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Showing posts from February 8, 2007

Hindu Pushups

If you had heard about Hindu Pushups, then this article might not be any great help. Hindu Pushup is nothing but an exercise that many people perform daily. It is part of the daily routine of Indian wrestlers and they call it ‘dand’ and is a variation of Surya Namaskar. The exercise got the name Hindu Pushups because the British found it as another variation of pushup. The British used the term ‘Hindu’ to denote anything that was associated with Hindus in India and had nothing to do with Muslims. Most the Indian wrestlers during the British period were Hindus. The exercise is performed to develop the upper part of the body and you might be already practicing it without knowing that it is called Hindu Pushup. You can find an animated version of the pushup here.

Importance of Lord Shiva

In Hindu scriptures and folklore, Lord Shiva is depicted as one who removes inauspicious and assures in joy. Lord Shiva is one of the earliest gods worshipped and phallic symbols (Lingam) excavated from IndusValley civilization point towards this fact. Therefore, significance of Lord Shiva can be traced back to the earliest civilizations. What does Shiva mean?This is a tricky question and there are numerous definitions but nothing concrete. Lately, I found a good explanation in a book.“On the authority of Siddhanta Kaumudi and Shabda, Kalpa Dharma, Shiva means, one who makes thin or attenuates sin (asubha-inauspicious).1An important aspect of Shiva is that he is more human. He has all the qualities and weakness of a human being like compassion, anger, lust etc. In fact, Lord Shiva is a perfect amalgamation of human and supernatural characteristics. In human qualities, he is lover, dancer, fighter and hunter. And in supernatural form, he is the creator and destroyer and man and woman …

On Surya Namaskar, Rahul Dravid, Indian Left and RSS

The Surya Namaskar program by RSS in India has been garnering a lot of attention lately due to the controversies surrounding it. First it was the Madhya Pradesh government’s proposal to introduce Surya Namaskar in schools, now; it is regarding Rahul Dravid, Indian Cricket Team captain participating in a Surya Namaskar camp in Nagpur conducted by RSS.In Madhya Pradesh, the controversy was regarding the chants which addressed Hindu gods and Lord Surya (sun). So, Muslims objected to Surya Namaskar being made compulsory in school. In a democracy like ours, no religious practice should be forced on anybody but at the same time those who voluntarily take part in such practice should not be stopped. Similarly, there should not be any impediments in spreading traditional Indian knowledge.The second controversy is the creation of Indian Left especially by CPI(M). The mainstream media ignored the Rahul Dravid participating in a Surya Namaskar camp as it had no news value. But the ever over-vigi…

On Hinduism’s Role in Protecting Nature

Vasudha Narayanan, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida, has written a well thought out essay in Newsweek Washingtonpost on Hindu religion's role in protecting nature. Some excerpts from the essayOne tree is equal to ten sons” says the Goddess Parvati in the Matsya Puranam, a little known Hindu text.Tirupati temple promotes reforestation and donations for ecological projects is important; it raises the consciousness of millions of Hindus about the ecological disaster that is facing the Earth.Hindu narratives, rituals, customs as well as local, ethnic folklore have been highlighted to help lift up the urgency of protecting the environment. From major Hindu temple complexes to small grass root organizations, one is urged to give one’s time, money, and energies to saving the Earth. In some meditations and action forums, Earth is personified as a Goddess and like dharma or righteousness, she protects those who protect her.Nature worship i…