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SHIVA (HIS FESTIVALS)

The origin of Shiva Ratri, the night of Lord Shiva, is related in a fable. In ancient times near the City of Light, Varanasi, there lived a violent and cruel hunter. Whilst hunting in the woods one day, he killed so many birds that he had trouble carrying them all home. He grew tired from the weight of his catch and was frequently forced to stop and rest. Know More

KATHA UPANISHAD THE PATH TO SHIVA

Yoga means union of man with his Higher Self. It is an ancient discipline that can be traced back as far as the third century B.C., when the forest dwelling ascetics broke away from the traditional material values of society, and sought to free them selves from the chains of karma. Know More

Making all Creatures Happy

In the past, apart from these, our ancestors did puja to the gods, fed guests and performed vaisvadeva which rite is meant for all creatures. You must have some idea of these rites even if you do not perform them. I will speak to you about vaisvadeva. Know More

THE ORDEAL OF SITA

RaMA’S whole heart was filled with the longing to see Sita, and renew once more the life-sweetness which had been broken that morning when he left her to catch the golden deer. Yet he was no mere mortal, full of blind impulse, a prey to the chance-born desires of the passing moment. He foresaw that if their reunion was to be secure, it must take place in public and must be accompanied by some proof of his wife's honour and devotion which could never be shaken in the popular mind. Know More

GLORY OF TRUTH

There was a truthful king whose mind was given to piety. If any common man who brought to his capital cereals, textile goods or any other commodity for sale failed to dispose of them by sunset, the king used to buy them. Such was the unfailing vow undertaken by the king for the public weal. Immediately after the sunset the king's servants went round the city and if they found anyone sitting with some saleable commodity they made inquiries of him, and after paying a price to his satisfaction would purchase the whole stock. In order to put to a test the love for truth of that truthful monarch, on a certain day, Dharma (the god of piety) himself appeared in his capital in the guise of a Brahmin, carrying with him a box containing useless household articles fit for throwing away as rubbish, and sat down in the bazaar as a vendor. But who was going to buy rubbish ? When the evening shades fell, the king's men went about the city on their usual round. Know More

Karma is the Starting Point of Yoga

Karma yoga, also called Karma marga, is one of the three spiritual paths in Hinduism.People usually think that yoga means no more than controlling the breath and sitting stone-like Know More

Karmayoga

Arjuna asks [Krsna] whether it is not a sin to wage war and slay friends and relatives in battle. It seems to us a natural and reasonable question.Sri Krsna Paramatman gives an answer in the Bhagvadgita. An action that outwardly seems to be bad and cruel need not necessarily be sinful. Acts that apparently cause pain to others may have to be committed for the good of the world and there is no sin in them. Know More

Strength of Unity

The temple strengthened this faith and the sense of unity, the temple which belongs to the whole village or town and which is situated at its centre. People had the feeling of togetherness in the presence of Isvara as his children. In festival all jatis took part contributing to their success in various ways. Know More

Shamanism

Shamanism is a range of beliefs or practices that involve communication with the spirit world. The Shaman is known as the practitioner of said craft. The Shaman is able to . Treat illness and serve as healers. Know More

(SHIVA)THE BACKGROUND

The earliest evidence of the origin of Lord Shiva came from the excavation of two ancient cities of the Indus civilization, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, which flourished between 2,000-3,000 years B.C. A large number of terra-cotta seals and statuettes were discovered in the region, providing a wealth of insight into the religious beliefs of the area. Know More

Yoga Philosophy: Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga (Ashta – 8, Anga – Limb) is the path to enlightenment that offers guidelines for a peaceful, meaningful and purposeful life.The first four stages of Patanjali's Ashtanga yoga concentrate on refining our personalities, gaining mastery over the body, and developing an energetic awareness of ourselves. They are preparation for the next 4 limbs. The second half of the journey deals with the senses, the mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.The Yamas and Niyamas can be approached individually or they can be seen as a progressive system towards Realization. Know More

FORTS OF INDIA(Bidar)

LEGEND has it that Bidar is the short form of Viduranagar, an ancient city named after Vidura, the legendary figure of Mahabharata. Archeological finds have revealed that Bidar, situated 740 km north of Bangalore, is located at a site where in the 10th century there existed a fort. Know More

FORTS OF INDIA (Ahmadnagar)

THE Satavahanas had a prosperous kingdom on the south-western coast of the country in ancient times. Commerce and trade flourished with even foreign countries. One of the towns in their kingdom was Ashmak on which site there now stands Ahmadnagar, about 117 km from Pune in Maharashtra. Know More

Gayatri and Sandhyavandana

If the Gayatri has not been chanted for three generations in the family of a Brahmin, its members lose caste (they cease to be Brahmins). The quarter where such Brahmins live cannot be called an "agrahara". It is perhaps not yet three generations since Brahmins gave up the Gayatri. So they still may be called Brahmins. Know More

The Brahmin must keep his Body Pure

The Brahmin must keep his body chaste so that its impurities do not detract from the power of the mantras he chants. Deho devalaya prokto jivah prokto sanatanah. Know More

Upanayana: When to Perform It?

A Brahmin childs upanayana must be performed when he is eight years old from conception that is when he is seven years and two months old from birth. A Ksatriyas is to be performed at the age of twelve. Krsna Paramatman who belonged to the clan of Yadus was invested with the sacred thread at that age Know More

Qualities of a Brahmacarin

The celibate-student must perform samidadhana every day, beg for his food and take no salt. If he is a Brahmin he must keep a staff or palasa, if he is a ksatriya a staff of asvattha. The Vaisya brahmacarin has a staff of udumbara. The staff helps the student to retain his learning. It is similar to the lightening conductor or the aerial and is scientifically valid as to fix these hymns Know More

Upanayana

The upanayana of a boy is performed when he is old enough to understand things and chant the mantras.When he starts learning at the age of five he will have a basic knowledge of Sanskrit by the time he is eight years old, the age fixed for the upanayana samskara. The world will stand to gain if eight-year-old children wear the sacred thread, have sufficient knowledge of Sanskrit and chant the Gayatri mantra. Know More

Why not All Samskaras for All?

Jatakarma, namakarana, annaprasana and caula are common to all jatis. Only Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas have the upanayana ceremony. There is nothing discriminatory about this nor need there be any quarrel over the same. People belonging to the fourth varna do physical work to serve the world and in the process acquire inner purity. Know More

Names of Samskaras

The forty samskaras which are meant to purify the individual self are:garbhadhana, pumsavana, simanta, jatakarma, namakarana,annaprasana, caula, upanayana, the four rites like prajapatya (Vedavratas) performed during gurukulavasa (the years the celibate student spends in the home of his guru), the ritual bath on completion of gurukulavasa, marriage, the five mahayajnas performed everyday by the householder. Know More

The Eight Qualities

The eight gunas or qualities are: daya, ksanti, anasuya, sauca, anayasa,mangala, akarpanya, asprha."Daya" implies love for all creatures, such love being the very fulfilment of life. There is indeed no greater happiness than that derived by loving others. Daya is the backbone of all qualities. Know More

MIGRATIONS (Instruments in Indian Sculpture)

The migration of Indian musical instruments to the countries surrounding India at an early period forms an interesting subject of study. In pre-Buddhist times, India seems to have had commercial and other relations with Egypt, Sumer and other Middle-Eastern regions. Archaeologists have discovered musical instru¬ ments similar to the yazh of the ancient Tamil country in Egypt and Babylon. Know More

Meaning of Samskara

Karma has to be performed in such a way as to purify him both outwardlyand inwardly. Such a karma is called samskara. That which removes the impurities from an object, takes away all the bador evil elements, and imparts good qualities to it is samskara. For instance, we talk of "kesasamskara". Know More

CHRONOLOGY

Sanskrit treatises on music and literature containing references to musical instruments begin from about the 3rd century B-c* In Barhut, Sanchi, Bhaja, etc., the artists of ancient India have sculptured various types of musical instruments in the scenes depicting the life of the Buddha. Know More

Three Types of Worlds

We speak of three worlds: devaloka (world of the celestials),manusyaloka (this world of ours), and naraka (hell). The first has nothing but pleasure; in the second it is a mixture of happiness and sorrow; and in the third there is nothing but pain and sorrow. Know More

Instruments in Indian Sculpture

The polished, ivory-ornamented elegance of modern Indian musical instru¬ ments such as the veena, the sitar and the sarod affords little idea as to how primitive were the instruments from which they are descended. Know More

Paradise or the Path of Atmajnana?

Our worldly existence is a mixture of joys and sorrows. Some experience more joy than sorrow and some more sorrow. Then there may be a rare individual here or there who can control his mind and keep smiling even in the midst of sorrow. On the other hand, we do see a quite a number of people who have much to be happy about but who keep a long face. Know More

Sruti-Smriti - Srauta-Smarta

Those who follow the tradition of Acarya are called "Smartas". The word "Smarta" literally means one who adheres to the Smrtis. To say that the Acarya descended to earth to uphold the Vedas and that those who follow his path are Smartas implies that the Vedas and Smrtis are one.The rites that are not explicitly mentioned in the Vedas but are dealt with in the Smrtis are called Smarta karmas and those that are explicitly mentioned are called Srauta karmas. This does not mean that the Smarta rites are in anyway inferior to Srauta Know More

The Source of Smritis is the Vedas

The best testimony to the claim that the Smrtis are founded on the Vedas is provided by the words of mahakavi (great poet). Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva, the founders of our religio-philosophical systems, proclaim that our dharmasastras are in accord with the Vedas. But they had, each of them, a doctrine to establish. Know More

Smritis - not Independent Works

There is a wrong impression about the dharmasastras even among those who treat them with respect. They think that the rules and duties of the Smrtis were formulated by their authors on their own. They call theseauthors lawgivers who, in their opinion, laid down laws that reflect their own views. Know More

Freedom and Discipline

There is much talk today of freedom and democracy. In practice what do we see Freedom has come to mean the licence to do what one likes, to indulge ones every whim. The strong and the rough are free to harass the weak and the virtuous. Thus we recognise the need to keep people bound to certain laws and rules. However the restrictions must not be too many. Know More

Importance of Sthala Puranas

In my opinion, the Sthala Puranas not only enables us to have an insight into history but also enrich our knowledge of local culture and local customs. It seems to me that if they are read together in a connected manner they will throw more light on our history than even the 18 major Puranas and Upapuranas. In fact, they fill the gaps in the major Puranas. Know More

They Speak like a Friend

There are three ways in which a good task may be accomplished. The first is by issuing an order or a command backed by the authority of the government. This is called"prabhusammita". A rich or powerful man orders his servant to do some work: it is also "prabhusammita". Whether or not the servant likes the work, he is compelled to obey the order for fear of punishment. Without occupying any seat of authority a friend asks us to do something and we do it- not out of fear but out of affection. Know More

FORTS OF INDIA(Kalinjar)

ONE of the most ancient and strategically located forts of India, the Kalinjar in Bundel Khand, was the site of several battles and many an illustrious name such as Mahmud Ghazni, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, Humayun, Sher Shah Suri, Akbar, Chhatrasal were associated with it. Know More

THE GREAT ANCIENT EMPIRES

The five centuries which passed between the decline of the first great Indian empire of the Mauryas and the emergence of the great empire of the Guptas has often been described as a dark period in Indian history when foreign dynasties fought each other for short-lived and ephemeral supremacy over northern India. Know More

Many paths to the One Goal

The Azhvars sing the glory of Visnu and the Nayanmars of Siva. In the Vedas all deities are hymned in the same way. The Upanishads do not speak much about deities; they are concerned with truths of the Self.Tiruvalluvar speaks about God and philosophical matters and his viewsare in keeping with the Vedic tradition. But the emphasis in his work is on morals and ethics Know More

THE GREAT ANCIENT EMPIRES

In the last centuries of the first millennium BC northwestern India was once more subjected to a new wave of immigration from Central Asia. In Bactria several tribes clashed in the second century BC and pushed each other towards the fertile lowlands in the south. Know More

Why Differences among the Gods?

Each Purana is in the main devoted to a particular devata. In the Siva Purana it is stated: "Siva is the Supreme Being. He is the highest authority for creation, sustenance and dissolution. It is at his behest, and under him, that Visnu funtions as protector. Visnu is a mere bhogin, trapped in Maya. Siva is a yogin and jnana incarnate. Visnu is subject to Siva and worships him. Once when he opposed Siva he suffered humiliation at his hands". Stories are told to illustrate such assertions. Know More

Upa-puranas and Others

Apart from the 18 major Puranas there are an equal number of Upapuranas.Among them are the Vinayaka Purana and the Kalki Purana.There are also, in addition, a number of minor Puranas. The Puranas that speak of the glory of various months such as the Tula Purana, the Magha Purana and the Vaisakha Purana are parts included into the 18 major Puranas or Upa-puranas. Know More

THE GREAT ANCIENT EMPIRES

Alexander’s campaign probably made an indirect impact on the further political development of India. Not much is known about the antecedents of Chandragupta Maurya, but it is said that he began his military career by fighting against the outposts which Alexander had left along the river Indus. Know More

Sankhya (Hindu Dharma)

According to Sankhya, the Atman is Purusa and is the basis of all, though,at the same time detached from everything. In its view Maya which keeps everything going is Prakriti. The cosmos is contained in 24 "tattvas" ["thatnesses" or principles or categories] of which Prakrti is one- Prakrti is indeed the first of these and it has the name of"pradhana Know More

Hand of the Vedapurusa

The sixth limb or Anga of the Vedapurusa is Kalpa, his hand. The hand is called "kara" since it does work (or since we work with it). In Telugu it is called “sey ". Kalpa is the sastra that involves you in "work". A man learns to chant the Vedas, studies Siksa, Vyakarana, Chandas, Nirukta and Jyotisa. What does he do next? He has to apply these sastras to the rites he is enjoined to perform. He has to wash away his sins, the sins earned by acting according to his whims. Know More

The Grahas and Human Life

The conditions of man correspond to the changes in the position of the nine grahas. A human being does not enjoy happiness all the time nor does he always suffer hardships-- that is he experiences a mixture of happiness and sorrow. While he may be pushed up to a high position today, he may be thrust down to the depths tomorrow. Know More

Planets, Stars

How do the planets differ from the stars The planets revolve round the sun; the stars do not belong to the sun mandala [they are not part of the solar system]. If you hold a diamond in your hand and keep shaking it about, it will glitter. The stars glitter in the same way and twinkle, but the planets do not twinkle. The sun and the stars are self-luminous Know More

THE GREAT ANCIENT EMPIRES

The extension of the Vedic culture into the central and eastern Gangetic plains was as important for the further course of Indian history as the period of their early settlement in the Panjab and in the Ganga-Yamuna Doab. Know More

Ancient Mathematical Treatises

Jyotisa, as we have seen, consists of three sections. There was a scholarly man in the Matha who was particularly learned in this science. We wished to honour him with a title and decided upon "Triskandha- Bhaskara". "Skandha" literally means a big branch springing from the trunk of a tree. The three skandhas of Jyotisas are: siddhanta, hora and samhita. Know More

Eye of the Vedapurusa

Jyotisa, which is the science of the celestial bodies and the eye of the Vedapurusa, consists of three "skandhas" or sections. So it is called "Skandha-trayatmakam". Sages like Garga, Narada and arasura have written samhitas (treatises) on this subject. The sun god, in disguise, taught the science to Maya, the carpenter of the Asuras. The work incorporating his teachings is called the Suryasiddhanta. Know More

Ear of the Vedapurusa

Nirukta serves the purpose of a Vedic dictionary, or "kosa". A dictionary is also called a "nighantu", which term is used in Tamil also. Nirukta, which deals with the origin of words, their roots, that is with etymology, is the ear of the Vedapurusa. Know More

History Of India and the Environment

Environment—that is a world alive and related to a living centre, the habitat of an animal, the hunting grounds and pastures of nomads, the fields of settled peasants. For human beings the environment is both an objective ecological condition and a field of subjective experience. Know More

Vedic mantra

A Vedic mantra or the stanza of an ordinary poem is divided into four parts. In most metres there are four feet and each foot is divided into the same number of syllables or mantras. When the feet are not equal we have what is called a metre that is "visama": "vi+sama" = "visama"."Sama" indicates a state of non-difference,of evenness. Know More

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