Q&A: Should ONLY ISKCON English translations of Scripture be cited when Traditional versions are also available?

Question Should ONLY ISKCON English translations of Scripture be cited when Traditional versions are also available? Answer Here's what I will say about this with all due respect. I had been a member of ISKCON for several years during my undergraduate degree (no longer one). My observations are as follows:- 1) ISKCON is a highly anglicized (almost Christianized) version of Vaishnav movements of the olden times (and by that I mean movements of Sri Ramanuja, Sant Tukaram and other Vaishnavas)....

February 14, 2023 · 5 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is K.M. Ganguli's translation of the Anu Gita in line with other Mahabharata translators?

Question Is K.M. Ganguli’s translation of the Anu Gita in line with other Mahabharata translators? Answer I am posting Bibek Debroy's translation. It agrees with K. M. Ganguli's translation. Having been thus addressed, the greatly energetic Krishna, supreme among eloquent ones, embraced Phalguna and replied in these words, "I made you listen to something that is eternal and secret. O Partha! That was about the nature of eternal dharma for all the worlds....

February 14, 2023 · 1 min · TheAum

Q&A: Does scripture say that widows are inauspicious?

Question Does scripture say that widows are inauspicious? Answer Yes, scripture suggests that widows are inauspicious and should be avoided "like the poison of a snake." Only exception is one's own widowed mother. Julie Leslie, in The Perfect Wife — a translation of/commentary on Strīdharmapaddhati (Guide to the Religious Status and Duties of Women) by Tryambaka of 18th century Thanjavur — says the following. Tryambaka also discusses the interesting question of the impurity and inauspiciousness traditionally ascribed to widows....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: Whom & how to worship to develop fearless or fierce instincts?

Question Whom & how to worship to develop fearless or fierce instincts? Answer One can recite the so called Abhaya Mantras from the Vedas. The name of the Mantras itself suggests that those are to give freedom from fear. abhayam nah karati antariksham abhayam dyAvAprithivi ubhe ime abhayam pashchAdbhayam purastAt uttarAt adharAdabhayam no astu || May the mid-region free us from all fear, both heaven and earth make us fearless; Let there be no fear from behind, no fear from in front, no fear from the north or the south....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is Soma Really a drink Or a Metaphor For Vedic Immortality?

Question Is Soma Really a drink Or a Metaphor For Vedic Immortality? Answer Soma is not a metaphor rather it represents two distinct yet related things - ONE is the Moon-god also known as Chandrama and other is the invigorating drink that was consumed by the gods. They are both inter-related hence there is sometimes confusion regarding its real nature but the following excerpts should be able to help us understand the distinction as well as their relatedness....

February 14, 2023 · 11 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is it permissible to deny the authority of Manusmriti?

Question Is it permissible to deny the authority of Manusmriti? Answer Argument 1a) Manusmriti 4.176 says Let him avoid (the acquisition of) wealth and (the gratification of his) desires, if they are opposed to the sacred law, and even lawful acts which may cause pain in the future or are offensive to men. Hence, even any lawful act which may cause pain in the future and are offensive to men , like casteism/varna implementation by birth, have to be avoided as per manusmriti itself....

February 14, 2023 · 9 min · TheAum

Q&A: Why is Lakshmana not considered an incarnation of Vishnu?

Question Why is Lakshmana not considered an incarnation of Vishnu? Answer In Valmiki Ramayanam BalaKanda it is mentioned that all the 4 sons born for Dasaratha are incarnations of Vishnu in various proportions. अथ लक्ष्मणशत्रुघ्नौ सुमित्राऽजनयत्सुतौ।।1.18.13।। वीरौसर्वास्त्रकुशलौ विष्णोरर्धसमन्वितौ। One fourth of Vishnu manifest. Sumitrá too a noble pair, Called Lakshman and S'atrughna, bare, Of high emprise, devoted, true, Sharers in Vishnu's essence too. The above text is relevant for Lakshmana's birth and it is clear that he is considered incarnation of Vishnu....

February 14, 2023 · 1 min · TheAum

Q&A: Are the upanishads later to the puranas?

Question Are the upanishads later to the puranas? Answer There are some minor Upanishads as well which mention Puranas. All these Upanishads are counted among the 108 Upanishads as given in Muktika's list. From the Paingala Upanishad's Adhyaya 4: Whoever recites this Upanishad becomes as immaculate as Agni. He becomes as pure as Brahma. He becomes as pure as Vayu. He becomes like one who has bathed in all the holy waters....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is there any mention of the Mahamrityunjay Mantra in the Puranas?

Question Is there any mention of the Mahamrityunjay Mantra in the Puranas? Answer Linga Purana, Vol 2, Chapter 54 is completely dedicated to Tryambaka mantra alone. It describes the procedure of worshipping Shivalinga with Tryambaka mantra. त्रियंबकेण मंत्रेण देवदेवं त्रियंबकम्। पूजयेद्वाणलिङ्ग वा स्वयंभूतेऽपि वा पुनः॥१॥ Uttering the Tryambaka mantra, a devotee should worship Tryambaka in Bāņa-linga and Svayambhu-linga. Note: “The question: Is there any mention of the Mahamrityunjay Mantra in the Puranas?...

February 14, 2023 · 1 min · TheAum

Q&A: Will non-vegetarians won't get liberation?

Question Will non-vegetarians won’t get liberation? Answer There are two types of Karmas 'Sakaam Karma' and 'Nishkaam Karma'. Sakaam Karma is that karma which is done with some desire. Such a karma results in either Paapa or Punya. Nishkaam Karma is that karma which is performed without any desire. And the truth is Nishkam Karma is not possible unless you experience Self Realization or JeevanMukti. Once the state of Super Conciousness is achieved by an individual whatever he does results in Nishkam Karma....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What was said by swami Vivekananda about Hinduism in Chicago Speech?

Question What was said by swami Vivekananda about Hinduism in Chicago Speech? Answer There are actually many addresses which were given by Swami Vivekananda at Chicago. The one that you're referring to was given on September 11, 1893. You can download this PDF. It contains the addresses. Chicago, 11 September 1893 Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is the meaning of Ramayana?

Question What is the meaning of Ramayana? Answer The literal meaning of Ramayana is 'The journey of Lord Rama'. Word Ramayana is comprised of words Ram + Ayanam by Sanskrit Sandhi rules. Ayanam is a Sanskrit word which means A path; A journey; Travel. Iya / Aya > Ayana > Ayanam depicts a body motion, generally of coming towards, but not necessarily always. In Hindi, Aya is derived from Ayanam refers specifically To come...

February 14, 2023 · 1 min · TheAum

Q&A: How was lord Krishna born?

Question How was lord Krishna born? Answer According to Vishnu Purana, Book 4, Chapter 15, Lord Krishna birth was normal. He has taken birth from the womb of Devaki. Next, the divine Vishńu himself, the root of the vast universal tree, inscrutable by the understandings of all gods, demons, sages, and men, past, present, or to come, adored by Brahmá and all the deities, he who is without beginning, middle, or end, being moved to relieve the earth of her load, descended into the womb of Devakí, and was born as her son Vásudeva....

February 14, 2023 · 3 min · TheAum

Q&A: Is the concept of sin (papa) developed in Rig Veda?

Question Is the concept of sin (papa) developed in Rig Veda? Answer The concept of Sin is already present in Rig Veda and other answers are explaining that too. But as you are specifically looking for the sin of type as incest, so it is also present in Rig Veda, Mandala 10, Sukta 10. In this Sukta Yami is convincing Yama (her brother) to make him as her husband but Yama refused because for him it was a sin....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum

Q&A: What is the meaning of Narayana?

Question What is the meaning of Narayana? Answer I quote the following from the book Manusmriti: He thought deeply, for he wished to emit various sorts of creatures from his own body; first he emitted the waters, and then he emitted his semen in them. That semen became the golden egg as bright as the sun with his thousand rays; Brahma himself, the grandfather of all people, was born in that egg....

February 14, 2023 · 2 min · TheAum