Of Nagas and Naginis: Serpent Figures in Hinduism and Buddhism

Nagas and the feminine Naginis are serpent figures who play a role in the Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. The source of the Nagas may possibly be attributed to the pre-Aryan fertility cults of ancient India. In the Hindu mythology, the nagas reside within the earth in an aquatic underworld. They are embodiments of terrestrial waters […]

The Guru-Shishya Parampara: Oral Tradition of Education in India

Verse 5 of the Advayataraka Upanishad states, The syllable gu means shadows (darkness) The syllable ru, he who disperses them. Because of his power to disperse darkness the guru is thus named. Essentially, a guru is someone who leads the student from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. Although this characterization is […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Roundup of Hindu Parables

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Providence & God’s Will or The Parable of Raghuram and Lord Sri Rama’s Will

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: The Vastness of God’s Creation or the Parable of the Frog in the Well

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Omnipresence or The Parable of Ganesh and the Divine Mother

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]

Love of Parents and Love of God: Sense of Security

The sense of security is an indispensable need for emotional health. We need to feel secure on several practical dimensions: financial, physical, social, interpersonal, & emotional. We also need to feel secure at a much deeper level—this is called existential insecurity. The question to ponder is, what is it that can make a person feel […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Thagya and Vairagya or the Parable of Akbar and the Fakir

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]

Om Purnamadah: Peace Prayer on the Wholeness of Existence & the Vastness of Being

Here is a peace prayer (shanti mantra) from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of Hinduism’s sacred books, that is an appropriate paean to the wholeness of existence. Om Purnamadah Shanti Mantra (Peace Prayer) Om purnamadah purnamidam Purnat purnamudachyate Purnasya purnamadaya Purnamevavashishyate Om shanti shanti shanti hi Translation Purnam-Adah: “That is complete.” Here, ‘that’ could refer to […]

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Tells Stories: Devotion and Grace or the Parable of Devicharan and Sarvamangala

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836–1886,) the eminent Hindu mystic of 19th-century India, used stories and parables to portray the core elements of his philosophy. The meaning of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories and parables are usually not explicitly stated. The meanings are not intended to be mysterious or confidential but are, in contrast, quite uncomplicated and obvious. […]