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 […]

Can Atheists be Hindus?

Atheism, the idea that there is no God or Creator, is a conception of the human mind that occurs at various stages of mental and spiritual development. It may appear in undeveloped minds that cannot perceive a deeper reality than that of the physical world. It may also appear in more developed minds who see […]

Hanuman Chalisa: Explanation of verses 5 & 6

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) Insight into Verse 5 Mahabir Bikram Bajrangi Kumati nivar sumati ke sangi O Mahaveer, your actions are mighty and terrible, and your body is strong as a thunderbolt. You eliminate the illusions of the mind and give a bright intellect. “O Mahaveer, your actions are might and terrible, and your […]

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 […]

The Hanuman Chalisa: Introduction & Explanation of first verses

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) The Hanuman Chalisa is a prayer that many young Hindus will at least have heard of, if not be familiar with. Chances are that it may be sung in your own home or by somebody that you know. This article explains the background to the Hanuman Chalisa and provides an insight […]

[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 […]

Hindus of the Netherlands

After the United Kingdom, the second largest Hindu community of Europe live in the Netherlands. There are between 150,000 – 200,000 Hindus currently living in the Netherlands, the vast majority of who migrated from Surinam – a former Dutch colony in South America. There are about 50,000 Hindus living in the Hague (Dutch capital) while […]

Why did Krishna choose Arjuna over Bhishma, Drona & Karna?

The Mahabharata is arguably the greatest work of literature in the world. No other work brings out the complexity of human problems in such a profound and entertaining way. It shows us the application of philosophy when it comes to deciding between the right and wrong in such cases where the answer is not straightforward. […]

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 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 […]

Eggs are not vegetarian!

Sound familiar? You go to a restaurant and ask for a Vegetarian option, but get something full of egg. I’ve been on the receiving end several times. My experience last week was particularly annoying. At a Chinese Buffet, all of the “Vegetarian” noodle or rice dishes were full of egg, and I could hardly eat […]

Unveiling symbolism in the image of Lord Shiva

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This definitely holds true with the images of Hindu deities. Taking the image of Lord Shiva, this article investigates some aspects of Shiva’s image…the crescent moon near his head, the river Ganga flowing from his hair and the dark blue neck. What can we learn from […]

Caste madness in the “Land of Kings”

Recently(*) the Indian state of Rajasthan, supposedly the “Land of Kings”, was host to one of the worst bouts of “caste riots” that India has seen in recent years, leaving at least 9 dead and many more injured. Eventually the Indian armed forces had to be brought in to quell the situation. What is particularly […]

Not so Intelligent: Intelligent Life Magazine

(Originally published in Hindu Voice UK – July 2009) “Intelligent Life” (?!) Recently I received a copy of “Intelligent Life” (Spring 2009 Edition), a quarterly lifestyle magazine from The Economist Group. As its name suggests, the makers of the magazine fancy it to be a particularly intelligent magazine! The Economist Group of publications is a […]

Afghan Hindus: history being decimated before our eyes

An excellent and rare article on the Guardian website, by Afghan author Reza Mohammadi, gives a brief account of the present day state of the country’s Hindu minority. Says the author: “Hindus are clearly among the oldest inhabitants of Afghanistan. They are the native people, whom Islamic fundamentalism has turned into unprotected strangers. Strangers, who […]

Was the British Empire beneficial for India?

The idea that British rule over India was a force for good is not uncommon in Britain and even in certain sections of westernised Indian elite. Read right-of-centre British newspapers and you will regularly find articles and columns that glorify Britain’s colonial past, giving the impression that Britain was spreading the light of Western Civilisation […]

Is China trying to break up India?

An article published on a Chinese think tank’s website suggested that it would be in China’s interests to break up India into 20-30 smaller states, and this could be achieved with just a minimal push. The website called ‘International Institute for Strategic Studies’ said: “To split India, China can bring into its fold countries like […]