- Paperback: 322 pages
- Publisher: Pustak Mahal - New Delhi; Bilingual edition (2009)
- Language: English, Hindi
- ISBN-10: 812230902X
- ISBN-13: 978-8122309027
- Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.5 x 24.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,34,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hindu Rites, Rituals, Customs & Traditions (REP) Paperback – 2009
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From the Back Cover
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 1 inches
About the Author
Prem P Bhalla is the writer of several self-improvement books and books on rituals and customs. Apart from Hindu Rites, Rituals, Customs & Traditions, he has also authored books like Gems from the Ramcharitmanas, Hello! Just Married or About to Marry?, 7 Mantras to Excel in Exams and 50 Moral Tales. He is the co-author of the book The Book of Etiquette and Manners. Educated in Dehra Dun and New Delhi, Prem P Bhalla enjoys photography and travel, having widely travelled in India and abroad. Besides writing, he runs his own business and is deeply involved with social welfare and educational institutions. He also gives group lectures on personality and career development.
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Top customer reviews
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Out of all of the books on Hinduism, this one is my favourite, so far. First, it's question and answer, not your typical dry Hinduism 101 textbook. It is well illustrated, so even kids could benefit from this book. Adults who may have questions, this book is for you too. Over 300 pages of "I don't want to put it down" material, it is well written and very understandable.
This is a great book on customs and rituals. I'm working in Amrita University in the Department of Cultural Education. We are planning to use this book to teach cultural education. It does give good references from Puranas and other scriptures to most of the topics. The author has put considerable effort in framing and answering the question. I give 4 points for this.
But, I have some issues regarding the content in the book. On page 36, B-5, Shiva and Shivaling, it says Shivaling symbolises the phallus and that Mercury is Shiva's semen.
This interpretation is likely to be incorrect. If some purana refers to Shiva ling in this fashion, it should the work of some people to malign the sacredness of Shiva linga. Shri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, talk about this in Her book "Eternal Truth" [...]. She says, that meaning of the word linga is 'the place of dissolution.' The universe arises out of linga and finally dissolves into it. The Rishis of antiquity looked for the origin of the universe and through the austerities they performed, they discovered that Brahman, the Absolute Reality, is the Source and Support of everything. Brahman cannot be described in words. One cannot point to Brahman. The beginning and end of everything lies in That. Brahman, the abode of all attributes and qualities, is devoid of attributes and qualities, and devoid of form. How can the attribute-less be described? Only that which has attributes can be grasped by the mind and the senses. In this difficult context, the sages found a symbol to represent that initial stage between Brahman and Creation: the Shiva linga. It signifies the creation of the Universe out of Brahman. The Shiva linga is the symbol used to reveal Truth they experienced in a way that ordinary people can understand. The Rishis accepted the Shiva linga as a scientific symbol to be used in this way.
Scientists who study certain rays that cannot be seen by the eye use symbols to describe them to others. When we hear about X-rays, we know that they are a certain type of radiation. Similarly, when we see the Shiva linga, we understand it is the attribute-less Brahman represented in its aspect with attributes. The word Shiva means auspicious. Auspiciousness does not have a form. By worship the Shiva linga, which is a symbol of auspiciousness, the worshiper receives that which is auspicious.
We should also consider why the Shiva linga was given its form. Today scientists say that the universe is egg-shaped. In India, for thousand of years, the Universe is referred to as Brahmandam, meaning 'the great egg.' Brahman means the absolute greatest. The Shiva linga is a microcosm of that vast cosmic egg. When we worship the Shiva linga, we are, in fact, worshipping the entire universe as the Auspicious Form and the Divine Consciousness. This is not the worship of a God who sits somewhere beyond the sky. This teaches that the selfless service rendered to the universe, including to all living beings, is worship of Shiva.
So, the meaning of linga is not 'phallus', for not even fools would pray to a male's sexual organ for protection! My children, who benefits from ascribing a non-existent meaning to and ridiculing a divine symbol that countless millions of people throughout the ages have used for the upliftment of their souls? This causes only anger and conflict.
I hope that there will be reprint on this book with correction. It is important that we spread the right message to the humanity.