Mahadeva’s 11 Rudra Avatars
Rudra literally means “he who has a fearsome cry In the Shata-Rudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana, Mahadeva’s 11 Rudra Avatars are mentioned with great reverence. The actual number of Rudras is incomprehensible, with Hindu texts and hymns such as the powerful Shatarudriya from the Vedic Samhitas describing a hundred thousand forms of Rudra. In the Vedic religion, he is a supreme deity, who creates and destroys and has the responsibility of looking after every living being. Since then, Rudra has developed into an aspect of Shiva, and in the Puranic literature, his eleven most powerful forms are mentioned, listening or reading about which is believed to remove sins and negativity from life.
Published in Jul 2024
Unlocking The Secrets of Vastu Shastra: A Comprehensive Guide
Vastu Shastra is an ancient Sanskrit manual of architectural and scientific writings that was formed around 3000 BC, it contains Vastu vidya which is a broader collection of principles of designs. Vastu Shashtra includes layouts of houses, roads, shops, gardens, and even designs of the Mandir. Pandits were the architects of Vastu Shashtra popularly known as Sthapati. Few theories suggest that the formation of the Indus Valley Civilization including cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro was planned according to the Vastu Shastra. Vastu Shastra's main intent is to harmonize and balance the flow of energies, wherein the directional alignment is solely to promote prosperity and a positive aura. Vastu Doshas are imbalances in a space that can lead to issues like career obstacles, mental stress, relationship differences, and economic instability. It could be of several different types like residential vaastu, commercial vaastu, spiritual vastu, and Vastu in daily life. Most houses and buildings these days are not built according to the Vastu Shashtra, in most cases we cannot change the layout of the interiors so, focus on ways to balance the negative elements and remove the doshas from the place.
Published in Jul 2024
Shukra: The Planet Venus in Indian Culture
He is the master or Guru of the Asuras, thus known as Daityaguru. He is also considered a bestower of beauty, luxury, and royalty and he is an expert on the matters of statecraft and administration. He is Shukra, the Lord of the Planet Venus. Shukra literally means “brilliant” or “clear”, referring to his association with the color white and the beautiful white diamond. And brilliant he is. A master of Neeti and the knower of Mrita-Sanjeevani, the art of bringing the dead back to life, Shukra is probably one of the most powerful and enigmatic members of the Navagraha.
Published in Jul 2024
All About The Budhanilkantha Temple: History & Stories
The historic Budhanilkantha temple is located at the foothills of Shivapuri Hill in Nepal near its capital Kathmandu. The hill is a treasure trove of the unbound beauty of nature, with rich flora and fauna, attracting many tourists to the spot. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu from whose pores of body innumerable universes come out. Although its construction period is not clearly known, it is believed to have existed since above 1500 years. It serves as a holy place for thousands of pilgrims among Hindus and Buddhists of Nepal who consider the deity of Lord Vishnu as Lord Buddha.
Published in Jul 2024
Mohini: Lord Vishnu’s Female Form in Hindu Culture
One of the most interesting legends from the treasures of Hindu literature is the story of Mohini, Vishnu’s form as a divine female, whose beauty is unparalleled. From the dramatic episode of Samudra-Manthana (churning of the ocean by gods and demons) to the bewildering scene of Bhasmasura’s defeat by her charms, Mohini is a popular presence in Indian religion and folklore. The embodiment of “Moha '' (allure, the divine mirage) that enchants every being, Mohini is the representation of Vishnu’s subtle and ever-present powers that run the Universe.
Published in Jul 2024
Rahu-Ketu: The Twin Planets in Indian Culture
Rahu and Ketu in Hindu religion and astrology are two names that cause fear and confusion. Associated with darkness, eclipse, and mischief, these two planetary deities are an integral part of the Navagraha cluster despite their shadowy origins. Originally a single demon, Rahu and Ketu have significant effects on the life of an individual, making them popular among those who believe in Jyotisha. Who are Rahu-Ketu, why are they feared and do they have any positive impact? This blog is dedicated to answering these questions and solving the enigma that is Rahu-Ketu.
Published in Jul 2024
Hindu God & Goddess Statues for Different Festivals and Occasions
Hinduism is an ancient and rich cultural tradition, enriched by practices as old as human civilization. Pilgrimage, worship, festive celebrations, and special rituals, are many ways in which religiosity is expressed and celebrated in India and Hindu culture. Among the different methods, one in particular- the worship of statues of gods and goddesses is a historical and powerful tradition. From the simple local temples of the early days to the grand structures of the early medieval period and the beautiful home Puja ghar that we see today, Hindu gods and goddesses established in the form of large and small statues are not just representational but are seen as the presence of the deity in the human world. Though every icon is powerful and auspicious always, there are special Hindu festivals on which a certain god or goddess is awakened more powerfully, and bringing their statue home on that particular festival ensures that the devotee experiences their positive impact more strongly in their lives.
Published in Jul 2024
Rama-Katha:  Exploring the Many Ramayanas Across India and Beyond
Tulsidas could not have been more right when he wrote these lines. Centuries after him, when A.K. Ramanujan, a scholar of Sanskrit and Indian culture, began his quest for Ramayana across India and the world, the sheer number and retellings that he witnessed were awe-inspiring. As an ode to the many Ramayanas that he got to know about, and for the many more that existed, hidden in their locales, Ramanujan wrote “Three Hundred Ramayanas”, a work popular world over for its exploration of the many Ramayanas. What the philosophy of Tulsidas and the scholarly journey of Ramanujan have in common is how they underline the awesome number of Rama stories. The central character of Sri Rama is the same in all these tales.
Published in Jul 2024
Hindu Goddesses Statues For Feminine Energy And Power
Goddesses in Hindu culture or Sanatan Dharma, the oldest religion in the world, are linked with divine feminine energy – the nurturing and compassionate aspect of the Godhead. The Shaktism school of Hindu tradition considers Shakti (feminine energy) as the ultimate source of all creation and the cause of the maintenance and destruction of the material universe. In contrast, the Vaishnavas claim Lord Vishnu as the Supreme cause of all causes and the original Personality of Godhead. Goddesses are the internal potencies of the male consorts and assist them in their various material and spiritual affairs. This can be understood through the analogy of fire. Fire has the characteristics of light and heat. Without these elements, it cannot be regarded as fire. This means that light and heat are inseparable parts and parcels of fire. Similarly, Goddess or Shakti is the internal energy of the Godhead and cannot ever be separated from Him. The root cause of energy is the energetic.
Published in Jul 2024
How to incorporate antique-looking artifacts into modern decor: Historic and ancient additions
A home should be a collective representation of the things you find meaningful and love which helps spread an ambiance throughout the space that will end up being a good combination between the old and new which will surely provide a fresh and different look rather than a shabby one. Rustic pieces have been appreciated lately as a collector's item for some and decor for many, whatever your reason might be, antiques are a great way of portraying detailed craftsmanship into a modern design. There is a huge variety of finds that one can look for to add more uniqueness and jazz to your space without thinking much about it. Let’s look for ways to incorporate textured artifacts into your already existing modern decor.
Published in Jul 2024
What Does Goddess Durga's Weapons Symbolizes?
Goddess Durga is one of the most revered and worshiped figures in Hinduism and is considered the manifestation of Shakti (energy aspect of the Divine). The followers of the Shakti sect of Hinduism regard Goddess Durga as the ultimate Truth and the Supreme deity. She is the source of creation, maintenance, and destruction and is worshiped in various forms such as Parvati and Kali. In Shaivism, the position of Durga Devi is seen as the divine consort of Lord Shiva who is always ready to support him in his cosmic affairs. She plays the role of a nurturing mother and shows immense compassion towards all the conditioned souls in the material world. The Shaivites often worship Mother Durga in the form of Goddess Parvati who resides with Lord Shiva in Kailash, the eternal abode of the lord.
Published in Jun 2024
Mangala: The Planet Mars in Indian Culture
In the earliest texts- the Veda and the literary tradition that follows, Mangala appears not as a planetary deity but as a term that means “auspiciousness”. Patanjali’s grammatical work and Mimamsa tradition also mention Mangala, not in its astrological sense but as a blissful and fortunate state. In the Markandeya Purana, a unique stotram known as “Kavacham” or shield is mentioned, dedicated to Mangala. This Mangala Kavacham is recited to bring benevolence of the planet in the life of an individual. The Puranas and their discussions on astrology are thus places where stories of Mangala, the Lord of Mars are best preserved.
Published in Jun 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Spiritual Home Decor: Make Space for The Divine
In a world where work and life balance are getting tough and time for your personal growth and spiritual upliftment is difficult to find, the best way to feel positive is by creating spaces for yourself that are welcoming, optimistic, and full of lively energy. In Indian culture, for centuries people have been establishing icons of gods and goddesses, auspicious symbols, and sacred objects in their homes as powerful spiritual home decor. A spiritual decor piece could be an icon of a deity, an ancient symbol, Vaastu, and Feng shui pieces- basically, any decorative item that has a venerated value.
Published in Jun 2024
The Importance of Puranas in Hinduism
The Puranas are widely revered Hindu spiritual texts. They comprise descriptions of the universe, from its creation to destruction. The Puranas also include the origins of various deities, kings, idols, and sages. Some of the Puranas preach cosmology, geography, and Hindu ideology. These holy texts tell us mythological stories of gods and goddesses. You can learn about the deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Parvati, Durga, etc, from the sacred text of Purana. As per legends, the Puranas are based on five matters or facts. These are the preliminary creation of the universe, secondary creation after systematic collapse, the origin of gods and patriarchs, the regimes of the Manus, considered the first humans, and the history of the various dynasties. There are a total of 18 main Puranas, also known as Mahapuranas. Each Purana tells stories ranging from mythology to geographic narrations. Let’s go through the origin, significance & different types of Hindu Puranas.
Published in Jun 2024
Yoga Darshana: Philosophy of Yoga in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras
“Yoga is a lifestyle”. This sentence has become the simplest definition and expression of what Yoga is. From the villages of India to the sprawling modern spaces of Europe and America, Yog or Yoga is one of the most popular practices that transcend the boundaries of culture and geography. Yet, beyond the aforementioned line, not much is actually known about Yoga, its practice, and its philosophy in the popular sphere. Then how can we know what exactly is Yoga? Thankfully, the solution to this conundrum was formulated centuries ago. In ancient India, a Maharishi (great sage) by the name of Patanjali compiled the philosophy of Yoga in “sutras”, literally “threads”, or short formulations in Sanskrit, which contain the oceanic knowledge of Yoga.
Published in Jun 2024
Devguru Brihaspati - Jupiter, The Great Teacher of Gods
Guru (the great or heavy one) or Brihaspati are the names of the teacher of Gods, a position given to Jupiter in Indian culture. A prime and powerful member of the Navagraha Mandala, Brihaspati rules the spheres of wisdom and knowledge and is one of the few Graha (planets) that are mostly auspicious for a person. It is said that even when an individual has a weak Brihaspati in their Kundali or birth chart, the grand planet (due to its massive size), with a big heart, tries its best to bestow them with positive or neutral results. A planet that guides one as a patient and magnanimous master, Guru or Brihaspati is royalty among the Nine Planets. Let us know a few interesting things about this great planet-
Published in Jun 2024
What is the Best Way to Read Upanishad Books? - Unlocking the Wisdom
Upanishads, literally, “to sit near” (one’s teacher or Guru or a learned personality), in Indian tradition are a group of literature belonging to the Vedanta (the end of the Vedas), which describe the divine Vedic knowledge in an explanatory tone. It is a collection of several books (18 to 108 and more), the wisdom of great sages on matters of samsara (world flow), presenting knowledge that removes agyaan or ignorance and paves the way to the supreme truth. Upanishads contain discussions on the material and metaphysical nature of the world and can be seen as the seeds of Hindu philosophy as we know it today.
Published in Jun 2024
Why Puranas Are The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Hinduism’s Secrets
In the Kaliyuga which is the age of hypocrisy and quarrel, to understand the Absolute Truth is not easy unless guided by a bona fide spiritual master. To find a bona fide Guru is in itself a challenging situation. The spiritual master (Guru), the devotees (Sadhu), and the Vedic scriptures (Shastra) are the authoritative sources for gaining spiritual knowledge. The Vedic scriptures, according to the Vedas, are coming directly from the Supreme Lord Himself. They deal with both material and spiritual knowledge and were compiled by Shri Vyasadev around five thousand years ago for the benefit of the rare inquisitive people in this disturbed age of Kali. The general mass of the population is engrossed in gratifying their senses through material pleasure and knows nothing about the ultimate goal of human life.
Published in Jun 2024
Budha (बुध): God of Planet Mercury & Ruler of Intellect
Born out of the romance of Chandra, the Hindu Moon-God, and Tara, the wife of Jupiter, Budha, the planet Mercury has one of the most interesting tales among the Navagraha or Nine planet cluster. In Hindu astrology, also known as Jyotisha Vidya, Budha is the ruler of intellect, who bestows intelligence and wisdom and guides a person towards good or bad decisions. The controller of Budhi or mental faculties, Budha is a powerful planetary deity in Hinduism, worshipped to gain stability and strength of mind.
Published in Jun 2024
What is Hindu Iconography? A Beginner's Guide
The Hindu iconography enables us to identify the respective deities in their visual or sculptural presentations. The symbolism also connects the deities with a distinct characteristic or discipline. Some major symbols in Hinduism are the Swastika, Om, Trishula, Shanka, lotus flower, Lingam, and lamp. In Hinduism, images are notable tools of devotion and prayer. And iconology is the analysis of the symbols in a sacred image. These images are created from wood, stone, metal, or painted on paper or cloth. Vedas are the origins of all principles of Indian culture. Hindu deities in various forms are praised in the Vedas. Their icons or idols are mentioned in the eulogies of Vedas. Besides, different sects of Brahmin religion, such as Shaivite, Vaishnavism, Shakt, and Solar, belong to Siva, Vishnu, Shakti, and Sun deities respectively. In the same way, Jain and Buddhism are related to Tirthankaras and Buddhas.
Published in Jun 2024
Chandra Dev: The Hindu God of Moon
Shining brightly in the sky, some days more than others, the Moon in popular culture is a symbol of love, romance, and beauty. The ancient Hindu texts, however, mention the Moon as an intriguing and powerful being, worshiped by sages as Chandra. Known by names such as Indu, Soma, and Rajnipati (Lord of the Night), Chandra according to Hindu mythology was born three times- from the mind of Brahma, as the son of Atri and Anusuya and the third time, after being drowned in the ocean, emerging from it during the Samudra Manthana or churning of the ocean.
Published in Jun 2024
Agni Dev - The Hindu God of Fire
The son of Rishi Kashyap and Aditi, Agni earlier was only meant to consume sacred, ritual offerings, poured in the Kunda or altar and bring it to the gods. He was born to be the mediator between the world of humans and the heavens. On one of the days, Agni saw the wives of the Saptarishi, or seven sages, who were very beautiful and was attracted to them. However, he could not approach them because it would have been immoral to propose marriage to the already married women. A witness to all this was Swaha, the daughter of Prajapati Daksha, who was in love with Agni, who seemed to be smitten by other women. Not losing heart, Swaha wittily transformed herself into the wives of the Saptarishis and reached Agni with her loving proposal.
Published in Jun 2024
Shani Jayanti 2024: Everything You Need to Know About Shani Dev
Receiving the fruits of one’s acts in the afterlife is one thing, but there is one Hindu god who keeps a keen, unwavering eye on all our actions, and accordingly with the firmness of a judge, gives good or bad results of our Karma during our lifetimes. He is Shani, Shanishchara (one who chara or walks shaneh or slowly), Saturn, the son of Bhagwan Surya, and one of the Navagraha or nine planets. This year Shani Jayanti or the birth anniversary of Lord Shani is to be celebrated on 6th June 2024, in different parts of India, where temples of the planet god are situated. Let us get to know a few things about Lord Shani, a powerful, popular but misunderstood divinity in Hindu culture.
Published in Jun 2024
The Best Books on Modern Indian History
Before we search for the best history books on modern India, it is crucial to know which period of Indian history is considered to be modern. India has a vast history enriched with various social & political hegemony. So it is quite difficult to periodize the exact time that we can define as the modern historical period. There was the Vedic era, Hindu, Buddhist & Mughal era followed by the British Raj, but none indicates the beginning of the modern era. However, with the establishment of British rule, people were inclined towards Western education. This trend developed the knowledge of citizenship, people’s rights, administration, social security, etc among them. This new wave gave birth to a social reformation in India that became the approach towards modern India.
Published in May 2024
The Brass Tree Vs Smart Writer: Friends Turned Foes
It was last summer, the month of May when I first encountered the magnificent Brass Tree. My manager asked me to write a product description for it as it was a popular product and had garnered significant interest, almost as if it were the Deigo Maradona of home decor items or the Pani Puri of Brass Items- always in demand. Seeing its images made me curious and smitten at the same time. It looked regal.
Published in May 2024
Buddhist Artifacts- A Symbol of Visual Mythology Across Cultures
Ancient Buddhist art was started in present-day India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The time was a few centuries after Lord Buddha lived in this land, 6th to 5th century BCE. Buddhist art is a sacred illustration created in the context of Buddhism. The famous arts include portrayals of Gautama Buddha and other bodhisattvas. Prominent Buddhist sculptures, both historical and mythical, narrate backgrounds from their lives. Besides, Mandala art and other physical objects related to the practice of Buddhism are equally popular. Some of these sacred objects are vajras, bells, stupas, and Buddhist temple architecture.
Published in May 2024
10 Popular Customs Traditions In Indian Culture
India is a land of cultural diversity. Every mile, you will find a change in the language, food, clothing, and people’s lifestyles. So much colorfulness and the spirit of enthusiasm is infused in the traditions across 28 countries and 8 Union Territories that are not seen in any other culture in this world. Indian culture is full of many customs and traditions which are deeply rooted in ancient literature and scriptures. Each custom is associated with a certain significance in the life of an individual. Out of so many of these, we are here to mention 10 customs and traditions which are the essence and make India special in the eyes of all.
Published in May 2024
Aligarh Brass Art: Unlocking the Artistic Stories of the City of Locks
Upon entering the brass factory in Aligarh, I found a structure that was in no way fitting my definition of a “factory”. With an uneven mud floor, a makeshift roof supported by steel pillars, walls painted with a thick layer of soot and dust on which hang the bags and clothes of the artists, and a portable stove on which the Kaarigars (craftsmens) were making their tea, the space looked more like a hastily developed village than a factory.
Published in May 2024
Buddha Purnima: Celebrating The Enlightened One
Buddha Purnima is one of the major festivals celebrated worldwide, as it holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists around the world. Buddha Purnima is widely known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti along with many more names depending on the region. It is a sacred occasion that commemorates the birth, Nirvana, and Mahaparinirvana of Sidharth Gautama, the historical Buddha, whose teachings continue to inspire and guide countless individuals on the path to awakening called thrice Blessed Festival.
Published in May 2024
Lord Jagannath Puri Yatra : A Symbol of Devotion and Unity
India, the land of festivals is host to many colorful celebrations and the most grand of these is the Rath Yatra in Puri. It is hosted in honor of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra, and their sister Devi Subhadra. They are the deities who reside in the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri, Odisha. The festival involves devotees pulling the chariots of the deities. Thousands of devotees participate in the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra. This year the Lord Jagannath Puri Yatra will be organized on 7 July 2024. It is celebrated annually on the second day of the fortnight of the month of Ashadh as per the Hindu calendar.
Published in May 2024
Buddha Purnima 2024: The Day of Birth, Nirvana and Enlightenment of Lord Buddha
Buddha Purnima in 2023 is expected to be celebrated on Friday, 5th May. Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak or Buddha Jayanti, is a major Buddhist festival that marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the lunar month of Vesakha, which falls in April or May according to the Gregorian calendar. The day of birth of Lord Buddha is celebrated as Buddha Purnima or Vesak, which is one of the most important festivals in the Buddhist calendar. According to tradition, Buddha was born on the full moon day in the month of Vesakha (April or May), around 2,500 years ago in Lumbini, Nepal. The exact date of his birth is a matter of debate among scholars, but the celebration of Vesak is typically held on the full moon day of the month of Vesakha, which falls between late April and early May.
Published in Apr 2024
Devi in Art: How Indian Art Traditions Honor Goddesses
As Navaratri arrives, every devotee observing the nine nights of the goddess begins preparing to welcome and worship Durga and her various forms. From brass, copper, bronze, stone, and wood statues to paintings of the great goddess in her different aspects, Navaratri highlights the ways in which Hindu culture remembers and celebrates Devi. Going back to the ancient period, when the divinity of the goddess was represented through powerful symbols and simple iconography, Indian art has a plethora of ways in which Devi is commemorated. Looking at a few gems from Indian paintings, this article memorializes how Indian art traditions honor Hindu goddesses.
Published in Apr 2024
Story of Goddess Varahi Amman | Benefits of Worshipping
In the Hindu Religion, “Varahi” is one of the “Matrikas,” a group of seven mother goddesses. Bearing the head of a sow, “Varahi” is the shakti (feminine energy) of “Lord Varaha,” the boar incarnation (avatar) of the god Vishnu. In Nepal, Varahi is known as Barahi. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, She is revered as “Dandini”. Varahi is not only venerated in the sect of Shaktism, but also in Shaivism (devotees of Shiva) and Vaishnavism (devotees of Vishnu). She is usually worshipped at night, using secretive Vamamarga Tantric practices. The Buddhist goddesses Vajravarahi and Marichi have their origins in the Hindu goddess Varahi.
Published in Apr 2024
Chaitra Navaratri - The Festive Season with Scriptural Wisdom
Durga literally translates to “she who is difficult to attain”, however, one of her dhyana-mantra worshiped her as “Durgati-Nashini” or “she who ends evil or misfortune”. Simply put, goddess Durga is the ultimate deity, the beginning, sustenance, and end of creation. She is Srishti (creation), Maya (the visual and experienced world around), and Kali (the annihilator). In all the sects and traditions of the country, her presence is felt in one form or the other.
Published in Apr 2024
Kerala Mural Paintings: Origin & Making Process of Mural Art
The state of Kerala, “known as ‘God’s own country,” has a diverse range of religious influences in its crafts, which are preserved and protected for traditional and cultural preservation. Mural painting, practiced in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is one such art style with a strong religious impact. This art style represents the pinnacle of India’s creative legacy. Kerala’s mural painting art is noted for its quality, displaying a wonderful narrative in clear and powerful strokes with brilliant and lovely colors.
Published in Apr 2024
Phad Artwork: A Journey into Rajasthan's Rich Cultural Heritage
India has a diverse and vibrant cultural heritage. The essential aspect is that we, the people of India, have maintained that tradition alive. In our current lives, we may still see remnants of our rich cultural heritage. We take pride in our ancestry. Painting is also an important aspect of our culture. There are several painting styles that originated in India and have legends related to them. One such painting style is Phad painting (Chitra).
Published in Apr 2024
Classification of Nyingma Lineage Through Refugee Tree
The word Nyingma means ‘Ancient’, It holds the oldest and perhaps the most mystical tradition among all the Tibetan Buddhist Traditions. Nyingma Lineage is one of the four Tantric Buddhist lineages and Nyingma lineage was started by Padmasambhava in the 8th century when he introduced Buddhism in Tibet. The Nyingma Lineage emphasizes the importance of direct realization and the transmission of teachings from master to disciple, embodying the essence of Tantric Buddhism. Rooted in the most profound teachings of Padmasambhava, also known as Goru Rinpche, the Nyingma tradition has been preserved and transmitted through generations.
Published in Mar 2024
Types of Indian Bridal Jewelry
It is not a hidden fact that a bride in India is supposed to dazzle in her wedding with her bridal jewelry and not look lesser than the grand wedding venue. In India, we have the term called Solah Shringar, its literal meaning is sixteen adornments, in Indian tradition for the longest time through ancient times it is believed that a bride should adorn herself with sixteen adornments. This tradition started from the story of Rati, the wife of Kamdev, who is the God of love. As Rati was engaged in the presence of goddess Lakshmi, she was blessed with the sixteen adornments from Lakshmi, to impress and marry Kamdev. Of the sixteen adornments that were blessed by goddess Lakshmi, each of the adornments carries its own meaning. The list of solah shringar carries Sindoor, Maangtika, Keshapsharachana, Bindi, Kajal, Karn Phool(flowers of the ears/ earrings), Nath, Haar (necklace), Bajuband, Bangles, Hathphool, mehendi, Kamarband, Payal (Anklet), Itar, bridal outfit. Let's discuss some important jewelry that is worn by Indian brides.
Published in Mar 2024
Holi in India: A Journey Through Paintings
Sweets and savory dishes on plates, bowls of colors, Gulal in the air, people singing Phaag (folk songs celebrating Phagun or the month of Holi), fervor, and joy all around- the arrival of Holi is a time when everyone welcomes energy, newness, and life with open arms. In the states of India, people have different ways of celebrating the festival with their loved ones. This ancient festival of colors seems to be one of the most important occasions for the people of India till modern times. In this blog, we will relish the vibrancy of Holi through the colors of Indian painting. With each brushstroke and eye-catching color filling the canvas with eternal colors, these paintings perfectly capture the essence of Holi for India and its people.
Published in Mar 2024
Vasant: Spring Season in Indian Culture
In the Satikhanda of Rudrasamhita of Shiva Purana, the conversation between Kamadeva and Lord Brahma is described. The lord of love asks the creator, for a powerful companion and weapons, for his task of bringing Shiva out of his meditative state. As Brahma draws a deep breath, a young man, ornamented with garlands of flowers is born, brimming with beauty, and complete with all auspicious features. He was Vasant. The dark-skinned Vasant brought with him a bloom of nature- causing flowers to blossom and birds to sing, which transformed the ambiance into a heavenly one. Seeing this, Brahma was pleased and introduced the divine man to Kamadeva as his friend. Vasant from the moment of his birth was to accompany Kamadeva, empowering and amplifying his effects on all beings. By quickly transforming the state of space, Vasant has the power to cause romance, love, affection, and bliss, making it a welcome presence in the culture of India.
Published in Mar 2024
Maha Shivaratri and its Stories from the Puranas
Maha Shivaratri- “the extraordinary or great night of Shiva” in Hindu tradition and Shaiva devotion is one of the most powerful occasions for celebrating the auspicious and eternal Shiva. Falling in the month of February-March, Maha Shivaratri commemorates the divine union of Shiva and Shakti by the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, but many also celebrate the occasion as a victory of Shiva over the forces of Tripuri in his Tripurantaka form. In Kashmir Shaivism, where Tantra reigns supreme, devotees observe the Hara-Ratri or night of Hara (Shiva) and Bhairavotsava- the union of Bhairava and Bhairavi, potent and Tantric forms of Shiva and Parvati. For others, Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva performs his legendary Tandava. As we eagerly look forward to this celebration of Shiva and Shiva-tattva (the essence of Shiva), let us revisit a few divine tales of Shiva from the Puranas and devotional traditions of the country and be mesmerized by the otherworldly yet easily pleased primordial one.
Published in Mar 2024
7 Common Lessons From The Religions of the World
When we think about religious teachings all religions in the world largely talk about topics like the purpose of life, the nature of existence, and the difference between the right and the wrong paths of life. These teachings are important because they help us live a meaningful life and often guide us when we need it the most. Most of these teachings are compiled in the sacred texts of the various religions like the Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism and the Guru Granth Sahib of Sikhism among many other holy texts. It is from these religious lessons that we can take out the most important teachings that can be followed in life. Be it Christian beliefs or the teachings of Hinduism and Sikhism. There are some lessons that we learn from all religions in the world. Let’s take a look at 7 of them.
Published in Feb 2024
Understanding The Science of Tibetan Healing and Medicine
For the longest time the high altitudes of the Tibetan plateau guarded a well kept secret until it came to be known by the world, the science of Tibetan healing and traditional Tibetan medicines. It is called Sowa Rigpa in Tibetan language which means the science of healing. It is an ancient medical science which is almost 2500 years old and has survived the test of time. Apart from Ayurvedic medicine, it is one of the few medical sciences that aim to harness the power of natural medicine.
Published in Feb 2024
Understanding the Wheel of Life: Through Thangka
Traditionally the wheel of life is called Bhavacakra, it is a symbolic representation of Samsara and is deeply rooted in Buddhist teachings, particularly in Tibetan Buddhism. The Bhavacakra is derived from bhava, which means “being, worldly existence, becoming, birth, being, production, origin,” means “wheel” or “circle.” These delicate artworks contain profound philosophical concepts within their detailed visuals, offering practitioners a visual roadmap for spiritual growth and self-awareness. Wheel of life thangkas are commonly found outside the Indo-Tibetan region's Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries. Wheel of Life thangka serves as a visual aid for understanding the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth along with the causes of suffering, and the path to enlightenment.
Published in Feb 2024
What Does White Marble Symbolize?
Here, we’ll talk about the spiritual meaning of marble/stone rocks. Mostly, these marble /stone rocks say a lot about how solid, stable, or firm we are in life. When these meanings relate to our real life, they will help us grow. Sometimes, we may fail to see the great message of hope that these things bring to us. Rocks can warn or tell us about our good traits. Let’s find out more about these meanings.
Published in Feb 2024
The Story of the Buddha in Sculptures
From the earliest artistic depictions of Bharhut, Sanchi, Amaravati, Nagajunkonda, and the marvelous statues of Gandhara and Mathura, Buddhist art has translated the wisdom of the Buddha into stone and metal. Condensing his immeasurable virtues and venerable life in art, sculptures of the Buddha offer a chance to the followers of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, to witness the aura of the Enlightened One, and be guarded by his light to the supreme brilliance of Bodhi.
Published in Feb 2024
Love in Indian Paintings: The Many Expressions of Prema, Sringaar and Kama
Rajput paintings, from different sub-schools, depict the scenes of Radha and Krishna in the forests or gardens of Vrindavana, where Radha appears in the garments of Krishna as the blue-skinned Krishna veils his face with the chunri of Radha. Some of the inscriptions that accompany classic Ragamala paintings identify Ragini Bhairavi as a maiden (unmarried young woman), who is enamored by the aura of Bhairava, and with a single-minded devotional love, prays to Shiva, for receiving the hand of Bhairava in marriage. Seeing these artworks transports the audience into the romantic world of the subjects- a realm away from the narrowness of the world, where all expressions of Prema, Sringaar, and Kama have found an eternal, aesthetic haven.
Published in Feb 2024
The History and Significance of the Shri Nath Ji Temple in Nathdwara
The sacred land of India is home to many beautiful temple towns that are visited by millions of devotees every year and one of them is Nathdwara which lies approximately 48 kilometers North-East of Udaipur. The town is popular because it is home to the idol of Shri Nath Ji which is a child form of Lord Krishna. He is the main presiding deity of the Nathdwara temple and is worshiped by many devotees throughout the year. He is mainly worshiped in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan by the devotees of the Pushtimarg sect of Vaishnavism which was founded by Shri Vallabhacharya and follows the Bhagavat Purana. It is believed by devotees that the face and arms of Shri Nath Ji emerged from the Govardhan Hill itself. A temple was built for the deity in a nearby village called Jatipur. Later the temple was moved to the top of the Govardhan Hill by Shri Vallabhacharya.
Published in Feb 2024
Cultural Tapestry of Gold in Indian Art
The earliest recorded instance of metal being used in artwork dates back to the 4th century CE. Ancient texts like the Vishnudharmottara Purana document the practice of creating gold pigments for painting, a tradition that persisted over centuries, as evidenced by later works such as the Shilpratna and Manasollasa. These texts describe a meticulous processes of gold-coated paintings and even polishing it with boar tusks to achieve their characteristic sheen. Read More!
Published in Feb 2024
Shaligram Stones: The Most Unique Form of Lord Vishnu
Devotees of the Hindu religion are known for their firm devotion and that is why they worship their deities in the most beautiful and unique forms. This can be seen in the worship of the Shaligram Shila by the devotees of the Vaishnava tradition. The Shaligram stones are sacred for Hindus because they are considered to be a form of Lord Vishnu who is considered to be the preserver and protector of the universe. They are found near the Gandaki River which flows in Nepal and is one of the largest tributaries of the holy Ganga. The unique thing about them is that they are smooth and shiny and that they are even marked with the impressions of the Sudarshan Chakra which is the divine discus of Lord Vishnu. Mostly Shaligram stones are black but they are found in other hues as well like yellow, red, blue, etc.
Published in Feb 2024
Lord Jagannath Temple: A Journey to the Abode of the Divine
The city of Puri in Odisha, India is famous for many attractions, and the most magnificent of them is the Lord Jagannath Temple. Visited by millions of devotees every year, the Shri Jagannath Temple was constructed in the 12th century by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva from the Eastern Ganga dynasty. Ever since then, it has stood as a symbol of devotion and Hindu faith. The temple has a lot of importance for Hindus all over the world because this is one of the Char Dhams, the 4 sacred pilgrimage centers, apart from Dwarka in the West, Rameshwaram in the South, and Badrinath in the North. It is believed that visiting all these shrines at least once in a lifetime is necessary to attain salvation.
Published in Feb 2024
Adi Parashakti - The Most Powerful Energy of Universe
In Hinduism, the goddess Parashakti—also known as “Adi-Parashakti” or “Mahadevi”—is revered as Para Brahman, the Supreme Being. She is the Great Goddess, from whom all other deities originate, and she is also the real one who creates, observes, and destroys the entire universe. Parashakti translates as “The Eternally Limitless Power,” and it is the active energy that both generates and destroys the universe. Parvati, the goddess of strength and bravery, is venerated as her purest material form, Sagun Swaroop. However, the goddess “Adi Parashakti” is also described as a true spirit devoid of form (Nirguna).
Published in Feb 2024
Nagas Sarpa Parampara: Origin & Symbolism Of Hindu Nagas
Rooted in traditions of eclectic nature, Hinduism fascinates as much as it stirs the surprised awakening to the celestial world. Such is what we’ll explore as the space of Snakes - Nagas/Sarpas in the Hindu world.
Published in Feb 2024
Cheriyal Paintings : A Glimpse Into Their Past and Their Present
Cheriyal paintings are colorful and mostly use primary colors only. The trademark feature of a Cheriyal scroll painting is that it has a background that is red in color and a border that has floral motifs. They usually depict scenes from Hindu epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, incidents mentioned in the Puranas like the Shiv Purana, Garuda Purana, and the Markandeya Purana, and other mythological events like the Krishna Leela. Apart from this they also depict daily scenes from the lives of the common folk. It must be noted that the figures depicted in Cheriyal scroll paintings are always facing each other.
Published in Feb 2024
The Story of Sudarshan Chakra : A Celestial Weapon and a Divine Mystery
The word Sudarshan is made from the combination of 2 words Su and Darshan, while Su means auspicious, Darshan means Vision. Sudarshan Chakra is the divine disc of Lord Vishnu, the protector of the universe as per beliefs in the Hindu religion, which he bears as a weapon. In his various depictions and portrayals, he is seen holding the Sudarshan Chakra bearing it on his right index finger. It protects those who are righteous and destroys evil forces. It is the weapon that helps the Lord restore law and order in the world. Worshiping the Sudarshan Chakra grants protection from negativity and blesses people with spiritual well-being.
Published in Feb 2024
Bani Thani: A Jewel in the Crown of Kishangarh Paintings
I drank with my eyes the beauty of this glamorous woman who stood near Bihari Lal in ecstasy”. These lines are from the poem of Nagari Das aka Maharaja Savant Singh of Kishangarh, the poet-prince who is associated with the conception and origin of one of the most popular and unparalleled figures in Indian art- Bani-Thani or the “bedecked woman”. Emerging as the “Monalisa of Indian Art”, Bani-Thani is the representative of the luxurious and expressive art of Rajput school and a gem in the crown of Kishangarh paintings.
Published in Feb 2024
Brass Statues for an Aesthetic Look in Your Living Room
A well-decorated living room speaks volumes about your style and brass sculptures are one of the best options to decorate a living room. Brass sculptures bring a traditional beauty and an element of grandeur to the space. They also facilitate the flow of positive vibes. This creates a pleasant atmosphere in the house and enhances the productivity of the residents. It is also believed that brass statues bring good luck and prosperity to the lives of the homeowners.
Published in Jan 2024
The Significance of Sacred Animals in Hinduism
There are many unique qualities about the Hindu religion and one of them is the advocacy of compassion towards animals and in fact, all creatures in the world. Animals are considered sacred in Hinduism. Not only do Hindus worship various animals but they also show their compassion and respect towards them by following practices like pure vegetarianism and non-violence towards animals. They hold a lot of significance and are associated with various Gods and Goddesses as their mounts. For instance, the mouse is considered to be Lord Ganesha’s mount while the lion is considered to be the mount of Goddess Durga.
Published in Jan 2024
Ashtadikpalakas: The Guardians of the 8 Directions
There are a myriad of elements that are associated with deities according to Hinduism beliefs. While the Navagrahas rule the nine planets, the Ashtadikpalakas rule the 8 directions. The Ashtadikpalakas are revered not only in the Hindu religion but in other faiths too like Vajrayana Buddhism and Jainism. Ashta means eight, Dik means directions, and Palaka means guardian. Therefore, Ashta-Dikpalakas are the deities who rule and protect the 8 directions. There are 8 Hindu Gods who are the guardians of these directions. Lord Kubera presides over the North direction while Lord Yama guards the South, Lord Indra protects the East direction and the West direction is protected by Lord Varuna, Lord Isana rules over the North-East direction, Lord Agni presides over the South-East direction, while Lord Vayu guards the North-West direction, Nirrti is the guardian of the South-West direction.
Published in Jan 2024
Baisakhi Festival and Story Behind Khalsa Panth Formation
Grand vibrant processions and chants of hymns from the holy Guru Granth Sahib reverberating in the sky, Baisakhi celebrations are a yearly spectacle. The day reminds us of the path shown to the members of the Sikh faith by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Baisakhi festival is celebrated every year on the 13th of April. It is celebrated as the New Year as per the Sikh calendar and comes in the month of Baisakh. Sometimes it also arrives on the 14th of April. This is the time when crops ripen in Punjab and are all set to be harvested. With the arrival of the Spring season, the Sikh community and the farmers in Punjab thank the Lord for a lush harvest and ask for the same in the coming year. It symbolizes the farmers of Punjab receiving the fruits of their year-long efforts.
Published in Jan 2024
PM's Kani Shawl: The History of Kani Shawl, PM Modi's Pick for Welcoming Rama Lala Home
This picture of the Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi lighting the Ram-Jyoti at his residence in New Delhi is a reason for joy for the devotees of Rama, who were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ram Lala in Ayodhya. The “Ram-Jyoti” or Lamp of Lord Rama symbolizes the victory of devotion after many years and is a celebration of Deepawali, the festival of light in honor of Ayodhyapati Sri Rama. Beyond the brilliance of the Ram-Jyoti, what captures the eye in this image is the beautiful yellow shawl draped by the PM. Yellow in Indian culture is the color of devotion, sacredness, auspiciousness, and joy. Pitambara, the yellow garment is a favorite attire of Sri Vishnu, Rama, and Krishna. But the value of PM’s shawl not only lies in its meaningful color, but its identity. Worn by royals of India, exported and prized by elites of the world, this is the most classic and lux Kashmiri or Cashmere shawl, known as “Kani”.
Published in Jan 2024
Unlocking the Secrets of Temple Construction in India
India is the land of spirituality and all things holy. People from the far west come here for soul searching and are left spellbound by the temples in India. The grand architecture and the vibrant ways of worship have a profound impact on them. Temple construction in India has been immensely instrumental in the addition of a new dimension to the Hindu culture. The art of temple construction evolved under many dynasties that were spread all over India. Different regions had different styles of architecture that became synonymous with them. For instance, the Dravidian style of architecture was mainly preferred in the Southern regions for the construction of many ancient temples in India.
Published in Jan 2024
25 Popular Sanskrit Words and Their Meanings
Sanskrit is a sacred language and is considered to be the mother of all languages because many words of these languages have been taken from Sanskrit. For instance, many of the words of English have been taken from Sanskrit. Many sacred texts of the Hindu religion like the Vedas, the Upanishads, epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and the holy Bhagavad Gita have been written in Sanskrit and this gives this holy language a highly revered status, especially in India. As the world is gaining interest in India and in the Indian culture, more and more people are getting drawn to this divine language and are attempting to learn it. If you’re one of them, we have a list of Sanskrit words that not only sound melodious but also have profound meaning to them.
Published in Jan 2024
11 Most Influential Thinkers of Ancient India
Ancient India was the hub of learning. With the most gifted and sharp minds being born here, India was a boiling pot of thoughts, ideas, and philosophies that transformed the world. The earliest known universities were in India, from Nalanda which had the biggest library in the world to Takshashila which graduated great thinkers like Chanakya. Many scholars contributed to a variety of fields. For instance, Acharya Pingala who invented the binary number system, Adi Shankara who was the pioneer of Advaita Vedanta, and many more. It is these revolutionary bright minds who made the history of India so glorious.
Published in Jan 2024
Kuchchh (Kutch) Shawls: Ethnic Appeal with a Modern Feel
“One can write the cultural history of India with a thread”. This statement could not be truer in the case of Kutchi shawls, woven with pride and skills in the Kutch region of Gujarat. A mix of cultures and techniques of different local communities of Rajasthan and Gujarat, Kutchi shawls carry in the threads of their embroidery, the history of more than 600 years!
Published in Jan 2024
Krishna Leela - A Complete Collection of All Episodes
Pattachitra in its layout draws from the idea of time in Hinduism, which flows eternally, in episodes that are interconnected, forming a garland of celestial events, where each bead is a Lila or divine play of the supreme god. In this Pattachitra, the episodes of Krishna Lila are laid out beautifully, starting (from the top left corner) from Vaikuntha, where Vishnu lies on his Adi Shesha, being attended by Sri Lakshmi. On the lotus emerging from his navel, Lord Brahma is enthroned. From here, the tale of Krishna goes to the human realm (moving in a clockwise direction).
Published in Jan 2024
Indian Authors and Indian Literature and Their Impact on the World
India is the land of many wonders and the brightest minds have taken birth here. These have contributed immensely to the growth of Indian literary tradition. Pioneers in various fields have penned many texts that make up the trove of literary treasures of India. Indian authors have created a rich repository of literary gems on various topics and themes. From treatises on medicine to sacred ancient texts, from poetry and plays to political accounts, Indian literature is very diverse and has had a profound impact on the world across a variety of fields.
Published in Jan 2024
A Peek Into the Pran Pratishtha Ceremony of the Ram Mandir
The world will chant along when the skies echo with Jai Shri Ram on 22nd January as the city of Ayodhya welcomes the return of its rightful king Lord Rama, yet again. It’s been a long and arduous journey for Hindus across the country and it is finally culminating beautifully. With only 2 weeks to go before the inauguration ceremony, the world is gearing up for the event. Everyone is wondering how the series of events will pan out, who will be present, and many other things. Here are some of the details about the ceremony.
Published in Jan 2024
Aditya Hridaya Stotra: When Sri Rama worshipped the Sun
As winter air gets chillier and the sky gets grey, our eyes reach the sky, looking for the shining heavenly body- Surya or Sun, which has been a source of light, life, hope, and strength for civilizations, for centuries. Little do we know, that ages, Yugas apart from today, standing on the brink of war with Ravana, Sri Rama too reached out to the powers of Suryadeva (Sun god), at sage Agastya’s advice, to instill in him, divine prowess, confidence, and victory. Bowing down to the most illustrious Sun, Agastya with Rama created the “Aditya Hridaya Stotra”- “the Heart of the Sun” hymn (that which infuses the heart with the powers of the Sun), a hymn chanted by Hindus to gain worldly and spiritual benefits, which like the light of the Sun, never end.
Published in Jan 2024
Ram Mandir Architecture: A Story Beyond Brick and Mortar
The construction of the Ram Mandir has been completed to a great extent and the temple is finally nearing the day of its inauguration. With this development, the eyes of the entire world are on how the temple is turning out. It has been going on under the guidance of Chandrakantbhai Sompura who designed the Akshardham Temple in Gujarat. He is being assisted by his two sons Nikhil Sompura and Ashish Sompura. There are questions about every aspect of the construction and we have tried to answer most of them.
Published in Jan 2024
Ayodhya Ram Mandir : A Story of Hindu Faith and Devotion
The Ram Janmabhoomi Movement has been the driving force behind the construction of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir. It dates back to the 1980s and its initiation is credited to the Hindu Vishwa Parishad. This movement aimed to reclaim the land that is considered to be Ram Janmabhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Ram. Its journey has been full of trials and tribulations and one marred by various controversies. A major part of the movement was the 1992 Rath Yatra to Ayodhya. However, the movement finally gained success in 2019 when the Supreme Court ruled that the construction of Ram Mandir would take place at the site. A trust called the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra was also established to oversee the construction of the temple.
Published in Jan 2024
Printed Sarees: Exploring the Regional Printing Techniques of India
Indian textiles have always attracted the world, especially the majestic saree. It has been a part of the traditional Indian attire for ages and has only become more fascinating with time. A humongous amount of printed sarees are manufactured in India. While some are printed digitally, the pride of India rests with the hand-crafted printed sarees. Various regional printing techniques are used to create beautiful floral sarees along with other prints like geometric and paisley designs. Block printing and tie and dye are the two main techniques.
Published in Dec 2023