Category Archives: Religion & Spirituality

Q – How is a Hindu going to know about his religion, Ritual, and its importance?

A –

A very valid and important point raised. Thanks.

I agree with you that Hinduism as it should be taught is not being done. The fault as I see it lies in the system that we as citizens have adopted to educate our children, and the misuse of freedom given to individuals as members of the Hindu society. To elaborate on these points I feel that the basic education system in itself is so taxing that a student even if he wants to cannot devote much time towards religious studies and also that these studies do not form a part of the curriculum under the pretext of India being a “secular state”. What I don’t understand is why does so called secularism mean to shun and avoid religions instead of supporting and respecting all in equal stead. Wont it help our young generation to understand better their own faith and others if introductory classes were given in schools itself, thereby promoting not only their knowledge in their religion but also in other religions too? Not to mention that it shall increase the levels of tolerance, respect, and understandings of other religions too. In Hinduism every ritual has a meaning both deeply spiritual as well as practical, how is one supposed to know if such rituals are just passed on as acts to be done instead of knowing the exact meaning behind them, from one generation to another.

To cite an example, we in our family have Ganapati Pooja tradition, which all follow, but now a days it is just confined to bringing in the idol, decorating the place, and having a huge platter for naivedyam! I mean out of 7 families only one follows the entire pooja routine to the book with complete understanding!

That apart, discourses are viewed and perceived as for the old and people who don’t have any work. The perception of religion is relegated to be of use only in the vanaprasthashram or what??

Also when you say that Sanskrit text be made more simple and in language more common, I shall beg to disagree for the reason that the Sanskrit text for mantras and pooja have great meaning and potential. Our mantras are not only textual but have deep phonetic, audio-wave impact. Hence I am of the view that they should not be meddled with and preserved in the purest form that is in Sanskrit only. I say this because Sanskrit is a very evolved language, a language in which with subtle changes in intonations of the same words different meanings are derived, not to mention that it is a language which has grown itself over the barriers of punctuation!

In schools especially in the northern states Sanskrit is an optional subject which is mostly opted out in favour of some foreign language or a regional one citing its irrelevance of use. Isn’t it here that it can be used, to get closer to one’s religion?

Literature though widely available and now a days predominantly in Hindi is still not used because people take almost an hour to read a single line in Hindi! This amazes me beyond words. I am surprised when i see my fellow colleagues frown to see me reading Hindi novels and Sanskrit books, I mean how difficult is it to learn to read a language which you use 80% of the time to interact n talk in?

The attitude is wrong. Coming to my second point of misuse of freedom, I’d say that we Hindus have been given a freedom to chose to worship the way we want, and we have conveniently chosen to be lazy and not to do what we are supposed to do. That is we can donate a huge amount one day or be hungry one day and light lamps n use flowers n colours and conveniently call ourselves Hindus, where we don’t even know who the father of Ayaapan is or who is the husband of Riddhi & Siddhi!

It is said that “Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha” the one who follows dharma is taken care of by dharma itself. I don’t know how many of us have even heard of it.

As far as Idol worship goes, it too had deep meaning and relevance in the Hindu way of life and should not be discarded just because some say so. Hinduism is probably the only religion which takes two or more opposing views and yet can keep them together in view of the greater goal for the benefit of humanity and its freedom to express freewill and choose a path to attain God.

All in all I’d say just take out sometime and know your religion of which you are so proud of am sure. Just sit with it for a while and see for yourself how much more it has to offer than the bit you choose to take from it. I assure you that you’ll discover a wealth unparalleled and happiness like never before.

Sarvejanaha Sukhino Bhavantu.


Q – Shiva is shava without shakti … What is the esoteric meaning?

A –

“Shakti ke bina Shiva Shava hai”

This sentence not only has deep meanings hidden in it but also echoes the importance of Shakti (the feminine).

Shiva, without Shakti, as material manifestations is equivalent to things which are “jada”. It is only after Shakti pervades in is when “Jada” becomes “Chaitanya” and worthwhile. The panchamahabhootas with which the entire creation is said to be made of has no meaning if these panchamahabhootas dont have their inherent energies. These, with the material they constitue and the energies they carry together, are useful and result in “shristi”.
Hence as a bulb without electricity, a flower without its fragrance, a body without the soul have no meaning, so does Shiva have no meaning without its feminine half Shakti. they both compliment to make Shiva, Shiva, and Shakti, Shakti.

This philosophy gives equal importance to the feminine so much so that it makes it important for the existance of the other.

A karta without a karaka is meaningless as the karak defines karta, and karta is essential to the karaka to be a karaka.

A meaning of the eternal bond of love is also enunciated by this sentence. A “Purush” without “paurush” is of no use, and this “paurush” comes to him with the advent of “prakriti” in his life. Thus this sentence helps to understand the importance of “prakriti” for a “purush” and hence their eternal bond.

Q – Does God have a romantic soul? Is being romantic bad?

A –

Definitely God is a Romantic.

See around, just see around for once and Gods deeds of romance are everywhere…
in the colours, the flowers, the fragrance, the twilight, the dusk, the natural beauty…

…all, everywhere….

and when God splashes the rainbow, ain’t the weather romantic?

OH my!
God is a perfect Romantic!

And being Romantic is not bad. Doing selfless acts of appreciation to make someone feel special and also to tell them that you care… how can it be bad?

No being romantic is NOT bad.

Q – Why is Lord Shiva called Nataraja

A –

Shiva is an exponent and proponent of art forms, especially dance. His dance Tandava is well known and the pose of his standing on his right foot with the left foot across in air, with his hands in beautiful mudras is synonymous with India. This explicit pose of poise and grandeur is what Nataraaj is depicted as.

Shiva as the Supreme manifests in everything from the minutest of elements to mightiest of forces in the universe. Its His dance that is reflected in the energy patterns, the sync of breathe the grace of wind, the flow of water, the lapping of the sea, the still grandeur of mountains, the beating of hearts, and everything.

Shiva creates (as Brahma manifestation) by being the creator of the Naad, Roopa and Svaras. Shiva sustains (as Vishnu manifestation) by maintaining the rhythm of the universe and balancing it. Shiva destroys (as Shankara manifestation) by his force of destruction giving birth yet again to new. Thus sustaining the cycle of life.

If we look closely everything around us vibrates in Shiva’s tandem.

He is the Supreme One with celestial Dance wherein Shiva and Shakti unite, manifest and exult!

Clearly Shiva is Nataraaj.

Q – What are the meanings of the following names of LORD SHIVA ?

1- Bhoot Nath
2- Nataraja
3- Ardhanarishwara
4- Mahamrityunjaya
5- Akshara

A –

1- Bhoot Nath – Shiva is called Bhootnath as we all are bhoots (ghosts read the aatmic forms) and he is the paramatma hence the lord (nath). Also bhoota refers to the panchamahabhootas which are the basic elements comprising this universe and Shiva being above all beyond all and in control of all is called Bhootnath.

2- Nataraja  – The king of Natyashastra, the propounder of it is Nataraaj. Shiva is synonymous to the Naad Brahma and Naad is the origin point of everything else in the universe including dance and music, the cosmic dance we see all around us of the celestial bodies are all odes to Him and hence he is Nataraaj. Also Shiva is the greatest proponent of the dance form so engrossed and enthralled by it and by it that when he is happy he bestows happiness and prosperity all around by his AnandaTandavam, and when he is enraged he can cause havoc just as easily by his Tandava.

3- Ardhanarishwara

The Parambrahma who manifests itself in both the male and the female forms for the continuance of the universe, in physical forms (male) and their inherent energies (female), is an embodiment of the physical prowess as well as feminine beauty alike, hence He is the Ardhanaareeshwara. This form of Shiva goes on to enunciate the importance of the feminine putting it on an equal pedestal with the male. it is said – “shakti ke bina Shiv, Shav hai.”

4- Mahamrityunjaya

Mrityu or death is one thing which no one can escape and hence feared, but the Lord’s blessings and knowledge makes it easy for us face it and overcome the fear of death. And the Lord Himself is beyond death and the cycles of death and when we immerse ourselves completely in Him is when we too transcend beyond the cycle of death, hence Shiva is called Mahamrityunjaya the once who is capable of guiding us through the cycles of death to attain moksha.

5- Akshara

As the Naada Bramha Itself, Shiva is the proponent of sound itself and hence the written form of the sound hence called Akshara.
Also Akshara as a word means complete in itself and thats what Shiva is. he is the Absolute.

which one is your favourite?

Out of these Akshara is my favourite as it tell me that Shiva is absolute so all other names and meanings merge into this one.

Q – Is it right to debate on the holy books?

A –

Yes it is right to debate, on books, on customs, on practices, on anything and everything pertaining to religion and ones beliefs. This I say because debate is a form of understanding which humans acquire by gathering different perspectives and their causes from different people. Anything which feels that it is above debate rots soon.
The books when they came into existence and when added upon through the ages have been reflecting the needs of that particular era and age. Clearly to impose or imply those same values and principles today is not practical and rational. No doubt we see a rise in people shunning these institutions.
As far as needing to amend the books themselves, the topic is controversial and shall be opposed tooth and nail by the believers, but definitely they should be at least open to the idea of reinterpretations of the same verses and text and see how their moral, and principles are applicable in today’s modern world instead of sticking to the age old interpretations.

In Hindus earlier debate was a legal form of developing upon the religious scriptures as the base and coming up with relevant meanings. the process is known as “Shastraarth”, wherein learned people having different views and perceptions used to debate on a scripture/topic and their points of view recorded. the speakers had to substantiate their claims and interpretations again through referrals to moral practices and other scriptures. In the end the person who could prevail and prove his point conclusively was not only declared a winner but his views were incorporated with the scriptures themselves for referral purposes. This helped in keeping the original scriptures and their sayings intact and also furnishing different interpretations thereof for people to learn and benefit form.

My personal view is that any religion which is not open enough to accommodate the views and perceptions of its followers, stagnates and dies.

Q – what is the greatest activity for loving the God?

A –

What do we do when we love someone?
We trust the person, we take care of the person, we love and respect those important to the person, we remember the person constantly, we do as he says/pleases, we are there for the person knowing that he/she is there for us too.

Similarly if we are in love with God then, we should trust God completely without a strand of doubt, care for God as if he were your own kid, friend, parent, spouse., love Gods creation as in nature, humans, and animals., be in a state of constant remembrance of God, consciously do things that shall please him as in be true to urself in thought, speech, and action, Know that God is always there for you, no matter what and you be there for God by having faith.

Loving God is simple and is safe too as in there is no chance of a heartbreak!