NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR

The sufferings could be innocently or naively self-inflicted, from fellow beings, or other causes. Elements of nature and the so-called fate also play minor or significant roles to accompany man’s lifelong journey through calamity and disaster. Continue reading NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR

Guru Nanak’s Message of Divine Order

Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak Likhyea Naal.  Hukmae Andhar Sabh, Bahar Hukme Na Koe These are the two separate edicts from Guru Nanak Dev. But discussing them together initiates an integrated understanding of the messages while building the desired impact of their practicality in our lives. Hukam Razai Chalna, Nanak likhyea naal in its simple meaning, implies that it is inevitably written, according to Nanak, that we conduct ourselves acceding to the will of God. Hukam means order or command, razai stands for acceptance, chalna meaning walk, and likhyea naal means written down. To follow (razai), the walk (chalna) guided by the hukam of God as … Continue reading Guru Nanak’s Message of Divine Order

Where Is God In The Midst Of Coronavirus

By Promod Puri Churches, temples, mosques, or Gurdwaras may not be much congregated these days due to the Coronavirus epidemic worldwide. This emptiness at the places of prayers is either due to imposed restrictions or people just avoiding venues of large gatherings. The business of religion, like any other business, is down. But this business is exceptional. In principle, besides being a medium to seek His grace and express gratitude, religion should reveal the path to discern and realize the nature of the Creator. During the time places of worship have their doors locked, people still believe in some kind … Continue reading Where Is God In The Midst Of Coronavirus

WHERE IS GOD THESE DAYS?

By Promod Puri Churches, temples, mosques, or Gurdwaras may not be much congregated these days due to the Coronavirus epidemic worldwide. This emptiness at the places of prayers is either due to imposed restrictions or people just avoiding venues of large gatherings. The business of religion, like any other business, is down. But this business is different, at least in principle. It offers the path and rides to understand the nature of the Creator while seeking His grace. Places of mass appeal to God to save people from the virus ought to be averted. At the same time, people who … Continue reading WHERE IS GOD THESE DAYS?

RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

By Promod Puri Whereas rituals, customs, and traditions furnish symbolic and distinctive identity to religion, the pathways to the divinity which are paved with morals and ethics, are often debased by its despicable ceremonial rites and practices. It is in this context that the contemporary and progressive political ideologies disdain religion. Its nature is customarily interpreted thru inherent ritualistic practices rather than its doctrines of ethics and noble thoughts. This article delves into the subject of “politics and religion”, and seeks the entry of virtuous, logical, informed, and intelligent religiosity in the political constitution serving the modern societies. The contempt … Continue reading RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

Blasphemy And Apostasy In Islam Are More Political Than Religious

Pakistani Islamists march to protest the Supreme Court lenient treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, in Karachi, Feb. 1, 2019. ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images By Ahmet T. Kuru, San Diego State University Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. The charge: blasphemy, specifically insulting Prophet Muhammad on Facebook. Pakistan has the world’s second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom. Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis … Continue reading Blasphemy And Apostasy In Islam Are More Political Than Religious

Satnam Waheguru: Both A Prayer And Mantra

By Promod Puri “Satnam Waheguru,” two simple words of profound spiritual significance. A companion in solitude, Satnam Waheguru, where the universal truth of His wonders is accepted with utmost reverence. And that adoration becomes a prayer, Satnam Waheguru, Satnam Waheguru…. ‘Sat’ stands for Truth, ‘Nam’ identifies that Truth. ‘Wahe’ is a feel of ‘wow’ moment, an exclamation of the divine Wonder. Guru is interpreted here as the path that leads us from darkness to light. It is the journey towards truth and enlightenment. Satnam Waheguru is a pragmatic or logical approach towards the understanding of God, rather than worshipping Him … Continue reading Satnam Waheguru: Both A Prayer And Mantra

A HAPPY AND PEACEFUL 2020

In the spirit of exchanging New Year greetings, we wish peace and happiness for all humanity. Human beings, animals, plants, mountains, rivers, seas and everything visible and non-visible in this shared universe are all inter-connected and inter-dependent to each other. We seek peace and peaceful existence for all. Peace in all the cosmic environments influences peace in humankind as well. SHANTI (PEACE) MANTRA Aum dyauh shantirantariksam, shanti prthivi, shantirapah, shantirosadhayah, shanti vanaspatayah, shantirvisvedevah, shantirbrahma, shantisarvam, shantireva, shant sama, shantiredhi AUM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI. Following is a translated version of the peace mantra: “May peace radiate there in the whole sky … Continue reading A HAPPY AND PEACEFUL 2020

Understanding Satsang And Its Virtues

By Promod Puri In Hindu and Sikh religious activities, Satsang is a popular religious tradition. It is group participation that involves listening or reading of scriptures, discussion on spiritual and theological topics, and singing of hymns. Some activities also include brief sessions of meditation. Satsang can be a daily, weekly, or monthly get together. It usually lasts for an hour or two. With divine feelings and sentiments, Satsang ends as a social meeting along with light refreshments. Satsang is derived from the Sanskrit word “satsanga.” By splitting the name into “sat” and “sanga,” its actual meaning is revealed as ‘true’ … Continue reading Understanding Satsang And Its Virtues

Universal Appeal of Guru Nanak’s Aarti

By Promod Puri When Guru Nanak Dev, in his myriad spiritual experiences, saw the frame of cosmos beauty, he expressed his gratitude to the Almighty in creating such a splendor. The lines he wrote at that moment were his reverent commendation of Nature’s arrangements in the universality of its presentation. His few words of appreciation and gratitude were his Aarti, devotional poetry of enlightenment describing His luminous lila. Guru Nanak captured the scene, a pageant of nature’s elements together in sync performing the Aarti in a heavenly concert. Aarti is derived from the Sanskrit word “aratika,” where it denotes clearance … Continue reading Universal Appeal of Guru Nanak’s Aarti

What Next After Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi Verdict

Neither Hinduism is enriched, nor Islam is poor with the Supreme Court verdict over Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case. Though the fundamentals of religions are often buried in the foundations of temples and mosques, in their spirituality, none of them reside in the bricks and plaster monuments. The 16the century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, which was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, is now going to be grandeur Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram, believed to be his birthplace. But the possession was with a heavy cost that saw one of the deadliest religious riots. Well, a new temple is … Continue reading What Next After Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi Verdict

Why Sikhs wear a turban and what it means to practice the faith

People participate in a candlelight vigil near the White House to protest violence against Sikhs in 2012. AP Photo/Susan Walsh by Simran Jeet Singh, New York University An elderly Sikh gentleman in Northern California, 64-year-old Parmjit Singh, was recently stabbed to death while taking a walk in the evening. Authorities are still investigating the killer’s motive, but community members have asked the FBI to investigate the killing. For many among the estimated 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S., it wouldn’t be the first time. According to the Sikh Coalition, the largest Sikh civil rights organization in North America, this is the … Continue reading Why Sikhs wear a turban and what it means to practice the faith

ORIGIN OF RELIGION

Essentially, religion is a code of conduct for a civil society. It all started from here. With society’s progression, the code of conduct also evolved resulting in its expansion and formalization. As civilization started taking roots management of the society began. Origin of religion can be traced as part of human evolution. Ancient religious orders basically were a set of laws and principles for some acceptable behavior in an emerging civil society. Later all aspects of human cultures, including presumptions and myths, and overwhelming elements of nature were covered in one order. In all these developments social unity and coherence … Continue reading ORIGIN OF RELIGION

NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR

NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR (Loosely translated: Nanak says life for everybody is suffering, blissful is the one who has based his/her life on Him) That is the universal truth. Agony, misery, pain, suffering, both physical and emotional, and in all degrees of intensity are the realities of life experienced by all beings without exception. And in the midst of bliss, peace, and pleasure, life means jitters of distress, grief, and worries as well. There is hardly any escape from these taxing and unpleasant realities littered all the way toward life’s end. The sufferings could be … Continue reading NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR

Why giant statues of Hindu gods, leaders making Minorities nervous

Indulata Prasad, Arizona State University Statues – big statues, the largest in the world – are being built all across India. Like many public monuments, they attempt to convey history in a concrete form. But India’s new statues convey something else, too: the power and vision of one dominant group – and the vulnerability of others. That’s because India’s biggest new public monuments all pay tribute to Hindu gods and leaders. As a scholar of social change in India, I see statues as a projection of a nation’s values at a particular moment in time. For many Muslims and other … Continue reading Why giant statues of Hindu gods, leaders making Minorities nervous

Kartarpur Corridor Reflects Teachings Of Guru Nanak:

By Promod Puri It is hailed as a “Corridor of Peace” between India and Pakistan. The Kartarpur Corridor is a long-awaited and welcome historical development for Sikhs worldwide. The much-desired Corridor connects the border town of Dera Baba Nanak from the Indian side and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The 4.7 kilometers border corridor is a sacred passage to the historic site of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539), settled and assembled the faith’s commune after his missionary travels. The highlight of the Corridor is that it is visa-free for pilgrims and devotees of … Continue reading Kartarpur Corridor Reflects Teachings Of Guru Nanak:

Beyond The Confines Of Atheism And Theism

By Promod Puri When atheists reject the concept or existence of God, their conclusion is based on limited perception. The reason, we human beings are like a speck of creature in this colossal universe incapable of fathoming its enormity. Their case does not win credibility either by just ridiculing those who believe in God. And those under theism believing that God exists in physical form or in some supernatural and transcendental actuality, and offers a sensory experience, then it is merely an unjustified and ritualistic impression. This conception can be easily rejected in the face of the rationale-seeking contemporary society. … Continue reading Beyond The Confines Of Atheism And Theism

CONTROLLING FAKE HINDU GURUS

Unlike some other religious orders, Hinduism does not have a centralized controlling authority to guide or to safeguard its values. Without any governing body, Hinduism over the centuries developed the “parmpara”(tradition) of establishing the institution of independent gurus, ‘swamis’ and ‘babas.’ However, looking at the disgraceful conduct of many of these so-called god’s men and women in recent times, it seems to be imperative that Hinduism can have some sort of a watchdog body to keep the sanctity of the religion. Continue reading CONTROLLING FAKE HINDU GURUS

WHY INDIA MUST KNOW ABOUT VAISAKHI….

Awake India, awake to his vision. Leave those caste barriers, acquire knowledge, be strong in body and be a Khalsa in spirit. Your religion doesn’t matter. Khalsa is a state of mind, not just a religion. by Frank Hazur While Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi across India; rest of India wonders if it is about doing the Bhangra and dancing. No, it is not; Vaisakhi holds a lesson for all Indians. So the day 13 April 1699, in a congregation of people from across India were standing there listening to their Guru, Gobind Rai. Gobind Rai asked for the human sacrifice of … Continue reading WHY INDIA MUST KNOW ABOUT VAISAKHI….

Besides Humans Everything Else Has Consciousness Too

By Promod Puri What is the difference between you, me, and a spoon, a table, a stone, or any object or a thing? Both are physical matters. But we have consciousness others don’t. Or maybe they have it which we don’t sense. That is what distinguishes you and me, and the “non-consciousness” objects. How is this distinction is created through consciousness which defines the nature of the physical matter of being a mindful or non-mindful entity? There are two theories. Before we approach these concepts let us define or get a practical understanding of consciousness. According to Wikipedia consciousness is … Continue reading Besides Humans Everything Else Has Consciousness Too

Temple Hinduism, Meditation And Karma

By Promod Puri “Temple-Hinduism” is an expression introduced by Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion, University of Florida. The terminology is not an academic phrasing, nor does it reflect a new sect in Hinduism. It is an interpretation of Hinduism related to the devotional practices of rituals and prayers in temple’s iconological environment. As we know Hinduism in its liberal and diverse traditions offers a range of options for worshipping and contemplation, temple-Hinduism is the dominant and popular choice of devout Hindus. An accepted convention among Hindus is to have home shrines, but a temple aside from a place of worship … Continue reading Temple Hinduism, Meditation And Karma

God’s Contemplation in Rational & Practical Environments

The personified God is worshipped as the centralized controlling authority influencing every moment of our lives. Moreover, the symbolic undertaking of God creates the fear factor that He is a punishing Being if not believed in His existence. This fear is one reason for His adoration and ceremonial development. One can experience His eternal spirit through principled and righteous living, but not in His ritualistic perseverance. Morality does not descend just by believing in His existential image, but it does by knowing Him.  By Promod Puri Merely believing that God exists is a ritual. It is a practice based on … Continue reading God’s Contemplation in Rational & Practical Environments

Seeking Evolution In Religions

Rituals, customs, and traditions provide bulk and mostly false identity to a religion. If these are detached from all the religions, then we can see fundamentals of moral and righteous teachings are the same in each of them. Pathways to divinity are infused with words of morality and ethics, principles, and noble deeds. Many meaningless and vague rituals and customs, while being overly dominating in the institution of religion, create potholes in these pathways. And followers of religions are often get holed up in the potholes. From the mass availability of knowledge and independent learning thru Internet, Google, and other … Continue reading Seeking Evolution In Religions

Diwali Mubarak Message To Canada’s PM

Dear Hon. Prime Minister Trudeau: In celebration of the popular Indian festival of lights, I also wish you, Diwali Mubarak. Your selection of Diwali Mubarak expression in your tweet is my choice as well. I noticed that some people tweeted and objected to your use of the word ‘Mubarak’, asserting that it is not a Hindu expression, but a Muslim one as being Arabic in its origin. Please ignore these scant individuals. Diwali is not only the festival of Hindus but Sikhs also. And ‘Mubarak’, meaning congratulations, is the most common word by the people, including Punjabis, from the northern part of … Continue reading Diwali Mubarak Message To Canada’s PM

Rakshabandan’ – the festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond

A sister tying the protective thread. Vikram Verma, CC BY-ND Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross This year, Monday, August 7 marks one of the most important celebrations for Hindus throughout the world: Rakshabandhan, a ceremony honoring the bond between sisters and brothers. The date of Rakshabandan varies from year to year since Hindus follow a lunar calendar for religious celebrations. During Rakshabandhan sisters tie a protective thread around the right wrist of their brothers. Brothers give gifts and promise protection to their sisters. The word “rakshabandhan” means “tie of protection.” The festival affirms the crucial importance of family … Continue reading Rakshabandan’ – the festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond

EASTER AND VAISAKHI: FESTIVALS OF NEW BEGINNING

By Promod Puri Easter is a celebration of resurrection of Jesus. It is on this day, Christians believe in the rise of Jesus Christ after his death and burial. And that means a new beginning. Since Easter (April 16) comes in the beginning of spring season, a symbolic connection can be ascertained with the coming back to life of Jesus, and the life of plants and trees that have been dormant in winter. Easter is a celebration of new life and rebirth in the nature and the Christian faith. The celebration of new life and rebirth finds a meaningful implication … Continue reading EASTER AND VAISAKHI: FESTIVALS OF NEW BEGINNING

RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

By Promod Puri Whereas rituals, customs and traditions furnish symbolic and distinctive identity to a religion, the pathways to divinity which are paved with morals and ethics, are often debased by its despicable ceremonial rites and practices. It is in this context that the contemporary and progressive political ideologies disdain religion. Its nature is customarily interpreted thru inherent ritualistic practices rather than its doctrines of ethics and noble thoughts. This article delves into the subject of “politics and religion”, and seeks the entry of virtuous, logical, informed, and intelligent religiosity in the political constitution serving the modern societies. The contempt … Continue reading RELIGION HAS GUIDING ROLE IN POLITICS

Building Divine Residency More Relevant Than Knowing God He or She

By Promod Puri If God or the Supreme Being is He, She or It; residing in heaven, up there in the sky or just omnipresent in the known or unknown universe. Do we need to indulge in this debate? Not really. Rather we create our own god based on noble thoughts, ethics, and good karma. Besides His numinous and varied perceptions God also offers a meaningful perspective which can be created by the assembly of good thoughts. And the divine residency begins in that on-going construction. Basically, it is an eloquent temperament we are trying to build which gives rationality … Continue reading Building Divine Residency More Relevant Than Knowing God He or She

MANUSMIRITI AND WOMEN

(From the book Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions by Promod Puri) Since bias knows no boundaries, Manusmriti not only expounds the social distance between the upper and lower castes, but it also delineates the status of women by curbing their rights. It lists guidelines for men in selecting marriage partners and puts a stamp of their superiority by creating gender inequality. In chapter 3 with numbered paragraphs here it is what Manusmriti prescribes: 8. One should not marry women who have reddish hair, redundant parts of the body [such as six fingers], one who is often sick, one without … Continue reading MANUSMIRITI AND WOMEN

What does Trump have to do with the Hindu sacred syllable, om?

  Republican nominee Donald Trump was recently invited to a fundraising event organized by a conservative group of Hindu Americans, the Republican Hindu Coalition. A poster from the event, which describes the group as “Hindus for Trump,” portrays the candidate in a posture much like that of a yogi in deep meditation. It shows Trump, face pointing upward and hands outstretched, rising up from a mass of red, white and blue flower petals in the shape of a lotus. Prominently displayed in the center is the Indian sacred syllable, “om,” decorated with stars and stripes. Om is the preeminent Sanskrit … Continue reading What does Trump have to do with the Hindu sacred syllable, om?

TOLERANCE OR ACCEPTANCE

Jagessar Das M. D. President  Kabir Association of Canada People all over the world talk about tolerance, such as racial tolerance, religious tolerance or cultural tolerance, when they have to live in a society made up of people of different backgrounds. And this tolerance is often thought of as being a virtue. Let us try to understand what tolerance really means. If you try to think clearly about what tolerance means, you will understand that it means to tolerate something or someone that is different, and with whom you cannot identify yourself. It means that you are not ready to … Continue reading TOLERANCE OR ACCEPTANCE

From The Pen Of Baba Bulleh Shah

Parh parh Alam te faazil hoya Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na Translation: You read to become all knowledgeable But you never read yourself You read so many books to know it all, yet fail to ever read your heart at all. Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na You run to enter temples and mosques But you never entered your own heart) You rush to holy shrines to play a part, Would you dare enter the shrine of your heart Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal Te kadi nafs apnay … Continue reading From The Pen Of Baba Bulleh Shah

Museum Of Sikh History

By Promod Puri The place is called Virasat-E-Khalsa. It is also known as Khalsa Heritage Complex. But for the local and ordinary folks the unique monument in Anandpur Sahib near Chandigarh is simply known as “Ajuba”. And it certainly is a wonder. With the help of latest in sound and information technology along with impressive architect influenced by the surrounding historic structures in Anandpur Sahib, the place is really an awesome marvel. It is much more than just a tourist attraction. It is a place of knowledge and inspiration presented in concise and easy steps as one walks along the … Continue reading Museum Of Sikh History

“NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR”

A universal truth Agony, misery, pains or sufferings, both physical and emotional, and in all degrees of intensity, are the realities of life. These are the experiences faced by all without exception. Life means jitters of distress, grief and worries going along with moments of peace and pleasures. Stresses and strains in our lives for one reason or the other give enough turbulence as smooth ride remains an ambition. Unpleasant realities are littered all along the journey of life, and there is no escape from them. The sufferings could be innocently or naively self-inflicted or by others. Elements of nature … Continue reading “NANAK DUKHIYA SABB SANSAR SO SUKHIYA JIS NAAM ADHAAR”

“Koi bole ram ram; koi khudae….

One of the spiritual gems of Guru Nanak Devji, which portrays the essence of all religions: “Koi bole ram ram; koi khudae….” Here is the English translation of shabad: Some call the Lord ‘Ram, Ram’, and some ‘Khuda’. Some serve Him as ‘Gusain’, others as ‘Allah’. He is the Cause of causes, and Generous. He showers His Grace and Mercy upon us. Some pilgrims bathe at sacred shrines, others go on Hajj to Mecca.Some do devotional worship, whilst others bow their heads in prayer. Some read the Vedas, and some the Koran.Some wear blue robes, and some wear white. Some … Continue reading “Koi bole ram ram; koi khudae….

Rituals

The pathways to divinity are infused with words of morality and ethics, principles and noble deeds. Rituals facilitate the walk The liberalism in Hinduism has encouraged a maze of ritual genesis. From religious point of view ritual is a symbolic and sacramental repetitive activity which provides manner and order in performing revered service. Rituals and diversities in Hinduism based on local traditions, customs and languages invigorate the faith while it adapts itself to changing environments. In these social and cultural transitions rituals perpetually take up dominating space in Hindu convictions and sentiments. Imprints of rituals adequately identify Hinduism as a … Continue reading Rituals

Significance of Om

It is indeed a subject of astronomical acceptance that from the very sound frequencies of Om the building blocks of the universe are evolved The myriad journey of Hindu divinity begins with a simple and pure sound of Om. Om is also spelt as Aum with subtle phonetic articulation. As per Hindu spiritual thinking, Om is considered to be the primordial sound introduced in this universe and perhaps in the whole celestial world. The reasons for its production and its introduction on cosmic scale are part of the God’s ‘lila’ or play responsible for creating this eternal resonance. And that … Continue reading Significance of Om

Singer Jagjit Singh

By Promod Puri In his 40 years of entertaining and alluring singing career, late Jagjit Singh’s soft and “silky” voice created a vast following not only in India but among thousands of his fans settled all over the world as well. Jagjit Singh, who died in October 2011, created a niche for his thick-pitched but soothing voice to enjoy simple vocal music along with blending orchestra of few instruments. His self-composed music and singing style, which usually had a light classical touch in it, can aptly be described as a geet performance though the selection of most of the songs … Continue reading Singer Jagjit Singh

Hinduism, Diwali and swastikas: Explained

Published on: November 1, 2016 | Last Updated: November 1, 2016 1:33 PM PDT Douglass Todd With Canada’s 500,000 Hindus celebrating Diwali throughout this week, the awkward topic of the religion’s swastika symbol has again arisen. One young North American Hindu has confessed in a revealing, tender-hearted piece how he often tries to convince his mother not to put Hinduism’s swastika symbol on the doorstep during Diwali. Since most of the Western world associates the swastika with Naziism, Parth Shah told NPR he becomes mortified that North Americans might think his family somehow supports such atrocities. His mother refuses to … Continue reading Hinduism, Diwali and swastikas: Explained

GURU MANEYO GRANTH

By Promod Puri The 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, close to his death, sealed the continuity of human gurus. He declared that henceforth the holy book Adi Granth would be the eternal Guru of Sikhs. The hymn composed by him for that declaration encourages a devotee to study, research and contemplate the enlightenments contained in the sacred book. The hymn says: Agya bhai Akal ki tabhi chalayo Panth Sabb Sikhan ko hukam hai Guru manyo Granth Guru Granth Ji manyo pargat Guran ki deh Jo Prabhu ko milbo chahe khoj shabad mein le Raj karega Khalsa aqi rahei na … Continue reading GURU MANEYO GRANTH

Seeking Divine Spirit

ॐ भूर्भुवस्व: | तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् | भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि | धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात् Aum bhur bhuvah swah, tat savitur varenvam. Bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prochodayay. The four-part mantra is addressed to God (Aum) and the translation goes like this: Oh God, you are the giver of life, you can free us from all the pains, you are present all over, you give happiness, you are the creator of this universe and beyond. We humbly submit to You and concentrate on your pious, sin-quelling and pervading ENERGY. This ENERGY produced and released by You illuminates our mental faculties. We … Continue reading Seeking Divine Spirit

Composition Of God In Hinduism

By Promod Puri Besides His numinous and varied perceptions God also offers a meaningful perspective which can be created by the assembly of good thoughts. And the divine residency begins in that on-going construction. Basically it is an eloquent temperament we are trying to build which gives rationality and practicality to the institution of God. The ecumenical concept of God of being the supreme governor who creates, sustains and destroys the universe, and everything else including what influences our lives, does not reveal the reasons behind all the puzzles and mysteries of His or Her observable deeds. In other words … Continue reading Composition Of God In Hinduism

Culture Supersedes Religion in Establishing National Identity

By Promod Puri Culture is a distinctive feature of one group of people comprising of several aspects. One of them is religion, and the others are language, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. Obviously, one aspect of a culture does not represent the totality of it. The expression “Hindu culture” is as vague as saying Hindu cuisine (except by airlines referring to “Hindu meal”). And it is as much blurred as trying to contrive a language, music, arts, customs, etc with suffix of Hindu. This applies to all other religions as well who try to create a culture exclusively linked … Continue reading Culture Supersedes Religion in Establishing National Identity

Hinduism and Vegetarian Diet

By Arran Stephens The overwhelming majority of the world’s Hindus live in India, which has the largest vegetarian population on earth, numbering many millions. Within the Indian subcontinent, the spectrum of religious thought ranges from strict monotheism to a sweeping panoply of gods, goddesses and animist dieties. Vegetarianism is practiced and scripturally supported by the majority of Hindu sects. There are also large Muslim and Christian populations in India, as well as Jews, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Ba’hai’s and Buddhists. Many Sufis—who represent an eclectic and mystical form of Islam, practice vegetarianism. Amongst the Sikhs, the Namdharis and others on the … Continue reading Hinduism and Vegetarian Diet

Message of Universality in Hindu Mantra

By Promod Puri OM PURNAM MANTRA “Om purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udachyate purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate”. An ideological and free translation of the mantra begins with the word Om which is personified here as God. The word ‘purnam’ and its related derivates in the mantra mean complete, and signifies His completeness. As He is complete, everything emanating from Him is complete. From the Complete Wholeness only the completeness manifests. And even when a single complete is subtracted from the whole Complete what is left is still a Complete. The products produced thru Him may look small or … Continue reading Message of Universality in Hindu Mantra

Quantum Theory And Om

Ever wonder why we chant “om” before our yoga practice or prayer? Check out this interesting take on how Quantum Theory can help us understand the significance of Om. by Promod Puri This is perhaps the first time in the studies of Hinduism that an attempt has been made to establish a relationship between the sound of Om and the Quantum Theory in modern physics. Quantum, derived from the word quantity, means the smallest identifiable unit in the universe of any physical property like energy or matter. Quantum theory deals with the infrastructure in the sub-atomic field. It reveals the … Continue reading Quantum Theory And Om

SIGNIFICANCE OF IDOL WORSHIPPING IN HINDUISM

Image formation is a very natural trait in human psychology. In our conscious state all our feelings, ideas and impulses manifest images. The genesis of an image is a cognitive imagination influenced by perception of an object. In The Philosophy and Significance of Idol Worship, a Divine Life Society publication, Sri Swami Sivananda says: “Idol is a support for the neophyte. It is a prop of his spiritual childhood. A form or image is necessary for worship in the beginning. It is an external symbol of God for worship. It is a reminder of God. The material image calls up … Continue reading SIGNIFICANCE OF IDOL WORSHIPPING IN HINDUISM

Bad Rituals Breed Fanaticism

One major drawback instituted in ambiguous rituals is the fear factor. And in absurdity, some rituals promise to work like cure-all miracles. Illogical rituals block the real spirit of religion. Such customs generate fanaticism. Rituals help in cult formation. The entry of fake gurus in the Hindu faith is thru the contamination created by inane rituals. Irrational rituals pollute the religion and dilute the enlightenment contained in the Hindu philosophies and thoughts. Hinduism is not a religion of fear. Nor it is meant for fanaticism and exploitation by self-appointed gurus or saints with claims of magical powers. Bad rituals and … Continue reading Bad Rituals Breed Fanaticism

Hinduism and Lord Ganesh

The art community’s fascination for Lord Ganesh is due to His unique appearance as a clearly recognizable elephant tusk-hooded portrayal. In Hindu thought, an elephant is revered for its intelligence. Consequently, Lord Ganesh in His elephant-look image is perceived as the god of knowledge, intellect, and wisdom. Besides these scholarly exhibits, Lord Ganesh gathers a few more symbolic interpretations thru His overall appearance and possessions. These attributes include the pursuit of knowledge, sweetness, and humbleness. Lord Ganesh is also widely worshipped as the god of Beginnings. “Sri-Ganesh” is the common expression for any new event, purchase or start-up enterprise. His … Continue reading Hinduism and Lord Ganesh