RIG VEDA: HE KNOWS, PERHAPS He DOES NOT KNOW

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterward,
with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen—
perhaps it formed itself, perhaps it did not
the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven,
only He knows or perhaps He does not know.
even, only He knows – or perhaps He does not know.
– Rig Veda 10:129, translation: Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, Author, Indologist, and Sanskrit Scholar.
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Buddhist and Hindu philosophies help us see clearly, act wisely in an interconnected world

Indian thinkers have been reflecting on interconnectedness for more than two millennia. I study Indian philosophy, and I believe this diverse tradition offers rich and timely insights about how people might better understand global interconnectedness today and act more wisely. Continue reading Buddhist and Hindu philosophies help us see clearly, act wisely in an interconnected world

Mantra: An Ingrained Feature In Hinduism

By Promod Puri Peace in all the cosmic environments influences peace in humankind as well An ingrained feature in Hinduism is the mantra. It is a productive tool that effectively generates tranquil and energetic feelings. A mantra inherently is the delivery of sacred word(s) or a sound with literal meaning or without meaning, but capable of inducing an ambiance of divinity. Moreover, despite their antiquated origin since the Vedic period of Hindu history, contemporary interpretations of mantras offer intellectual spirituality and mystic expressions. Melodic compositions in musical and metrical formation draw out coherent and thematic features in mantras’ verses. Mantra’s … Continue reading Mantra: An Ingrained Feature In Hinduism

Equality And Duality are Themes In Hindu Mantra:

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यतेपूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥ “ Om purnam adah purnam idampurnat purnam udachyatepurnasya purnam adayapurnam evavashishyate”. An ideological and free translation of the mantra begins with the word Om (ॐ), which is personified here as God. The term ‘Purnam’ and its related derivates in the mantra mean complete and signify His completeness. He is Complete; everything emanating from Him is complete. From the Complete Wholeness, only the entirety manifests. And even when a single complete comes out from the whole Complete, what is left is still a Complete. The products produced through Him may look small or big, … Continue reading Equality And Duality are Themes In Hindu Mantra:

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

Genesis Of Kashmir Problem And Its Resolution

By Promod Puri The division of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 generated a persistent hostility between India and Pakistan, a hostility dominated by clashing territorial claims over the Kashmir region. On the international stage, the Kashmir problem is viewed in diplomatic, political, government and media circles, with the understanding that the region has a single entity – geographically, religiously, linguistically and culturally. The complexity of the Kashmir problem can be unfolded when viewed from the divergent realities that exist in the region. Involved in the Kashmir tangle are also the regions of Jammu and Ladakh along with Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir … Continue reading Genesis Of Kashmir Problem And Its Resolution

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