Commentary on Hanuman Chalisa verses 18 & 19

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) Tum upkara Sugreevahin keenha // Ram milai raj pad deenha You extended your value to help Sugriva, brought about his meeting with Rama with whose help he was awarded the kingship. Tumharo mantra Vibhishan mana // Lankeshwar bhaye sab jag jana Vibhishan accepted your council and became the king of […]

Commentary on Hanuman Chalisa verses 15, 16 & 17

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) Insight into verse 15 Sahastra badan tumharo jas gavain // Asa kahi shripathi kanth lagavain Shesha-naga, the thousand hooded divine serpent sings your glory. Saying thus the husband of the Goddress Shree embraced you. In the previous verse, Rama is expressing gratitude to Hanuman for saving Lakshmana’s life. In verse […]

Bagalamukhi – The Great Stabiliser and Restorer of Order

The legend goes that Lord Vishnu called upon the Supreme Goddess Rajarajeshwari to bring under control a cataclysmic storm that would destroy the world. As well as the storm, all the celestials were behaving bizarrely – consumed with violence and aggression – that threatened the cosmic order.  The Goddess took the form of Bagalamukhi – […]

What enlightenment may be like / Goddess Chinnamasta

I’ve often wondered what “enlightenment” would be like. My idea has evolved over time, and may continue to do so. This striking image, encapsulates what I currently feel enlightment may be like. It is a somewhat shocking image of the state of moving into an enlightened state of consciousness beyond the mind/body complex. Experiencing the […]

Very simple Marjanam procedure for Purashcharan of Mantras of Shri Bagalamukhi

Items required: Petals of a yellow flower. Bagalamukhi Yantra Vessel of water Start the ritual in the same way as you would usually start your Mantra Japa session, honouring the Guru, Lord Ganesh, and meditating / contemplating upon Shri Bagalamukhi and carrying out Nyasas, Pancapuja etc. Say something to the effect of: “Oh Bagalamukhi, I […]

Very simple Tarpanam procedure for Purashcharana of Mantras of Shri Bagalamukhi

Get a vessel with 1-2 litres of water. Add some Gangajal, a little tumeric, honey, sugar, saffron and milk. Keep a second vessel to do the Tarpans into. Start the ritual in the same way as you would usually start your Mantra Japa session, honouring the Guru, Lord Ganesh, and meditating / contemplating upon Shri […]

Friendship overcoming religious fanaticism – A true story from multicultural London

Nadia and Reena grew up in the East London borough of Newham, and were best friends who had known each other since the tender age of 6. Nadia was a Muslim and Reena was a Hindu. Growing up, and they often played at one another’s homes. Through their childhood, religion had never got in the […]

A Tale of Two Neighbours & the Mysteries of Karma

There once lived a great yogi named Gorakhnath, an enlightened soul, who had experienced all the great truths of life, death and the Divine. He lived a simple life, revelling in the unparalleled bliss that only enlightened soul’s experience, and had great compassion for all life forms. Although he did not seek a following, many […]

A more positive story

Some time back, I wrote about a few experiences where I got mocking reactions for expressing some visible signs of being a practising Hindu from a section of “modern Hindoos”, who are simply unaccustomed to see young Hindus actually striving to live out the Dharma, either because (a) they think that in the rat race of […]

The symbolism of the Churning of the Ocean

One of the most famous stories of Hinduism is that of the Great Churning of the Ocean by the Devas and Asuras (Gods and Demons) in the quest for the Nectar of Immortality. This tale has deeper dimensions, capturing insights into the nature of existence that the ancient Rishis (sages) discovered in deep meditation. All […]

Remembering Sister Nivedita (1867-1911)

Sister Nivedita (1867 – 1911) was a famous and inspirational social worker and educationalist in pre-independence India. She is considered to have played an important role in raising national consciousness in India, becoming a relatively early advocate of complete Independence of India from British rule which included supporting the activities of freedom fighters. She is […]

Is it OK to “leave justice to Karma”?

When someone harms you or someone to whom you have a sense of responsibility, getting suitable justice, or ensuring that the perpetrator is punished is not always easy. In Hinduism we have the concept of karma, so if justice is not easy to come by there is a temptation to feel that even if we […]

Satsang: what it really means

“The company of the great is very difficult, even inaccessible, but it is infallible.” (Narada Bhakti Sutras. 39) Literally speaking, “sat” means truth, and “sang” means to be associated with. Satsang in Hinduism usually refers to a gathering of spiritual aspirants, and participating is such gatherings is meant to lead to tremendously greater progress than […]

Debate outside of one’s comfort zone

Over time we tend to form social groups of people with similar views to ourselves. Those of us join organisation and associations will of course do so with people who we think are like-minded. As such, it is usually the case that the discussions we have on various subjects – both formal and informal – […]

Bringing up Hindu kids in the West – thinking about transmission of Culture, Ideas & Experiences

At a recent discussion group, attended by UK born Hindus in our 30s, some of whom have young children, a recurring theme was the way in which we would like our children to relate to their Indian cultural and religious heritage. We inevitably drew on, recounted and considered our own experiences and exposures to Indian […]

The Hindu Concept of “God”

Monotheism or Polytheism (One God or many Gods) Is Sanatan Dharma a Monotheist (believes in only one god) or a Polytheist (believes in many Gods) philosophy? This a common question/confusion regarding Sanatan Dharma, however the answer is: Sanatan Dharma is neither a monotheist philosophy nor a polytheist philosophy, it a is a MONIST Philosophy. Monism Monism […]

Understanding KARMA through GRAVITY !

Karma is a key Hindu concept not always easily explained. Comparing it with the gravity, however, helps to illustrate how it works. Obviously, the law of gravitation existed before Newton discovered it. Similarly, the law of karma was actively at work long before some ancient sage first consciously came to understand it. Both these laws […]

Why tradition ?

Religious tradition has often been a negative factor in the world. It sets up various authorities and conditioning patterns that stifle individual intelligence and creativity. It establishes vested interests who war with one other to control the minds of people. It appears that we would be better off without it. However, if we look deeply, […]

The re-emergence of the woman priestess

Whilst the topic of “Women Priests and Spiritual Leaders” remains controversial in many religions, such as Catholicism, Hinduism from ancient times has boasted a number of remarkable female spiritual leaders. The Rig Veda, the most ancient Hindu sacred text, cites more than 30 women sages. However, in medieval times, a period of intense conflict and […]

Raksha Bandhan: A wish of protection

Everybody loves Raksha Bandhan – the festival celebrating the relationship between brother and sister. When we are young, it is a fun day in the summer on which everybody gets dressed up; gifts are given and nice food eaten. Girls tie rakhis on the wrists of their brothers, cousins, and sometimes close friends. At the […]