Author: Pt. Kishanlal SharmaPublisher: Manoj PublicationsYear: 2014Language: EnglishPages: 173ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788181339935
The importance of faith and devotion in life can not be denied especially in religious and spiritual contexts. But in this spiritual journey curiosity is also very important. Hence in Hindu Shastras ‘Why” is discussed also with ‘What’ and ‘How’ in detail. Among the above three dimensions of curiosity ‘What’ and ‘How’ raise no doubts amongst faithfuls. But ‘Why’ troubles them because it smells of the doubt and the disbelief or cynicism. Other religions too have put strictures on ‘Why’-whereas Hindu religion philosophises it in several ways and discusses it. Because the satisfying explanation can change the very mindset and the personality of the questioner.Shastra (or scriptures), the very word brings to our mind the tree concepts. The first concept is about Dharma, the religious duty. The second is knowledge and the third is social code. The Shastra is the amalgam of all three having the Dharma as the basic ingredient.Dharma Shastra are the codified sum total of the wisdom and knowledge culled from the analytical and thinking brains of great sages and scholars of the era of pure nature before the evolution of the culture of the synthetic improvisation. It was the first attempt to explore the truth. So Dharma Shastra is science, the original scientific endeavour. It also defines the rulers and the ruled besides ordering social codes of conduct. Dharma Shastra thus, is also a constitution.A constitution and the penal code, although is in elaborate written form yet it requires experts and lawyers to interpret various clauses, provisos and stipulations for the practical application of the laws. And the judge is expected to hear the interpretations and give verdict using his own impartial conclusions. Similarly Dharma Shastra needs scholars and appointed professionals to interpret its provisions. The laws undergo constant changes through amendments to remain in tune with the ever changing situations and conditions. Dharma Shastra faces the same challenge. So, it also justifies and accepts newer interpretations of its sutras (clauses) to meet the demands of contemporary political and social realities. Why worship the idols?Why is Om so signicant?Why is Tilak applied on the forehead?Why is Swastika a good Sign?Why do women apply vermillion to the partings of their hair?Why offer water to the Sun?Why keep fasts?Why is Ganga water sacred?Why do Pind-dana?Why is Mangalsutra important?Why Hanumana is applied with red Vermillion?Why Ganesha idols are consigned to waters?Why do groom and bride go around the fire?Why Moon-worship on Karva-Chauth night?Why are Tulsi and Peepal reverable?Why are there 108 beads in a string?Why bells are rung in temples?Why Mundan is done?Why Kapaal Kriya?Why Shraddha is performed?Why has marriage mandapan five green pillars?Why is Urn a sign of good?Why is cow milk sacred?Why does Laxmi press the feet of Lord Vishnu?Why is tenth day of the dead person specially marked?Why Shani is offered Oil?Why do gods and goddesses reside in stones?Why Flowers are offered to God?Why is Peepal tree worth a wordhip?Why oil lamp is lit at prayers?
ContentsChapter I: Daily Conduct (Anhik)Why get up in brahm muhurtam?Why stick to daily routine?Why recitation in the morning?Why look at palms in the morn?Why the provision of auspicious sighting?Why symbolic bath?Why yellow robes for religious conducts?Why gold-silver ware for religious customs?Why go around deity idols?Why sit on grass mat?Why tilak on forehead?Why special mats for rites?Why keep shikha (skull-top hair lock)?Why wear janeoo (sacred thread)?Why different directions for for different rites?The directions-good or bad?Why drink water in small measures?Why pranayama?What is sankalpa?Religious sankalpa typesWhy chant on stringed beads?Why 108 beads in a mala?ExceptionsWhy chant on mala?Why evening prayer?Sandhya normsWhy provision of panchamahayajna?Why invoke ‘swaha’ during yajna offering?Why worship yantra?Why shriyantra is the greatest?Why keep silence (maun-vrata)?Why bells are rung in temples?Why celibacy?Why avoid alien food?Why not read in lying position?Why is flesh eating bad?Why onion and garlic are no good?Why touch belly after eating?Why 100 paces to digestion?Why sleep on the left side?Why propriety?Chapter II: Daily-Pledged Meditation and WorshipWhat shastras rule on yajna and pooja?Why idol worship?Why do idol worship, symbolic worship, abstract worship and spiritual woship?Why abhishekam (anointment)?Anointing processWhy flowers are offered to god?Why lotus is important?Why sound conch shell?Why move anti-clockwise?Why greet with folded hands?Why panchamrita?Why prasadam?Why naivaidya (food offering)?Why consign idols to waters?What is special about shiva pooja?Why shiva worship at night?Why fast and jagrana on mahashivaratri?Why should women recite vedic mantras?Why ‘om’ is so significant?Why chant mantras?Why worship guru along side deity?Why pay guru dakshina?Why make a wish?Why we need god’s mercy?Why religious rites and customs are different?What is rudraksha?What’s meditation?Chapter III: Periodic fasts-festivalsHow do women retain sanity?Why keep fasts?Why worship virgin girl?Kaali maWhy consign ganapati idol to waters?Why wish upon a banyan?Why Vishnu in the sea of milk?Why does laxmi press the feet of Vishnu?Why laxmi rides an owl?Why animal incarnations?Why not view moon on chaturthi?Why avoid eating during eclipse?Why is tulsi good?Why peepal tree is worshipable?Why swastika is holy sign?Chapter IV: Traditions & CustomsWhy caste systems?Why co-gotra marriages are forbidden?Why tie knot in marriage?Why seven rounds around fire?Why married women apply vermillion?Why should a wife wear mangalsutra?Why marriage rituals?Why so much bother?Why vanprastha?Chapter V: Last Rites-Shraddha Impiety PeriodsWhy electric cremation is okay?Why flour lamp for the dead?Lamp traditionWhat is the significance of oil lamps?Why kapaalkriya?MisconceptionsWhy observe daswan (tenth day)?Why one year mourning period?Why shraddhas of dead ones?Why shraddha on amavasyas?Why the rituals?Why offer water to sun?For missing personsWhy impurity periods-ashauc?Why maternity untouchabilityWhat is the logic behind this?Why death untouchability?Why women in periods are untouchable?AppendixWhy water is offered to sun?Why ganga water is sacred?Why kalasha is sign of good?Why shani idol is ointed with oil?Why red vermillion for hanumana?Why five green pillars in a wedding?Why mundane?Why moon worship on karva chauth?