31 votes

How to read Hindu Scriptures

The following sentence from question motivated/inspired me to introduce following two steps: Ok, I understand there are lot of Hindu scriptures. Step-1 Know about Hindu scriptures. First of ...
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27 votes
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Do methods of worship change according to yugas?

Yes, you've heard correctly. As the four Yugas progress, the world becomes more and more evil. But as a way to help people deal with all the evil that surrounds them, in later Yugas it becomes ...
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22 votes
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How is animal or human sacrifice justified?

Śrīla Prabhupāda has mentioned this as vedic sacrifice bali-dāna (kālī-pūjā or durgā-pūjā), in which a goat or other prescribed animal is slaughtered in a ritual performed for the demigoddess ...
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22 votes
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How do I control and slay indriyas (senses)?

A complete description of senses and how to control them have been written by the great Seer Sri Swami Sivnananda. 'Control of the Indriyas by Sri Swami Sivananda'. Senses Senses are not different ...
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22 votes

What is Hinduism's view on abortion?

Abortion is strictly forbidden. Here is what this chapter of the Gautama Dharma Sutras says: A woman becomes an outcast by procuring abortion, by connection with a (man of) lower (caste) and (the ...
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21 votes
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Why are crows considered to be a link to our pitris (spirits of ancestors)?

The reason that crows are linked to Pitris (spirits of departed ancestors) is described in this excerpt from the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana. Once there was a Maheshwara Yagna (Shiva ritual) being ...
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20 votes

What is the truth behind the practice of Sati? How is it related to Hinduism?

The "Sati Pratha" has been extolled in Hindu Sastras but none mention it as something mandatory. So,it is upto the wives to decide and can't be enforced upon them as a "Sastra Vachan"(a directive ...
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19 votes

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

As per the scripture, garlic, onion and mushroom are prohibited for Brahmins because they are considered impure as they generally grow in the place of impurity. Brahmins need to maintain purity as ...
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18 votes

What is the truth behind the practice of Sati? How is it related to Hinduism?

According to Swami Vivekananda the practice was limited and was outlawed in the mid 19th century. He says that although the British took steps to formally outlaw it, it was already being condemned at ...
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18 votes
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Brahmins used to eat Five-nailed animals?

First of all, the quote is from this chapter of the Kishkindha Kanda of the Ramayana, where Vali accuses Rama of acting sinfully in killing him: My skin is unwearable, holy people forbid my hair and ...
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18 votes
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Shaving / Haircut / Nailcut - what days are allowed / prohibited?

Shaving/Haircut also called Kshoura Karma is not allowed on all days. When shaving beard, start from right side. then cut the mustache, armpits and then at last haircut. Then shave whichever hairs ...
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17 votes
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What do the Vedas say about animal sacrifice?

Animal sacrifice, when performed properly according to Vedas, is an exception to the general rule about not harming living beings. Here is what Adi Shankaracharya says in his commentary on the Brahma ...
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16 votes

Why do people celebrate Holi? Why do they throw colored powder at each other?

They imitate Krishna's pastimes. The powders are supposed to be auspicious and well-scented substances like sandal, musk, turmeric, kunkuma and aguru covered with lacquer to form balls that dissipate ...
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16 votes

Why are Hindus not allowed to eat beef when scriptures seem to indicate otherwise?

http://www.vedicgranth.org/misconceptions-on-vedas/misconception-3---violence-against-animals-meet-eating-etc MISCONCEPTION 3:- Violence against animals; meet eating, etc A) Rigveda (10/85/13) ...
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  • 169
16 votes
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What are the Saptapadi or the seven promises of marriage?

The seven steps around the fire represents seven promises taken by newly married couple in the presence of the fire. In Hindu religion, he is believed as the maintainer of life. He carries the fruits ...
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15 votes
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What is the relationship between Hinduism and atheism?

Atheism is not the pillar of Hinduism, but only a part of Hinduism. Moreover, the term nastika (atheist) means different in Hinduism than its usual meaning. Generally atheist means a person who doesn'...
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15 votes
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Is it true? chanting mantra without moving lips and tongue gives more effect?

Yes, that's true. Usually three forms of chanting (japa) are mentioned in scriptures. From Tantra SAra: NijakarnAgocharohayam Sajapo MAnasah Smrito | UpAnsunijakarnasya Gocharaha Parikirtitaha ||...
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15 votes
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Any other slokas suggesting drinking of cow urine

There are numerous such verses in the Smritis. Consuming Panchagavyas (the five products obtained from a cow) is considered as an effective sin-cleansing remedy for a variety of sins. Here are a few ...
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14 votes
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What is the significance of the janeva (sacred thread)?

The term "upa" means near and "nayanam" means leading. So Upanayam means "leading near". It's one of the 13 samskara prescribed by the Vedas. What does the Sacred Thread signify? The Janeu or ...
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  • 7,216
14 votes

Is organ donation allowed? Have any Hindu acharyas commented on this practice?

I believe, organ donation is not a bad practice. Its a religion of Humanity where we can help someone even after your death. Its one way you can help someone after your death. As per my knowledge ...
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  • 296
14 votes

Why do women not wear Yagnopaveetham (Janeu or Poonal)?

The Yajyopavita is worn by those who after Upanayana study Vedas and live life by practicing Vedic duties. In the olden days, many women underwent Upanayana and studied Vedas. They were called ...
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14 votes
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If a Brahmin doesn't perform duties as per his varna, is he still called as brahmin?

No. He will be considered degraded then. He will be a Brahmin just for the namesake. From Manu Smriti: 2.103. But he who does not (worship) standing in the morning, nor sitting in the evening, ...
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13 votes

Does Anushasan Parva, chapter 88 of the Mahabharata, allow cow sacrifice?

No. It doesn't support cow sacrifice though cow sacrifice is allowed during Yagnas. Bibek Debroy's translation of BORI critical edition is critical edition of Mahabharta. You can read Anushasana ...
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13 votes
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What is the recommended age for marriage for girls as per Shastra?

Here is what this chapter of the Manu Smriti recommends: A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the ...
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13 votes
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What are the Hindu Code of Conduct (Ethics)?

In Santana Dharma, the "right way of living" is preached in many scriptures. Actually the Sanskrit word "Dharma" itself stands for similar meaning. Ethics (Ethical code or Code Of ...
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12 votes

Why did Hindus practice untouchability?

For your question 'So why they used to do that?' : Quoting from Dr.Koenraad Elst's 1994 Essay "Caste: The view from Belgium": Untouchability originates in the belief that evil spirits surround ...
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12 votes
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Is Janeva (Yajñopavītam or sacred thread) limited to Brahmins only?

The wearing of the sacred thread is part of the Dharma (duty) of the first three castes because as the Manu Smriti describes, they are the ones who can read the Vedas: 87) But in order to protect ...
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12 votes
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Is there a taboo about a younger groom marrying an elder bride? Any references where a younger groom marries an elder woman?

Yes, there is a scriptural basis for the restriction. Here is what Krishna says to Uddhava in the eleventh chapter of the Uddhava Gita of the Srimad Bhagavatam: One who desires to establish ...
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12 votes

What is Hinduism's view on abortion?

The sage Vyasa gives the following reasons for having written the Mahabharata. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of ...
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12 votes
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How can one increase bhakti?

Yes, scriptures provide 9 steps of Bhakti known as Navdha Bhakti. In the Ramacharitmanas 3.35 - 3.36, Lord Shri Rama explains Navdha Bhakti to Shabri: प्रथम भगति संतन्ह कर संगा। The first ...
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