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Over the next 12 months or so we will produce articles, which we hope will benefit the community from a better understanding of the Indian culture.

Under comments you will see one particular community member has highlighted the need for some assistance. We hope we are able to help.



The Universe began with the sound of 'Aum'. The sound, which is termed Brahmnada, is a symbol of the supreme Brahma. It is considered the most powerful word-symbol used for meditation. The Vedas are the most ancient scriptures of the Hindus and the great Rishis who created them, recognised Om as the symbolic representation of the Ultimate Reality and therefore started all the mantras with the symbol of Om. These great seers who by complete detachment from the world of matter, domination of the senses and inner purification, conquering the self, reached heights of Self-Realisation and gave humanity the Truth, which is Dharma. These great Rishis who performed all actions as acts of sacrifices for the well being of humanity, recognised the significance and power of Om.

In this way, of all the mantras, the Omkar mantra is considered to be the most significant. It is called the pranav mantra. Pranav means something that pervades life or runs through prana or breath. Just as the body depends on prana for survival, the world depends on the sun for its existence. Therefore, It is the practice to worship both these through the power of Om. The symbol stands for the pure consciousness, which pervades the three states of waking, dreaming and deep-sleep. Therefore by recitation of the Omkar mantra, all these states are purified and man's activities at the mental, speech and action levels become powerful and enlightened bringing peace and well being to all.

In all religious activities and ceremonies as also Yajna's performed for humanity's welfare, the recitation of the Omkar mantra will be seen invariably. It is a one-syllable mantra but has tremendous power. By using it in meditation to attain inner harmony and dharma, dhyana and samadhi many aspirants have reached the state of Self Realisatlon. Om brings the light of knowledge on the aspirant's path of realisation.

However, one must earn the right to the use of this holy mantra by being completely unselfish and detached. Those who are selfish and only desire personal fulfillment do not benefit from this mantra. In olden days, only those Rishis who had withdrawn from the outer world of senses and conquered the inner enemies like passion, anger, attachment, greed, jealousy, etc. by proper understanding were allowed the practice of this mantra for humanity's welfare.

Omkar is therefore a symbol of Parabrahim. In it is the complete essence of the divine wisdom - which leads one from attachment to detachment, from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light. May it inspire all to the path of Dharma and God-consciousness.



Shree Fal or the coconut plays a significant role in the personal. social. religious and spiritual life of Hindus. Being a symbol of wealth, prosperity and respect, it is considered to enjoy the top position in all fruits. On auspicious or religious days, the coconut is inevitably used since many religious rites and rituals require its use.

Coconut palms grow near the coast and are sometimes termed "Kalpataru" meaning the one that fulfils our desires. Coconut gives us copra. which is used in making various kinds of food. It is highly nutritious and although nourished by the salty waters of the sea, the coconut gives us cool, sweet water. A coconut tells us to digest the 'salty' experience and present the world with sweet happiness.

In the olden days animals and sometimes men were sacrificed in the yagna. But this violent practice was stopped when the Shree Fal was used as a sacrifice Instead. At the end of such a religious ceremony, to offer a sacrifice was most essential to ensure the proper ritual conclusion.

Shree Fal passes the message to men that no attention should be paid to external beauty, it is always the internal beauty that counts.

There are other symbolic meanings of the Shree Fal but if we inculcate its message in our lives, we will certainly lead a better life.


Keeping in mind the welfare of its people, Hindu culture has given a gift of many symbols to its people. With the help of these symbols, an ordinary person can tread the path of liberation. Narshinh, Meera, Valmiki, Kabir, Tulsi, Ramkrishna were all ordinary people but they climbed great heights in life. Not only did they make their lives worthwhile, but also left behind a legacy and inheritance for us. If in life, the deeds done are for human welfare and if the faith is unmoved, then the distance between man and God vanishes.

In the olden days, under the guidance of learned pandits, many rites and rituals were performed. These pundits lived exemplary lives and lived their life for the welfare of others. Such learned priests became the beacons of our lives and thus we were able to have the religious roots for our lives.

During a marriage ceremony, a swastik is painted on the wall or entrance of the house to wish the well-being and happiness of the newly weds. The newborn baby is also blessed by having the swastik painted on his new white gown on the 6th day of his life. During the Chopada Poojan' ceremony, on Diwali day, the swastik is drawn on the new books of accounts so that the New Year proves fruitful. Many women, daily put the sign of the swastik at the threshold of their homes so that happiness peace and love may be established in their household.

The swastik is usually found in the temple, symbolizing the four directions making it universal. It sends out pure vibrations outwards for universal peace and prosperity. The lines turning inwards show that each individual being a part of the Universe has to turn inwards in order to attain salvation. Each person has to strive for his or her self-realisation by turning inwards.







Dip Darshan






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Last modified: 18th December 2002