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The Significance of Navratri Golu
Navratri Golu is also known as Kolu Bommai, Kolu meaning Doll and Bommai meaning Dance. What is Golu? It is a festive tiered display of dolls and figurines of people, gods and goddesses in South Indian -- specifically Tamil, Kannada and Telugu -- families...
The Origins of Garba
"Garba" comes from the Sanskrit word garbha, meaning "womb." Traditionally, the dance is performed by women in a circle around a clay lantern with a light inside, which symbolizes the body, within whom divinity (in the form of the Goddess)...
How is Navratri Celebrated Across India?
What is Navratri? (Sharad) Navratri is a 9 day festival held across Hindu spheres to celebrate Durga's victory against her 9 day long battle with a demon named Mahishasur. It's usually celebrated in October in a variety of ways based...
Why do we immerse Ganesh in water?
The History Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of Ganesh's birthday. It's a 10 day long festival, marked by prayers, religious ceremonies, and large processions which ultimately culminates to a Visarjan on the last day. This year, the Visarjan falls on...
Ganesh & His Family
Ganesh's Birth Goddess Parvati created Ganesh out of turmeric one day so that he could guard the door while she took a bath. Lord Shiva came home and, not knowing Ganesh was his "newborn son," was furious at him for...
Krishna & His Siblings
We've heard the story of Krishna's birth, but how much do we know about his siblings? Balarama Balaram is the elder half-brother of Krishna, born to the same father Vasudeva and a surrogate mother, Rohini. Balaram is sometimes considered to...
(Other) Famous Siblings in Hinduism
We've all heard of Ram and Lakshman and the Pandava brothers. But here are some other lesser known siblings from Hindu theology, in celebration of Raksha Bandhan. Yamuna & Yamraj The story of Yamuna and Yamaraj is one of the...
Hindu Traditions for Newborns
In the Hindu culture, the birth of a baby brings forth a wide range of traditions. Here are some of them... Godh Bharai Sanskrit: SIMANTONAYANA 7 months pregnant Prior to the baby's birth, a prayer is recited in honor of...
Why do we ring bells at temples?
Bells used for Hindu rituals have a special name ascribed to them: Ghanta You can generally find these ghanta at the entrance of temples and even just outside of the Garbhagriha, or the center of the temple. Many Hindus also...
Rain in Hinduism
Once upon a time... In Mathura, as people were preparing a puja for the King of Heaven, Lord Indra. Lord Krishna, who was just a child at the time, questioned as to why they were doing this. They explained, in...
Is Sanskrit the Mother of All Languages?
It is also called Dev Vani, the language of gods. Sanskrit was developed by sages as a sacred, musical, sound of language. Sanskrit is the root of all Indo-European languages. The script, grammar, and phonetics of Sanskrit language are such...
The Story Behind Ratha Yatra
Once upon a time... Lord Krishna's evil uncle, Kamsa, tried countless tactics to kill him over the years. In yet another failed ploy to have Krishna and his older brother, Balarama, killed, Kamsa invited them to Mathura for a wrestling...
A Mom of 2 Shares Her Journey Through PCOS and Infertility
How did the doctor determine you were experiencing infertility?A typical marker of infertility is the inability to conceive after trying with no successful results after a full year. I experienced an unexpected ectopic pregnancy that kickstarted my search for answers....
Fertility in Hinduism
There are many Hindu deities associated with fertility, the primary one of these being Lord Shiva. The crescent moon represents changing seasons, and thus, menstrual cycles in many cultures Because of its ability to shed skin, the snake represent rebirth....
What is the Origin of Karma?
Karma refers to the cycle of cause and effect that governs human life. But, that isn’t how it started. The idea of Karma first appears in the oldest Hindu text, the Rigveda, with a limited meaning of ritual action. This...
Why Do Hindus Use a Different Calendar?
In India, Hindus follow a different calendar than what is used in the Western world. But what's the reasoning for this? The Hindu calendar goes by many names: Lunisolar calendar or Vedic calendar or Panchanga. This calendar differs significantly from the western...
Can We Defy Death?
Once upon a time... There was a sage named Mrikandu and his wife, Marudvati, who longed to have children. Lord Shiva heard their prayers and appeared before them. Shiva asked the couple to pick between the two: A righteous son,...
Why Do We Blow The Conch Shell?
Do you know the significance of conch shells in Hinduism! Let's go through it together! Once upon a time... A demon named Sankhasura, who was in battle with the Devas, stole the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) and ran to the ocean....
Why Do We Celebrate Sita Navami?
Sita Navami celebrates the birth of Goddess Sita. She's the daughter of the Earth, goddess of purity, and one of the central characters in the Ramayan. Once upon a time... A king named Janaka was working in a furrow when...
Why Do Hindus Break A Coconut?
If you practice Hindu rituals, you've seen it before, but what is the reasoning behind always breaking a coconut? Coconut is known as shree phal, meaning, "an auspicious fruit." In Hinduism, it is the only fruit that is used to symbolize God....
Why is Kajal Used to Ward Off The Evil Eye?
What is the "Evil Eye?" It is a curse transmitted through an evil glare, usually one inspired by envy. The envy in turn manifests itself as a curse that will undo their good fortune. A Greek philosopher suggested a scientific...