Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Photo by Frank Holleman on Unsplash
man walking beside man holding umbrella

By Devakinanda Ji

Pāpam means any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.


(Pāpam: Bad fortune, kārmic bad credit; Vināśa: Destruction, absorption without return)

Belief in a Supernatural Being or Power-generally called God is ingrained in the human psyche. The words of scripture and/or of the men of God, are considered sacrosanct and hence, inviolable. Not following them or going against them has always been regarded as pāpam (a sin) resulting in grave consequences. The Hindu scriptures have designated such sins by various names pāpa, pāpman, vrujina, durita, and so on...The concept of pāpam is as old as Ṛigveda wherein prayers have been offered to deities like Āditya, Mitra and Varuṇa for redemption.

The question as to what causes sin and how it is committed has been discussed in the dharma śhāstrās. Some of the earliest like those of Gautama and Yājnavalkya and the Gīta declares that kāma (lust), krodha (anger) and lobha (greed) are responsible for a person perpetrating evil deeds, thereby accumulating sins.

In the course of time, the list has grown to include many more like himsa (violence), speaking untruth, neglect of prescribed duties, committing deeds declared as evil by the shāstrās. But the dharma śhāstrās offer remedies to the consequences of these sins. They are pāpanivedana (confession), paśchāttāpa (repentance), prāṇāyāma (restraint of breath), tapas (austerity), homa (sacrifice into a duly consecrated fire), japa (repetition of Vedic passages or prayers), dāna (giving gifts), upavāsa (fasting), and tīrṭhayātra (pilgrimage). We are not told repeatedly that we are 'sinners' and God's son was crucified and died for our sins. We are not cursed with eternal damnation.

man in brown thobe walking on hallway Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

On the contrary, we are taught the opposite. In Hinduism, people worship gods and goddesses at their homes on a daily basis to get rid off their sins and perform expiatory rituals. Ultimately, it can be safely declared that the following disciplines are the best means of overcoming or attenuating the evil effects of sin on one's life: repentance, resolving not to repeat the sinful deeds, repetition of God's name, earnest prayer and the company of holy persons.

For the pāpa vināśanam, our ancient sages have prescribed various means and because of that, we have temples, puṇya tīrṭhās, and so on. The famous place in South India is Tirumala Sri Venkateswara swami temple and nearby waterfalls known as pāpanāśanam. On a daily basis, thousands and thousands of devotees attend these places.

During auspicious days and festivals, the number of attendees is in the millions. During Kumbhameḷa, over 40 million people take bath in the holy river on a given day. Our land does not condemn sinners and offers expiatory rituals to amend a wrong either of commission or omission and is 'Pāpavināśa Bhūmi'.


Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Apart from damaging the lungs, the virus can also cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system.

By TS Kler

COVID-19 has led to complications and health risks manifold for patients with non-communicable diseases. Almost 75-80 percent of the COVID patients don't require hospitalisation and can recover at home with teleconsultation, but COVID-19 infections can leave the patient with long-term side effects. There are many instances where symptoms of COVID-19 have persisted for several months. Apart from damaging the lungs, the virus can also cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system.

According to research published in the European Heart Journal, Covid-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest have a higher possibility of dying as compared to those who are not infected with it, and especially women are at an increased risk of death for the same reason. The virus may directly breach the ACE2 receptor cells, within the myocardium tissue and cause direct viral harm. COVID can result in inflammation of the heart muscles which is known as myocarditis and it can lead to heart failure over time, if not taken care of.

People with a pre-existing heart problem need to be extra cautious. A significant number of patients have suffered cardiac arrest during the recovery period, often resulting in death. Expert suggests that even though the COVID virus wanes, the immune response continues to be hyper-active and that often ends up attacking other organs. It has been observed that almost 80 per cent of these patients have had cardiac arrests 2-3 weeks after testing COVID positive.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Hassan Vakil on Unsplash

When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

The festive season is a time of joy. Some people truly love it, but for many, it can trigger feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Feeling lonely is common and completely normal -- whether or not we're living through this pandemic. The social pressure to "be happy" can be relentless, but it is important to take a proactive approach to meet not only our emotional needs but also to maintain our mental stability and well-being. With the pandemic, holidays are likely to be challenging, instead, meet them head-on with a renewed dedication and a proactive mindset to avoid 'holiday blues'.

Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Well-being Coach, Founder, Let Us Talk, mentions ways to turn your loneliness into action this season:

Say yes to socializing: When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities. Seclusion can make it challenging to feel driven and the mere thought of physically seeing people can lead to stress. Hence it is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence. Something as simple as going for a walk with a friend or chatting with your loved ones over the phone can make a huge difference.

three women walking on brown wooden dock near high rise building during daytime It is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less

Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge

Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge that include the addition of tab groups. Users will be able to assemble collections of tabs to make their browser a little less chaotic.

To create a group, hold the control button and choose the tabs you want to include, then select "Add tabs to new group" from the right-click menu, Engadget reported on Friday. Users can customise the label with a different colour for each group. When users hover over a tab, they will be able to see a preview of the web page as well.

Microsoft Edge is also getting some handy shopping features, the report said. The browser can give swift access to reviews and ratings for more than 5 million products. When users are on a product page, they can click the blue tag on the address bar and see expert reviews from reliable sources, as well as the average consumer star rating from various retailers.

When they do figure out what to buy, Microsoft aims to help them complete the transaction a bit faster. The new personalised news feed called Microsoft Start is integrated into the browser. Users will see headlines and articles relevant to their interests from a range of publishers when they open a new tab. (IANS/ MBI)

Keep reading... Show less