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Foreward
Sacred Days and Festivals
What They Denote Pg. 1
What they Denote Pg. 2
Rituals & Practices Pg.1
Rituals & Practices Pg. 2
The Vivaha Pg. 1
The Vivaha Pg. 2
Child Page One
Child Page Two
Rituals of Death
Symbolisms
Ramayana
Mahabharata
The Gita
Upanishads
The Tulasi
Back Page

In Touch With Masters
Wisdom of Sind
Hindu Customs & Beliefs
Symbolisms in Ramayana
History of Hindus in Sind
Remembering Maa
Nisaadhanta

 


Introduction & Index

We Indians belong to the land that gave the world the treasures contained in the Vedas and the evergreen philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita.

India’s sculptures and paintings are comparable to the best in Greek and Roman Art. Its architectural heritage was acknowledged by Lord Curzon to be “the Greatest Galaxy of Monuments in the World.” In fact it was here that flourished the great Indus Valley Civilization, a marvel in social set-up and communal living-mil­lennia before the birth of Christ.

My venturesome ancestors migrated to the Canary Islands to try their fortune at the turn of the century. My parents took me there while I was an infant. It was in 1955 that I was enrolled in to a Spanish Catholic School run by Dominican Nuns. As luck would have it. I was the only Hindu girl in a class of over 40 Spanish students.

Born and brought up in a predominantly western atmosphere. I grew up totally westernised in my thoughts and outlook. Denied access to our rich cultural heritage. I could not meet my classmates in discussion when they wondered aloud how Hindus could be so pagan as to worship cows, monkeys and elephants. It was, perhaps, this humiliation, of which I was a victim, which sowed the seed in my mind to know and delve deep into the origin of our customs and beliefs, which, at first sight, may appear superstitious to outsiders.

On my return to India to complete my studies, I was shocked that the majority of the people here, with whom I came in contact, had little or no knowledge of the significance of the rituals and customs that had come down to them from ancient times; I found them practicing them mechanically because it is a tradition, without going into the “Why and wherefore”. My searching enquiries elicited no satisfactory explanations. It was then that I decided to seek the answers for myself by attending lectures and discourses by learned people. I felt mentally relieved when I learned that every belief and ritual, in Hinduism had a scientific and logical explanation and had been prescribed with the good of the individual in mind.

These beliefs and rituals date back to the ancient times. Due to intellectual inertia, the reasoning faculties of the large mass of the people are not always developed. The wise ones therefore found it necessary to give these beliefs and rituals a religious base, so that the masses would follow them in their daily life and derive benefit though they may not be aware why these have been enjoined upon them.

Unscrupulous people everywhere have the evil genius to exploit the credulous for their selfish ends. As time passed, It was easy for much men to inject an element of fear in the credulous that non-performance of the age old customs and rituals is a heinous sin and personal disaster would be the outcome if they were not followed to the letter. They also contrived to bring about unsavory accretions to the customs and rituals for their own advantage. As has happened everywhere else, the credulous and unthinking among the people took to these customs and practices without questioning. Thus was born superstition, the source of which is fear.

My aim in writing this book is to make the reader approach the subject with a constructive and open mind and try to understand for himself the scientific origin of our customs and beliefs, thereby getting rid of himself and those around him, from the superstitious accretions, which have found a place in our rituals and practices.

I shall feel amply rewarded for my labours if this humble attempt on my part helps In dispersing the darkness which has clouded our customs and practices and restoring them to their pristine purity in the mind of the reader.

Shakun Narain.

Bombay.

15th June 1982

 

Index

Foreword By Professor Ram Punjwani
Chapter One Sacred Days and Festivals
Ramanavami
Deepavali
Krishna Janmashtami
Holi
Sivaratri
Vinayakachaturthi
Chapter Two Hindu Customs & Beliefs - What They Denote Page One
Hindu Customs & Beliefs - What They Denote Page Two
Chapter Three Rituals : Practices and Their Significance Page One
Rituals : Practices and Their Significance Page Two
Chapter Four The Vivaha (Marriage Ceremonies) Page One
The Vivaha (Marriage Ceremonies) Page Two
Chapter Five Childbirth and Childhood Page One
Childbirth and Childhood Page Two
Chapter Six Rituals Connected with Death
Chapter Seven Symbolism of Deities and Educational Value of Hindu Scriptures
Ramayana
Mahabharata
The Gita
Upanishads
Chapter Eight The Tulasi
Back Page
 

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