The Idea of India: the Mahabharata versus Nehruvian intelligentsia

One not uncommonly comes across the opinion today that India was never really a nation but that its nationhood was only recently invented by the British through their definition of the region as part of their empire. Similarly we are told that Hinduism was up to recently not a religion at all but merely various […]

Hindu view of “scriptures”

A man of true knowledge who has attained enlightenment, has the same use for all the scriptures as one has for a small reservoir of water in a place flooded on all sides (Bhagavad Gita 2:46) What does the Gita mean by this verse? This verse actually demonstrates some very important points about Hinduism with regards to […]

De-stressing the Hindu way

There’s a set of Sanskrit shlokas (verses) which I try and recite every morning and evening, followed by a few minutes of meditation. I’ve been saying these prayers for many years. When I keep up with the discipline of doing this regularly, it feels like my days go much better; I feel positive and have […]

A Hindu view on the use of alcohol

The consumption of alcohol has existed in human society since time immemorial. Probably all societies, at least in historically-recorded times, have had members who have used alcohol, which has been a common source of relaxation, intoxication or inebriation. In the modern world, all types of alcoholic beverages are freely available in the world market. Most […]

Mantra: what it is & what it does

If we observe ourselves we can see that all day long there is background chatter in the mind. It may be the repetition of some song we have heard on the radio, it may be a rehashing of some experience we have just had, an insult or argument for example, or a consideration of what […]

Be wary of some English translations of Hindu sacred texts

Most Hindus living in a predominantly English speaking environment have an urge at one point in their lives to learn about Hinduism. Sometimes the curiosity arises from a genuine desire for guidance in life. In other cases the urge to look into Hinduism comes from a particular incident – for example being asked questions that […]

A Search for the historical Krishna – N S Rajaram

This article was originally published in the online journal ‘Sword of Truth’. Further information on the subject can be found in the author’s book, of the same title. Dr. N. S. Rajaram is an author and mathematician, based in the USA, where he formerly worked for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), in the fields […]

Wishing you a happy & auspicious Diwali !

My first recollections of Diwali in distant childhood are of immense joy: fireworks, diwas, nice food, presents, time-off school, spending time with friends and relatives, and a general feeling of happiness. How can anyone not grow up loving such a festival? This greatest of festivals is a time when we take a step back from […]

The story behind Navratri

It is that time of the year where Hindus start preparations for celebrating Navaratri, the joyous festival of nine nights, which is dedicated to the Divine Mother Durga. Virtually every Hindu community in the world celebrates Navratri. The major story associated with Navratri is the battle between the great Goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura, […]

Modi offers hope, but please play your part too…

I remember a talk by Shri Pandurang Shastri Athavale, in which he was simultaneously joking and lamenting the weak and selfish way that many people who should know better conduct their lives. One comment that really struck me is as follows: People sometimes ask me “When will Kali Yuga end?” I tell them “How can […]

Krishna: The fullness of life

Most of my early knowledge about Hinduism came through a movement called Swadhyaya. Although in the past few years I have ceased to be an active part of the movement, I am extremely grateful for having received an amazing and practical appreciation of my cultural and spiritual heritage. What I learnt at Swadhyaya was mostly […]

Making sense of Ganesh stories

In childhood years, many Hindu children nowadays are introduced to Hindu sacred stories through the medium of comic books, such as Amar Chitra Katha. These provide a colourful, entertaining and valuable rendering of ancient stories from texts called the Puranas, and most kids read them with great enthusiasm, forming many people’s introduction to the world […]

Interview with Koenraad Elst

Dr Koenraad Elst is a noted Belgian scholar and writer, specialising in coverage of Hindu contemporary issues, Indian history and comparative philosophy. He has authored at least 20 books, including the monumental ‘Decolonising the Hindu Mind’ and ‘Saffron Swastika: the Notion of Hindu Fascism’.  What first made you interested in India? Its funny, Muslims never ask people who […]

Interview: Swami Dayananda Saraswati

“I consider everyone a Hindu until they say they are not” Swami Dayananda Saraswati (not to be confused with the 19th century founder of the Arya Samaj) is a well-known Swami of the Advaita-Vedanta tradition. Being highly articulate in several languages, including English, he has been able to reach out to hundreds of thousands of […]

Interview: Dilip Lakhani – man on a mission

“The only place in the UK where the hereditary caste system is practiced is Buckingham Palace!” Dilip Lakhani is a well-known figure in the British Hindu community. He is founder of Vivekananda Centre UK and for many years has been on a seemingly tireless mission to promote Hinduism in Britain. His work has included setting […]

The Bhagavad Gita, Oppenheimer and Nuclear weapons

J. Robert Oppenheimer (April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist, best known for his role as the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, the World War II effort to develop the first nuclear weapons, at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. He is often remembered as “the father […]

Hanuman Chalisa: Explanation of verses 13 & 14

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) Insight into verse 13 Laye sanjivan Lakhan jiyaye Shree Raghubir harashi ur laye You brought the nectarine herb and revived the life of Laksmana. Sri Rama Chandra embraced with deep joy This of course refers to the part of the Ramayana where Lakshmana is fatally wounded by Ravana’s son Indrajeet. […]

The philosophy of Mother Kali’s eternal dance on Lord Shiva

We have all seen the image of Kali at a temple or in a Navratri shrine. This article provides a fascinating insight into who Kali really is! Kali is one of the best known, but poorly understood Hindu deities. She is dark destructive and terrible in image. She appears allied to the forces of death […]

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 […]

Hanuman Chalisa: Explanation of verses 11 & 12

Visit Hindu Perspective’s HANUMAN SECTION (special feature) Sukshma roop dhari Siyahin dikhava Bikat roop dhari Lank jarava You showed your small, slight form to mother Sita, assuming a terrible form you burnt the city of Lanka. Bhim roop dhari asur sanhare Ramchandra ke kaaj sanvare You took a colossal form and killed the demons. Thus, you fulfilled […]