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 […]

Education system in Pre-British India (by Ram Swarup)

Ancient India was celebrated for its learning all over civilized Asia and Europe. Metatheses (ca. 302 BC) was struck by the depth of this learning during his mission to the court of Chandragupta. Fa-hien, the famous Chinese traveller (399-413 D) spent some years at the Paliputra and Tamralipti monasteries. He also spent two years in […]

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 […]

An insight into Holi – the world’s most colourful festival

(This year, 2017, Holi is on 12 th & 13th March) Holi is the most colourful and energetic religious festival in the world. It is a celebration of the arrival of spring as well as marking the death of the demoness Holika, from whom the festival gets its name. A large bonfire is lit, in […]

The Upanishads: The “distilled” essence of Hinduism

The Upanishads – what (or who!) are they?”This would be the response of many Hindus of today if asked about the Upanishads!The Upanishads are in fact Hindu scriptures. They can be thought of as portions of the Vedas, but are also separate texts in their own right. They form the basis of what is known […]

Maha Shivaratri: The great night of Shiva (falls on 27th Feb this year)

Shivaratri is one of the most popular festivals in the Hindu world, celebrated with devotion and fervour by millions of Hindus each year. This year it falls on 27th Feb. In the Hindu view, the Divine Being transcends all human conceptualisation, yet can be approached in many ways. The deities of Hinduism reflect realizations of […]

Remembering Swami Vivekananda – 150 years on

Many years ago a young penniless man with barely a possession in the world sailed out to the West, armed only with the intense desire that the spiritual wisdom of his motherland should be known and respected throughout the world. He was the first Hindu in the modern age to travel to the West and […]

Lord Krishna’s war ethics

Were Lord Krishna’s war ethics, which involved a disregard for the pre-ordained rules of warfare, justifiable? Was Krishna unfair and biased in the way that he dealt between the Pandavas and Kauravas? These are common questions that are brought up against Shri Krishna, particularly with regards to the unflinching help he gave to the Pandavas in […]

Women in Vedic Society

There are numerous hymns in the Vedas that deal with the social customs than prevalent and from them one can form a broad idea as to how girls and women were looked upon, treated, and the status were accorded upon them by society. We begin with the field of education. Several hymns in the Vedic […]

The significance of the Lotus

If you look at the images of Hindu deities, you will see that many of them are depicted as sitting on a lotus. The image of Sarasvati shown above is one such example. Numerous references to the lotus can be found in the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, slokas, kathas and other ancient Hindu literature. In yoga, […]

An alternative look at the “caste system”

This article put another perspective on a phenomenon that no-one usually dares to mention without putting on a grimace of horror and uttering shrieks of indignation: Chaturvarna, usually mistranslated as the caste system. Let me state from the outset that I am a firm believer in the Vedic verse “All men are brothers; no one […]