Q & A

Q: Why HINDUISM is called SANATANA DHARMA?

A: The sanskrit word “SANATANA” means ETERNAL The Vedic seers discovered the identity of “The law of Action” and “The Conservation of ENERGY” & thus claimed that this fundamental principle of mankind will remain for ever.

Q: Who is the Goddess DURGA?

A: Etymologically the word “DURGA” means the caretaker of the ‘fort’ [durga, the NATURE] & so SHE is the Mother Nature herself.

Q: How you explain the IMAGE of the Goddess DURGA?

A: The IMAGE of the mother Goddess Durga consists of THREE distinct images: The Goddess Durga with TEN hands, holding TEN weapons, one foot on the Lions’ back and another foot is on the demon [Mahishasura].

Explaination: The Mother Durga [or mother Nature] symbolically represent the “UNIVERSAL POWER” & SHE is covering all the TEN directions [N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, UP and DOWN] to keep the demon [famine, drought, flood, natural catastrophe etc.] under CONTROL [under her foot]. Moreover, SHE also got help from the animal lion, who is also under her another foot. The Image of the Goddess Durga thus shows the balanced system of the mother Nature, assured the VICTORY over the EVIL-forces. [In the pre-christian era, similar Goddess of agriculture and fertility, exited in Greece as DEMETER; in Rome as CERES.]

For all of us, this image of the mother Goddess DURGA, shows the way how to achieve SUCCESS in life, by contolling the FIVE life forces [up-breath, down-breath, back-breath, out-breath, on-breath] and the FIVE sense organs [sight, hearing, smell, speech, touch] {the TEN-weapons} in order to subdue the dark forces [laziness, anger, wrong thoughts etc], which cannot be eliminated.

Q: Who is the Goddess LAKSHMI?

A: In the first FULL-MOON nite after the Autumnal equinox, we worship the mother Goddess Lakshmi who grants us the BEAUTY & the WEALTH and all of us have a very STRONG attraction towards it [lakshana or sign]. The 19th. Century Indian Saint Sri Ramakrishna said that if we could refocus this LOVE of WEALTH towards GOD, then we see GOD in front of us.

Q: Who is the Goddess KALI?

A: The Goddess KALI is the PRIMORDIAL POWER [SHAKTI] who is worshipped in the image of SHIVA-SHAKTI where the mother KALI stands upon the corps-like Lord SHIVA. The Mother KALI is the UNIVERSE in whom the three categories [gunas]: SATTVA [knowledge], RAJAS [action], TAMAS [ignorance] are in a state of equilibrium & by the presence of the Lord SHIVA [pure Consciousness], this equilibrium is disturbed, thus starts the process of EVOLUTION.

Etymologically, the Sanskrit word KALA means TIME and the POWER of TIME is KALI. The mother KALI kept the Time under her feet & SHE is the Goddess who can grant ANY MATERIALIST DESIRE thru HER right hands but also takes away thru HER left hands. SHE can also take the “DESIRE” [raktabij] thru HER protruding tongue & grant us the IMMORTALITY of the SOUL in this life-time [if we pray for it].

Q: Why the Lord Ganesh’s head is Elephant’s head?

A: All the Images of the Gods & Goddesses are related to the Mythological stories & in this case, Ganesh [son of Parvoti & Shiva] was entrusted by his mother Parvati, to guard the door so that No one can enter. Ganesh obeyed the mother’s command & turned down the Lord Shiva to go near his wife Parvati.

The compassionate Lord Shiva replaced Ganesh’ head by the Elephant’s head so that devotees could now go to the mother Parvati. Interpretation of the Elephant’ head: The Elephant can uproot a large tree & also can pick up a pin, so acute sense of discrimination power. The Ganesh can screen the genuine devotee & allow to go close to the mother of the Universe. Moreover, one can not enter to the divine mother’s room with the head [or EGO] on the shoulder [final resting place of the HEAD is at the lower left hand of mother Kali.]

Q: What are the TEN Mahavidyas?

A: The TEN Mahavidyas are the TEN divine forces:

 GOOD              EVIL

  1.  Kali [power of change] 1. Chinnamasta [end of existence]
  2. Tara [potential power] 2. Bhairavi [power of destruction]
  3. Sorhasi [power of perfection] 3. Dhumavati [Ignorance]
  4. Bhuvaneshari [power of space] 4. Bagola-mukhi [power of illusion]
  5. Kamala [power of joy] 5. Matangi [power of domination]

Thus the Power of the Universe are in a state of equilibrium.

 Q: What is the DIWALI festival?

A: On the New-moon nite of the month Karttika [the Kali-puja nite], one hundred & eight candle lights are shown to our ancestors [there are other interpretations also prevailed in different parts of India]. The mythological story behind this ancestor-worship is as follows [from; Sathapatha Brahmana]: The name of the month Karttika [Oct-Nov] originates from the FIRST Nakshatra KRITTIKAH of the 27 nakshatra-system of the Lunar mansions, when the moon is full-moon [moon at this nakshatra in the beginning of Aries & Sun is in Libra].

The Krittikah nakshatra [or PLEIADES] was originally consist of SEVEN bright stars [or seven mothers] who were the wives of the Seven Sages [seven stars of the Ursa Major encircling the pole from which the gotras or linages originate]. The seven sisters had the guardian [or deity] AGNI [or Shiva] who had a lustful eye on them & so the Seven sages divorced the six sisters except Arundhuti, the wife of the sage Vasistha & Devi Arundhuti stays with this seven sages as a star Alcor in the Ursa Major. The first son of the Lord Shiva [called SKANDA] was raised by this SIX stars Krittika & thus the name Karttikeya with six faces & HE is the WAR-GOD HERO & the old TAMIL [Indian language] name is MURUKU [young man or bangles].

This seven sisters are the seven mother-aspect of Durga [The SEAL obtained from the Mohanjo-daro & Harappan] contains this SEVEN GODDESSES. The present astronomical observation shows the Pleiades with SIX bright stars [can be seen without the telescope] & these stars are covered by the FIRE, originated by the death of another nearby star.

Q: When was the VEDAS composed ?

A: According to the English translator of the VEDAS, the Oxford University [U.K] Professor Max Muller of 19th. Century, estimated that the Vedic period was over around 1500 B.C. The recent satellite picture of India shows that the river Saraswati [mentioned in the Rig-veda] was dried up around 2000 B.C. & thus the fall of the Mohanjo-daro & Harappan civilization. Moreover, from the present position of the Pleiades which is at the latitude of~ fifty degrees from the vernal equinox [precession of the equinox is 72 years per degree], supports the estimated time frame of Prof. Muller.

Q: What is the definition of “TIME” in Hinduism?

A: In Hinduism “TIME” is cyclical and the Cosmic time interval is defined as the Expansion & Contraction of the COSMOS [the Universe] at the rate of 4.32 billion years [and this is the time period of the Creation-Destruction-Recreation cycle of the Universe]. Another time cycle which is the sum total time periods of the four ages [named as Maha-yuga: Krita, Treta, Dvapara & Kali] amounts to 4.32 million years [which also follows the same cyclic rule, but one thousandth part smaller than the Cosmic time scale] & this is the micro-Cosmic time period of birth-life-death-incarnation cycle of the human beings. According to the Hindu Astronomer Aryabhata of 5th century C.E., the Sun, the Moon and all the planets, are in conjunction at Vernal equinox, in the interval of 4.32 million years.

Q: Why the monkey-god “HANUMAN” is worshipped?

A: The monkey–god HANUMAN was a great devotee of the god-incarnate RAMA, the main character of the epic poem in Sanskrit “RAMAYANA”, composed by the sage VALMIKI. Hanuman was such a great devotee of Rama that only Hanuman could cross the ocean by one jump while chanting the name of the Lord Rama & even the Lord himself could not do so. Hanuman became the GOD himself by the power of devotion & thus the people worship Hanuman as GOD. The sage VALMIKI composed the story of Ramayana in the “Krita- Yuga“ [the golden age], when the four-fold [or complete] aspect of TRUTH, used to prevail in the Society & close contact existed among the gods, the human beings & the animals. We are at the fourth age: “Kali-Yuga” [the iron age], when only ONE aspect of the TRUTH, remains in the Society, so we need both the KNOWLEDGE & WORSHIP.

According to the Indian Saint Sri Ramakrishna of the 19th.century, the one truth of the Iron–age, is the SYNCHRONIZATION of one’s MIND, SPEECH & ACTION.

Q: What is “DEATH” in Hinduism?

A: According to Hinduism, the Supreme Being [or SOUL or UNIVERSAL POWER], resides in the heart of every individual as personal God [or apparent SOUL]. The BODY of the individual follows the cycle of “birth-death-rebirth”, governed by the law of ACTION [or Karma]. The individual soul gets an opportunity to make life better thru this cycle of “birth-death-rebirth”, until it realizes the “ONENESS” of the SOUL. The Vedantic conception of “immortality” is the KNOWLEDGE of the “ONENESS” of the SOUL. The BODY dies but the SOUL [or Supreme Being] exits ETERNALLY. The “book of death” in Hinduism, is the”KATHA UPANISAD” [the conversation between a student & the teacher who is the God of Death].

Q: What is the significance of the symbol “AUM”[or OM]?

A: The sound-symbol “AUM” [or OM] is always used at the beginning and at the end of any Mantra or Chanting & thus making a dam to increase the power of the mantra or chanting. The significance of this symbol are as follows:

the symbol “AUM” represent the ONE UNIVERSAL POWER which governs every dynamical system of the cosmos.

After the THREE-FOLD division of this symbol as A, U, M which are the THREE POWER OPERATORS of the cycle of birth-life-death.

The FIVE -FOLD division as A-U-M, represent the FIVE POWER[or Energy] ingredients of the Universe, such as Earth, Air, Water, Fire and the Space.

This sound -symbol AUM is sung by using the SEVEN musical notes.

Q. Who is the GODDESS SARASVATI?

From RIG-VEDA SANHITA: Book 10, Sukta 125. In this sukta, the Goddess SARASVATI is the divine “ONE”[VAK], who is the transcendental ONE BRAHMAN [the Absolute] and also is the immanent CREATING FORCE of the Universe.

The 19th. century English translator Ralph T.H. Griffith’ comments on this sukta: “VAK is Speech personified, the Word, the first creation and representative of Spirit, and the means of communication between men and Gods. Here She is said to be the daughter of the Risi Ambhrina.”

From KENO Upanisad: The Goddess is the Universal Power and She appeared before the king of the Gods, Indra as the divine mother “UMA”[Light] with four hands, bestowing

Dharma[Knowledge],

Artha [Wealth],

Kama [Pleasure],

Moksa [Liberation].

From the MARKANDEYA PURANA: Here the Goddess VAK is considered as the Mother of the Universe [SAKTI], who is the Source of all Creation, and She is manifested as the

Sarasvati [the Goddess of Learning and Intelligence]

Lakshmi [the Goddess of Wealth]

Kali [the Goddess of Liberation]

From SANKHYA PHILOSOPHY: The Goddess is the dynamic aspect of the “ONE” as” PRAKRITI”, and the static aspect of the “ONE” as “PURUSA”.

The Goddess Sarasvati [no.1 of c.] is worshipped on the fifth day from the first New Moon, after the winter solstice [Bengali month Magha panchami].