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The Story of Hundi in Hinduism: Mythology and Beliefs

Donating money in the hundi to one's best allowance is considered as a 'yagna' in itself- that the individual can give up his material financial gains for serving the lords

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Hundi in Venkteswara temple. Image source: www.daiwikhotels.com
  • Hundis are drop boxes where worshippers put money as a token of material sacrifice for Lords and Goddesses
  • The significance of Hundi carries a legend behind it. It was by the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga when Vyas wrote Hindu scriptures
  • The money doesn’t reach any God, but it helps to sustain the service of God in his own temples

India is a mystical land of many religions and faiths that work on various beliefs, miracles and legends. India as a secular nation believes in harmonious coexistence of people belonging to multiple sects and religions where religion or one’s faith in God is not just a guiding spirit, but a celebration.
Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma, as argued is the world’s oldest religion. With its own share of legends and stories dating back across yugas has the story of Vishnu and Kuber, which depict the significance of ‘Hundi’ that we find in temples. Hundis are drop boxes where worshippers put money as a token of material sacrifice for Lords and Goddesses.

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The significance of Hundi carries a legend behind it. It was by the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga when Vyas wrote Hindu scriptures. It was in the Kali Yuga when Venkateshwara (the form of Vishnu) took a loan of fourteen lakh Ramamudras from Kubera, the Lord of wealth. He took the loan from Kuber with Lord Shiva and Brahma as the witnesses for his own marriage and agreed to repay him until the end of Kali Yuga. On the seventh day of Vysakha during Kali Yuga, Srinivasa took the credit from Dhaneswara.

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Tirupati Balaji. Source: www.tirumala.org

This is stated in Tirupati’s Sthal Purana that as a result of the loan, a ‘Hundi’ was set up by the temple authorities to supposedly help Lord Vishnu repay the debt to Kuber. Later, many temples across the world, especially in South India, installed hundis for the same reason.

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While the story has attracted the faith of many devotees and temples gather huge amounts of funds through the hundis and other donations, they are used as the temple fund for the maintenance and development of the temple, to pay for the staff’s salary and for the sustenance of the chief priests. The money doesn’t reach any God, but it helps to sustain the service of God in his own temples.

Revenue collections at Tirumala Balaji Source: Telegu Mirchi
Revenue collections at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
Source: Telegu Mirchi

Donating money in the hundi to one’s best allowance is considered as a ‘yagna’ in itself- that the individual can give up his material financial gains for serving the lords. Disciples and devotees donate money in large amounts in hundi and the similar ‘trend’ has been followed by other temples as well. It was reported in April this year in 2016, that in the drop box/daan patra of Shirdi’s Sai Baba Mandir were found diamond necklaces worth Rs. 92 lakhs. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has estimated an income of more than ₹ 1,000 crores for the years 2016-2017. On the other hand, there are also temples like Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad that does not have a hundi, and the temple authorities manage their own expenses.

– by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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asia cup
(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism
Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Paintings Which Beautifully Depict Scenes From Ramayana

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Ramayana
Ram lifting the bow during Sita Swayambar. Wikimedia Commons.

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic which describes the narrative of Ayodhya Prince lord Rama’s struggles. The struggles include- exile of 14 years, abduction of his wife Sita, reaching Lanka, destruction of the evil. It is strongly ingrained in the Indian culture, especially, the Hindu culture since a long time. Hindus celebrate Diwali based on the narratives of Ramayana.

The story of Ramayana gives out the beautiful message that humanity and service to the mankind is way more important than kingdom and wealth. Below are five paintings describing the scenes from Ramayana:

1. Agni Pariksha in Ramayana

Ramayana
Agni Pariksha. Wikimedia.

When Lord Rama questions Sita’s chastity, she undergoes Agni Pariksha, wherein, she enters a burning pyre, declaring that if she has been faithful to her husband then the fire would harm her. She gets through the test without any injuries or pain. The fire God, Agni, was the proof of her purity. Lord Rama accepts Sita and they return to Ayodhya. 

2. Scene From The Panchavati Forest

Ramayana
scene from the panchavati forest. wikimedia.

The picture describes a scene from the Panchavati forest. It is believed that Lord Rama built his forest by residing in the woods of Panchavati, near the sources of the river Godavari, a few miles from the modern city of Mumbai. He lived in peace with his wife and brother in the forest.

3. Hanuman Visits Sita

Ramayana
Hanuman meets Sita. Wikimedia.

Hanuman reaches Lanka in search of Sita. At first, he was unable to find Sita. He later saw a woman sitting in Ashok Vatika, drowned in her sorrows, looked extremely pale. He recognized her. After seeing the evil king, Ravana making her regular visit to Sita, he hid somewhere in the Vatika. After Ravana left, Hanuman proved Sita that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her his ring. He assured her that Rama would soon come to rescue her. Before leaving Lanka, he heckled Ravana. Agitated by Hanuman’s actions, Ravana ordered to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman set the entire city on fire.