Typical layout of Dravidian architecture which evolved from koyil as kings residence.

Dravidian Folk Religion

Dravidian Folk Religion The early Dravidian religion refers to a broad range of belief systems which existed in South Asia before the arrival of Indo-Aryans. Scholars do not share a uniform consensus on early Dravidian religion but many scholars associated it with Neolithic societies of South Asia which was later assimilated into...

Bathing the dieties - 'Abhisheka' at Krishna Janmashtami

Abhisheka

Abhisheka Abhiṣeka or abhisheka in Sanskrit means “bathing of the divinity to whom worship is offered.” It is a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or murti of a God or Goddess. Abhiṣeka is common to Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hinduism An abhiṣeka...

Kesi Ghat in vrindavan in the Yamuna River.

Yatra

Yatra Yatra (Yātrā, यात्रा, ‘journey’, ‘procession’), in Hinduism and other Indian religions, generally means a pilgrimage to holy places such as confluences of sacred rivers, places associated with Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and other sacred pilgrimage sites. Tīrtha-yātrā refers to a pilgrimage to a holy site and is generally undertaken in...

Lake Manasarovar

Tirtha in Hinduism

Tirtha in Hinduism Tirtha (तीर्थ, Tīrtha) is a Sanskrit word that means “crossing place, ford”, and refers to any place, text or person that is holy. It particularly refers to pilgrimage sites and holy places in Hinduism as well as Jainism. The process or journey associated with Tirtha is called Tirtha-yatra, while alternate terms such as Kshetra, Gopitha and...

Satguru Bodhinatha gives samaya diksha, initiation into the sacred Aum Nama Sivaya mantra, to a devotee at Tirunnavamalai in 2008.

Diksha

Diksha Diksha (दीक्ष, dīkṣā) also spelled deeksha or deeksa in common usage, translated as a “preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony”, is giving of a mantra or an initiation by the guru (in Guru–shishya tradition) of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Diksa is given in a one-to-one ceremony, and typically includes the taking on...

Left: 19th century roundel of four-headed Brahma as a red-complexioned aged man, holding manuscript (Vedas), a ladle and a lotus; Right: 6th century Brahma in Badami cave temples holding a writing equipment, ladle, and mala.

Sanātanī

Sanātanī Sanātanī (सनातनी) is a term used to describe Hindu movements that includes the ideas from the Vedas and the Upanishads while also incorporating the teachings of sacred hindu texts such as Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita which itself is often being described as a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and a practical, self-contained guide to life. Sanatana Dharma denotes duties...

the Varna system

Varna in Hinduism

Varna in Hinduism Varṇa (वर्ण, varṇa), a Sanskrit word with several meanings including type, order, colour or class, was used to refer to social classes in Hindu texts like the Manusmriti. These and other Hindu texts classified the society in principle into four varnas:  Brahmins: priests, scholars and teachers. Kshatriyas: rulers,...

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Purusartha

Purusartha Puruṣārtha (Purusartha or पुरुषार्थ) literally means an “object of human pursuit”. It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life. The four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values). All four Purusarthas are important, but in cases...

Roti with Baigan (Brinjal) subji and curd

Mitahara

Mitahara Mitahara (मिताहार, Mitāhāra) literally means the habit of moderate food. Mitahara is also a concept in Indian philosophy, particularly Yoga, that integrates awareness about food, drink, balanced diet and consumption habits and its effect on one’s body and mind. It is one of the ten yamas in ancient Indian texts. Definition...

Illustrative Hindu meals

Diet in Hinduism

Diet in Hinduism Diet in Hinduism varies with its diverse traditions. The ancient and medieval Hindu texts recommend ahimsa (non-violence) against all life forms including animals because they believe that it minimizes animal deaths. Many Hindus follow a vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian diet that are in sync with nature, compassionate, respectful of other life forms....

Food Healthy Dried Fruits Nuts Nut Almonds Dates

Sattvic Diet

Sattvic Diet Sattvic diet is a diet based on foods in ayurvedic and yogic literature that contain the quality (guna) sattva. In this system of dietary classification, foods that decrease the energy of the body are considered tamasic, while those that increase the energy of the body are considered rajasic. A sattvic diet is meant to include foods...

Konark Sun Temple panoramic view

Hindu Temple

Hindu Temple A Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of divinity. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism. The symbolism and structure of a Hindu temple are rooted in Vedic traditions, deploying circles and...

Holi Celebrations People Culture Festival

Hindu Festivals

Hindu Festivals There are a great number of Hindu religious festivals held throughout the world. The festivals typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes. There are many festivals which are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent. The festive season is widely celebrated. These events...

A fancy Indian wedding taking place in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, India

Hindu Wedding

Hindu Wedding A Hindu wedding is Vivaha (विवाह) and the wedding ceremony is called Vivaah Sanskar in North India and Kalyanam (generally) in Tamil Nadu. The wedding ceremonies are very colourful, and celebrations may extend for several days. The bride’s and groom’s home—entrance, doors, wall, floor, roof—are sometimes decorated with colors, balloons, and other decorations. The rituals and...

Grihasta Ashrama

Ashrama in Hinduism

Ashrama in Hinduism Ashrama in Hinduism is one of four age-based life stages discussed in Indian texts of the ancient and medieval eras. The four ashramas are: Brahmacharya (student), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired) and Sannyasa (renunciate). The Ashrama system is one facet of the Dharma concept in Hinduism. It is also a component of the ethical theories in Indian philosophy, where it is...

Hindus at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar near river Ganges in Uttarakhand state of India.

Hindus

Hindus Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent. The historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian...

India Temple Religion Travel Building Hindu

Hindu Reform Movements

Hindu Reform Movements Several contemporary groups, collectively termed Hindu reform movements or Hindu revivalism, strive to introduce regeneration and reform to Hinduism, both in a religious or spiritual and in a societal sense. The movements started appearing during the Bengali Renaissance. The religious aspect mostly emphasizes Vedanta tradition and mystical interpretations of Hinduism (“Neo-Vedanta“), and the societal...

Shaktism is a Goddess-centric tradition of Hinduism. From left: Parvati/Durga, Kali and Lakshmi

Hindu Denominations

Hindu Denominations Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, and Brahma. Sometimes the term is used for sampradayas led by a particular guru with a particular philosophy. Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority and many practising Hindus do not claim to belong to any...

Amarnath temple

Hindu Pilgrimage Sites in India

Hindu Pilgrimage Sites in India In Hindu religion and spirituality, the pilgrimage has great significance. Members of the faith participate in the following types of pilgrimage. The pilgrimage to each sacred site has its own religious significance. Holy Place: Tirupathi Himalayan Char Dham – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Varanasi/Kashi, Prayagraj, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Somnath,...

Shingon Buddhist priests practice homa ritual, which sometimes includes beating drums and blowing horagai (lower, conch).

Homa (ritual)

Homa (ritual) Homa is Sanskrit for a ritual, wherein an oblation or any religious offering is made into fire. A homa is sometimes called a “sacrifice ritual” because the fire destroys the offering, but a homa is more accurately a “votive ritual“. The fire is the agent, and the offerings include those that...

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