Take a Quiz on Hindu Symbols and Icons

Check your knowledge of Hinduism

Take a Quiz on Hinduism Symbols and Icons

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1. What is the usual number of beads in a Hindu Japa Mala?

 
 
 
 

2. Vibhuti  means super natural powers acquired through religious practices? Yes/No

 
 

3. A Toran is a decoration hanging at the front door of a home and can be made out of any one of the following (you can tick more than one)

 
 
 
 

4. Conch shells are used in Hindu worship as a trumpet?

 
 

5. Is it Ok for a married woman to wipe off her sindoor? Yes/No

 
 

6. How many number of cotton wicks can be put into the oil and lighted for an aarti lamp?

 
 
 
 

7. How many strands of thread does a Janaeu or Yajnopavit has?

 
 
 
 

8. A Vermilion red colour Bindi signifies that the woman is married? Yes/No

 
 

9. Playing with colors on Holi festival is called Rangoli? Yes/No

 
 

10. A mangala sutra is worn by wife for the long life of the husband? Yes/No

 
 

11. All other Yantras are derived from Sri Chakra Yantra?

 
 

12. Upnayana is a rite of passage to mark adolescence? Yes/No

 
 

13. What is the  purpose of performing aarti and the waving of lighted wicks before the deities?

 
 
 
 

14. Who is the vehicle or mount of Lord Ganesha?

 
 
 
 

15. A Hindu can not apply a Tilak to a non-Hindu? Yes/No

 
 

16. Aum is a representation of Brahma God out of three God heads? Yes/No

 
 

17. Hindus apply a Tilak on their foreheads to express their devotion? Yes/No

 
 

18. What is the difference between clockwise and anti-clockwise versions of swastika?

 
 
 

19. While a Tilak can be applied at various parts of the body, Bindi must be applied only in between the eyes? Yes/No

 
 

20. Rudraksha beads represent tears of which God?

 
 
 
 
What is the color of the snow?

Ram Sita Kalyanam Vivah in Parramatta 3rd November 2018

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating Deepavali festival on 3rd and 4th of November 2018 in Parramatta Park this year also.

A special attraction of this year is likely to be an elaborate performance of Rama Sita Kalyanam or Ram Sita Vivah (marriage of Ram and Sita) being planned for 3rd November in Parramatta park location.

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

This is going to be a huge event and the planning has already started. Our Sai Ji is leading the initiative. A team of volunteers has already started preparations for this grand occasion. Some of the suggestions circulating among the team is to 

  • perform Rama Pattabishekam
  • procession/kolatam to carry idols to the mandapam in a palaki
  • Kalyanam or Vivhah before sunset.

We welcome your suggestions about this event and encourage you to come and join the volunteers team and shape this event.

To participate in making the event happen, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You can also visit Hindu Council web site and sign up as a volunteer specifying your interest in Ram Sita Kalyanam event.

Take a Quiz on Hindu Beliefs

Please go to Take a Quiz on Hindu Beliefs to view the test

What would a God look like

By: Surinder Jain.

Hindus have many Gods and each God has his or her own form. We have Shiva sitting on an ice cold mountain top with a fountain of water (river Ganga) flowing out of the top of his head. We have Ganesh with an elephant head and Shakti shown with up to eight arms carrying weapons and gifts in each.

 

All religions have a well defined concept of The God, Their God. Not all religions however can show you what their God looks like. In fact some religions prohibit showing their God’s or their prophets form altogether going to the extent of calling such an act a heresy. In some religions it is asserted that God created Man in His own image and therefore one can deduce that reverse must be true, i.e. God must look like a man (not a woman, mind me).

By Source, Fair use, Link 

Vishnu from Bali

Vishnu from India

 

But if each religion had to follow Hinduism and depict their God in the form of a picture or a sculpture (murti), and assuming it is permitted, what would their deity look like.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill scholars went about addressing this issue for Christians. If Christians had to draw a picture of God, what would it look like. Now, this is not the first time that someone has dared to draw a face and picture of a Christian God. Many historic paintings available in Churches in Europe show God as an old white male with a white beard and this is what the scholars must have been expecting to come up with.

After showing a number of different photos (very much like mug shots) to devout Christians and asking them which photo resembles their God the most, they came up with a picture of a Christian God. They found that God comes not in one but in as many forms as human aspirations or groupings.

The researchers found that American Christians see God as young, white and loving. But those with views aligned to liberals see God as more feminine, more African-American, and more loving than conservatives. They see God as older, more intelligent, and more powerful. But everyone in the study seemed to see God as similar to themselves.

God and anti-God

Even though American Christians ostensibly believe in the same God, people perceived God in their own way, their perceptions reflecting their political ideologies and their own personal appearance,” the researchers found. When Christian believers think about God, they perceive a form suited to meet their needs and who looks like their own selves.

If people believe they live a godly life, they’re most likely to see a god that looks like themselves, and it might explain why one person’s perception of hypocrisy of some believers, isn’t to others, basically making their view of God conform to them rather than the other way around.

So, if Christians were to make deities in their churches of Christian God (not that they would or should), they are likely to end up with as many Christian Gods as in Hinduism. 

So, next time you are teased by a non-Hindu for being a Hindu with many Gods, quote this study and tell them to try and come up with a unique universally acceptable face or form of  their own God.

[You can read more about the university study here …. MPR News]

here [NBC ….]

and here [Science Alert ….]

By: Surinder Jain.

(acknowledgements wikipedia photos)

 

 

Are Westerners stealing Hindu Gods – Not all Hindus are Indians

The phenomenon of non-Indians adopting Hinduism is not new. However, the stories of how individuals came to the religion have not been regularly recorded. I hope to rectify that by time to time publishing interviews with those people who weren’t raised Hindu but now publicly identify as such, in the hopes of shedding some light on what drew them to Sanatana Dharma. By Mat McDermott

Click below to read their stories.

[Click here to read more ….]

The significance of Ganesha

Vedas refer to Ganesha as Gana Natha, the group leader. Vedic civilisation is based on mass cultivation and group living. A variety of rice known as ShaliPrasta was cultivated seasonally. The paddy saplings would be placed in a field to season. When seasoned it used to turn yellow in colour and this was known as Gaura Varna, referring to its colour. The group leader, Gana Natha, after prayers to all five elements, prithivi, vauyu, akasha, tejo, ap, would distribute the saplings to all groups based on their need and capability. Each group would replant their sapling. This is how concept of Gananatha or Ganesha came into existence.

Ganesha is also known as Shivas Son, an embodiment of auspiciousness. Ganesha has been described to have various roles in various yugas. He is creator in Sathya Yuga as called by Atharva rishi, Sustainer in Treta yuga, compiler of Mahabharatha in Dwapara yuga and remover of obstacles in present Kali yuga, as we know Him today.

As water is a significant resource for a civilisation based on cultivation the arrival of rain and rainy season is celebrated parallelly with measures taken for environmental and economic sustainability. Rain water brings with it fresh silt. This earth or clay was used to create murthy, offer prayers and oblations and be offered back to the water or river. This also serves as a means to cleanse the slit in water beds.

Symbolically Ganesha, has a big belly representing the fourteen universes, hiranya garbha, source of creation, good listener with a sharp vision and strength (tusk) to foresee and remove obstacles. The concept of holding one’s earlobes with both hand and squatting and standing-up a number of times was considered to plea to the Lord.  Considered to be an admonishing way for errant children it is now marketed as “super brain yoga”, a method to rejuvenate brain wellness.

Shubam Astu

Largest Vishnu statue in the world

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in the island of BaliIndonesia is devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu, and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. Planned to be established as a landmark or mascot of Bali, construction of the giant statue of Lord Vishnu who was riding his mount Garuda, as high as 120 meters is currently going on.

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

Designed to be the Indonesia’s tallest statue, Garuda Wisnu Kencana was inspired by Hindu mythology about the search for Amerta (the elixir of life). According to this myth, Garuda agreed to be ridden by Lord Wisnu in return for the right to use the elixir to liberate his enslaved mother.

(Acknowledgements : Wikipedia)

[Click here to read more ….]

Pakistan seals Hindu deities, may renovate the temple

There are many Hindu temples in Pakistan most of them in disarray, their land under threat of encroachment from selfish commercial interests or from terrorists.

A small Krishna temple was built by Kanji Mal and Ujagar Mal Ram Rachpal in 1897 to serve people in nearby areas. However, after partition and creation of a Muslim Pakistan in 1947, the street temple in Saddar became the only place of worship for Rawalpindi’s Hindus. The temple was reopened after partition in 1949; it was operated by local Hindus before being handed over to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in 1970.

Until the 1980s, Hindu diplomats living in Islamabad visited the temple to pray. Local Hindus have said the temple’s area should be expanded. Jag Mohan Arora said the temple courtyard, which can only accommodate 100 or so people, should be expanded, and shops next to the temple that the ETPB has leased to local traders should be retrieved to expand the front of the building.

[Click here to read more ….]

(acknowledgements: By Bilalakhtar148 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49331813)

Baffo Craft Brewery names a beer after ‘Lord Ganesha’

It seems that Lamb producers were not enough to insult Hindu Gods for a fast buck. Now a brewery in Palmi (Reggio Calabria, Italy) has decided to name one of its beers after revered Hindu God Ganesha. Lord Ganesha in Hindu religion is regarded as God of obstacles and worshiped.

Ganesha is described in the translated version of the Baffo website as moderately strong with a soft body double malt amber-colored craft beer in English IPA style, which is fabulous with meat and excellent with cold cuts (Alcohol 5.8%, IBU 56, EBC 21).

[Click here to read more ….]