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Showing posts from June, 2007

Comic Book on Indra – The King Gods from Virgin Comics

Indra – The King Gods from Virgin Comics is the third book in the India Authentic Series by Deepak Chopra after Ganesha and Kali. The book is written by Saurav Mohapatra and is slated to release on 11th July 2007. About Comic Book Indra from Virgin ComicsI am Indra – the son of Dyaus. I am the Thunder! I am the King of Gods. Those that have stood before me have either become friends or have been crushed by my Vajra. Like Virithra, the serpent demon that held the waters of a young world hostage, and who could not be killed by any metal, or wood, or stone. I decimated him with my Vajra, crafted from the bones of the sage Dadhichi. I am the ruler of Svarga (Heaven,) master of the nubile Apsaras (nymphs,) the lord of Soma (the sweet wine of Ambrosia,) and the tamer of Airavaat, the four tusked elephant of lore. I invite you to come see for yourself the might of Indra and the splendor of Amarvati Prime, the city of Gods.

Invading the Sacred - An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America

The book Invading the Sacred - An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America uncovers the invisible networks behind a Hindu phobia especially in the American Academy that is systematically undermining core icons and ideals of Hindu culture and thought. The book contains a series of essays written by academicians and professionals and is edited by Krishnan Ramaswamy, Antonio de Nicolas and Aditi Banerjee. Some examples of undermining HinduismThe Bhagavad Gita is a dishonest book.
Ganesha's trunk is a limp phallus.
Devi is the mother with a penis.
Shiva is a notorious womanizer and violent.
Sri Ramakrishna is a pedophile who molested the young Swami Vivekananda.
The bindi is a drop of menstrual fluid.There are more of these types of findings and modern interpretations of Hinduism and its symbols in American academy.The book Invading the Sacred - An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America uncovers the senile people behind such monstrous accusations and the Indian Diaspora's challenges …

Poem by Vidyapati on Radha’s wait for Krishna

Her tears carved a river
And she broods on its bank,
Hurt and confused.
You ask her one thing,
She speaks of another.
Her friends believe
That joy may come again.
At times they banish hope
And cease to care.O Madhava,
I have run to call you.
Radha each day
Grows thinner
Thinner than the crescent in the sky...VidyapatiSource Poem: Thinner than the crescent in the sky by Vidyapati (1374-1460)

The All Stone Iraivan Hindu Temple in Kauai, Hawaii

Slowly and steadily an all-stone IraivanHinduTemple dedicated to Lord Shiva is rising at Kauai in Hawaii. If you are wondering what is this all-stone temple? Then refresh your memory and remember the great Chola temples of South India. Yes, completely built on stone. India has stopped building all-stone Hindu temples way back due the cost and dearth of skilled laborers.

Construction of the IraivanHinduTemple began in 1990 and it could take another 10 years to finish. Parts of the temple are hand-carved in granite and shipped in pieces to the island from India and the temple has already incorporated 80 shipping containers worth of stone. On completion the 700-pound crystal Shiva lingam housed in Kauai Monastery will be installed in the temple.
The Washington Post reportsThe $8 million temple to the god Shiva is the first all-stone Hindu temple outside of India, according to the Kauai monks. The project is a rarity even in India. ‘Actually it's the first all-stone temple made anywhere…

Global Warming to Have Severe Effect on Hinduism

Hinduism is deeply rooted in Nature. Hindu religion believes in the Brahman – the Supreme Being that pervades in all animate and inanimate. Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad GitaMy Prakriti can be divided into eight-fold categories – Bhumi (earth), Apas (water), Anala (fire), Vayu (air), Kha (ether), Mana (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Ahankara (ego).(Bhagavad Gita Chapter VII, 4) The great sages of the past who laid the foundations of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) knew the importance of Nature and that Human Beings are part of Nature not above Nature. Thus Mother Earth, the Sun, moon, mountains, rivers, animals and forests are all part of Hindu tradition. Hindus worship them as they are manifestations of the Supreme Being and their existence is necessary for the survival of the human race. But River Ganga, the SnowcappedMountains that are the abode of Lord Shiva, the glaciers that serve the holy rivers are all under the threat of global warming. The very survival of Mother Earth is under thr…

River Enters This Kerala Temple to Conduct the Holy Bath

In most of the temples in Kerala, there is a traditional holy bath of the deity on the closing day of the temple festival and this is locally known as ‘arattu.’ The priests carry the deity to a nearby river or other water body for the ‘arattu.’ But in the ThanikkudamBhagavathyTemple in Thrissur, Kerala, the river enters the temple to conduct the holy bath or ‘arattu.’
The ThanikkudamBhagavathyTemple is dedicated to Durga and the holy bath happens when the nearby ThanikkudamRiver overflows and enters the temple. During the monsoon rains (June – July) and during the (October – November) rains, the ThanikkudamRiver which surrounds the temple overflows and enters the sanctum sanctorum. The deity is never taken out for ‘arattu,’ so people in large numbers reach the temple when the river overflows.
Another noteworthy aspect of this temple is that there is no roof for the sanctum sanctorum. The original idol is a swaymbhu (occurring naturally) Durga and is kept inside the closed walls without …

Why do Hindus say Namaste?

Hindus greet with two palms placed together in front of the chest and says namaste bowing the head and shoulders slightly. In Sanskrit, ‘namaste’ means ‘I bow to you.’ On the spiritual plane, it is a negation of one’s ego. Hindu religion believes that Brahman, the Supreme Soul, exists in all animate and inanimate. The folded palms placed before the chest symbolizes that the divinity in me and you are the same. The bowing down of the head and closing the eyes is worshipping the divinity in you.

Some Hindus prefer to use ‘Ram Ram’ instead of ‘namaste’ and this again is recognizing that the life force in me and you are the same. In the various regional languages in India, Namaste becomes ‘Namaskar,’ ‘Namaskaram,’and ‘Namaskara.’

Hindu Prayer to Open United States Senate Session in July 2007

For the first time in its history, on July 12, 2007 the United States senate will open with a Hindu Prayer. Rajan Zed, a Hindu priest from Nevada, who had previously offered prayers to open sessions of the Nevada State Assembly in March and Nevada State Senate in May this year will become the first Hindu to deliver the opening prayer in U.S. Senate. Jewish and Islamic leaders have earlier delivered opening prayer in the U.S. Senate apart from Protestant and Catholic priests. The senators recommend religious leaders from their home states to serve as guest chaplains.Cnsnews reportsZed, a U.S. citizen originally from India, said he has not finalized the prayer but that it will likely quote Hindu scriptures including the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita.

He said he plans to start and end the prayers with ‘OM,’ the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

The Monsoon Wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati in Orissa

The Monsoon wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is a five-day long festival in Sambalpur, Orissa and is known as Shital Shashthi (Sital Sasthi). An actual marriage of the two deities is conducted during the festival, which takes place in May-end or June. Preparations for the marriage begin with the selection of two couples from the area, who act as the parents of the groom and bride (Lord Shiva and Parvati).
The bride’s parents adopt Goddess Parvati and this initiation is observed as Patrapendi. On this day a lavish dinner is arranged at the bride’s house. Two days later Goddess Parvati arrives at the home of her adopted parents. From her adopted home, the bride is taken in a grand procession for the marriage ceremony, which takes place during the night. Similarly, Lord Shiva, the bridegroom, arrives for the marriage ceremony. All the rituals that are part of normal marriage ceremony are followed for the divine wedding.
The marriage takes place at the auspicious time and larg…

Razmnama – Illustrated Persian Translation of Mahabharata

Razmnama is an abridged translation of the Mahabharata written in Persian at the behest of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and dates to around 1598–99. The original book is no longer available as the pages from the original Razmnama are scattered around the world; and are today the proud possessions of various collectors. Twenty-five elaborately illustrated folios of Razmnama are part of the large impressive collection in the John Fredrick Lewis Collection in the Free Library of Philadelphia, United States.
For the first time since 1923, an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art brought together 25 pages of Razmnama at the John Fredrick Lewis Collection. The exhibition was held from July 14, 2007 to December 9, 2007. Razmnama is noted for it elaborate and exquisite illustrations. In the below painting, Karna Slays the Kaikeya Prince Vishoka. Style – Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper.

Swami Chinmayananda Quotes and Teachings

Quotes and Teachings of Swami Chinmayananda (8 May 1916 – 3 August 1993) from various sources including books, talks, newspaper and magazine articles. This is a collection of thoughts and sayings collected over a period of more than 10 years.
Live morality before you talk of it.Practice meditation before you preach it.Taste goodness before you recommend it.Gain bliss before you offer it to others.A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.Learn to be happy alone. If we do not enjoy our own company, why inflict it on others?The tragedy of human history is that there is decreasing happiness in the midst of increasing comforts.Happiness depends on what you can give. Not on what you can get.Humility is a strange thing. The minute you think you have got it, you have lost it.The quality of a mind would determine how the ego would react to a given challenge.Scriptures are not mere books for intellectual studies. We must learn to assimilate t…

Animation Films Based on Hindu Mythology

Whether it is 2D animation or 3D animation or a combination of both, there is never a dearth of themes in Hindu Mythology. But sadly none of the entertainment houses were interested in exploring this untapped arena, until the huge success of Hanuman. The success of Hanuman has prompted several production houses in India to turn to animation of Hindu Mythologies… or as most adult Indians call it – cartoon for children with Hindu mythology themes. Perhaps animation never made it big in India because of this attitude of the adults. Here is a list of the animation films based on Hindu Mythology. Most of them never had a major theatrical release.The Prince of Light: The Legend of Ramayana directed by Yogo Sako and released in 1992 this was a Japanese production.
Pandavas - The Five Warriors was released in 2000 by Pentamedia Graphics Ltd and was the first 3D animated full length feature from India.
Hanuman released in 2005 was the first indigenous animation success story. This was a major …

Different Versions of the Ramayana around the World

The original Ramayana was written by Sage Valmiki. There are numerous other versions of the Valmiki Ramayana in India and around the world, especially in Southeast Asia. Most of the different versions around the world stick to the main theme but have unique characteristics and a regional flare.Tibetan translation of the Ramayana was made in the 8th or 9th century and this is one of the earliest translations of the Ramayana made in the ancient Tibetan script of Tubo.Chinese Buddhist sutras also contain fragments of the Ramayana. In Indonesia, the Ramayana epic was written in the Old Javanese language around the 8th or 9th century and entitled Ramayana Kakawin.In Laos, the two popular versions of Ramayana are Phra Lak Phra Lam and Gvay Dvorahbi.In Thailand, the popular Thai version of the epic is known as Ramakien which dates back to the 13th century.In Cambodia, the story of Lord Ram is The Reamkher.In Persia, it is the Dastan-e-Ram O Sita and Razmnama.In Nepal, it is the Nepali Sundar…

About the Hindu Japamala

Japa is the repetition of a mantra or a word or a combination of words done with the intention of realizing the Supreme Being. To keep count of the repetition of the mantra, a prayer garland is used and this is known as Japamala (Japa mala).

Usually a Japamala consists of 108 beads – the number 108 is of great significance in Hinduism. In Japamala, all the beads are of same size, except one bead which is known as ‘meru.’ When the mantra is repeated the devotee counts it on the bead and the count is automatically kept when the fingers reach the ‘meru.’ When the fingers reach the ‘meru’ the counting is done by turning back as the ‘meru’ should not be crossed.
Japamala is usually made from Tulsi, sandalwood, rosewood, or Rudraksha. There are also malas made from precious and semi-precious stones.

Read Ganesha Comic from Virgin Comics Online

The Ganesha Comic is the first release in Deepak Chopra’s India Authentic series for Virgin Comics.The Virgin Ganesha Comic is available online here.

Why only find fault with Hindu God Men and Hindu spiritual organizations?

Business of the Gods by Tehelka this week questions the Hindu spiritual leaders for amassing fortunes and building empires. Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, Art of Living. Holding on to faith and letting go of stress in these troubled times comes at a price. But millions are ready to pay. The healers, amassing fortunes and building empires, seem to be the happiest. – this is the introduction of the article and in a nutshell the theme of the article. Fortunately, there is a mention here and there in the article about the philanthropic activities conducted by the Hindu spiritual organizations. The well researched article talks in detail about the finances of most famous Hindu spiritual organizations including Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev and Osho. Surprisingly missing from the list is Sai Baba.It is amusing to note that Tehelka does not forget to mention the caste of Mata Amritanandamayi – DESPITE HER lower-caste origins, “Amma” Amritanandamayi — the saint of Keral…

Mata Amritanandamayi Quotes

Quotes and teachings of Mata Amritanandamayi from various sources. The Mata Amritanandamayi Devi quotes is a continuous collection of quotes of more than 10 years. These quotes are from books, talks, newspaper, magazine articles.

Children live in the present moment. This is why people feel so drawn to them.
Unless we have a certain degree of mastery over the mind, true peace is difficult to attain.
Your heart is the temple where God should be enshrined. Your good thoughts are the flowers, your good words the hymns, your good deeds the rituals. And love is the offering.
There are two kinds of happiness and sorrow. When we don't get what we want, we feel sad; but when others get what they wish, our sadness is even greater. Similarly, we are happy when we succeed in something, but we are happier when others fail. This is a serious disease of the mind. Pray for a heart that rejoices in the happiness of others and empathizes with their sorrows.
Someone who has discarded all desires, al…

The Holy Cow Worshipped in Hindu Religion

Milk, butter, curd are food. Urine and cow dung are medicines in Ayurveda. Dried cow dung is fuel. Dung mixed with daub is used to plaster walls and is a building material. Butter is used lavishly in Hindu rituals. The sacred white powder made from dung is applied on the forehead – the holy ash in Hinduism, symbol of God Shiva. Dried cow dung is also used in Hindu funerals in some parts of India.
Food, medicine, house, fuel, prayer….the list goes on…Tell me one reason why five thousand years ago the cow should not have been worshipped. God is the all provider and a cow was the all provider in ancient Hindu society. Various products provided by the cow are an integral part of a Hindu way of life. Quite often many Hindus might not be aware of it. Even today there are millions of households in India whose economy revolves around the cow. In rural India, you will find stories like… it is by selling this cow’s milk I was able to educate my son! Majority of the South Indians find it ha…

Hindu Youth in America

Growing up Hindu in America - A Surprising Success Story is a Youth and Religion Project by R. Stephen Warner, University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Youth and Religion Project (Y&RP) looked into the ways in which religious institutions serve the needs of younger Americans (aged 8 to 30) in the rapidly changing society through a focus on religious institutions in metropolitan Chicago. The project was directed by R. Stephen Warner of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Some excerpts from the projectWe expected Hindu youth in our focus groups to manifest bewilderment about their religious identity… We did not expect what in fact we found well represented among the UIC students we began to talk with five years ago: enthusiastic, knowledgeable American-born and American-raised Hindu youth of both sexes. Our subsequent study of Hindu institutions and Hindu families has revealed some of the ingredients in what seems so far to be a success story: religious institutions (temples, congre…

Rig Veda included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme preserves and raises awareness of documentary heritage, the memory of the world, which reflects the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures. The Memory of the World Register was created in 1997 and includes 120 properties. This year 38 new items were added to the list including the thirty manuscripts of the Rig Veda dating from 1800 to 1500 BC.The text submitted by India in 2006-2007 for the inclusion of the Rig Veda in the Memory of the World Register.The Vedas are generally known as the scriptures of the Hindu community. However, being among the first literary documents in the history of humankind, they transcend far beyond their identity as scriptures. The Rig Veda, the oldest among the four Vedas, is the fountain source of the so-called Aryan culture in all its manifestations that spread beyond the Indian subcontinent to large parts of South and South East Asia, as well as parts of Central Asia. This valuable treasure of the ancient worl…

Avatar Charita Gita by Narhar Das

Avatar Charita Gita – a rare book – details about the 10 Avatars or incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The book was written by Narhar Das, a contemporary of Tulsidas. Avtar Charita Gita is presently preserved at the AllahabadMuseum and has 629 pages and 33 colored paintings in Mughal style. It is these illustrations in Mughal style that makes the book a rarity. The book narrates almost all the stories pertaining to the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Apart from this, the book also explores several other myths related to Vishnu’s incarnations.Avatar Charita Gita uses the Devnagari script and the language used is Awadhi and Apbhransha. The book also makes use of Anushtup chhand and dohas. Narhar Das mentions at the end of Avatar Charita Gita that book is written to help the next generation to understand the values of their religion – Hinduism.

Quotes on Mother Kali – Ramprasad Sen

Why is Mother Kali so radiantly black?
Because she is so powerful,
that even mentioning her name destroys delusion.
Because she is so beautiful,
Lord Shiva, Conquerer of death,
lies blissfully vanquished,
beneath the red soled feet. There are subtle hues of blackness,
But her bright complexion
is the mystery that is utterly black,
overwhelmingly black, wonderfully black. When she awakens in the lotus shrine
within the heart's secret cave,
her blackness becomes the mystic illumination
that causes the twelve petal blossom there
to glow more intensely than golden embers. Her lovely form is the incomparable
Kali- black blacker than the King of Death.
Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love
and feels no attraction to any other,
discovering everywhere only her. This poet sighs deeply,
Where is this brilliant lady, this black light beyond luminosity?
Though I have never seen her, simply hearing her name,
the mind becomes absorbed completely in her astonishing r…

Hinduism in Second Life

Second Life is the online game produced by San Francisco-based Linden Lab in which participants create a virtual world. It is attracting 4 million users and several religions are finding a presence in Second Life. Incidentally, the online 3-D persona which users create is known as an avatar – Sanskrit word for the incarnation of a Hindu deity. Hindu religion has only a small presence in Second Life. This will change soon, as more and more Hindus get to know about second life. Hare Krishna community has more than 75 members.How does religion exist in Second Life? For example, Jewish citizens of Second Life have created synagogues. Shona Crabtree writes in Washington PostBeth Brown, a 33-year-old Orthodox Jewish artist from Dallas, says she didn't intend to start a community when she built the first virtual synagogue, Second Life Synagogue-Temple Beit Israel, in September."When it came to be, it shed a light on the lack of Jewish community," she said. Within an hour of its…

Ganga River Endangered by Global Warming

Gangotri glacier, which provides up to 70 percent of the water of the GangaRiver during the summer months, could disappear by 2030 due to global warming. This means Ganga Ma will disappear during the summer seasons.Emily Wax writes in Washington Post…the prayer rituals carried out at the water's edge may not last forever -- or even another generation, according to scientists and meteorologists. The Himalayan source of Hinduism's holiest river, they say, is drying up."This may be the first place on Earth where global warming could hurt our very religion. We are becoming an endangered species of Hindus," said Veer Bhadra Mishra, an engineer and director of the Varanasi-based Sankat Mochan Foundation, an organization that advocates for the preservation of the Ganges. "The melting glaciers are a terrible thing. We have to ask ourselves, who are the custodians of our culture if we can't even help our beloved Ganga?"The article in Washington Post reiterates t…