Q&A: Idol worship in Hinduism

Question Idol worship in Hinduism Answer No, it is not true. There are plenty of references in the religious texts regarding worshiping God through idols and images.For example, in this chapter of the Bhagavata Mahapuran Shri Krishna speaks about idol worship in brief: The Deity form of the Lord is said to appear in eight varieties — stone, wood, metal, earth, paint, sand, the mind or jewels. [SB - 11.27.12]...

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is called Adhibhuta (Matter)?

Question What is called Adhibhuta (Matter)? Answer Adhibhuta simply means the material nature of which all matter and objects are made of. It is made up of the two words adhi and bhuta. Adhi signifies the excess or upper to something and here it means as the subtle upper nature of the bhutas or the bhutas as an whole entity. Bhuta means that which is created or which manifests or appears....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: Difference between Samprajnata and Asamprajnata Samadhi?

Question Difference between Samprajnata and Asamprajnata Samadhi? Answer In meditation there are two different states depending upon the consciousness of the yogi. That samadhi where the consciousness of the yogi retains his sense of I'ness, that is, his nature, personality, etc. remains is called as samprajnata samadhi. In it there remains analysis, deliberation, sense of the outer world, along with feeling of happiness. So the Patnatjali yoga sutra defines as thus:...

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What year is it according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar?

Question What year is it according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar? Answer First of all, there isn't really such a thing as "the Hindu calendar". Most Hindu calendars are based on the system described in the Surya Siddhanta, an ancient astronomical treatise, but then subsequently a lot of regional variations on the Surya Siddhanta system developed. Still, most Hindu calendars are lunisolar, in the sense that they have lunar months and sidereal solar days....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: Was Polyandry allowed prior to Mahabharata?

Question Was Polyandry allowed prior to Mahabharata? Answer In general Polyandry was allowed, but it may not be in a "marriage" form (e.g. Draupadi's case). However the women were much more liberal prior to MahAbhArata. Even during Kuru race's time, certain regions were liberal towards women's sexuality. Refer this answer. "... I want to know whether this story is correct" Yes. From Adi Parva - SAmbhava Parva: O thou of eyes like lotus-petals, the present virtuous practice hath been established by that Swetaketu from anger....

February 14, 2023 · 4 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is there any description of Bharatavarsha in Hindu Scriptures?

Question Is there any description of Bharatavarsha in Hindu Scriptures? Answer You said you already know the origin of the name Bharata Varsha, but for those who don't, the reason the Indian subcontinent is called Bharata Varsha is because it was conquered by the empire of the ancient king Bharata, as described in the Srimad Bhagavatam: Formerly this [land] was known as Ajanābha-varṣa, but since Mahārāja Bharata’s reign it has become known as Bhārata-varṣa....

February 14, 2023 · 8 min · TheAum

Q&A: What were the specific skills of the Pandavas?

Question What were the specific skills of the Pandavas? Answer Skills Of Pandavas Yudhishtira He was ingenious, dedicated to the path of Dharma and hence he was called Dharmaraja and a prudent politician. Bhima He was Fearless and Brave. His physical power was unmatchable at that time. In Mahabharat Shambhav Parva: In fact, those princes were no match for Bhima in pugilistic encounters, in speed, or in skill. Bhima used to make a display of his strength by thus tormenting them in childishness but not from malice....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is Kriya Yoga?

Question What is Kriya Yoga? Answer Since you have mentioned in another question that you are reading Autobiography of a Yogi, I do not want to play spoiler. The information is contained in the same book. What is Kriya Yoga? Kriya Yoga is a yogic meditation technique by which the senses, body, mind, all come under the control of the seeker. Paramahansa Yogananda describes Kriya Yoga: The Sanskrit root of Kriya is kri, to do, to act and react; the same root is found in the word karma, the natural principle of cause and effect....

February 14, 2023 · 5 min · TheAum

Q&A: Was value of pi really defined in a sloka?

Question Was value of pi really defined in a sloka? Answer It looks this shloka originates from Bharati Krishna Tirthaji's system of so-called "Vedic Mathematics". Note that despite its name, it's widely agreed that Tirthaji's system isn't actually Vedic in origin; Tirthaji claimed that his 16 Sutras were from the Parishishta of the Atharvana Veda, but they're not actually found there. (Here's a good paper discussing the provenance of Tirthaji's Vedic Mathematics system....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: Name all the hundred Kauravas in Mahabharata

Question Name all the hundred Kauravas in Mahabharata Answer In this chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, Vaishampayana tells Arjuna's great-grandson Janamejaya all 101 sons of Dhritarashtra: Their names, O king, according to the order of birth, are Duryodhana, Yuyutsu, Duhsasana, Duhsaha, Duhsala, Jalasandha, Sama, Saha, Vinda and Anuvinda, Durdharsha, Suvahu, Dushpradharshana, Durmarshana and Durmukha, Dushkarna, and Karna; Vivinsati and Vikarna, Sala, Satwa, Sulochana, Chitra and Upachitra, Chitraksha, Charuchitra, Sarasana, Durmada and Durvigaha, Vivitsu, Vikatanana; Urnanabha and Sunabha, then Nandaka and Upanandaka; Chitravana, Chitravarman, Suvarman, Durvimochana; Ayovahu, Mahavahu, Chitranga, Chitrakundala, Bhimavega, Bhimavala, Balaki, Balavardhana, Ugrayudha; Bhima, Karna, Kanakaya, Dridhayudha, Dridhavarman, Dridhakshatra, Somakitri, Anudara; Dridhasandha, Jarasandha, Satyasandha, Sada, Suvak, Ugrasravas, Ugrasena, Senani, Dushparajaya, Aparajita, Kundasayin, Visalaksha, Duradhara; Dridhahasta, Suhasta, Vatavega, and Suvarchas; Adityaketu, Vahvashin, Nagadatta, Agrayayin; Kavachin, Krathana, Kunda, Kundadhara, Dhanurdhara; the heroes, Ugra and Bhimaratha, Viravahu, Alolupa; Abhaya, and Raudrakarman, and Dridharatha; Anadhrishya, Kundabhedin, Viravi, Dhirghalochana Pramatha, and Pramathi and the powerful Dhirgharoma; Dirghavahu, Mahavahu, Vyudhoru, Kanakadhvaja; Kundasi and Virajas....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is Apasmara?

Question What is Apasmara? Answer Apasmara, AKA Muyalaka, is the demon crushed under Shiva's foot in his form as Nataraja the king of dance. He is a dwarf who symbolizes ignorance and/or evil, and Shiva is portrayed as crushing him: Now as far as I'm aware, the story of Nataraja isn't described in Hindu scripture, but here is how it's described in South Indian folklore: Followers of the orthodox Brahmin school of Mimamsa tried to destroy Shiva by successively creating a fierce tiger, a serpent, and an elephant whom Shiva killed....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is the story of 'Kali Maa'?

Question What is the story of “Kali Maa”? Answer The story of the goddess Kali is told in the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana. She is an incarnation of the goddess Durga. For those who don't know, Durga was created from the combined powers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva in order to defeat the demon Mahishasura. But she is generally viewed be the consort of Shiva, because she is considered an incarnation of Shiva's wife Parvati....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What are the names of the Five villages that Krishna offers Kauravas to give Pandavas?

Question What are the names of the Five villages that Krishna offers Kauravas to give Pandavas? Answer In this chapter of the Udyoga Parva of the Mahabharata, Yudhishthira sends an offer of peace to Duryodhana, and in the course of doing so he names the five villages: We are desirous of peace; give us even a single province of the empire. Give us even Kusasthala, Vrikasthala, Makandi, Varanavata, and for the fifth any other that thou likest....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: What were the previous births of the characters of Mahabharata?

Question What were the previous births of the characters of Mahabharata? Answer This chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata describes exactly who incarnated as each of the major characters in the Mahabharata. It's too long a chapter to quote the whole thing here, so let me just address some important people. I discuss the previous births of Draupadi and the Pandavas here. As you said, Bhishma was an incarnation of one of the Vasus, a group of eight Vedic gods controlling various aspects of nature, but more specifically he was the Vasu known as Dyaus Pita, AKA Prabhasa, god of the sky....

February 14, 2023 · 7 min · TheAum

Q&A: The story behind Pashupatinath temple in Nepal

Question The story behind Pashupatinath temple in Nepal Answer The Pasupatinath ShivaLinga is described in Koti Rudra Samhita of Shiva Purana in chapter 11 'Pasupatinath Linga': नयपालाख्यां तु प्रसिद्धायां महितले । लिङ्ग पशुपतिशाख्यं सर्वकामफलप्रदम् ।। शिरोभागस्वरुपेण शिवलिङ्गं तदस्ति हि । तत्कथां वर्णयिष्यामि केदारेश्वरवर्णने ।। A Linga named Pasupati became established in Nepal and it is able to fulfill all desires. The Linga as the form of the head and it's story will be narrated with the greatness of Kedareshwara....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum