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91
votes
8answers
32k 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?
86
votes
18answers
41k 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 ...
82
votes
6answers
41k 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 ...
60
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
57
votes
6answers
8k 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?
54
votes
5answers
117k 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?
53
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
52
votes
11answers
50k 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 ...
52
votes
11answers
12k 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 ...
49
votes
9answers
42k 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, ...
48
votes
5answers
11k 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?
48
votes
8answers
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 ...
46
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
46
votes
5answers
181k 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.
44
votes
17answers
199k 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,...
44
votes
7answers
19k 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 ...
42
votes
5answers
45k views

Is Jesus an avatar of Lord Vishnu?

Here and there, I heard that Jesus is an avatar of Lord Vishnu (or even a reincarnation of Krishna). Is this true?
42
votes
6answers
32k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
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.). ...
40
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
40
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
39
votes
9answers
75k 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 ...
39
votes
2answers
25k 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?
39
votes
6answers
37k 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 ...
38
votes
8answers
29k 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 ...
36
votes
9answers
73k 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 ...
36
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 ...
36
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
35k 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 ...
35
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
35
votes
5answers
55k views

In which month of pregnancy a soul enters in to a new body(foetus)?

When I was going through this question and this question came across that, after the death of a body, the soul has three choices that is heaven, hell and moksha. It is said that if soul/atma left the ...
34
votes
9answers
73k 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?
34
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
34
votes
4answers
14k 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.
34
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
9k views

Reference to the 7 chakras in Hinduism

Where are the details about the 7 chakras mentioned in Hindu scriptures? What is their significance?
33
votes
4answers
25k 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 ...
32
votes
9answers
5k 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. ...
32
votes
3answers
9k 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) ...
32
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
31
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

What happens after death?

Does a human being have a soul after death? What will happen after death according to Hinduism?
30
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the after-effects of insulting gods or goddesses?

I'm witnessing upsurge in sacrileges, such as— Demolishing idols of devatā-s or devī-s. Profane acts targeting iconography of devatā-s or devī-s. Making abusive versions of epics, purāṇa-s, etc. I ...
29
votes
6answers
5k views

Why Shiva (an asectic god) has family while most other Gods don't?

Shiva or Mahadev is generally considered a deity of Sanyasi/yogis. Shiva himself is the greatest yogi and lives in Smashan. But unlike most other Hindu gods, he has a proper family. Parvati is his ...
29
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
25k views

Who is Govindaraja and how is he related to Venkateshwara?

Tirupati is most commonly associated with the world-renowned Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple. But there is another Vishnu temple in Tirupati, the Govindaraja Swami Temple. (This isn't the only ...
29
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the story of Nara and Narayana's brothers Hari and Krishna?

As I discuss in this question, one of the most prominent incarnations of Vishnu in ancient times was the sage Narayana, twin brother of the sage Nara and son of Yama god of death. Nara and Narayana ...
28
votes
5answers
35k 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....
28
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...

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