Puranas

The Puranas, literally meaning ‘tales of ancient times’,  are the richest collection of mythology in the world. Most of them attained their final form around 500 A.D. but they were passed on as an oral tradition since the time of Krishna (c. 1500 B.C.).

There are eighteen major Puranas and a few minor ones. Each is a long book consisting of various stories of the Gods and Goddesses, hymns, an outline of ancient history, cosmology, rules of life, rituals, instructions on spiritual knowledge. Hence the Puranas are like encyclopaedias of religion and culture and contain material of different levels and degrees of difficulty. Puranas usually give prominence to a particular deity, employing an abundance of religious and philosophical concepts. They are usually written in the form of stories related by one person to another.

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Dharma

Dharma is perhaps one of the most important of all concepts in Hinduism. Put simply, it is known to mean ‘Duty’. However, this simple meaning does not fully explain dharma. The word dharma comes the Sanskrit root word dhr meaning ‘to hold up’ and hence the word dharma means ‘that which upholds’. Read more

9 Hindu Beliefs

1. Hindus believe in an all-pervasive Supreme Being called Brahman in the form of the Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer.

2. Hindus believe in the four Vedas, the most ancient of sacred Hindu texts.

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Meaning of Namaste

Namaste

Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all – people younger than us, of our own age, those older than us, friends and even strangers.

There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste. Read more