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Showing posts from May, 2007


A comparison of Raja Ravi Varma and M F Hussain Painting

The Marxist government of Kerala has decided to award the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma Award this year to M F Hussain. Ravi Varma paintings are noted for its sublimity and beauty. They are the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. A common man who is a novice to the world of painting will be attracted by Raja Ravi Varma’s painting. Now, M F Hussain is better known for his painting controversies. A novice to the world of painting will need to use his/her brain to understand Hussain’s painting. So it is worthwhile comparing the two painters - one who is among the greatest painters in India and another one who is among the greatest controversial painters in India.Quite often the Indian public makes an opinion without actually seeing the paintings. Either a person allies with the communists or the communalists or the pseudo-secularists.Each reader of this blog post should compare the paintings and should come out with an independent…

The Essence of Yoga Vasishta

Yoga Vasishta or Yogavasishta is an important Vedanta text. It is narrated in the style of the Puranas and its content is philosophy. Yoga Vasishta, also referred as Yogavasishta Maharamayana, is ascribed to sage Valmiki and consists of 32,000 slokas.
In the Yoga Vasishta, Sage Vasishta answers the queries of Lord Ram. The questions raised by Lord Ram pertain to problems like life and death, human suffering, desire, happiness etc. Yoga Vasishta is divided into six sections DispassionAspirationOriginExistenceQuiescenceLiberation Through numerous stories, each section elucidates the truths of Vedanta.
There is also a smaller version of Yoga Vasishta called the ‘Laghu Yoga Vasishta.’ It contains 6000 verses and is an abridgement of the original.

The Building of the Bridge Ram Sethu in the Ramayana

The building of the bridge, now referred as Ram Sethu, across the ocean occurs in the Yuddha Kanda of the Ramayana. In the Second chapter of the Yuddha Kanda, Lord Ram and Lakshman along with the Vanara Sena (Monkey Army) march southwards and reach the ocean. Lord Rama said: “Sugriva we have arrived at the southern shore of this great sea. I am again tormented with the diffidence which visited me before. This lord of the rivers has his other shore too far away from here. It is not possible to cross the sea unless we hit upon a method soon. Let the army call a halt here now. Let us sit and think up methods of crossing this wide ocean.”The next reference of building the bridge across the sea occurs in the sixth chapter of the Yuddha Kanda. Now, Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, has jumped sides and is now helping Lord Ram. Vibhishana suggests that Lord Ram should ask the favor of the lord of the seas. Lord Ram agreed to the suggestion and asked the opinion of Lakshmana and Sugriva. Th…

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

The millions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, to be exact 330 million, represent the various aspects of the Supreme Being – Brahman. In Hinduism, Brahman is the supreme soul of the universe, self-existent, absolute and eternal, from which all living and non-living emanate, and to which all return.
When a Hindu climbs up the ladder of knowledge, the concept of gods and goddesses begins to vanish and he/she will finally merge with the Brahman. So, in reality, there are no gods and goddesses in Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism. This is because the gods, goddesses and devotee all merge into the Brahman. Yes, this is hard to digest for an ordinary human being.
For an average human being, god is someone who helps to climb that extra yard. Who helps when in pain. Who helps to pass examinations. Who helps to get promotions. And who helps in all the desires that arise in the mind of a human being. So he/she cannot easily understand the concept of Brahman. He/She needs something to concentrate upon …

By Destroying Ram Sethu India Will Be Inviting an Ecological Disaster

During 2004 Tsunami, the western coast of India suffered less damage mainly due to the presence of Ram Setu. Even this less damage was monstrous in nature and destroyed several coastal villages. So what will happen when a Tsunami occurs after destroying the Ram Setu for the Sethusamduram Project? Experts are of the opinion that the entire Kerala and Tamil Nadu coast will be affected and the destruction will be several times higher than the 2004 Tsunami episode. The Sethusamudram project does not mention about any measures to protect the western coastline of India, when the existing natural barrier is destroyed. Any major destruction to the western coast of India will adversely affect India’s indigenous nuclear program. This is because the thorium deposits found in India are on the western coast - Aluva and Chavara in Kerala and Manavalakurichi in Tamil Nadu.Experts have also pointed out that by dredging and opening the Ram Setu, the fragile coral islands will be destroyed by sediments…

Mothers Carrying Babies to have Quick Darshan in Tirupati Temple

Mothers carrying babies need to stand in the long queues anymore to have have 'darshan' of Lord Venkateswara at the famous Tirupati temple. Mothers carrying infants will be provided with quick ‘darshan’ facility. Mother and the baby will be allowed in through the 'mahadwaram' (main entrance) to go near the presiding deity and offer prayers.

Any Practicing Hindu Can Become Temple Priest in Tamil Nadu

By tradition only Brahmins could become priests in Hindu temples. But now any practicing Hindu can now become a temple priest in Tamil Nadu. The present DMK government passed a law that any practicing Hindu can perform puja in Tamil Nadu's temples.

Now, the Tamil Nadu Government has opened six Hindu Priest Training Center across the state. Hundreds of students including dalits have joined for a year-long certificate course in 'Agama Sastras' (priesthood studies) at these centers. The centers are run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu State Government.

A welcome change, it should have happened the day India became independent. Supreme Court of India had in 2002 ruled that any person who has the knowledge of temple rituals can become priests.

This method adopted by the Tamil Nadu government should be followed by other state governments. Especially in Kerala where certain priests are still clinging to worthless traditions like cleaning …

Gold Coin as offering in Deograh Baidyanath Temple

The famous Baba Baidyanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Deograh, Jharkhand, has introduced special gold coins as offering.

The gold coin issued by the temple administration has an imprint of the Baidyanath Temple on one side and the Shivling (lingam) on the other side. The cost of the coin is 2,500. Devotees can offer it to the temple and the priest after special pujas will return the coin back.

The coin will be issued from the coming Shrawan month, when the temple receives more than two million devotees.

The Vaidyanath Shiva temple is one among the twelve jyotirlingas (sacred abodes of Lord Shiva). The temple is also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham.

Lord Ganesha, Muruga and the Mango

This animated video is based on the famous incident involving Lord Ganesh, Lord Murugan (Subrahmaniya) and the Mango. The video is hilarious and deviates from the usual holy nature of religious videos. But the story is presented with élan.
Short synopsis: Lord Muruga and Lord Ganesh fight over a mango. Their parents Lord Shiva and Parvati intervene. Lord Shiva decides that whoever circles around the world first will get the mango. Lord Muruga who is known for his speed started his journey around earth. But Lord Ganesha just circled around Lord Shiva and Parvati and won the mango. Simply because parents are the world for children.


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Communist Interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita - The Warrior and the Charioteer: A Materialist Interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita

The Warrior and the Charioteer: A Materialist Interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita is a book by V. M. Mohanraj. The book is published by Leftword. So what has the book to say about Bhagavad Gita? From the book “the Mahabharata is not a chronicle or a document of history but Vyasa composed it by piecing together themes that were the subjects of ballads and sagas.Another key observation: “The personality of the Yadava chief Krishna thus extends far back in time and its origin is steeped in mystery....The many Krishnas of the past have been superimposed on the Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita, thus bringing forth a synthesized charming image, sans whatever negative traits they had.”There are more such communist oriented observations. Although many Hindus might find it hard to digest certain observations in the book, there is no doubt that the book is refreshing because it looks at the Bhagavad Gita from a different perspective.

Lord Krishna and Yashoda Painting

Lord Krishna on the lap of Yashoda – unparalleled motherly love.



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Hindu God Ganesha as Spiderman

Hindu creativity is at its zenith during the Ganesh Festival and this Ganesha Spiderman is yet another example.

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Mandukya Upanishad – Explains the importance of OM or AUM

Mandukya Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads and explains the significance of OM or AUM. Mandukya Upanishad is credited to sage Manduka. Below is the English Translation of Mandukya Upanishad.Om ! O gods, may we hear with our ears what is auspicious; May we see with our eyes what is auspicious; May we, while offering our praise to gods With our bodies strong of limbs, Enjoy the life which the gods are pleased to grant us. May Indra of great fame be well disposed to us; May the all-knowing (or immensely wealthy) Pusha be propitious to us; May Garuda, the vanquisher of miseries, be well pleased with us; May Brihaspati grant us all prosperity. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! 1. All this is the letter Om. A vivid explanation of this (is begun). All that is past, present, and future is but Om. Whatever transcends the three periods of time, too, is Om.
2. All this is certainly Brahman. This Self is Brahman. This Self, as such, is possessed of four quarters.
3. (The Self) seated in the wa…

Significance of OM Symbol

OM or AUM is the most important word or sound in Hindu religion. OM symbolizes Brahman with attributes and Brahman without attributes. The ‘OM’ vibrates through the vast tradition of Hinduism and the importance of the word is explained by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. I am the One to be known, the syllable OM. (IX. 17.)I am the OM in all the Vedas. (VII. 8.)One should meditate on Me uttering ‘OM’ – the Brahman in one syllable. He who thus leaves the body attains liberation. (VIII. 13.)The Mandukya Upanishad is entirely dedicated to explaining the significance of OM – the Bij Mantra.All this is the letter Om. A vivid explanation of this. All that is past, present, and future is but Om. Whatever transcends the three periods of time, too, is Om. (Chapter I, Verse 1)
All this is certainly Brahman. This Self is Brahman. This Self, as such, is possessed of four quarters. (Chapter I, Verse 2)OM comprises of three sounds. The first sound ‘A’ represents the state of being awake and consci…

No threat to Badrinath Temple from Neelkanth Mountain

Several pilgrims who had visited the BadrinathTemple this year had reported about cracks on NeelkanthMountain overlooking the temple. A team of scientists from Geological Survey of India and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology that visited the temple has ruled out any danger to the BadrinathTemple from the cracks. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was built by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century.The scientists are planning to conduct and aerial survey when the climate permits to ascertain the exact cause of the cracks. Hindustan Times reports"Although the team was unable to conduct an aerial survey due to inclement weather, they were able to see some cracks on the mountain through their binoculars," said Dr. PC Nawani, Director, Geological Survey of India. He added that although the exact nature of the cracks can be determined after a proper aerial survey, there is no immediate threat of avalanches damaging the popular shrine or the Badrinath township. "Prel…

Guruvayur Temple purified after Union Minister Vayalar Ravi’s Son’s Visit

The famous GuruvayurTemple in Kerala was cleaned – Punyaham spraying (purification rite) – on Saturday, May 19, 2007, after Vayalar Ravi’s son and family entered the temple. Ravi Krishna, the union minister’s son, failed to produce the certificate needed to prove that he was a Hindu.Hindustan Times reportsThe minister had visited the temple with his family on Friday to perform the choroonu (ceremonial rice-feeding of the infant) of his six-month-old grandson Rajiv Krishna. After the ceremony, the minister had spent about an hour at the temple.Guruvayoor Devaswom Board chairman Thottathil Ravindran confirmed the incident. “Tantri is the final word as far as temple rituals are concerned. He instructed the temple to perform the purification rite. But personally I feel some of the old traditions will have to be changed with time,” he told the Hindustan Times.It must be noted that Vayalar Ravi is married to Mercy Ravi, a Christian. If ever there is a cleaning ceremony in Santana Dharma (Hi…

Yoga Patent

The move by US-based Bikram Choudhary to get copyright for yoga asanas have created ripples in India. Bikram Choudhary is the founder of Bikram Yoga and is planning to patent several Yoga asanas. What does this Yoga Patent mean? Well, if you practice a yoga asana patented by Bikram Choudhary, you can be taken to court. So you can only practice the asana with his organizations permission, of course and it will come with a fee. Yoga is a $3 billion industry today and so people like Bikram Choudhary will not like to share that pie. According to Times of India, the US Patent and Trademark office has reportedly issued 150 yoga-related copyrights, 134 trademarks on yoga accessories and 2,315 yoga trademarks.This new Yoga Controversy is nothing but the result of inefficient patent granting process in the United States. Above all scant respect for traditional knowledge. The apathy of the present Indian Government towards Indian tradition is well known. We can only hope that international pr…

Upanishad Ganga

Upanishad Ganga is a new television series based on the stories from the Vedas, Puranas, Hindu Mythology and Indian History. The series is directed by Dr. Chandra Prakash Dewivedi – who had earlier directed the famous Chanakya serial for Doordarshan. The series is produced by Chinmaya Mission.Earlier, it was reported that the serial Upanishad Ganga will be based on stories from the Upanishads. It seems there has been some change. Zakir Hussein, world renowned tabla maestro, is enacting some important characters in the series.

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati quotes

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi (1894 – 1994), the 68th pontiff of Kanchi Mutt 1894. He was also known as the Sage of Kanchi or Mahaperiyavar

‘Upaasana’ is ‘dhyaana’ or concentration or meditation. A form is required for concentration. Reality is always the same and changeless. ‘Brahman’, as the Ultimate Reality, is Formless. But ‘Upasana’ of a form is done with a purpose, namely, the attainment of a given benefit. The purpose to be attained by worshipping or concentrating on a form differs. The scriptures tell you how to meditate and on what all forms and with what results. For ‘Upasana’, you have to follow the ‘shastras’ or Scriptures.
The different ‘Upasanas’ are all aids in the path to the ultimate goal, namely, understanding ‘reality.’ Scriptures prescribe ‘Upaasana’ in order to train the mind to concentrate. ‘Upasana’ is the affair of the individual; there is nothing collective about it.
Parameswara and Sriman Narayana are one and the same in reality. They are not two. Thi…

Animation film Lava Kusa – The Warrior Twins

Lava Kusa – The Warrior Twins is yet another animation film based on Hindu mythology. Based on the epic Ramayana, the story of the film revolves around Lava and Kusa (Lav and Kusha), the twin sons of Lord Ram and Sita. The film is produced by Kanipakam Creations, in association with RVML animation studios.
Lava Kusa, a full-length 90 minute 2D feature film, will be released in English, Hindi and Telugu. Music is by noted music director S.L. Vaidyanathan and lyrics by Vetoori Sundara Rama Murthy.

Book on Tradition and Rituals in Hinduism and other religions in India

The book, Incredible India – Traditions and Rituals, delves into the tradition and rituals in Hinduism and other religions in India. The book is part of the Incredible India series from Wisdom Tree and is written by Muthusamy Varadarajan. The book explains how India's prevalent rituals and traditions emerged as tools of self-expression and as channels through which material rewards could be solicited.Excerpt from the book"Traditions are the salt and spice of life. The traditions of respect to elders, particularly the parents and the guru, hospitality, regard for women, loyalty and friendship, compassion, love and mercy, honesty, concern for ecology and environment, kindness to animals, equality of mankind, respect for and non-deviation from justice and, most of all, the acknowledgement of the intrinsic equality of all religions, are what can rightfully and legitimately be called our own inalienable traditions."

Akhand Path or Non Stop recitation of Ramayana

There is a Hanuman temple in the forests of Bihad, Madhya Pradesh. The epic Ramayana is being recited here continuously for 35 years and while you are reading this post the recitation is continuing. This Akhand Path is dedicated to Lord Hanuman.There are no villages near the temple and only the family of the priest and the Ramayana readers reside here. But this has not stopped people from visiting the temple. People from far flung areas visit the temple and some join in the Akhand Path. Daily India reports"We have people from every nook and corner including those from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. We pay them 50 rupees as their monthly salary. Besides that, we provide them with food and shelter. People from every place come here to visit the temple and experience the divine miracles of Lord Hanuman," said Shastri Subhashji, the priest.Despite the remoteness of the place, no untoward incident has taken place here. And the animals in the jungle have never interfered with the R…

Gujarat Painting Row and Hinduism

For more than two decades there is a highly active Hindu morality brigade in India. Although they represent a miniscule Hindu population, they are able to get their voices around the world through violence. The latest being the Gujarat Institute of Fine Arts painting row and the arrest of Chandra Mohan, an art student. M F Hussain has been the target of the morality brigade for quite for a while now. The morality policing is not confined to Hinduism in India. Islam and Christianity have from time to time come out with protests against artists and entertainment forms. The protests against Da Vinci Code and Discovery channel’s Jesus Tomb are the latest from Christian community. From Islam it was the famous Danish cartoon episode.The so called defenders of Hinduism often forget that we live in a democratic country. Each and every person living in India has a right to protest when his/her religious sentiments are hurt. But it should be done through methods that are agreeable to a civilize…

Veda Vyasa – the editor of Hindu Scriptures

Veda Vyasa is popularly known as the author of the epic Mahabharata. And perhaps even more popular as the author of Bhagavad Gita, a part of Mahabharata, which has gained independent status sheerly through its immortal philosophical content. Most Hindus associate him with the Mahabharata and do not realize that majority of the Holy Scriptures in Hinduism was edited by Veda Vyasa. The present day form of many Hindu scriptures is primarily due to the tireless work done by Veda Vyasa and his students.In the initial stage, the philosophical thoughts of Santana Dharma (Hinduism) remained scattered. Veda Vyasa is said to have collected all the Vedic passages and edited them and complied into four parts – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. It is believed that he taught the four Vedas to his four disciples. The division of the Vedas into four sections – Mantras (hymns), Brahmanas (rituals), Aranyakas (modes of worship) and Upanishads (philosophic revelations) – was done by Veda…

Din Dayal – the Hindu holy man who crawls to shrines

Some of the ways people choose to show their devotion to the almighty are at times beyond imagination. Din Dayal from Gujarat has crawled a distance of 2700 km to visit various Hindu shrines in India.

Now he is planning to crawl to Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu. This is when many people find it hard to reach the temple through foot as it is atop a hill. Picture courtesy

Is there a Hindu Bible?

I was surprised to find that ‘Hindu Bible’ is one of the popular searches in search engines on topic related to Hinduism. I guess by bible the searchers meant the holy book of Hinduism. Hindu religion has numerous Holy Scriptures like the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But which Holy Scripture will qualify as the Bible of Hinduism? Now, the choice would vary from people to people. For me it is the Bhagavad Gita because it contains the essence of all the important Hindu Scriptures.

Scientific and Archeological Evidence on Ram Sethu

The present UPA government in India does not believe the existence of Ram Sethu (Adam's Bridge), which Hindus believe is the bridge built by Lord Ram with the help of Hanuman and monkeys.Union Minister T R Baalu answering in writing to a question of MP Mr. Avinash Rai Khanna in Lok Sabha, once again reiterated that government does not believe there is any man-made structure on the channel configuration, therefore question of protecting it as heritage does not arise. Ambika Soni, Minister of Tourism and Culture, repeated the same in the Rajya Sabha. But the department of earth sciences, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, has given an ‘opinion’ to the government that the islets are probably a result of human activity.The Telegraph reportsThe department of earth sciences says the sand dunes have a base of coral and sandstone that seem to have been ‘transported’ from elsewhere.Its unpublished report, of which The Telegraph has a copy, says the naturally formed corals in Lak…

Avaduta Upanishad

Avadutha Upanishad is one among the 108 Upanishads. But does not fall into the category of Principal Upanishads. A very small Upanishad, the Avaduta is pregnant with meaning and explains the nature of a person who has understood the true meaning of Brahman. Avadhuta Upanishad
Om ! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Om ! Let there be Peace in me !
Let there be Peace in my environment !
Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !1. Then, it is said, Samkriti approached the venerable Avadhuta, Dattatreya, and questioned: Venerable Sir, Who is an Avadhuta ? What is his condition ? What his characteristic ? And what his worldly existence ? To him replied the venerable Dattatreya, the most compassionate:2. The Avadhuta is so called because he is immortal [akshara]; he is the greatest [varenya]; he has discarded worldly ties [d…

Lord Balaji on Watch

Several are the ways to express one’s devotion. Watches with picture of Lord Balaji embossed are a favorite with devotees.

How to convert to Hinduism?

I receive lot of emails asking how to covert to Hinduism? Or How to become a Hindu? I did not have a straightforward answer. Simply because we Hindus are never taught to think in terms of converting people. We are always asked to respect every religion. So my search on how to convert to Hinduism landed me up at the doors of Arya Samaj – the mission started by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. The state and central government has given authority to Arya Samaj to issue a certificate to those who wish to embrace Hinduism.Now how does one become a Hindu? It is very simple. First there is a purification ceremony known as ‘sudhi karma.’ Then render hymns from the four Vedas. Now the person is a Hindu and he/she will get a certificate. The person will only be converted to Hinduism not to any caste. The person can use this certificate to enter any temple in India.Apart from the Arya Samaj there are other Hindu organizations that are entitled to help people adopt Hinduism. They are usually determined …

British Hindus Fight to Save Sacred Bull Shambo

Shambo, the sacred bull kept by the SkandavaleTemple in Llanpumsaint, south west Wales, England, was diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis and was ordered to be slaughtered.But Hindus insist that Shamboo is isolated and is in a healthy condition. The temple has promised to keep the animal in isolation for the rest of its life. But authorities are not willing to let Shambo live. Bull is the vehicle of Lord Shiva and has a special place in all Shiva temples.The Hindu Forum of Britain has announced that it will form a human chain around the temple to save the bull.The Telegraph reports"To have a sacred bull from the temple slaughtered is completely unthinkable for us and is a matter of grave concern," said Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum. "It strikes at the very core of our beliefs."


The issue has already galvanized British Hindus and animal lovers. Since the bull belongs to a Hindu temple it will never enter the food chain even if it was healthy. N…

Kannada Version of Mahabharata in CD

Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari, the highly acclaimed and widely read Kannada Version of the Mahabharata, was released in CD format by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The text is popular known as Kumaravyasa Bharata and is credited to Gadugina Narayanappa.Kumaravyasa Bharata has only the first ten chapters of the original Mahabharata epic.

The Brahma Sutra Sankarabhasya

The Brahma Sutra Sankarabhasya – Up to Iksatyadhikarana with the commentaries `Bhasya-ratna-prabha' and `Sri Krishnacarana-bhusanam' is a new book from Adi Sankara Advaita Research Centre, Chennai.Brahma Sutras is one among the three basic texts in Vedanta, the other two being Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. Brahma Sutras is credited to Badarayan and in it the concepts of Vedanta are presented in an orderly manner.The book is scholarly in nature and delves into the vast ocean of Vedanta. From K. Vedamurthy review of the book in the Hindu On the whole, the publication stands out as a superbly researched and exquisitely executed work, which is in a class of its own.The Sanskrit text is preceded by an elaborate introduction in English by Veezhinathan, an eminent scholar. The theory of superimposition of the not-Self upon the Self, the need for a two-fold definition of the Self, the criterion of perceptuality of knowledge, the mode of interpretation of the texts such as `Tat tvam a…

The Sculpture of India – New Series in Doordarshan by Benoy K. Behl

‘The Sculpture of India’ is a New Series directed and produced for Doordarshan by noted art historian, photographer and filmmaker Benoy K. Behl. He along with associate director Latika Gupta and Assistant Cameraman Gopal Prajapati traveled over 80,000 kms to shoot the series. This huge project of 26 films takes the viewer from the time of the IndusValley civilization in the 4th and 3rd millenniums BC till the 17th century. The series details about the development of the art of sculpture in the country and how it is closely related to the cultural history of India. ‘The Sculpture of India’ traces the development of various concepts and themes in the making of temple idols and other images. It also throws light on the various traditions and how it evolved over a period of time.

Sumiran – Rare Bhajans of Lata Mangeshkar to Release Soon

Sumiran is a 17-year-old private recording done by Lata Mangeshkar for a temple and was unearthed recently. The holy shlokas were found accidentally and is in near perfect condition. (link)
Composed by Latajis brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar, the album has 23 popular Sanksrit sholkas (hymns) dedicated to Lord Shiva, Goddesses Durga, Saraswati, Lord Rama and other deities in Hindu pantheon. The album is released by Sa Re Ga Ma and is priced at Rs 225. Lata Mangeshkar’s Meera Bhajans, rendition of the Bhagavad Gita and albums like Ram ratan dhan payo and Chala vahi des are hugely popular with Hindus.

Does Hinduism Need God Men?

On Sunday, CNN IBN had exposed three Hindu God Men or ‘babas’ who were ready to turn illegal money into white. The God Men were shown willing to take money from the corporate representatives (journalists undercover) and in return write them a cheque back for the same amount. The corporates only needed to pay a certain amount of commission to the ‘babas.’ All this because by investing money in charitable institutions corporates gets a considerate amount of tax rebate.The exposed god men were Vedanti Maharaj, chairman of the Ramjanmabhoomi Trust in Ayodhya, Pilot Baba (Kapil Advait), former wing commander who fought for India in the 1965 and 1971 wars and Guruvayoor Surya Namboodiri, famous for making prophecies.It is a well known fact that certain Hindu God Men are indulged in illegal activities. People usually talk about this in private and now some ‘babas’ are caught red handed. Saddest part is that none of the central or state governments ever do anything to control such illegal act…

What is Sahasranama?

Sahasranama or Sahasranamam are hymns in Hindu Holy Scriptures in which a deity is referred to by 1,000 or more different names. ‘Sahasra’ means thousand or a very large number. ‘Nama’ means name. So the literal translation of Sahasranama is 'thousand names'.Sahasranamams are classified as stotras or hymns of praise. The thousand or more names take a reader of the stotra through the entire attributes, functions and myths related to the deity. It is a sort of an encyclopedia on the deity.Some of the important Sahasranamams are Lalitha Sahasranama, Vishnu Sahasranama and Shiva Shasranama.There are also many shorter hymns like ‘Ashtottara shatanama stotra’ which has only 108 names.

Designer Nameplates with Figures of Hindu Gods and Symbols

Nameplates embossed with figures of Hindu gods like Krishna, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga and symbols like Om, lingam and swastika can now be found at the entrances of many homes and offices. Vaastu Shastra suggests that such embossed nameplates bring good luck.The cost of designing such nameplates varies from region to region and depends upon the decoration and style. These name plates come in different materials like terracotta, wood finish, bamboo, copper and glass.

Vedic Management – The Holistic Approach to Managerial Excellence

The new book Vedic Management by Dr S. Kannan presents the theory of Vedic Management on a four dimensional perspective incorporating self management, relationship management, cosmic management and spiritual management. Dr. S. Kannan is a Chartered Accountant, Management Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor and Certified Information Security Manager. Dr S. Kannan holds a Ph.D. in Commerce and another inter-disciplinary Ph.D. (Management and Sanskrit) in the domain of Vedic management. The book is published by Taxmann.The book has more 1500 references from the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads in the four Vedas. The book demonstrates and proves conclusively that all the progressive modern management principles, concepts and practices are of Vedic origin. It clearly and succinctly establishes that the Vedas pervade the management domain universally cutting across the contours of cultural dualities, inspiring one to act with excellence, foresight and vision coupl…

Manuscripts in Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Saraswathi Mahal Library to be Made Online

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Central Library and SV Digital Library have started digitizing the manuscripts and collections in the famous Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Saraswathi Mahal Library. The library is a treasure house of knowledge with manuscripts on art, culture and literature.
Most the manuscripts belong to the dynasties of Nayaks and Marathas of Thanjavur. The library was started during the rule of the Nayak dynasty in the 16th century and was later developed by Maratha kings of Thanjavur. The library has over 45,000 manuscripts and around 39,000 of them are in Sanskrit.
The library contains important Ayurvedic manuscripts in the form of prescriptions and case studies by the then Ayurvedic doctors. Apart from the manuscripts, it also has a vast collection of paintings and maps from the medieval period.
The Indian Express reports Following request of the Government of Tamil Nadu to TTD Central Library and Digital Library to digitise the collection at the Saraswathi Mahal…

Five Elephants Killed By Lighting in West Bengal, India

The Telegraph reports that five elephants were found dead on the Radiak riverbed near Alipurduar in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal. Forest officials have given lightning as the reason. The dead elephants, which included two cubs, were spotted by employees of a tea estate near Buxa tiger reserve. Although the government believes the cause of death was lighting it has ordered an inquiry into the episode.Elephants do get killed by lighting but it is very rare that so many of them get killed in one stroke. Wildlife officials were unable to recall similar instances. Animesh Bose, the founder of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, recalled an instance in late 1980s when five elephants were killed by lightning.

Britain’s First State Funded Hindu Primary School to be Eco Friendly

Krishna-Avanti school, the first government-funded Hindu primary in United Kingdom, will echo Hinduism’s deep rooted link with Nature. The school is due to open in 2008 and is partnered with ISKCON. According to Times Education Supplement, the school will have a grass-covered roof and toilets that use rainwater. The school will use electricity from solar energy and an underground water tank to regulate temperature. The Supplement reportsThe school building will be surrounded by plants with religious significance such as fig and neem trees and money plants. The roof, planted with grass-like sedum, will change from green to pink and yellow according to the seasons. It will also produce plenty of butterfly-attracting nectar.

Major Archeological Find at Dwarka

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found a wooden block at Dwarka, Guajarat, which can help in dating the structures found here. The wooden block was found in its original place at a depth of two to three meters near seashore. ASI's Underwater Archaeology Wing (UAW), which has been conducting excavations in the area, found this wooden block.Dwarka is associated with Lord Krishna and legend has it that the city was swallowed by sea when Krishna returned to heaven. From The HinduAlok Tripathi, Superintending Archaeologist, UAW, who led the excavation, said: ‘The discovery of this wooden block is of great importance because these submerged stone structures are known for the past 40 years. But no material was available from these structures, which can be dated. Stones cannot be easily dated. Dates given earlier were based on different interpretations."The block, made of local beach wood, would be sent for carbon-14 dating and "it will give the final date for the submer…

Nuclear Weapons and Bhagavad Gita - Robert Oppenheimer’s Quote Still Lingers in US Discussions but This Time It Is for Peace.

Upon witnessing the first atomic bomb explosion, Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the team of scientists who built that first nuclear bomb, recalled a verse from the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Robert Oppenheimer limited his comment to the first part of the first verse of thirty fourth stanza in the Chapter 10 of Bhagavad Gita. Robert Oppenheimer never mentioned the next words in the same line – I am the Source of things to be. Perhaps he thought human beings only knew how to destroy or did not then realize the peaceful use of nuclear energy.The original Quote from Chapter Xम्र्त्युह सर्वह्रास्चाहमुद्भावास्चा भाविश्यतम
किर्तिही श्रीवाकिचा नारीणँ स्मृतिँमृधाMrtyuh sarvahras-ca-ham-udbhavas-ca bhavishyatam
Kirtih sririvakca narinam smrtir-medhaI am the all-embracing Death, and the Source of things to be, and of Women, the Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory, Intelligence.Now in 2007, Dr. Christopher A. Ford, United States Specia…

Why Women Are Not Allowed In Sabarimala?

There is an ongoing debate in Hindu society on whether to allow or not to allow women in the age group of 10 to 50 to the famous Sabarimala Ayyappa Shrine in Kerala. The matter is presently under the consideration of the Supreme Court of India. Indian Young Lawyers Association and some women advocates had filed a petition challenging the ban on the entry to women in Sabarimala. Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the shrine, has informed the Supreme Court that it is against allowing entry to women.
The main reason pointed out was that “worshippers visit the temple only after observing penance for 41 days. Usually women between the age of 10 and 50 will not be physically capable of observing `vratham' for 41 days on physiological grounds (menstruation cycle).”

This May There Is the Rare Blue Moon

In May 2007, the full moon will appear twice. The first full moon is on May 2nd and the second full moon is on May 31st. This rare second moon is known as ‘Blue Moon.’ No! The moon will not change its color to blue. A blue moon is the second full moon in a month. This second moon is based Gregorian calendar and therefore this rare sighting has nothing to do with Hindu Calendars. But there will be two ‘poornimas’ (full moon) in May.The blue moon was last sighted on July 31, 2004. Now you must be thinking about the phrase ‘once in a blue moon,’ which means ‘not very often.’ Yes, the phrase is related to this rare sighting of the moon. For a blue moon to appear there must be at least 30 days in a month because the average number of days between two full moons is around 29 days. Because of this, February will never have a blue moon.After the Blue Moon on May 31st 2007 one has to wait till December 31st 2009. Since the date is on 31st, depending on the time zone some countries might not ha…

What does Sanatana Dharma mean?

Sanatana Dharma is the true and original name of Hinduism. So, what is the meaning of Sanatana Dharma? Sanatana means that which cannot be destroyed by fire, water, air, weapons and is present in all living and non living being. The nearest apt English word for Sanatana is ‘Eternal.’ Now for Dharma, there is no apt English word. The nearest explanation for dharma is duty, responsibility of an individual or code of life or law. Roughly, Sanathana Dharma means the ‘Eternal Law.’

Essentially Sanatana Dharma is the sum total of all attempts made by living beings (individual soul) to merge with the Supreme Soul. The experiences of all those who made the attempt before is found in the scriptures.

Sanatana Dharma is an eternally flowing river. The only aim of the river is merge with the Supreme Truth.
The words ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ is a later incorrect designation. The above meaning of
Sanatana can be found in the Bhagavad Gita.
It must be noted here that none of the major scriptures of S…