When was Hinduism founded?
The word Hindu, refers to the land on the south side of the Sind river (or Indus) where the people were following The Sanatan Dharma. It is very difficult for scholars to pinpoint exactly when Hinduism was founded and there is no single founder. Hinduism is believed to be the oldest religion in the world. Many of its followers say there is no beginning since they believe it is eternal (no beginning, no end), hence also known as The Sanatan Dharma (eternal truth).
Is there an animal God?
Hindus belief that God is the Supreme Soul and he come many times and in many places and in different forms. Each form that God takes has a particular role to play:
|Fish||Matsya||He came to save the Vedas (holy scriptures from the floods)|
|Turtle||Kurma||Mount Meru was placed on his back while the ocean was being churned to get the nectar.|
|Boar||Varaha||Fought with Hiranyaksha the demon and raised the earth from the bottom of the universe)|
|Half man/half lion||Narasimha Dev||He came to save his special worshipper Prahalad.|
What does the paint on your skin represent?
The marking is called a tilak (mark or marking). Just like a school badge tell us which school you belong to the tilak shows which form of God we worship.
The two long markings represents the feet of Lord Vishnu or Krishna and the little leaf shaped marking represents Tulsi (the leaf of the Tulsi plant/holy basil)
Why is there such a thing as religion/Hinduism?
From a Hindu understanding there is something to life beyond our work, education or body. The different world regions are ways of answering and exploring these kinds of questions.
From Hindu belief, we believe god comes in different times and situations with a message and teaching that the people of that place are able to understand and practice.
Why do you wear a dot on your forehead? What does it mean?
The red dot on my forehead is called bindi. The colour red for most women would mean that they are married. Some Hindus, wear a red bindi after they perform their puja (ritual prayer).
How many festivals are there?
There are many festivals in the Hindu calendar. Our spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada, said that every day is a festival.
There are three types of festivals:
- Celebrating a significant event in the life of a Deity e.g. Janamastami (Krishna’s birthday)
- Celebrating a significant event in life of a holy person e.g. the birthday of a particular teacher.
- Seasonal festivities or custom, e.g. spring festivals like Holi.
The main festival celebrated at Bhaktivedanta Manor is Janamastami. Other major festivals celebrated would be Diwali (new year), Gorvadan Puja (celebrating the cows), Gaura Purnima (birthday of Lord Chaitanya), Rama Navmi (birthday of Lord Ram). We also celebrate the birthday of our spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada and many other smaller.