Among the host of rituals instituted by our ancestors around the protection of plants and trees, are the offering of jal to trees like vatavrkśa (banyan), pīpal, aśwattha (fig) and āmalaki (Indian gooseberry).
By cleverly weaving the rituals and customs around divine propitiation in the beginning and later around dharmic duties and social obligations, our wise ancestors ensured that the living beings and Nature were cared for equally.
Today we have a clearer vision with proof, backed by scientific experiments and investigations under lab conditions, that the Pancha Mahabhoota are indeed the vital forces in our lives.
The efforts to secularize a culturally rich religious festival like Deepavali have taken away much of its civilizational value.
The Ashtavinayak temples are not only ancient but are spiritually enriching to the devout yatri.
I was torn between defending my dharma at school and fighting with my parents about the same thing at home, thinking that the sum-all of Hinduism was its traditions and customs.
I wonder how it is that when someone pulls down something dear to you, even if you have been pulling it down yourself–your hackles are raised enough to defend it tooth and nail.
One can learn to tackle hate, but how does one cope with humiliation and the very negation of one’s identity?
The journey has been long–painful at times, exhilarating at others, but coming full circle has never been so enriching.
The meal served in a temple is nothing short of Anna Brahma, a special gift from the Lord to His devotees.
A Vishnu temple has saltless items as naivedyam for the Lord, while another temple dedicated to Lord Murugan has Munch chocolates!
The concept of naivedyam goes beyond the mere act of offering, investing it with a sacred and spiritual significance
Much like how India was symbolized by elephants and snake charmers, the Kumbh had been reduced to a spectacle of the Naga Sadhus.