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22
votes
3answers
2k views

What percentage of Hindus belong to a sect that subscribes to the Vedanta school?

Indian schools of philosophy are traditionally divided into two categories, Astika and Nastika. Astika schools accept the authority of the Vedas as divinely revealed truth (shruti), whereas Nastika ...
32
votes
1answer
4k views

What are some online sources to get unabridged Hindu Scriptures or to learn Hinduism?

What are some good websites to find unabridged versions of Hindu Scriptures and to learn Hinduism (with proper interpretations)? Also, see: Where can I find/get basic information about Hinduism on ...
32
votes
5answers
4k views

Is the Anukramani index of sages and deities of the Rig Veda available online?

As I discuss in this answer, how the Vedas originated is that from time immemorial, sages known as Dhristas have heard mantras (sacred verses) directly from the gods during a state of Tapasya (deep ...
51
votes
7answers
7k views

How did the Vedas in Hinduism come into existence?

Who wrote the Vedas and why? How did the Vedas exist since their inception? Where can we read the Vedas?
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How has Lord Vishnu's understanding developed and what was his role initially?

I've recently come by an excellent research on how the understanding of Shiva has been evolving through the ages and I wonder whether such a research has been made with respect to Vishnu. The book I ...
48
votes
10answers
11k views

How were the Trimurthi born?

In Hinduism, there are three supreme gods, Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva). Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the protector, and Shiva is the destroyer. But how were these gods born? Did the ...
48
votes
10answers
48k views

Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

In Hindu temples, the statues of the deities are present in the sanctum. But in (most) Shiva temples, only a linga is present instead of a Shiva statue. The linga worship seems to be limited only to ...
74
votes
5answers
35k views

Is our destiny predetermined? If yes, then why do our actions affect our karma?

Is our destiny predetermined? I've read some stories which do show that a person's destiny is predetermined, like: pathi pragrahiṇaṁ kaṁsam ābhāṣyāhāśarīra-vāk asyās tvām aṣṭamo garbho hantā yāṁ ...
20
votes
2answers
14k views

Where does a Soul attach to the Body?

A human is identified in terms of 3 bodies, 3 States and 5 Koshas or Sheaths. The Atman or soul is covered by three bodies, which are: Karana sharira (Causal body), Sukshma sarira (Subtle body) ...
79
votes
19answers
36k views

Why can we eat 'living' plants but not 'living' animals?

I attended a session of a priest. He described how eating non-veg food is disfavoured in Hinduism. He told us that a verse of Bhagavad-Gita says that eating non-veg food is evil. Priest: If you eat ...
22
votes
3answers
32k views

Complete English translations of Puranas

Some English translations of Puranas can be found online here: Vishnu purana (a) Garuda purana (abridged) (b) Garuda purana (full) Bagavata Purana Shiva Purana Linga purana (a) Brahmanda Purana (b) ...
31
votes
1answer
9k views

Did the Mahabharata and the Ramayana happen in the current Yuga cycle in the current Manvantara?

The Mahabharata war has been given a date of around 3300 BC by back-tracing planetary positions from scriptural references (archeo-astronomy). The Ramayana is speculated to be anywhere between a few ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Was the Purva mimansa an atheist school?

Why purva mimansa school did not believe in existence of vedic gods but were strict believers of Vedas?
36
votes
10answers
8k views

Is Moksha a permanent state?

In Bhagavat Geeta (Chapter 9 Verse 7), it is said that the Jeevas are created at the start of Kalpa, and this cycle keeps on repeating for-ever. This implies that the Mukti or Moksha is not a ...
19
votes
2answers
7k views

How to read Hindu Scriptures

Ok, I understand there are lot of Hindu scriptures. How to read them? I wish to read them for meditation to gain wisdom/knowledge raise positive vibrational energy but most importantly break out ...
19
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there any scripture that tells story about Lord Vishnu and MahaVishnu?

As per the Shiva Purana, there is a main God Shiva who is Nirakara and thereafter his physical manifestation who is known as Shankara. I know that different Hindu texts about different Gods treat ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

How was the universe created?

I always think what was the start. How it started? Who was the creator? Who created god? Who created the creator? Where did the solid material, to create planets, come from? Can anybody explain me ...
51
votes
5answers
105k views

What exactly happens at end of Kali Yuga. Will the world be destroyed?

I heard that at the end of the Kali Yuga, the world will be destroyed. What does this mean? Will the Earth be destroyed or will the entire Universe be destroyed? Can someone throw light on this?
13
votes
3answers
8k views

What is chronological timeline (in Manvantara and Mahayuga) of Lord Vishnu incarnations?

Please tell me chronological timeline (in Manvantara and Mahayuga) of Lord Vishnu's various incarnations.
36
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the origin of the word “Hindu”?

It is a fact that the term "Hindu" derives from the river "Sindh". But most of Hinduism's tenets and teachings derive from the Vedas. Why wasn't it named after the Vedas, but it's rather given a name ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

Difference between Smartas and Advaitins?

What is the difference between a Smarta and an Advaitin? Both are the followers of Adi Sankaracharya only. People who worship Lord Shiva are called Shaivite and those who worship Lord Vishnu are ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

Why are brahmins represented by names of Vedas?

Why are brahmins represented by names of Vedas? For example, a person x is a brahmin of some y class (Kanyakubja/ Kokanstha/Deshastha etc.) Then person x will be introduced or called as x person is a ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

What is Shakti Visishtadvaita philosophy?

Does any one know what this(Shakti Visishtadvaita) philosophy is all about? I know what are dvaita, advaita philosophies but this is new one.
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Dvaita vs Advaita vs Vishistadvaita vs Shuddhadvaita vs any other

I hear these terms Dvaita, Advaita, Vishistadvaita, Shuddhadvaita, and may be any other XYZdvaita, etc in most of the questions but I am not very sure what do they refer to. Are these some communities ...
12
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the duration (Timeline) of the four “Yugas”?

What is the duration (timeline) of the four Yugas in Hindu cosmology?
25
votes
4answers
5k views

Repetition of Time and Yugas in Hinduism

The following is the time span of yugas. Now we are in kaliyuga. Will these yugas repeat? If the same yugas repeat, then what about the incidents happening in the universe? Will they also repeat? E....
19
votes
8answers
4k views

What is the purpose of the caste system? How has it changed?

I understand there is a caste system on the basis of occupation. What is the reason for having such a classification system? Has the original concept stayed the same or has it evolved over time (if ...
25
votes
6answers
31k views

Is it true that one can not convert to Hinduism from any other religion or vice versa?

One of my friends told me that you are either born as a Hindu or not. You cannot convert from any other religion to Hinduism or the other way round. Is something of that sort mentioned in the Vedas or ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Should a Brahmin be vegetarian?

Is there something in scriptures which compels a Brahmin to be a pure vegetarian or can he eat non-vegetarian food if his health forces him to do so?
9
votes
2answers
73k views

Death in family - does a marriage need to be postponed?

I recently had a death in the family. My paternal grandmother (father's side) died at the ripe old age of 87 after a short battle with cancer. We are Hindu/Iyengaars. I am supposed to marry my fiance (...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Whose commentaries on the Vedas and Upanishads are most followed?

There are many people who write commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita etc. Whose commentaries is most followed. Also where can I get all of those Upanishads and Vedas in English? ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the Vedas technically? How can Upanishads be called Vedas when some parts are neither revelations nor hymns dedicated to any specific deity?

It is believed that the Vedas are the revelations from the Almighty to the seers in exalted states of consciousness. Further, it is also believed that the Vedas are authorless. Keeping these ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Did Tamil Vaishnavites (Iyengars) descend from Shaivites (Iyers)?

Wikipedia article on Iyer has a passage without citations which says: The title 'Iyer' was used as a designation for all Tamil Smartha Brahmins during the medieval period, during which they were ...
11
votes
3answers
548 views

Looking to learn about Hinduism?

I'm an American and a Christian, and I don't know a lot about it but I think Hinduism just seems really beautiful and intriguing. I've heard of Hindu Atheists and one person told me it's more a way of ...
56
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the significance of ॐ (Om/Aum)?

Every mantra begins with the word ॐ (Aum/Om). (Ex. Aum Namho Bhagwate Vasudevaya Namah etc.) ॐ itself is considered a mantra in Ayurveda. My Questions: What is the meaning of ॐ? Why is it given the ...
15
votes
7answers
35k views

What is difference between Shruti and Smriti?

The Hindu texts are classified in Shruti (श्रुति) and Smriti (स्मृति). I want to know: What is the difference between Shruti and Smriti? What scriptures are included in Shruti & in Smriti?
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What are Five Layers (Pancha Kosha) of Human?

While going through I found scriptures depicting about Pancha Kosha, suggesting the Atman is not just inside the physical body but is actually wrapped up in these Five Kosha. What are these Pancha ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the Agama scriptures? Are they related to Shruti/Vedas?

I know that Hindu scriptures classified as Shruti and Smriti but don't know much about Aagama. I would like to know about Agama Scripture: What are the Agama Scriptures? Are they related to Vedas? ...
34
votes
6answers
32k views

Did Ramayana occur 1.6 million years ago? [closed]

Many Western scholars and Indian scholars with Western mindset tried to fix the age of Srimad Ramayana, to approximately the 5th to 4th century BC. And, they succeeded to some extent in making ...
22
votes
6answers
82k views

What were the ages of Pandavas & other characters during the Mahabharata war?

I have not found any specific reference to the age of each of the Pandavas, like Arjuna and Bheema when they fought the epic Mahabharata battle. It will be also interesting to know the age of Bhishma ...
15
votes
8answers
6k views

What are the exact ten avatars of Vishnu?

I know that there are many avatars of Vishnu but some say that the famous Dashavatar include lord Buddha (Wiki) and some say as Balarama (hinduism.about.com). but Mohini avatar is not considered as ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Converting to Hinduism and Caste

I have read that people who convert to Hinduism do not belong to any specific caste. If the concept of no caste (or Jati, Varna) exists, and we are willing to allow people to be free of the caste ...
23
votes
4answers
7k views

What is the life cycle of a soul (atma) in Hinduism?

I am confused about the life cycle in Hinduism. What is the starting point of a soul? Yes, a soul exchanges bodies, but when does a soul take birth and how will fate be written to it (as it has no ...
25
votes
3answers
30k views

What were the previous births of the characters of Mahabharata?

There is a very interesting story about Karna being an Asura named as Dambhodbhava. Quora: Who was Karna in his previous birth?. Arjuna-Krishna being Nara-Narayana kids, who fought with Dambhodbhava. ...
16
votes
3answers
7k views

Who were the previous Indras that incarnated as the Pandavas?

It's well-known that the Pandavas were all sons of gods: Yudhishthira was the son of Yama god of death, Bhima was the son of Vayu the wind god, Arjuna was the son of Indra king of the gods, and Nakula ...
21
votes
3answers
40k views

What is the difference between Thenkalai and Vadakalai sects of Sri Vaishnavism?

For those who do not know, there are two main sects of Sri Vaishnavism: Thenkalai and Vadakalai. The Vadakalai sect wear their namam, or thiruman, in a "U" shaped pattern with manjal or yellow like ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What commentary on the Brahma Sutras does the Saiva Siddhanta Church support?

The term "Shaivite" is overused nowadays. For instance, Iyer Brahmins are often called Shaivites, but they're actually followers of Adi Shankaracharya's Smartha sect (which I discuss here and here) ...
21
votes
3answers
93k views

What are Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic foods?

In Hinduism, food is categorized into Tamasic, Rajasic, Sattvic, or combination of them. What does these categories signify? Can anyone consume food from any of these categories? Are there any ...
40
votes
6answers
12k views

Why are temples devoted to Brahma so rare?

It is well-known that temples devoted to Brahma are extremely rare compared to temples devoted to Vishnu and Shiva (or, indeed, any number of other deities, e.g. Murugan, Ganesh, Hanuman, etc.). ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

Why did Vyasa depict different Supreme Gods in different Puranas?

I see that many people (including me) remain confused about who is the Supreme God. The main reason for confusion is that in different Puranas, different Gods are shown as Supreme God, e.g., in Shiva ...

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