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Showing posts from June 6, 2014

Why some Hindus do not eat Onions?

A small section of Hindus do not eat onion – especially those following the Vaishnava tradition. Majority of ISKCON followers (Krishna Consciousness) do not eat onions. As per Hindu Scriptures, onions originated from Amrut or Ambrosia that came up during the Samudra Manthan or Churning of Ocean.
Vishnu took the Mohini Avatar and retrieved the Amrut which was stolen by Demons and agreed to serve it equally. Two demons had doubt about the intention of Mohini and took the form of Devas and sat among them. Mohini did give them their share of Ambrosia but they were identified by Surya and Chandra.
They alerted Mohini who cut off the head of the demons and they became Rahu and Ketu. The demons could not swallow the ambrosia and fell on the ground and it later became onions.
Thus onions are remnants of demons and therefore it is not eaten.
Another story suggests that Onions were born from the meat of a cow which was sacrificed during a yajna in the Satya Yuga. The cow was brought to back t…

Cremation in Hinduism – Why Hindus Burn The Dead and Not Bury?

Cremation is one of the most important rituals in Hinduism. Hindus burn and not bury the dead because the core Hindu teaching believes in the transmigration of souls. By burning the body, the relatives help in the soul to move from this world to another. The soul never dies and is born in another body. The soul continues its journey until it finally merges with the supreme truth.
By cremating the body, the soul will not be attached to the present body. As the body is completely destroyed, the soul is ready to move into another body.
Burying is a slow process. The body is made up of five elements as per Hindu teaching – the panchabhuta – earth, water, fire, air and space. Through burning the body is able to quickly overcome the disintegration process.
There are some scholars who are of the view that by burying the body, we will be polluting the region. The germs in the person’s body continue to live and spread through water and planets.

All Hindus Do No Perform Cremation

It must be a…

How Ganesha Got the Name Mayureshwar?

Mayureshwar is one among the numerous names of Ganesha. Legend has it that Ganesh got the name after an incident involving the peacock-faced son of Vinita and Ganesha. Vinita is the mother of Garuda and wife of Sage Kashyapa.
Sage Kashyapa had two wives – Vinita and Kadru. The sons of Kadru were serpents and sons of Vinita were birds.
Vinita and Kadru once made a bet. Kadru and her sons cheated in the bet and made Vinita and her sons slaves.
Sage Kashyapa who came to know about this gave Vinita the boon of having a son in the form of a bird.
When this son was in egg form, Ganesha broke the egg and a peacock (Mayur) appeared from it.
The peacock and Ganesha had a fierce fight and Vinita intervened and stopped the fight.
Peacock agreed to become the Vehicle of Ganesha but on the condition that he should also be known as Mayureshwar.
Ganesha agreed and became Mayureshwar.
Ganesha as Mayureshwar rode on the peacock to defeat demon Sindhu.
Ganesha as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar is worshippe…

When to end Ekadasi Fasting? – What is the correct time to end Ekadasi Fasting?

The breaking of Ekadasi fasting is known as Parana. The correct time to end Ekadasi fasting is after the sunrise on 12th day or Dwadasi. Some people end the fasting after the first quarter of the Dwadasi Tithi. Ekadasi fasting in Hindu religion is observe on the 11th day of a fortnight and is dedicated to Bhagvan Sri Maha Vishnu.
Ekadasi is the 11th day during a fortnight in a Hindu calendar.
Dwadasi is the 12th day during a fortnight in a Hindu calendar.
The simple rule to be followed is to break the fasting before Dwadasi Tithi ends. That is before the day after Ekadasi ends.
Today majority of Hindus end the fast next day morning after sunrise. Such people do not look for Tithi time.
Always remember what matters is devotion and following Dharma not how you fast and when you end fast. Follow the rules that you have been following. What is the use of fasting and if you do not have devotion and perform Adharmic activities.
We should not complicate our fasting and rituals. All this are…

Coffee Table Book Lord Ganesha with Illustrations by Famous Cartoonist R K Laxman

Coffee table book titled Lord Ganesha is written by Dharmendra Bhandari and has illustrations by the author and the famous cartoonist R K Laxman. The book explores the unknown tales and symbols of Ganesha. What makes the book unique is the illustrations. The Hindu reports
Bhandari recounts tales from the Puranas on different aspects of Ganesha lore, connecting them to rituals associated with his worship. He also tells us about how the deity has travelled in various forms beyond India to countries like China, Japan and Indonesia and is incorporated in Buddhism as well.  Most of us grow up with some sort of rituals and customs and don’t always question why these norms are laid down. The author says he too was like that to a large extent. “We worship but we don’t always know why,” he says. Thus, he undertook a lot of research, he says, to write the text, delving into Puranas, visiting temples and asking priests. “Surprisingly, there is no book on Ganesha,” he notes. “There are some by fo…