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Showing posts from April, 2016

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Idol Worship in Hinduism

On Idol Worship

There are several sects among Hindus too who downplay the importance of idol worship. Other religions already say that praying to idols is blasphemy. But these people are also dependent on certain symbols that they consider holy.

So what's wrong if someone uses an idol (a symbolic God) to be able to connect to the Supreme?

One cannot focus on vacuum. Only the successful gnan yogis can meditate like that. Others need some symbol. The cross is holy. The crescent is holy. And so is the OM. Some people take OM and create a personal God out of it. They create a symbolic God (an idol or a painting) so that they feel connected. They'd perform rituals like bathing the idol, draping it in clothes, and would feed it (at least they think they are doing service to God).

God never laid out any rules. He didn't say pray like this or don't pray like that. But then, every religion has rules. These rules were laid out by people who claimed to have experienced God. The …

Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna - Intro to eBook by Arun Acharya

Sri Ramakrishna has been called by many names such as sanyassin (one who has renounced the world), mystic, healer and more. For me, he was a dear son of Mother Goddess. I read his Gospel that contains many of his words that I tried to translate into easy words for everyone to understand. Before going into details, I mentioned the main teachings of the revered guru Ramakrishna of many, in the first chapter. These teachings have been repeated many times in the Gospel. The main one talks about "Kamini-Kanchan". The Gospel contains literal translation that goes "Woman and Gold". It has been repeated many times in the Gospel. The true meaning of the words, however, is "Lust and Greed". According to him, the main problems that hinder spiritual growth of a person are "Lust and Greed". Sri Ramakrishna asked people to stay away from Lust and Greed. This has a subtle meaning. He meant all six passions when he said Lust and Gold; the passions including Anger…

How To Solve Unemployment Problem In India - Lessons From Ancient India : Part 2

The best method to solve unemployment problem is to give a deep thought to the social structure of ancient India. We need to go back, into the post Vedic history but pre-Mahabharata history. The sources are a little confusing/contradictory. I have tried my best to keep proper dates and duration in this article - based on majority of articles. That means, if more than one research paper cites a particular date, I've picked up those dates. Please note that these dates etc are just for your reference and may not be exact. The article expands on my previous article on how to solve unemployment problem in India - Education Structure.

PART II: Lessons From Ancient India - Social Structure & Society This relates to the period when society was structured based on caste. Of course, the caste system still prevails in India but the lines are much blurred and the definition of caste nowadays is more hereditary rather than what is defined/explained in the Vedas - the ancient Hindu script…

Analysis of Mahabharata Characters - Bhishma

Bhishma is one of the powerful characters of the epic, Mahabharata that contains and shows a pious way of life to the mortals living on earth. I am starting this Analysis of Mahabharata Characters with Bhishma as he is the oldest character in the epic/saga and has tremendous influence on the other characters of Mahabharata. Bhishma was the son of king Shantanu and Ganga (the river Ganges in female form). Bhishma was considered one of the eight Vasus (rishis) who had to take birth on earth due to a curse. Before we analyze the character, let us take a quick look at the story of Bhishma according to the Mahabharata.
Background Of Bhishma Bhismha is considered one of the eight Vasus who stole a cow named Kamadhenu from a sage. When the sage cursed them to take birth as humans, all Vasus asked for his forgiveness. The sage, for seven Vasus who helped the main Vasu to steal the cow, reduced the curse to death just after birth. However, the main Vasu who actually stole the cow was to stay …

What is Secularism - In India?

India is diverse in many aspects. That not only includes lifestyles, cuisines, languages/dialects, fashion, clothing style but also religions. India is home to more than five religions, where four religions: Buddhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism originated as branches of Hindutva Lifestyle. Even Sikhism has been derived from Hinduism. But this post is not about religions. It is about secularism in India: What is secularism? Who is secular? Is India a secular country? What does Secularism mean? I am trying to answer all these questions by constructing the Hindi equivalent of the word "secularism".
What is Secularism?
The Hindi equivalent of the word is "Dharm Nirapekhsta" (धर्म निर अपेक्षता). This Hindi word is actually a combination of three words: Dharma (धर्म), Nir (निर), and Apeksha (अपेक्षा). We take the last word first. Apeksha means "expecting". That translates to expecting anything from anyone. For example, "I was expecting him on Sunday"…

How To Solve Unemployment Problem In India - Lessons From Ancient India : Part 1

If we take a look back at ancient India, during its glorified history, we could get lessons on how to solve unemployment problem in India. It is well known that different rulers and even queens took proper care of their society that was based on a system that reduced unemployment during those days. Let us check out how to weed out unemployment problem in India by looking at the days when India was still ruled by kings and queens.

PART I: Lessons From Ancient India - The Educational System I cannot say about the scenario after the entry of Moghuls as I did not do proper research on that. I could not get relevant papers that I could trust so I will go a little back into the history. At that time, people were happier as they could find one or more income sources and that is what we are discussing here.

Present society is like: 1) Go through elementary education that teaches you languages and a little of History/Geography and science; 2) you then specialize in an area of your choice or r…

Caste Based Politics in India - POV1

A popular politician said she does not like caste based politics in India and that her party does not believe in caste based society. A day earlier, on July 12 2013, HC banned caste based rallies. Probably, that was the reason she thenceforth does not like caste based rallies. This statement came two days after she addressed a Brahmin rally and one day after HC banned caste based rallies in India. When I called it bluff, a question popped up from somewhere saying what makes me think she believes in caste based society...

Made me think - Maybe she doesn't really believe in caste based politics in India and maybe my views are biased. Let's check it out here. 

The previous leader of that party had a vision to equate all castes in the society. But in the Indian society, caste system is so deep rooted that inter-caste relations often break strongest of bonds and even lead to honor killings. Forget others, even my 'liberal' family saw months of tension when younger brother …

Politicization Of Religion in India - The Hindu Unrest

Someone posted a blog on IBN-LIVE asking why Hinduism should not evolve with current modern world? It further stressed on politicization of Hindu religion and the fact of Hindu unrest by quoting Salman Rushdie. While I do not think Hindu unrest is yet a worrying factor, it may turn out to be a violent movement if politicization of religion in India is not discontinued immediately. I'll attempt to answer why I think so.

Quest is Hindu is Quest The blog asking if Hinduism/Hindutva amounts to fundamentalism and why are Hindus becoming intolerant etc was penned by some IBN-LIVE journalist named Sagarika Ghose (Twitter Handle @SagarikaGhose).

I will first put up some of her questions that she asked about politicization of Hinduism and its evolution requirements in modern world. I guess she missed quoting other forms of religions politicization such as Muslim Appeasement and special packages for other Muslims and certain Christian communities. I too will leave out those in this blog po…

Concept Of Government - How Early Governments Were Formed

There have been kings ever since we know history. Later, kingdoms changed to different forms of governments - some with kings and some totally by public. Ever wondered how the first government came into being? What is the concept of government? Who was the first government? How was the first government formed? I won't answer all the questions here. Rather, I will put down my thoughts on what I think is the closest story to how the first government was formed.

Early Days On Earth To understand the concept of governments, we must look back to the  Stone Age. Most of us know about the cavemen. They hunted and provided for food. Cavemen lived in groups, often a family. Later, they discovered wheel and fire, which served as a boon to our existence. The tendency to live in groups must have come over by the fact that their ancestors were apes. And apes, just like most of the animals, live in groups - mostly for protection. The fact that unity is power is more known to animals than peopl…

Unemployment Problem in India

This post expands on my previous blog on how to choose a college course. We discussed there that formal degrees, while good, do not provide a guarantee to a decent job. We talked about how your favorite subjects can provide you with vocational training that can be used either for job or own venture - as required. This post attempts to explain the unemployment problem in India - through a different lens. 

I will not provide figures and statistics but rather, will talk about main causes of unemployment in India. A friend of mine asked how to choose college for a good job. This question acted as if someone triggered a remote bomb and my mind was full of major factors of unemployment across the world. Analyzing a little, I found few factors for the unemployment problem in India and third world. You might think why I placed India in the same line where I used the phrase 'third world'. That is because of the natural mindset of people. India has grown and progressed a lot but the ba…