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98 votes
21 answers
51k 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 ...
user3459110's user avatar
  • 4,344
94 votes
8 answers
34k views

Why do Hindus believe in cremation instead of burial?

The other two major religions, Christianity and Islam both practice burial after death. What factors influence the Hindus to practice cremation instead?
Pawan's user avatar
  • 1,706
86 votes
6 answers
48k 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 ...
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 7,099
65 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
user3459110's user avatar
  • 4,344
61 votes
8 answers
10k 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?
user avatar
59 votes
12 answers
52k 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 ...
TheLoneKing's user avatar
  • 3,393
57 votes
1 answer
4k views

What were the seven curses said by the goddesses to Lord Vishnu?

It is believed that when Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Venkateshwara Swamy, the goddesses (Lord Vishnu's two wives) gave seven curses to Him. For each curse, Lord Vishnu took one step back from them ...
Mr_Green's user avatar
  • 11.6k
56 votes
6 answers
152k 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?
ckv's user avatar
  • 1,516
55 votes
11 answers
15k views

How were the Trimurti born?

In Hinduism, there are three supreme gods, Brahma, Vishnu & Mahesh (Shiva). Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the protector/Preserver, and Shiva (Rudra) is the Destroyer/Regenerater. But how these ...
demonofthemist's user avatar
53 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is the ultimate purpose of life only to serve God?

I wonder at this question, because as with most major religions, it seems all you are mostly meant to do is to serve/devote yourself to God. It also seems that even in Hinduism this is the only way to ...
Xarcell's user avatar
  • 1,788
52 votes
6 answers
13k views

Are there any references to Gravity in Hindu Scriptures?

Are there any references to Gravity or any fundamental forces in Hindu Scriptures viz. Vedas, Upanishands and Puranas or any Scientific Vedic Scriptures?
The Destroyer's user avatar
  • 31.4k
52 votes
5 answers
243k views

What does Hinduism say about masturbation?

Semitic religions such as Islam and Christianity consider masturbation to be a sin. What about Hinduism? Please give some authentic quotes for the answers.
Kiran RS's user avatar
  • 8,151
51 votes
10 answers
43k views

Why is lord Ganesha worshipped first before any puja?

I've seen that Hindus worship lord Ganesha before starting any puja (act of worship) or important task. I've also seen people worshipping lord Ganesha before they start off with marriage proceedings, ...
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 7,099
47 votes
19 answers
219k views

Why doesn't Shiva worship anybody where as Vishnu worships him in all his incarnations?

There is a difference between Bhagwata Purana and Shiva Purana: Bhagwata Purana states that Vishnu is more supreme than Shiva, and from Vishnu, Brahma and by Brahma, Shiva was born. But if that is so,...
prem30488's user avatar
  • 12k
47 votes
6 answers
58k views

Was Lord Rama a non-vegetarian?

I have always believed that Lord Rama was a vegetarian, but after reading certain blogs I found out that there might be certain verses in Ramayana (like the one below) which indicate quite the ...
anon456's user avatar
  • 487
47 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
The Destroyer's user avatar
  • 31.4k
46 votes
3 answers
44k views

Does Hinduism forbid sexual intercourse before marriage?

Well, I think the Indian society is very orthodox and can't generally accept things like an unmarried girl walking with or talking to a boy. So is an unmarried girl or boy having sexual intercourse ...
Kiran RS's user avatar
  • 8,151
46 votes
6 answers
61k views

Is Jesus an avatar of Lord Vishnu?

I have heard that Jesus is an avatar of Lord Vishnu (or even a reincarnation of Krishna). Is this true?
Sebastien Palcoux's user avatar
46 votes
7 answers
21k views

Why are menstruating women (at least in the Brahmin community) asked to be separate from the family for three days?

I am just curious for what religious reasons there might have been. In certain sects of Hinduism, women are asked to not enter the kitchen, eat and sleep separately from the rest of the family, not ...
Karthik Rangarajan's user avatar
45 votes
5 answers
81k views

Who are the children of Vishnu and Lakshmi?

Most of us are aware of the children of Shiva and Parvati ⇒ Kartikeya, Ganesh and many others. I have never come across the children of Vishnu and Lakshmi. Lastly, I am aware of the avatars of Vishnu ...
Shriroop's user avatar
  • 605
44 votes
6 answers
13k 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.). ...
senshin's user avatar
  • 2,121
42 votes
8 answers
31k views

Are there any strong evidence that Hinduism religion is an ancient one?

This question seems a bit off-topic to me even though I am daring to ask because it is a must to know. There are many believes that the present days Ayodhya, Kurukshetra, Ram Sethu and many other ...
Mr_Green's user avatar
  • 11.6k
42 votes
9 answers
9k 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 ...
Vedantism's user avatar
  • 3,328
42 votes
6 answers
48k 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 ...
Srimannarayana K V's user avatar
41 votes
10 answers
11k 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 ...
gaj's user avatar
  • 1,893
41 votes
2 answers
26k views

How were all 100 Kauravas born together?

Gandhari had a boon from Lord Shiva to have 100 sons. Now, it is impossible for a woman to give birth to 100 sons in a single lifetime. So how were all 100 Kauravas born together?
Kedarnath's user avatar
  • 4,716
40 votes
7 answers
17k views

Is Gautama Buddha an avatar of Lord Vishnu?

Some Hindus believe that the Gautama Buddha is one of the Dashavatara; others replace him with Balarama (and sometimes other figures, but mostly Balarama). Which groups of Hindus believe that the ...
senshin's user avatar
  • 2,121
40 votes
5 answers
93k views

Why do some Hindus, especially brahmins, not eat onion or garlic?

I have been with some Brahmins, and I was told that along with meat, they are also prohibited from eating onions and garlic. I can understand the meat prohibition because of cows, but what is the ...
Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan's user avatar
39 votes
1 answer
13k 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 ...
Naveen's user avatar
  • 3,760
38 votes
5 answers
76k views

Why didn't Lord Krishna marry Radha?

As I have read, Lord Krishna's love for Radha was eternal. Then, why didn't he marry Radha?
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 7,099
38 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
38 votes
5 answers
62k views

In which month of pregnancy does a soul enter a new body (foetus)?

When I was going through this question and this question I found out that after the death of a body, the soul has three choices: heaven, hell and moksha. It is said that if soul/atma left the body ...
LightAchala's user avatar
  • 4,274
37 votes
11 answers
4k views

Is Hinduism strictly polytheistic or are the gods considered to be eventually one entity?

In Hinduism we have the "main" three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. We also have many, many, more devas, each with his or her own dominion. Of course, the devas may appear in various avatars, in ...
Manishearth's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
12k views

Reference to the 7 chakras in Hinduism

Where are the details about the 7 chakras mentioned in Hindu scriptures? What is their significance?
ckv's user avatar
  • 1,516
36 votes
7 answers
3k views

How do I find the right Guru?

How can we trust someone and accept him as Guru? Can we know or assess the spiritual level of a person? Are there any references for choosing one? What should we do if we realize that the guru we ...
pbvamsi's user avatar
  • 5,595
36 votes
4 answers
16k views

Are there any temples for Matsya, Kurma, and Varaha avatars?

Are there any temples for the following three avatars of Vishnu? Matsya Kurma Varaha If yes, please share some information about some popular temples for them.
Kiran RS's user avatar
  • 8,151
35 votes
4 answers
26k views

What exactly was the Chakra-Vyuha or Padma-Vyuha in the Mahabharata, and why did Abhimanyu fail to break it?

Given that the great Abhimanyu was an expert at Chakra-Vyuha (a.k.a Padma-Vyuha), why couldn’t he manage to come out of it? Krishna was also an expert in Chakra-Vyuha at that time, so why didn't he ...
sainath sagar's user avatar
35 votes
1 answer
36k views

Why do Hindus remove their footwear before entering temples?

Why is it that people don't wear shoes and sandals when they visit a temple? Sometimes they remove them outside of temple premises and sometimes outside of the temple steps... It's a common practice ...
Mr. Alien's user avatar
  • 7,099
34 votes
7 answers
6k views

What happens after death?

Does a human being have a soul after death? What will happen after death according to Hinduism?
w͏̢in̡͢g͘̕ed̨p̢͟a͞n͏͏t̡͜͝he̸r̴'s user avatar
34 votes
3 answers
29k views

How did Goddess Sita protect herself in Ravana's palace?

Ravana abducted Goddess Sita with evil intentions to marry her. But he didn't step forward to do so. What protected Goddess Sita from Ravana for more than six months (as far as I know) in Ravana's ...
Mr_Green's user avatar
  • 11.6k
33 votes
9 answers
7k views

Does Science contradict Hinduism? How to deal with scientific discoveries that don't line up with Vedas?

I would like to know if Hinduism and science contradict each other. This is an issue that arises in many religions, the most prominent example being Christianity and its disagreement with evolution. ...
Akshay's user avatar
  • 1,880
33 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is the basis for worshipping Sai Baba? Are there are references to him in the Vedas or other Vedic literature?

Recently, Dwarka Shankaracharya, Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati stirred controversy by claiming that since Shirdi Sai was a human and that there are no mention of him any Hindu scripture, he shouldn't ...
Vineet Menon's user avatar
  • 7,656
33 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
Aby's user avatar
  • 10.1k
33 votes
9 answers
17k views

Vedas and Vedic dharma on homosexuality

This link describes that the Vedas have no problem with homosexuality: In contemporary India LGBT people face discrimination and marginalization. This results from cultural attitudes imposed by the ...
Yogi's user avatar
  • 10.5k
32 votes
6 answers
54k views

What is Hinduism's view on porn?

What is Hinduism's view on porn? Please include verses to back it up. If there are no verses than what are the opinions of general public or people known in the research area? https://en.wikipedia....
William's user avatar
  • 960
32 votes
4 answers
9k views

Did mountains use to have wings?

I heard that in Ramayana it is stated that mountains used to have wings at one point, then somehow all the mountains lost their wings, except for one mountain which was between India and Sri Lanka. ...
Mr_Green's user avatar
  • 11.6k
32 votes
8 answers
38k views

If Aryabhata invented zero in Kaliyuga, how could Hindus of earlier yugas describe Ravana as having 10 heads and Kauravas were 100 in number?

Since long time I've heard that the number zero was invented by the great Indian mathematician Aryabhata. Now I have two examples from Ramayana and Mahabharata: In Ramayana, Ravana had 10 heads. ...
Vipul Hadiya's user avatar
32 votes
3 answers
10k views

What is the story behind the Brahmasthra? Was it actually ever fired?

In different Puranas there are mentions of the Brahmasthra which is one of the powerful weapons capable of destroying the whole world. I have seen usually in Purana TV serials, these astras (arrows) ...
user avatar
32 votes
3 answers
10k views

How do I control and slay indriyas (senses)?

I've recently read the 3rd chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. At the end, the following is said to get control over the indriyas (senses): इन्द्रियाणि मनो बुद्धिरस्याधिष्ठानमुच्यते । एतैर्विमोहयत्येष ज्ञा...
Pandya's user avatar
  • 26.2k
32 votes
4 answers
8k 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....
hanugm's user avatar
  • 31.8k

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