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 all you should get the basic knowledge about Hindu scriptures, you can read following articles:
Overview Of Scriptures
Scriptures of Hinduism
No. Sanātana Dharma doesn't allow chanting "translation" of Veda Mantras.
Samhitas are core portions of Vedas. They are directly heard by sages in deep tapasya (transcendental meditation). One must chant these Veda mantras exactly how those Rishis heard. Hence Vedas are called Shruti (that which is heard).
Mrityunjaya Mahamantra or any Veda mantra must be ...
The cruelty and evil seen in the world are the results of Karmic factors of Jeevas and God can't be blamed for that. It is stated in Brahma Sutra 2.1.34 as:
Inequality (of dispensation) and cruelty (the Lord can) not (be reproached with), on account of his regarding (merit and demerit); for so (Scripture) declares.
While commenting on this sutra Adi ...
The proper practice to be followed in the use of the Mrityunjaya Mantra is described in this excerpt from the Rudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana. The sage Dadhichi once got into a fight with a king named Khshuva. Kshuva easily overpowered Dadhichi, so Dadhichi's ancestor Sukracharya (guru of the Asuras) came and magically healed his wounds, and then told ...
That the women cannot chant the Gayatri might have been a deviation from the ancient practices, that occurred in the middle times. In ancient India, women like Gargi and Maitreyi were well-versed in the scriptures. Women can chant the Gayatri mantra.
Hinduism has always had leaders and saints who arrive on the ...
Changing the word order in Sanskrit does not reverse the phrase meaning. Meaning stays the same, because word relationships are indicated by inflection.
Word order gets customarily changed in Sanskrit poetry. Example:
namas te gaura vānī šrī mūrtaye dīna tārine
rūpānuga viruddhāpasiddhānta dhvānta hārine
gaurāvirbhāva bhūmes tvam nirdeštā saj ...
It is not completely necessary to burn incense sticks while praying. It has just become a traditionally followed practice. What is necessary is to create an environment of sweet fragrance and aroma made out of pure material (like natural products). Because that purifies the air and it helps higher beings and ethereal beings to roam there if you are calling ...
Lamps / Diya we say have special meaning in Hindu dharma.
Lightness is a symbol of knowledge which in a way removes ignorance amongst humans, just as light removes darkness.
Since old days, people lit lamps around their homes, in temples etc just to ignore darkness because some people relate darkness with evil spirits, bad demons etc.
Some ignore doing (...
When Arjuna recognized that the Kirata is none other than Mahadeva. Then he prayed Mahadeva with this Prayer as described in this chapter of Mahabharata:
कपर्दिन् सर्वदेवेश भगनेत्रनिपातन ।
देवदेव महादेव नीलग्रीव जटाधर ।।
O Kapardin, O chief of all gods, O destroyer of the eyes of Bhaga, O god of gods, O Mahadeva, O you of blue throat, O you of matted ...
You used an Important word called Force (I will not talk about the scientific force here)
Force ( Meaning ) :
1. Coercion or compulsion, especially with the use or threat of violence.
2. Make (someone) do something against their will.
What is Will : The thing that one desires(and the desire is limited to natural cause, e.g. You had a full meal, but ...
The reason is given in Gita 18.63 which says,
...Reflecting on this entire teaching do as you think fit.
A Hindu might well not agree with Hindu spiritual teachings. Compulsory praying will go against the liberal spirit of the Gita.
You should read a low level introductory book that nevertheless gives a decent overview of Hinduism. Otherwise you will have difficulty in understanding Hindu scriptures. Books like 'The Hindu mind' by Bansi Pandit and 'The complete Idiot's guide to Hinduism' by Linda Johnsen would help. Another introductory text is 'A primer of Hinduism' by D. S. Sharma. A ...
The Narayana Kavacha is described in this chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam. As I discuss in this question, Trisiras (AKA Vishwarupa) was the three-headed son of the divine architect Tvashta (AKA Vishwakarma), and he was killed by Indra. But before all that, Trisiras temporarily served as guru of the gods when Brihaspati had abandoned them out of anger. ...
The Shiva Mahimna Stotra ( शिवमहिम्न) is very popular among the devotees of Lord Shiva and is considered one of the best among all Stotras in offered Lord Shiva stotras .
The legend behind composition of this Stotra is as follows-:
king named Chitraratha (चित्ररथ) had made a nice garden with beautiful
flowers in it. Those flowers were used ...
The camp of Pandavas was protected by a very dreadful form of Lord Shiva which Ashwattahama witnessed while he was entering the camp as described in this chapter of Saupitaka Parva:
Sanjaya said, "Inviting Kritavarma, as also the mighty car-warrior Kripa, Drona's son, filled with rage, approached the gate of the camp. He there beheld a being of ...
I think it is not important which fruits you uses by the pooja. But it is important that all fruits are fresh, clean and satvic from the art.
The bananas and the coconuts are cheap in India and because of this they are most used for the pooja.
Besides of this fresh green coconuts are very satvic because the water inside them is very clean.
The coconuts ...
It is because gods are believed to be present in the east direction of earth:
देवमनुष्या दिशो व्यभजन्त प्राचीं देवा दक्षिणा पितरः प्रतीचीं मनुष्या उदीचीं रुद्रा [Tait. Samh. - 6.1.1]
Gods and men divided the directions. Gods took the east, pitaras (manes)
took the south, men took the west and rudras took the north.
So while worshiping or praying ...
TL;DR: Prayer is a duty if you wear the sacred thread.
The daily Sandhyavandanam ritual is the duty of wearers of the sacred thread, and as I discuss in my answer, the wearing of the sacred thread is the duty of all Dvijas (members of the first three castes).
Chapter 2 of the Manu Smriti includes a discussion the various duties of Dvijas; here is what it ...
Usually,sandhyapuja is done at 'twilight' or 'trisandhya'. That is the time when many insects and mosquitoes are present. Along with the aroma as the other user mentioned, the dhoop/ incense stick also gets rid of the insects and mosquitoes.
No, cutting vegetables is not a sin as eating them is allowed in the primary Hindu book of law:
What is sthavara (immovable i.e. vegetables, plants, etc.) is the food of jangama (movable i.e. animals) [Manu Smruti - 5.29]
Because it is not a sin, there are no prescribed purifications present for it in the scriptures as far as I know.
But because it is a ...
It is perfectly acceptable, and what's more, it is desirable for women to chant Gayatri Mantra. How come?
It is because, the dharma for this Kali Yuga, is not against it. Sanatan dharma is described as the dharma of religion, and Yuga dharma as the dharma of social interaction: law, ethics, etiquette and so on.
Swami Vivekananda on Sanatana Dharma:
In South India,in the temples of the Lord Vishnu, the lord is often worshipped using tamil verses which were written by the great saints of Sri Vaishnavism Azhwars.Most important and famous one is the Thiruppavai which was written by Sri Aandaal(maiden name"Godha devi").Thiruppavai is recited in almost all vishnu temples in the month of Dhanurmasa in the ...
Although 1 of the post already answer this Question I am appending few more benefits mentioned in the Shiva Mahimna Strotram itself.
एककालं द्विकालं वा त्रिकालं यः पठेन्नरः। सर्वपाप-विनिर्मुक्तः शिव लोके
Here 2 benefits are mentioned-:
1. Whoever reads Shiva Mahimna Strotram once, twice or thrice (in a day) revels in the domain of Shiva.
There is stotram comprised of 12 names of Ganga Devi. It is said that whoever recites this stotram (before taking bath) in front of any water body Gangaji immediately obliges and comes into that water body making that water most pure by her grace.
nandinI naLinI sItA mAlatI cha mahApagA
viShNupAdAbjasaMbhUtA ga~NgA ...
Because the scriptures recommend these fruits to be offered to deities.
From the chapter of the Devi Bhagvatam (DB) that describes how to perform the Navaratri festival we get the recommended list of food offerings to Devi as follows:
28-31. First of all, one should worship duly the Goddess Jagaddhâtri,
presenting Her Chandan (sandal paste), Aguru (a ...
In the book, Hindu Dharma: The Universal Way of Life, Swami Chandrasekarendra Saraswati explains why some of the Hindu samskāras are not prescribed for women and people belonging to the fourth varna.
What about Women?
I said that the twice-born must perform sandhyavandana with the
wellbeing of women and other jatis in mind. I also explained why all
In Tantras, we find the mention of Navakanyas or Kulanganas, who are generally nine women who come from different backgrounds and represent the total feminine spectrum of the society. This reflects the core essence of a particular verse from Devi Mahatmya, according to which all women are but parts of Parama Prakriti:
Oh Devī! The eighteen doctrines ...
Swami Vivekananda says in his Complete Works, V1, section Karma Yoga:
This world is neither good nor evil; each man manufactures a world for himself. If a blind man begins to think of the world, it is either as soft or hard, or as cold or hot...Life is good or evil according to the state of mind in which we look at it, it is neither by itself. Fire, by ...