Q1. When and where Hinduism originated?
Unknown - believed to be of divine origin. Hence it is the oldest of the religions. It is also believed that Aryans are the originators of Hinduism, because they are believed to have worshipped nature, Sun, Water, Fire and also performed "Yagna" (havan - a ritual with fire) as part of their rituals. Vedas were their sacred books. Believed to have been founded around 1500 BC.
Q2. Where are Hinduism followed?
Mostly in Asian countries,India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mayasia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mauritius etc. It has also good number of followers in South Africa, Fiji, Surinam, Bali, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. Most notably in India where the majority of the population are Hindus.
Q3. Hinduism is based on ........?
Vedas and Upanishaads which are the most ancient basis for Hinduism. They contain the spiritual insights and guidance concerning the practice of various rituals and practices of Hinduism.
Q4. What are the denominations in Hinduism?
Although philosophically the ideas of Hinduism are the one for all Hindus, there are four basic denominations, each of them have their own identities, faith and very slight difference in their cultures. They are:
(1) SAIVISM: People who worship Lord Shiva as their supreme god are called Saivities.
(2) VAISHNAVISM: People who worship Lord Vishnu or Narayana are called Vaishnavites.
(3) SHAKTISM: People who worship the various incarnations of woman god.
(4) SMARTHAS: Besides having faithin all forms of Hindu Gods, they basically believe in Vedas and Shastras. They mainly follow the "Advaita Vedantam" philosophy as their guiding principles.
Q5. Who are the "Trimurtis" or "Three Gods" who are considered as the creator, protector and destroyer of the Universe?
(1) Lord Brahma - Creator, (2) Lord Vishnu - Protector (Preserver), and (3) Lord Shiva the destroyer. Lord Shiva is considered the supreme of the three.
Q6. Who are the basic gods of Hinduism who are worshipped in different forms and incarnations?
BRAHMA : Although he is considered as the creator, worship of Brhama is hardly practiced.
SHIVA: He is worshipped in different forms and incarnations. Lord Shiva has the largest temples (in area and structure), spread across India, built during ancient/medieval periods by various kings and Rajas. VISHNU Followers of this denomination is more in number and has few temples of large size, specially in South India.
GANESHA: Elder son of Lord Shiva. He is considered as the beginner of everything and thus given first importance in all Hindu rituals and festivities. Excepting a few very famous temples, his worship in small sized temples, by hundreds of names in all street/corners is a common site.
LAKSHMI : Considered as a Goddess of wealth and is worshipped by all households. But not many temples are exclusively dedicated to her excepting a few here and there.
PARVATHI: Wife of Lord Shiva, worshipped in all households.
SARASWATHI: Goddess of wisdom. Worship is common in all academic activities.
KARTHIKEYA/Kanda/Muruga/Shanmuga: All are same. Younger son of Lord Shiva - has wide following in south India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. All these gods, specially, Shiva, Vishnu, Parvathi, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Karthikeya has temples by different names.
KALI: Feminine Goddess most reverred in Eastern states of India. Worshipped in different forms coming under Shaktism.
Q7. Besides the above divine Gods, who are the other epic age gods worshipped in Hinduism based on Mahabharata and Ramayana?
Rama, Krishna, Seetha, Anchaneya. (Besides them, the planetary gods (Nine named in different languages of India) are also worshipped regularly.
Q8. Vedas being the guiding factor of Hinduism, which period is assigned as the "Vedic Age" during which Vedas became prominent and important?
2000 BC to 700 BC, divided into Early and Later Vedic periods of this, the later vedic period contributed to the growth of Vedas based rituals, caste system and the explanation of the system, in the form of Puranas, Shastras etc.
Q9. What are Vedas, how many of them are there and what are they?
Vedas are the most sacred books (of the Aryans and adopted to Hinduism). There are four Vedas, each one of them dedicated to a particular Brahmana. They are: (1) Rig, (2) Sama, (3) Yajur and (4) Atharva.
Q10. What is Rig Veda and its contents?
One among the four Vedas considered to be the oldest of the books in the world (religious texts). It is a collection of hymns in Sanskrit, mostly dedicated in praise of Agni (Fire), Indra, Vayu (Air), Vishnu, Varuna (Rain) with occasional reference in praise of minor deities and Rishis (Sages). It consists of 1028 hymns divided into 10 mandals (sections). Animals are also given importance in the hymns. They are: Ashwa (Horse), Ustra (Camel), Simha (Lion), Hastin, Varana (Elephant), Mahisha (Buffallow), Mayura (Peafowl) etc.
Q11. Who are believed to have written the Rig Veda?
Sages/Rishis like - Atri, Angirasa, Bharadwaj, Gritsamad, Kanvaa, Vishwamithra, Vamadeva and Vasishta.
Q12. What is Sama Veda and its contents?
A veda dedicated and deals with music. The hymns in this veda are sung (not chanted) in a musical tone, called the "Samagana", taken from Rig Veda.
Q13. What is "Yajur" Veda and its contents?
Yajur means "sacrifice", thus, it focuses mainly on the methods of rituals, sacrifices and pujas. It has two divisions called "Paksh" - (1) Shukla meaning "white" for the period between New Moon to Full Moon and (2) Krishna meaning "black" for the period from Full Moon to New Moon. The Shukla Yajur Veda has two Upanishads - (1) Isa Vasya and Brihadnarayaka in it. The Krishna Yajur Veda has four divisions within it.
Q14. What is Atharva Veda and its contents?
Veda dealing with medicines and mantras. It is composed mainly by Sages Bhrigu and Angirasa, and is believed to be very powerful hymns and one has to be highly disciplined to practice it.
Q15. What are Upanishads?
It is Sanskrit term meaning - Upa = near; ni = down; and shad = to sit, that is to sit down near a spiritual guru and learn them in the guru-shishya parampara/tradition. They are part of the Vedas and deals mainly with reference to philosophy, meditation and they are the main source of Indian philosophy.
Q16. How many Upanishads are there, of them, how many are considered to be the principal ones?
There are about 300 of them. Of these, the following 11 are considered to be the main basis for Indian philosophy and are receiving worldwide attraction and attention: (1) Aitareya, (2) Brihadharanyaka, (3) Isha, (4) Taittiriya, (5) Katha, (6) Chandogya, (7) Kena, (8) Mandukya, (9) Prashna, (10) Mundaka, and (11) Shvestashvatara.
Q17. What are the Puranas and how many of them are there?
"Purana" means "Old". They are literatures based on history (Aryan), tradition, and religion written in the form of stories explaining various legends, tradition and moral codes. They are further classified as (1) Mahapurana, and (2) Upapuranas, each of them are 18 in numbers.
Q18. What do the Puranas deal with and they are called as?
They deal with five subjects concerning the five subjects connected to the universe and the man kind called "Panchalakshanas". They are: (1) Sarga - Creation of Universe. (2) Pratisarga - Secondary, mostly recreations and dissolution. (3) Vamla - Genealogy of gods and sages. (4) Manvantara - Creation of the human race and the first human beings. (5) Vamsanucharitam - Dynastic histories.
Q19. What are the "Puranas" classified as Mahapuranas?
Agni, Bhagavat, Bhavisya, Brahma, Brahmanda, Brahmavaivarta, Garuda, Harivamsa, Kurma, Linga, Markandeya, Matsya, Narada, Padma, Skanda, Siva, Varaha, Vayu and Vishnu.
Q20. Mahapuranas are further grouped into three and each of them assigned with 3 Gunas (Qualities). What are those qualities?
(1) Sativa - Goodness, (2) Rajas - Passion and (3) Tamas - Ignorance.
Q21. Of the Mahapuranas, which are the two most important ones, regularly read?
(1) Bhagavat, (2) Vishnu.
Q22. What are the 18 Upapuranas?
Samat Kumara, Narasimha, Brihan Naradiya, Siva Rahasya, Durvasa, Kapila, Vamana, Bhargava, Varuna, Kalika, Samba, Nandi, Surya, Parasara, Vasistha, Devi Bhagavata, Ganesa and Hamsa.
Q23. Besides the Maha and Upapuranas, there are two other important puranas, which have a vital role in Hinduism. What are they and they relate to what?
(1) STHALA PURANA: "Stala" in Sankskrit means "place". It deals with virtues and stories connected with certain temples and shrines.
(2) KULA PURANA: "Kula" means "Family" or "Tribe" in Sanskrit. It deals with castes origin myth, stories and legends. It is an important source for caste identity.
Q24. Saivaite sect of the Hindus worship which god and what are his manifestations?
They worship Lord Shiva in different forms of many manifestations like a few mentioned here: NATARAJA: the divine dancer who animates the universe.
DAKSHINAMOORTHY : The silent teacher.
HARIHARA : Half Shiva/ half Vishnu.
BHAIRAVA : Who wields the Trishul, the trident of desire, action, wisdom etc.
ARDHANAREESWARA: Half man/ half woman to explain that in life both man and woman have equal role to play. Lord Shiva is not worshipped in the form of any human form and he is more worshipped in the form of Lingams. Lord Shiva is also called by the name Ishwara and thus most of his temples where he is the principal deity, his name will have the suffix of "Eswara" like Kapaleeswara, Sundareeswara, Jalakandeswara, Vaideeswara and so on.
Q25. What is the most sacred syllable and chant worship of Lord Shiva?
Oh (Ohm) and "Om namah Shivaya"
Q26. What are the most sacred verses from the Vedas in praise of Lord Shiva?
"Rudram" and "Chamakam".
Q27. Who are the famous propagators of Saivism in the ancient days?
Nayanmars - They were the foremost in spreading Saivism. There were 63 of them, of which, Appar, Sundarar, Thrugnanasambandar and Manickavasagar are the most important and famous propagators.
Q28. How the Shiva temple priests are called?
Q29. How the Saivaites are identified by their facial traits?
They apply "ash" called "Vibuti" in three horizontal stripes on their forehead.
Q30. Which is the most famous holy city of Hindus?
Benares or Varnasi - Principal deity being Kasi Vishwanath.
Q31. Which state in India has the largest number of Shiva temples?
Q32. Building of Shiva temples, has to be in strict adherence to .........?
"Agama" an ancient vedic text for building of temples.
Q33. Who is the most famous writer on Saivism?
Abhinav Gupta, a Sanskrit scholar from Srinagar.
Q34. Among the numerous Shiva temples, 12 of them are considerd as "esteemed" ones and are called "Jyotirlingas". What are they?
|No.||Deity's Name||Place / Location|
|1.||Somnath -||Prabhas Patan in Somnath, Saurashtra, Gujarat.|
|2.||Nageshwar||Dwaraka - Gujarat|
|3.||Mahakaleshwar||Mahakal - Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh |
|4.||Mallikarjuna||Srisailam - Kurnool Dt. Andhra Pradesh |
|5.||Bhimashankar||Sahyadri Range, Bhimashanker, Maharashtra|
|6.||Kedarnath||Rudraprayag Dt., Uttarakhand |
|7.||Vishwanath||Varnasi - Uttar Pradesh |
|8.||Trikambeshwar||Nasik - Maharashtra |
|9.||Ramanathaswamy||Rameswaram - Tamil Nadu |
|10.||Amareshwar||Omkareshwar - Madhya Pradesh |
|11.||Grishneshwar||Ellora - Maharashtra |
|12.||BaidyanathDeoghar||Santhal Dt. Jharkhand |
Q35. There is a Jyotirlinga - Shiva temple, considered as 13th, in abroad. Where is it?
Guyana - West Indies.
Q36. What are Panchaboothas?
Meaning five bodies or aspects of the universe which controls the entire functioning of the mankind in the universe. In Hinduism, these five aspects carry very high importance in the Vedas and are worshipped by worshipping "Lord Shiva" in these manifestations. These five aspects are: SPACE, WIND, WATER , FIRE and EARTH..
Q37. What are the five temples exclusively dedicated for the panchaboothas - five aspects?
(1) SPACE : Natarajar Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
(2) WIND: Kalahastiswarar Temple, Srikalhasti, Andra Pradesh
(3) WATER: Jambulingeswarar Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
(4) FIRE : Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Naud
(5) EARTH : Ekambareswarar Temple, Kanchpuram, Tamil Nadu.
Q38. Amongst various Saivaite based temple festivals which are the two most important ones?
Mahasivarathri: Ganesh Chathurthi:
Q39. What is Vaishnavism?
Worship of Lord Vishnu and his "avatars" (incarnations) is Vaishnavism. People who follow this are called Vaisnavites and consider Vishnu as the Supreme God. This belief and practice is called Bhakti Yoga, based on vedic texts such as Bhagavad Gita, Isha Upanishad, Vishnu Bhagavatam and Puranas.
Q40. How is Vishnu most often praised/called?
Q41. It is believed that Lord Vishnu takes or has taken different avatars, in the various yugas. What are they?
|1. Matsya -Fish -||Satya Yuga|
|2. Kurma -Tortoise -||-do-|
|3. Varaha - Boar -||-do-|
|4. Narasimha - Half man/half Lion -||-do-|
|5. Vamana - Dwarf -||Treta Yuga|
|6. Parasurama - Rama with Axe -||-do-|
|7. Rama - -||-do-|
|8. Krishna -||Dwapara Yuga|
|9. Buddha - -||Kali Yuga|
|10. Kalki -||Yet to appear.|
Q42. What is the most famous & sacred prayers of Vaishnavites?
Vishnu Sahasranamam - meaning thousand names of Vishnu. It is part of the "Shanti Parva" (meaning Book of Peace) of the Mahabharata (12th Parva).
Q43. What is the facial trait of identification of Vaishnavites?
They are identified by the vertical forehead marking - a single red line, U shaped yellow lines, an U shaped white line with a red/yellow line in between, depending upon the "Sampradaya" (tradition of worship), they follow. These sampradayas include Rudra, Gandilya etc.
Q44. What are the most famous religious festivals of Vaishnavites?
Vaikunda Edadasi, Rama Navami (Rama's birth), Janmaashtami (Krishna's birth), and Rathasapthami, and Brahmotsavam.
Q45. What are the most famous temples of the Vaishnavites?
(1) TIRUPATHI : Chittore District, Andhra Pradesh - A hill temple dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara (known also by Venkatachalapathi, Balaji, Narayana, Govinda, Srinivasa, etc.) Because it is located on top of 7 hills,(Names = Seshadri, Vedadri, Garudadri, Anjandri, Vrishabdri, Narayandri and Venkatadri) it is most famously called or known as "Yedu Kondawada" - Telugu, "Ezhumalaiyan" - Tamil all meaning "Lord of the Seven Hills". Names of seven hills: One of the most famous temple attracting huge crowd, approximately 50,000 per day, and has an annual income of approximately six billion rupees or may be more. The most talked about belief in that Lord Vishnu had borrowed wealth from Kubera (Richest by Epics) and by being in Tirupati he is repaying it, indebted even today. Brahmostsavam festival during September/October attracts massive crowd. The entire Vimana (Temple tower) is covered by gold plating. Revenue is so massive that the temple administrators are able to provide free food for all visitors everyday, run hospitals, universities, medical colleges, educational institutions of all kind, improving infrastructure also.
Venkatesa Suprabatham: A devotion song in Sanskrit in praise of Lord Venkateswara, sung by M.S.Subbulakshmi is the most famous morning recital.
(2) SRIRANGAM: Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Tiruchirappalli - Tamil Nadu, Located on an island (created by Cauvery & Kollidam rivers). One of the largest temple in the world with an area of 631000 SQ.ft. It's Gopuram (Tower) is the tallest in Asia at a height of 236 feet/72 mtrs
3. SRI VILLIPUTHUR: Lies in Virushunagar Dt., of Tamilnadu famous for "Andal Temple".
4. TIRUVALLIKKENI : Chennai. Famous for the Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
Q46. What are the three famous Ranganathaswamy temples in India?
There are three Ranganatha Swamy temples:
(1) Adi Ranga - Shrirangapatnam, Mysore.
(2) Madhya Ranga - Shivasamudra - Karnataka.
(3) Antya Ranga - Srirangam, Trichy, Tamil Nadu.
Q47. What is Shaktism, in Hinduism?
People who worship Goddess in different forms and incarnations is called so. Such worships are occasionally known as Shaktas. Durga, Parvati and Kali are the most famous forms of worship. Shaktism has more rural following specially south India and the manifestations are large in number. Animal sacrifice is the most common form of worship. Devi Mahatmiyam and Lalitha Sahasranama text of this sect of people. Temples are plenty, and few are very famous and are known by their names throughout India.
Q48. What are the famous Goddess Temples?
(1) Vaishnodevi Temple, Reasi Dt., Jammu & Kashmir (2) Kali Temple, Kolkata, West Bengal (3) Bhagavati Temple, Chottanikkara, Kerala (4) Mookambika, Kollur, Karnataka (5) Kanakadurga, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh (6) Meenakshi, Madurai, Tamil Nadu (7) Kamakshi, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
Q49. Who are Smarthas, the fourth denominations of Hinduism?
They are the followers of Hinduism without any specific attachment to any particular God or Goddess, but rely, adhere and follow the "Advaita Vedanta" philosophy of Adi Sankara. They hold practice of "Dharma" more important than any other beliefs. They generally follow the Shrauta tradition which emphasizes performance of "Yajnas" described in Vedas. They are advised and expected to follow the following routines daily:
(1) Snana - Bathing,
(2) Sandhyavandhanam - (Chanting of mantras, Daily three times - morning, midday & Evening)
(3) Japam (Silent prayers)
(4) Pujas (Worshipping gods/idols etc.)
(5) Agnihotra - Havan
Q50. Who was "Adi Sankara"?
The ancient and earliest person during 788 to 820 CE to propagate Hinduism. Adi Sankara meaning the first Sankara. He was also known as "Sankara Bhagavad Padacharya" - meaning the teacher at the feet of God. Regarded as the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He was the first religious philosopher to consolidate the doctrine of "Advaita Vedanta". He was born at Kalady in Kerala. His life accounts are given in a poetical form in Sankara Vijayam. His tour on the propagation of "Advaita Vedantam" is called "Digvijay". He founded the "Dashanami Sampradaya" (Dashanami = Ten names) where by a person taking up Sanyas (Saintly life) under the Advaita Vedanta and Smartha tradition.
Q51. What are the famous "Peetas" (religious coordinating centres) established by Adi Sankara?
(1) SHARADA PEETAM: Also called "Shri Sringeri Sharada Peetam" located at Shringeri, Karnataka on the banks of Tungabhadra river. The head of this Peetam is to be titled from any of: Saraswati, Tirtha, Aranya, Bharati.
(2) JYOTIRMATHA PEETAM: Located at Joshimath in Chamoli of Uttarkhand. This peeta is incharge of "Atharva Veda". Person who heads this peetam is titled, from any of: Giri, Parvatha and Sagara.
(3) GOVARDHANA PEETAM : Located at Puri in Orissa, and is associated with the Lord Jagannath Temple. Persons who heads this Peetam is to be titled from any of: Puri, Vana and Aranya. It is incharge of Rig Veda.
(4) DWARAKA PEETAM: Located at Dwaraka, Gujarat. It is incharge of Sama Veda. A person heading this Peetam will be titled as from: Tirtha, Ashrama.
(5) KANCHI KAMAKOTI PEETAM : Located at Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Believed to have been established around 5th Century BCE by Adi Sankara. The head of the Peetam is called "Sankaracharya" and to differentiate between other Sankaracharyas of other Peetam, he is suffixed with the title of Sami/Swamigal. The present head is Sri Jayendra Swamigal, 69th in the order from its origin and the 70th to take over, after the Mukti of the present is, Sri Vijendra Saraswati Swami. Among the various Sankaracharyas of this Peetam, the 68th, Sri Chandrasekarendra Swamigal (also called Maha Periyaval), was the most famous in the modern days. He was the head of the Peetam for 87 years, and attained his Mukti in 1994. During his days, this Peedam attained maximum glory and importance among Hindus worldwide. "Voice of Divinity" was his famous book on Hindu Philosophy. The 69th Sankaracharya (the present head) born as Subramanyam Mahadeva Iyer, on 18-07-1935, became Sri Jayendra Saraswati/Swamigal on 22.03.1954. Besides religious activities, he has also involved the Peetam on social activities, like educational institutions, hospitals, etc.
Q52. Who are the famous Hinduism based religious or spiritual leaders of the recent past and present?
(1) SHIRDI SAI BABA : His Samadhi/Temple is at Shirdi in Ahmednagar Dt, Maharashtra. An Indian Spiritual Guru and Saint who lived during 19th / early 20th century (died on 15.10.1918) and revered by both Hindus & Muslims. He lived in a mosque and was buried in a temple. "Allah Malik" meaning "God is the owner of us all" is his famous quote. "Shri Sai Satcharita" is a famous book on the philosophy of this great saint written by Govind Rao Raghunath Dabhokar. Upasai Maharaj of Sakori and Mehertaba of Ahmednagar, were his famous followers who later became spiritual leaders. Shri Satya Saibaba of Puttaparti, Anantapur Dt., Andhra Pradesh is by far the most famous of his followers. All India Sai Samaj founded by B.V.Narasimha Swamiji, now administers the temple and promotes his teachings through books and journals.
(2) SHRI SATYA SAI BABA: Born as Sathya Narayana Raju (1926-2011) (called as Ratnakaran by the family) is now the most famous (infact even among westerners) spiritual leader. His teachings and preachings are based on the Advaita Vedantam of Adi Sankara. His main Ashram at Puttaparthi, in Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh is called Prashanti Nilayam and two other (1) Brindavan at Kadugedi, white fields, Karnataka and (2) Saishruti at Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu which are used during summer periods. Satyam at Mumbai, Shivam at Hyderabad and Sundaram at Chennai are the famous temples and preaching centers. Having world wide following (in billions) and gets huge revenue inflow, besides his normal spiritual activities, he has contributed for society immensely in the form of reputed educational institutions, multi speciality hospitals and a host of other activities. "Ramakrisna Rasavahini" - is a book on his teachings speeches and philosophy. "Sanatana Sarathy" is the monthly magazine published by the Seva Sangam of Sri Satya Saibaba. He attained Samadhi on 24th April 2011.
(3) RAMANA MAHARISHI : 30.12.1879-14.04.1950. A most revered and respected spiritual saint at Tiruvannamalai. His Ashram "Ramanashramam" is located at Tiruvannamalai, TN. (Famous for Arunachaleswara Temple and "Karthigai Deepam" a festival). His teachings and philosophy are centred around "oneself" (knowing one self and self enquiry). His philosophies are documented in a book called "Naan yaar" or "Who Am I" authored by Sivaprakasam Pillai.
(4)RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHAMSA : 18.02.1836-16.08.1886. Born at Kamarpukur (West Bengal). As Gadadhar Chattapodhyay. A spiritual leader and religious teacher, revered in high esteem amongst Hindus of Bengal specially and also in some eastern states. His teachings centred around realization of God, love and devotion to God, onesess in existence, and harmony in religion. His teachings are recorded in Bengali in the book "Kathamritha" by Mahendranath Gupta, translated in English, "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna" by Swami Nikhilananda. He was married to Sarada, who again became a great spiritual influence on Bengalis.
(5) SARADA DEVI : 1853 - 1920. Wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, who carried on her husband's spiritual path until her death. Her activities were centred around Dahshineshwar in Kolkata. Along with her husband, they are the most revered spiritual leaders of Bengalis.
(6) SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: 12.01.1863-04.07.1902. Born as Narendranath Dutta. He was the chief disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Famous spiritual and influential leader of the philosophies of Vedanta and yoga. First Indian philosopher to visit abroad. He studied at Presidency college and Scottish Church college, Kolkata. In 1893, he participated (at the age of 30) at the parliament of Religions at Chicago. His trip to US was funded by Raja of Ramnad, Bhaskara Sethupathi, and Maharaja of Mysore (and also Raja of Khetri). His speech at the Religious Parliament, with the beginning words "Sisters and Brothers of America," elevated him to international fame. He founded the "Ramakrishna Mission" (W.Bengal) on 15.08.1897 and the "Ramakrishna Math" at Belur, Kolkata in January 1889, and also the Ramakrishna order of monks. He died on 04.07.1902 at Belur, Kolkata. His influence on some of the national leaders made them to comment as follows: Rabindranath Tagore: "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In him everything is positive, nothing negative". Rajagopalachari: "Vivekananda saved Hinduism". Nethaji NSC Bose: "Is the maker of Modern India". Gandhiji: "His influence has increased my love for the country a thousand fold". Vivekananda's influence inspired Jamshedji Tata to set up the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In his memory. Vivekananda Rock Memorial - on a small hillock (island) on the waters at the confluence of Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, at Kanyakumari, T.N., has been erected. It is on this rock called "Sripadaparai", Vivekananda swam across the sea and sat on meditation on 24.12.1892. His birth day is celebrated as "Youth Day", in honour to him.
(7) AMRITANANDA MAYI : Born as Sudhamani on 27.09.1953 at Parayakadavu, Kerala. Also known as Amma, Ammayi, Ammachi, Aayi, Mother, Matha, and popularly known as "Hugging Saint". She was the first disciple of Swami Amrita Swarupananda Puri of Puri Peetam. Her trust at Parayakadavu is also known as Amritapuri. The following are her spiritual lectures and participation at the international level. (1) She has attended the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1993. (2) In 2000, she has addressed the UN's 50th Anniversary on "Interfaith relations and Celebrations" at New York. (3) In 2002, She has addressed the keynote address at the Millenium Peace Summit of the UN. (4) In 2002, she has received the Gandhi-King award for non-violence. (5) In 2004, she has addressed the World Parliament on Religions. She has contributed immensely to the social cause too. Her trust is running a technical university and a medical institution near Coimbatore.
(8) "RAJNEESH" Chandra Mohan Jain: 11.12.1931-19.1.1990. Born at Kuchwada Village, Narasinghpur District, M.P., His ashram is at Pune. Although he was a world known spiritual leader, controversies surrounded and remained at the activities inside the Ashram.
Q53. What are the most famous and internationally renowned Hinduism based spiritual propagation organizations?
(1) ARYASAMAAJ: A Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875 at Bombay. The Samaj advocates "Karma" (duties or responsibilities) and "reincarnation" and lays emphasis on "Brahmacharya" (charity) and "Sanyasa" (renunciation).
(2) BRAHMOSAMAJ: A social and religious movement founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in August 1828 at Kolkata. He was the very staunch advocate of "widow remarriage" and "abolition of sati".
(3) RAMAKRISHNA MISSION: Founded by Swami Vivekananda on 01.05.1897. The mission carries on missionary and philanthrompical work through monastic and household disciples and volunteers. It is headquartered at Kolkata, at Belurnath. The monastic order of the mission is called the "Ramakrishna Math". The mission emphasizes service to others on the "Karma Yoga" concept of Hinduism.
(4) DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY: Founded by Swami Sivananda Saraswati in 1936 at Rishikesh. Its aim is to disseminate spiritual knowledge through discourses, publications etc. Now, it is headed by Swami Chidananda Saraswati.
(5) CHINMAYA MISSION : Founded by Swami Chinmayananda in 1953 at Mumbai (HQ). It has 300 centres all over the world, viz. US, UK, Australia, Newzealand, etc. Besides spiritual activities, the mission contributes in a big way for social causes.
(6) ISKCON: International Society for Krishna Consciousness, established in 1996, at New York, by Shri Swami Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It spreads Vaishnavite beliefs keeping "Krishna" (Avatar of Vishnu) as its basic spirit of propagation. Very active in India, building Krishna temples and also doing a lot of community services.
Q54. What are the other vedic texts and epics (other than Vedas and Upanishads) which govern the Hinduism?
Sutras, Upavedas, Vedangas, Shastras, Manusmriti, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Q55. What are the important "Sutras" and what do they deal with?
SROUTA: deal with vedic sacrifices.
GRIHA: Duties and responsibilities of a familyman.
DHARMA: Social laws and duties.
Q56. What are the important Upavedas and what do they deal with?
Dhanurveda: Art of warfare.
Ghandarvaveda: Art and Music.
Shilpaveda: Art and literature.
Q57. What are the important Vedangas and what do they deal with?
Q58. What do the Shastras deal with?
God, soul, birth and death.
Q59. What is Manusmriti?
Manu was a great law giver in the Aryan period. He deals with the laws of inheritance, duties of kings, and his subjects in this book. He is regarded as the first law giver of India, which apply to one and all irrespective of the faith of religion.
Q60. What are the two great epics, which form the basic guidelines for Hindu who has no knowledge of Vedas & Shastras etc.?
Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Q61. Who originally recited Mahabharata and to whom?
Originally recited by Rishi Veda Vyasa to Lord Ganesha.
Q62. Who gave Mahabharata the manuscript version? And how?
Lord Ganesh - as we all know he has an elephant head. He used one of his tusks (the right one) to write the verses as told to him by Rishi Veda Vyasa. That is why we see only a half tusk on the right side of his face in all idols and prints.
Q63. To whom the contents/stories of Mahabharata were first told and by whom?
Vaisampayana a disciple of Vyasa recited to the ancient king Janamejeya (son of King Parikshit) as he was about to commit a great sin of killing all the snakes in the universe because of his dislike or annoyance with the snakes to make him understand the coexistence.
Q64. What is Mahabharata, an epic age/tale about moral values?
It is a morality based tale revolving around two brothers' families' fighting for the kingdom. One set the family of the Pandavas - King Pandu and his five children - Yudhisthiran, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, born through the Queens Kunti (first three sons) and Madri (the last two sons). Hastinapur was the kingdom. The other set of family called Kauravas - Dhritharastra (born blind) and Queen Gandhari, with 100 children, eldest being Duryodhana.The brothers Pandu and Dritharashtra are the sons of the king Vichitraveera & Niyoga the queen. Sakuni, brother of Gandhari and maternal uncle of Duryodhana and his brothers, is the trouble maker. The family infighting/dispute culminated in the great epic battle "Kurukshetra War" which lasted for 18 days, and Kauravas having been led by evil man and intentions were defeated. Although it is an epic tale, each incident carries a moral value to be learnt.
Q65. How many chapters are there in Mahabharata?
Eighteen - Each one of them narrating the various incidents that took place between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. They are: (1) Adi, (2) Sabha, (3) Aranyaka, (4) Virata, (5) Udyoga, (6) Bhisma, (7) Drona, (8) Karna, (9) Shalya, (10) Sauptika, (11) Stri, (12) Shanti, (13) Anusasana, (14) Aswamedhika, (15) Mausla, (16) Mahaprasthanika, (17) Svarga Rohana Parva, (18) Harivams.
Q66. Who wrote the original version of Ramayana?
Valmiki, a Sage/Rishi, in Sanskrit. It was transcripted to Hindi by Tulsidas, and to Tamil by Kambar.
Q67. What is Ramayana all about?
It is all about, Rama, son of Dasaratha, king Ayodhya, his childhood, to ascending to the throne and the events between this, which includes the marriage to Sita, his exile to the forests, abduction of Sita by Ravana the king of Lanka, the war and retrieval of Sita with the help of Hanuman, the monkey king and others, ascending of the throne at the end. Each incident is narrated in 7 cantos or Kandams, and every incident explains the moral value to the mankind.
Q68. What are the various Books or Kandams of Ramayana?
There are seven of them, each one depicting the various stages of the Ramayana/Ram's life. They are:
1. Bala Kanda - Birth and childhood of Rama.
2. Ayodhya Kanda - Preparation for Rama's coronation in Ayodhya and his exile to forest.
3. Aranya Kanda - Forest life of Rama and the kidnap of Sita by Ravana.
4. Kishkindha Kanda - Ram's meeting of Hanuman.
5. Sundara Kanda - Hanuman's adventures and meeting of Sita.
6. Yuddha Kanda - Battle in Lanka between Ram's army and Ravana's army.
7. Uttara Kanda - Reconciliation between Ram and Sita, ascending of throne by Ram and his later years of life.
Q69. How is Ramayana known in Persian language?
Q70. What is Bhagavat and it contains?
Lord Krishna's (Vishnu's avatar) birth and his life, his participation in the Mahabharata war - in 18 chapters containing 700 verses.
Q71. Hinduism or Hindu society is based on the caste system. Which vedic text identifies the origin of caste system in Hinduism?
Kulapurana: Kula in Sanskrit means "Family" or "Tribe" in Sanskrit. It deals with castes, origin, myth, stories, and legends. It is the important source of caste identity.
Q72. What are the basic castes in Hindu Society?
(1) Brahmin class - Priests, (2) Kshatriya class - Warriors, (3) Vanniyar class - Traders, (4) Shudra class - Labourers. Among these four principal castes there are many number of sects, subcastes further classified into Gothras. All social activities between the families are based on these primary grouping.
Q73. What is "Gotras" in Hinduism?
It is the lineage or class assigned to a Hindu at birth. In most cases, the system in patrilineal (Father's) and the new born automatically inherits the Gotra of father. It is known by different names as Vamsh, Vamshaj, Bedagu, Purvik, Purvigam, Pitrui and so on. It is more precisely practiced among Brahmins in Hinduism and is important in the matter of marriages, because girl and the boy belonging to same gothra are believed to be cousins and thus marriage is not permissible (even scientifically).
Q74. What is the important Mantra to be recited by a Hindu daily?
Gayatri Mantra from the Rig Veda (3:62:10). It is attributed to rishi Vishwamitra. .
Q75. What are the Hindu Religious Days/Festivals?
Akshaya Tritya, Amaavasya, Anant Chatudashi, Bhau Beej, Brahmotsavam, Chaath, Dussehra, Dhanteras, Diwali, Durga Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi, Gudi Padwa, Guru Purnima, Hanuman Jayanthi, Holi, Karwa Chanthi, Krishna Jayanthi, Kaarthigai Deepam, Mahashivarathiri, Mahamaham, Makara Sankaranthi, Onam, Pongal, Pushkaram, Raksha Bhandan, Ramanavami, Rath Yathra, Saraswati Puja, Thai Poosam, Pooram Ugadi, Vaisakhi, Vasant Panchami, Vat Purnima, Vijaya Dashami, Vishu, Zatra.
Q76. What is Akshaya Tritya?
Akshaya in Sanskrit means, "one that never diminishes". This is believed to bring luck, success and wealth. Falls on the 3rd day of the bright half of the month Vaishaka in Hindu Calendar. According to Hindu mythology, the Treta Yega began on this day and also the Ganges the most sacred river, descended to the earth.
Q77. What is Amavaasya, an important day of Hindus?
New Moon day and not a festival. A day for remembering and offerings to the forefather (all dead only) and the offerings to be don only by a person whose father is not alive. Auspicious day for conducting Pujas. The dart fortnight is September/October is called Mahalaya Paksha and the following Amavaasya/New Moon day is considered to the be most sacred period for offering oblations to the ancestors.
Q78. What is Anant Chaturdashi?
The last day of the 10 day Ganesh Festival, 10th/11th day after Ganesh Chathurthi. The day for immersing the day idols of Lord Ganesh in the water bodies.
Q79. What is Bahu Beej (Marathi) a celebration?
Also called Bhai Dooj (Hindi), Bhai Beej (Gujarati), Bhai Pota (Bengali). 2nd day after Diwali when sisters express their love for brothers who offer gifts to them in return.
Q80. What is Brahmotsavam a celebration?
An annual religious festival during September/October at Tirupathi Lord Venkateswara Temple attracting huge devotees.
Q81. What is Chaath festival?
6th day after Deepavali, dedicated to Sun God. Celebrated in Bihar, Chaatisgarh and in some parts of M.P. and U.P. Falls during October. November.
Q82. What is Dussehra festival?
A celebration of victory over evil - Raman's triumph over demon king Ravana. It is celebrated for 9 days / 10 days and thus also called Navarathri. It is celebrated as Dusserah in a big and a state government sponsored function and the festivity is enormous in Mysore with huge crowd gathering. Goddess Chamundeswari, mounted on an elephant is taken through the streets of Mysore, and the entire city is illuminated, including the king Wodeyar Palace to suit the occasion. It is also celebrated as Bomme Hebba exhibition of toys - in Mysore households and similarly as Bomma Koluvu (A.P.), Kolu (T.N.) and in some parts of Gujarat too. In west Bengal and Orissa, it is celebrated as Durga Pooja an important festival for both states, and also where Bengali population is more. The last day is called the Vijaya Dasami day - a day of victory celebration.
Q83. What is Dhanteras?
The first day of the five day celebrations of Deepavali - falls on the 13th Lunar day of Krishna Paksh (the dark period) in the Hindu month of "Ashwin" Goddess Lakshmi, who provides wealth and prosperity, is worshipped on this day mostly among business community in North India.
Q84. What is Diwali festival?
Known as "Festival of Lights" - A major Hindu, Jain and Sikh festival. It is celebrated as a "victory over Evil" - to mark the killing of Demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna. Lot of prayer and festivity mark the occasion. The celebrations are five days as: (1) Dhanteras, (2) Naraka Chaturdashi, (3) Diwali, (4) Padwa, (5) Bhaidhuj. Sikhs celebrate it as the day of laying foundation for Harmandir Sahib/ Golden Temple. Jains celebrate it as the day of Lord Mahavira (the last Tirthankara) attaining Nirvana.
Q85. What is Durga Pooja?
An important and big festival of Hindu Bengalis of Eastern India, Bangladesh and elsewhere. Celebrated from 6th to 10th day, for five days of the waxing moon in the month "Aashin" - 6th month of Bengali calendar, falling during September/October. A great festive occasion worshipping Goddess Durga. The last day is Bijoyadasami and after completion of all rituals, the statues are taken in procession and immersed in water.
Q86. What is Ganesh Chathurthi?
Birth day of Lord Ganesha. It is a great 10 day festival occasion for Maharashtra (one day only in other states). The festival starts on the Shukla Chathurthi Day (Fourth day of the waxing moon period) in the month of Bhadra of Hindu calendar (Avani in Tamil), falling between late August and early September. The last day is called the Ananta Chathurdashi Day, when the idols, after all pujas, take in procession and immersed in water. It is really a great festive occasion for Maharashtrians. The first such celebrations was started by Lokmanya Balagangadhara Tilak in 1893.
Q87. What is Gudi Padwa?
New Year day of Maharashtrians-(Ugadi in AP and Karnataka). A celebration to mark the arrival of spring and harvest. Falls on the first day of the first month "Chitra", at the end of March or April.
Q88. What is Guru Poornima?
Birth day of Sage Vyasa (author of Mahabharata). Full moon day in the month of Ashadh of Hindu calendar. Day of offering respects to all Gurus, and their teachings.
Q89. What is Hanuman Jayanthi?
Birth day of Hanuman, son of Vayu, a monkey king and a great devotee of Lord Rama. The day falls in the month of Chaitra of Hindu Calendar.
Q90. What is "Holi" a festival of?
A popular Hindu festival of colors, marking the arrival of spring and most popular in North India. Two days celebration beginning on the Phalgun Poornima (full moon). (February end). An occasion of celebrations with colors, friendship, respecting elders etc.
Q91. What is Karwa Chawth a celebration of?
A most famous festival of Bihar and Parts of North India where women fast for one full day, from the fourth night after the full moon in the month of Karthik, of Hindu Calendar, praying for long life of their husbands. (Karwa = earthen pot, chatwa = fourth).
Q92. What is Krishna Jayanthi, a celebration of?
Birth day of Lord Krishna, also known as - Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Janmashtami etc. It is observed on the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Bhadra (Hindu Calendar), falling between August/September. Great festival occasion in Gujarat specially at Mathura and Vrindhavan.
Q93. What is "Karthigai Deepam" a celebration of?
A celebration of festival of lights, mostly in Tamilnadu and more specially at Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswar Temple on the full moon day of the month of Kaarthigai (Tamil Calendar). One of the oldest festival of Tamil Nadu, and on this day, every home (Hindus) is decorated with oil lit lamps and prayers offered to Lord Shiva.
Q94. What is Mahashivarathri?
Celebrated on the 14th day in the Krishna Paksha/dark half of the month of Phalguna of Hindu calendar. People worship Lord Shiva by keeping awake, praying and reading scriptures on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is worshipped by offering garlands of the leaves of Bilva/Vilva trees.
Q95. What is Makara Sankaranthi?
A celebration of the Sun God. It falls on the month of Magha in Hindu calendar. Mid January 14th/15th every year. It is celebrated in different ways and names by Hindus throughout the country. The names are: Bhogali Bihu - West Bengal, Assam; Uttarayan - Gujarat, Rajasthan;Pongal - Tamil Nadu; Sankaranthi - A.P., Karnataka; Magi, Mage Sankaranthi - Nepal; Makara Sankaranthi - in other states. On this day, once in 12 years, it is celebrated as Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, praying (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik, in any one of the places, attracting millions of people. An annual Kumbh Mela is also held at Prayag and as Ganga Sagar Mela at the mouth of Ganges river, where it joins Bay of Bengal. In Kerala, it is a great religious occasion at the hill temples of Lord Ayyappa on the Sabari hills and on this day, the crowd will be close to 15-20 lakhs or even more. Makara Jyothi is the occasion for which people gather to witness. In Gujarat, it is more a celebration of kite flying on a big entertainment scale. In Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal in remembrance to Sun God, agriculturals and cattles. The celebration goes for three days, of festivity, prayer, fun etc. The Jallikattu (Bull taming) is the famous rural sport held during the three days.
Q96. What is Onam a festival of?
Foremost festival of Hindus of Kerala, an annual harvest festival - It is one of the oldest festival of Kerala falling on the month of Changam in Malayalam Calendar. All the temple in Trikkakkara, Ernakulam, Kerala it is a great festival for 10 days and on the concluding day one can witness wonderful fire works exhibition. The festivity can be seen in front of every house/temples with either rangoli of color powders or flower. Thiruvathira Kali, Thumbi Thullal are the famous dances performed during this festival.
Q97. What is Pushkaram a celebration of?
Twelve sacred rivers of India are each assigned with a zodiac sign, and the zodiacal sign falling/is in at that time, will be the chosen river for celebration. Each year one river gets the celebration status. It is to be celebrate the contribution of the rivers to mankind.
Q98. What is Raksha Bandhan/Raaki a celebration?
It is observed on the full moon day of the month of Shravan in Hindu Calendar. It is a celebration to uphold the tradition of brother protecting the sister. It is marked by the sister tying a colored thread band around the wrist of her brother, seek his blessings/wishes, and he in turn offers her a gift. Most followed in North India.
Q99. What is Rama Navami - a celebration of?
Birth day of Lord Rama - falling on the Shukla Paksha / (Bright period) Navami day of the month of Chaitra in Hindu calendar. Conducting prayers and burning the effigy of Ravana, mark the occation. It is celebrated in a big way in UP and some northern states.
Q100. What is Rath Yatra?
A major Hindu festival of Puri, Orissa, when Lord Jagannath is taken around a huge wooden chariot. It attracts huge gathering and fanfare
Q101. What is Saraswati Puja?
A religious and homely festival to worship Goddess Saraswati, the Principal deity of wisdom. It comes in the Phalgun month of Hindu calendar.
Q102. What is Thai Poosam a festival of?
A religious occasion (confined only to Tamil Nadu and Tamilians in Singapore and Malaysia) to mark the occasion of the birth of Lord Muruga (Karthikeya) and his killing of demon Soorapadman. It is a big festival at Palani and Tirechendur, Tami Nadu. This festival at the Lord Muruga temple at the Batu Caves in Kulalumpur attracts huge crowd from all over the world.
Q103. What is Pooram festival?
Most famously known as Pooram festival or Thrissur Pooram, held on the Pooram Nakshatram (star) of the month of Medom of Malayalam Calendar.
Q104. What is Ugadi a festival of?
New Year day celebrations of Andhra and Karnataka, (as Gud Padwa in Maharahtra) falling on the first day of the bright half of Chaitra Month - Hindu calendar.
Q105. What is Vaisakhi or Baisakhi a festival of?
Called as Baisakhi in Punjab, a grand festival, to mark the beginning of Punjabi New Year and the harvest season. It is celebrated as Bihu in Bihar,, Naba Barsha (New Year) in Assam, Putthandu in Tamil and Vishu in Malayalam (Kerala).
Q106. What is Vasanthi Panchami?
A festival to worship Goddess Saraswati, the deity of wisdom, music and art, mostly followed in North India. (5th day - Panchami in the month of Magh falling in January-February)
Q107. What is Vat Poornima?
An important Hindu festival of Maharashtra held on the full moon day of Jyeshta (June) Hindu calendar. Married women on this day, pray to god for the long life of their husbands by trying a sacred thread around a Banyan tree.
Q108. What is Vijaya Dashami?
The tenth day of the festival of Dussehra, Navarathri, Mohani Nakkha (Nepal). A celebration of the victory of Good over evil.
Q109. What is Vishu a festival of?
New year day of Kerala corresponding to Bihu (Bihar, Assam, Baishakhi - Punjab, etc. it is a big celebration of Kerala, marked by the offerings to the divine called "Vishukkani".
Q110. What is Zatra a festival of?
A Konkani (Goa, Maharashtra) term for "pilgrimage of festivals". Celebrated at Hindu Temples of Goa. It is equal to Yatra or Jatra, when Hindu idols are taken out in procession in a chariot, in October after Diwali.
Q111. What is Bonalu a festival?
A folk festival of Telengana Region in praise of Goddess Durga.
Q112. What does "Akshaya" mean in Sanskrit?
One that never diminishes.
Q113. What marks the day of Amavaasya?
Offerings to forefathers.
Q114. The 10th day of Ganesh festival is called?
Q115. Which festivals marks the brother-sister relationship?
Bhai Dooj/Beeg/Pota and Raksha Bhandan or Rakkhi.
Q116. What is the famous festival of Bihar to worship Sun God?
Q117. What is the most famous festival of Karnataka?
Q118. Exhibition of Dolls/Toys during Navarathri is followed in?
Karnataka, Andhra, Tamil Nadu.
Q119. How the 10th or last day of the celebrations of Dussehra/ Navarathri is called in southern states?
Q120. Brahmotsavam is a famous festival of?
Tirupathi (A.P.) Lord Venkateswara Temple.
Q121. Dhanteras is a festival of ........?
Wealth and Goddess Lakshmi. I day of 5 day Diwali celebrations.
Q122. Diwali is also called as?
Festival of lights.
Q123. Durga Pooja is a famous festival of ........?
West Bengal and eastern part of India (specifically for Bengalis).
Q124. Gudi Padwa celebration is?
New Year day of Maharashtra.
Q125. Guru Poornima is a day to .......?
Respect all Gurus and their teachers.
Q126. Which festival is called "Festival of Colours"?
Q127. Karthigai Deepam is a festival of and at?
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.
Q128. Which tree leaves are used as garlands (and also generally) to worship Lord Shiva?
Q129. Bihu is a festival of ........?
New Year. Assam.
Q130. What is the famous rural sport of Tamil Nadu during Pongal festival?
Jallikattu - Bull taming.
Q131. On what day Kumbh Mela is celebrated?
Q132. What are all the places where Kumbh Mela is celebrated?
Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nashik.
Q133. Makara Sankarathi is celebrated as ?
Bhogali Bihu - West Bengal, Assam; Uttarayan - Rajasthan, Gujarat; Pongal - Tamil Nadu; Magi - Nepal.
Q134. Onam is a festival of which state?
Q135. Pushkaram is a festival related to ........?
Q136. Lord Rama's birth day is celebrated as .......?
Q137. What is the famous festival of Puri, Orissa?
Q138. Thai Poosam is a festival mostly celebrated in?
Tamil Nadu (at Palani and Tiruchendur). It is also celebrated in a grand manner in countries like Mauritius, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Africa.
Q139. What is the famous festival held at Trichur, Kerala?
Q140. Ugadhi is a new year festival of?
Andhra and Karnataka.
Q141. How is new year day is called in Punjab?
Q142. How is new year day is called in Kerala?
Q143. What is the famous Hindu festival of Goa?
Q144. Who were the first to use the word "Hindu"?
Q145. What is the largest Hindu temple complex?
Akshadham Temple - New Delhi - the largest Hindu temple complex - 86342 Sq feet in area, 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet in height.
Q146. Where was the first Swaminarayan temple built in India?
Q147. Where are the Sun Temples?
1. Konark, Puri District, Orissa. 2. Birachi Narayan Temple Bugerda, Ganjam District, Orissa. 3. Sun Temple, Madhera, Gujarat.
Q148. Who are believed to be the originators of Hinduism?
Aryans and their civilization 2000 years ago.
Q149. Which religion is considered as the oldest?
Q150. Which country has the largest population of Hindus?
Q151. What are the basic vedic texts on which Hinduism is based?
Vedas and Upanishads.
Q152. What are the four Vedas?
(1) Rig, (2) Sama, (3) Yajur, and (4) Atharva.
Q153. Which religious text is considered to be the oldest in the world?
Q154. Who are called the "Saivaites" in Hinduism?
People who worship Lord Shiva.
Q155. Among the Trimurthis, one of them is not worshipped regurlarly, or by way of temples. Which one is that?
Lord Brahma - Although the creator.
Q156. Among the Hindu Gods, which one has the largest number of temples, by number as well as size?
Q157. Rig Veda consists of?
10 sections, 1028 hymns.
Q158. Which veda is chanted on a musical tone?
Sama. It also deals with music.
Q159. Which veda deals with sacrifices and rituals more specifically?
Q160. Which veda deals with Medicines and Mantras?
Q161. Which Shiva temples faced the worst invasion by Gajni Muhammed?
Somnath in Gujrat.
Q162. Which famous Shiva temple is closed for 6 months in a year?
Kedarnath - during winter season.
Q163. Which Lord Shiva temple is located on the sea-shore, a famous one?
Q164. Which Lord Shiva Jyotirlinga Temple, is on an island on a famous river?
Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh. It is on an island on Narmada river.
Q165. What are the "Panchaboothas"?
Space, wind, water, fire, earth.
Q166. As a general belief, to whom, Lord Venkateshwara is indebted?
Q167. What is the early morning religious recital of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati?
Suprabatham Sung by M.S.Subbulakshmi. Composed by Sri Anantacharya around 1430 AD.
Q168. Which is the famous Vaisnavite temple located on an island of Cauvery and Kollidam rivers of Tamilnadu?
Srirangam, Trichy, T.N - Ranganathar Temple.
Q169. What are the three famous vaishnavite temples on the banks of Cauvery?
Adi Ranga - Shrirangapatnam, Mysroe. Madhya Ranga - Sivasamudram, Karnataka. Antya Ranga - Srirangam, Trichy, T.N.
Q170. What is the name of the philosophy initiated and propagated by Adi Sankara?
Q171. Where was "Adi Sankara" born?
Q172. What is the name for life account of Adi Sankara called?
Q173. What is the name for Adi Sankara's tour of propagation of Advaita Vedanta?
Q174. What system Adi Sankara founded to unite Hindus worshipping different deities?
Q175. What are the famous compositions of Adi Sankara?
Sivananda Lahri and Lakshmi Narasimha Stotram.
Q176. What are the "Peetas" - religious coordinating centres established by Adi Sankara
1. Sharada Peetam - Sringeri, Karnataka. 2. Jyothirnath Peeta - Joshimath, Uttarkhand. 3. Govardhana Peeta - Puri, Orissa. 4. Dwaraka Peeta - Dwaraka, Gujarat. 5. Kamakoti Peeta - Kanchipuram, TN.
Q177. Who wrote the famous book "Voice of Divinity"?
Sankarachariar - Sri Chandrasekarendra Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
Q178. What is the famous quote of Shirdi Sai Baba?
"Allah Malik" - meaning "God is the owner of us all".
Q179. Where is Shirdi Sai Baba Shrine?
Shirdi, Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra.
Q180. Who, a very recent past famous Hindu philosopher, Guru, Philanthropist, was the most ardent follower of Shirdi Sai Baba?
Shri Satya Sai Baba.
Q181. What is the family/original name of Shri Satya Sai Baba?
Satya Narayana Raju (Also called Ratnakaran).
Q182. What is the name of the main Ashram of Sri Satya Sai Baba?
Prashanti Nilayam - at Puttabarti, Anantpur District, A.P.
Q183. What is the name of the book on the teachings and philosophies of Sri Satya Sai Baba?
Q184. What is the name of the monthly magazine published by Sri Satya Sai Baba trust?
Q185. What is the name of the university and museum of world religions at Puttabarti, AP?
Chaitanya Jyothi. An architectural marvel.
Q186. Who is the famous spiritual saint of Tamil Nadu? What & where is his Ashram?
Ramana Maharishi - Ramanashramam at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.
Q187. What is the name of the book containing the philosophies of Ramana Maharishi?
"Who Am I" ("Naan Yaar" in Tamil) - composed by Sivaprakasam Pillai.
Q188. Where was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa born?
Kamarpukur, West Bengal.
Q189. What is the original/family name of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa?
Q190. Teachings and philosophy of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa are recorded in?
Kathamithra - a Bengali Book by Mahendranath Gupta - The English version by Swami Nikhilananda, titled "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna".
Q191. Who was Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's wife?
Sarada Devi - another spiritual guru of Bengali.
Q192. Who is the famous disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa?
Q193. What is the original/family name of Vivekananda?
Narendranath Dutta. (B.12.1.1863; D.04.07.1902).
Q194. Who is the first Indian philosopher to visit abroad?
Swami Vivekananda - 1893 - Chicago, USA - Parliament of World Religions.
Q195. Who financed Vivekananda trip to USA?
1. Bhaskara Sethupathi, Raja of Ramnad, TN., 2. Maharaja of Mysore, 3. Maharaja of Khetri.
Q196. What were the beginning words of Vivekanandas speech at the world Parliament of Religions, at Chicago, USA in 1893?
Sisters and Brothers of America.
Q197. What are the Hindu Religious organizations founded by Vivekananda?
1. Ramakrishna Mission, W.Bengal, 1.5.1897 2. Ramakrishna Mutt, Belur, W.Bengal 3. Ramakrishna order of monks.
Q198. Who said "If you want to know India, study Vivekananda, In him everything is positive, nothing negative" - about Vivekananda?
Q199. Who said "His influence has increased my love for the country a thousand fold" about Vivekananda?
Q200. Who said "Vivekananda saved Hinduism"?
Q201. Who said "Is the maker of modern India" about Vivekananda?
Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose.
Q202. By whom and under whose influence, Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore was set up?
Vivekananda's influence made Jamshedji Tata to do that.
Q203. Where is the famous memorial of Vivekananda?
Rock memorial at Kanyakumari on an island called Sripadaparai.
Q204. How is the birth day of Vivekananda observed in India/our country?
Youth day - 12th January.
Q205. Who is the famous Kerala born woman spiritual guru of South India?
Amritananda Mayi - originally Sudhamani, born at Periyakkadavu, Kollam, Kerala.
Q206. Where is the "Rajneesh Ashram"?
Q207. Who founded the "Arya Samaj"?
Swami Dayananda - Bombay, 1875.
Q208. Who founded the "Brahmo Samaj"?
Raja Ram Mohan Roy.
Q209. Where is the headquarters of Ramakrihna Mission?
Belur, West Bengal.
Q210. Who founded the Divine Life Society?
Swami Sivananda Saraswati - 1936 at Rishikesh.
Q211. Who founded the Chinmaya Mission?
Swami Chinmayananda - 1953 - Mumbai.
Q212. Expand ISKCON. Who founded it?
International Society for Krishna Consciousness - Founded by Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabupada - at New York, in 1966.
Q213. Reading of which Purana is considered a taboo, in Indian households?
Q214. Which Sutra in Hinduism deals with duties and responsibilities of a Family man?
Q215. "Parasurama" is one of the avatars/ incarnation of Lord Vishnu? Where is the only temple dedicated to him?
Tiruvallam near Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Q216. Rama is worshipped as a God in all his temples. There is one temple in India where he is worshipped as a king. Where is it?
Ram Raja Temple, Orcha, M.P.
Q217. Who has written the famous script "Narayaneeyam"?
Melpattu Narayana Bhattadri.
Q218. It is believed that Narada has learnt his music from a bird? What is it?
Ganabandhu an owl.
Q219. Who are the seven "Chiranjeevis" according to Hindu Mythology?
1. Bali Chakravarthi ; 2. Parashurama; 3. Vibhishana; 4. Aswathama; 5. Hanuman; 6. Vyasa and 7. Kripa.
Q220. After how many insults by Shisupala, did Krishna finally kill him?
Q221. Who are the only three persons to directly listen Bhagvad Gita from Lord Krishna?
Arjuna, Sanjaya and Hanumans.
Q222. Where in India is the World's biggest Hanuman idol is located?
Nandura in Buldhana District, Maharashtra.
Q223. What is the result of the conversation between Yudhishtra and Sage Bhisma, when he was lying on the bed of arrows and was waiting to die owing "Uttarayana"?
Q224. Which Hindu God is considered as creator?
Q225. Worshippers of Lord Vishnu are called?
Q226. Which Hindu God is considered as the beginner of everything?
Q227. Which god is considered as the God of Wealth?
Q228. Which Veda in Hinduism deals with medicines?
Q229. Which Purana deals with virtues and stories related to temples?
Q230. Which Purana deals with origins of Castes?
Q231. Which form of Lord Shiva explains the equality of man and woman?
Ardhanareeshwara (Half man and Half woman)
Q232. Which form of Lord Shiva depicts half Shiva and half Vishnu?
Q233. Which form of Lord Shiva is the Divine Dancer?
Q234. Which is the most famous morning recital of Lord Balaji Temple at Tirupati?
Venkatesa Suprapatham by Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi.
Q235. Which temple tower is the tallest in Asia?
Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu.
Q236. Who consolidated the doctrine of "Advaita Vedanta"?
Aadhi Sankara (First Sankaracharya).
Q237. What practice of Sainthood was founded by Adi Sankara, in Hinduism?
Dashanami Sampradaya - A person assuming sainthood (Sanyas) to have their names suffixed with a particular title whenever he becomes eligible to head of a Peeta (Centre).
Q238. Where is Sharada Peetam located?
Shringeri, Karnataka (on the banks of Tungabadra).
Q239. Where is Jyotirmatha Peetam?
Joshimath, Chamoli, Uttarkhand.
Q240. Where is Govardhana Peetam?
Q241. Where is Dwaraka Peetam?
Q242. Where is Kamakoti Peetam?
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
Q243. The present Sankaracharya of Kamakoti Peetam of Kanchipuram is the?
Q244. Where is Shirdi Sai Baba Samadhi/Temple?
Shirdi, Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra.
Q245. Where and what is the famous ashramam of Ramana Maharishi?
Ramanashramam at Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.
Q246. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was born at and as?
At Kamarpukur (W.B.) as Gadadhar Chattapodhyay.
Q247. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa teachings are recorded in?
Kathamritha by Mahendranath Gupta.
Q248. Who was the most famous disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa?
Q249. What is the name of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's wife, who was also a spiritual leader of Bengal?
Q250. Swami Vivekananda was born as?
Q251. When and for what reason Swami Vivekananda visited USA?
1893, to participate in the Parliament of World Religions, at Chicago, USA.
Q252. What are the organizations founded by Swami Vivekananda?
Ramakrishna Mission, Ramakrishna Mutt, (Belur, West Bengal), and Ramakrishna order of Monks.
Q253. Who is the present day famous spiritual leader, hailing from Kerala?
Amritananda Mayi. She was attened the Parliament of World Religions twice in 1993 and 2004.
Q254. What was the real name of Rajneesh?
Chandra Mohan Jain.
Q255. Who founded Arya Samaj, a Hindu religious organization?
Swami Dayananda, 1875 at Bombay.
Q256. Who founded Brahmo Samaj?
Raja Rammohan Roy - 1828 at Kolkata. It was the staunch advocate of abolition of Sati and in favour of widow remarriage.
Q257. Who founded Divine Life Society?
Swami Sivananda Saraswati - Rishikesh - 1936.
Q258. Who founded Chinmaya Mission?
Swami Chinmayananda - Bombay, 1953.
Q259. Who founded ISKCON?
Swami Bhakti Vedanta Prabhupada - New York - 1966.
Q260. In Hinduism which god is associated with Moon?
Q261. Where is the "Frog Temple"?
A temple for Lord Shiva, in the shape of a large frog located at Oyal in U.P.
Q262. Where is the temple in India which has no idol, simply an empty space to signify that God is present everywhere?
Lord Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
Q263. Where in India, a famous Lord Shiva Temple located in a lake?
Brahma Sarovar Lake, Kurukshetra, Haryana.
Q264. Which temple is known as "Dakshin Dwaraka"?
Guruvayoor Temple, Kerala.
Q265. In which temple women between 10-50 are not allowed?
Sabarimala Temple, Kerala.
Q266. During a festival lasting for 9 days, men are not allowed to enter the temple or the surroundings. Which festival and temple?
Ponkala Mahotsavam, at Attukkal Bhagavati Temple, Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala. For these 9 days all rituals are performed by women.
Q267. Which temple was paved in plates of pure silver by Mughal King Jehangir?
Brajeshwari Temple, Kangra.
Q268. What does "Rudraksha" mean?
"Rudra's tear" - Rudra = Shiva, Aksha = Tear.