Questions & Answers

How to do Surya Namaskar

Sun Salutation – The Perfect Yoga Workout.

If you are pressed for time and looking for a single mantra to stay fit, here’s the answer. A set of 12 powerful yoga asana (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar. Literally translated to sun salutation, these postures are a good way to keep the body in shape and the mind calm and healthy.

Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach. Let’s begin with these simple yet effective Sun Salutation steps on our way to good health.

Each Sun Salutation round consists of two sets. These 12 yoga poses complete one set of Surya Namaskar. To complete the second half, you need to repeat the same sequence of postures, only moving the left leg instead of the right (in steps 4 and 9 given below). You might find several versions of doing Sun Salutation. However, it is best to stick to one particular sequence and practice it regularly for best results.

Besides good health, Surya Namaskar also provide an opportunity to express gratitude to the sun for sustaining life on this planet, For the next 10 days, start your day with a feeling of grace and gratitude towards the sun energy. Do 12 rounds of Sun Salutation, followed by other yoga poses and then rest deeply in yoga nidra. You might just find that this could be your mantra to stay fit, happy and peaceful. A mantra whose effects last through the day.

Why is beef forbidden in Hindu religion? Is it still practiced in India?

Since I am a Hindu from India living in a foreign country, Austria, where the main meal is always red meat either it is pork or beef, I always get this question from people around here about: Do Hindus worship cows?, Are you forbidden to eat beef?, etc. Seriously, when I came here I tried to avoid eating because I am not used to it, but I just couldn’t get on for 6 months by skipping everything! Today, my colleague made some delicious spicy meal for everyone and apologized that the meal has beef, and asked if I have a problem eating it? Is it a serious religious taboo? Does everyone follow it strictly today? I want to hear your views!

Well my answer to my colleague was that there is absolutely no problem that I grew up in a society where many religious rituals happen every single day and that at times it does not make any sense, and that I don’t want to be superstitious anymore.

Beef eating: strangulating history: While one must respect the sentiments of those who worship cow and regard her as their mother, to take offence to the objective study of history just because the facts don’t suit their political calculations is yet another sign of a society where liberal space is being strangulated by the practitioners of communal politics. [Text Tag=blue-tint][/Text]PROF. D. N. JHA, a historian from Delhi University, had been experiencing the nightmares of `threats to life’ from anonymous callers who were trying to prevail upon him not to go ahead with the publication of his well researched work, Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions.

As per the reports it is a work of serious scholarship based on authentic sources in tune with methods of scientific research in history. The book demonstrates that contrary to the popular belief even today a large number of Indians, the indigenous people in particular and many other communities in general, consume beef unmindful of the dictates of the Hindustan forces.

It is too well known to recount that these Hindustan forces confer the status of mother to the cow. Currently 72 communities in Kerala – not all of them untouchables – prefer beef to the expensive mutton and the Hindustan forces are trying to prevail upon them to stop the same.

Not tenable: To begin with the historian breaks the myth that Muslim rulers introduced beef eating in India. Much before the advent of Islam in India beef had been associated with Indian dietary practices. Also it is not at all tenable to hold that dietary habits are a mark of community identity.

A survey of ancient Indian scriptures, especially the Vedas, shows that amongst the nomadic, pastoral Aryans who settled here, animal sacrifice was a dominant feature till the emergence of settled agriculture. Cattle were the major property during this phase and they offered the same to propitiate the gods. Wealth was equated with the ownership of the cattle.

Many gods such as Indra and Agni are described as having special preferences for different types of flesh – Indra had weakness for bull’s meat and Agni for bulls and cows. It is recorded that the Maruts and the Asvins were also offered cows. In the Vedas there is a mention of around 250 animals out of which at least 50 were supposed to be fit for sacrifice and consumption. In the Mahabharata there is a mention of a king named Rantideva who achieved great fame by distributing food grains and beef to Brahmins. Taittiriya Brahman categorically tells us: `Verily the cow is food’ (atho Annam via gauh) and Yajnavalkya’s insistence on eating the tender (amsala) flesh of the cow is well known. Even later Brahminical texts provide the evidence for eating beef. Even Manusmriti did not prohibit the consumption of beef.

As a medicine: In therapeutic section of Charak Samhita (pages 86-87) the flesh of cow is prescribed as a medicine for various diseases. It is also prescribed for making soup. It is emphatically advised as a cure for irregular fever, consumption, and emaciation. The fat of the cow is recommended for debility and rheumatism.

With the rise of agricultural economy and the massive transformation occurring in society, changes were to be brought in in the practice of animal sacrifice also. At that time there were ritualistic practices like animal sacrifices, with which Brahmins were identified. Buddha attacked these practices. There were sacrifices, which involved 500 oxen, 500 male calves, 500 female calves and 500 sheep to be tied to the sacrificial pole for slaughter. Buddha pointed out that aswamedha, purusmedha; vajapeya sacrifices did not produce good results. According to a story in Digha Nikaya, when Buddha was touring Magadha, a Brahmin called Kutadanta was preparing for a sacrifice with 700 bulls, 700 goats and 700 rams. Buddha intervened and stopped him. His rejection of animal sacrifice and emphasis on non-injury to animals assumed a new significance in the context of new agriculture.

The threat from Buddhism: The emphasis on non-violence by Buddha was not blind or rigid. He did taste beef and it is well known that he died due to eating pork. Emperor Ashok after converting to Buddhism did not turn to vegetarianism. He only restricted the number of animals to be killed for the royal kitchen.

So where do matters change and how did the cow become a symbol of faith and reverence to the extent of assuming the status of `motherhood’? Over a period of time mainly after the emergence of Buddhism or rather as an accompaniment of the Brahminical attack on Buddhism, the practices started being looked on with different emphasis. The threat posed by Buddhism to the Brahminical value system was too severe. In response to low castes slipping away from the grip of Brahminism, the battle was taken up at all the levels. At philosophical level Sankara reasserted the supremacy of Brahminical values, at political level King Pushyamitra Shung ensured the physical attack on Buddhist monks, at the level of symbols King Shashank got the Bodhi tree (where Gautama the Buddha got Enlightenment) destroyed.

One of the appeals to the spread of Buddhism was the protection of cattle wealth, which was needed for the agricultural economy. In a way while Brahminism `succeeded’ in banishing Buddhism from India, it had also to transform itself from the `animal sacrifice’ state to the one which could be in tune with the times. It is here that this ideology took up the cow as a symbol of their ideological march. But unlike Buddha whose pronouncements were based on reason, the counteraction of Brahminical ideology took the form of a blind faith based on assertion. So while Buddha’s non-violence was for the preservation of animal wealth for the social and compassionate reasons the counter was based purely on symbolism. So while the followers of Brahminical ideology accuse Buddha of `weakening’ India due to his doctrine of non-violence, he was not a cow worshipper or vegetarian in the current Brahminical sense.

Despite the gradual rigidification of Brahminical `cow as mother’ stance, large sections of low castes continued the practice of beef eating. The followers of Buddhism continued to eat flesh including beef. Since Brahminism is the dominant religious tradition, Babur, the first Mughal emperor, in his will to his son Humayun, in deference to these notions, advised him to respect the cow and avoid cow slaughter. With the construction of Hindutva ideology and politics, in response to the rising Indian national movement, the demand for ban on cow slaughter also came up. In post-Independence India RSS repeatedly raised this issue to build up a mass campaign but without any response to its call till the 1980s.

While one must respect the sentiments of those who worship cow and regard her as their mother, to take offence to the objective study of history just because the facts don’t suit their political calculations is yet another sign of a society where liberal space is being strangulated by the practitioners of communal politics. We have seen enough such threats and offences in recent past – be it the opposition to films or the destruction of paintings, or the dictates of the communalists to the young not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, etc., – and hope the democratic spirit of our Constitution holds the forte and any threat to the democratic freedom is opposed tooth and nail.

Why is India Referred to as ‘Mother India’?

Bhārat Mātā (Hindi, from Sanskrit भारत माता, Bhārata Mātā), Mother India, or Bhāratāmbā (Sanskrit: भारताम्बा; अम्बा ambā means ‘mother’) is the national personification of India as a mother goddess. She is an amalgam of all the goddesses of Indian culture and more significantly of goddess Durga. She is usually depicted as a woman clad in a saffron sari holding the Indian national flag, and sometimes accompanied by a lion.

The image of Bhāratmātā formed with the Indian independence movement of the late 19th century. A play by Kiran Chandra Bannerjee, Bhārat Mātā, was first performed in 1873. Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s 1882 novel Anandamath introduced the hymn “Vande Mātaram”, which soon became the song of the emerging freedom movement in India.

Bipin Chandra Pal elaborated its meaning in idealizing and idealist terms, along with Hindu philosophical traditions and devotional practices. It represented an archaic spiritual essence, a transcedental idea of Universe as well as expressing Universal Hinduism and nationhood.

Abanindranath Tagore portrayed Bhārat Mātā as a four-armed Hindu goddess wearing saffron-colored robes, holding the Vedas, sheaves of rice, a mala, and a white cloth. The image of Bharatmata was an icon to create nationalist feeling in Indians during the freedom struggle. Sister Nivedita, an admirer of the painting, opined that the picture was refined and imaginative, with Bharatmata standing on green earth and blue sky behind her; feet with four lotuses, four arms meaning divine power; white halo and sincere eyes; and gifts Shiksha-Diksha-Anna-Bastra of motherland to her children.

The Shrimad Bhagawatam explains India has been called Bhãrat since the birth of Bharatji, the eldest of the hundred sons of Rishabhdev Bhagwan and Jayanti. Bharat grew up to become an extremely robust, handsome, charming, brave, intelligent, just and noble king who reigned over the entire Bharatkhand – the continent of greater India believed to have stretched from present-day Turkey to Burma.

For Indians, their motherland represents more than a piece of land. They see India with the love, respect and awe of a real mother. In many ways, their sentiments are not ill-founded.

Like all mothers, Bharat Mata gave us our existence (literally for all those blessed enough to be born in India, and at least culturally for all those who originate from her). She nurtures us, protects us, and sees to our holistic development. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the grains we eat, the cotton grown and made into the clothes we wear, the shelter and refuge we take,… all these are Her loving gifts to us, Her beloved children. And like all children, every proud Indian yearns to leave his mortal body in her tender lap.

Why is Tulsi considered as Amrit?

Sanatana Dharma or Vaishnavism person who believed in all that familiar with these Hindu families in each house of Cirntr basil plant is an essential part of worship. Prakasht of faith so that even in death, basil team spirit with the Ganges water would be consumed by then will not be his salvation. And the miraculous medicinal properties Atharva Ayurveda reserves the Basil Basil not only saying it because it was a Mahaawsgi, lifesaving and basil herb is said to nectar.

Basil faith in daily deeds and actions so many orthodox worship him accept a vote. That is to say in basil somatic, physical and spiritual pleasures to the three virtues code-shoot method is filled.

When Sita Hanuman went to Lanka to explore the monsters that live in metropolitan holy basil plant was explored with the help of his devotee catastrophically. Of particular importance to women, much scriptural worship the Tulsi said. Many scriptures in terms of spirituality many details Basil said.

Lord Vishnu in the month of Kartik Ekadashi of the year Utni please get Awpa and their ultimate goal is practiced for centuries by the circulation of Tulsi Vivah. Many people celebrate it as a festival. The five days that the festival lasts until Amavshya. According to mythology, Lord Vishnu the evil monsters and basil Jalandhar husband was killed. But despite the enormity of the faithful religion husband while he had been faithful. From the ashes of the pyre is considered the birth of basil.

Pvitrtta basil, sacrifice and a wicked husband of religion itself, given the properties of subsistence Vishnu had adopted him as his wife. The blessing he gave me that feeling of reverence with whoever your marriage will also indulges the ultimate pleasure is ultimately will achieve the ultimate abode.

In the description that comes Shivpuran deity Vishnu format Saligram and basil from getting married conjugal life full of happiness and prosperity is created. The marriage of the girls are coming in or where constraints due to family troubles and discord would be difficult to live life, there’s a very effective seal undertaking basil worship solution is proven. Mnwanchit spouses so as to get the basil worship is practiced in Hindu families.

Basil G is the simplest way to get Awpa purity and reverence of your home-court sense to install them, including Saligram. Ythabav continual evening sun-lamp unload their worship ritual. Namashtk basil, basil octaves, basil rolls, basil ode, Basil Basil chant prayers, etc., or even if only in reverence when the continual chanting meets their Shaigr the Awpa.

The women in the house courtyard home by installing basil are chanting the Lord Vishnu Haripriya mindset to overcome anguish of his life and prosperity must fill.

Where there are basil plants featured Praawtik bit automatically becomes a shield and increases the immunity of the place, it has been proven by scientific tests.

One thing to always keep in mind that this is not chewed basil party, it only need to be swallowed whole or pieces. The other important thing is that any Ganapati liturgical rite of basil etc. are considered strictly prohibited.

It is true to say that the Ayurvedic importance brief summary, as well as somatic in basil, physical and spiritual pleasures to the three virtues in the code-shoot method Praawtik is filled. Simply, those properties to benefit fully from the proper sense of the faith should have in mind.

What are the scientific aspects of yoga?

Yoga for playing a key role in highlighting the scientific aspects of yoga meditation master yogi Swami Veda Bharati Mahamandleshwar will always be remembered. To spark the imagination of the country and abroad Yoga Swami Veda Bharati and spirituality at a time more than a million people were keeping in mind the unique ability to provide.

Born in Dehradun in 1933, a Sanskrit-speaking family from childhood acumen are Veda Bharati. That is why family members had placed his name Usrbuddh Aryan. It is peculiar, he had not known ever to school and educated at home in the traditional way of Vedanta. The same thing goes with the introduction of their acumen that he is only six years old Panini four thousand had memorized formula. At the age of nine as the Vedas and Upanishads Usrbuddh were started preaching. In 1952-53 Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and other countries in the dissemination of yoga and spirituality with yoga centers opened in several countries.

Hadee, English and Sanskrit languages ​​grasp of seventeen of the world, including the Netherlands, a university with a master Usrbuddh. D. Litt be awarded. From 1962 to 1969 as a professor at the University of Minnesota also served. Meanwhile, renowned saint of the Himalayas Dr. Swami Rama came in contact with and he left teaching to pursue the mission of Swami Rama started work. In December 1992, he sacrificed family life, Dr. four. Swami Rama Swami Veda Bharati retirement Baptized and then earned the name. Swami Rama village in 2001 with the establishment of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation seeker institution set up. Swami Veda Bharati University’s first Chancellor Himalayan. Today, hundreds of students for their research work is nothing short of a guide.

Renowned saint Swami Veda Bharati, yoga and spirituality in his life has authored 36 books. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, including two sections, ten Thaujent Sons of Light, Sbtlr Then the Sbtl super Kansens Meditation, Yoga out of Filoshipi, Meditation and the Art of Dying, God, an epic war Bhishma, of Perennial Iskloji Bhagavad Gita, mantra and meditation and yoga His popular books in the Lab said.

Swami Veda Bharati Mahamandleshwar on what to do after his passing he clearly wrote that while living in their country and abroad, and devout followers do not give their last respects to the action should not be their last. Swami Veda Bharati Not only for the integrity of the environment and Ganga vote on final action is taken. When Brhmalin saint saint tradition is the water or ground mausoleum. However, he wrote that if the followers feel that it is not right for the environment, they should be Mukgni. For this, he has named his disciple Swami Bharati Hrituwan.

Why do Hindus worship the cow?

Hindus don’t worship cows. We respect, honour and adore the cow. By honouring this gentle animal, who gives more than she takes, we honour all creatures.

Hindus regard all living creatures as sacred – mammals, fishes, birds and more. We acknowledge this reverence for life in our special affection for the cow. At festivals we decorate and honour her, but we do not worship her in the sense that we worship the Deity.

To the Hindu, the cow symbolizes all other creatures. The cow is a symbol of the Earth, the nourisher, the ever-giving, undemanding provider. The cow represents life and the sustenance of life. The cow is so generous, taking nothing but water, grass and grain. It gives and gives and gives of its milk, as does the liberated soul give of his spiritual knowledge. The cow is so vital to life, the virtual sustainer of life, for many humans. The cow is a symbol of grace and abundance. Veneration <space”> of the cow instils in Hindus the virtues of gentleness, receptivity and connectedness with nature.

Elaboration: Who is the greatest giver on planet Earth today? Who do we see on every table in every country of the world –breakfast, lunch and dinner? It is the cow. McDonald’s cow-vending golden arches and their rivals have made fortunes on the humble cow. The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee and buttermilk. It gives entirely of itself through sirloin, ribs, rump, porterhouse and beef stew. Its bones are the base for soup broths and glues. It gives the world leather belts, leather seats, leather coats and shoes, beef jerky, cowboy hats – you name it. The only cow-question for Hindus is, “Why don’t more people respect and protect this remarkable creature?” Mahatma Gandhi once said, “One can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.”

In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honoured, garlanded and given special feedings at festivals all over India, most importantly the annual Gopashtama festival. Demonstrating how dearly Hindus love their cows, colourful cow jewellery and clothing is sold at fairs all over the Indian countryside. From a young age, Hindu children are taught to decorate the cow with garlands, paint and ornaments. Her nature is epitomized in Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow. The cow and her sacred gifts –milk and ghee in particular –are essential elements in Hindu worship, penance and rites of passage. In India, more than 3,000 institutions called Gaushalas, maintained by charitable trusts, care for old and infirm cows. And while many Hindus are not vegetarians, most respect the still widely held code of abstaining from eating beef.

By her docile, tolerant nature, the cow exemplifies the cardinal virtue of Hinduism, no injury, known as ahimsa. The cow also symbolizes dignity, strength, endurance, maternity and selfless service.

In the Vedas, cows represent wealth and joyous Earthly life. From the Rig Veda (4.28.1; 6) we read. “The cows have come and have brought us good fortune. In our stalls, contented, may they stay! May they bring forth calves for us, many-coloured, giving milk for Indra each day? You make, O cows, the thin man sleek; to the unlovely you bring beauty. Rejoice our homestead with pleasant lowing. In our assemblies we laud your vigour.”

What is the importance of Mangalsutra?

A mangalsutra (also mangala sutra or mangalasutra) is an Indian symbol of Hindu marriage, consisting of a gold ornament strung from a yellow thread, a string of black beads or a gold chain.

The word mangalsutra can be deciphered as ‘sacred thread or cord’; as ‘mangal’ means auspicious and ‘sutra’ means thread or cord.

In South India, the Maangalyam is made up of a yellow thread painted with Turmeric paste. The thread is tied with three knots around the bride’s neck. In some of the weddings the first knot is tied by the groom, while the remaining two knots are tied by his sister. In North India the Mangalsutra is a golden ornament having black beads and a gold or Diamond pendant in it.

Mangalsutra is Lord Brahma. Mangalsutra. That is to say Thali is both creator and destroyer. When tied to a girl’s neck, thali promotes her to wifehood and when removed from her neck it demotes her to widowhood.

It is called mangal sutra, because it represents “auspiciousness”. By wearing it, a woman announces that she is happy and fulfilled in her life, this is what makes her “auspicious”. The sutra represents the many strands of emotions, love, faith, trust, friendship etc that go into making up a relationship, especially one that is suppose to last a life time. It also represents the many relationships that bind them now, those of the two families that are now woven into one.

History:  “Historically, the custom of tying a mangalsutra, the auspicious emblem or cord, on the wedding day, appears to have become popular only after the 6th century AD. Before this, a yellow protective cord known as ‘kankanabandhana’ was tied around the wrists of the bride and the groom to signal their commitment to marriage.

The mangalsutra is considered a talisman to ward off the evil eye. The black colour of the beads is said to absorb all negative vibrations before they can reach the bride and her family. The stringing together of the beads into one thread has its significance as well. Just as each bead contributes to making a beautiful necklace, so does the woman have to blend and integrate into the new family after marriage.”

According to Hindu culture, there are five signs of marital status of women. They are mangalsutra, Toe rings, Kumkum, bangles and a nose ring. Mangalsutra is the most important among them.

The Mangalsutra consists of two pieces, ONE FROM EACH FAMILY, traditionally dangling on a yellow thread. The variation in the Mangalsutra and the way it is made / arranged varies from region to region. It contains images of the Shiva Lingam – Iyers the Namam and Sudarshana Chakra – Iyengars A pair of shell (shakha) and red coral (Paula) bangles – Bengali Ivory -Punjab and Rajastan Gold chain with black beads and a gold pendant – West and other parts of India. Kashitali – gold chain with coral beads and two black beads on either side of a diamond shaped gold pendant – Karnataka, specifically “Konkini” Soft 24 Karat Gold is fashioned into necklaces modelled on the local flora and fauna—earrings like the hona, which replicate the orchid, and the lokaparo, which consists of two birds placed back to back. – Assam Gold is used to craft imitations of the human head and long funnel-shaped beads which are used in combination with shells, animal claws and teeth and precious and semi-precious stones. – Nagaland Rice grains, the Cobra’s hood, Melon and Cucumber seeds are some of the common motifs of nature inspired jewellery. – Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Silversmiths craft large ornaments, which have a very delicate and intricate appearance. Headdresses called chak, long earrings and large nose rings with papal leaf or bird motifs are the specialties of the region. – Himachal Pradesh Turquoise, Cornelian (sort of reddish quartz), Coral and Agate – Ladakh and East Indian States Our humble Mangalsutra had a very humble Beginning.

A Hindu marriage symbolizes not just a bonding of two individuals but also the bonding of understanding, commitment, mutual love and spiritual growth. In Hindu tradition marriage is not just about celebration and fun it demands sacrifice, companionship, dedication, and surrender by both the partners. Each and every rituals and customs associated with marriage portrays the real essence of wedding. Mangalsutra is one such symbol of marriage. It is not just a jewellery item it has lots of significance to an Indian married woman. It is a sacred thread of love and goodwill worn by married women as a symbol of their marriage.

Mangalsutra is the guardian of the wearer; a sort of fence as the South Indian saying goes. To every woman Mangalsutra is precious, as precious as her loving husband. Temple goers invariably touch their Mangalsutra with the Kumkum offered by poojaris as Prasad.

Married women who value their Mangalsutra perform ‘Sumangali pooja’ for strengthening the life span of their Mangalsutra. When they prostrate before elders to receive their blessings and good wishes, they are blessed with the words ‘Deerga Sumangali Bhava’, meaning ‘Let you lead a long married life’, which only tells indirectly ‘Let your husband be hale and hearty forever so as to make you happy’.

What is the importance of SAAT-PHERA?

The saat phere (sāt phéré “seven circumambulations”) is one of the most important features of the Hindu wedding, involving seven rounds around a pious fire lit for the purpose amidst the Vedic mantras. The bride and groom circumambulate a consecrated fire seven times, reciting specific vows with each circuit (Sanskrit: parikrama). Vows made in the presence of the sacred fire (Sanskrit: Agni) are considered unbreakable, with Agnideva (lit. God/Lord of Fire; c.f. Latin cognates: ignis+Deus) held as both witnessing and blessing the couple’s union. Every phera taken holds a specific meaning. The Saat phere or the seven pradakshinas (circumambulations) are as follows:

An Indian wedding is a symbol of purity, union of two different people, community and culture. All the Hindu weddings carry out similar rituals with slight difference. Each ritual that is carried out in a Hindu wedding has some meaning. The most important of all Hindu marriage rituals is “SAPTAPADI” referring to “SAAT PHERE” in general Hindi now-a-days. This ritual is the core of the whole marriage ceremony and couple is considered as married just by performing this ritual alone some older person of the family ties a knot with one end of the bride’s clothing and one end of the groom’s clothing. Then they stand up to take seven rounds around the fire [called the Agni Kund in Hindi] one by one. These rounds are taken as the priest reads certain Sanskrit Shloks to bless the couple.

“Fire” Or Agni is considered as Very pure and sanctified. Also, the Qualities of fire are such that, no matter how many times it is lit, yet it remains “immortal” and “young forever”. This is why I have seen people in almost all major religion of the world – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Buddhist and more… all use fire in one way or the other for their worship. Amazing!! How fire is considered important by multiple beliefs systems.

Fire is considered to be so pure, immortal, young and sanctified; it is used as a symbol for the couple to solemnize their marriage with the seven promises. This is called “Agni Sakshi” which means “fire is the witness”. The promises thus made are considered to be immortal and the couple is expected to be MOST truthful and honest to each other in making these promises.

Seven Pheras:-

  • In the first round or phera, the couple prays to God for plenty of nourishing and pure food. They pray to God to let them walk together so that they will get food.
  • In the second round, the couple prays to God for a healthy and prosperous life. They ask for the physical, spiritual and mental health from God.
  • In the third Phera the couple prays to God for wealth. They ask God for the strength for both of them so that they can share the happiness and pain together. Also, they pray so that they can walk together to get wealth.
  • In the fourth round the couple prays to God for the increase in love and respect for each other and their respective families.
  • The bride and groom together pray for the beautiful, heroic and noble children from God in the fifth step.
  • In the sixth holy round around the fire, the couple asks for the peaceful long life with each other.
  • In the final seventh round the couple prays to god for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves. They ask God to make them friends and give the maturity to carry out the friendship for lifetime. The husband says to his new wife that now they have become friends after the Seven Vows/Sat Phere and they will not break their friendship in life.

Alt: The vows taken in each phera are as below:

  • With the first phera, the couple invokes the gods for the plenitude of pure and nourishing food and a life that is noble and respectful.
  • With the second phera the couple prays for physical and mental strength and to lead a healthy and peaceful life.
  • The third phera is taken for the fulfilment of spiritual obligations. The gods are invoked for blessing the couple with spiritual strength.
  • The fourth phera is taken for the attainment of happiness and harmony through mutual love and trust and a long joyous life together.
  • The fifth phera is taken to pray for the welfare of all living entities in the entire universe and for begetting noble children.
  • The sixth phera is for bountiful seasons all over the world. The couple prays for bountiful seasons and seeks that they may go through these seasons together, just as they would share their joys and sorrows.
  • With the last phera they pray for a life of understanding, loyalty, unity and companionship not only for themselves but also for the peace of the universe.

Having exchanged these vows of love, duty, respect, fidelity and a fruitful union the couple agree to be companions forever. The process of saat phere acquires more significance in that the couple prays for the peace and well-being of the entire universe.

An Indian marriage is a symbol of purity, union of two different people, community and culture. All the Hindu marriages carry out similar rituals with slight difference.

What is meant by “killing of conscience”?

He who is pure in thought, speech and action, which fears sin and Adharma, who is pious, God-fearing and equanimous, who is balanced and capable of maintaining equilibrium, will have his conscience in an unblemished state. He who has abundant Sattva (quality of purity) will always have an unmarried conscience. Expansion of heart gives rise to the hearing of the voice of conscience. Inner guidance will always be to that individual who has Sattva in abundant measure by way of Japa, Svadhyaya, Pranayam, selfless service and other alleviative works (Yajna).

“Killing of conscience” means killing of what is divine in man, killing of the enviable quality of Sattva, expenditure of the laudable wealth of Dharma, the praiseworthy treasure of spiritual progress. He who is God-fearing can never commit anything that debases him or degrades him in moral evolution. To kill the conscience means to kill the God in man, to make an end of all Daivi Sampat (wealth of divine qualities) and equal oneself to a brute and reduce oneself to a spiritual cannibal. True conscience is another name for the Antaratma or Inner Soul. Go through my book “Ethical Teachings” in this connection.

What is this earth?

Different definitions can be given from different standpoints. The earth is one of the fields for experiencing the fruits of good, bad and mixed actions, and for performing fresh actions. It is a Bhoga-bhumi as well as a Karma-bhumi. It is a bundle of atoms, a form of energy, a materialization of thought, an expression of the effects of the Karmas of the individuals of whom it is composed and to whom it is related. Scientifically, the earth is only one of the planets which go to make the universe.

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System’s four terrestrial planets, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. The earliest life on Earth arose at least 3.5 billion years ago. Earlier physical evidence of life includes graphite, a biogenic substance, in 3.7 billion-year-old met sedimentary rocks discovered in south-western Greenland, as well as, “remains of biotic life” found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia. Earth’s biodiversity has expanded continually except when interrupted by mass extinctions.  Although scholars estimate that over 99 percent of all species of life (over five billion) that ever lived on Earth are extinct, there are still an estimated 10–14 million extant species, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described. Over 7.3 billion humans live on Earth and depend on its biosphere and minerals for their survival. Earth’s human population is divided among about two hundred sovereign states which interact through diplomacy, conflict, travel, and trade and communication media.

According to evidence from radiometric dating and other sources, Earth was formed about 4.54 billion years ago. Within its first billion years, life appeared in its oceans and began to affect its atmosphere and surface, promoting the proliferation of aerobic as well as anaerobic organisms. Since then, the combination of Earth’s distance from the Sun, its physical properties and its geological history have allowed life to thrive and evolve.

Earth’s lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. Seventy-one percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water, with the remainder consisting of continents and islands that together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere. Earth’s Polar Regions are mostly covered with ice, including the Antarctic ice sheet and the sea ice of the Arctic ice pack. Earth’s interior remains active with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the magnetic field, and a convicting mantle that drives plate tectonics.

Earth gravitationally interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon. During one orbit around the Sun, Earth rotates about its own axis 366.26 times, creating 365.26 solar days or one sidereal year. Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet’s surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days). The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. Its gravitational interaction with Earth causes ocean tides, stabilizes the orientation of Earth’s rotational axis, and gradually slows Earth’s rotational rate.