Take a Quiz on Hindu History

Take a Quiz on Hindu History

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1. During British rule in India, name the first Hindu monk who gave the message of Hinduism to the west.

 
 
 
 

2. Which Muslim invader defeated Hindu kings in the Ganges valley and established an Islamic Sultanate in India?

 
 
 
 

3. How did Hindus continue to transmit Hinduism from one generation to next when there were so many restrictions on practicing any thing but Islam.

 
 
 
 

4. Did Hinduism spread to Philippines beyond Bali during 8th century? Yes/No

 
 

5. Namaste, the Hindu greeting, was well established during Indus civilization? Yes/No

 
 

6. Which people attacked India and ruled it for 800 years after that?

 
 
 
 

7. Name the Muslim invader who plundered and destroyed Somnath temple?

 
 
 
 

8. Chalukyas, Pallavas, Pandhayas and Cholas flourished as some of the largest Hindu kingdoms in which part of India?

 
 
 
 

9. Name the Hindu province that was the first Hindu province conquered by Muslim invaders?

 
 
 
 

10. Vedas referred to their land as?

 
 
 
 

11. Name the Hindu warrior who used latest technology, navy and stealth warfare to fight Moghul rulers in India.

 
 
 
 

12. Where does the earliest archaeological evidence point as the place where Hindu civilization develop?

 
 
 
 

13. Did Muslim force Hindus to convert to Islam at all? Yes/No

 
 

14. When was the Natyasastra – a Hindu text on performance arts that integrates Vedic ideology – was also completed?

 
 
 
 

15. Which of the four Vedas speaks of Saraswati as a mighty river originating in Himalayas?

 
 
 

16. Hindus adopted secularism for the first time when a new constitution of Independent India was adopted on January 26th 1950? Yes/No

 
 

17. Basic form of Hinduism as we know it today was well established by?

 
 
 
 

18. Name the two rivers along which Vedic Indus civilization flourished.

 
 
 
 

19. The earliest archaeological evidence for Hinduism dates back to more than 30,000BC?

 
 

20. Which century did almost all of of India come under Islamic rule?

 
 
 
 

21. When did the river Saraswati where Indus civilization developed, dry up?

 
 
 
 

22. Muslim rule in India was tolerant of Hindus all the time? Yes/No

 
 

23. Who discovered the concept of number zero?

 
 
 
 

24. Who in 1995 said that Hinduatva is a way of life.

 
 
 
 

25. What were Takshshila, Nalanda, Vikramshila and Valabhi famous for?

 
 
 
 

26. Name the largest religious building in the world?

 
 
 
 

27. Indus valley civilization was a peaceful civilization? Yes/No

 
 

28. Hindus were producing iron and steel as early as 400BC?

 
 

29. Name the Hindu activist who coined the term Hinduatva.

 
 
 
 

30. Indus valley civilization became the largest, most widespread civilization of the world in its time? Yes/No

 
 

31. Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world? Yes/No

 
 


Happy Galungan & Kuningan 9th June 2018

By Madya Lila.

This Balinese celebration of the triumph of dharma over adharma is one of the most auspicious days in the Balinese calendar and relates with the Diwali celebration of Hindus in other parts of the world. In Balinese, the word “Galungan” means victory and commemorates Indra’s victory over a tyrant king who prevented his subjects from practicing their religion. Balinese people make offerings, decorate their homes and temples, gather their whole family and visit temples to offer prayers. One of the most distinctive features of Galungan are the beautiful penjor decorations that line whole village streets. Penjors are long bamboo poles decorated with young coconut leaves, fruits and flowers. 

The tenth day of Galungan is the celebration of Kuningan when the ancestors and gods and goddesses who have visited the earth return to their heavenly homes. Kuningan is also the day when the Supreme Lord, known as Ida Sang Hyang Widhi, blesses and brings prosperity to the whole world. Balinese make special offerings of yellow turmeric rice on this farewell day as a symbol of their gratitude to God for the life, joy, wealth, health and prosperity given.

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)

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Bali Hindu temples Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu to get cleaned up

Two of Bali’s most iconic temples and popular tourist destinations, Tanah Lot and and Pura Ulun Danu will get cleaned ahead of the much anticipated IMF-World Bank meeting to take place on the island in October 2018.

Bali Province has been hard at work to make things on the island more “attractive” and functional in anticipation of the all the delegates and their families that the meeting will bring.

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Bali hotel apologizes for posting job ad seeking non-Hindu employees

 

A hotel in Hindu-majority Bali has apologized for a controversial job ad that called for only non-Hindu applicants.

The hotel, the Rich Prada Bali, located in Pecatu on the island’s Bukit Peninsula, claims its job postings weren’t meant to communicate a bias against Hindus but were rather advertised for “technical needs.” But the hotel’s ad was shared on social media, bringing it into the spotlight with netizens calling out discriminatory recruitment.

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Nyepi Ritual in Yogyakarta Using Holy Water from India

A total of 5,000 Hindus from Central Java and Yogyakarta joined Tawur Kesanga ritual to commemorate Nyepi Holy Day at Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta, on Friday, March 16. Since early morning, people flocked to the yard of Wisnu Mandala in Prambanan Temple Park (TWC) to conduct the ritual. “Tawur Agung Kesanga is a purification ceremony which is held one day before Nyepi Saka 1940,” said Committee Chairman of National Nyepi Laksda TNI I Nyoman Gede Ariawan.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Reliëf op de aan Shiva gewijde tempel op de Candi Lara Jonggrang oftewel het Prambanan tempelcomplex TMnr 10016191.jpg
By Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link (Ravan kidnapping Sita and fighting Jatayu)

The Prambanan temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. It is characterized by its tall and pointed architecture, typical of Hindu architecture, and by the towering 47-metre-high (154 ft) central building inside a large complex of individual temples.[2] Prambanan attracts many visitors from around the world.[3][4]

The Prambanan temple is the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and the first building was completed in the mid-9th century. It was likely started by Rakai Pikatan as the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty’s answer to the Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty’s Borobudur and Sewu temples nearby. Historians suggest that the construction of Prambanan probably was meant to mark the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after almost a century of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty domination. The construction of this massive Hindu temple signifies that the Medang court had shifted its patronage from Mahayana Buddhism to ShaiviteHinduism.

The temples collapsed during a major earthquake in the 16th century. Although the temple ceased to be an important center of worship, the ruins scattered around the area were still recognizable and known to the local Javanese people in later times. The statues and the ruins became the theme and the inspiration for the Loro Jonggrang folktale. After the division of Mataram Sultanate in 1755, the temple ruins and the Opak River were used to demarcate the boundary between Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo) Sultanates, which was adopted as the current border between Yogyakarta and the province of Central Java.

Prambanan Complex 1.jpg
By Gunawan KartapranataOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

The temple attracted international attention early in the 19th century. In 1811 during British short-lived occupation of the Dutch East IndiesColin Mackenzie, a surveyor in the service of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, came upon the temples by chance. Although Sir Thomas subsequently commissioned a full survey of the ruins, they remained neglected for decades. Dutch residents carried off sculptures as garden ornaments and native villagers used the foundation stones for construction material.

Half-hearted excavations by archaeologists in the 1880s facilitated looting. In 1918, the Dutch began reconstruction of the compound and proper restoration only in 1930. Efforts at restoration continue to this day. The reconstruction of the main Shiva temple was completed around 1953 and inaugurated by Sukarno. Since much of the original stonework has been stolen and reused at remote construction sites, restoration was hampered considerably. Given the scale of the temple complex, the government decided to rebuild shrines only if at least 75% of their original masonry was available. Most of the smaller shrines are now visible only in their foundations, with no plans for their reconstruction.

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The most sacred Hindu places of worship in Bali

Pura Lempuyang Luhur is one of the oldest and the most revered temple in BaliIndonesia. The temple is actually a collection of several temples along the hiking path to the summit. The main temple also the highest, the Pura Lempuyang Luhur, lies at 1,175m above sea level, up on the peak of the namesake Mount Lempuyang.[1]

The temple is located on Mount Lempuyang or Gamongan Hill, Bunutan village, Abang subdistrict, Karangasem, east Bali, around 10 kilometres north from Amlapura, the capital of Karangasem. The temple complex is dedicated to Ida Betara Hyang Iswara, the guardian of the east.[2] It is one of Sad Kahyangan Jagad or the “six sanctuaries of the world” which are the six holiest places of worship on Bali.

The most popular temple among visitors is the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang. With its towering white candi bentar split gate, three dragon stairs and three kori agung gates, this compound has a spectacular view to the west overlooking Mount Agung, the highest volcano in Bali.

The temple consists of several temples along the hiking path to the summit of Mount Lempuyang or also known as Gamongan Hill in eastern Bali. The temples along the hiking track among others areː

  • Pura Puncak Bisbis
  • Pura Pasar Agung
  • Pura Lempuyang Luhur

Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple, is the crown jewel of the complex (and also its namesake). It sits atop the mountain’s peak, which is believed to be its most sacred spot. Those who make it to the top are rewarded with a peaceful sanctuary and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

 

The establishment of places of worship around Mount Lempuyang is believed to predate the majority of Hindu temples on the island of Bali.[1] The puras of Mount Lempuyang, represented by Pura Lempuyang Luhur, the highest temple in the area, is grouped one complex of pura which represents the Pura Sad Kahyangan Luhur Lempuyang. The temple groups are considered as part of the Sad Kahyangan Jagad, or the “six sanctuaries of the world”, the six holiest places of worship on Bali. According to Balinese beliefs, they are the pivotal points of the island and are meant to provide spiritual balance to Bali.[2] The temple groups of Mount Lempuyang is also one of the group of temples in Bali known as Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana. Each of the temple in the Pura Kahyangan Padma Bhuwana marked each of the eight cardinal directions. Pura Lempuyang Luhur represents the direction of east (purwa) and the color white. This direction is associated with the domain of Balinese the god Iswara.[3]

Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang was restored in 2001.

The piodalan or puja wali festival (pura’s anniversary) of Pura Penataran Agung is held once every 6 months every Waraspati (Thursday) or one day after the Galungan festival.[7]

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Jakarta President urges Hindu community to improve quality of human resources

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called on the Hindu community to improve the quality of human resources and to prepare for facing global challenges and rapid industrial development. “Global challenges necessitate Hindus to become more intelligent, creative, and innovative in responding to the changes,” President Jokowi remarked in his speech while attending the commemoration of Dharma Santi National Seclusion Day in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Saturday.

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Thousands of Hindus in Klaten perform Melasti at spring

Jakarta Post12 Mar. 2018
Performed on Sunday, March 11, by thousands of Hindus in Klaten, the Melasti ritual was held to mark the beginning of the ceremonies prior to Nyepi (Hindu Day of Silence) which will be commemorated on March 17. Klaten is one of the biggest Hindu structures in Indonesia. Melasti is a Hindu Balinese purification ceremony and ritual, which according to Balinese calendar is held several days prior to the Nyepi holy day. It is observed by Hindus in Indonesia, especially in Bali. Despite most devotees performing Melasti on the beach, Hindus in Klaten chose Umbul …
 

Nyepi – Balanese Hindus celebrate Saka Calendar Hindu New Year

 Nyepi is a Hindu celebration mainly celebrated in BaliIndonesia. It is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The day following Nyepi is celebrated as Hindu New Year’s Day. The same day celebrated in India as Ugadi. Nyepi is  commemorated every Isakawarsa (Saka new year) according to the Balinese calendar (in 2018, it fell on March 17).

The Hindus of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा). The Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as Cheti Chand, which is the beginning of their calendar year. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year as Sajibu Nongma Panba on the same day. The Hindus of Andhra Pradesh also celebrate their new year on the same day as Ugadi.

The Melasti Ritual is performed 3–4 days beforehand Nyepi. It is dedicated to Sanghyang Widhi Wasa. The ritual is performed in Pura (Balinese temple) near the sea (Pura Segara) and meant to purify Arca, Pratima, and Pralingga (sacred objects) belonging to several temples, also to acquire sacred water from the sea.The Bhuta Yajna Ritual is performed next to vanquish the negative elements and create a balance with God, Mankind, and Nature. The ritual is also meant to appease Batara Kala by Pecaruanoffering of live animal sacrifice. Around sunset the “Pengrupukan” ceremony begins in the house compounds with the noisy banging of pots and pans and bamboo tubes along with burning of dried coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons.

Most Hindu Balinese villages make ogoh-ogoh, demonic statues made of richly painted bamboo, cloth, tinsel, and styrofoam symbolizing negative elements or malevolent spirits or even characters from Hindu mythology. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village, they are burned in the cemeteries although many are displayed in front of community halls for another month or more and sometimes even purchased by museums and collectors.

Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali’s usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.

In 2018, a parade of 7,000 exhibits including a joint Narsimha sanhaar was paraded on the streets.

The Nyepi Rituals are performed as Amati Geni: No fire or light, including no electricity, Amati Karya: No working, Amati Lelunganan: No travelling and Amati Lelanguan: Fasting and no revelry/self-entertainment. The Yoga/Brata Ritual starts at 6:00 a.m. and continues to 6:00 a.m. the next day. The Ngembak Agni/Labuh Brata Ritual is performed for all Hindus to forgive each other and to welcome the new days to come. Finally, The Dharma Shanti Rituals is performed after all the Nyepi rituals are finished.

The day following Nyepi is also celebrated as New Year’s Day. On this day, the youth of Bali in the village of Sesetan in South Bali practice the ceremony of Omed-omedan or ‘The Kissing Ritual’ to celebrate the new year.

On the day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the Fire), social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious rituals together. Fires and electricity are allowed again, and cooking of food resumes.

(Source Wikipedia)