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43 votes
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Why are menstruating women (at least in the Brahmin community) asked to be separate from the family for three days?

Menstruation is considered to be "muci," or impure. For many brahminical families, temple worship and puja were their primary occupations. One cannot worship the Deity or perform rituals if one is ...
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24 votes
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What are the 16 sanskaar (Sacraments of Life) and How do you complete them?

The 16 samskaras are: 1. Garbhadhana (Conception) This samskara is performed by parents and consists of fervent prayer for a child in order to fulfil the obligation to continue the human race. 2. ...
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22 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

Under which circumstances physical punishment to wife is allowed?

Nothing specific, but Manu Smriti says this: 8.299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother of the full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a split ...
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19 votes
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Why "GURU" is equal to "supreme GODS"?

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 ...
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18 votes

What are the 16 sanskaar (Sacraments of Life) and How do you complete them?

Hindus believe that every aspect of life is sacred. That is why each significant stage, from conception to cremation, is celebrated as a reminder that life is a gift from God which should be duly ...
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18 votes

What is the basis for worshipping Sai Baba? Are there are references to him in the Vedas or other Vedic literature?

The Swami has every right to hold such an opinion. Ordinary Hindus also have the right to disagree with his opinion. The Swami does not have authority over Hindus. Bhishma said in Mahabharata Santi ...
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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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15 votes

Why are menstruating women (at least in the Brahmin community) asked to be separate from the family for three days?

The practice of separating menstruating women from the household is based in the concept of Ritual Purity & Ritual Contamination in the Vedic tradition. Ritual Purity and its understanding is a ...
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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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14 votes

Why Hindus wear red tilak and sandal wood tilak on foreheads?

One of the most visible external symbols of Hindu identity is the mark that many of us wear on our forehead. Origin of this practice is unclear. But, in ancient times, when the Varna system ...
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14 votes

How will we know the end of first part of the Kali yuga?

Nothing very definitive but some indications are given in the Bhavisya Purana: Then Bali and Kalki Devi approached Narayana in the form of Vamana who in turn enabled a Brahmana called Kama Sharma ...
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14 votes
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How do we clear our debts?

There are three types of debts as of Pitris, Devas and Rishis. One can be freed from debt of Pitris by providing a son, from debt of Devas by doing sacrifices and from debt of Rishis by pupil-ship. It ...
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13 votes

Why are menstruating women (at least in the Brahmin community) asked to be separate from the family for three days?

In addition to what has been answered by @cheenbabes - To quote specifically it is still followed in 2014 when it is no longer a reason. Are there any other, religious reasons for this? In many ...
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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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How do the departed souls get the food given by their siblings?

Summary- Though the gross offerings remain here, the essence of these offerings is delivered to the departed ancestors. The ones who carry the offering to them are called the Pitr devatas and the ...
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12 votes

What is the significance of Satagopuram?

It's because the Sadagopuram, AKA Sadagopam or Sadari, is unique to Vishnu temples. The Alwars (also spelled Azhwars) are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu and are famous ...
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12 votes

Which scripture says that a sannyāsi can liberate 21 generations of ancestors without performing the śrāddha?

The book Dharma Bindu(Essence of all Dharma Shastras) quotes Daksha Prajapati,in the context of discussing "Sannyasa Dharma": Dakshan Prajapati affirms: Trimshatparaamstrim shadaparaan ...
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12 votes
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Why are there religious restrictions on women?

It is because of the male chauvinistic people in the society who have snatched all the religious right from the women including that of the vedic studies and vedic rituals etc. In the recent ...
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12 votes
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What are some mantras which are dedicated to Lord Indra?

Here is an Agamic mantra (or Tantric mantra) dedicated to Lord Indra taken from the Mantradeva Prakashika. Im IndraYa Hrith | asya Brahmarishi Pangtischandaha Indro DevatA Im Bijam Ayethi ...
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  • 103k
12 votes

How do we clear our debts?

The three debts (as already said in the other answers) are: Deva Rina, Rishi Rina and Pitru Rina. Manu Smriti 4.257. When he has paid, according to the law, his debts to the great sages, to the ...
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11 votes

What is the significance of the janeva (sacred thread)?

The concept of Upanayanam is steeped in symbolism. A Brahmachari is allowed to wear a Yagnopaveeta of 3 strands, a householder 6 strands and a householder who has performed his Shastyaabdhapurti (60th ...
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11 votes
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Is yoga a part of Hinduism?

Yes, yoga is a core part of Hinduism just like meditation is a core part of yoga. Go through any Upanishad and you will find mention of some form of meditation there. For example, consider the ...
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11 votes
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What is reverse chanting?

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 ...
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11 votes
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What is the story of the origin of Sraadha ritual?

The same question has been asked by Yudhishthira to Bhishma in Mahabharata, Anushashana Parva, SECTION XCI. "Yudhishthira said, 'By whom was the Sraddha first conceived and at what time? What also ...
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11 votes

What are the benefits of doing sandhyavandanam?

After the initiation into the Gayatri Mantra (i.e after Upanayana), for the Dvijas, performing Sandhya becomes a Nitya Karma - which means a rite that one has to perform daily without fail. Failure ...
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10 votes

Why Hindus wear red tilak and sandal wood tilak on foreheads?

Tilak, a mark of Hindu Sanatan Dharma, comes from the Sanskrit word ‘til’ which means sesame seed. The sesame seed has great importance in yagnas and charity. A tilak is imprinted on a person’s ...
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  • 1,591
10 votes
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Is bathing without cloth a sin?

Is there any textual evidence(in Hindu scriptures) to bath with clothes only? Or it is the rule added according to time? There is textual evidence. Manu Smriti,Chapter 4 Verse 45: 4.45. Let him ...
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10 votes

Similarities and differences in the four vedas

In order to understand similarities and difference in four Vedas, I think it is necessary/recommended to know why and how Veda is divided into four Vedas. Following answer will help you to know & ...
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