The Hinduism Series: Praveshika

Hinduism is the major religion of India with a worldwide following of over a billion people. In its original and purest form, it is a sanatana dharma (loosely translated as ‘eternal truth’ or ‘timeless religion’) that represents at least 7,000 years of contemplation, tradition, and continuous development in India. One who follows Hinduism is called a ‘Hindu’ (the term originally referred to a person who lived beyond the Sindhu river, i.e. in undivided India).

Yakshaprashna: Quenching the Thirst - 2

This is the second part of the translation of the Yakshaprashna, a conversation between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted lake.

Chapter 297
Verses 32-62:
किं क्षत्रियाणां देवत्वं
कश्च धर्मः सतामिव ।
कश्चैषां मानुषो भावः
किमेषामसतामिव ॥ ३२
How does a kshatriya attain divinity?
What is his true dharma?
What is the human trait of kshatriyas?
What is the wrong path for a kshatriya?

Yakshaprashna: Quenching the Thirst - 1

One of the most fascinating tales in the Mahabharata is the dialogue between Yudhishtira and Yama on the banks of the enchanted pool. This episode is popularly known as the ‘Yakshaprashna.’ The characters of the Mahabharata, so richly sketched by Vyasa, find relevance even today among readers. Never one to judge his characters or paint them with a single shade of color, Vyasa highlights the ridiculous and the sublime in the characters at various points in the epic.

Can Yoga help you achieve work-life balance?

There is much discussion, debate, and even controversy about yoga these days. But what is yoga? First of all, it is far more nuanced than the typical image of a young lady sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, deep in meditation with a benign smile on her face.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union.’ It simply means joining two things. For example, Rigveda Samhita 7.67.8 uses the word ‘yoga’ when it refers to the yoking of the horses to the chariot.

How does Hinduism differ from the other major world religions?

Hinduism is one of the major world religions with a following of over a billion people spread across all over the globe but largely concentrated in India. Some people don’t consider Hinduism a religion but rather a way of life or a sanatana dharma (loosely translated as ‘eternal system’). It doesn’t have a single founder nor does it have a standalone scripture; further, it has been constantly developing and evolving over six millennia.

Indian Conception of Values: Conclusion


If we leave out what was described above as 'survival values', there is the important distinction between empirical or secular and spiritual values. The latter, to express them in modern terminology, are threefold—truth, goodness and perfection; and of these, the last, which is the highest, may be designated as absolute value. A detailed consideration of these several values and of their interrelation is what will occupy us in the sequel. Meanwhile, we shall say a few words about the Indian conception of beauty, which is another of the higher values now commonly accepted.