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44 votes
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Is the ultimate purpose of life only to serve God?

tl;dr; Worshiping God is not mandatory. But one who wants true happiness (which actually all do), can only obtain it by approaching and surrendering to God. But because God is both with and without ...
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36 votes
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Why do Hindus have no restrictions on going to churches or any other religious places?

Because Hinduism is not structured like Islam or Christianity. There is no 'one' supreme god or 'one' single book to guide you. Everyone is free to find their own way to the ultimate freedom (moksha) ...
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32 votes

Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

I am giving an additional account. The linga form of worship is the symbolic worship of Lord Shiva. As per Puranas like Brahmanda purana, Linga Purana, in the very beginning Shiva appeared to Brahma ...
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27 votes
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Why is lord Ganesha worshipped first before any puja?

Here's the story of its origin. Shiva Bhagwan left his abode on Mt. Kailas in the Himalayas to meditate in a cave. Parvati’s friends suggested that she should have an attendant (gana) of her own ...
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27 votes
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Do the Vedas prohibit idol worship?

The verse you are referring to is as below: andhaṁ tamaḥ praviśanti ye 'sambhūtim upāsate tato bhūya iva te tamo ya u sambhūtyām ratāḥ This is present in the Isha Upanishad or the Shukla Yajur ...
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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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25 votes

Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

First of all the real name is not Shiva Linga, The real name is Jyotirlingam. It is a form of Jyoti. Jyoti is a fire, whose shape is exactly the shape of lingam. Question is why lingam for only ...
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24 votes
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Why is Kartikeya not worshiped much compared to lord Shiva, lord Ganesha and goddess Parvati?

The point that Karthikeya is not widely worshipped may be true in North India. But in Tamilnadu, he is very popular. This may be due to the fact that all the major incidents which involved Karthikeya ...
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22 votes

What is the significance of Bel leaves in Shiva worship?

There is a stotra (hymn) called Bilwastakam, that describes the spiritual benefits of using even one bel leaf for lord Shiva. For example, the first verse says: tridalaṃ triguṇākāraṃ trinetraṃ ca ...
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22 votes
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What is the significance of Bel leaves in Shiva worship?

The reason that the leaves of the Bilva tree are used in the worship of Shiva is that the Bilva tree emerged from the sweat of Shiva's wife Parvati, as described in the this excerpt from the Nagara ...
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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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20 votes

Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

This question can be answered into two aspects: 1) Why is Linga form worshipped ? 2) Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in Linga form ? 1) Why is Linga form worshipped ? Among the 18 major ...
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20 votes
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What made Indra the king of Svargalok?

Indra is not the name of a person, its the name of a post, same with all other Lords and Gods. Same is with Trishanku, who is considered as a future candidate for Indra padavi, Hanuma is awarded as a ...
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19 votes

What is the significance of Murthi pooja (idol worship)?

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 ...
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18 votes

Why is lord Ganesha worshipped first before any puja?

To ward off the obstacles that may happen in the work, be it puja (worship) or something else, Ganesha is first worshiped always. You will find the mantra that is usually chanted to be as below: ...
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18 votes

What is Dharma according to the Bhagavad Gita?

Dharma, in spiritual context, can be loosely stated as right action. And what is the right course of action for a person depends upon many factors like time, place, situation, etc. Hence, dharma is ...
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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 is the significance of Murthi pooja (idol worship)?

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 ...
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15 votes
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Is Shalagram worship forbidden to non-Brahmins?

No. It is not forbidden. The importance of Gandaki river is explained in chapter 20 of Patala Khanda of Padma Purana. In that chapter, the importance of śālagrāma is also said. The disc born (...
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14 votes

Why is lord Ganesha worshipped first before any puja?

@AksharRoop and @Tejesh Alimilli has already explained two mythological stories which tells us how Lord Ganesha became the 'Pratham pujya' (the one who is worshiped first). I want to give one more ...
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14 votes
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Why one should worship God?

This is actually an important and fundamental question. So I am re-framing it for providing the explanation: If the law of karma is as such that a man reaps what he does, then what is the necessity ...
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14 votes
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Why do Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva always meditate on each other?

I would try to correct a one misconception that Lord Vishnu meditates on Lord Shiva. No he doesn't, Lord Vishnu actually meditates on Lord Brahma. It is a cyclic process, Lord Brahma meditates on Lord ...
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14 votes
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Does chanting Holy Names while doing worldly duties generate any punya karma?

Yes, chanting holy names generates good karma. This can be seen from the fact that people in past and even today use to name their children with some God names (e.g., Krishna, Shankar, Shiv, Vishnu, ...
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13 votes

Why is Shiva primarily worshipped in a linga form?

This excerpt from the Uttara Kanda of the Padma Purana recounts the story of how Shiva worship came to be restricted to the linga. A group of sages were once conducting a yagna (ritual) on the banks ...
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13 votes
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Why do Hindus feed milk to snakes?

There are many folk tale behind the drinking of the milk, the famous one is :-; A tale of a farmer living in a village. He had two sons and one of whom killed three snakes during ploughing ...
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12 votes
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Why is Ganga considered sacred? Why do so many devotees worship this river?

As per the scripture, river Ganga is considered sacred because it has arisen from the feet of Vishnu and destroys the sins of a person: caraṇābjasamudbhutā gaṃgā nameti viśrutā pāpāanāṃ ...
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  • 26.1k
12 votes

Why do Hindus feed milk to snakes?

Varaha Purana suggests to bathe the images of Naga in milk on Naga Panchami and it doesn't mention anything about feeding milk to snakes. If one remains austere on that day, give us all that is sour ...
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12 votes
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Why is it necessary to burn incense stick while praying?

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 ...
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  • 26.1k
12 votes

Is it more helpful in any way to worship multiple deities?

As per the advice that most Gurus give, it's not beneficial to worship multiple deities for any particular individual. One must only worship his/her Ishta Devata and stick with it's worship only (...
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