The Bhagavad Gita & the Freedom of India

The post-World War II era saw the dramatic end of colonialism across the world. The first and most devastating blow to colonialism was the freedom of India. Overnight, the second most populous nation in the world, accounting for over 1/6th of the world’s population, achieved freedom. Despite the sad events that accompanied India’s Independence, the […]

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Idi Amin and the expulsion of Indians from Uganda

It was on the 6th August 1972 that the government of Uganda, then headed by the infamous Idi Amin, announced that all of the 80,000 Indian origin people living in the country had 90 days to depart, after which their businesses and homes would be handed over to native Ugandans. If any Indians were seen […]

Hindu tolerance throughout history: fact or myth?

For a long time, ‘tolerance’ was spoken of as a characteristic feature of Hinduism. Even people who otherwise strongly disagreed with Hinduism still managed to praise the fact that Hinduism had a benign, harmless tolerance. But in recent years the image of Hinduism and of Hindu society has changed quite drastically. Media coverage of the […]

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Shivaji, Baji Prabhu & the Battle of Pavan Khind

Baji Prabhu Deshpande was one of the great lieutenants of Shivaji’s era.  He sacrificed his life defending Shivaji in a heroic last stand known as the Battle of Pavan Khind (Battle of the Sacred Pass) in which his force was vastly outnumbered, possibly by a ratio of 35 to 1. In the battle he lost […]

Eating of Meat and Beef in the Hindu Tradition

 By David Frawley (Pt. Vamadeva Shastri) India’s Traditions of Non-violence and Vegetarianism The Buddha states in the Dhammapada 26.409, “Him I call a Brahmana who lays aside the rod, who neither kills nor causes the death of creatures, moving or non-moving (animals or plants).” The same type of statements are very common in Hindu literature […]

Looking back at YOUR life 500 years from now; how do you deserve to be judged?

Some from high action through base fear refrain; The path is difficult, the way not plain. Others more noble to begin, are stayed By a few failures. Great spirits undismayed Abandon never what once to do they swore. Baffled beaten back, they spring once more, Buffeted and borne down, rise up again (Nitishatakam of Bhartrihari, […]

The growth of the Mahabharata from perhaps as few as 8,800 verses to nearly 100,000 verses

The Mahabharata is acknowledged as being the largest of the world epics, and the largest work of literature created before the advent of the printing press. It contains close to 100,000 verses (*1), and a full copy of the Mahabharata is thousands of pages long. Yet it was not always so. The Mahabharata itself claims […]

Review: Maharana Pratap – A Biography (by Sri Rama Sharma)

Hope India Publication: 2003 ISBN: 8178710056 Available from: http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no27318.htm Maharana Pratap (1540-1597) is one of the great Hindu heroes of medieval India. His valour is still sung in hundreds of songs throughout the land. His life is associated with many legends and heroic tales; which this book aims to elucidate the truth behind. The present […]

Jijabai – mother of Shivaji and eternal symbol of faith & courage

Jijabai (1598 – 1674) was the mother of Shivaji, one of the most famous and successful Hindu rulers of all time. The life story of Jijabai, is no less inspiring than that of Shivaji, and takes an equally proud place in the history of the Hindu people. Jijabai’s father, Lakhuji Jadhav Rao, was a leader […]

Shivaji, Baji Prabhu & the Battle of Pavan Khind

Baji Prabhu Deshpande was one of the great lieutenants of Shivaji’s era.  He sacrificed his life defending Shivaji in a heroic last stand known as the Battle of Pavan Khind (Battle of the Sacred Pass) in which his force was vastly outnumbered, possibly by a ratio of 35 to 1. In the battle he lost […]

Lord Rama’s exact year & date of birth now known?!

A quite recent article in Zee News, claimed that researchers had found the exact date of birth of Lord Rama. The article can be faulted in many ways (it is a journalistic, n­­­ot a scientific article). However the actual date proposed and the method used to arrive at it are indeed worthy of examination. It […]

[Hindu resistance] The Marathas after the death of Shivaji

After Shivaji’s death in 1680, the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb thought to himself that the Marathas would henceforth be easy to crush, erroneously thinking that the sustenance of this new Hindu kingdom rested on one able man alone [Shivaji].  Like so many other uprisings in that period, he thought the Maratha movement too would receive its […]

Takshashila: The world’s first known university

At least 2,800 years ago, circa 800BCE, there existed a giant University at Takshashila (often called Taxila), a town located in the north-western region of India (in today’s Pakistan). According to references in the Ramayana, King Bharata founded the town in the name of his son, Taksha. The site initially began to develop as a […]

Lord Rama: history and legend

Rama Navami is the Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Rama. While not as exuberantly celebrated as Diwali (which is centered on the return of Rama to his kingdom of Ayodhya after a period of exile), it is still a major festival, celebrated with great devotion by millions. This year, Rama Navami falls on Saturday 20th […]

Veda Vyasa & the question of untouchability

Veda Vyasa is a legendary Hindu sage, whose very name is synonymous to Hindus with knowledge. According to traditional Hindu accounts, he lived at the end of the Treta Yuga and early Kali Yuga (the date for the beginning of the Kali Yuga is 3102BC). Veda Vyasa is accredited with compiling the Vedas and writing […]

Naga sadhus: the warrior ascetics

Hindu spirituality in its profound diversity has given rise to many religious sects for all grades of character. These include several ascetic groups that have existed since antiquity. One large and prominent Shaiva sect consists of the ‘warrior ascetics’, or Nagas (the ‘naked’), who have existed since the prehistoric past. Though sadhus in general can be characterized as peace-loving, […]

Purusharthas: the four great aims of life

Intro Hinduism has traditionally regarded four basic aims of life. These are called “Purusharthas”, and are as follows: 1. Kama (pleasure and desire) 2. Artha (material wellbeing and wealth acquisition) 3. Dharma (righteousness, duty and order) 4. Moksha (spiritual liberation, union with the Supreme) This article gives an overview and further insight into the Four Purusharthas. Fulfilling and Balancing the Purusharthas The civilisation of the […]

The Largest Hindu temple in the world is in Cambodia, not India

If you were asked where is the world’s largest Hindu temple, by default most people would answer “India”. However, in actual case, the answer is Cambodia. The Angkor Wat temple temple complex was built in the early 12th century, under the instructions of King Suryavarman II, and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. At that time, Hinduism was […]

[Hindu resistance] The “Satnami” revolt against Aurangzeb

The Satnami sect of Hinduism was founded in 1657 in Narnaul (a town in today’s Indian state of Haryana, situated about 100km south-west of Delhi), by a saint names Birbhan. They are considered to be an offshoot of the followers of the great saint Ravidas. The name Satnami reflects the major religious activity of the […]

Winston Churchill reconsidered

If there’s one man who’s remembered as a Western hero par-excellence, surely it’s Winston Churchill. He has been promoted not only in Britain but also throughout much of the world as the symbol of resistance against the most hideous war criminals in history, the Nazis. This reputation may be deserved. However there was another side […]