Hinduism: Most Popular Articles
A date-wise list of Hindu holidays, fasts, feasts, festivals and religious occasions for 2014. The most comprehensive Hindu festival calendar on the Web.
The Bengali New Year celebrations is popularly known as 'Poila Baisakh.' It's the first day of the Bengali New Year, which usually falls in mid-April every year. Read about the traditional Bengali ways of celebrating 'Naba Barsho' or New Year.
Hanuman, the mighty monkey deity is among the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon. Read how an ape can become so venerable, and about the exciting exploits of this simian icon that never fail to thrill us.
Tulsi or the Holy Basil has amazing healing power. It can used as a herbal medicine in numerous ailments, including fever, common cold, coughs, sore throat, respiratory disorder, kidney stone, heart problem, stress, mouth infections, insect bites, skin disorders...and so on
The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras. It is believed that by chanting the Gayatri mantra, if you carry on your life and do the work that is ordained for you, your life will be full of happiness. Here's an analysis of this popular Hindu hymn.
Characteristic of the Indian cultural mélange, Hindus in various states of India celebrate the new year in their own ways. Find out more about Baisakhi, Puthandu Vazthukal, Varsha Pirappu, Vishu, Poila Baishakh and Bohaag Bihu. Page 2.
‘Namaste’ or ‘namaskar’ is the Hindu way of greeting each other. It is not a superficial gesture or mere word, but has deep spiritual significance.
About the elephant-headed deity - the Hindu god of success, the importance of his form and how he got his head.
If you're new to this faith, here's where to begin. In this simple introduction to a complex religion, get your basic questions on Hinduism answered and explained in brief.
Here is a glossary of Sanskrit-based Hindu / Indian baby names.
The most fundamental of Hindu deities, is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. But many other gods such as Ganesha, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga, Kali and Saraswati top the popularity chart with Hindus.
A collection of Real audio songs and hymns of Lord Hanuman - Aartis, Bhajans and Chalisas - sung by renowned Hindi musicians.
Bindi is arguably the most visually fascinating of all forms of body decoration. Hindus attach great importance to this ornamental dot on the forehead between the two eyebrows. Here's all you needed to know about the hot spot that's in vogue today.
Om or Aum is of paramount importance in Hinduism. This symbol, which represents both the unmanifest and manifest aspects of God, encompasses all potentialities and possibilities. Find out how Om can help you realize the Unknowable.
Here are the full text and English version of India's National Anthem and National Song. Also includes are the links to download the official MP3 versions and instructions of playing the anthem and the song.
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Lyrics and streaming audio or MP3 downloads of top 10 Hindu hymns or 'aartis' - musical prayers dedicated to various gods and goddesses
Bhajans are simple songs in soulful language, with origins in the ancient hymns of Vedas, expressing the many emotions of love for God - a complete submission to him through singing. Its devotional appeal has made is a favorite with the masses.
The popular belief is that the Shiva Linga or Lingam represents the phallus, the emblem of the generative power in nature. According to Swami Sivananda, this is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder.
Here’s a selection of Hindu / Indian baby names for girls beginning with “A”.
That which uplifts by constant repetition is a mantra. The sound of mantra is said to lift the believer towards the higher self. However, it is important to have full faith in the mantra you chant. How to chant and what's in it for you? Find out...
Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and is worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being.
An illustrated step-by-step guide that teaches you how to wear a Sari - India's national dress for females - one of the most elegant attires a woman can adorn...
Goddess Kali, the Dark Mother is one such deity with whom devotees have a very loving and intimate bond. Get close to Kali - the fearful goddess with a heart of a mother!
Hanuman, the mighty monkey deity is among the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon. Read how an ape can become so venerable, and about the exciting exploits of this simian icon that never fail to thrill us. Page 2.
Hindu men should ideally go through four 'ashramas' or stages in life - the celibate student, the married family man, the hermit in retreat, and the wandering recluse. But most men are so much in love with the second stage that it lasts a lifetime!
About Lord Shiva - the powerful and fascinating deity of the Hindu Trinity, who represents death and dissolution. Read about his destructive forces and why he is worshiped as a phallic symbol.
Lord Rama is known by a multitude of names - that reflect the many facets of his luminous persona. Here are 108 names of Lord Rama with brief meanings.
Read the lyrics of the popular Ganesha Hymn (Hindi Aarti) “Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh, Jai Ganesh Deva”, and its English translation. You can also listen to the above hymn sung by Hariharan on your Real Audio player.
A collection of high quality images of Lord Shiva.
Here are the lyrics of 5 prayers - the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, and Meditations on Shiva, Ganesha, Krishna and Rama. Also included are the meanings of each of these prayers.
15 chosen gems from Swami Vivekanandas writings: Love for love's sake, because it is law of life. Find out the other laws of life...
Ganesha, the popular Hindu deity, is known by many names. There are 108 different names of Ganesha, many of which are suitable for baby names - for both boys and girls. What are these various Sanskrit names of Ganesha and their meaning? Find out...
Each of the seven days in a week has a special significance in Hinduism. About the seven days, the respective planet & deities associated with the particular days, relevant tales and legends, and the gemstones and colors that are said to be lucky for those days. Page 3.
Who needs a baby name book? You can only answer this when you have a newborn yourself. They are helpful! In todays global society, naming babies has assumed great importance. Finding an easy to pronounce, meaningful name that is rooted in your own cultural heritage and yet unique is not easy. Perhaps these books can make your task easy...
Read about the 10 avatars of Vishnu various incarnations used to re-establish dharma or righteousness on earth during the many stages of human evolution.
Hindus believe that the fortnightly cycle of the moon exerts a great influence on earthly beings. Hence there are specific rituals for the new moon and full moon days. Find out how to observe these rituals and the dates for this year.
The birth of Krishna is in itself a transcendental phenomenon that generates awe among the Hindus and overwhelms one and all with its supra mundane happenings.
It's all about living a life that promises worldly joys and heavenly happiness. It's about what is right!
Here’s a selection of Hindu / Indian baby names for boys beginning with “A”.
What are the months and days of the Hindu year called? The article lists the Sanskrit names of the Hindu months, days and lunar days and their correlation with the Gregorian calendar.
Tantra is mistakenly identified as the yoga of sex, black magic, witchcraft, and an amalgam of techniques for influencing the mind of others. Renowned Tantrik master Shri Aghori ji dispels the myth surrounding this Vedic tradition of Tantrism.
Ramnavami or the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra (March-April). Some observe a strict fast on the day. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy Ramayana is read in the temples.
Hindus attach great importance to the fortnightly cycle of the moon, and specific rituals are observed on the new moon and full moon days of the month. Here are the dates for the current year.
Top 5 Hindu Devotional Music CDs by Jagjit Singh
Read about the four great epochs or 'yugas' as described in the Hindu scriptures, and the cursed Kali Yug we're living in. What happens at the end of this age? Let's find out…
A list of common words, phrases and sentences in major Indian languages translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic and Cantonese. Knowing these can prove very useful for people visiting India.
Here's what scholars, historians and authors have to say about India and Hinduism. Quoting top 30 quotations from Will Durant, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Max Mueller, Romain Rolland, et al.
A list of common words, phrases and sentences in major Indian languages translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic and Cantonese. Knowing these can prove very useful for people visiting India.
The Mahabharata is the world's longest and one the most revered epics. Read the full text of this Hindu scripture in this extremely reader-friendly verse translation by Romesh C Dutt - divided into 12 chapters.
Hindus mark the advent of winter with 9 nights/days of fast and prayer to Durga, the Mother Goddess who embodies all the power of the universe. What's the significance? Why Durga? Why this time of the year? Why 9 nights? Find out...
Here’s a selection of Hindu / Indian baby names for girls beginning with “S”.
While various regional steps are followed by different sects of Hindus across India, there are about a dozen rituals that form the core of a Vedic wedding ceremony.
Vedic Math essentially rests on the 16 Sutras or mathematical formulas as referred to in the Vedas. Here're are useful, links that help you learn more about these 16 Sutras and 13 sub-Sutras, their meanings and methods of application, along with examples.
If you know your child's birth star, you can refer to this table to arrive at the first letters of your baby's name and select a name from my Baby Names Guide. Page 2.
Download Ebook (PDF) 5. Bhakti Yoga - by Swami Vivekananda Sri Ramakrishna Math This e-book of 'Bhakti-Yoga'
About the 10 avatars of Vishnu various incarnations used to re-establish dharma or righteousness on earth during the many stages of human evolution.
Hinduism employs the art of symbolism with amazing effect. No religion is so replete with symbols as this ancient religion. Delve deep into the hidden meanings and origins of major Hindu symbols, including rituals and deities.
Deepawali or Diwali is the biggest of all Hindu festivals. Learn about its origin, significance, and the four days of celebrations that mark this auspicious occasion.
Lord Rama, the most perfect avatar of God is at once the ideal son, the ideal husband, and the ideal king. A look at the life and exploits of Rama, or Shri Ramji, as he is respectfully called.
An overview of the ritual world of Hinduism, from personal daily worship or 'Puja' to rites of passage or 'Samskaras' from birth till death... Page 5.
The Upanishads, hailed as the supreme work of the Indian mind, form the core of Hindu teachings. They are summits of thought on man and the universe, designed to push human ideas to its very limit and beyond. Discover this secret science of the self!
The great exponent of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is the ninth and the most powerful incarnation of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu Trinity of deities. Read all about the 'Dark Lord', his life and teachings...
Read the text of the famous welcome address by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions, Chicago, September 11, 1893
A quick guide to the 'who's who?' and 'what's where?' in the complex plots and subplots of Ramayana...
Mangalsutra is a sacred necklace that the groom ties around the bride's neck on the day of the wedding in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, thereby giving her the status of his wife and life mate.
Peace of mind remains the most sought-after matter in life. Broadcaster Gyan Rajhans tells you how to attain peace in 10 different ways.
Perhaps no other faith glorifies the idea of love between the sexes as Hinduism. The amazing variety of mythical love stories that abounds Sanskrit literature is undoubtedly one of the richest treasure hoards of exciting love tales. Come, explore! Page 4.
Heres my selection of music that have blended ancient chants and modern orchestration to get the best of both worlds.
Nataraj, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, is a symbolic synthesis of the most important aspects of Hinduism and Indian culture, developed by 9th and 10th century artists in a series of beautiful bronze sculptures. What does it symbolize and signify?
Read the moving story of this great epic in a summarized version written by Prof. James L Fitzgerald.
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Here are three mythological legends of Siva, the powerful and fascinating deity of the Hindu Trinity, who represents death and dissolution.
Shri Adi Shankaracharya or the first Shankara with his remarkable reinterpretations of Hindu scriptures, especially on Upanishads or Vedanta, had a profound influence on the growth of Hinduism. He is the most famous Advaita philosopher who restored the Vedic Dharma to its pristine purity and glory.
Holi is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder ('gulal') or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed.
Read the moving story of this great epic in a summarized version written by Stefen Knapp. Also suitable for reading aloud to children...
Nava Durga or the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmaanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri. What does each form stand for and what is their significance? Find out in this photo essay.
About the Indian calendar system, its history and correlation with the Gregorian calendar.
The Ramayana is one the world's most loved tales. Here's a short summary of this enchanting epic.
Many Lives, Many Masters is the true story of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient, and the past-life
Shani Dev is one of the most popular deities that the Hindus pray to ward off evil and remove obstacles. They are under fear of evil from his planet - Saturn. Anyone born under his influence is believed to at risk. How to appease Shani? Find out...
Varanasi, one of world's oldest living cities, is rightly called the religious capital of India. Also known as Banaras, this holy city rests on the bank of the sacred Ganges, and has some unforgettable experiences to offer to every visitor.
Vaastu Shastra - the ancient Indian laws of can help you live a happy and healthy life if your house is compliant to certain natural laws.
The lord of peace and truth, Vishnu is the ‘Preserver’ form of the Hindu Trinity. His many avatars have been known to born on this earth to restore peace and order – the most popular being Lord Krishna and Rama.
Akshaya Tritiya is one occasion, which is considered one of the most auspicious days of the Vedic Calendar. It is believed, any meaningful activity started on this day would never fail.
Does religious fasting make any sense? Why do Hindus fast? A look at fasting from several perspectives.
Traditionally accepted as an arm of the Vedas, the 'Laws of Manu' or 'Manava Dharma Shastra' (c. 500 BC) is a key Hindu text. It presents the norms of domestic, social, and religious life, and is fundamental to the understanding of ancient India.
Brahma is the creator of the universe and of all beings, as depicted in Hindu cosmology. In Hinduism, the whole creation is seen as the dynamic game of the Trinity of Gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Here we talk about Brahma and the many facets of his divine energy.
Hindus believe that it is Karma or the 'Law of Cause & Effect' that can lead one to salvation. Learn more...
The essence of Hinduism can be distilled into five principles and ten commandments that can be said to form the bedrock of the universal religion of Hinduism.
The Life of Sai Baba of Shirdi. Hinduism.
Meditation doesn't come easy. That's where 'kirtan' - an ancient participatory music experience - offers an avenue to escape effortlessly to a place of mental quiet and stillness, where you can feel your soul!
A common answer to this question is: No, I want to but dont have the time to read such a long discourse?
Here's a selection of good books on Hinduism basics suitable for beginners: 'Hinduism: Beliefs & Practices' By Jeaneane Fowler, 'Dancing With Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism' By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami...more
Although it is not mandatory for a Hindu to visit a temple regularly, they play a vital role in Hindu society and culture. Learn about the basics of what a Hindu temple is all about.
Hinduism lacks any unified system of beliefs and ideas. A brief introduction to the main tenets, principles and disciplines of Hinduism.
The 'tulsi' plant or Indian holy basil is an important symbol in the Hindu religious tradition. Tulsi is a venerated herb and has many medicinal properties.
Hindus attach great importance to the fortnightly cycle of the moon, and specific rituals are observed on the new moon and full moon days of the month. Here are the dates for the current year. Page 2.
Author Stephen Knapp points out the close links between Christianity and Hinduism, which bind them into a sacred brotherhood. He says that Hinduism has had a predominant influence on Christianity, and that many of the Christian rites could have been directly borrowed from Hinduism.
Here's a selection of good books on Ayurveda suitable for all concerned with well-being.
The cow is a pampered animal in India for religious reasons. Why is the cow considered sacred? Does it make any sense to protect the cow? Read more about the history of holy cow...
Here're some simple designs for you to print and use stencil cut outs to make Rangoli. Kids can also use these line drawings for coloring.
Brahman - the Hindu concept of the Absolute is exclusive to Hinduism, and to call it God is imprecise. It is neither the old man in the sky concept, nor the idea of something capable of being vengeful or fearful. Then what or who is Brahman? Dr Frank Morales explains
This table shows the Vedic Zodiacal Signs with their rulers, Sanskrit names and symbols, etc.
All about the Hindu deity Lakshmi - the goddess of prosperity, wealth, purity, generosity, and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm.
The Ramayana is one the world's most read epics. Read the full text of this Hindu scripture in this 11 lucid and reader-friendly translation by Romesh C Dutt - divided into 11 chapters.
Women of the Vedic period (c 1500-1200 BCE), were epitomes of intellectual and spiritual attainments. The Vedas have volumes to say about these women, who both complemented and supplemented their male partners. Read about a few significant female figures of the Vedic period - Ghosha, Lopamudra, Sulabha Maitreyi, and Gargi.
Hinduism is different from other religions in that it is not a religion per se in the traditional sense of the term. Find out how it is different and why it is unique...
Perhaps no other faith glorifies the idea of love between the sexes as Hinduism. The amazing variety of mythical love stories that abounds Sanskrit literature is undoubtedly one of the richest treasure hoards of exciting love tales. Come, explore! Page 2.
This simple book will get you started on the path of yoga and meditation. Author Sri Swami Sivananda
A typical Bengali marriage ceremony is an elaborate affair that entails a series of colorful ceremony of rituals, which are not only enjoyable but are of great significance...
The Bhagavad Gita is universally regarded as the single most influential philosophical text that provides an ultimate guide to self-realization. It is said to free you from all sense of limitation. Here's a selection of the top ten books on the Gita.
Namkaran is the Hindu naming ceremony performed to select a newborn's name using traditional methods and astrological rules of naming. Read about the when and how of this important ritual.
Read about the different kinds of Hindu marriages, as described in the 'Manusmriti' - the ancient law book.
Read the moving story of this great epic in a summarized version written by Prof. James L Fitzgerald of the University of Tennessee.
Similarities in the names, lives and teachings of the greatest figures of the world's greatest religions have enough fuel for the curious mind to prod into the proposition that they were indeed one and the same person. Indeed it's hard to ignore a host of likenesses between Jesus Christ and Lord Krishna.
The followers of the tantra path attach more significance to some particular Hindu temples. These are
Pride rears its head even in the most unsuspected corners. While one may be proud that he is a non-believer in God, another may be proud of his devotion to God. Ego and arrogance result from overbearing pride. Find out how to keep these vices at bay.
The River Ganges or Ganga is perhaps the holiest river in any religion. Besides being a sacred river, Ganga is also worshiped as a deity in Hinduism and respectfully referred to as ‘Gangaji’ or ‘Ganga Maiya’ (Mother Ganga). Why is the Ganges regarded as holy? Find out...
What does it take to be an ideal spouse? Gyan Rajhans dishes out some tried and tested means to keep your married life sound, peaceful and free from conjugal tensions...
Read the full text of the English translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Sir Edwin Arnold in 18 Chapters.
It's festival time again! Every year during this time, Hindus observe ten days of ceremonies, rituals, fasts and feasts in honour of the supreme mother goddess Durga. Here's how to celebrate Navratri, Dusshera, Durga Puja and Vijayadashami.
Ekadasi in Sanskrit means 'the Eleventh Day,' which occurs twice in a lunar month – once each on the 11th days of the moon cycle. It is a very auspicious time in the Hindu calendar and an important day to fast. Learn more about the significance of Ekadasi and dates for 2012.
It's easy misinterpret the fact that Hinduism has a multitude of Gods! Hindu deities amount to thousands, all representing the many aspects of only one supreme Absolute called “Brahman”. Let us try to understand the concept of Gods in Hinduism.
Lord Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of all architects. He is the official builder of all the gods' palaces, and the designer of all celestial vehicles and weapons. A look at this divine draftsman of Hindu mythology and some cities he built.
Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion. A brief discussion on the origin of Hinduism.
In a Vedic marriage, man and woman take oath for the practice of self-restraint, to work together for the welfare of the family, and help each other to attain spiritual peace. This lofty ideal of sanctity is a great gift of Hinduism to the world.
This story excerpted from 'Our Empire Story' by H. E. Marshall recounts Alexander's invasion of India in 326 BC, and his battle with Hindu king Porus. It is since then that the West have known something of India...
Academy Award winning Hollywood actor Julia Roberts, who converted to Hinduism in mid 2010, reconfirmed her faith in Hinduism while commenting that her “opting for Hinduism is not a religious gimmick”.
On Holi - the festival of colors - get set to paint yourselves in the colors of joy. Learn about its history and legends, and how to get the most out of this boisterous occasion.
Yoga is much more than Indian aerobics; it is one of the ideals of Hinduism. Devotional meditation upon God is at the very heart of any good yoga practice. The spiritual side of yoga has eight limbs, and theologically there of four types of yoga.
Every object associated with the Hindu ritual of Puja or worship – the flower, the fruit, the lamp - is symbolically significant. Puja is essentially a ritual suggestive of symbolic offering of our lives and activities to God. Learn more about the symbolism of natural objects of worship in Vedic rituals and Puja offerings.
The Ramayana is one the world's most read epics. Know more about this enchanting story, its writers and origin, history and mythology, characters and places and its immense popularity and universal appeal.
Even if you pray daily, you may be confused about the underlying philosophy of prayers. Often our prayers are not answered. Here's an insight into fruitful prayers: 12 reasons why you should pray, and 7 ways of praying with success. Keep the faith!
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Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas, and chants to her often begin and end Vedic lessons.
Lord Ayyappa is a popular Hindu deity worshiped in many temples in South India. Ayyappa is believed to be born out of the union between Lord Shiva and the mythical enchantress Mohini, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Kartikeya, the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, is a war god. The symbolism of Kartikeya points to the ways and means of reaching perfection in life.
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Durga Puja - the ceremonial worship of the mother goddess, is one of the most important festivals of India. Who performed the first autumnal Puja? When and where did Hindus start celebrating Durga Puja on a mass scale? How did the 'pratima' and the 'pandal' evolve over the years? Find out...
Hindu deities have particular vehicles or 'vahana' on which they travel. Read about the vehicles of the gods and goddesses and what they represent.
Perhaps no other faith glorifies the idea of love between the sexes as Hinduism. The amazing variety of mythical love stories that abounds Sanskrit literature is undoubtedly one of the richest treasure hoards of exciting love tales. Come, explore! Page 3.
Varanasi, one of world's oldest living cities, is rightly called the religious capital of India. What was the original name of Varanasi and what's the history of this holy city? Find out...
Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual's body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature. Here's a quick introduction to this ancient Hindu science.
A selection of contemporary paintings of Lord Shiva.
About the Great Ganesha festival. Read how to celebrate this auspicious occasion and pray for inner strength and success in all your undertakings...
The world's oldest scriptures and the longest epic poems are among the sacred texts of the Hindus. A brief introduction to the basic scriptures of Hinduism.
Swami Vivekananda's persona and his teachings come alive in these wallpapers released by the Ramakrishna Mission.
The Rudraksha seed is credited to possess mystical and divine properties. Necklaces made of Rudraksha beads are supposed to have profound astrological and health benefits.
Endearing images embodying intuitions of the spirit that adorn Hindu art, architecture and iconography. Written by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, and illustrated by A Manivel for 'Dancing With Siva'.