatments, and more. And, members can even redeem their points to make donations to charities…." We live in a world which creatively produces materialistic traps…it needs courage and determination to avoid many of them….

Caste Continues To Be a Major Factor in India - 2006 Survey

According to Hindustan Times-Cfore survey December 2006 among 1,067 persons with different backgrounds: 53% opposed inter-caste marriages. 57% opposed alliances with persons below their caste. 55% opposed marriage outside their community. Caste is a major consideration for residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, as it is for those living in Chandigarh, Patna, Lucknow and Bhopal. The very same people who support caste system chose Mahatma Gandhi as the country's best brand ambassador!!!!!!

It is very hard to imbibe true knowledge and it is even harder to practice it…all suffering and illusions like ‘Caste’ comes out of ignorance….Hope the dawn of knowledge sets in soon…
The eternal teachings found in the Upanishads should be taught in schools to change the mindset of people.
Values like not discriminating people in the name of caste, creed and color should be taught before numerous other nonsense subjects which has no real value in life.

International School of Bhagavad Gita, Trivandrum

Swami Sandeep Chaithanya at a young age has attained fame around the world for his unique presentation of Bhagavad Gita in 108 days. Now, Swami Sandeep Chaithanya is planning to develop an ‘International School of Bhagavad Gita’ in Trivandrum, where people from various religious and national backdrop can come and learn and do research in Bhagavad Gita.
The school will be part of ‘Salagram’ (Salagramam) – an ashram visualized by Swami Sandeep Chaithanya. The Salagram Ashram is to be located on the banks of KaramanaRiver at KandamankadavuVillage in Trivandrum. Swamji wants to transform the International School of Bhagavad Gita into an InternationalUniversity for Bhagavad Gita.
Swamiji talking in an interview said that several people are forced to abandon their spiritual search due to the lack of proper guidance. The school is intended to help all the spiritual seekers in finding answers to their questions.

Salagram is meant for people of any age and they can make use of resources avai…