Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hindu Students: Are Hindu Scriptures Mythologies?

Namaste, Hari Om,

Great explanation on Hindu Scriptures, its just the tip of the ice-berg, but gives a great introduction in such a small amount of time.

Puranas contain links to other scriptures that are fact, therefore it would be misleading to call it a complete Myth. Furthermore there are factual representations heavily linked to historical Ittihas books i.e. The Ramayana, such as the fortelling of Ravanas kingdom and Rams coming. 18 major puranas are of true nature, but the points proven in the Puranas are built on examples to paint pictures of things that are linked to other great books.

Jai Shri Krishna

Click to See the video:

From the Youtube Info Bar:

Mythologies are stories regarding a person, a religion, or a culture which are exaggerated or fictitious. Young Hindu adults often ask: "Are Hindu scriptures merely mythologies?" Swami Sarveshananda enlightens us that if we take mythologies to mean, "fictitious" then Hindu scriptures are not just "mythologies."

Hindu Dharma has incredibly rich collection of texts. Hindu texts are categorized as, Shruti, that which is heard, and smriti, that which is remembered. Shruti consists of the four Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Veda (Veda comes from a sanskrit term Ved which means to know) which are the most authoritative texts for all Hindus. The Upanishads, are important part of the Vedas, which explains the core philosophy of Vedas, Upanishads are also known as Vedanta. Vedanta means the philosophical summary of the Vedas. 

The Smriti's are scriptures that the sage wrote from their experience. Smriti's usually deal with the history, ayurveda, astrology, music, dance, architecture, statecraft, domestic duty and law. Smritis consists of Puranas, Itihasas, Vedangas, and Upavedas. The Puranas are encyclopedic accounts of the forms and avatars of God.

When Shruti and Smirit conflict, the authority is always Shrutis.

The Ramayana and Mahabharata are two sacred epic histories of India. The Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama, who is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his divine wife Sita. This 24,000-verse poem describes Prince Rama's birth, His banishment to a forest for 14 years, the abduction of Sita by the demon Ravana and Rama's victory over Ravana. The Ramayana remains immensely popular to this day in India and Southeast Asia.

The Mahabharata, "Great India, " is a 78,000-verse story of a massive war that took place in ancient times between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas, for the throne of a great kingdom. It also describes the nature of self and the world, karma, important family lineages of India, human loyalties, saints and sages, devotion to God and the ideals of dharma. Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is a key figure in the epic. A central episode called the Bhagavad Gita narrates Krishna's dialogue with the Pandava archer, Arjuna, on the day of the battle.

For more information visit:

Patanjali Teachings

Namaste, Hari Om,

The heart and mind can find peace and harmony by contemplating that transcendental nature of the true self as supreme effulgent light.

Undisturbed peace of mind is attained by the cultivation of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the happy, delight in the virtuous and indifference in the evil.

Practice is the repeated effort to follow the disciplines which give permanent control of the thought waves of the mind. Practice becomes firmly grounded when it has been cultivated for a long time, uninterruptedly, with earnest devotion.

Found on Hindu-Blog:

Hindu Blog: Download Govinda Ashtakam Lyrics in pdf – English – Telugu – Tamil

Namaste, Hari Om,

Via Hindu-Blog:

Govinda Ashtakam is a prayer dedicated to Sri Krishna and is believed to have been composed by Jagad Guru Adi Shankaracharya. The prayer is a praise to wonderful aspects and leelas of Govinda. Prapatti website is now offering the lyrics of Govinda Ashtakam in English, Telugu and Tamil. You can download it in pdf format.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What is Yoga? Answered by Hindu Students Association

Shri Patanjali the Giver of Yoga
Namaste, Hari Om,

Excellent video on Yoga and the types of Yoga. This video is an initiative by Hindu Students Association to bring proper understanding of Hindu philosophy and practices to Hindus and non-Hindus.

What is Yoga? from HinduStudents on Vimeo.

From the Website:

From Julia Roberts to a college student it seems like everyone is doing Yoga! Some practice
Yoga to help them deal with the day to day stress of a hectic life while for others it’s a means of physical
wellbeing. The health benefits of Yoga are numerous, helping some people lose weight and others
breathe properly to improve their attention. Yoga has become the tool to help your mind and body stay
healthy. But Yoga's higher purpose is to attain a state of perfect spiritual insight; its true purpose is to
assist a Yogi, a practitioner of Yoga, connect to the Divine within! Yoga stems from the Sanskrit word
Yuj, meaning to "join" or "get united." The ultimate goal of Yoga is to unite one’s soul with the Brahman,
the Absolute Reality.

The word, "Yoga" first appears in the Hindu scripture, Katha Upanishad, in Chapter 3 verse 11. The
verse tells us the meaning and purpose of the Yoga, it says,

“(10) When the five senses are stilled, when the mind
Is stilled, when the intellect is stilled,
That is called the highest state by the wise.
(11)They say YOGA is this complete stillness
In which one enters the unitive state,
Never to become separate again.
If one is not established in this state,
The sense of unity will come and go.”

Yoga philosophy recognizes that as there are many different types of individuals so there are many
different paths to the Brahman, an individual may follow a path based on their temperament. All these
paths are categorized in four practices, Gyan Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga.

Here is how, Swami Vivekanada described each Yoga.

Gyan Yoga (aka Jnana Yoga): First: hearing the truth — that the Atman is the only reality and that
everything else is Mâyâ (relativity). Second: reasoning upon this philosophy from all points of view.
Third: giving up all further argumentation and realizing the truth. This realization comes from (1) being
certain that Brahman is real and everything else is unreal; (2) giving up all desire for enjoyment; (3)
controlling the senses and the mind; (4) intense desire to be free. Meditating on this reality always and
reminding the soul of its real nature are the only ways in this Yoga.

Karma Yoga: Karma-Yoga is purifying the mind by means of work. The watchword of the Karma-Yogi
is "not I, but Thou", and no amount of self-sacrifice is too much for him. But he does this without any
desire to go to heaven, or gain name or fame or any other benefit in this world.

Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti or worship or love in some form or other is the easiest, most pleasant and most natural way of man. The natural state of this universe is attraction; and that is surely followed by an ultimate disunion. Even so, love is the natural impetus of union in the human heart; and though itself a great cause of misery, properly directed towards the proper object, it brings deliverance. The object of Bhakti is God. Love cannot be without a subject and an object. The object of love again must be at first a being who can reciprocate our love. Therefore the God of love must be in some sense a human God.
He must be a God of love. Aside from the question whether such a God exists or not, it is a fact that to
those who have love in their heart this Absolute appears as a God of love, as personal.

Raja Yoga: As each science has its particular method of investigation, so is this Raja-Yoga the method of
religion. This science also is variously applied according to various constitutions. The chief parts are the
Prânâyâma, concentration, and meditation. For those who believe in God, a symbolical name, such as
Om or other sacred words received from a Guru, will be very helpful. Aum is the greatest, meaning the
Absolute. Meditating on the meaning of these holy names while repeating them is the chief practice of
Raja Yoga.

This video is an initiative by Hindu Students Association to bring proper understanding of Hindu
philosophy and practices to Hindus and non-Hindus. We would like to thank Dr. Pankaj Jain, Professor
of Hinduism at University of North Texas, for his assistance in giving us academic advice in the
production of this video.

HSA E-mail:

HSA Website:



Your Home = Your Temple (Introduction to the Vastu Shastra)

Budhanilkantha Temple (Sleeping Vishnu) - Nepal
Namaste, Hari Om,

What is a temple? Like many religions there is a place of worship, whether its at home or at a central point in the community, it is deemed a holy place.

For many people going to a place of worship or somewhere peaceful like a garden or waterfall, helps to ease our mind and bring good energy. This energy helps us understand the world better as our mind thinks at a different rate, there is no pollution or distractions at these peaceful places.

If we spend more time at home than at a place of worship or a peaceful place, shouldn't our home be like a temple? The answer is yes it should be, our home represents our mind, its an outer expression of our thinking and well being. If your home is painted with red walls and no pictures some can see you as a monotone person with no expression - this could very well be true.

Your home should be your temple, every wall should make you feel at ease, every room should make you feel  happy. Gods name should be remembered at all times, this is why we decorate our houses with Gods pictures. A wise man once told me, ''People hang pictures of their family members up, today I like my cousin, sister etc.. then tomorrow we get into a fight, i take the picture down. The next day I like that person etc.. The  relationship is ever changing a people constantly change, where as God does not". Reminding our selves of the guiding force will help our mind in case of tensions and bring good energy to us.

A home should be welcoming, one that is filled with the intangible welcome scents, sight, sounds and taste will bring a calm state of mind to those who dwell there. There is no limitation that energy found at a temple can not live in your home, with the proper practice and maintenance, your home can equal your Temple.

Dont hide your love for God to a small place, let it shine through out the home. Just as you try to keep your body pure, so should your temple, avoid meat, alcohol, and harmful smoking etc..  Do not argue or say vulgar words, always be pleasant. Why keep such things in your home and have an altar? We must rid our life of duality (having bad and good things) - stick to the good things only.

Lastly, following a Vastu guide will also help:
"Vastu is an inherent energy concept of science. We cannot see energy with our naked eyes but we can realize and see its application in different forms and fashions. Universe is one of the beautiful creations of nature and everything stands alive only in the limelight of truth. Just like every subject of human aspect is governed with rules, regulations & acts, similarly the nature has also got certain key factor principles for smooth governing of its residents, in which "Vastu stands for nature law" and ignorance of law is not an excuse anywhere. Here are some of the basic rules that everyone should follow" - Source (

The position of certain objects in your house can channel energy in a special way - Having the right position and direction can create great energy.

Jai Jai Shri Devi Maa
- SimpleHinduBhai

Read more below -

Tips From Vastu

  1. The main entrance should be in the East or North but it should not be in front of the compound wall.
  2. The wall of the house in the North-Eastern side should have minimum height.
  3. If the wall of the house in the East is tall, it stalls the entry of prosperity, the Goddess Laxmi, into the house. Therefore, it should be small in height.
  4. The southern side of the house should be as tall and heavy as possible.
    In any room of the house the beam or column should not cross in the center.
  5. Terrace or balcony in the house should be either in the East or the North.
  6. A well, pole or a temple should not be there in front of the main entrance of the house.
  7. The slope of the house should be towards East, North or North-East.
    Similarly, the slope of the plinth also should be towards East, North or North-East.
  8. The height of the plinth should be maximum in the direction of South-West.
  9. The main entrance of the house should not be in front of that of the opposite house.
  10. The house should be equipped with the protective wall.
  11. The upper storeys of the house should be constructed on the Southern or Western part.
  12. The cupboard in the wall should be the Southern or Western part direction of the house.

    Why Follow Vastu?
    God is present in the direction of North-East, it is believed. That is why our ancestors always insisted on having a body of water in this direction to ensure prosperity. Now see the geographical location of a small nation like Japan one of the largest bodies of water in the form of the Pacific Ocean which explains the reason of its growing prosperity.
    Take the example of Mumbai city. On its South-East side where Agni is located, is the atomic power plant and in the direction of North-East is the body of water, which is why when it is compared to other ports, Mumbai port is more prosperous.
    The city of London is famous and rich because it is situated on more or less the ideal principles of Vastu Shastra.
    It is found that at the root of the progress and prosperity of the cities like New York, London, Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. are always the benedictory principles of Vastu Shastra. It is also found that as one progresses towards the North-East in the United States of America the land becomes richer and richer.
    Study the location and construction of the famous temple of Tirupati from the angle of Vastu Shastra. Its legendary prosperity is thanks mainly to the exemplary implementation of the principles of Vastu Shastra. The main temple is situated on the South-West side of the temple precinct. On its North-East direction is a lake and pond. The dining hall of the temple is on South-East side while the North-West and North side of the temple is allocated to the godown (storage place) for grains and items require in the kitchen. The entire temple precinct is of square shape as a result of which its axis and that of the Earth are perpendicular to each other. The main temple is occupying only the one fourth area of the total precinct and on its Eastern and Northern side is an  open area. Thus the Tirupati temple of Lord Balaji is an ideal place according to the norms of Vastu Shastra which is why it is the most prosperous temple on earth.