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This wiki site Veda is dedicated to understanding Sanatana Dharma (eternal way of life), prominently known as Hinduism, the oldest living religion on earth. It covers information related to Hindu (Vedic) concepts, teachings, philosophy, scriptures and everything that we can think of related to the Hindu Dharma.

The body dies but the Self dies not

Strike at the root of a tree; it would bleed but still live. Strike at the trunk; it would bleed but still live. Strike again at the top; it would bleed but still live. The Self as life supports the tree, which stands firm and enjoys the nourishment it receives. If the Self leaves one branch, that branch withers. If it leaves a second, that too withers. If it leaves a third, that again withers. Let it leave the whole tree, the whole tree dies.

Just so, dear one, when death comes and the Self departs from the body, the body dies, but the Self dies not.

— Chandogya Upanishad

The Vedic Tradition

The Vedic tradition of knowledge, based on the extensive Vedic literature, is the oldest tradition of knowledge in the world. Though it has been long preserved in India, this traditional wisdom has been almost lost in recent centuries—due in part to repeated foreign invasions. The Vedic tradition includes detailed information on a wide range of topics—from astronomy to music, architecture to health care, administration to economy. But it is all based on the knowledge of consciousness—including technologies of consciousness, and evolution to the highest state of consciousness (enlightenment).

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From the invention of the decimal system in mathematics to the noble philosophy of ahimsã, Hindus have contributed their share in all fields of knowledge and learning. Over five thousand years ago, when Europeans were only nomadic forest dwellers, ancient Hindus had established a civilization, known as the Harappan culture, in the Indus Valley, the northwestern region of India. When much of the world was still sunk in sleep, people of the Harappan culture were conducting trade workshops in weaving, bead-making, pottery, dying of fabrics, and metallurgy. read more...

The Place Value System

The place value system is built into the Sanskrit language and so whereas in English we only use thousand, million, billion etc, in Sanskrit there are specific nomenclature for the powers of 10, most used in modern times are dasa (10), sata (100), sahasra (1,000=1K), ayuta (10K), laksha (100K), niyuta (106=1M), koti (10M), vyarbuda (100M), paraardha (1012) etc. Results of such a practice were two-folds. Firstly, the removal of special importance of numbers. Instead of naming numbers in grops of three, four or eight orders of units one could use the necessary name for the power of 10. Secondly, the notion of the term "of the order of". To express the order of a particular number, one simply needs to use the nearest two powers of 10 to express its enormity.

The Vedic tradition of knowledge, based on the extensive Vedic literature, is the oldest tradition of knowledge in the world.
Hinduism at a Glance
If you're new to this faith, here's where to begin. In this simple introduction to a complex religion, get your basic questions on Hinduism answered and explained in brief.
Overview of Hindusim.
Sanatana Dharma
Sanatana Dharma is is the original name of what is now popularly called Hinduism. Sanatana Dharma is the world's most ancient culture and the socio, spiritual, and religious tradition of almost one billion of the earth's inhabitants.
FAQs - Hinduism
Covers the frequently asked questions on Hindu Dharma.
Sanskrit is considered to be the oldest language in human history. Sanskrit is the progenitor and inspiration for virtually every language spoken in India. Sanskrit has a tradition going back at least 5,000 years and is the language in which every ancient Hindu text, devotional or otherwise, is written in.
Do you know?
Little bits of information on amazing facts related to Hindus and India.
Pearls of Wisdom
A selection of quotes relating to various aspects of Hinduism on Vedas, Dharma, Athma, Ayurveda and others.
Glimpses through the lens on Hindu thought, culture, contribution, events and its global presence.
sūtras metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or large a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual — is a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms. Sūtras form a school of Vedic study, related to and somewhat later than the Upanishads.
The overview of Hindu Scriptures.
The Vedas are the oldest extant Hindu texts. The ideas expressed in the Vedas were traditionally handed down orally from father to son and from teacher to disciple.
The Ãgamas are theological treatises and practical manuals of divine worship. The Agamas include the Tantras, Mantras and Yantras. These are treatises explaining the external worship of God, in idols, temples, etc
The aim of the Puranas is to impress on the minds of the masses the teachings of the Vedas and to generate in them devotion to God, through concrete examples, stories, legends, lives of saints, kings and great men, allegories and chronicles of great historical events.
Bhagavad Gītā
The Bhagavad Gita is known as the Song Celestial. It is the most important sacred text in the Hindu tradition. It is Brahma-vidya, the knowledge of existence, as well as Yoga-shastra, scripture on the science of the Self.
The Rãmãyana has been a perennial source of spiritual, cultural and artistic inspiration, not only to the people of India but also to the people all over the world. It has helped to mold the Hindu character and has inspired millions of people with the deepest of love and devotion.
It is an historical epic about the great kingdom of Bharatavarsa, or the region of India. It contains 110,000 couplets making it the longest poem and greatest epic in world literature.
The Upanishads are epic hymns of self-knowledge and world-knowledge and God-knowledge. There is no book in the whole world that is so thrilling, soul-stirring and inspiring as the Upanishad. The philosophy taught by the Upanishads has been the source of solace for many, both in the East and the West. The human intellect has not been able to conceive of anything more noble and sublime in the history of the world than the teachings of the Upanishads.
The Vedanga ("member of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines for the understanding and tradition of the Vedas.

The most comprehensive study of the Science of Consciousness. It expounds the various levels of consciousness, states of consciousness, the nature of consciousness at each level, the nature of Truth at each level of consciousness and methods to attain those levels.
The vehicle of consciousness with which one passes from life to life.
Yoga Sutras
The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.
The various planes of existence.
Stages of Emanation of the Universe.
The Principles of the Universe.
Vedic Time System
In the Vedic Time System, kala (Time) is not a linear, single-directional movement, like an arrow speeding from past to future. The idea of Time itself was quite advanced in Hindu Heritage.
Srishti and Pralaya
Creation of the Universe — the cosmos follows one cycle within a framework of cycles. It may have been created and reach an end, but it represents only one turn in the perpetual "wheel of time", which revolves infinitely through successive cycles of creation and destruction.
Hindu Cosmology
Hindu Cosmology upholds the idea that creation is timeless, having no beginning in time. Each creation is preceded by dissolution and each dissolution is followed by creation.
The Hindu Almanac provides vital information about astrological factors, planets and stars — aspects of our subtle environment which are unseen but strongly felt. It is far more complex than the simple Gregorian calendar normally used in the West and far more useful.
Janmapatrika. Birth Chart. An astrological map of the sky drawn for a person's moment and place of birth. Also known as rashi chakra or zodiac wheel, it is the basis for interpreting the traits of individuals and the experiences, prarabdha karma, they will go through in life. See: jyotisha, karma.
Ganita (Sanskrit: for mathematics; is derived from the root ‘gana’, which means to count or to enumerate.)
Brahmavidya or Paravidya (metaphysics metaknowledge or higher knowledge) is the vehicle for attaining Moksha in the path known as Jnana Yoga and Yoga sastra (the means to attain the same) is the practical discipline needed to attain Brahmavidya.
samsari (Sanskrit: "One in samsara; wanderer.") — the atman (Self) during transmigration, immersed in or attached to mundane existence, hence not striving for moksha (liberation). A samsari is someone who is not "on the path."
sukshma sharira
sukshma sharira (Sanskrit: sukshma, "subtle, unmanifest, dormant") — is the energy body, the subtle body, the light body of form consists of manas (mind), buddhi (intelligence) and ahankara (ego). The atma (the Self) functions in the sukshmaloka (astral plane), the inner world also called antarloka. The suksmah sharira includes pranamaya-kosha (the pranic sheath), manomaya-kosha (the instinctive-intellectual sheath), and vijnanamaya-kosha (the cognitive sheath) kosha) — with the pranic sheath dropping off at the death of the sthula-sharira (physical body). The subtle body is the vehicle of consciousness with which one passes from life to life and to accompany us even after the death of the physical body. See: kosha, atma.
brahmana — a member of the traditional priestly class. The brahmana was the first of the four varnas in the social system called varnasrama dharma. Literally the word means “in relation to brahman.” A brahmana is one who follows the ways of Brahman. Traditionally a brahmana, often written as brahmin, filled the role of priest, teacher and thinker.
(Sanskrit: मेरु ) : An ancient mountain and mythical centre of the universe on which was situated the city of Brahma. Becoming jealous of Meru, the Vindya began to grow very high obstructing the sun, the moon and the planets. Agastya whom the Vindhya mountain respected asked it to stop growing until he crossed it on his way to the south and returned to the north again. But he did not return at all, having settled in the south.
Absolute: Lower case "absolute", real, not dependent on anything else, not relative. Upper case "Absolute", Ultimate Reality, the unmanifest, unchanging and transcendent Parabrahm — utterly non-relational to even the most subtle level of consciousness.
purusa (Sanskrit: "man, male"). In sankhya philosophy purusa denotes the Supreme Male Principle in the universe. Its counterpart is prakrti.
avidya (Sanskrit) Spiritual "ignorance." Wrongful understanding of the nature of reality. Mistaking the impermanent for the everlasting. The state of ignorance which needs to be dispelled at the outset , before one can begin the journey in earnest towards self fulfillment and Moksha. 'Ignorance is bliss ' or so the satire goes. Ignorance most certainly is not bliss. Avidya (pAra or apAra) is an unpardonable excuse and as soon as a person determines he/she is in a state of Avidya, they should take steps to remedy the situation.
This nine-day festival of the Hindus is celebrated in almost all parts of India in the month of Ashvina, and is marked by fasting and praying to different aspects of Devi.
Tat Tvam Asi
Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि, "Thou art that," "That thou art," or "You are that") — is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements).
Yoga (Sanskrit: योग, "union of atman (individual Self) with paramåtma (Universal Self)") derived from the root yuj, "to join, to unite, to attach" — spiritual practices performed primarily as a means to enlightenment (or bodhi). Traditionally, Karma Yoga (through action), Bhakti Yoga (through devotion), jñåna-yoga (through knowledge), and dhyåna-yoga (through meditation) are considered the four main yogas. In the West, yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, popular as fitness exercises. Yoga has many other meaning. For example, in astronomy and astrology it refers to a conjunction (union) of planets.
A term applied to a clan, a group of families, or a lineage - exogamous and patrilineal - whose members trace their descent to a common ancestor.
Guru Purnima
The day, also known as Vyasa Purnima is observed by devotees who offer pujas (worship) to their beloved Gurus. . The festival is usually celebrated as an occasion for initiation of new disciples by their Gurus. On the purnima (day of full moon) in the month of Aashadh in the Hindu Calendar is traditionally celebrated as Guru Purnima by many Hindus. On this day devotees offer worship (puja) to their guru. According to tradition this was the day when Vyasadeva, author of the Mahabharata and the Puranas was born. All religious teachers (gurus) are revered on this day by remembering their life and teachings.
The Vedāṅga (Sanskrit: ""Veda-limb; member of the Veda") are six auxiliary disciplines for the understanding and tradition of the Vedas. The four Vedas form the body of the Veda Purusha or the Vedic Being. The six Vedāṅgas are the limbs of the Veda Purusha. Four Vedangas govern correct chanting of the Vedas: 1) śikṣā (phonetics), 2) Çhandas (meter), 3) Nirukta, "etymology", 4) Vyākaraṇa, "grammar". The two other Vedāngas are 5) Jyotisha Vedanga, "astronomy-astrology" and 6) Kalpa Vedanga, "procedural canon" which includes the Shrauta and Shulba Shastras, "ritual codes", dharma-shastra, "social law" and Grihya Shastras, "domestic codes".
vairāgya or vairaagya (Sanskrit: वैराग्य, "dispassion; detachment; or renunciation") — desire and ability to give up all transitory enjoyments. In particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the material world. Vairāgya is a compound word joining vai meaning "to dry, be dried" + rāga meaning "color, passion, feeling, emotion, interest" (and a range of other usages). This sense of "drying up of the passions" gives vairāgya a general meaning of ascetic disinterest in things that would cause attachment in most people. It is a "dis-passionate" stance on life. An ascetic who has subdued all passions and desires is called a vairāgika.
Hindu Vaishnavas observe Ekadashi (alternatively called 'Gyaars') by fasting on that day.
satsanga or satsang (Sanskrit: "association with the real;") from roots sat, "existence absolute, which is Brahman" and sanga, "company or union" — the practice of being in the presence of the wise, in whose company it is easier to learn and practice. Satsanga is association with the wise. Live in the company of sages, saints, sadhus, yogis and sannyasins; hear their valuable upadesa or instructions and follow them implicitly.
sthula sharira
sthula sharira is the physical body (sthula, coarse or bulky), the vehicle of all the other principles during life and the means by which man is able to function on earth. The physical body, sthula sharira comprises annamaya-kosha, the material substance and pranamaya-kosha.
mantra (Sanskrit; Devanāgarī: मन्त्र) or mantram, consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "mind") and the suffix -tra meaning, "tool or protection" — hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought". They are primarily used as spiritual conduits, words or vibrations that instill one-pointed concentration in the devotee.
brahmana — a member of the traditional priestly class. The brahmana was the first of the four varnas in the social system called varnasrama dharma. Literally the word means “in relation to brahman.” A brahmana is one who follows the ways of Brahman. Traditionally a brahmana, often written as brahmin, filled the role of priest, teacher and thinker.
samskara (Sanskrit: "patterned or conditioned behaviors; subconscious tendencies; worldly life; impression.") — 1. The imprints left on the subconscious mind by experience (from this or previous lives), which then color all of life, one's nature, responses, states of mind, etc. 2. A sacrament or rite done to mark a significant transition of life. These make deep and positive impressions on the mind of the recipient, inform the family and community of changes in the lives of its members and secure inner-world blessings. The numerous samskaras are outlined in the Grihya Shastras. Most are accompanied by specific mantras from the Vedas.
shauca or shaucha (Sanskrit: "Purity.") — avoiding impurity in body, mind and speech.
Kshama (Sanskrit: "patience; forbearance and pardon") — restraining intolerance with people and impatience with circumstances. Implies remaining serene, patient and observing self-restraint under all circumstances, doing good to all, even to those who may want to harm you. The closest translation of Kshama in English is possibly Forbearance, though it is still not accurate. Kshama is much more. It also includes Forgiveness. Spiritual aspirants striving to progress in the spiritual path need to develop Kshama.
manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata" (One with the oath of truth).
prajñā or pragna (Sanskrit: "wisdom;") — true or transcendental wisdom based on insight, discriminating knowledge, or intuitive apprehension.
Shulba Shastra
Shulba Shastra — practical manuals giving the measurements and procedures for constructing the sites of Vedic yajna rites. A division of the Kalpa Vedanga (Veda limb on rituals), these sutras employ sophisticated geometry and are India's earliest extant mathematical texts. Shulba means "string or cord," denoting the use of string for measuring.
Vijaya Dashami
Also known as Dussehra, Vijaya Dashami is the celebration of Rama’s victory over the asura Ravana. Vijaya means victory and dashami means tenth and so Vijaya Dashami is the victory on the 10th lunar day.
anandamaya kosha
anandamaya kosha (bliss-apparent-sheath), literally the bliss sheath is associated with the karana-sharira or causal body. This is the stage in which atma (the Self) experiences the eternal bliss, a perfect state of peace, comfort, stability and carefree nature. This svarupa (inmost Self form) is the ultimate foundation of all life, intelligence and higher faculties. This state is explained as the state of sthitaprajna. This is also known as the state of samadhi. The sadhaka who has reached anandamaya kosha understands all the previous koshas better and realizes how incomplete they are. He also understands how transitory the world is. By understanding this difference, he gives importance to philosophy, reality and subtleness. In this light, he feels all the worldly problems insignificant and he finally attains a state of peace and content.
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