Wednesday, March 21, 2018


    Hindu injduTemples & Worships Based on Very Deep Science 
(By N.R. Srinivasan, Nashville, TN, March 2018)

“We need to make temples not just a center of rituals and congregation but lighthouses of philosophy and knowledge, which are the basis of Hindu Dharma”   says Sri Ravi Shankar, a Yoga Philosopher from India.  Only when we come in communion with our inner Self, the Divinity within, we can find freedom from maladies that affect our body-mind-sense complex.  Hindu temples are founded on a practical science that helps establish this reinforcing contact with the Divine. Hindu philosophy offers the know-how to achieve this communion and freedom. Influenced Aby Hinduism Einstein based his philosophy: “Religion without Science is blind and Science without Religion is lame”. Here there is more stress on Religion to conflate with Science to lead a better life than Science.  The modern man endowed though with a scientific bent of mind, intellectual upbringing and a technological background, not infrequently tends to be influenced by misguiding views and is often pestered with needless doubts and skepticism. There is no dearth of logical wisdom and intellectual ideas in the Hindu Temple culture to convince the modern mind of the scientific temper underlying the spiritual concepts and worship practices.  Hinduism more often than not conflates with science than any other living religion in the world.       

“A temple is unlike a church or a mosque. The church belongs to a parish, which has a priest in charge of the parish and a congregation. Once a week people come together there for worship; so it is a place of assembly, of congregation, and collective prayer. And they have some ritual also. A mosque is also a place for collective prayer. Once a week they all assemble for that. But the temple is an altar of worship and therefore people come at different times, during the day, offer their worship, and go. In Tirupathi, for instance, you can stand before the deity for only half a minute. You wait in the queue for darshan (Divine view) and it takes only one or two minutes. That is the darshan. It is over. The man has been waiting for that for one day in the queue…It is darshan, because it is an altar of worship.” says   Swami Dayananda.

Hindu temple was created as a place of energy where everyone could go and make use of it. Temples in some famous pilgrim centers were built based on very deep science.  But unfortunately   modern temples are built just the way we build shopping complexes. Even some old temples have been reduced to such complexes due to human greed.  Temple building is a very deep science based on Vaastu Sastra and Silpa sastra. If the basic aspects of the temple – the size and shape of the idol, the Mudra(gesture) that the icon holds, the parikrama (complex rituals), the garbha griha, (sanctum) and the  mantras used to consecrate the idol  to make it Archa Murti are properly matched, a powerful energy system is created.

You do not go to a temple for worship to give money and ask for something. This is something that people have started now. Traditionally, we go to the temple to sit for a while and spend some time and come.  You are required to sit there because there is a field of energy that has been created. In the morning, our elders before they went out into the world, the first thing they did was go and sit in the temple for a while. This is a way of recharging our body and mind with very positive vibrations of life so that we go into the world with a different perspective. Today we do not follow their wisdom.   Temple is thus created as a place of energy where everyone could go and make use of it.   

There is a whole science of idol-making where a certain form is created with a particular material and energized in a certain way. Different idols are made in different ways where they relocate or rearrange the Kundalini power in you in certain places to make them into completely different possibilities. Idol-making and its consecration is that science through the radiant energy of which your energy system in the body can be rearranged.   India is one place where they went into elaborate systems of idol-making. This has been misunderstood by other cultures as worshiping some doll as a god.   If you look at it from the standpoint of modern science, we know today that everything is the same energy postulated by Einstein. But everything is not the same in the world. This energy can be like an animal or this energy can function like the Divine.   The physical body itself can be transformed into a Divine entity if we just reorganize our systems in a particular way. This is what happens when we enter a temple in some of the famous pilgrim centers. Look at the criticism we hear even before we start and the frustration we undergo in visiting Balaji Temple in Tirupati. You are able to stand before the deity just for   a minute or so only when you are pushed away to accommodate others. Yet the energy you get or charged with the divine power is not explainable but can be only experienced. If we re- arrange the energy system in the body which is just a mass of flesh right now, it can become a divine entity. The   whole system of Yoga is oriented towards this. Hindus even start worshiping such Yoga gurus as Divines.   Conversation had taken place between such Archa form of deities and humans as we learn from the history of the life of saints like Ramanuja, Ramakrishna Parmahamsa and others.

In this context, it is relevant to quote the following observation of Srikant, the author of the well-known book:  Power in Temples – A Modern Perspective: “The Murti of a Deity in a temple is a dynamic source of spiritual power. There is an efficacious science of mantras and rituals for the installation of power in the Murti of a Deity by invoking the spiritual power from the infinite source, Brahman.  According to Vedanta, Brahman is at once Intelligence and Energy. We tend to consider a block of stone or metal as inert and lifeless. But today’s science knows that there are tremendously moving energy fields within them that are in a sort of web-like relationship with the whole universe. Hindu INDU ijndu philosophy compliments this view of science by highlighting the fact that the stone and everything else are the manifestations of Paraa-Shakti, the transcendental supreme Energy of Brahman, which is at once Energy and Intelligence.’’  We know the story of Ahalya who remained as a stone for several years due to a curse and then brought back to life by the divine touch of Srirama. Energy vibrations and forms are two important aspects of the phenomenal universe. The world of forms is the gross expression of energy. Both these aspects are used in invoking the spiritual power and for communion with the Divine. The energy vibrations are employed in the form of suitable mantras and the form aspect as the Deities. Thus, there is a well-coordinated science in the background of temple worship and it is the bounden duty of temples to make the modern world sufficiently aware of this fact.  Those who visit temples and offer their devout worship will experience its sublime benefits by way of reduction in tensions, reinforcement of the inner faculties, and the salutary effects in the material and spiritual dimensions of life.  Only when man comes in communion with his inner Self, the Divinity within, he can find freedom from such maladies that affect his body-mind-sense complex.

There is no dearth of logical wisdom and intellectual ideas in the Hindu culture to convince the modern mind of the scientific temper underlying the spiritual concepts and worship practices and temple traditions. Although volumes can be written   supported by scientific studies I give below few examples. For more details go through my various discourses posted on my Blog Hindu Reflections.

Religious Hindus pay their obeisance to Lord Ganesha by standing before the deity with legs crossed and hands also crossed along the breast, with their fingers squeezing the air lobes. In this posture one has to sit down touching the floor and then get up and repeat this exercise as many times as one has vowed to do. This exercise is not easy. It purifies vital plexus which tunes the psychic power of the worshipper. Though many make fun of this practice there are medical studies made in U.K. which show health benefits. Squeezing the ear could be useful in treating heart problems according to an Indian Medical Team, working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in London. The simple procedure of squeezing the ear produces a temporary effect on heart dynamics, causing a small reduction in pulse rate, a profound drop in the amplitude of the pulse and a drop in the peak and mean flow velocity.

It is the Hindu custom to remove footwear before entering THE LORD’S HOUSE, or any house for that matter.  It is believed that footwear carries germs dust and dirt from the streets.  It is also customary for people to wash their hands and legs before they enter any temple.  This is an example of how the Hindus maintained sanitation and cleanliness of their surroundings.  

Prayer with devotion brings about inner peace and invokes the Aatman (God) within you. When mantras are chanted with correct pronunciation and intonation, a divine atmosphere is created with holy vibrations all around.

Theertha (holy water) usually contains water, Tulasi (mint like herb), flavoring agent--lilac, cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, cooking camphor. All ingredients used here have high medicinal value and health benefits.

Let us examine the Hindu practice   of circumambulation.  We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. We acknowledge this by performing Pradakshina.  Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores.  Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center.  This means that wherever we may be or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality. This is the application of Hindu mathematics.  Similarly Homa-kundas are also designed with its knowledge of Geometry.
The tradition of using vermilion in the hair parting by married women finds favor with Hindu religious writers because this point is just above the suture in the scalp and a little above the point where the soul resides. This point is more delicate in women than in Men. The application of vermilion helps avoid wrinkles and skin problems and also protects one from evil influences. It also deters the spread of lice.
The roots, skin, fruits and the leaves of the Bilva tree are used for medicinal purpose. Bilva has astringent, edema lessening, anti-diarrhea and laxative and appetizer properties hence, can be used to cure both internal and external diseases.  The Tulasi leaf has great medicinal values and is used to cure various ailments, including common cold. It is known to be the only thing used in worship which, once used can be washed and reused in Pooja—as it is regarded as self-purifying.

Bell ringing is an ancient Vedic ritual and one can see multiple bells hanging over the domes in many Indian shrines. The moment bell sound happens your brain is emptied of all thoughts. Invariably, you will enter a state of trance where you are very receptive. This trance state is the one with inner awareness. Normally, you are so occupied in mind that the only way to awaken you is with a shock! Also its sound echoes the sacred word OM.

Camphor used in temples for Aarati not only has a highly spiritual value in Hindu customs but can also be beneficial to the environment in which it is burned.  Camphor is made through an ancient Ayurveda method by distilling the bark and wood of a coniferous tree called Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphor) that is largely found in Asia, particularly in India, Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo. White camphor is a crystalline substance with the chemical formula C10H16O, which is a fantastic anti-oxidant. As an excellent germicide, camphor is burned to purify the atmosphere, it is also believed to remove negativity from the environment.

Darbha   is   considered a sacred material in Vedic scriptures and is said to purify the offerings during such rituals. Kusa grass is a ground up and the essence used for Kusa oil (to be used in summer for its cooling effects) and Kusha flavored juice also drunk for its cooling effects.   In tribal medicine it has been used variously to treat dysentery and menorrhagia and as diuretic.  In Ayurveda,    it has been used to treat urinary dis-eases, diabetes, epilepsy, piles, dysentery, and heavy and prolonged menstruation.  It is used to treat repeated abortion and spiritual disorders of all types.  It is used to improve the complexion and to treat internal and external wounds.  It also has tonic effects to help in emaciation, severe debility or after serious illnesses.   The Holy Grass known as Dharbha has the highest value in conducting the phonetic vibrations through its tip. Priests sprinkle the holy water at every nook and corner of the place, where the function (punyavarchana) is held.  It is also a powerful disinfectant for food material. If powerful X-ray radiation can be absorbed by the Holy Grass, why can it not absorb the ill-radiations spread over the atmosphere?

The ash paste from yagnas has strong medicinal and disinfectant value when done with Vedic prescribed materials. Applying this paste on the forehead seems to strengthen the nerve currents. Some of the ash from the holy fire is preserved in the houses all through the year to apply to the foreheads as an effective remedy against minor ailments and ward off evil. Fagots of peepal (Aswattha) tree and wood resins incense used in Yagas have great   medicinal and disinfectant values. The fumes resulting from Homas spread a pleasant fragrance in the closed up spaces of the temple, removing the musty odor.  
Abhisheka rituals, when done periodically with choice materials help in preserving the original glaze and beauty of the sculpted divine figure without developing cracks or chipping. Some of the idols in famous temples in India are said to be divine sculpted, and are more than two thousand years old.  In the Vedic culture, where everything is looked upon as an expression of the Lord, works of art were another glory of the Lord that receive   even to-day all care and attention for long time preservation in addition to limitless reverence.  Abhishekam waters are used as soil nutrient in Temple gardens.

Our Sun lies 93,000,000 miles away, surrounded by the vacuum of space. Sound won't travel through space, of course. But with the right instrument, scientists can "hear" pulsations from the Sun.  It is most astonishing that this sound reverberates sacred mantra "OM".  Scientists are still trying to correlate why/how the ancient Hindu mantra and sun's sound conflate! Vedas say “Om Tad Brahma”—Om is Brahman. “Omityekaaksahram Brahma”-The one syllable OM is Brahman.

James Hartzell is a postdoctoral researcher at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language, in Spain; a Guest Researcher at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences at University of Trento, in Italy, and a Consultant for the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, in New York.  His MRI scans show that memorizing ancient Sanskrit mantras increases the size of brain regions associated with cognitive function.  Professional Vedic pundits from several government-sponsored schools in the Delhi region were recruited for the study. MRI scanning was remarkable. Numerous regions in the brains of the Pundits were dramatically larger than those of controls, with over 10 percent more grey matter across both cerebral hemispheres, and substantial increases in cortical thickness. Does that mean substantial increase in the gray matter of critical verbal memory organs are less prone to devastating memory pathologies such as Alzheimer's? We don't know yet.   Anecdotal reports from India's Ayurveda doctors suggest this may be the case. What about Indian Psychiatrists? Are they conflating or conflicting? This raises the possibility that verbal memory “exercising” or training might help elderly people at risk of mild cognitive impairment retard, or, even more radically, prevent its onset.

A pilot research findings of The  Department of Physiology, Pondicherry, International Stress Management Association, Hyderabad, Department of Physiology, Little Flower Medical Research Center, Kerala reveals depression, anxiety, stress  and cortisol were  significantly decreased and blood  pressure was regulated within normal limits and MMSE scores and  spatial memory was significantly improved followed by regular chanting of  Mantras.   

Science is based on well tested data. There is nothing speculative about it. Religion is also a science with the same characteristics of exactitude in its principles, methods attainable results. Religion basically is a Science of Life. It tries to enquire into the nature of the self —the question it asks are: Who am I? What are my relations with environment and fellow beings? Who controls my destiny? Why do I commit mistakes for which I suffer much later and so on?  Man is a body-mind complex. So, he soon discovers like physical development, mental development is also necessary. He also discovers that progress depends more upon his mind than his body. That is why we find religion lays more important on mental development than upon physical. Religion is concerned with man’s internal growth, growth in ethical and spiritual terms. Einstein says the science can change the nature of an element, but it is only religion which can change human nature. It is only religion that can remove hatred from our hearts that can give us a new outlook, a new attitude towards others that can transform us into saints. It is this change that gives religion its authenticity that proves that Religion is also a science. Hindu Dharma is more focused on this than any other religion guided by the wisdom of Vedas.  In this context it is worth going through the wisdom thoughts of Sridharan Karikeyan “Science and Religion of the Upanishads sent through courtesy India.Divine.Org, for propagation.

“The rational spiritual philosophy of the Upanishads finds practical expression as a religion, as is usual with any other spiritual philosophy, it must be known as the Religion of the Upanishads. What is now being practiced as the Hindu religion is only a highly corrupted version of this religion. Hindu religious practices have to undergo thorough reformation to live up to the most scientific spiritual philosophy of the world which constitutes their essence.

The Religion of the Upanishads is the religion of ultimate freedom, a religion that promotes personal liberty. It does not require anybody to invariably follow a particular faith or to uphold any specified belief or to observe any prescribed rite or discipline; it is absolutely devoid of such demands and dictates. You are at liberty to ponder over whatever is preached to you and then accept only that which is felt reasonable; no dogmatism and no authoritarianism. This religion does not recognize the services of priests and mediators; it also does not recognize any differentiation between the God and the worshiper or between the leader and the follower. All is One; there is only ‘I’, all in One.

Religion of the Upanishads asserts unity of origin and unity of essence of all beings. It is all about transcending the diversity of external appearances and characteristics and attaining to the unity of inner essence. The spirit of this inner equality makes it devoid of all kinds of discrimination and hatred. It is the universal religion. What it presently lacks is proper dissemination of its principles. Effort to inculcate these principles in the minds of all has to start at the very stage of childhood. This is essential to illumine their future lives with positive values and broader vision of universal oneness.

All known religions possess various sets of prescriptions on rites and observances as a means to practice their distinct spiritual philosophy. These prescriptions mostly aim at appeasing the God of their perception, for favors of physical well-being. This appeasement is made by singing praises to that God, visualized in human form, and by offering presents in the form of money, gold and other valuables; this is akin to bribing some power-wielding, greedy mortals for securing protection and favors. In contrast, Religion of the Upanishads does not approve of this notion of appeasement. For, it does not consider God as a glorified being in human form, amenable to appeasement and inclined to deliver favors in return; moreover, it does not recognizes the acquisition and arrogation of physical possessions as a goal of spiritual pursuit. Religion of the Upanishads, on the other hand, holds that durable happiness is obtained only by living the life in conformity with the principle of Ātmā. An action that is in conformity with this principle is known as Puṇya karma (meritorious deeds) and the opposite as Pāpa karma (evil thoughts and deeds) When a puṇya karma is done, the doer feels contented and enriched, since it resonates well with his inherent essence which is SAT-CHIT-ĀNANDA. On the other hand, when a pāpa karma is done, the doer is upset internally as it is repugnant to his very essence. This contradiction between the inner essence and the outer expression throws him into a chaos which diminishes his strength and culminates in his total ruin. In the social front, when pāpa karmas become rampant threatening the peace and well-being of the society, the ultimate ruling principle, SAT-CHIT-ĀNANDA, intervenes by churning out sufficient opposite forces to contain the adverse impacts and to finally assert itself. This is what Gīta says ‘saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge (4.8). Pāpa karmas are like obstructions to natural flow of water in a river; when they reach an intolerable level, water musters sufficient force and thrashes away all the obstructions with a violent sweep.

All self-centered pursuits for physical yields will end up in retaliations and entanglements. Only by abiding with the principle of Ātmā that one can secure hassle-free, durable happiness. We should therefore get enlightened about that principle. That is why Upanishads say that only by knowing the Ātmā one can attain bliss. Gīta prescribes this knowing as the only one goal deserving to be pursued, not too many, as would be the case with physical benefits (Gīta 2.41 to 2.44).”

 Hindu philosophy offers the know-how to achieve the communion with the Self and   attain freedom. The temples are founded on practical science that helps establish this reinforcing contact with the Divine. With a deeper understanding of this fact, the youth in the U.S.A. can make the best use of the temples for their cultural and spiritual evolution and all-round progress, thereby benefiting them and at the same time enriching others who come in contact with them.  This also calls for rethinking in the mode of temple worship and spiritual management by American Hindu Temple authorities instead of running to India for any guidance for Physical and Spiritual Management of Temples. Hindu Temples in India are State controlled today unlike in USA.  We should seek the guidance from our Spiritual Gurus and Vedic wisdom. “We are becoming what I call a nation of yogis and Spiritual Gurus” says Dr. Phil Goldberg, Author of American Veda. We are fortunately blessed with such Gurus to-day who are located in USA with their Ashrams (monasteries) who are also alive to the Hindu American Way of Life.  

1)   Swami Jyotirmayananda, The  Sigfnificant Role of Hindu Temples and Religious Institutions, Ramakishna Math, USA
2)   Kartikeyan Sridharan, The Science of Upanishads
3)   SriniVasan N.R., Various Discourses on Hindu Temples  and Traditions, Hindu Reflections, <>
4)   Speeches of Modern Spiritual Gurus—Swamijis Dayananda, Devananda, Bhaskarananda, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, Ravi Shankar and others.
5)   Swami Lokeswarananda, Science and Religion, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata, India.

Saturday, March 10, 2018




National Geographical Magazine suggests that the urge to worship sparked civilization. It means Religion preceded civilization. This news is no sensation to Hindus who are grown with the spiritual thinking of Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Tradition. To a Hindu everything about life started with the spiritual urge as learned from Upanishads.

Religion and philosophy have been the basis of Hindu culture from the time of Rigveda. Our Rishis gave their due consideration to all other aspects of life that contribute to the attainment of peace and joy. These include social values, organizational aspects of society,  political institutions including judiciary, economics and financial management, sound educational system, chemical, biological and health sciences, fine arts like music, dance, drama, painting and sculpture, development of weaponry and defense system etc. Though the subject is very vast an attempt has been made on a panoramic study and view of ancient and medieval culture of Hindus in a series of discourses. 

Swami Chinmayananda says: “When a group of people live together for a long time in a particular geographical area,   living certain values, the special individuality or fragrance that emanates from that group is said to be their culture.” Culture is the behavior of the community and not of the individual. When a certain individual behaves in a particular way, we say “that is his or her nature”. Promotion of Culture calls for collective action.  Man’s control of nature external is called civilization. This internal control of nature is called culture.
Hindu culture is founded on the wisdom of Vedas and Upanishads and that provided enduring foundation upon which this most ancient civilization was built.  The great religious and spiritual masters of   India have time and again revived their glorious culture.  Unlike European culture Hindus continue to cherish and live with their   culture wherever they are located. Today there are more than 400 Hindu Temples in USA besides many cultural and social organizations for a population little more than 2 million. These temples play the role of cultural centers in a foreign soil.
If we want Hinduism to flourish in a foreign soil we have to promote Hindu Culture. If cultural values deteriorate Hinduism will have its swan’s song.  Present day Hindu culture has its origin in Vedic culture of Purusharthas (human values)—Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha and therefore withstood all machinations and temptations wherever it lives.  An in-depth study   and practice of Hindu Culture is not only important but also imperative for our future generation if we want Hinduism to flourish in a  migrant country like USA where many  cultures of migrants and Natives have vanished caught in materialism.

Hinduism is a way of life.  Every important event in Hindu life has to be sanctified through religious observance. This ritualistic sanctification or sacrament is called Samskara. There are ten such Samskaaras. Today because of changed times and altered life styles only few of these are strictly followed.  Under special circumstances such lapses are condoned in Hindu culture. indu ulture.

A unique feature of the Hindu culture is its rejuvenating capacity.  Customs which are obsolete and anachronistic have either been dropped or have faded away for example human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, severe penance,  sati customs have their origin in the Puranic period, or the Muslim invasion period, and do not have any Vedic origins, like wearing marks on the forehead, ringing the bell, or Aarathi etc.  Hindu culture tailors itself constantly to take the best of the modern technological age without losing its roots. Caste system has almost vanished among Hindu Americans, though thrives and fight with each other in India politically encouraged. Hindu marriages in USA are based on universal binding force of love and each partner is free to practice the religion he or she loves.

Hindu Reflections has posted many interesting topics on the subject that has been sent to the HR Forum with attractive introductions through E-mails.  These introductory E-mails are reproduced here for the benefit of those who are not on my mailing list and for those who have joined the forum recently and hence missed some in the past. These are very useful for a quick glance through for those who are otherwise busy, However they can go through my classified list ad pick their topic of interest for a detailed study.


1. Complex Caste System of Hindus in India
2. Hindu Education System through the Ages
3. Administration, Economics, Healthcare System and Judicial System Promoted by Vedic
4. Hindu Diet Codes, Scriptural Sanctions and Ethics
5.  Origin and Growth of Hindu Fine Arts; Rangoli and Kolam
6. Early Vedic Literature
7.  Women in Hindu Society through the Ages
8. Hindu Temples and Temple Worship
9. Hindu Samskaras
10. Amazing Numbers beyond Count from Hindu Scriptures
11. Grand Parents Memories are Cherished History
12. Hindu Traditions and Customs
13. Hindu Temples
14. One Hindu Complex for Many Traditions Overseas
15. Upanayana is Vedic Mandated Ceremony for All
16. What is in a name, Kris or Chris; don’t be Sure, I it may Prove Costly!
17. Spiritual Vitamins for Healthy Brain
18. Vivaaha--Hindu Braahma Sacred Matrimony
19. Hindu Views on Child Birth Concept and Nisheka Sacrament
20. Hindu Samskaras Performed by Parents for Children
21. Teacher’s Day
22. Maangalya Dhaaranam and Sumangali Kriya in Hindu Wedding
23. Marriage culture in Ancient Hindu Society
24. Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah 
25. Prologue to Sandhyavandanam Rituals of Hindus
26. Future of Hindu American’s Religious Identity is Hard to Predict?
27. New Year Message from Hindu Reflections
28. Asvini Twins in Vedic Culture of Lithuania
29. The Legend of Tulasi
30.  Hindu Women in the Realm of Religion
31. Interfaith Harmony
32. Panchkarmas of Panchratra Tradition
33. Hindus can’t Claim Sanskrit Their Own and of Vedic Origin
34. Modern Science in Hindu Scriptures—Mostly Accurate, Minim Wrong


The present day caste system is man-made and has Puraanic origin. Lord Krishna as the spokesman reflects the opinion of Upanishads as follows:" The Concept of four Varnas based on aptitude and vocation of human society was created by me. Though I am the author of this concept of division and aptitude, know that I am not responsible for its implementation" Lord Krishna says "Chaturvarnyah" meaning Concept and not Chatur Varanaah, four Varnas in the sloka in Saskrit. The difference is obvious.

Vedas created four Varnas among the divines based on aptitude and vocation allotted to govern the universe. They were all divines. As early as Tretayuga we see four Varnas are in operation among humans as Dasaratha is a Kshatriya and Sambhuka was a Soodra. Dasaratha's council of minister-priests who were Brahmins by vocation had some who were not Brahmins by birth. Some families propagated the priest profession in their progeny and some moved away. Similarly Vidura was a Brahmin though a Soodra Krishna was a Kshatriya though a soodra; Satyavati was a Kshatriya though a fisher woman; Drona, Kripa and a Aswatthaama were all Kshatriyas though born to Brahmin parents. Therefore Manu says "Janmanaa Jaayate soodrah" --everybody is born a soodra being a product of the Divine Mother Earth who is Soodra among divines and have to earn their vocational status by practice introducing the concept of Dwija--twice born for Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas except those who do not wish to improve but carry on serving others for livelihood as born.

People in due course deviated from these Saastric injunctions and made Varna their birth-right having failed to propagate their desired vocation in their pro-genies. Deviating from the four Varnas they created more than 50 Jaatis as more professions grew with specialization or aptitude. They all became birth-right whether the family members continued in their profession or not. Jaatees were firmly cemented to the names as sur-names.

During British Times trade and governance was taken over by the British and key positions were occupied by them and indirectly Kshatriya and Vaisya base vocations went to the background. Meanwhile due to hatred and domination a vast number of out-castes multiplied.   Large majority who were reading Vedas and practicing priesthood became greedy, left their divine pursuits, forgot Dharma, concentrated on material pursuits by quickly changing from Apara Vidya to Prara Vidya to make a fast buck. British needed them to rule a big country coming from a small island and also some of them who excelled them in intelligence to rule the country and increase trade and commerce to enrich their coffers. Poor vast majority and unemployed of the service class hated the sudden rise of affluent. Filthy rich hid their gold and held on to the large agricultural land exploited the poor labor. There was therefore three classes among the serving class--Brahmins; Non-Brahmins and the Out-castes which everyone in service had to declare.

With the dawn of Independence in the name of equality these castes have even multiplied  and Government  of India instead of trying to eradicate  Caste system are encouraging it  directly by  listing all scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and even among Non-Brahmins higher caste group and lower caste groups for their favorite goodies to hold on to political power. In their effort to  raise the educational, cultural and economic levels of Hindus from the so called lower castes up to the level of the so called highest caste Brahmins,  Brahmins however poor and   educationally backward are pulled down to the level of the culturally disadvantage lowest caste.  They are scared that this downtrodden group among the so-called Brahmins may come up again and dominate as in British days given an opportunity and also they are not significant in  numbers in  democratic set-up to support the ruling tribes;  never   The so-called Brahmin community is deprived of this privilege  in a Caste infested system. Hence the system is very complex and cannot be easily done away with.

It is unfortunate that Caste system continues even among the elites of the Hindu society though feeble, among those migrated to greener pastures, bound by their traditions. There is another group developing as Neo-Hindus who are married into other cultures and want to identify with Hindus. You see them visibly in countries like Trinidad. By and large all continue with their sur-names like Iyer, Iyengar, Rao, Guptas, Chaterjees, Seth etc. which gives ample clue as to their caste base and prejudice. Why not avoid them?

Please go through the blog Hindu Reflections <> for a detailed discourse on “Prologue on Complex Hindu Caste System” and “Complex Caste System of Hindus”
(September 2011)

Up to the Medieval Period of the Indian History, the role model for the student was his Guru or teacher. The teacher imparted both secular and spiritual education. The teacher looked upon his students as his own children. The relationship between the teacher and student was not based on money. After graduation the students gave gifts to the teacher as a token of their respect and gratitude.
These traditions are no longer followed in the modern India. Foreign rule and the changing world to materialism have brought in radical changes in the Hindu system of education. Education is now a State subject or more commercialized or politicized and purely secular. It is a big business and stepping stone for a political career or gaining fame as a public figure for the promoters. Some promoters also are religious heads but they are bound by State regulations. Yet they try to promote spiritual education to a limited extent for those studying in their institutions. 

Spiritual education is unheard of except in the case of the scanty few religiously devoted or for those who wish to make priesthood as their career whose number is almost negligible or nil considering the vast population. Still people go to temples and observe rituals based on the Vedic tradition and also chant some Vedic Mantras as well as later composed hymns mechanically as a natural habit in the Hindu Way of life. Hindu Aagamas have taken adequate care to load as much as Vedic Mantras as possible in worship and other Hindu rituals without explaining the meaning or significance.

Our Rishis with their wisdom of Vedas were blessed with the vision of science which was responsible for many discoveries during the ancient and medieval period. These were the fore runners for the modern science. It will be interesting to review the contributions of our ancient scholars and Rishis to the field of Science and Technology which constituted Aparavidaya. Rishis were also deeply concerned with the human sufferings from diseases and wished for longevity of life. Their knowledge of Life Science crystallized into a sound system of medicine called Ayurveda which included surgery. Ayurveda was considered as a sub-branch of Veda and was designated as Veda for Longevity. (Aaayu=longivtity; Veda=knowledge). It is customary to bless with the words:"Aaayushmaann Bhacva", meaning have a long life!

Please visit the BLOG: <> for the above discourse, and also Early and Medieval Hindus' Contribution to Science and Technology as well as “Ayurveda, Knowledge of Longevity of Life” discourses delivered by me some years back. 
(September 2011)

It is amazing how our ancient sages like Janaka, Valmiki, Vedavyasa and others elegntly harmonized civilization with spiritual culture when they administered or guided the great ancient kingdoms of their times. The records left behind in Purans show how deep was their knowledge in the field of administration, justice, economics and health care management. Ancient books like, Manu's Neetisaastra, Chankya's Arthasaastra surprises every one as to their vast knowledge and practicality in meeting the needs of those days within the frame work of Sanaatana Dharma. At the same time sages had also sound knowledge of Life sciences which helped the society in its healthcare management programs. All these programs had to be backed up by good financial management in which field also they did not lag behind. I wonder whether at any time they felt the pain of deficit budget! Everyone was a Bill Gates in those days in magnanimity if not in riches!

It is therefore natural to be curious to find out what was the system of government in the past? How was justice administered? What was there taxation policy? How did they take care of the health of the nation? What was there source of financing? How could they focus on spiritual evolution while concentrating on the material prosperity for the people? How could they maintain Varna Dharma as stipulated in scriptures and maintain order in society and all round peace and prosperity? How did they face intruding foreign invasion and evil forces?  How did they welcome new entrants into the fold of Sanaatana Dharma and other issues?

Towards the end of the medieval period all these were completely replaced by so called modern advanced systems by the foreign rulers and they struggled hard with it  to their last days as to how to compromise with different cultures, rule peacefully, and at the same time increase their personal  assets.  India has made considerable progress after independence to improve its role amid civilizations of the world but it’s much valued culture of the past is progressively declining. It is here they forgot the good message left behind by our wise sages and administrators.  It would be interesting to look back and get an idea about these aspects of ancient and medieval cultures. Please visit Blog: <> for the discourse on the above topic.
(September 2011)

Swami Vivekananda once remarked: “In India religion has entered into the cooking pot”. He should have based his statement on the persistent argument that is going on for and against non-vegetarianism. The scriptures of Vaishanva and Saiva traditions (sampradayas) prescribe strictly vegetarian food for their religious followers. Those belonging to Sakta tradition are allowed to eat meat, fish and even consecrated wine. Still animal sacrifices are going on in isolated celebrated Hindu Temples in the Northan and Eastern parts of India.  Hindus harbor strong and negative feelings and even hatred towards those who eat other kinds of food than what they eat, be it their own or foreigners. This seems to be one of the major cause   for the segregation policy calling some Hindus Untouchables or Pariyas or Mlecchas (Harijans) who do not abide by the self-imposed diet code by the society. Scriptures mention of wide variety of meat consumed by the people in ancient times (PleasE refer Ramayana of Valmiki where Bharata and his army were welcomed with variety of meats; Sage Agastya was fed by lamb meat during shraaddha ceremony by Vaataapi).
It is worth repeating translation of one of Meera Bhajans here:

Had it been possible for one to see God by eating fruits and roots?
Why haven’t the bats and  monkeys seen Him?
Had it been possible for one to know God by taking baths in holy waters?
Why haven’t the fish known Him?
Had it been possible for one to find God by eating vegetables and leaves?
Why haven’t the deer and goats found Him?
Had it been possible for men to see God by renouncing their wives? 
Why haven’t the eunuchs seen Him?
Without the love of God, says Meeraa, none can ever have God-vision.

So according to Hindu Sadhus (saints), primary importance should be given to the love of God, and right kind of food should be given secondary importance to lead a religious life though right kind of food  is important for spiritual way of life. Bhagavadgeetaa focuses on three kinds of food—Saatvic, Raajasic and Taamasic. Satvic food makes one gentle and good. Raajasic food makes one egoistic and reactive. Taamasic food makes one dull and indifferent.  

Please visit the Blog Hindu Reflections: <> for a detailed discourse on the above subject.
(October 2011)

Hindus strongly believe that every art sprang from Eternal Tradition. They list around 64 such arts. Hindu Fine Arts by and large have not only maintained their original fervor but  also made considerable improvements thanks to the significant contributions by great musician saints. Considerable improvement have also  been made in improving the quality of musical instruments with innovation and also adapting suitably   Western instruments thanks to the great scientific  development in acoustics.  Modern Visual Art Techniques have helped Theatricals. Music has brought unity and harmony among musicians with no class, creed or religious distinctions. Origin of the art of Kolam is traced back to Vedic days and is also linked to Sakta form of worship in which very many geometric figures are used as in Srichakra of Sri Lalita. Yajna Vedis are also based on geometrical configurations from which the art of Kolam has drawn considerable help. 

Please visit BLOG; <> for these interesting discourses: “Origin and Growth of Hindu Fine Arts” and “Rangoli and Kolam”.

 (October 2011)

We are finding difficult even to study and understand one small Upanishad which gives a panoramic view of the Wisdom of Vedas. Imagine what efforts would be needed to study all the existing Shrutis and Smritis. What would have happened if all the Vedic Literature had been preserved and brought into hard copies. We understand most of it had been lost! They did not have computer in those days except the genius human computers of Rishis. We miss them today! Even Ganesha did not take the plunge to make hard copies of all Vedas but confined to Mahabharata only with his one broken tusk! Probably he needed more tusks of Panchmukhee Ganesha or more!

Even Sankara could study only 11 of the Upanishads. They too needed further explanation by Aanadagiri. Ramanuja wisely avoided commenting on them. He confined to his Vedaantrasangraha. Madhva could comment only on ten ancient Upanishads though lived long. He too needed help from Raghavendra for further elucidation. Some confined to Easaavasya Upanishad only like the scholarly Vedanta Desika. Ranga Ramanuja (circa 1600 A.D.) has completed the work by commenting on all the major Upanishads to project the Vishitaadvaita philosophy including Mahaa Naaraayan Upanishad which we are studying now. He too could not go beyond twelve.

You should at least know what is now existing and what is available to those who can know them only through the medium of English?  I quite often amused how some people claim themselves as experts and talk so authoritatively on Vedas and criticize too with no knowledge in Sanskrit also. We sometimes meet them in our Vedanta Class too! Today I have posted my discourse on EARLY VEDIC LITERATURE. I hope you will  find some time to get to know these sources at least  which contain the Wisdom of Vedas and realize how abundant the available knowledge is!  Please visit the Blog <>. 
(September 2011)

Hindu culture presents a paradoxical status regarding women in Hindu Society which often attracts criticism from the Western World. This was so in the past and the present too. 

Women were seen as the fountain-head of temptation (I do not mean Biblical Eve), hurdle in the path of spiritual progress to be rejected by those who sought spiritual emancipation. We are all familiar with the spiritual struggle of sage Viswamitra. Many holy men avoid even casual contact with woman lest they be tempted. Swami Narayana  holy men even to-day believe in this.

We welcome a new bride with all respect, pomp and show. She is almost seen as diminutive duplicate of the Goddess or as queen (Bahuraani). Rituals like Yajna (fire sacrifices) and most of the Hindu Samskaras cannot be performed by the husband without her participation. She is glorified as Sahadharmini and Sowbhagyavati. (one who equally shares all dharmas and one who is the deliverer of all good and auspicious things). Faith-fullness of a woman to her husband is given too much importance and carried even beyond his demise for the living widow. Even when her husband is dead and gone she is expected to remain faithful to his memories. Even in the recent past her killing on the funeral pyre of her husband (sahagamana) was glorified and she was venerated as Sati Mahaaraani. Thanks to Governmental intervention this cruel practice of Sati has been put to an end.

Though the sacred of a woman has been well acknowledged in Devi  worship exclusive to Hinduism still  prevailing, though other religions have forgotten about lady veneration as Goddess, we find that every attempt is made to curtail her freedom in Hindu s Society. She is denied the right to make decisions, the right to own property and the right to educate herself like her male siblings. Till recently women were hidden behind the veils, locked in the courtyard trapped within thresholds, smothered by the alleged divinity of chaste wives and loving matriarchs. We hear about them occasionally now and then still. 

A riot may start if the chastity of a Hindu woman or girl is known to have been forcibly violated. Imperfection in society is measured by evils.  Western Society is neither better nor more perfect. But even today in Nair community in India mother is the "Head of the House". We now and then hear about child marriage though stopped as early as 1929. Devadasi system is completely eradicated though prostitution continues clandestinely as in every human society. We also hear every now and then of venerated woman saints like Amritaanandamayi of Kerala who is too well known in USA. We hear more often about woman President, Chief minister,  ministers, judges, business executives, politicians,  lawyers and doctors  in Hindu society than in the so called  more advanced and cultured societies. It shocks a Hindu that American Constitution still reads "All men are equal" and not "All Men and Women or people are equal". These paradoxes make Hinduism unique and interesting kindling curiosity. This therefore makes an interesting subject of study of Hindu culture. 
Please visit my BLOG: <> for on interesting study on the subject titled "Women in Hindu Society Through the Ages". 
(November 2011)


A vision of temple in India evokes among Hindus feeling of reverence, sanctity and spirituality as Temple symbolizes as the abode of Gods and a place of worship. For migrant Hindus here Temples also serve as Hindu Cultural Centers.  Temples here have also developed a composite view on Siva-Vishnu-Devi worship absorbing the concept of Panchayatana Pooja of Sankara, a composite pooja for his Shanmata deities at one place. In India Temple has moved away from its original social, economic and cultural reach of the society. In the earlier days it wielded political power also with the direct participation of ruling kings. 
Krishna Vasudeva belonging to the Yadu Clan founded the Bhagavata School, a devotional school of Hindu Religion. He was known as Bhagavaan and was fore-runner of Lord Krishna. He was affectionately called Bhagavan and probably the author of Bhagavadgita (Kalpataru Research Academy, Sankar Math) which later got the deft touches of Vedavyaasa and made Lord Krishna the spokesman.  This school brought Bhaktimaarga to the fore-front pushing back Japayoga and Vedic Sacrificial form of worship about which I have spoken earlier.  As a center of worship the temple is mainly a product of Puranic Trdition. Hindu pantheon of gods have their origin mainly in  the Puranas of Vaishanva and Saiva Traditons. The Brahminical form of worship which still maintains a small part of Vedic Sacrifice today in its rituals, gradually absorbed beliefs and practices of folk tradition. Vithoba and Kandobha of Maharashtra, Murugan of hill  tribes of the South, Ganesha a god venerated by farmers, Mother Goddess Kaali in Bengal,  Bhagavati of Kerala, Mariamman of Tamil Nadu are all from folk and village traditions which later got absorbed into  the Vedic Tradition, some even glorified as Brahman, the Supreme Principle. Buddhism had also its influence on Hindu Temple Tradition. Some believe temple as  direct descendant of  Buddhist Stoopa which in turn might have evolved from the funeral mound as you could witness today in Toda Tribe practice in Nilgiris. Buddha is also absorbed as an Avatar of Vishnu by many.  The divine aspects of awe-inspiring rich Hindu  Temple architecture is based on Hindu Scripture of Vaastu Saastra. Its origin goes back to Pre-Christian era. We in America Have introduced the concept of Americanization of Hindu Temple worship Introducing Mother'd day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. May be in due course we may add Valentine's Day to honor the deities Kaama and Rati. Here we need not have to wait for Aagam Saastra authority and the founding fathers of temples can bend the priesats to our needs. Thus we are able to add Americanization to Sanskritization and Vernacularization of Hindu Temple worships prevailing in India.  Buddha, Mahaveer, Swami Narayan, Saibaba  have graced the Hindu Temples here  with individual sanctum sanctorum. In due course we may have Christ too and celebrate Christmas in tune with the National Culture as Easa (shortened form of Easvara). We have adopted Kris for Krishna already. What remains is the Halloween and Independence Day. May be Independence Day could be dedicated to Aindra-Maata (Statue of Liberty), parallel to Bhaarat-maata of Vande Maataram fame, and worshiped too as we live in Aindrakanda according to American-Hindu concept,  which we   declare in our religious resolves (Sankalpas). 

Of late  host of neo-deities have been consecrated in  temples in  India and also individual temples built where the neo-deities could not be accommodated in regular temples-- Azhwars and Nainmars of Tamil Nadu, Swami Narayan, Ramanuja, Sankara, Aandaal, Raghavendra, Sai baba and even Bharat Mata (in the holy city of Haridwar), a creation of Bankim Chandra  Chatterjee of Vande Maataram. We have thus lost count of number of gods in Hindu worship!  This trend is also seen in Hindu worship wherever Hindus have migrated.


It seems there were no hard and fast rules of Samskaras and follow-up during Vedic period. Hymns now used in the rituals of marriage, conception, and funeral are found in Rig Veda besides others that are generally recited during all rituals. Taittatareeya Aranyaka contains mantras for cremation.  

It is reasonable to conclude rituals and ceremonies were developed, amplified and codified and given an institutional bias with the development of civilization or needs of the time for giving stability to the society. The rituals constituting the Braahmana portion of Vedas received systematic treatment in Kalpa Sutras which are exegetical texts of the Vedas. The needs for them arose because short manuals were required by the priests as an aid for their daily performance.

Among these texts, those that deal with Vedic sacrifices are called Srauta Sutraas and those that deal with Vedic domestic rituals are called Grihya sutras. Upakarma belongs to this category. To-days Samskaras contain both rituals and ceremonies.   They also contain both religious and secular ceremonies. If we really understand the meaning of the mantras of the ritualistic part it will be clear that over a period it compartmentalized to meet the specific needs of a narrow community when castes and jatis  mutiplied.  In earlier times there were as many as  40 Samsakaaras.  Today, because of the changed times and altered life-styles, not all the samskaaras are strictly followed. 
Ritualistic sanctification is called Samskaara in Sanskrit. There are several Samskaaras being   sanctified through religious observances in a Hindu’s life. These are: 1) Marriage; 2) The consummation of marriage; 3) Prayers for the well-being of a pregnant woman; 4) The birth of a child; 5) Naming of the Baby; 6) The baby’s first hair-cut; 8) Introduction of the child to his studies; 9) Upanayana or the sacred thread ceremony; 10) The returning home ceremony after a   student completes his education; 11) The funeral for the departed; 12) The post funeral honoring the departed—Shraaddha ceremony; 13) Building a new home; 14) Entering a new home; 15) Spiritual initiation; 16) The attainment of puberty of girls and others.

Please visit the Blog Hindu reflections <> for discourses on; 1) Hindu Samskaaras; 2) Hindu Baby Shower; 3) Hindu Naming ceremony; 4) Upanayana Samskaara; 5) Hindu Rites for the Deceased Parents and Ancestors; and 6) Prologue on Upaakarma Rites
*(September 2011)

 Hindu Baby Shower (Sept 2011); Upanayana (Sept. 2011); Hindu Rites for the Deceased Parents and ancestors (Sept 2011); Namakaranam Ritual--Hindu Naming Ceremony (March 2014); Vivaaham—Hindu Braahma Sacred Matrimony (June 2014); Hindu views on Conception and Childbirth, and Nisheka Samskara (July 2014);Maangalya  Dhaaranam and Sumangali Kriya in Hindu Wedding (September 2014);What do we learn from the Institution of Marriage in Hindu Ancient Culture? (September 2014); Hindu Samskaaras performed by Parents on their children (July 2014);  What is Pancha Samskaara? (August 2015)

Some time back you got my e-mail on "Visualizing Divinity in Numbers".  Philosophers like Pythagoras and others thought about numbers the same way.  Dr. Albert Einstein said once: "We owe a lot to Hindus, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made. I have made the Geetaa as the main source of my inspiration and guide for the purpose of scientific investigation and formation of my theories". He was referring to Hindu scriptures mainly Vedas. Max Mueller, Oppenheimer and Einstein had all good working knowledge of Sanskrit and were deep into our Vedas and other scriptures.  Oppenheimer quoted the Sloka from Bhagavadgeetaa when he exploded the nuclear bomb (Divisoorya sahasrasya).  The column of fire as the source of Linga, a domelike (Poornam) configuration which is kept cool by constant trickle of water symbolizing Ganga  (here Sakti controls Prakriti) should have inspired Oppenheimer as to nuclear energy and heavy water Deuterium.  Max Mueller quoted the first mantra of Rigveda "Agnimeele purohitam | Yajnasya deva mritvijam| hotaaram ratnadhaatamam ||" for Thomas Alva Edison which the HMV  Gramophone  Company  recorded as the first recording when it started its gramophone record production. This mantra extols the Supreme Principle and represents the number "O" (Nirguna Brahman) which is Poornam that is extolled again in the famous Vedic Mantra "Poornamadah Poornamidam".  Linga is poornam (0) which we call as soonyam in mathematics.  If we look to continuous flow of soonyam in succession to the right side of 1 (symbolizing saguna Brahman),   that leads to infinity which is ever growing and never ending. That leads to Brahman (who is infinitesimal) which word is derived from Sanskrit root "Brih”  to grow or ever expanding.  In circum-ambulation (pradakshinam) we always look to our right side for we have the goal to   approach Nirguna Brahman through Saguna Brahman which is seen in visible form as an icon.  That is why the idol is always to your right side during this act.   The Mantra from BAU and sloka from Geetaa referred above are quoted in my discourses explaining their meanings   in several discourses which may be referred by those interested.
The highest power in mathematics in use today perhaps stops at 10 raised to the power of 30   ("D" Greek Deca). The following slokas arefrom ancient astronomy texts give an idea of numbers as multiples of ten known today, each of which is ten times the one immediately preceding it:    
" Ekam  dasa satam asmaat  sahasram-ayutam  tatah  param laksham  | prayutam kotim  atha  arbuda vrinde  kharvam nikharvam cha |Tasmaan Mahaasarojam  sankum saritampatim tvantam |  madhyam paraardham ahur yathottaram dasagunam tathaa jneyam ||
“Eka dasa sahasraayuta-laksha-kotyah kramasah | arbudamabja kharva nikharva mahaapadma sankavastasmaat| jaladhisyaantam Madhya praraardhamiti dasagunottamsajaa | Sankhyaayaa sthaanaanaamvyavahaaraartham kritaa poorve || [These numbers have been formulated for commercial transactions]
We are all familiar with the number Paraardham quoted in our religious resolutions (Sankalpa when you do any worship). This is ten raised to the power of seventeen.  We are in dwiteeya (second) Paraardha in Svetavaraha Kalpa, Kaliyugaa, first quarter. Much earlier to 100 B.C.E. Hindu scriptures quoted figures raised to the power of 53 called Tallakshanam. Ramayana (Aadikaavya, first literary composition in the world) in Kishindakaanda Chapter 29 talks about some of these numbers while Sugreeva mentions about the number of monkeys in the army   under several leaders. The numbers Sanku and Mahapadmam are mentioned here  in this context. It is therefore reasonable to believe that Aryabhatta only rediscovered and did not invent the number 0 referred in scriptures as soonyam or poornam but glorified it.   Systematic way of counting beyond the capability of modern computers existed much earlier to Ramayana period and the numbers were used liberally in ancient scriptures.  Purusha sookata the earliest Rigvedic text mentions about Ten (atyatishthat dasa-angulam), the starting point of the concept of zero and the decimal system.
The following numbers are mentioned in Hindu astronomy.  The figure in brackets refers to the number raised to the power of ten. These are: Dasa (10^1); Sata (10^2); Sahasra (10^3); Dasa Sahasra (10^4); Laksha (10^5);  Dasa Laksha (10^6); Koti (10^7); Ayuta (10^9); Niyuta (10^11); Kankara (10^13); Vivara (10^16); Paraardha (10^17); Nivahata (10^19); utsangah (10^21); Bahula (10^23); Naagaballah (10^25); Titlamba (10^27); Vyvasthaangaprajnapat (10^29); Hetuhalla (10^31); Karahuhu (10^33); Sampaata Lambah (10^37); Gananaagati (10^39); Niravadya (10^41); Mudraabalam (10^43); Saraabalam (10^45); Vishamagnagatih (10^47); Sarvajnah (10^49);Vibhutangaama (10^51); Tallkshana (10^53). Valmiki Ramayana also repeats the same names in Ayodhyakaanda, Chapter 28, but their values are at variance.

No poison can kill a positive thinker and medicine can cure a negative thinker.
Happiness is a choice, not a result – nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy.
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
When you burn with the fire of anger, smoke gets in your eyes.
The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind, but the goodness of a person spreads in all directionsation humans start without wealth (this may include spiritual wealth too) and possibly without education. The greatest opportunity for those in this generation is to work hard to educate and build wealth. This is partially true to me in life as well as other Hindu migrants too.  This process started for me partially in India itself.
Along this struggle we do not change our values of lifestyle. Like all parents we want better life for our children so that the second generation is well educated and has a choice about careers. This is the main reason why I migrated though I could have completed the process in India itself. Born just before few years of Independence my life took the same path as the country in my struggles. The second generation will become lawyers, engineers and doctors mostly and they will be enjoying cultural activities too.
The off springs see the sacrifices their parents made, and they know their parents want them have a brighter, better and easier life. So they adjust their lifestyle accordingly the family fortune plateaus in the second generation.
Then third generation, raised with all spoils of wealth, does not witness the amount of work and sacrifice it took to build the wealth. So, the third generation goes to work in shirt sleeves again. 
This proverb is true to all cultures because it is essentially based on universal human nature. The rich get richer they say. It is true, for it is easier to make money if you start with money. But people with money tend to acquire expensive hobbies and lifestyles to the utter neglect of spiritual evolution. This can be a huge drag on their financial resources and human values. 
First generation is motivated by need and a desire for a better life. This is very true in the case of migrants. The third generation that is born into a family that is enjoying a wonderful life-style has less motivation to create wealth or spiritually progress; they desire to spoil the child a disservice to younger generation.
To successfully preserve wealth, a family must form a social compact amongst its members reflecting its shared values and each successive generation must reaffirm and readopt that social impact. The lesson of the shirtsleeves proverb is that all generation needs to be connected to the family, family values and spiritual values.
Families need to come together on a regular basis and be reminded of who are they, where they come from, how they are unique and how those benefits can benefit them and future generations of the family.   It is therefore necessary to tell your children of your family stories as to how its wealth was created; what was the motive force that created the wealth by its generation; the mental peace to enjoy it; and, how it benefited the society?

Hindu traditions and customs are often misunderstood as superstitions. Superstitions fade away   with a sense of understanding and time. Many Hindu traditions have withstood the test of times. Some traditions like Sati, animal sacrifice, untouchability, treatment of widows in Hindu Society, polygamy, child marriage etc. have become almost obsolete or being dropped. It is this adaptability that has won the admiration of many cultures of the world to recognize Hindu culture as one of the world's oldest cultures. Almost every Hindu culture has scientific,  logical, historical, social and spiritual significance, either all of it or at least some of it. Many of you would have gone through the discourses “Hindu Traditional Practices for Temple Visit" and "Abhivadanam, Gotras and Charan Spars".  In these an attempt has been made to collect all such popular traditions and customs that have withstood the test of time. They are an integral part of a Hindu's daily routine called Nitya Karmas and also his goal oriented specific duties called Naimittika Karmas.  I have pleasure in presenting to you to-day a discourse titled: "Some Random Thoughts on Age-old Hindu Traditions"  in addition to the most   popular traditions  as  Hindu temple is a constellation of symbolism  as  could be learnt  from my discourse "Symbolism in Hindu Temples and Popular Deities". Hindu Temple is an image that is at once relevant to human aspirations and persistent in human thoughts and actions. The details of temple architecture, which prescribe the rites of installation and rituals of worship indicate the  real value of  the shrine. At the same time every conscientious Hindu realizes:"The  ritualists  have their God in the fire; but the wise folk find the Supreme in their own heart.  It is the dull-witted one that seeks God in an icon". Those who have higher understanding see God in everything. A devotee as he enters the temple pays his obeisance at the flag post touching the Mother Earth and paying his obeisance by prostration.  Thus he pays his first reverence to the element Earth. A t the sight of the waving lamp during worship he pays his obeisance to the element of fire. As he receives the holy water with reverence he pays his obeisance to  the element of water. When he circumambulates he feels the presence of Air and pays his obeisance to element Air, looking at the icon to his right all the time while focusing his thoughts on the Supreme Principle that started life with five elements. As he walks out,  he sits for a while looking  at the Kalasa (cupola) of the  tower pointing towards the sky and beyond  paying his obeisance to the fifth element vast Space. So devotees thoughts are filled with awe, inspiration and reverence from the time he enters the temple and leaves the premises.  His mind has therefore is preoccupied and there is no place for any other thought. Therefore the serenity prevails in his mind unaffected by external disturbances. An outside critic who enters the temple fascinated by the magnificent temple and the prejudiced idea about the icon  refuses to criticize as he approaches the sanctum sanctorum while he merges   with the deeply absorbed crowd; His wild criticism turns into great admiration and  his thoughts rises to spiritual heights once he understand these symbolism. Thus Hindu Temple worship is in essence the worship of Supreme Principle and his  five elements with which he administers the  entire Universe in a systematic manner as previously discussed. Please visit the Blog Hindu Reflections for all these interesting discourses on Hindu culture.
(February 2012: October 2012)
Hindu temple is a constellation of symbolism as could be learnt from the discourse "Symbolism in Hindu Temples and Popular Deities" posted on the Blog Hindu Reflections. Hindu Temple is an image that is at once relevant to human aspirations and persistent in human thoughts and actions. The details of temple architecture, which prescribe the rites of installation and rituals of worship, indicate the real value of the shrine. At the same time every conscientious Hindu realizes: "The rituality have their God in the fire; but the wise folk find the Supreme in their own heart.  It is the dull-witted one that seeks God in an icon. Those who have higher understanding see God in everything”. A devotee as he enters the temple pays his obeisance at the flag post touching the Mother Earth and paying his obeisance by prostration.  Thus he pays his first reverence to the element Earth. At the sight of the waving lamp during worship he pays his obeisance to the element of fire. As he receives the holy water with reverence he pays his obeisance to the element of water. When he circum-ambulates he feels the presence of Air and pays his obeisance to element Air, looking at the icon to his right all the time while focusing his thoughts on the Supreme Principle that started life with five elements. As he walks out, he sits for a while looking at the Kalasa (cupola) of the   tower pointing towards the sky and beyond paying his obeisance to the fifth element vast Space. So devotees’ thoughts are filled with awe, inspiration and reverence from the time he enters the temple and leaves the premises.  His mind has therefore is preoccupied and there is no place for any other thought. Therefore the serenity prevails in his mind unaffected by external disturbances. An outside critic who enters the temple fascinated by the magnificent temple and the prejudiced idea about the icon  refuses to criticize as he approaches the sanctum sanctorum while he merges   with the deeply absorbed crowd; His wild criticism turns into great admiration and  his thoughts rises to spiritual heights once he understand these symbolism. Thus Hindu   temple worship is in essence the worship of Supreme Principle and his five elements with which he administers the entire Universe in a systematic manner.
Please visit Hindu Reflections: <> for detailed discourses on: “Divine Character of Hindu Temples in Concept and Design”; “Symbolism of Hindu Temples and Popular Deities”; “Linga and Saalagraama”.
(February 2012)

Unlike Hindus in India,  Hindu Americans flock to one temple-complex to fulfill their religious aspirations grown with their family traditions, which differ widely from region to region in India,  even on their specific festival and ritualistic worship days; they are  living amid majority who follow Christianity a founded religion which never understood Hinduism  based on Eternal Tradition (Sanatana Dharma) or want to do so, but for a handful who are spiritually inclined and are seeking guidance from Hinduism resorting to Yoga and meditation.  Even among Hindus who are disgruntled or dissatisfied have moved out from the majority  to set up their own traditional temples like Swami Naaraayan Temple, Saibaba Temple, Kaali Temple, Aiyappan Temple, Hare Krishna Temple  etc., however uneconomical they may be to run and how limited the crowd may be, for they are rich and affluent.  Even within temple-complex some groups not satisfied with the main mass worship have forced their own traditional worship on the same day of main worship   as seen in Jagannatha sanctums with liberal donation. In Hindu-complexes the will of the founding fathers or the trustees prevail with the motto take it or leave it, though temple is registered as public place of worship and non-profit organization. Sometimes we point at Christianity showing their different churches, leanings and different mass worships; yet   they laugh at us as viewing us confused and misdirected. Jesus thoughtfully said: "Father they know not what they do, forgive them".  Of late they too are awakening to have  one broad based mass to suit all drawn from different church beliefs. It is true Neo-Buddhists, Arya Samajists, Jains, Christian-Hindu mixed faith   families and even some non-traditional Sikhs (not panje-pyaare) want to visit Hindu Temple-Complexes. Thus both vertical disintegration and horizontal expansion is taking place within migrated Indian community  who have taken  foreign citizenship and yet want to hold on to ethnic and cultural identity. This is easier with others like Chinese or Japanese migrants than Hindus where their God is faith based.

It Is high time in the interest of future generation we recognize these problems early, and follow the examples of Hindu temples run within Ramakrishna Math complexes or as practiced from some Hindu groups who have lost touch with India over generations like the Fiji Hindu Temples   where the focus is more towards the Universal Oneness of Sanatana  Dharma and spiritual goals in practice than complex detail oriented ritualistic approach with no focus on spiritual  thought. Keeping this in view I have prepared a draft as attached above whose objective is clear--to focus on  One Mass Worship, Universal Oneness and spiritual focus to evolve ourselves within our scriptural sanctions sticking to the  dictum Vedokhilam Dharmamoolam--Vedas are our final authority.  We in USA enjoy religious freedom and are not controlled by bureaucracy with government interference like the Hindu Religious endowment Boards or constantly bugged by minority of a secular State who are  given more attention than major religion as experienced in India.  So these thoughts are essential for Hindu settlers here but they are equally important to Hindus in India being a majority how to make the much needed reform to make it a casteless and blind faith free society and to realize Universal Oneness and Supreme Principle (Tadekam). Caste and blind-faith have crept into Hindu culture over a long period. Migrants overseas are led to a caste-less society indirectly without their knowing or feeling the pinch and many traditions are also fast vanishing. In the bargain we should not be drawn to other non-dharma based traditions. 

Please visit Hindu Reflections: <> for a detailed discourse on “One Hindu Temple-complex for Many Hindu Traditions Overseas”
(June 2013)


You may have had a chance to go through my discourses on Sandhyaavandana. These mantras are initiated during Upanayana ceremony. Therefore only who have undergone Upanayana and are religious are interested in them. Many of you may be wondering as to the origin of Upanayanaa ceremony in which a student is initiated into Gayatree mantra. Why out of all the mantras in Vedas Gaayatree mantra is chosen for this ceremony? It is because of the mandate from Vedas (Mahaanaaraayana Upanishad) as is evident from the following Mantra which introduces Gaayatree mantra about which we talked about. Gayatree mantra is in glorification of the Creator pleading for invigorating our intelligence which I believe we all need.
Ojoeci sahoeci balamaci bhraajoeci devaanaam dhaamanaamaaci visvamaci visvaayuh sarvamaci sarvaayuh abhibhooroem gaayatreem aavaahayaami saavitreem aavaahayaami sarasvateem aavaahayaami chchandarshoen aavaahayaami sriyam aavaahayaami gaayatriyaa gaaytree chchandoe visvaamitra rishih savitaa devataagnirmukham brahmaa siroe vishnu-hridaya rudrah sikhaa prithavee yonih praana-apaana-vyaana-udaana-samaanaa sapraanaa svetavarnaa saankhyaayana-sagoetraa gaayatree chatur-vimsati aksharaa tripadaa shatkukshih panchaseersha Upanayane viniyoegah ||
"Oh Gayatree! Thou art the essence of strength! Thou art patience, or the subduing power.Thou art the abode of gods and their names. Thou art the insentient universe. Thou art the full span of life  or the Lord of all. Thou art every living thing. Thou art the life span of all. Thou art the vanquisher of all that is hostile to us. Thou art the Truth denoted by the Pranava (OM). I invoke Gayatree.  I invoke Saavitree. I invoke Sarasvatee. I invoke the rishis and the Divines.  I invoke the splendour of all the gods. For Gayatree mantra the meter is gayatree, the rishi is Viswaamitra and the Deity is Savitar. Fire represents the mouth; the four faced Brahma the head; Vishnu, the heart; Rudra, the crown hair; Earth, the source; the in-breath (praana), the out-brath (apaana), the diffused breath (vyaana), the up-breath (udaana) and the middle-breath (samaana), the Breath (Praana). Gaayatree is fair in hue and is of the same family as Paramaatman (Supreme Principle) attained by the Saankhyaasa--the illumined sages.  The deity Gaayatree has twenty-four syllables, comprised in three feet, six sheaths or cavities and five heads; It is employed in Upanayana, or initiation into Vedic studentship".
The Vedas are represented as a lake or saras which gives the waters of life and hence Gaaytree as the essence of the Vedas is called Sarasvatee. Traditionly Gaayatree is the name given to that Deity in the forenoon. Saavitree  is the name  given for the deity in the mid-day, and Sarasvatee in the evening.  Gaayatree is explained as that which protects the person who chants it from the various sins (gaayantam traayate). The epithet Saavitree is given because it represents Savitar, who illumines the creation: and Sarasvatee because in that aspect it expresses the world in the shape of speech. These three are also represented as Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra as well as red, white and black.  Gayatree mantra has three feet of eight syllables each, six sheaths or auxiliaries to the Vedas (Vedangas) which protects  the Vedas represented by Gaayatree like a sheath, five heads consisting of four Vedas and Itihaasa and Puraanas known as the fifth Veda. These details are recited before an individual is initiated into studentship and Gayatree mantra is inducted.
Gaayatree is employed during the performance of Japa, homa and Dhyaana.  Praanaayaama is invariably included in all worships and Samskaaras done by all chanting Gaayatree mantra. Unless one is purified by the practice of Praanaayaama, one is not ready for Japa. Thus Gaayatree mantra is chanted by all even though Sandhyaavandana is practiced by only the so called Brahmin boys today and that too very few regularly. It may not be out of place to mention here Kshatriyas and Vaisyas also can undergo Upanayana samskaara. Soodras being field workers or hard labor did not find time for Vedic studies  and hence did not like initiation into Upanayana. But, Azhwars(saints) who belong to this class of society underwent Upanayana to study Vedas. So traditionally Soodras did not undergo Upanayana ceremony, hence it became a taboo later.  In Kerala certain groups of girls also undergo Upanayana--Namboodri Brahmin girls, out of free will.  Upanayana for girls has taken place in Hindu Temples in USA also though few and far between. Vedas mention many celebrated female Vedic scholars of highest caliber who had gone through Upanayana Samskaara. Many Azhwars  and Nayanmars  of recent past  who had their births in lower castes as well as others like Narayana Guru of Kerala studied Vedas and were profound scholars.
 Sandhyaavandana is essentially repentance for the past sins and meditation on Supreme principle which every spiritual seeker practices on regular basis. From the above Vedic mantra it is clear that Upanayanam is for all irrespective of caste, creed or sex for being initiated into Vedic studentship; any individual could be initiated into this studentship by orthodox religious rituals as is practiced by Brahmin caste today in social circles or spiritual induction by a Guru as followed by Hare Krishna gurus to-day, for everyone needs exposure to spirituality. Present day religious followers may disagree as they are not fully exposed to Vedas or try to interpret Vedas in their own fashion. You can decide yourself as to whom to follow--religious gurus or spiritual gurus on such issues.  It should not be forgotten that Vedokhilam dharmamoolam--Vedas are the final authority in deciding on all such dhaarmic acts.
(September 2011)

If we glance through the Chennai telephone directory around 40% lists  Subhramanyan  and another 30%   Srinivasan as subscribers. This is because Hindus want to name their new born after popular deities. Many Hindus from the North believe these two popular names are surnames just as my name SRINIVASAN is conjectured by many North Indians. USA made it my surname  also donated it to my son, daughter in law and grand-children. I have learnt recently American courts can make mother's name as first name and father's name as surname  from the court ruling cited below.
Child support magistrate Lu  Ann Ballew ordered that  baby Messiah Deshawn Martin be renamed  Martin Deshawn McCullough which used his mother' name  as his first name   and his father's surname name  as his last name. Probably she is right as we are sure of our mother for our birth and so mother gets priority over father.  Another judge reversed Ballew's ruling In the Messiah case, and she faces s disciplinary action from the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct over religious bias.
In this regard Hindus in India enjoy greater freedom.   One of the famous Beedi (country cigarette) in Karnataka is named after Lord Ganesha liberally portraying his figure of reverence on Beedi packet. Another famous brand snuff is called Ambal Mookuthul in Tamil Nadu portraying Goddess Lakshmi. Hindutva people and courts are ignorant or silent on them.  One argument may be they are the proper names of promoters because as late as 1950 invariably Hindus liked to name their child after a God so that it would indirectly help Nama-japa like the famous puraanic story of Ajameela who by calling his son Narayana at his death bed attained salvation;   even Narayana was pleased with the mistaken identity and intention; he was happy he was remembered.  When DMK came to power there was an unconventional ruling to refrain from the practice of naming their children after God and also avoid Sanskrit  meaning names. Now we have many fancy names in Tamil Nadu--Anbukkarasi (Princess of love); Mathiazhagan (intellectually beautiful); Ilayaraja ( Young prince); Roja malar (budding rose); Ten mozhi (honey voice) etc.  Other Hindus are following suit to create fashionable and fanciful names.  Their Father of their movement   however did not change divine name Ramaswamy for he needed success for his rebellion too.  To me it looks safer for Hindu Americans to go by the direction of DMK and avoid the name of God and also have  mother's surname to be safe from being sued in America for using God's name for naming. Many Americans are fine with babies named Messiah, Christ or any other religious name their parents like at present.  Who knows what legal implication comes in the future? Messiah means Savior, Deliverer, the one who will restore God's Kingdom. It was a title held by Jesus Christ. Now he has been elevated to the position of Gods like Saibaba, Swami Narayan and Andal. Many others are in the waiting list.  Mahatma Gandhi missed the bus.
There is a threat still which says "Judges should be allowed to change the name parents give their children if there are religious applications to those names that some people may find offensive". This threat may come from within for Hindu Americans or even from Inter-racially married couples conflicting with each other.  Why not avoid to find a name like Santosh, Anand, Raja, Ulhas etc. My elaborate discourse on Naming Ceremony of   a baby in Hinduism may then need a   revision?

You should be wondering why my discourses are too long and brain taxing packed with too many details. Can it not be made simpler and shorter? Yes it can!  But I have concern for your health uppermost in my mind. One thing is,  my discourses  are research guides for those interested and contain  as much information as possible that I collect  on the subject. The other thing is I have   deep concern for your health in mind. There are five tips to keep your brain healthy according to neurosurgeon Dr. Chris Taleghani. These are Stimulation, Safety (like using helmets), Source (energy source like glucose), Sleep, and Stress ( stress damages the brain).
I contribute  to Stimulation through the long and packed  information loaded E-mails and discourses  which demands your concentration and time. Most people don't know the human mental decline begins before age forty. Just like your body your brain needs exercise. The unused parts of the brain will actually stop working  if not properly exercised. Try to mentally stimulate yourself everyday by doing things like reading, playing bridge or chess, cubes or doing puzzle. Challenging the brain allows new pathways to form when neurons die-off in middle and old-age.  Light reading does not provide good exercise. My E-mails and discourses will. That is why I send such E-mails and discourses and often remind you also to the point of your annoyance.
Why am I  so involved in my present task? I am neither genius nor Vedantin. I am 84. I need brain exercise.  So I do. While I do that why can't I share and serve others too and do joint exercise?  I find while I sleep my brain is busy working, repairing it and boosting my immune system. During REM sleep, my   brain consolidates information learned during the day. So I start my one finger  typing   E-mail as soon as I get up buying wrath from everybody in the household and also annoy you dispatching the same in your busy early hours which you  store often and  forget as you do not have the  luxury of time like me. Your concentration is more on physical exercise than brain exercise. I do that too.
Poor sleep, or less sleep, can lead to fatigue, mood disorders, memory concerns, and immune suppression. 
You may now know why I continue sending such E-mails and discourses:  your healthy brain as an active participant is my deep concern.    My E-mails and discourses are better stimulants  for  proper brain exercise if you do not know chess or play bridge.     In the process you get spiritually enlightened or elevated also. When you study deep and exercise you are inclined to send comments also to give exercise to my brain.  To some serious habitual readers my E-mails are quite sufficient as a stimulant and they do not have to go through the discourse. As participants we live in  a mutual admiration society. Let us help each other!
This Saturday you will find some intensive brain exercise material for reading as you will not find the same elsewhere. The topic will be "Is it St Valentine's Day or Kamadeva Day for Hindus to worship?" Please think seriously about it as  I have seen American Hindus freely exchange greetings   and also celebrate Valentine's Day  in Prasadam halls.  Why to curb their enthusiasm?  It will please our inter-racially married couples and their children too. Why not take the Day to sanctum above and make it a Special Religious Events Day?  We need not worry about the delicate subject. Kama, one of the Purusharthas with right approach should be our goal in life! You have more justification than any other American Holiday celebrated in the temple to make it special for Hindu Americans  if you go through my discourse which has all references to our holy scriptures.

Traditionally Hindus do not believe in any courtship before marriage. Belief among them is that love develops gradually after marriage and not before.  The tradition of arranged marriages is breaking down with American Hindus  and falling in love  and marrying has become common  due to most of the marriages take place as  inter-caste and inter-racial marriages.    Hindu--Sikh and Hind--jain weddings are common. Muslim-Hindu and Buddhist-Hindu weddings are few and far between. Interracial weddings are quite frequent between Christian and Hindu partners in USA. It is this Inter-racial marriage between a Hindu  and  Christian that  goes for  the grand and colorful Hindu wedding as well as majestic walking down the aisle of a Christian wedding. Often both traditional marriages are celebrated on different days to please the partners. Such couples settle down and decide on their religious, spiritual or atheist pursuits in their wedded life later.
Hindu weddings differ from tradition to tradition and also it depends  on their castetradition wherever they are settled. Hindu American weddings mostly take place in a temple. The ceremony is performed before a fire lit in a special metal vessel. Usually a Hindu priest conducts the wedding ceremony by reciting hymns from the scriptures written in Sanskrit. As a part of the ceremony the bride and groom exchange rings and the groom presents the bride  with saris.  The bride and groom garland each other and the couple walk around the fire  three times  at the end of the ceremony. Among some castes, the couple walks around the fire seven times. Hindu marriage consists of five important ceremonies--Vaagddaana (verbal contract); Kanyaa sampradaana (giving away the daughter); Varana (welcoming the bride and bridegroom); paanigrahana (ritualistic holding of each other's hand) and Tripadi or Saptapadi (the three or seven steps walking round the sacred fire ritual).
Hindu arranged marriage works well because Hindus believe that the union of marriage is predetermined and is a form of Karma. Statistics show there is not even one percent of divorce among Hindus. It also works because Hindus by tradition try very hard not to break a wed-lock. In Hindu marriages the union is not between a boy and a girl, but between two families. The girl is given in marriage to a family and not to a boy. Acceptance and adjustment of inter-caste and inter-racial weddings is more natural between the families in America than in  yet conservative India where caste -system has increased manifold politically nurtured. Traditional concepts are fast changing influenced by other cultures overseas where Hindus are settled and to some extent even in India.
The present discourse conveys the meaning of  many Vedic mantras chanted   and  slokas  recited as ideal footsteps for wedded life  inspired by the divine weddings from Puranas containing meanings of resolutions and promises made by the bride and bridegroom to serve the two families and the society as useful citizens and to preserve Hindu Dharma life-long, from various Hindu  proven ancient  traditions that have withstood the test of times. This is not a priest's guide for conducting marriages as per different traditions of Hindus in India.  A uniform code of practice to conduct Hindu marriages in America is slowly developing for marriages conducted in  temples keeping to  essentials from all ancient traditions (this in turn often  depends on the temple priest) to suit inter-racial and inter-caste marriages between a man and a woman. Homosexual weddings do not fall within the scope of Hindu Religious marriages.  Braahma type of marriage out of several types of marriages prevalent in Hindu Society is the only  one recognized legally  for  official marriage registration in India as well as USA. The present discourse deals with the same as practiced in different Hindu traditions.
We have here something to learn from Western culture.   There is an elaborate marriage rehearsal before the actual wedding takes place to convey the meaning of Holy Matrimony to the families in Western practice. This is more needed for Hindu Americans uprooted from their culture and living in a multicultural and multi-traditional society.   Hindu Marriages are packed with Mantras in Sanskrit language and the wedding is conducted in that divine language. The priest tries very hard to explain at least the meaning of selected mantras and procedures during the ceremony which neither registers with the bride and bridegroom and their busy running around parents nor the large noisy audience. It is therefore necessary that the head priest meets the parents of both sides  prior to actual ceremony  and explain  all the mantras and procedures so that their minds are set to follow the actual proceedings purposefully with meaning and understanding.  Usually a pamphlet describing the procedure (not all mantras) is distributed to all which is scarcely glanced through.   Once the wedding is over nobody takes any pain to understand the meaning of these mantras and procedures except it remains with the priest. This rehearsal is essential as marriages are conducted in hurry keeping to the time schedule to tie the knot. Otherwise it becomes a formality with no meaning. It is easier for temple authorities to organize the same  in USA because marriages are  mostly conducted in temples in standardized fashion to propagate the culture. It is hoped my discourse as attached if circulated to prospective couple and their parents in advance   would make the ceremony more meaningful and educate the couple with the wisdom of Vedas instead of mechanically performing the ritual without understanding the wisdom contained therein. It is a compendium of worldly wisdom to lead a happy life together.

Garbhadaana leads all the  sacraments  that are prescribed  for a Hindu.  This  Samskara of  Nisheka  or  Garbhaadaana  sets the stage for having a child who is desired, welcomed and accepted as a blessing from the Lord.  Marriage brings a man and woman together and they start a new life where one compliments the other.  Hindus believe neither the man nor the woman is complete and the main purpose of marriage is to bring good children. There is a strong notion that if the man and wife desire a capable child it must be planned as stipulated in Upanishads.  Contrary to what many think, sexual intimacy between couples is considered a sacred responsibility. To be blessed with good children certain Saastric injunctions have been imposed for physical relations between couples.  Good sexual relations have been given great importance in Grihya sootras, Upanishads, Bhagavadgeetaa and Kaamasutras of Vatsyaana.
At the moment conception takes place, an immortal soul enters the universe for the first time. This unique human being is touched by the Divine and is a gift from the Creator. God places this beautiful gift into the womb of a mother for protection. In Hindu tradition when married couple think of a baby for the first time and desire to have successful union to fulfill their desire they first offer their prayers to God.  A couple enters Grihastaasrama Dharma on being married and get licensed to lead a lawful married life in the society. Their first desire to beget a child is considered as sacred act of charity   because such a conception also helps a soul forced to re-enter the world because of its past Karmas and eagerly waiting for a suitable abode. This charity initiated by the husband though interpreted as solely a charity by the husband, its religious benefits are equally shared by the wife as well who willingly and happily co-operates as Saha-daharmini or equal partner.  After marriage she is a silent partner who by divine grace acquires 50% benefits of the good acts of the husband but not his bad acts. The human born of that conception gets an entry to the world to work his or her way to elevate the soul in her or him and reduce the burden of past Karmas if not forced to accumulate fresh Karmas due to non-dhaarmic acts. Garbhadaana like Kanyaadaana   is considered   as a very important act of charity and detailed in Upanishads.
We can find many Mantras for this sacrament in Ekagni Kaanda of Yajurveda, Grihyasootras of Sage Aapasthamaba, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Kamasootra of Vaatsyaayana.  This should be an eye-opener to many in modern times as discussions go on and off   whether sex-education should be made compulsory? It was part of curricula in Vedic studies as you see in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.  Our sages were not shy to discuss about sex life based on Dharma and its usefulness to society. In fact they felt it is a necessary and obligatory Manavadharma (human dharma) by following Grihastaasraam dharma which they preferred to Sanyasa or Sainthood and seclusion.  A Grihasta (married person) could equally aspire for liberation like a Sanyaasi (recluse) resigned to life. We find in Hindu society many religious heads who lead pious married lives.  We often hear of Guru and Guru patnis (wife or wives of Gurus running Gurukulas or Vedic schools) during Vedic days.  Often a Guru had more than one wife. Today however Western educated Hindus feel   shy to give an open importance to this ceremony and so it is whisked away combined with marriage ceremony with few Vedic mantras included in Grihapravesam (entering the husband’s home by the bride)  Vedic Homas called Pravesa Homam, Praayschitta homam (expiatory fire rituals),  Putramanta Rites (rituals for getting a son or daughter) etc., described  at length in the discourse. 
Garbhadana Sacrament clearly indicates marriage is inextricably linked to the fact that man-woman couples, and only such couples, are capable of naturally creating life together, therefore furthering or threatening, society’s interests in responsibly creating and rearing the next generation. Purpose of holy matrimony between man and woman is for serving society's child-centered purposes and procreation. Puranas have also suggested alternatives when   such holy matrimony ends without procreation as to what s be done  within Sastric injunctions.  

Most societies have religious, cultural and social ceremonies which may be looked upon as rites of passage that validate the growth of an individual. In Hindu culture there are certain samskaras which the parents have to perform for the healthy physical and psychological growth of the child.  These samskaras are performed at each turn of a child’s growth in human society. The idea behind it is also to keep the society informed about the progress the child is making by way of rituals and celebrations. As is normal with Hindus no celebration takes place in Hindu homes without invoking the blessings of God. In Hindu thinking the whole world is visualized as one family—Vasudheka Kutumbakam. Inspired by this wisdom of   Vedas  Grihyasutras   codified and standardized  many sacraments.   Among them those pertaining to Balyaavastha or childhood are Jatakarma, Namakarana, Nishkramana, Annaprasana, Mundan, Choulopanayana or Choti, Karnavedhi,  Vidhyaarmabha, Rajaswala (girls) and Upanayana.   All these Samskaras are aimed at Dharma and Mokhsa the two Purusharthas or goals prescribed for all Hindus as goal in life. Later the child   when grown has to focus on other two Purusharthas   Artha and Kaama.
Earlier two important discourses in this category have been discussed in detail—Naamakarana and Upaanayana.  Garbahaadaana   or Nisheka Samskaara is covered by a separate detailed discourse  about which people feel shy to give open expression in Hindu Society today  fearing Western criticism as we often indulge in criticizing their love making, short married life  and change of partners as and as when desired. Garbhadaana like Kanyaadaana   is considered   as very important event of human charity  and detailed in Upanishads. The present discourse deals with the rest of the Balya  Samskaaras with brief mention about Naamakarana.
The beginning of a child’s life is an appropriate time to pray for child’s good health, strength, longevity and emotional and intellectual growth. The miracle of birth is thought as an event that evokes joy and wonder. Vedic tradition celebrates the event of birth with Jaatakarma, a religious ceremony of prayer and gratitude.  Nishkramana is the child’s first ceremonious outing. The child is taken out of the house to seek the blessings of the Lord in the form of Sun and Moon. Annapraasana is first introduction to solid food weaning away the child from breast-feeding of the mother. The first morsel of food that the child eats is really the first acceptance of Prasada (Blessed food) from God and this   calls for a religious celebration. Ornamentation is considered as important in Hindu culture.  Piercing the ear and shaving the head may entail some physical pain and anxiety and so it is an occasion to pray to God. Chudikarana is a Vedic samskaara in which the hair on the head of the child is cut and in a male child, a tuft called Sikha is also kept by orthodoxy.  The hair that is shaven may be offered to God symbolizing the surrendering of one’s countless binding    desires or  discarding the Rajo and Tamo gunas imbibed while staying in mother’s womb which have to be got rid of.  Vidyarambha ceremony is performed when a child is five years old. In this ceremony prayers are offered to the Lord in the form of deities such as Saraswati, Dakshinamoorti, Subrahmanya and Vedavyaasa.  The first word written and uttered by a child is OM. This ceremony ends with the child seeking the blessings of elders and the teacher.  In some traditions Rajaswala for Girls (first menstruation event) is also celebrated. The same is also discussed in this discourse. Upanayana ceremony, the last ceremony conducted by parents generally in Hindu Brahmin Traditions to-day has already been discussed in detail earlier and hence not covered in this discourse.

I grew up in a family known for teachers dedicated to the cause of education. My sister is an outstanding teacher and is the recipient of several awards and appreciations including State Award for best teacher. My niece who is also a dedicated teacher sent me the following message on the Teacher's Day in India, celebrated on September 5.
"It is the Supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and Knowledge"- Albert Einstein. 
Teaching is an art. Each one of us is a teacher to oneself.  But it is our Parents and Teachers who identify our talent and show us the path towards light. They are the architects of our life. I wholeheartedly salute my Parents, who are my first Guru on this Teacher's Day. I owe my life to my beloved teachers, without whom I would not been what I am, My Sisters and my brother who have inspired me all the time, My husband who encouraged me to continue my studies and helped me to achieve and all my well-wishers a "Happy Teacher's Day"
I too was a teacher for 3 years only but somehow did not decide to be  a teacher by profession. But as the technical expert in my field I have added more than 5000 skilled workers round the globe, besides adding around 200 supervisors and around 25 managers who are all reputed and well placed in some countries (Latin America, China, Russia) of the world besides India. In a way I can also add my ten years of involvement in the discourses you are all familiar with to my teaching involvement. So teaching has a wider scope than merely being called teacher based on one's profession. 
It is worth recalling here how Teacher' Day is celebrated on different days in many countries. To me as a Hindu American it seems logical to celebrate Guru Poornima Day in temples   dedicated to the great teacher Vedavyasa, who is also a minor incarnation of Vishnu following the religious practice in India and  the Hindu Kingdom Nepal.  In addition as Hindu Americans we can also celebrate Worlds Teacher's Day and USA Teacher's Day in March in secular fashion as Indian Americans.
A note on Teacher's Day given below should interest you in this regard. Your kind attention is also drawn to my discourse on the subject delivered few years back. 
Teacher’s Day Celebration

World Teachers' Day, held annually on October 5th since 1994, commemorates Teachers’ Organizations worldwide.  Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers.
According to UNESCO, World Teachers' Day represents a significant token of the awareness, understanding and appreciation displayed for the vital contribution that teachers make to education and development.
Education International (EI) (the global union federation that represents education professionals worldwide) strongly believes that World Teachers' Day should be internationally recognized and celebrated around the world. EI also believes that the principles of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations should be considered for implementation in all nations.
Over 100 countries observe World Teachers' Day. The efforts of Education International and its 401 member organizations have contributed to this widely spread recognition. Every year, EI launches a public awareness campaign to highlight the contributions of the teaching profession.
National Teacher Day in USA is on Tuesday during Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place in the first full week of May.       Students often show appreciation for their teachers with gifts or writing thank you cards. The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as "a day for honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives”
The NEA gives a history of National Teacher Day: The origins of Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Wisconsin teacher Ryan Krug began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodbridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. NEA along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) local lobbied Congress to create a national day celebrating teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980, as National Teacher Day for that year only. NEA and its affiliates continued to observe Teacher Day on the first Tuesday in March until 1985, when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. The NEA Representative Assembly then voted to make the Tuesday of that week National Teacher Day.
As of September 7, 1976, September 11 was also adopted as Teachers' Day in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Currently, Massachusetts sets the first Sunday of June as its own Teachers' Day, annually.
 The idea of celebrating Teachers' Day took ground in many countries during the 20th century; in most cases, they celebrate a local educator or an important milestone in education (for example, Argentina commemorates Domingo Faustino Sarmiento's death on September 11 since 1915,  while India celebrates Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's birthday on September 5 since 1962. This is the primary reason why countries celebrate this day on different dates, unlike many other International Days.
The birth date, [5 September 1888], of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, is celebrated day, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. In some schools, on this day senior students take the responsibility of teaching in order to show their appreciation for the teacher.
Another day set aside for commemorating teachers in India and Nepal is Guru Purnima, also called 'Ashad sukla purnima'. It typically falls in mid-July.  This Year it fell on July 12. (2014)

Hindu marriage symbolizes not only the wedding between and man and woman, but it also symbolizes mutual love, care, affection, understanding, commitment, sacrifice, companionship, dedication, and surrender by both the partners. Each and every ritual associated with the marriage has a meaning.  One   such ritual is tying of Mangalyam.  All attention and eyes of the guests gathered to partake in wedding celebrations mainly concentrates   on Mangalya Dharanam   at the   auspicious time pre -determined and announced. All other sounds are silenced by the blowing wind pipes to focus only on the sacred mantra chanted at the auspicious time of tying the three knots and declare the holy union between a man and a woman. It is not only the yellow thread or the gold chain that has the significance, but also the bond between two hearts and the protection assured by each other. The mangalyam acts as fence for the married women, who values it as her husband. Hindu  women worship their mangalyam with  sindhoor (holy vermilion  red powder)   and even does “Sumangali vratas” for the long-life of their husbands in festivals like Varalakshmi Vrata, Gowri Habba, Karuva chauth etc.


If   we go through Hindu Sacred Puranas and History  we  could come across several instances of inter-varna, inter-racial, inter-planetary weddings and also polygamy, polygyny and polyandry weddings, divorce , remarriage , widow marriages and  love-bound alliance  outside marriage respected and honored by society. Such a trend is also slowly showing its face in spite of strong condemnation by Hindu Orthodoxy and religious monasteries and governmental controls,   now-a-days. Indian multiple laws are also helping the Hindu society in that direction in some aspects. This discourse is mainly based on the Great Epics and literary sources on Hindu Ancient and Medieval culture. 
In ancient and medieval Hindu Society both Kanyaavivaaha (marriage of a pre-puberty girl arranged by parents) and Praudhavivaaha (marriage after attaining puberty) were prevalent. The wife known as Grihani was considered as half of the husband and   was also called Saamraajini (The queen or the lady of the house) and had an equal share in the performance of religious rites.  Inter-varna marriages were frequent particularly with Kshatriyas. Varnas later turned into castes, also got multiplied and were based on one's birth even though earlier not necessarily so. Divorce and remarriages of women were allowed under very special conditions. Formal conversions into Hinduism from alien religions do not seem to have   existed. Foreigners just adopted the Hindu way of life and were absorbed into the society.  So indirectly there was inter-racial marriage in vogue.  Even the foreign invaders like the Sakas and Hunas were gracefully accepted as Hindus.  Hinduism of to-day can be considered a stock of different races whose individual identity has been lost. This is amply supported by Vedanta statement Vasudeka Kutumbakam, whole world is one family based on Sanatana Dharma.   This trend is showing up and seen in Hindu American society. Among all the marriages, Braahma marriage was considered superior to others. Only Kshatriyas were permitted to have Gaandharva (secret marriages by choice) and Raakshaa marriages (Buying a girl for money or by strength). In Daiva marriage Rishis often accepted girls from other Varnas to be their wife. Tying of the mangalasutra (the thread with an amulet, signifying auspiciousness to the rite) seems to be a later social custom, not mentioned in Dharmasaastras. A Swastika as a pendant for mangalasutra for inter-racial marriages in which one partner is Hindu is ideally suited. In case of inter-caste marriages pendant-thalis of both the partners' tradition are ideal. If one of them is not wedded to mangalasutra by tradition the common tiger-tooth or bindu of Devi could adore thali.  Since marriage was considered a samskara or a sacrament, it was not considered as an obstacle to spiritual evolution. We have thus family bound saints in Hinduism (like Jeer among Srivaishnavas)). 

When a lineage came to an end without a male issue among the ruling class Rishis were requested for help who obliged children in union with the lady leaving behind the temporary  union   to take care of the country. This was not considered adultery or illicit alliance. When the husband died early his widow often resorted to re-marry the husband's brother.


 "On 27 September 2014, Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs 100 crore by the Special Court in Bangalore. She was convicted in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case that was launched by  Subrahmanian Swamy of the  Bharatiya Janata Party on 20 August, 1996. Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala Natarajan, her niece Ilavarasi, her nephew and the chief minister's disowned foster son Sudhakaran were also convicted. They were sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs 10 crores each. Special Judge John Michael D'Cunha convicted her to owning assets to the tune Rs 66.65 crores (which includes 2,000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and 12,000 saris) disproportionate to her known sources of income during 1991-96 when she was chief minister for the first time. The verdict was delivered at a makeshift court in the Parappana Agrahara prison complex in the presence of Jayalalithaa and the other accused. She has automatically been disqualified from the post of CM and legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu and is the first chief minister to be disqualified". 

How did the so-far successful Jaya-lalita  suddenly became  Jail-Lalita? If you still remember one of  my famous quotes from Neetisastra   you will not be surprised why this happened.  It is a logical conclusion. As a ruler she should have fulfilled her obligation to protect Dharma. She failed. Hence in spite of her late realization and running to Lord Ranganatha, reforming to be Dharmic, and her being born on Makha Nakshatra she is  not saved from  perennial disgrace and punishment. This is a timely warning to all   politicians in power  today as this disease is wide-spread in  Indian politics. 

The popular Hindu dictum Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha (Dharma protects those who protect it) has two implications in its statement. The first one is easier to understand: Dharmo rakshati, meaning that Dharma offers protection. If we choose to live a life guided by the principles of Dharma, then we are assured of that protection. This understanding is ingrained in our thinking from childhood as one grows up in India. 

 The other part of the phrase is: rakshitaha. This part brings us into the action. Why was this coined? That we human beings need protection is understandable. But rakshithaha implies that the concept itself needs protection too. This is interesting as it conveys the need to protect the very concept whose protection we are seeking. Dharma will protect you if you protect it. Now it is an equation. Thus long ago it appears there was this recognition that we cannot simply take it for granted that Dharma will reign supreme always and that there is no danger to it. Therefore a duty is imposed on those who seek such protection from Dharma, and that duty is to take care that this wonderful governing concept of life is not in any jeopardy.  

Jayalalita completely ignored the second part and ran for the first part running to Lord Ranganatha hoping He will redeem her. In this connection it would be interesting to go through the message of Sumathi Agambaranathan in Tamil as given in her Blog.  I have here rendered a rough   translation in English  for those who do not understand Tamil.

“Iron Lady behind iron bars today!
Indeed many of us did not expect this decision by the court for we thought whatever you do   you will come out of it scotch free.
If by chance this decision was in your favor, common man would have lost complete faith in   the justice system.
Those who are born on the star of Makha are believed to be ruling the world and it is rather distressing to see you locked in a cage who roared like a lioness going round.
While many others who are outside the bars are not honest too,   why then you…
But even when you open your eye of wisdom a crime committed remains a crime and hence this punishment seems to be justified.
Your daring attitude, self-confidence, intelligence, piety, beauty, ruling has no match and you are unique!
You were never perturbed by the severe criticism of your opponents, overcame their challenges bringing to fruition and ruled over the male dominated world which deserves all applause!
The way you handled single-handed managing the affairs of your party deserves appreciation!
You could face boldly all oppositions, and had the capacity to take political decision in the face of their challenge “What Next”
Will anybody who takes up your job have the same Charisma   you exhibited?
Yet while appreciating   your   great talents, we feel sorry that your illustrious long political career   has come to an abrupt end by the devil of greed and the undesirable friends. We are I am not angry, on the other hand I feel sad!
All astrological predictions, sooth-sayings, Unnikrishna Panicker and even Lord Ranganatha whom you worship have let you down. These do not seem to be the conspiracy of your enemies. It   looks the entire universe has conspired against you.  
Do not worry! We are not ready for obeying the orders of another looting gang. Because, they too will meet the same fate as this; It is not too far off.
At this juncture we are reminded of a script in a movie:
God only tries to test good people; but he will not desert them. He will tempt with plenty bad people; but he will suddenly drop them.
Though your era has come to an end, it is not necessary that one should remain in politics to serve people. We pray to God to give you strength to bear the pain and give peace! What else can be done? 
Dharma protects all and Dharma is to be protected by all!”

Concluding Remarks:  India looks forward that every man will be protected by following Dharma and expects everyone to protect Dharma also. You alone are responsible for all your Karmas; God will not come to your rescue for your past sins.

 परस्य पीडया लब्धं धर्मस्योल्लंघनेन  आत्मावमानसंप्राप्तं  धनं तत् सुखाय वै--The wealth, which is earned by troubling others, by disobeying the “Dharma” or even by swallowing (self) insult; does not bring happiness.

Sandhyavandanam is a Nityakarma (daily ritual) prescribed by Hindu Sastras to all who have undergone Upanayana Samskaram and therefore restricted to those called Dwijas.    It unites the three paths of Karma, devotion and Knowledge. Upanayana Samskara and Sandhyavandana ritual procedures as is practiced to-day and earlier described in my 3 discourses are not found in Vedas or Upanishads as such. But all the important mantras contained in them are found in various Upanishads and particularly in Mahanarayana Upanishad which is otherwise known as Yajniki Upanishad as it contains almost all ritual mantras used in Hindu worship. Also Kesavaadi Tarapana, Japa and Achamana are based on Paanchaatra Doctrine of Bhaagavata  Vaishnava Tradition which has found favor with all later sectarian traditions, like Bhagavadgeeta.  Sruti Mantras absorbed into Sandhyavandana mantras by Smritis later were meant for all humanity and were not restrictive in nature as in Sandhyaavanadana ritual confined  to Dwijas and males  only. What a pity this Important ritual is made restrictive like Upanayana Samskaara and Upakarma Kamokarshit Japa and Homa for annual atonement (Prayschitaa) of sins by all?
Hindu Saastras enjoin that Nityakarmas like Sandhyavandana should be performed at specified time.  If such Karmas are performed otherwise, although they may   not cause injury they certainly will not be efficacious. The three times prescribed for Sandhyavndana are the Sandhya times where the  stars meet the rising Sun and say good bye announcing daylight,   when the Sun meets the stars and takes leave announcing the dusk and at Noon where the Sun shines at its peak and is over our head casting no shadow.  Sandhyavandana ritual enjoins the Arghya,   throwing water upwards and offer prayer to Sun God in the morning and Mid-day and to Agni in the twilight period in the evening should be performed at Sandhya periods and   at noon. This necessitates to start these rituals   little earlier,  and wait for the auspicious time to offer Arghya. Of course Sandhyavandana ritual contains a provision for any omission or commission by way way of Prayaschitta (expiation).
The morning and evening Sandhis (meeting points) are more ideal since, practically, a person's stomach will be empty at both sunrise and sunset, when a person takes his meals systematically and punctually every day.  An empty stomach is achieved after four hours of a solid meal. An empty stomach is a prerequisite for Sandhyavandanam since there are at least three sets of Praanayama (controlling of Vital forces) totaling 15 in one full routine. A loaded stomach will interfere with Praanayama greatly resulting in indigestion, sleepiness etc. Even the Madhyahneekam (noon) routine is done with an empty stomach before the meal. 
Sankalpa, Aachamana, Praanaayaama, Kesavaadi Japa, Gayatree Japa, Gayatree Arghya, Kesavaadi tarpana and Abhivaadanam seem to be the essentials in Sandhyavandana. Despite various traditions--Vaishnava, Saiva, Smaarta and Sakta, Achamana and Kesavaadi Japa and Tarpana are followed by all traditions in spite of being directed to Chaturvimsati concept of Pancharatra Vaishnavism similar to Bhagavadgeeta (Yogopanishad) of Bhaktimarga Vaishnavism venerated by all. 
Regular recitation of Sandhyavandanam helps regulating the blood pressure and the postures in which the entire practice is performed helps in overall muscle re-juvenation.  Sandhyavandana   routine includes Breathing exercises (inhaling/breathing from one nostril and releasing the carbon-di-oxide through other nostril and alternating vice versa  called Praanaayaamam, thus expanding and enlarging one’s  lungs, and improving his blood circulation level. Because of this routine practice every one who undergoes this sort of training learns to control his breath and learns to control his entire body mechanism.  Look at Sun at noon with aperture caused by Yama Paasa Mudra helps in revitalizing the eye with solar energy without burning. Gaayatree Japa also improves memory power.
(OCTOBER 2014)
What will the Hindu Temple look like to our future generation in another 20 or 30 years? Current statistics and analysis on spiritual future does not tell much about future even of a few decades from now.  Thirty years ago internet revolution was inconceivable. Now it has changed the way people approach information, community, entertainment, religion, worship and truth.  Some of my discourses through internet look like questioning many of our current religious practices and spiritual way of thinking as I recollect and  reflect often people’s minds from the reactions I receive? It is reasonable to think Hinduism will continue to thrive in some form or other based on 5000 years of history of which we know though it has   increased in its complexity and confusion particularly noticed   living away from India.

Even with all orthodox religious focus in India among Hindus by so many monasteries, Hinduism has changed a lot. Hinduism is more a   nomenclature given to a conglomeration of heterogeneous traditions and plurality of beliefs and worship with a long history of development from the Vedic sacrificial religion through the worship of Epic and Puranic heroes and personal deities, cults and sects, as well as philosophical systems rather than to a monolithic tradition or a structure based on a single system of beliefs and worship or a single text as scripture.  We have seen in recent centuries several human beings declaring themselves to be either Avatars or representatives of the Supreme Being or their devotees superimposing the Avatars on their preceptors or Gurus. We may soon have multiracial resourced Avatars with Hindu history not necessarily of Hindu origin. This will even get more complicated in the near future with the changing pattern of Hindu American society which may only have a cross reference to the past and reduce our future generation  to American of Hindu origin yet another change in Hinduism.  I was introduced to a fellow Hindu American   referring to my blog with its spiritual and religious content. He bluntly replied “I do not understand all that religious/spiritual stuff; I am happy with my physical exercise and life pursuits to enjoy life.  I am not worried about religion”. Evidently he leads a good life and seems to need no moral or spiritual help.Only the have not or over-ambitious are worried?
Only half the trends we can identify now will have any relevance 30-40 years hence. By then we will have a new wave of Hindu Americans based on Interfaith or influenced by atheism  or Pluralism that is plaguing even Christianity which is blaming Hinduism.  Now denominations of all sorts look embattled, facing new generations that don’t care about doctrinal disputes and judgmental habits of the past. The other half will unfold from the unfathomable unknown based on changed parameters. Whatever the scenario, three questions loom for religious congregations and spiritual leaders. They will  press on us as long as human beings keep up the hunt for spiritual answers and divine presence: 1)  Is belief in God necessary for a moral society, or can it function without God? 2) What does it mean to say Vedas are true? 3) How is God communicating with us  today?  How people respond to these questions will go far in shaping the predictably unpredictable future of our religious life.
It's commonly accepted that science and spirituality are not compatible. Science is considered our reliable way forward, while spirituality often regarded as a sentimental relic of our past we can't quite let go of. So to say it is necessary for the two to work together may seem unrealistic. For centuries, science has led our progress; spirituality, as indicated through participation in orthodox religion has been in steady decline. But the unorganized, personal aspect of spirituality is the subjective pursuit of value, reality, and understanding through individual experience or consciousness. This aspect of spirituality has not declined. Instead, the drive to find external solutions to global problems that have value to our interior world is more powerful than ever. The scale of our planet's problems is too great to be solved without an integrated approach of science and spirituality. The power of consciousness needs the systematization of the scientific method, and the tools of science depend on the wisdom and creativity of individual consciousness to guide it in a meaningful direction.
More and more scientists are recognizing this need -- in part because fundamental science has come to a place where the ultimate questions of matter and creation cannot be understood unless consciousness is accounted for and factored in. Consciousness may well be the common ground on which the objective and subjective worlds are derived and united. With this vision, scientists and spiritualists  have begun to meet and discuss solutions to global issues of health, hunger, conflict resolution, climate change, global conflicts and economic injustice from a perspective that joins science and spirituality. Are we ready for such a change   in our religious practices?
(JANUARY 2015)

I was focusing on what  to write in  a New  Year E-mail message to suit all of you.  First of all you may be wondering why I would rush to send a New Year greetings for January 1 while I have spoken so much against it. I could have postponed it to Pongal Harvest/Makara Sankranti or earlier heralded UPK on Winter Solstice Day on Dec. 22. But the material-wise  America says join the crowd; you will reach your goal somehow, as majority dictates and rules. Though a follower of Ramanuja I drew moral support from Sankara to decide on sending you my NEW YEAR Greetings. Sankara talked so much on Advaita saying he and Supreme are one  and yet stood before Lord Viswanatha praying and bowing expressing his 3 mistakes in life. So, I thought I too could make mistakes and  follow him and send my greetings though spoke against it ! In the Year 2013, 1.2 billion real  trees were cut for Christmas Celebration. So planting  more trees in the coming year may be a good message. Some say save the pig in Face book probably afraid of ISIS  than China!  Christian Nativity parks diplomatically avoid Holy cow and Muslim  hated pig in Nativity display, but  cow manger they would not forget. In fact they should have made cow holy for it gave shelter to the Lord leaving the manger empty for his arrival in the New Year message!  But they enjoy stake! Probably Mohammed enjoyed New Year eve too. So Muslims do celebrate New Year Eve with Christians, some times even with booze when nobody notices it. There is no Fatwa on New Year  Eve celebration as they  are yet to find out January 1 is the Circumcision Day of Jesus Christ like American Hindus who unknowingly  rush to the Temple  to pay obeisance to Jesus! They all enjoy, why should I  join the rare  few  who want to chant Gaayatree Japa for Viswashanti World Peace on a World Booze Day? Our Muslim musicians  need booze, so also most of our Hindu Americans! Champagne is  like Somapaana(divine drink)) and   is not a booze we say like  we say American cows are not holy! However my task was made easy and my confused  mind  made clear  by my well wisher who sent me these novel greetings  which I thought  I will send you also gratefully acknowledging as a fellow traveller on the same flight.   May  I invite you to  join us too! It is a safe day to travel as ISIS and Al Qaeda are busy in boozing and dancing on New Year Eve and would not travel or disturb us or Geetaa chanting. May be that is what prompted our Hindu crowd  to choose this day for Geetaa Chanting?  New Year eve is a novel  way of keeping ISIS and Al Qaeda home unlike 1/1 or 9/11! Do you know Pongal days are prohibited  days to travel by Sastras for Tamils? It is to keep them confined to home for  food sharing and caring! We are Hindu Americans. Sastra or no sastra safety is our concern! We have temple everywhere but few are sacred in America too!. May be a flight to Pittsburgh is a good idea to  watch special colorful Abhishekam where  Bhakti overflows the drains to  make our  New Year resolution and forget!

The Boarding on Flight Airplane 2015 has been announced…
Your luggage should only contain the best souvenirs from 2014 ....
The bad and sad moments should be left in the garbage ....
The duration of the flight will be 12 months ....
So, tighten your seat belt ....
The next stop-overs will be ...
Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, Well-Being and Peace ....

The captain offers you the following menu which will be served during the flight ....
A Cocktail of Friendship
A Supreme of Health
A Gratin of Prosperity
A Bowl of Excellent News
A salad of Success
A Cake of Happiness
All accompanied by bursts of laughter ....
Wishing you and your family an enjoyable trip on board of flight Airplane 2015 ....
Before 2014 Ends ....
Let Me Thank All The Good People Like You ....
Who Made 2014 Beautiful For Me ....
Thank Him or Her for inspiring me to serve you spiritually.....
I Pray You be Blessed With Fruitful Year Ahead ....

I Wish You All-- A 
Fantastic JANUARY;  Lovable FEBRUARY; Marvellous MARCH; Foolish APRIL; Enjoyable MAY; Successful JUNE;  Wonderful JULY; Happy AUGUST; Powerful SEPTEMBER; Tastiest OCTOBER; Beautiful NOVEMBER; Accomplishment Reviewing  DECEMBER  to plan ahead! 


You might have read about the twin-brothers Aswins who are divine doctors referred in my discourse on Ayurveda.
These are twin deities, always described or worshiped or praised together. What exactly they represent is a moot point. While some say that they represent the earth and the sky, there are others who opine that they stand for night and day or the moon and the Sun. That they are once kings who acquired extraordinary merit, and elevated  to the position of Gods is another guess that is also hazarded tomes.

They represent the semi darkness before dawn. They pervade this world with moisture and light. Described as eternally young and handsome, they are the youngest of the Gods, However their chief Characteristic is that  they are constantly striving to do good to others. They are expert physicians and surgeons and know the arts of healing, rejuvenation, and even plastic surgery! Being supplicated, they can grant boons like children, food, wealth, health and protection from enemies. Hence one should never fail to provoke them during sacrifices (yajnas)

Their brief description is as follows:
 "The Ashvins or Ashwini Kumaras   in Hindu mythology, are two Vedic godsdivine twin horsemen in the Rigveda, sons of Saranyu (daughter of Vishwakarma), a goddess of the clouds and wife of Surya in his form as Vivasvant. They symbolize the shining of sunrise and sunset, appearing in the sky before the dawn in a golden chariot, bringing treasures to men and averting misfortune and sickness. They are the doctors of gods and are devas of Ayurvedic medicine. They are represented as humans with head of a horse. In the epic Mahabharata, KingPandu's wife Madri is granted a son by each Ashvin and bears the twins Nakula and Sahadeva who, along with the sons of Kunti, are known as the Pandavas.

They are also called Nasatya (dual nāsatyau "kind, helpful") in the Rigveda; later, Nasatya is the name of one twin, while the other is calledDasra ("enlightened giving"). By popular etymology, the name nāsatya is often incorrectly analysed as na+asatya "not untrue"="true".
Various Indian holy books like Mahabharata, Puranas etc., relate that Ashwini Kumar brothers, the twins, who were  Raja Vaidhyas  (Royal Physicians) to Devas during Vedic times, first prepared Chyawanprash formulatiofor Chyawan Rishi at his  Ashram on Doshi Hill near NarnaulHaryanaIndia, hence the name Chyawanprasha The Ashvins can be compared with the Dioscuri (the twins Castor and Pollux) of Greek and Roman mythology, and especially to the divine twins Ašvieniai of the ancient Baltic religion".
 Please find below a detailed narration on Vedic people of Lithuania. You may spread the message attached through your Facebook and Twitter as desired by the authors as I do not operate any of them due to my limited working knowledge in computers. During my long sojourn in then called USSR I had visited Lithuania and seen such house portals with twin-head horse  but did not  understand why?  I knew they loved horses but why the twin head? Now I know this just reminded their ancient ties with Vedic people.
“If you were to travel to Lithuania you might encounter some traditional houses adorned with the motif of two horse heads. You might take this as a simple design but it is in fact a small clue to Lithuania's deep and ancient Vedic past.

Traditionally, the Vedic peoples of Lithuania worshipped the Ašvieniai, the divine horse twins, related to the goddess Ūsinis. They are said to pull the Sun Chariot through the sky. The Lithuanian people continue to adorn their roof tops with the symbol of the divine horse twins in order to receive protection for the household.

In India the complete Vedic tradition has been preserved. There the divine horse twins are known as the Ashvins, the children of the Sun god Surya, who are summoned by the goddess Ushas (morning dawn) and appear as the morning and evening sunlight. They are often known as Nasatya (Kind, Helpful) and Dasra (Enlightened Giving). They are practitioners of Ayurveda as the doctors of thedevas (demigods), and it is for this reason that people adorn their roofs with their image - so that the residing family may remain healthy. They are most notable for granting the divine twins of King Pandu - Nakula and Sahadev, who along with Yudhisthira, Bhima, and Arjuna made up the Pandavas of the Mahabharata

Lithuanian is very archaic and has preserved linguistically a great deal from Sanskrit, the original Mother Language of Europe. Below are a few examples of the linguistic similarities:

Asva(Lithuanian)=Ashva(Sanskrit) meaning 'horse'
Dievas (Lithuanian)=Devas (Sanskrit) meaning 'gods', 'the shining ones';
Dumas (Lithuanian)=Dhumas(Sanskrit) meaning 'smoke'
Sunus (Lithuanian)=Sunus(Sanskrit) meaning 'son'
Vyras(Lithuanian)=Viras(Sanskrit) meaning 'man'
Padas(Lithuanian)=Padas(Sanskrit) meaning 'sole of the foot'
Ugnis(Lithuanian)=Agnis(Sanskrit) meaning 'fire'
Vilkas(Lithuanian)=Vrkas(Sanskrit) meaning 'wolf'
Ratas(Lithuanian)=Rathas(Sanskrit) meaning 'carriage'
Senis(Lithuanian)=Sanas(Sanskrit) meaning 'old'
Dantis(Lithuanian)=Dantas(Sanskrit) meaning 'teeth'
Naktis(Lithuanian)=Naktis(Sanskrit) meaning 'night'

In the Anglo-Saxon tradition also, it is said that two German brothers Hengist ("Stallion") and Horsa ("Horse") led the armies that conquered Britain. Many believe this is a continuation of the original tradition of the Vedic horse twins. Similar to Lithuania, you will find the same tradition of horse-headed gables on roofs throughout Germany in honor of Hengist and Horsa. So the next time you travel through Europe and see these horse gabled roofs, smile and realize their connection to Europe's ancient Vedic past.”

Every religious Hindu lady lights the lamp, waters the Tulasi plant, worships and circum-ambulates as soon as she takes bath. Its stem, leaf seeds and even the soil is considered holy. It is the choice leaf for the worship of Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. A tulasi leaf is always placed on the food offered to the Lord. I have already explained in detail as to why we worship tulasi while describing the Uttaana dwadasi ritual along with the mythological story behind it.  For Hindus it is one of the most sacred plants. In fact, it  is known to be only thing used in worship which once used, can be washed and re -used in worship as it is regarded as self-purifying. The tulasi leaf has great medicinal value and is used to cure ailments, including the common cold. This ancient sacred plant used in Hindu worship had even influenced Christianity as seen in the attached article provided by courtesy
I have in the past circulated some articles in which the influence of Hinduism can be seen in several European cultures—Worship of cow, Vedic religion in Lithuania and Germany and Greece etc. We should not stop at taking pride in glorifying the past but should also realize the changes that are   taking place in India and particularly overseas where Hindus are settled. More and more inter-caste marriages are becoming popular in India breaking all caste-barriers and including marriage into Christian faith. Marriage between partners of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Arya samaj are not looked upon with disfavor. By their own wrong following of their religion and violent action Muslims have moved away from the scene except on rare occasions as seen in Cinema industry or based on  individual  experiences. In USA the most preferred wedding   between the couples attracted by love is between   Hinduism and Christianity.  If Hinduism has to shine in its past glory and become popular among the future generations between interfaith married couples, we have to go back to Hinduism where we started with the maxims.--Atmavat sarvabhooteshu, Krinvanto viswamarryam, eko viprah bahudaa vadanti, sarvejanaah sukhino bhavantu. These   should reflect in our daily worship and acts of Dharma. Yoga, meditation, focus on spirituality and Universal Oneness seem to be the right methods by which we can preserve the past glory of Hinduism and make it also attractive to all people of all religions. The alternative is to support the Growing atheism promoted by China and Russia. People are getting fed up with regulated faith based religions and Vedanta seems to be the Future religion as Vivekananda once vehemently said when he placed his foot on the American soil.
Released on the occasion of   International Woman's day in March 2015  with the theme "Empowering women --empowering Humanity; Picture it" by Hindu Reflections.
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said: “To be truly trans-formative, the post-2015 agenda must prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment. The world will never realize   100 percent of its goals if 50 percent cannot realize their full potential".
March  2015 marks Woman's History Month, a time to celebrate and critically assess the ways in which women's  right have  and have not progressed around the world. In the realm of religion, there is still a lot of work  has to be done  as many faith traditions continue to bar women from seeking ordination (religious order) and fail to recognize the important role women play in the spiritual lives of their communities.  
 The stated role of women in Hinduism varies from one of equal status with men, to one of restriction in many aspects of life. Elements which determine the role of women in Hinduism include scriptural texts, historical era, location, context within the family and tradition. Some see Hinduism itself as the repressive force. Others argue that the lower status of Hindu women is the result of culture and custom rather than religion, citing the Vedic literature where women may be given the status of goddess, and noting their shakti (force) without which, the status of man would be nil (Siva without Sakti is Sava). You may kindly recall how   Rama had to make  an icon  of his wife, Seeta, in order to perform Asvamedha Yaaga (  Horse fire sacrifice).
 In the Vedic Era women dominated the social scene and were the virtual head of the family; “Samraajyedhi shwashu-reshu samraajyut devrishu nanaanduh samraajyedhi samraajyut shushravah”—May your father-in-law respect you as the head of the household, may your brother-in-law and sister-in-law accept your instructions and may your mother-in-law respect you as the Queen in the family (Atharva veda). In the ritualistic worship the woman’s role was very significant. Both husband and wife offered all the prayers jointly which practice is continuing even today and insisted upon.
Hindu American Woman often gets the nickname Helicopter Mother hovering around her child watching every-step of its progress and driving it  to achieve even things which child feels  impossible. In the case of parents coming from differing religious followings, it is the Hindu Mother that prevents the child from turning atheist though confused by the parentage and brings home the merits of uniqueness of liberal Hinduism to her husband and children. She succeeds in convincing   her partner that Sanatana Dharma the basis on which Hinduism is currently practiced in many ways could be followed by all in the world as Universal Religion and Religion of the Future. In such families the family either turns to Hinduism or become indifferent to any religious following. Of late one does not fail to notice such families attending Hindu American Temples in groups   where Hindu temples are kept open for all unlike the sectarian, conservative and orthodox Hindu Temples of India. 
Hindu society is known for its  famous devotional woman musicians, Bhajan singers, temple dancers  and Harikatha Kaalakshepam Pauranikas (religious story tellers and narrators) and philosophers  from time immemorial which trend is  continuing even in present days when woman prefer to be  professional workers and job seekers like men, claiming equality status. Yet we do not find Mathaadhipatis (heads of monastic institutions) in reputed maths and priests in temples  or ritual guides (vadhyars or pandits)as far as my knowledge goes. May be this is not feasible as women do not undergo Upanayana samskaram and study Vedas as in the case of Brahmavadins of Vedic days! Why  woman priests  are few and far between in  non-traditional  liberal Hindu Temples like Hare Krishna Temples, Saibaba Temples and Swami   Narayan Temples is anybody's Guess? Please go through the detailed discourse on the Blog. Your suggestions to improve the same are welcome.
The popular narrative in media and textbooks on the South Asian American population is that they've only existed in the United States for a few decades.
But such a narrative misrepresents and obscures a much longer history, especially at the turn of the century, when several thousand Indians settled in regions like Northern California. It's the largely untold story of the migration of Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims from pre-partition India from the late 19th century up until the passage of the Asian Exclusion Act (which was passed to limit Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, and Indian migration).
 Even before the act was passed, migrants from India faced many obstacles, including systemic discrimination and outright violence. The 1907 "anti-Hindoo" riots in Bellingham, Washington, for example, targeted mostly Sikh laborers whom whites had accused of stealing lumber jobs. Bellingham is only about an hour north of Bothell, Washington, where a Hindu temple was recently vandalized.
 Still, in their small conclaves, the immigrants of different faiths began to find ways to develop a community identity, in part because they were largely shunned by whites. At the time, about two-thirds of Indian immigrants in California at the turn of the century were Sikh, and as a result, the Pacific Coast Khalsa Diwan Society - a Gurdwara - opened in Stockton in 1911.
Because Hindus and Muslims in the region were still small in number, and unable to get the approvals to build any sites of worship, the Stockton gurdwara served as a place of worship for all three religions. While Hindu-Sikh co-worship was common in northern India for centuries, a place for all three groups in the United States was created by circumstance and sustained through interfaith bonds.
Over the next three decades, the Khalsa Diwan hosted Hindu leaders and Muslim leaders alike, including the Hindu leader Swami Yogananda, who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and authored the world-renowned Autobiography of a Yogi. Moreover, it served as a meeting ground for those seeking to build support for the Indian freedom struggle, especially those involved with the Ghadar Party. Despite having different religions, Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus still felt strongly connected to India and identified strongly with Indian Nationalism.
While the Gurdwara did not permit non-Sikhs from holding leadership positions, both Hindus and Muslims felt intimately connected to the house of worship, attending Sikh celebrations such as Gurpurab, which commemorates the birth of Guru Nanak. Baisakhi, a harvest festival celebrated by Sikhs and most Punjabi Hindus, was also a community celebration at a time when Indians were largely isolated.
Even after Muslim and Hindu populations in Stockton and other parts of Northern California grew, they continued to come occasionally to the Khalsa Diwan Society out of respect for the shared history of the groups. While the India-Pakistan partition in 1947 diminished some of the interfaith cooperation, the Gurdwara continued to keep its doors open to Hindus and Muslims. Even the Khalistani Sikh separatist movement that began in the late 1960s in India didn't hurt ties among the older generation of the community living in Stockton.
 Today, the legacy of Khalsa Diwan Society is a reminder that Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities have had a longstanding history of cooperation and collaboration in this country. In California, for instance, the state's long overdue frameworks revision could incorporate this history in order to help normalize understanding about the presence of the three religious groups - and their friendship - long before post-1965 immigration became the dominant narrative about South Asian Americans.
 From a practical sense, the story of a Gurdwara built over a century ago might even provide a model today in areas where the three faiths continue to be small and marginalized, and where the search for both community and safe space remains elusive.
Can Jews, Christians and Muslims coming from the same source-- Abraham and having the same God (Abrahamic Religions) can come together and establish peace in the World and serve as examples to others?  May be Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism at least can come together! 
Hi is a revealing article as a mantle for inter faith harmony when blended can resonate symphony honoring the ancestry in prose and  poetry only blinded we are wounded by war of ideology and splitting theology forgetting our  origin from same source of one divine force divided by following different prophets which only begets hate defining our fate which is  unrest from east to west which can only be solved by everyone  looking within to be thawed to extend hands of friendship by  doing common  worship  to one God .
Everyone needs to undergo Pancha Samskaras besides the customary Samskaras, though this is prominently seen in Srivaishanva Tradition of Ramnuja. All followers of Vishnu follow the same. The first two samskaras are Tapa and Pundra.  Some religious groups impart Tapa by marking the recipient’s body in various places with the symbols of Lord Vishnu’s conch, disc, club and lotus using hot silver icon branding.  Nama or name is the third samskara. Guru  or Acharya  utters the name of Hari  into the ear of the faithful   recipient.  Fourth samskara is Mantra. It is uttered into the ears of the recipient by the Guru. Yaga or Archa is the fifth and final samskara.  A person without yaga has no life and he is forced to accept the results of his karma. This is a Nityakarma (daily duty) mandated by Sastras (scriptures) for all.    Samskaras exist in all religions and in all countries. They are all   inspired by Sanatana Dharma.
During 'SamAshrayanam',  a Vaishnava e ritual the Guru  initiates a person, irrespective of caste, creed or sex, as his disciple . It is a commitment from the disciple that he or she will live as per the wishes of the  Guru.  Thus the person gets the link to the Sri Vaishnava  Traditon.  During SamAshrayanam, Pancha SamskAra  (five Purifications) is performed and he or she  becomes a "Sri Vaishnava".

You come across some sensational news   from time to time some politically motivated and some as genuine information based on fresh discovery saying something  is not Hindu and the counterclaim it is Hindu.  By and large any doctrine in religion we  invariably  find is from Sanatana Dharma though Hinduism we practice today is far from Sanatana Dharma.  Hindus  hold on to Vedas and Bhagavad Gita to which other religions have not turned their thoughts though they are meant for all human beings on this planet. Even among us very few understand them being in Sanskrit but we get  over through interpretations by many, Aagamas  and several translations. We also consider Sanskrit is ancient and Mother of all Languages and is a Hindu heritage.
We heard about the evidence of Vedic culture in Lithuania and Mitahrism of Rome and now about the Mittnis of Tigris Euphretis Valley each one claiming it as as its own culture and  Hindus claiming it is all based on Vedic culture. Hindus today claim everything as their own what comes  from a Universal Tradition of Sags as theirs which may be called Religion of Sanatana Dharma for Humanity. The basic principles  of  all religions  have the same source of Sanatana Dharma; only people  have moved out,  brought out a new concept of  dharma as religion taking a part of it here and there  by way of  group following and even its script to claim  ownership including present day Hindus. As Hindus often refer to Vedas and Bhagavadgita (a compendium of Upanishads) more often than not this claim apparently seems to be appropriate though not in reality. Others have found the language and the text difficult to understand and have  scant respect for them.   Truth cannot be different for each religion and so it all converges to Hinduism. Fortunately many of the Indian languages are derived from  Sanskrit,  and if not, closer to Sanskrit.
The present excitement about these articles is due to certain political events. Indian government   enthusiastically participated in the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok after celebrating Yoga International Day.  Not only  it sent 250 Sanskrit scholars but also  partly funded the event; the conference saw the participation of two senior cabinet ministers: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who inaugurated the conference  and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, who   attended its closing ceremony on July 2. Inexplicably, Swaraj also announced the creation of the post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit in the Ministry of External Affairs.   It may not be too far-fetched this is made an issue and taken to UN to claim its origin to Hinduism and India.  But unfortunately having neglected Sanskrit for too long that had its swan's song as a spoken language and therefore cannot be taken to UN to be its official language.
Both Devanagari and some of the South Indian scripts are the evolutes of Brahmi and Kharoshthi Scripts. Though memorization was the practice in ancient days script was needed for a written language. The later Brahmi script was the script of Ancient Malaysia. A very large number of   Malayan words are of Sanskrit origin.  Soviet archaeologists have found the remains of a giant Buddhist Cave-monastery inside the Kara-Tepee Hill in Termez (now in Uzbekistan).  Of particular interest in this context is the discovery of inscriptions in different languages including the Brahmi and the Kharoshti scripts. The Russian and Lithuanian languages are very close to Sanskrit. The Thai language has many Sanskrit words, though in a distorted form.
 As far as Sanskrit (sushtu kritam samskritam) is concerned as the name suggests   it is a well-made earliest language with grammar and Chandas (Prpsody) for the first time based on present day evidences. It is the language of the Vedas and Vedic people who ever they may be.  It is also interesting to note Sanskrit should have come  out of a spoken dialect Prakrit which was popular in North India even after Puranic period though historians think the other way. Here is a quote from Vedanta Desika showing the dialect and the emerged Literary Sanskrit. 
Purisaa tunja vuhooee acchua laccheea itthiaasannaaoe--Prakrit
Purushaas-tava vibhootih saapi sreerbhavati tava kim punarita--Literary  Grammar Sanskrit 
There are evidences today Vedic people met a well cultured society as they moved down to Gangetic Valley and others who are also traced back to Harappa and Mohenjadaro pre-vedic culture.   It is also said Tamil Language the fore -runner of Sanskrit existed even before the Vedas came into existence as explained in my text “Sanskrit is Divine, Can Tamil be too?”  Who knows one day research findings may link it to the language spoken by Mitannis? Mittani spoken language and the so called earlier Tamil  may all converge to the dialect Prakrit the fore-runner of Sanskrit Language.  The author does not give the examples of spoken language of Mittanis. His conclusions are based on some names which sound Sanskrit which could also be Prakrit!   Vedas also need the help of Nighant to understand the Vedic Sanskrit.    Nighant is particular type of Sanskrit glossary containing brief annotations of obscure and difficult words grouped into thematic categories.  Sanskrit language also came out with first language dictionary in the world--Amarakosa.   On the basis of  these facts  available today it is safe to conclude Vedic people were the first to set standards for a written as  well as spoken  language.  This is evident from Vedangas without which Vedas can't be understood.  It is well established  that Panini  Grammar, the earliest for any language,  equivalent of Tamil Tolkappiyam  was a much earlier literary work  and also for any language.  I am sure the conference would have focused on these points. Based on this Sanskrit leads all languages in the literary world as Mother of All Languages.
Somebody might ask me why I should worry for all these things and what  way it benefits as followers of Sanatana Dharma. Vedas too talk about the then prevailing culture, the society and also about grammar, prosody, Kalpa  and  Nighant.   Knowledge about the past is welcome as  Mittu N. Rama Prasad  says in his   Poetic Composition with better  convincing explanation.  I am not interested in getting into a controversy with the author of the above information or any other as to liturgical  Sanskrit  but would like to bring the facts as to the origin and growth of Sanskrit based on present day facts known to us.

Vedas often enlighten us and occasionally mislead us  too on Modern  Science. I have been talking about the spiritual wisdom of Vedas all the time but never talked about certain wrong statements on secular educational  thinking that have been brought to my notice by many learned readers.  I have been focusing in the past on knowing the Truth and not the Untruth. Let me for example mention one major wrong statement contained in Vedas that Sun goes round the Earth. For all the people of the world   but for Indian Astrologers our Sun never moves like all other stars in our milky way.  Only the planets and satellites move. Lord Krishna says in Gita that he is a Moon among stars (nakshatra). Moon is neither a star twinkling in the sky nor   an astrological star among 27 Nakshatrs or segments of Zodiacal sign.
Deep in Vedas are   hidden the following facts: The precision of the movements of the heavenly bodies is something the ancients keenly observed: the spinning of the earth on its axis gives us a day; the spinning of the moon around the earth gives us a month (waning & waxing); the spinning of both around the sun gives us a year. Interestingly, the moon rotates on its axis at exactly the same rate it takes to rotate around the earth. The effect of this is to cause the moon to appear as if standing still with the same face always pointed towards the earth. Another interesting fact, during a total solar eclipse the size of the Moon is exactly in proportion to block out the Sun, despite the Sun having a diameter 400 times that of the Moon. This is due to the fact that the distance between the Earth and the Sun is 400 times that between the Earth and   Moon.   Hanuman Chaaleesaa was written by Goswami Tulasidas    in Awadhi language in the 15th century.  To an inquiring mind the poetic composition reveals the distance between the Sun and earth had been calculated much more accurately than the 17th century scientists even two centuries before.  There are still many elements and precious jewels of information that are being kept hidden from us. The ocean of history is before you, dive in and dig the jewels out.  
Why some wrong things are not corrected though few and far between which are still found in Vedas and Bhagavad Gita?   These Holy Scriptures have been never corrected like what happened in Holy Bible.  Different sages we come across in the Upanishads were great thinkers and mystics in their own thought, who have given independent views, based on their own logic, which may not agree with modern views, based on their own logic and experience to suit the time.     Sankara said “Brahma satyam   jaganmithyam” --Brahman alone is Truth; everything else is false. Later philosophers said the Brahman is real and visible world is also   real as he has entered the world as its antaryamin (inner Self). Both quote Vedas and Brahma sutras as authority. It is obvious Vedas too contain such contradicting statements. Probably our interpretations are wrong and have their limitations in understanding the language of Vedas. Even scientific knowledge is not one time finding and final.  Based on further research scientific facts have been continuously revised. Yet another problem is we deify our scriptures as holy and sacred and want to believe in each word ignoring the time in which they came to human lime light.   The Ancient Hindu Sages had no advanced astronomical instruments; they had yoga and  few had spiritual power  and  divine vision.
It is true here and there in early Vedic literature we come across wrong scientific facts and logic. Later by yoga and meditation these sages reached perfection and came with many amazing discoveries which are even true today. We would be benefited if we ignore few of these absurdities but focus on the large wisdom Vedas provide.  I am not a blind worshiper of Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavadgeeta but I respect them and feel always benefited by the wisdom contained in them.   
 Some Vedic facts have been refined or clarified in later Sastras and Puranas. Also Vedic Sanskrit comes out with different meanings based on interpretations from scholars.  You have an example cited in my discourse how modern value of Precession in Bhaskaracharya’s work based on Surya siddhanta was proved false by wrong translation of scriptural Sanskrit by a foreigner.    I do not want to say that all ancient scriptures are true and should be blindly followed. But it is equally wrong to deride them as outdated and obscurantist just because they could not be understood by us.   We have yet to discover the real Wonder that is India.  Researches and discoveries are going on. Unless and until ancient texts are proven false, it is suicidal to reject them.
This discourse as indicated includes following interesting  appendices that reveal the research work that is on the anvil  and contemplated upon to find more of the scientific facts  and historic truths. Your comments are always welcome if you know more about them:
1) Modern Value of Precession in Bhaskaracharya’s Work based on Suryasiddhanta 2)  New finds take archaeologists closer to Krishna  3) The Date of the Mahabharata War 4) When did Kaliyuga start?
(January 2016)