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8
votes
3answers
5k views

Do Indians have real surnames?

None of the persons I have read about from the Vedic scriptures have surnames. Instead they have patronymics and matronymics e.g. "bhārata", "pārtha", "vēyāsakī", "raghunandana", "jāhnavī" etc. One ...
10
votes
1answer
453 views

What is the concept of a week in Hinduism?

Most Hindu festivals are pinned to a Lunar day or Tithi like Rama-navami, hera-pancami etc. The 7-day week runs out-of-sync with the lunar tithis; it would be very confusing to try to follow both at ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

Is it acceptable for Sages to marry and have a family?

According to my understanding, a Sage is a person who has broken all the earthly bonds and intensely devoted to God. Such persons distance themselves from all kinds of material and physical pleasures. ...
21
votes
9answers
54k views

Did lord Brahma commit incest with his daughter?

According to Shiva purana, "Brahma desired Sarasvati and went to her, asking her to stay with him. She, being his daughter, was furious at this and said, 'Your mouth speaks inauspiciously and so ...
23
votes
6answers
7k views

Are there other Brahmas and universes?

Lord Brahma is said to be the creator of Earth but what about other planets? Who created them? I have heard that for every planet there is a creator like Brahma. I have also seen an incident in ...
11
votes
4answers
42k views

Why did lord Shiva chop off lord Brahma's fifth head?

As I've heard before, there was a story which said that lord Brahma had five heads but the fifth one was chopped off by lord Shiva. So why did lord Shiva chop off the fifth head of lord Brahma? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is Krishna portrayed with huge eyes at Puri Jaganath temple?

Krishna and his siblings Balarama & Subhadra are portrayed with huge eyes at the Jaganath Temple at Puri. This kind of portrayal is not seen in other temples. Is there any story behind this? ...
9
votes
2answers
24k views

Why each day of the week is dedicated to a particular god?

As the title explains, why do we have specific days to worship specific gods? For example Sunday - Lord Surya Monday - Lord Shiva Tuesday - Lord Ganesha Wednesday - Lord Vithal Thursday - Sai Baba, ...
21
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the story of Kalki (tenth avatar of God Vishnu)?

I have heard that in Kalki avatar, God Vishnu will marry Goddess Vaishnav devi as promised(The promise event occurs when God Vishnu were in Ram avatar and returning to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile)....
15
votes
2answers
31k views

Why do Hindus feed milk to snakes?

I have seen a lot of times in temples that priests offer milk to snake idols. What is the reason behind it? Do snakes really drink milk?
16
votes
7answers
27k views

Reason behind asking Ekalavya's thumb as Guru dakshina?

I read that Ekalavya was a great archer similar to Arjuna and Karan (Karna). He made himself believe that Dronacharya is his Guru (Teacher) by keeping a statue of Dronacharya. One day Dronacharya saw ...
13
votes
4answers
88k views

Why do Hindus shave a baby's head (first hair cut)?

Why is it that people shave babies' head, be it a boy or girl, when they go for the baby's first haircut? According to my sub religion i.e. Vaishnav (Gujarati), we call it as a Mundan (Head shaving ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is Mangal Dosh (Mangalik)

Meaning of the words used : Kundali - Horoscope Mangal - Planet Mars Peepal Tree - Ficus religiosa or Sacred Fig Dosh - Blame Indian people often match Kundalis before they allow the boy and the ...
7
votes
1answer
269 views

Why and how Rath-yatra in Ahmedabad started?

As today is the day (29th June 2014) when Lord Krishna, Subhadra and Balram goes on a Rath yatra and that's famous in Jagannathpuri. Since last 137 years that's happening in Ahmedabad, Gujarat as ...
21
votes
2answers
8k views

Why did Balarama favor Duryodhana?

In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana has been depicted with a wide range of characteristics - in some versions as the pure embodiment of evil and in others as a highly virtuous person fighting for his ...
12
votes
1answer
43k views

What is the story behind sons of Shani?

I got to know from a relative that Shani has 2 sons - Maandhi & Kuligan. Just like Shani, they are supposed to create malefic effects according to Jyotisha. What is the story behind them? Very ...
12
votes
0answers
2k views

What is the story of Vamana's wife Kirti and son Brihatshloka?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, there's a description of the spouses and descendants of the Adityas, a group of 12 gods who are the sons of Aditi and the sage Kashyapa. The Adityas include Surya, Indra, ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

What does Hinduism say about polygamy (multiple marriages)?

Are there any references to polygamy (multiple marriages) and whether they are allowed or prohibited in Hinduism? At least in the Indian law, multiple marriages are banned for Hindus. But what do ...
4
votes
1answer
522 views

Where does sage Vashishta describe Vishnu's immeasurable greatness?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, after describing Vishnu's incarnation (avataram) as Vamana the dwarf, it says this: One who is subject to death cannot measure the glories of the Supreme Personality of ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is aarti performed to deities in temples?

In all temples Aarti i.e a lamp with camphor or ghee is lit and is shown in circular motion in front of the deities. Is this just a ritual for revering Agni or does it have a deeper significance? ...
33
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
335 views

Are there any scriptures in Hinduism equivalent to the Vedas?

The Vedas are in sanskrit. Are there any scriptures which are considered equivalent(i.e as respected) as the Vedas? They do not necessarily have to be in sanskrit. In Tamil, the Divya Prabandham is ...
13
votes
1answer
22k views

What is the story of surya's wives?

I know Surya is associated with Sanjana and Chayya but I have known so many variations of the story from local books. So I want to know what is the story of Surya's wife from scriptures, are ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why did Hindus practice untouchability?

In various sub-castes, people used to practice untouchability i.e., some of the people who were considered lower castes, for example, sweepers, cleaners, etc. were ignored, and there were rules such ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the Significance of Brahmamuhurtha

I have heard about Brahmamuhurtha (Brahma time), that it is a time where we can do meditation or have good concentration power. According to India Times: Brahmamuhurta is the morning period ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

What scriptures describe Shanta as Dasharatha's daughter?

Most people are only familiar with Dasharatha's four sons - Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. But there is a common story that Dasharatha also had a daughter. The story as I understand it ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the significance of facing East?

When I was brought up, I was told to face East when starting some new task or while doing prayers or chanting mantras. My guess is that it might have come out of ancient sun(Surya) worship as sun ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

When did Hinduism begin?

It is known that Hinduism is one of the oldest religions. But why is it so difficult to date the beginning of Hinduism. We have a lot of scriptures and texts which give us a lot of information but ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the meditation techniques found in the scriptures?

There is so much emphasis on Meditation in Hinduism. Can common meditation techniques of today be traced to scriptural sources? I have heard through word of mouth that Transcendental Meditation ...
10
votes
4answers
424 views

Do mantras actually have any significance?

What is the significance of mantras and why do people chant them?
6
votes
5answers
42k views

The origin of “Loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu”?

Most of us heard this famous quote "Loka samastha sukhino bhavanthu" (let everybody live peacefully). Where it is originated from and which shloka mention this line and from which text ?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How does Dvaita philosophy explain Moksha?

From what I've understood, Moksha means attaining union with the Supreme Soul. But Dvaita philosophy says that the individual souls (jiivatma) are different from the Supreme Soul (paramatma). If ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

Is yoga a part of Hinduism?

Many people use mantras while doing yoga. Does that mean that yoga is a part of Hinduism? If yes, does the inclusion of yoga in Hinduism have a basis in Hindu texts like the Vedas, Upanishads, etc.?
14
votes
3answers
25k views

Why did Daksha Prajapathi (father of Sati) hate Lord Shiva?

Why did Daksha hate Shiva, though Shiva is his son-in-law and one of Trimurti?
5
votes
2answers
127 views

Lost in mistranslation? [closed]

There are words in some languages which are difficult to translate to other languages like gestalt in German. There are words which get lost in translation without sufficient context. It is possible ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

How and when did astrology become a defining aspect of Hinduism?

Many aspects of Hindu rituals are closely tied with astrology, star gazing and charts. How and when did this start to happen?
10
votes
1answer
16k views

Why Hindus worship Peepal Trees? (Ficus religiosa)

I've often seen people, women especially, worship Peepal Trees (Ficus religiosa) Why they do so? Is there any reason from Hindu scriptures behind doing that? As far as I know, people say that our ...
10
votes
1answer
332 views

What was the education system in the Gurukuls like?

We have all heard that kids were sent to Gurukul returned as educated men. I wonder what life in a Gurukul was like, what subjects did the kids study, and what activities filled a typical day?
11
votes
3answers
17k views

What is the significance of Sashtang Namaskar?

In Hinduism, we do Namaskar to the God statues in the temples as a symbol of belief, respect, and worship. In addition, we also do Sashtang Namaskar. What exactly is Sashtang Namaskar, and why must ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

How can one reverse the impression of a karma knowing that it is wrong?

Being a Hindu, we are all aware that all karma eventually gets back to us. If we perform a negative karma, sooner or later the negative effects of our earlier karma will catch us up. In addition, we ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does Srikalahasti Temple remain open during an eclipse?

As we all know, temples remain closed when there is an eclipse. But the Srikalahasti temple remains open even during eclipses and they also do special pujas on these occasions. Please share the story/...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

Distance between Bhur lok (Earth) and Indra lok?

Is there any explanation of distance between Bhur lok (earth) and Indra lok? For example, I have seen Arjuna visits Indra lok to meet his father (Indra) while he and his brothers are in exile. There ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the beliefs related to lunar and solar eclipses?

What are the beliefs related to Lunar and Solar eclipses according to Hindu culture? I have heard that they are the result of trouble making by Rahu and Ketu by devouring the sun/moon for a while.
6
votes
1answer
588 views

Why does Vishnu tell Padmavathi that he is a member of the Solar dynasty?

The Venkatachala Mahatmya of the Skanda Purana describes how Venkateshwara (the Vishnu deity in Tirupati, AKA Balaji or Srinivasa) meets Padmavathi for the first time. He saves Padmavathi from an ...
20
votes
1answer
315 views

Can a single jiva which is whole and indivisible be cut and become many?

Is there a single jiva (life) associated with a single body or is it that many jivas are associated with a single body? Hinduism tells us that there is only one jiva to each body. If that really is ...
8
votes
1answer
597 views

Why are the deity and devotee called by the same name 'Swami Ayyappa' in Sabarimala?

Sabarimala temple is a famous temple in South India which is located in the state of Kerala. See the website1. Many people visit the temple every year during the pilgrim season. Swami Ayyappa is the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Why did Lord Ganesha curse the Moon?

When there's Ganesha Chaturthi going on, people say that we shouldn't look at the moon on the day of immersion (visarjan) as its counted as a bad omen. So why did he cursed the moon and why is that, ...
8
votes
4answers
13k views

What is that flow of water on the head of lord Shiva?

You can see in many pictures of lord Shiva a flow of water like this: Source: satishverma.deviantart.com What exactly is it?
14
votes
8answers
95k views

Why does lord Shiva wear a Naga (snake) around his neck?

As you can see in many pictures of Shiva, he wears a naga wrapped around his neck. Credits for Image So is there any reason behind keeping that naga around his neck, or is that a vahan for lord Shiv ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Why was the Samudra Manthan performed?

There was a mention of "Samudra Manthan" (the churning of the ocean) in Hindu mythology. Why was it performed? Please also mention the items which resulted from the churning, with a small explanation ...

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