Who are some pre-vedic deities?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I assume that by the term ‘pre-vedic’, the question refers to the Vedic time period and not to the vedas themselves. As I understand it, the present day deities have come to be worshipped only over the past 4000(?) years or so. Prior to that, I have observed from my…

Why are religious stories not called “mythology”?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Hmm… mythology. A word I hate with a certain passion. Each time I see it being used, I feel a sense of anger bubbling within me. The word ‘mythology’ originated from several European languages with the root word ‘myth’ which is basically a study of some kind of folk stories…

How could Abhimanyu or sons of Draupadi be around 16 years old during the war when it was said that Arjuna himself trained them in weapons, Dhoumya trained them in Veda, and the sacred-thread ceremony was also done even before the Rajasuya Sacrifice?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: The ages of the various characters of our epics have been a matter of great debate since forever. There are some popular versions like how it is said that Abhimanyu was 16 years old when he was killed on the battle-field, which would imply that the Pandavas (and Krishna) were…

Who is goddess Manikarnika in Hinduism?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Actually the word ‘manikarnika’ translates to earring (Mani: Beads, Karnam: Ear, Angad: Ornament). The main cremation ghat of Kashi is named Manikarnika, as it is believed that it was here that the ear ornament of Goddess Sati fell after Her body was cut into several pieces by the Sudarshan Chakra…

What are your favourite shlokas?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Ah! Time to share some of my all time favorites 🙂 I haven’t studied Sanskrit, and so my knowledge of shlokas is limited to the prayers, chants that I have grown up listening to, reciting and loving. Sources to the shlokas can be seen the footnotes below. Here are my…

Was Duryodhana a bad or a good king to his people?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: Technically speaking, Duryodhana was never ‘king’. He remained self-proclaimed heir apparent until his death. Dhritarashtra was still King of Hastinapur before, during and immediately after the Kurukshetra war…at least until he renounced the throne and retired to the forests. Yes, Duryodhana wielded immense influence over his doting blind father, so…

What is the significance of the Mahabharata War to Hindus?

If Lord Krishna had raised weapon, the war could have ended in a moment. But then, why did he let the war happen? Answer by Raakhee V. Menon: I have a little theory for all of the events that transpired and eventually led to the great war at Kurukshetra. Yes, it is true that Lord…