The Bhagawat Gita, or Song of God, is the most popular work of religious literature of India. The Gita is written in the form of a dialogue between Krsna, and his friend and disciple Arjuna. This Krsna is the Divine One, the ‘Lord who abides within the heart of all beings.’ He presents a conception, namely that all existence is a manifestation of God, and that God exists in all beings as the innermost self, which is the basis of all Indian religious thought.
Trying to explain the core beliefs of “Hinduism” to an interested observer can be challenging to say the least. Its often stated that the word “Hinduism” itself is a total misnomer, as it basically refers to the sum total of spiritual and religious thought and practice that has taken place on the Indian subcontinent over the past 5,000 years. And lets just say it’s been a busy 5,000 years.
India is much more than a country. It is something more: It is vibrating with certain energy fields that no other country can claim. For thousands of years it has encompassed the search for eternal spiritual truth, and has produced an explosion of consciousness, and as a result, an atmosphere of spiritual energy unequaled in the world was created. The vibration is still alive; the impact is in the very air, you just need a certain receptivity, a certain capacity to receive the invisible that surrounds this country.
Lord Rama was the seventh Incarnation of God or an avatar. Avatar literally means descent. Hindus believe that God incarnates now and then to establish Dharma and help his devotees in their search for God. Lord Rama was born about 10,000 years ago in India. The story of Lord Rama is called Ramayana. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 Slokas or verses grouped into 500 chapters or seven sections. The Sage Valmiki wrote the life story of Rama, which was the first epic poem ever written in the world. Heroism, sacrifice, and Bhakati or devotion, are the theme of this epic poem.
The Vishnusahasra-nama is a mantra, or a list of 1,000 names of Vishnu, one of the main forms of God in Hinduism. It is also one of the most sacred and commonly chanted prayers in Hinduism. When chanted with correct pronunciation and devotion 1,000 names of Vishnu can bring immense peace and joy. Lord Siva says towards the end of Vishnusahasra-nama that I chant the holy name of Rama, and thus constantly enjoy this beautiful sound, which is equal to chanting the 1,000 names of Vishnu.
The Hindu temple is a sacred space where man and God communicate; traditionally they were built on higher ground or near a river, and at the center of spiritual energy. Temple is a place of worship for formal or informal prayers and rituals. There is no preaching in Hindu traditions. Only guru gives public discourse, outside the temple, mostly in question and answer format. If some one is searching for God, he would seek the guidance from a guru, who is an enlightened master and would learn yoga and meditation from him.
Dharma simply means the ultimate law that keeps the universe together, that keeps the universe in harmony, in accord; the norm that makes the universe a cosmos and not chaos. The definition of dharma is totally different from the definition of religion. Ordinarily religion is translated as dharma: What Buddha means by dharma is not religion. It is not definable, containable in creed. It is not a dogma. It is a very scientific truth.
If you really know what prayer is, prayer itself has its own reward. The reward is not there in the future, not in the afterlife. But praying itself is such a beautiful phenomenon that who cares about the future and who bothers about the reward? That is greed, the idea of reward. Prayer in itself is such a celebration, it brings such great joy and ecstasy, that one prays for prayer’s sake. One does not pray out of fear and one does not pray out of greed. One prays because one enjoys it. One does not even bother whether there is a God or not.
The literal meaning of Puja is adoration. It is an all-purpose term used to denote the many stages of ritual action that compose worship in Hindu culture. The derivative meaning is thought to be from Pu-chey, ‘flower-action,’ and refers to the act of offering flowers to the deity. Puja is a post-Vedic phenomenon in its current form. The Vedic ritual was Homa, the offering of grains and sanctified liquids into a sacrificial fire. Most Puja differs from the Vedic sacrifice primarily in the fact that an image or representation of god is used in the service unlike the Homa where an altar alone, albeit highly stylized and over-laden with symbolic meaning, is used. The only common requirement is the creation of a sacred space to perform Puja.
There is so much similarity, both physical and mental, between man and monkey that it is difficult to deny Darwin. In this context Hanuman, Hindu monkey god is very significant. Had Darwin known about Hanuman, Darwin would have been greatly pleased. Darwin believed that there must be link between monkey and man; he believed that there must be some species in the evolution of man from monkey who was halfway between the two, neither a full monkey nor a complete man. Hanuman seems to be, in many ways, related to that missing link, and it would be great if his skeleton were found.
The worship of god as mother started in prehistoric times in India. The people of India conceive the Goddess as the supreme, ultimate Godhead. She is considered to be simultaneously the source of all creation, as well as its embodiment and the energy that animates and governs it. It has been observed that nowhere in the religious history of the world do we come across such a completely female-oriented philosophy and meditation practices. It must be due to the unparalleled quality of the mother-child relationship that the worship of God as Mother became widespread. The tradition of worshipping God as Mother is well established in the Vedas, Hindu scriptures praising the Divine Mother as Lakshmi, Paravti, Durga and Saraswati.
Astrology is perhaps the most ancient subject and also in a way the most tabooed. It is the most ancient because as far as we have been able to investigate the history of mankind, astrology has been in existence. Astrological inscriptions have been found on bone remnants from the Sumerian civilization which existed twenty-five thousands years before Jesus.
Nadabrahma is a mantra meditation, which is one of the best ways to realize new heights of consciousness and freedom. It is very simple yet tremendously effective, because when you chant a mantra or sound your body starts vibrating; your brain cells particularly start vibrating.
A tirtha, a sacred place of pilgrimage, is a unique invention, very deep and symbolic, made by an ancient civilization. But our present civilization has lost all knowledge about the significance of such places. Today visiting a place of pilgrimage is just a dead ritual for us. We just tolerate them, without knowing why places of pilgrimage were established, what their use was and who made them. Whatever can be seen from the surface is not everything. There are some hidden meanings, which are not visible from the outside.
This is a very significant question. First, Aum is not a word, it is a pure sound, so it has no meaning as such. It is a pure sound, like the sound of waterfall; what meaning has it? – no meaning at all. So the first thing to be understood: AUM is not a word, it is pure sound. All other words have arisen out of it, but it itself is not a word. It is the source of all sounds; it cannot have any meaning whatsoever.
Before I tell you about the vermillion or sandal paste mark, I would like to tell you about two events. It will make things easier for you to understand. Both of them are historical facts. In 1888 a person named Ramanujan was born in a poor Brahmin family in South India. He became a very famous mathematician. Ramanujan was not even a matriculate and had no training or guidance from anyone. No sooner was the problem put to him verbally than Ramanujan began to reply, without any time gap for thinking. It proved that Ramanujan was not replying through the medium of the mind.
Suppose we have a key in our hands. We cannot directly understand the purpose of it from the key itself, nor is it possible to imagine from the key itself that a great treasure is likely to be revealed with its help. There is no hidden indication in the key regarding the treasure; the key itself is closed. Even if we break it or cut it into pieces, we may find the metal of which it is made, but we cannot learn anything about the hidden treasure, which the key is capable of revealing. And whenever such a key is preserved for a long time, it only becomes a burden in our life.
Certain primitive tribes believe that it is possible to make a person suffer from a particular disease through a look-alike clay idol which represents him. They believe that even death can be brought about in this way. For thirty years Dr. Rudolf approached the subject skeptically and scientifically, and hundreds of times he actually saw with his own eyes disease and death being transmitted, even if a person was a thousand miles away.
It is necessary to know that some matter be understood. First, it is necessary to know that from scientific point of view, the whole solar family is born out of the sun. The moon, Mars, Jupiter, and the rest of the planets, including this Earth, are all organic parts of the sun. Slowly, life on Earth came into being — from plants to man. Man is an organic part of the Earth; the Earth is an organic part of the sun. It is like a mother who has a daughter, who in turn also has a daughter, and in all three of them the same blood flows.