Earlier answerers have given a sociological explanation for the cremation ritual, but I'll try to provide a purely theological explanation.
In Hinduism, every jiva is made of five Mahabhootas, namely, Dhara (Earth), Nabh(Ether), Vayu(Air), Varuna(Water), Agni(Fire). After death, the body is supposed to disintegrate back into these many Mahabhoota.
TL;DR: May or may not be permitted for Kshatriyas, but forbidden for everyone else, and not encouraged for Kshatriyas either.
Technically there is no such thing as premarital intercourse in Hinduism. Whenever two people consummate a relationship, regardless of the circumstances, it is usually classified as a marriage of one sort or another. It's even ...
In Hinduism we have the concept of "Ashtavidha Mithuna" .i.e 8 forms of copulation all of which are equivalent or equally important in a given context .
For example,from the book Essence of Dharma Sindhu :
During the Upavaasa time(fasting time), one should not take water too
many times, should not chew betel leaves/nuts, should not sleep, nor
A glass can be looked on as half empty or half full. I think it is best to rephrase this question by asking instead - What does Hinduism say about continence (self constraint in sexual matters)?
Swami Nikhilananda in his writings on Hindu ethics says:
Besides the objective duties based on the castes and stages of life, there are laid down the common duties ...
Adding to @A runnigMind's answer:
Cremation of the body reminds that the body is not important but the Atman is. Body perishes but Atman exists eternally. This is in contrast with say Christianity where people would go to kingdom of heaven in their material bodies and hence do burial to 'put the bodies to rest' till judgement day. In Hinduism it's the atman ...
I am re-posting the improved answer.
Nobody has given any parameter to explain why Saraswati was a daughter of Brahma. Daughter is produced only by X-chromosome of father and X-chromosome of mother. That means X-X combination of father and mother respectively.
In the case of Brahma and Saraswati this rule is not applied at all. So she is not bilogical ...
No, Hindu scripture doesn't talks about Adam and Eve... However some people compare the story of Bhavisya Purana containing name Adam and Havyavati as Adam and Eve and their story sounds pretty much similar. But we can't be sure about stories of Bhavisya Purana because it is supposed that it suffered high interpolation. Even if we consider story of Bhavisya ...
The Hindu treatise on sex Kama Sutra (4th to 6th centuries AD) does
not condemn masturbation at all and moreover explains in detail the
best procedure to masturbate; "Churn your instrument with a lion's
pounce: sit with legs stretched out at right angles to one another,
propping yourself up with two hands planted on the ground between in
them, and ...
Yes, they do exist in Hindu beliefs. Like people worship gods, there are also people and occult practitioners who worship ghosts. It is evident from statements like below in the Bhagavad Gita:
yajante sāttvikā devān yakṣa-rakṣāṁsi rājasāḥ
pretān bhūta-gaṇāṁś cānye yajante tāmasā janāḥ [BG - 17.4]
Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods; ...
Hindu Scriptures describe masturbation as a sin.
The Parashara Smriti, Chapter 12 , Sloka 63 specifically deals with masturbation and provides an expiation(prayaschitta) for that sin too.
If a householder willingly causes the discharge of his virile seed otherwise than in sexual intercourse, he should recite the Gayathri
verse one thousand ...
Twitching of eyes have great significance in our scriptures. There are various description of auspicious and inauspicious omens in our scriptures and eye twitching is one of them.
Twitching of Sita's left body parts is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana Sundara Kanda. In chapter 27 verses 48 to 50.
निमित्तभूतमेतत्तु श्रोतुमस्या महत्प्रियम् || ५-२७-४८
Is taking alcohol really allowed in Hinduism, or people forgot what
were the teachings
There is no "commandment" regarding use of drugs or alcohol.
It is considered bad for socio-cultural reasons than religious reasons in most cases.
Many Hindu schools/teachings "recommend" (not mandate) consumption of Sattivic food to maintain Sattva guna. Alcohol ...
I do not see a strong connection between Hinduism and Christianity. Both have completely opposite world views and meta-physics.
A Hindu is free to worship Jesus as a deity and a manifestation of the Brahman. But that would invalidate Jesus' status as the only Son of God in Christianity. If a Hindu were to consider Jesus as the only Son of God, then it ...
Hindu Dharma is non-exclusive. I.e it does not claim it possesses the exclusive right to grant salvation/liberation. It recognizes that every path can lead to the truth.
"ekam sat viprāḥ bahudhā vadanti"
-Rig Veda (Book 1, Hymn 164, Verse 46)
This means "The Truth is one; the sages talk of it in many ways."
Hence Hindus should treat others with "...
There are numerous references to beings from other planets throughout the Hindu canon.
From a Vaishnava perspective, there are mentions of other beings in the Bhagavata Purana, one
of the 18 main puranas. A few examples:
Creation of the universe throughout Canto 3
Description of the universe throughout Canto 5
Battles between demigods and demons described ...
dve vāva brahmaṇo rūpe, mūrtaṃ caivāmūrtaṃ ca [Brh. Up - 2.3.1]
God (Brahman) has two modes, formless (nirakara) as well as form (sakar).
So when God has two forms, it is just obvious that there will be two different ways to worship Him. Those who worship the formless Brahman, require no image and idol. But worshiping the formless Brahman is difficult for ...
The south corner is considered as a direction of Death. It also said that the Yamalok ( hell ) is located in the south of the universe and beneath the earth.
Normally when a person dies, his/her body should be kept in a position like head towards north. This is one of the strong reason that people avoid sleeping head towards north ...
Why is Guru equal to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara
This is because Guru is God Himself come in Human form. The Guru is the guide who knows the way to take the jiva to the top, which is re-union with God.
Sri Swami Sivananda says in 'Guru Tattva':
The Guru is God Himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of ...
Because no one has actually seen what happens after death, there are multiple beliefs regarding this. But the yogis through their eyes of knowledge know the movement of the beings before and after their death:
utkrāmantaḿ sthitaḿ vāpi bhuñjānaḿ vā guṇānvitam
vimūḍhā nānupaśyanti paśyanti jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ [BG - 15.10]
Not the people ...
The reason we don't keep the head in the north and legs in the south is because south direction is associated with Yamalokam. From Wikipedia
Naraka (Sanskrit: नरक) is the Hindu equivalent of Hell, where sinners
are tormented after death. It is also the abode of Yama, the god of
Death. It is described as located in the south of the universe and
This is one of the most misinterpreted verses of Ramcharitmanas. Tulsidas had no intention of showing women low by citing this verse.
We have to see the context of the verse:
This verse isn't told by Ram or Tulsidas himself. This was told by "sea god" in fearful state begging his life. He can tell anything in life saving condition. Furthermore ...
Well, what is pleasing/acceptable to oneself is also one of the means of Dharma just like the scriptures (or the scriptural injunctions) are.
Because, Manu Smriti 2.12 says:
वेदः स्मृतिः सदाचारः स्वस्य च प्रियमात्मनः । एतच्चतुर्विधं
प्राहुः साक्षाद् धर्मस्य लक्षणम् ॥ १२ ॥
vedaḥ smṛtiḥ sadācāraḥ svasya ca priyamātmanaḥ |
From the Vaishnava perspective:
Taken as the summary of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 11, Chapter 27. Click here for the specific verses.
Worshiping the Deity form of the Supreme Lord automatically brings purity and satisfaction to the mind. Thus it is the source of all desirable gains. If a person has no engagement in Deity service he will simply remain ...
In addition to Vineet Menon's comments, that Agni (Fire) is the purest element of the 5 elements (Mahabhutas) that is accessible to man - (The other begin Ether (Nabha or Akasha) is intangible and is capable of sustenance and not incineration or destruction.), there is also another reason to it, in that, cremation is the best possible way to symbolically ...
Not only Shiva - other gods also have families.
Surya has a son Shani from his wife Chhaya. It's a different fact that Surya didn't accept his son and blamed Chhaya for cheating him. And from another wife Sanjana, he has twins Yama and Yami (Yamuna).
Surya, Indra, and Yamraj also have demigod sons because of Kunti's boon.
For the case of Brahma, all ...
Yes, Manusmriti forbids sexual intercourse with a virgin girl (without marriage). It consists provisions for the atonement of this sin.
Carnal intercourse with sisters by the same mother, with (unmarried) maidens, with females of the lowest castes, with the wives of a friend, or of a son, they declare to be equal to the violation of a Guru's bed.
The answer is obvious, it is because we are not exactly the God, we are jiva, an energy of God. And because we are an energy of God, we are called as God by some. Just like fire and a spark of fire are essentially the same, so also God(Brahman) and us(Jiva) are essentially the same. But, just like fire is huge than a spark of fire and has more heat or energy,...
What is a Mantra?
The definition of Mantra is
Mananat Trayate Iti Mantrah
The repetition of which protects or liberates one is called a Mantra (one of many possible translations)
Traditionally Mantra's are the ones commonly chanted by priests. But most saints say that the most powerful mantra is just chanting the name of your Ishta Deva.
Sri Swami ...
Homosexuality in men is clearly stated as a sin in the Manu Smriti.
मैथुनं तु समासेव्य पुंसि योषिति वा द्विजः ।
गोयानेऽप्सु दिवा चैव सवासाः स्नानमाचरेत् ॥ १७४ ॥
maithunaṃ tu samāsevya puṃsi yoṣiti vā dvijaḥ |
goyāne'psu divā caiva savāsāḥ snānamācaret || 174 ||
If a twice-born man commits an unnatural offence with a male, or has ...