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Showing posts from February 13, 2007

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple

SriKrishnaTemple at Guruvayur in Thrissur District, Kerala, is renowned in the Hindu world for the unique idol of Lord Krishna. Krishna is known here as Unnikrishna or Balakrishna. It is believed that idol here was given by Lord Vishnu to Brahma who passed it to a couple without children. Since, Lord Vishnu had worshipped the idol, the GuruvayurTemple is considered as ‘Bhooloka Vaikunta’ or heaven on earth. The daily puja routine here was laid down by Adi Sankaracharya. There are numerous myths associated with GuruvayurTemple. The temple is famous for the Thulabharam ritual. For devotes, the Lord is the all pervading Guruvayoorappan. Only Hindus are allowed inside the temple. Shirt, T-shirt, pyjama, chapels, and other modern dresses are not allowed inside the temple. Men should be in ‘mundu’ and should not cover their top. Women should be in sarees and children should wear ‘pavadi.’ Churidhar allowed inside after a dress code change in July 2007. Mobile phones and camera are not per…

The power of Dharma by Stephen Knapp

The book ‘The Power of Dharma: An introduction to Hinduism and Vedic culture’ is a good introduction to those who are eager to know about Hinduism. It provides an overview of the basic concepts in Hindu religion. The book is written by Stephen Knapp. He has been associated with Hinduism for more than four decades and his studies in Vedas are highly appreciated. The book touches the important aspects of Hindu religion like customs, traditions, worship, festivals, yoga and Ayurveda.

About Tantric Literature

Usually, Tantric Literature is a dialogue between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva adorns the role a teacher and Parvati that of a student. Tantric Literature begins with the creation of the world and ends with the end of the world or the next beginning. The Tantric texts usually contain different forms of worship, magic and related things, spiritual exercises, ways to worship a particular deity, thoughts on nature etc.Tantric Literature falls under the category of ‘Agamas.’ Vedas are ‘Nigamas.’ Agamas concentrate on a particular aspect of God and in it practice of enjoyment is necessary for salvation. One of the striking aspects is that women were allowed to partake in all rituals. In the initial phase, the literature was passed down mainly through oral rendering. Lord Shiva is Bhairava and Parvati is Bhairavi. Cremation grounds and burning of the corpses are part of rituals. Yoni puja and stree puja are mentioned in the literature. Some of the important Tantric texts were …