The Significance of Hindu Worship

The Significance of Hindu Worship

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAI426
Author: Paramahamsa Hariharananda
Publisher: Prajna Publications, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9783990000908
Pages: 192 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 260 gm

Book Description

Back of The Book

The roots of Hinduism are venerable, ancient, and enduring. Even though it is the world's oldest religion, it is still one of the largest. This is an irrefutable testament to the eternal Truth it represents. Nevertheless, throughout history the ritualistic practices and deity worship of the Hindu religion have been widely misunderstood by non-Hindus as well as its own worshippers. For the most part, the hidden meaning behind the practices has been forgotten; their true intent remains a mystery. Unfortunately, when the worship of any religion lacks insight and understanding, when it becomes mechanical rather than purposeful, its power to help seekers transcend the mundane is diminished. Religious practices are more effective when devotees acquire the ability to penetrate the surface.
The Significance of Hindu Worship, written by the eminent Kriya Yoga Master Paramahamsa Hariharananda, is a fascinating exploration of the inner meaning of some of Hinduism's most significant rituals and practices. This easily understood, enlightening book eliminates many misconceptions regarding the different aspects of Hindu worship, revealing its true, hidden beauty. Through his profound wisdom, Paramahamsaji illuminates the remarkable essence of Hindu worship and sets every reader on a path to greater understanding and respect for one of the world's most important religions.



India has been the land of spirituality since time immemorial. Our beloved Shri Gurudev, Paramahamsa Hariharanandaji, has stated that India has always specialized in soul culture. Vedic culture and civilization have passed through many ups and downs, many evolutions and devolutions. According to our Shri Gurudev, the beginning of creation God was worshipped as omnipresent consciousness and was experienced in every living being through breath. People connected with the Divine through breath and inner calm. With the passage of time, however, the human mind became gross instead of becoming more subtle. The mind's perceptions became worldly. The mind became extrovert and restless.
As described in the Autobiography of a Yogi, Shri Lahiri Mahashaya went to London with his yogic power and brought the message of an ailing wife in a hospital to her husband, the English office superintendent. How was this possible? In the same book, stories of resurrection and appearing in different places at the same time seem fabulous. But they are not.
With the passage of time the use of hidden and potential human strength in mental, intellectual, and spiritual fields decreased. As we gave more attention to the outer material world. our subtle perceptions became weaker. We have tremendously explored the material sciences, but have surrendered some mental and psychological power. As people became more extrovert, the ancient practice of esoteric meditation gradually lost its glamour, and ritualistic practices and idol worship gradually took its place. Although deities can offer significant inner meaning, many people simply engaged in extrovert practices. Many people who did not understand the inner significance of this worship did not hesitate to criticize Hinduism as a polytheistic religion.
The essence of Vedanta is monism or a non-dual Brahman, the Absolute. Although the one Divine presence is worshipped in many names and forms, there is no deviation from the concept of one God.
Our beloved Shri Gurudev was a practitioner and propagator of the ancient practice of formless meditation. He was a great spiritual personality with knowledge of spiritual texts and their inner meanings. His explanations were unique. His teaching was not only practical, it drew modern educated minds toward reflecting upon the ancient practices with deeper understanding. He lived in the holy city of Puri, Odisha, and he could speak, read, and write in Odia, the language of the state. He was multi-lingual. He wrote many articles in the Odia language beautifully, although it was not his mother tongue. This book is the compilation of twenty talks and articles, some of them were published in Odia daily newspapers such as Samaja and Prajatantra.
On March 22, 1980, the holy day of the vernal equinox and the foundation day of Karar Ashram, this book was published in the Odia language under the title Hindu Puja Rahasya (Mysticism of Hindu Idol Worship). Later on the book was translated into Bengali and English. This book sheds light on many aspects of Hindu worship and its inner significance and deep spiritual values.
Many subjects are well described in Shri Gurudev's inimitable manner, for instance, why does Lord Jagannath have a certain form and what is the mystical meaning behind it; what is the metaphorical explanation of the divine play of Lord Krishna or the spiritual practices prescribed in the holy book of Shri Ramacharitamanasa, why is the Divine Mother worshipped as Durga, Kali, or Saraswati, what is the significance of Lord Shiva and the celebration of the night of Shivaratri, why does Lord Ganesha have a peculiar appearance with an elephant head, and what is the significance of Lord Ganesha's brother Lord Kartika?
Apart from the mysticism behind the worship of deities, which is nothing but a method of inner transformation, Shri Gurudev also explains the significance of adoring and worshipping the guru preceptor, the path of inner spiritual practice, the sacred syllables of Sanskrit located in human body, and the science of yoga, and particularly Kriya Yoga, as the path to Self-realization.
This book was translated into English by Late Shri Kailash Chandra Rath, an agricultural scientist, a long time disciple of Shri Gurudev. It was printed during Shri Gurudev's and his loving disciple's lifetimes. Both of them have left their physical bodies, but this timeless treasure is left behind to show us the path of sadhana.
This book, which is being reprinted from Shri Gurudev's complete works as a separate book, will no doubt shed light on Hinduism and its true inner spirit and significance. The reader might find repetition of thoughts and ideas at different places in this book, but it helps to reinforce understanding the inner significance and leads to a higher level of consciousness.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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