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Festivals

Holi

Why do we celebrate Holi? Know more about this festival!

Holi
Date : 1st/2nd March

Holi, a festival of colours, is one of the oldest Hindu festivals. It is celebrated on the full moon day falling in the month of Phalguna (between February end and middle March), as per the Hindu Calender. This festival is a sign of end of winter and arrival of spring season. 

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Holi represents victory of good over evil. This is one of the social festivals, where families come together and celebrate Holi by throwing colours and distributing sweets representing love and affection towards each other. This festival of colours is celebrated for two days. On first day at evening, it is Holika Dahan, or Chhoti Holi (Small Holi) followed by Rangwali Holi which is on the next morning.

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 On Holika Dahan, people gather and celebrate the victory of good over evil, around a big bonfire and perform pujas. On this day, it is believed that Lord Vishnu in Narsimha avtar killed king of the demon Hiranyakashpu. This demon had an evil motive to rule the world. He had ordered every human being to worship him. But Pralhad, who was his son rejected to do so. Angry Hiranykashapu, decided to kill Pralhad with the help of her sister Holika. So, she wrapped herself with protective mask and sat on the fire with Pralhad. But, that protective mask flew from her and covered Pralhad saving him from the fire. And she was burnt and killed in that fire. 

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The next morning people wake up early and meet together to celebrate Rangwali Holi. They greet each other, sing, dance and enjoy special Holi delicacies like Gujiya and Milk Thandai (special milk shake made with almonds, rose petals and saffron). They keep chanting ‘Holi Hai’. Some people visit temples and pray God for the colourful year ahead. Families spend quality time with each other. They forget old grudges and hug each other. So, Holy has a cultural importance. It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi by throwing colours in the sky with their friends in Vrindavan. So, this is one the most awaiting festival, where people are energetic and happy. Holi is not only celebrated in India, but the festival is also spread to Europe and America.

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Interesting Reads

Who are Immortals in Hinduism? Do we have any proof of their existence?

Read this article to know more about 7 Immortals in Hindu mythology!


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In Hinduism, it is believed that there are 7 main ‘Chiranjeevis’ (Chiram  – Eternal, Jeevis – Lived). It is said that these immortals are alive till the end of this ‘Kaliyuga’ on this earth. These 7 long lived personalities were born as a human beings. They were either blessed or cursed by Gods for long life. The legends, Ramayanaand Mahabharata also describe about these Chiranjeevis. Their names are also included in one of the shlokas and is being chanted by Hindus for success and long life. So, let us see who those great immortals in Hinduism are


Sage Vyasa

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Sage Vyasa was considered as the author of epic ‘Mahabharata’. He chose Lord Ganesha to be his transcriber as nobody in the cosmos had bravery to compose such gigantic task of writing ‘Mahabharata’. He was blessed by Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha. Sage Vyasa, a scholar, also divided Vedas, so he is called as Sage Ved Vyasa. It is said that he saw initial Kaliyuga phase. Thus, Sage Ved Vyasa is one of the main immortals in Hinduism.


Parshurama

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Parshurama who symbolises excellence and strength, is the 6th incarnation (avtar) of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that he is the only Vishnu avtar who never dies. In some of the Mahabharata genre, he is mentioned as an ‘Angry Brahmin’. In old Puranas, it is written that he will reappear when the depraved powers with weapons will arrive on the earth. He will destroy those evil powers and save the mankind again. Hence, Parshurama is included in list of immortals in Hindu mythology.

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Ashwathama

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Ashwathama is one of the avtars of Rudra. He had killed five sons of Pandava. He was the son of Pandava’s teacher Dronacharya. Ashwathama did not achieved immortal power by his own, but was cursed by Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna cursed him by giving him immortal power and eternal suffering. Thus, Ashwathama is considered as one of the Hindu immortals.


Vibhishana

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Vibhishana was the brother of demon Ravana. He had joined Lord Rama and his army for the war against Ravana. After their win against Ravana, Lord Rama made Vibhishana the king of Lanka. Before leaving the earth, Lord Ram blessed Vibhishana with the immortal powers and ordered him to stay and serve people on the earth. Lord Rama also asked him to spread the Dharma. It is believed that his immortality is going to remain until the end of the Mahayuga (One cycle of the four Yugas). Thus, we have included Vibhishana in the list of immortals of Hinduism.

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       Mahabali

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Mahabali, was Asura king, great grandson of Hiranyakashapu. He was blessed by Lord Vishnu during his Vamana avtar. It is believed that every year, on the occasion of Onam, Mahabali visits his people in Kerala from heaven. Mahabali, is thus among the immortals in Hinduism.

Kripacharya


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Kripacharya, was one of the royal teachers of princes in ‘Mahabharata’. He was Ashwathama’s maternal uncle. He was one of the Maharathis who fought with Kauravas against Pandavas in the war of Kurukshetra. He was blessed by Lord Krishna with the immortal powers.

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Hanuman

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Hanuman, an important character of ‘Ramayana’ is an intense devotee of Lord Rama. He is one of the Chiranjeevis, and he is also mentioned in one of the version of ‘Mahabharata’. Later versions explain him as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is said that, Hanuman requested to remain alive until people on the earth will worship Lord Rama. It is said that Sita blessed him with the boon which made him immortal and energetic. Hanuman represents the air, the atmosphere and thus the life for every living being on the earth. It is said that, as Hanuman is eternal (alive), he keeps attending Ram Katha wherever it is expressed in the country. There are some more Chiranjeevis like Sage Markandeya, Jambuvan, Maru, Devapi, Kak Bhusundi, Muchkunda etc.
There is no proof of the existence of these 7 immortals of Hinduism, but some people say that they have noticed their presence in temples and forests. However, people strongly believe Hanuman is still alive and stays in caves. Hinduculture has a special mantra which mentions name of all the seven Hindu immortals:

‘Ashwathaama Balirvyaaso Hanumanshcha
Vibhishanaha Krupascha Parshuramascha
Saptaitey Chiranjivinaha’
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Hymns and Mantras

Peaceful Aum Namah Shivaya Mantra Complete!

Divine ”Aum Namah Shivay” Mantra

Chanting this mantra helps to achieve peace of mind. This is a long but most beautiful Aum Namah Shivaya Mantra,enjoy,sing along and this will give you peace!
om namah shivay, peaceful, hindu gods, hindu tradition, mahashivratri, maha shiv ratri,
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This is a long but most beautiful Aum Namah Shivaya Mantra,enjoy,sing along and this will give you peace!
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Interesting Reads

Do you know why most Hindus do not eat Onion and Garlic

Read this article to know why Hindus do not include Onion and Garlic in their diet!

We know that there are certain fixed principles in every religion. In Hinduism, there are also some set of strict rules to be followed. 
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As per Varna Vyavastha (Caste System in Hinduism), Brahmins are considered the religion experts and they usually work as Priests or Pundits. So it is obvious that to maintain the purity, they should not consume meat, but do you know what refrains them from eating onion and garlic? Brahmins are preachers of Hindu religion and majority of Hindus follow the strict guidelines set by Vedas and preached by Brahmins, so Hindus strictly follow vegetarianism. Brahmins perform pujas and so they are considered closest to the God. They never offer any food that contain onion and Garlic to God as Prasad. Hence Brahmins as well as majority of Hindu community maintain a certain diet called as ‘Sattvic Diet’.


There are 3 categories of food: Sattvic (Purest, Natural), Rajasic (Spicy, Pungent) and Tamasaic (Dark, Processed). As per Ayurveda, Sattvic foods are purest of all. They make our body clean and healthy, which leads to mental peace. To worship God, mental peace is very important. Onion and Garlic come under the other two categories, which are harmful and lead to anxiety and aggressiveness. So they strictly avoid consuming them. Also, they believe that they are grown in impure places.

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In Hinduism, killing is strictly prohibited. Onion and Garlic need to be cut down from the ground. Plus the cleaning process kills many minute microbes present in Onion & Garlic. Though ancient people never ate such foods, however this practise have changed today, as it is believed that onion and garlic are useful to body. Still most Hindus follow their strict regime of avoiding the consumption of onion and garlic and have found Ayurvedic substitutes which can help them to fulfill the dietary requirements equivalent to onion and garlic or the foods which contain similar nutrients like onion and garlic.
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Festivals

Maha Shivratri

What is the Importance of Maha Shivratri? Know more about this festival! 

Maha Shivratri
Date : 13th / 14th February

Maha Shivratri is one of the major auspicious Hindu festival. It is the night of Lord Shiva which is observed on 13th Night/14th Day in February (Phalguna, as per the Hindu Calendar) every year, before the start of spring. 

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This day is celebrated by devotion, meditation of Lord Shiva. People observe full day fast to bring good luck in their life. To start this day, people get up early and take bath in the holy river. They visit Shiv temples and offer fruits, milk, water, sweets etc. They worship Lord Shiva in their prayers. They continuously chant ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’. Jagran is observed where large number of devotees sing spiritual songs all night.

As per Hindu mythology, on this day, Lord Shiva made a promise to Parvati that he would protect the world and drank the world’s negativity in the form of poison. He also performed Tandav nritya, a divine dance consisting of passion, rage and vigorous energy. Some believe that on this day, Lord Shiva and Parvati got married. Hence this day is considered as auspicious, especially for women. On this day, unmarried women pray to get husband like Lord Shiva, as he is considered as an ideal husband. Married women perform puja and pray for their husband’s long life. It is believed that the one who sincerely prays Lord Shiva, is blessed with all the success and wealth.