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Showing posts from February 10, 2007

Why so many Hindu Gods and Goddesses?

One of the main criticisms leveled against Hinduism is that Hindu religion has numerous Gods and Goddesses. But little do these people realize that the greatest strength of Hinduism is the worship of a multiplicity of gods and goddesses. This myriad of murtis is in fact a celebration of freedom.

There are numerous paths to reach the Supreme Truth or God or Brahman. The gods and goddesses represent these paths.
Brahman (Supreme Truth or God) in its true form cannot be captured in words or in graphic. Everything is Brahman. This is something hard to practice and only great souls have been able to digest it.
Ordinary humans have numerous problems and fears and they have existed for thousands of years. These problems and fears are different for different people. If today, you fear a virus attack on your computer, thousands of years ago a person feared the death of his cattle or the forces of nature. Now this person found a refuge for his fear in supernatural forces (god). The person …

Thoughts on the Origin of Shiva Worship

When was Shiva worshipped first? This question has no specific answer. The origin of the worship of Shiva is lost and what is left is the inference of few scholars. And the scholars themselves don’t agree on these inferences. The earliest account of Shiva is found in the Rig Veda Book 1, 43. There is reference of Shiva again in Rig Veda Book II, 33 and VII, 46. He is mainly known as Rudra and ‘Puru rupa’ in the Rig Veda. Next reference is in Atharva Veda and here he is mentioned as Rudra, ‘NeelSikandin’ – with blue body, Pasupati, Mahadeva and numerous other names meaning destruction. Next major reference of Shiva is found in Yajur Veda. Vedas describe him as a fierce god and a destroyer. Some verses in the Vedas mention him as lightning and there are verses which describe him as a peaceful god. But mainly Shiva is fierce god.If we take a closer look at Shiva worship, we will realize that many of his qualities are closely related to nature. The worship of Shiva might have already been…

Valentine's Day and Hindu Religion

For a decade on Valentine’s Day, Hindus are reminded of their rich cultural tradition through vandalism. Valentine's Day is not associated with Hinduism and neither is it a traditional Indian event. Several Hindu organizations and Regional political parties have objected to the celebration. But Valentine’s Day has found many takers especially in metros and in big towns.

Shops selling Valentines Day cards and gifts have been smashed in the past. Restaurants and Hotels celebrating the day have not been spared. More and more people came to know about Valentine’s Day in India mainly thorough the moral policing and mindless violence carried out by some organizations. I don’t think even today more than 20% of the youngsters in India know what Valentine’s Day is all about.

Valentine’s Day celebration in India is nothing but a skilful ploy by the business community to rake in some money. We can express our love all the 365 days not just a particular day.

Now, if a youngster wants to celebrat…

About Mahima Mela at Joranada in Orissa

Mahima Mela takes place at Joranada in Dhenkanal District of Orissa. The fair is associated with Mahima Gosain and takes place at his mausoleum known as Sunya Mandir. There is no idol worship in the temple and prayers are towards Param Brahma. The mela gained popularity when many devotees had their wishes fulfilled.
One unique vow here is that people submit their children as hermit at the mausoleum and take them back after a couple of years.
Daily India reports about this unique vow Basanti Nayak, a devotee, once wished at Mahima Gosain's mausoleum and took a vow to submit her son in the service of hermits here, provided her wish was fulfilled.

After the fulfilment of her wish, she symbolically made her son a "Sanyasi", whom she brought back later under a ritual performed by her brother in exchange of a sum of money, rice and clarified butter or, Ghee as is mentioned in a ritual.

On Geeta Society and Prabha Duneja

Lea Blevins writes in about Geeta Society and its founder and president Prabha Duneja. The nonprofit organization Geeta Society is involved in teaching the ideals of Hinduism and it helps children around the world. Earlier a special education teacher at JunctionAvenueMiddle School in Livermore, Prabha Duneja has to her credit eight books and more than 15 audio CDs dealing with various aspects of Hinduism.From the reportIn the Bay Area, Duneja teaches both Hindus and non-Hindus about the faith and its teachings. Her meditation classes, available in the Tri-Valley at Be Well in Livermore and The Yoga Company in San Ramon, are for anyone looking to discover more about themselves.

Quote for the day – Sri Aurobindo

To cease to be identified with the body, to separate oneself from the body-consciousness, is a recognized and necessary step whether toward spiritual liberation or toward spiritual perfection and mastery over Nature.Sri Aurobindo(Source: The Life Divine - Aurobindo - Book Two, Chapter Twenty-Seven, ‘The Gnostic Being’)