Top 40 Hindu Blogs

Over the years of reading and researching Hindu gods and Hindu statues we have developed a fondness for many Hindu blogs.  Here is our list of the top 40 Hindu blogs we read.  Please take a look at them!

Named to the top 40 Hindu Blogs

1.   Hindu Blog
2.   Hindu Devotional Blog
3.   Pakistan Hindu Post
4.   Western Hindu
5.   Hindu Voice
6.   Hinduism Facts | Facts about Hindu Religion
7.   Himalayan Academy Blog
8.   India Divine
9.   Hindu Devotional Power
10.  Rolling with Vishnu
11.  Sathya Sai Baba – Life, Love & Spirituality
12.  Accidental Hindu
13.  Practical Sanskrit
14.  Vachana-A-Week
15.  Also Hindu
16.  A Western Sri Vaishnava
17.  A Soul’s Journey
18.  drik Panchang
19.  Hindu Existence
20.  Hinduism Today
21.  Internet Sacred Text Archive
22.  Divya Jnana
23.  jnana·nanda, the bliss of divine knowledge
24.  Bliss of Hinduism
25.  Hindu Adhyathmikam
26.  Hinduism – A Scientific Way of Life
27.  Only Hinduism for any Hindu….for every Hindu
28.  Hinduism Beliefs
29.  Navratri Pooja
30.  Ganesh Wallpaper
31.  Bharata Bharati
32.  thepedalingpujari of thepacific
33.  Hindu God Photo
34.  Divya’s Cooking Journey
35   Sanatana Dharma
36.  The Astro Junction
37.  Bhadesia Hindu blog
38.  Rajarshi14′s Blog
39.  Jaisiyaram
40.  Bamboo Thoughts

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The Origins of Budai: Commonly Confused with Gautama Buddha

16″ Fat Buddha with Gold Bag on a Stick by Lotus Sculpture $165

Many Americans mistakenly identify the Budai as that of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.  The Budai is often depicted holding a cloth sack and is commonly referred to as the laughing Buddha or the fat & happy Buddha.  It is believed that the Budai is an incarnation of Maitreya or the future Buddha form that will succeed the historic Gautama Buddha by appearing on earth someday in the future at a time when Dharma will have been forgotten, in order to re-teach the pure dharma.  He is said to appear on earth one day and achieve complete enlightenment, just as the historic Gautama, teaching the world his wisdom.

In Buddhist folk traditions it is said that the Budai is a man of good and loving character and is admired for his genuine happiness, plentitude, and contentment.  A popular belief is that rubbing his belly will bring about good luck, wealth, and overall prosperity.  Incorporate a Fat & Happy Buddha Statue from Lotus Sculpture into your life and rub his belly for good luck and happiness!

The Story of Shiva and the Goddess Ganga

Shiva bronze statue

Bronze statue of Lord Shiva bringing the Goddess Ganga down to the earth in his matted hair

Most of the images and sculpture of Lord Shiva depict the River Ganga flowing from his matted hair. As with all symbols within Hindu iconography there is an interesting tale behind Shiva and the Hindu goddess Ganga. According to Hindu mythology, there was a powerful king in India named Sagar. He decided to conduct Ashwamedha Yagya, a horse sacrifice, to declare his supremacy over the gods. The king of Heaven, Indra grew jealous of King Sagar and decided to steal the ritual horse. Indra successfully abducted the horse and tied him in the ashram of Sage Kapil, who was silently meditating for many years. King Sagar ordered his 60,000 sons to search and find his sacrificial horse. After a long search they found the horse tied at the ashram and began assaulting the great sage thinking he was the culprit who stole the horse. The sage awoke from his trance and in his anger started to destroy all the sons of king Sagar who were accosting him. Anshuman, the grandson of King Sagar, pleaded for forgiveness. The sage told him that he could save his life by bringing the sacred river Ganga down from the heavens to purify the souls of him and his ancestors and help them to attain nirvana.

King Dilip, son of Anshuman pleaded with Lord Brahma to help them bring the Ganga to earth. He failed to appease Brahma so he passed the task to his son, Bhagiratha. Bhagiratha was able to please Brahma, who ordered Ganga to descent to Earth. The furious Ganga felt this as an insult and decided to destroy Earth with her force while descending from heaven. Bhagiratha was warned by Brahma that earth will not be able to hold Ganga while descending from heaven, so he must seek the help of Lord Shiva, the only one who can withstand the power of Ganga. Bhagiratha pleaded with Lord Shiva to help him and Shiva agreed to receive Ganga in his matted locks. Ganga was arrogant and tried to drown Shiva by pushing him to the core of the earth, but the mighty Shiva easily held her in his locks.   Shiva’s tie was so strong that Ganga became helpless.

Lord Shiva wanted to teach Ganga a lesson, but instead released her in seven streams as he was satisfied with the prayers of Bhagiratha. The seven streams of Ganga are Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda. Ganga became calm and followed Bhagiratha, who lead her to his ancestors and with her purity, released their souls.
There are a number of legends associated with Ganga and the different names she has at different places. This is but one.

Ganga is considered to be the most sacred river in India and it originates from the depths of Gangotri glacier. Ganga, otherwise known as Ganges, brings purity to human life. By bathing in her sacred waters one is purified to the core of their being.

Bhagiratha’s great effort in bringing Ganga to earth is known as “Bhagiratha Prayatna”. What would you consider to be the noble quality of Bhagiratha – his strong affection to his ancestors or his determination to meet any challenges to attain the ultimate goal?

Karna- The Unfortunate Warrior of the Mahabharata Epic

Karna is a fascinating character in the Mahabharata epic.  He is depicted as a tragic hero; gifted, righteous and brave, whose warrior skills won the admiration of Bhishma and Krishna. He remains as a tragic figure for millions of Hindus and Indians.  The story of Karna not only portrays his warrior skills, generosity, but also the strong friendship he had with Duryodhana, the eldest of Kauravas.

Birth of Karna: Karna is the eldest illegitimate son of Kunti, the mother of the Pandava clan. When Kunti was a teenage girl, she got the opportunity to serve the great saint Durvasa.  She took great care of him, which pleased him so much that he blessed her with a varada or boon. The boon were the words to a powerful mantra.  Whenever she chooses to chant this mantra she will have a baby boy endowed with Godly qualities from any God she wants.
As a teenage girl, without thinking of the consequences, Kunti decided to test the mantra.  While reciting the mantra, she pictured Surya the Sun God.  To her wonder Surya appeared before her in resplendent glory.  Kunti was terrified by Surya as she never expected him to come.  She wanted him to go back, but it was not possible since he was bounded by the strength of the mantra.
Kunti was blessed with a pretty boy, named Karna, and she was surprised to see the protective armor over his chest and in his ears – the kavacha and kundalas.  Because she was a single teenage mother she was left with no choice but to give up the baby.  She prepared a basket for her child and left him in the holy Ganges to float away from her life.
Karna was spotted by a couple named Adhiratha and Radha who desperately wanted a child of their own.  The couple adopted him and found happiness in raising him.  He came to be known as Suta Puthra as his father, Adhiratha, was the charioteer of King Dhritarashtra.  Karna was also known as Vasusena (Born with wealth) and Radheya (as his mother’s name was Radha).

Education: As a youth, Karna wanted to become a great warrior and learn archery and martial arts.  He contacted Guru Dronacharya and pleaded him to teach the art of warfare, but the guru refused his request as Karna belonged to low caste.  Karna realized that he could never fulfill his ambition as his lowly caste would prevent anyone from taking him on to teach him.

Curses: Hiding his identity Karna contacted Parshuram, a great warrior, and revealed his desire to be his disciple.  Mistaking him as a Brahmin, Parashuram accepted him. He taught him to master all the weapons of war.  Parashuram later discovered that he was deceived by Karma.  He placed a curse on Karna that all he learned from Parashuram would not be useful to protect him at the most crucial juncture in his life when he needs it most.
A second curse was placed on Karna while he was practicing the archery and he accidentally missed the target and killed a sacred cow.  A brahmin saw this and cursed him that he will have to face death as his innocent cow did; defenseless.

Karna’s natural mother, Kunti eventually was married to Pandu the King of Hastinapura, and he exhorted her to use the mantra and gave birth to three sons – Yudhishthir, Bhim and Arjun.  Madri, the second wife of Pandu, gave birth to Nakul and Sahadev.  The five brothers came to be known as sons of Pandu -the Pandavas and lived with Kauravas, the sons of Dhritarashtra, Pandu’s elder brother.  The Kauravas and Pandavas were master warriors learning all their skills from Kripacharya and then from Dronacharya.  However, all was not well between the brothers and the Kauravas and Pandavas had a dispute which eventually started a war between the two families.

The friendship with Duryodhana begins: Karna came to the arena of the great event organized by Dronacharya to showcase his disciple’s skills.  At the arena Karna challenged Arjun to a duel.  Duryodhana, the King of India and eldest of the Kauravas, was very happy to hear of Karna’s challenge to Arjun.  Duryodhana was very jealous of Arjun’s skill and wanted to defeat the Pandavas by all means.  However, the combat was declined since, Karna belonged to a low caste and Arjun was a prince.  Duryodhana came to the help of Karna and announced that Karna was the king of Anga.  From this moment, Karna became loyal to Duryodhana and a friendship grew between them.

Kunti meets Karna: The dispute between the Pandavas and Kavravas, regarding the right to rule Hasthinapur, eventually led to the Kurushethra war.  Before the war begins, Kunti meets Karna and reveals the truth that she is his biological mother.  She asks him to leave Kauravas and join his half-brothers.  However, the loyal Karna denies his mother’s request and promises that she will be left with five sons at the end of the battle as he only wishes to kill Arjun.  He also requests his mother to keep their relationship and his royal birth heritage a secret until his death.  Indra, the father of Arjun, becomes worried and disguises himself as a Brahmin and asks the generous Karna to give away his armor bestowed on his as a child as a gift for him.  Despite of the warning from his father, Surya, Karna fulfills the wish of the masked Brahmin and gifts his armor away.

Bronze Chariot of Arjuna and Krishna of the Mahabharata epic

Bronze Statue of Krishna and Arjuna having a conversation in their chariot during the Mahabharata epic

Battle of Kurushethra: In the Mahabharata war Karna fights on the Kauravas’ side and opposes his own half-brothers, the Pandavas.  Lord Krishna becomes the charioteer of Arjun, to see that the Pandavas win the battle.  Karna enters the battlefield on the 11th day, after Bhishma was wounded.  He kept his word to Kunti and did not capture any of the Pandavas, even though he has several opportunities to do so. On the 15th day, Karna is appointed as the commander-and-chief of the Kaurava forces as Drona was killed by unfair means. Karna was able to defeat all the Pandavas, except Arjun in the individual confrontations, but spares their lives as he does not want to break the promise he had given to his mother.
On the 17th day, Karna and Arjun come face to face in battle.  Karna tried his hardest to kill Arjun and Lord Krishna came to the rescue of Arjun.  During the course of battle, one of the wheels of Karna’s chariot plunges into the earth’s loose soil.  Karna asks Arjun to temporarily stop the fighting, which Arjun agrees to.  Karna gets off his chariot unarmed and to fix the wheel of the chariot. During this, Lord Krishna reminds Arjun about the incidents in which his wife Draupati was disgraced and Karna’s role in the death of his son Abhimanyu. Arjun was so desperate that he obeyed the advice of Krishna and aimed the fatal shaft Anjalika at Karna.  Though Karna was able to protect himself from the arrow, he couldn’t do it.  The curse which was placed upon him by his former teacher, Parshuram worked and he was unable to protect himself and the arrow hit him.

Salvation: Lord Krishna meets Karna in the battle field just before his death and promises to grant him any two wishes.  Karna asks Krishna to inform his mother, Kunti, about his death so that she can reveal the secret that he was the eldest of the Pandavas.  For his 2nd wish he wanted his rebirth to be in a noble family so that he can feed others (annatanam).  Lord Krishna was very much moved by his requests and informs him that in the next life he will be Siruttontar Nayanar and finally the brave and courageous hero dies in harmony.
After his conversation with Krishna, Karna was then beheaded brutally as he was helpless in the battle field fulfilling the curse of the brahim saying he would die defenseless.  All the curses worked upon him at once in the battle.

What are the reasons for Karna’s downfall?  What paved the path for his ultimate destruction?  His dedicated friendship and support for Duryodhana’s malicious plans or his generosity in giving away things without considering his own safety?

Lord Ram – the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Bronze Lord Ram Set with Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman

Bronze Lord Ram Set with Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman

Shri Ram is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is one of the most worshiped deity by Hindus in India. Diwali, the festival of lights, is probably the most celebrated and biggest festival, and is observed by Hindus, Buddhist, Jain’s and Sikhs, commemorates Lord Ram’s victory over the demon king, Ravan, and the return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile.

Purpose of the incarnation: The purpose of incarnation of Vishnu was to slay the demon Ravan, the king of Lanka. Ravan acquired a boon from Lord Brahma, which made him invincible and indestructible by Devas (The Gods) or Asuras (The demons). The sages were put into great misery and hardship by this demon and it became necessary to put an end to his reign, this lead lord Vishnu to to the earth as a man as only a human can slay the demon Ravan.

Sri Ram: According to the great epic Ramayan, Ram was born in Treta Yug (era), as the son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya. Dasharatha had three wives and four sons, Ram being the eldest and his mother was Kaushalya. He was an ideal son, and idol of chivalry, prowess and virtue. Ram and his brother, Lakshman grew up to the princely stature and became masters of all weapons under the guidance of the great sage Viswamitra. In the mean time, Ram got married to Sita, daughter of Janaka, the princess of Mithila, and Lakshman marries Urmila, sister of Sita. Dasharatha was planning for the coronation of Rama as the king of Ayodhya, but he was in extreme agony, when this idea was strongly objected by Kaikeyi, one of his wives, as she wanted her son, Bharath to become the king. She also demanded that Ram must not enter the kingdom without completing 14 years of exile.

Bronze Hanuman statue friend of lord Rama

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Exile: Knowing the demands of his step-mother, Ram agreed to go for the exile and ignoring his contempt Lakshman and Sita joins him. Even though, Urmila wanted to accompany her husband, Lakshman. However, Lakshman refuses the wish and assigns her to take care of his parents. Though disappointed, the broad minded Urmila accepts her husband’s orders and stays back to look after the old in-laws. During the period of exile, Ram meets Lord Hanuman, the great monkey, who is a true devotee of Ram. During his exile, Lord Hanuman protected the Saints from the vindictive actions of the demons.

During the exile, Ram settled in a calm and beautiful place, Panchavadi and lived a happy life. In the mean time, Surpanakha, the sister of Ravan, meets the charming brothers and becomes so attracted to Ram and proposes to marry him. Ram denies the request, and asks her to propose his brother, who is alone without a wife. Surpanakha follows Ram’s advice, but Lakshman rejects her, and this makes her angry. The outraged demon tries to harm Sita as she considers Sita to be the obstacle that prevents her from getting the love of Ram. Ram saved Sita and asks Lakshman to teach Surpanakha a lesson. Lakshman attacked her with his sword causing injuries to her nose and breast.

Disgraced and mutilated, Surpanaka, thirsty to take revenge, complains to her brother about the attack and how she was insulted by the two handsome princes. Ravan came to know about the immense love Ram had for Sita and this made the clever Ravan think of separating Sita from Ram, as Ram will not be able to bear the departure of his love. Ravan in his golden chariot reaches the ashram of Maricha and seeks his help to work out his plan. Maricha first denies the request for help from Ravan, but coming under the pressure of his king, finally he agrees to help him. Maricha gets killed by Ram, during the abduction, while Ravana succeeds in kidnapping Sita away from the ashram.

Ravan was much enchanted by the beauty of Sita, and pleaded her to marry him. However, Sita denied the powerful demon. She was taken to Lanka, where she spent her days alone in her beloved memories and wept. Ram was so desperate, and began to search for Sita everywhere. Finally he meets Jedayu, who witnessed the cruel act of Ravan. Jedayu reveals Ram that she was taken to Lanka in a flying golden chariot. With the help of Hanuman and army of monkeys, Ram constructs a floating bridge “Ram Setu” to Lanka and reaches Lanka to regain his kidnapped wife. After a ferocious war, which lasted for many days, ended with the carnage of Ravan, and Ram got his wife back, safe and sound.

Return to Ayodhya: After 14 years of exile, Ram, Sita along with Lakshman reaches Ayodhya and resumes the throne, as per the wish of Bharath, who was ruling the empire on behalf of Ram. The death of Ravan restored peace and happiness to the world. People began to worship Ram and it still continues. You can find a lot of temples around the world where Ram is the main idol of devotion.

You can easily identify statues of Lord Rama.  He is always depicted in a standing position, with a bow and arrow in his left and right hands respectively. He always carries a quiver on the back and is normally accompanied by Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. He will be always be wearing princely adornments.

Ram and Sita started to live a happy life again, but the fate was cruel to Sita, as the people of Ayodhya began to talk ill about her. Ram who was an ideal ruler, felt unhappy to know that his people doubt about the innocence of his wife. Finally, he decides to leave Sita, even though she proves her loyalty in the fire ordeal.

Even though, Sita was so devoted and loyal to Ram, she had to live a lonely life. Urmila is often considered as a forgotten heroine since no one values her sacrifice as she sacrificed her valuable 14 years away from her husband for the sake of Ram and Sita.

After reviewing all these points, whom can we consider as the real leading lady – Sita or Urmila?