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Showing posts from April 5, 2018

Bishnoi Samaj and Black Buck

Black Buck is held sacred by the Bishnoi Samaj in Rajasthan. Bishnois give prime importance to nature and they never cut trees or kill animals. Guru Jamboji in 1485 established the Samaj. Bishnois worship blackbucks as an incarnation of Jamboji and other ancestors. Wisdom of Jhambaji is represented in 29 precepts which are proscriptions stating how people should live, e.g., against using intoxicants or eating meat. The rules include a reverence for all living things that even forbids the breaking of a twig of Khejri tree. Before leaving his physical body, Guru Jamboji had asked his followers to revere Black Buck as His manifestation. The belief continues and killing a Black Buck is a sin. Khejri Tree is the staple food of Black Buck and there are numerous incidents mentioned in the history when men and women of the Bishnoi community laid their lives to save Khejri trees from being cleared. Bishnois share their crops with wild animals and orphaned black buck fa

Kumari – Living Goddess of Hindus in Nepal

Kumari (referred to as the living goddess of Hindus in Nepal) is the virgin aspect of Goddess Durga, worshipped in the form of a living being. This is an age-old practice. Generally, a girl who has not attained puberty is referred as Kumari in India and Nepal. The Kumari Temple is an important Nepali tradition. Now many people have started questioning the tradition too. The practice of Kumari worship has largely disappeared from other Hindu cultures especially in India. It is now limited to the eighth and ninth day of Navratri worship. Here young girls are invited to the home, worshipped, given presents and food. The practice of worshipping living Goddess is still in existence in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. In Nepali tradition, Kumari concept is a fusion of Buddhism and Hinduism. The girl at many times belongs to the Buddhist community. In Kathmandu, the chief of the Kumaris, Raj Kumari dwells in her shrine in the famous darbar square. She is chosen from the Sha

Significance of Hanuman Ashtak

Hanuman Ashtak, also known as Sankatmochan Hanuman Ashtak, is a prayer dedicated to Lord Hanuman. ‘Ashtak’ means eight and the prayer contains eight verses. Hanuman symbolizes strength and unfathomable devotion. Hanuman Ashtak contains the important exploits of Lord Hanuman on Earth. For example, a verse in the Ashtak sings praise of Hanuman for bringing the Sanjivani to save the life of Laskhman. Ani sanjivani hath dai tab, Lakshman ke tum pran ubaro, Ko nahin janat hai jag men Kapi sankat mochan nam tiharo, In this way, each verse talks about the greatness of Lord Hanuman. Devotees meditate on Lord Hanuman by reciting the verses. It is believed that by reciting the verses, a person develops mental strength and deep devotion. In temples, Hanuman Ashtak is recited after the Hanuman Chalisa. हनुमान अष्टक बाल समय रवि भक्षि लियो, तब तीनहुं लोक भयो अंधियारो। ताहि सों त्रास भयो जग को, यह संकट काहु सों जात न टारो।1। देवन आनि करी विनती तब, छांड़ि

Swami Vivekananda on the word Hindu

Thoughts by Swami Vivekananda on the word Hindu. The word ‘Hindu’ requires a little explanation in connection with what I mean by Vedantism. This word ‘Hindu’ was the name that the ancient Persians used to apply to the river Sindhu. Whenever in Sanskrit there is an ‘s,’ in ancient Persian it changes into ‘h’, so that ‘Sindhu’ became ‘Hindu’; and you are all aware how the Greeks found it hard to pronounce ‘h’ and dropped it altogether, so that we became known as Indians. Source - Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, (Vol.3, p. 228). -------- One way of practicing ‘reverence for life’ is by taking to heart Swami Vivekananda’s teaching: ‘Look at the “ocean” and not at the “wave”. ’ He explains that ‘although we appear as little waves, the whole sea is at our back, and we are one with it. No wave can exist of itself ’ (8.49). Further, he declares: ‘This whole universe is my body; all health, all happiness is mine, because all is in the universe. Say, “I am the universe.” -