I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and acceptance. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites who came to Southern India in the very year in which their holy temple was destroyed by Romans. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the last of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I, my friends, am a Hindu.

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrisha

Other religions have all been founded by individuals, but Hinduism is not based on the teachings of any one single person. Before any prophet was born, the Sanatana Dharma was there. Swami Rama Thirtha (1873-1906)

India has come to preserve spiritual traditions which many ancient cultures and countries have lost. Today Hinduism represents not only India but the ancient wisdom of humanity. In Hinduism many ancient countries can still rediscover their religious past, their old Gods and their old spiritual traditions. Ram Swarup (1920-1998), Indian writer and scholar

Rise above the cycle of unhappiness, desire, acquisition, excitement and unhappiness again. Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami, publisher of hinduism today

If there are errors in other religions, that is none of our business. God, to whom the world belongs, takes care of that. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

A drop melting into the sea, this everyone can see. But the sea absorbed in a drop–this only a rare one can follow!

Saint Kabir (1440-1518)

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. Anonymous

You seek peace? To attain peace, one must be willing to pass through the contrary to peace. Such is the teaching of the sages. Swami Brahmananda (1863-1922), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and first president of the Ramakrishna mission

I have come to the conclusion that long before all other heavenly books, God had revealed to the Hindus through the rishis of yore His four books of knowledge, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. Prince Muhammad Dara Shikoh (1627-1658), a Sufi Muslim, later executed by his brother Aurangazeb

Separateness is an illusion. No part can ever exist. It is impossible for a part to depart from the Whole. An anonymous sannyasin

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. Plato, (427-347 bce) Greek philosopher and mystic

God is within you. He has no eyes, no ears, but we place Him outside and worship. God has become father, mother and guru. God has become this mango tree also. God has become you and He has become I. Satguru Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most revered contemporary mystic

By practicing tolerance of those who insult us, we will feel honor and insult as the same. Just as we feel good when someone praises us, we should feel just as good when we are insulted. Stability in honor or insult is the ability to still have love for our aggressor. Sri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Spiritual Guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha

Talent does what it can; genius does what it must. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), English writer

Nothing is impossible for pure love. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944), French writer and aviator

Check your passport regularly. If you look like your passport photo, you definitely need that trip. Anonymous

There is no greater mystery than that we keep seeking reality though, in fact, we are reality. We think that there is something hiding reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now. Sri Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950), South Indian mystic

In the end, the Great Mystery is known as one, as two, as neither one nor two. Most people try to experience God through other people. Disciples see a guru as God. Wives see their husband as God. Devotees see the Deity in the temple as God. But all the time, behind the eyes of their seeing, is God. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of hinduism today



No country on earth produces more bananas than India–17 million tons a year, or five pounds for each person on Earth. And that might be just the right thing to do. This special fruit, dear to Lord Ganesha and a part of Indian culture since times immemorial, is also a health treasure.

Bananas are a favorite offering to the Gods during Hindu worship. Lord Hanuman is said to be inordinately fond of them. The plant's leaves are used during sacred ceremonies under holy kumbhas and offerings, and no South Indian meal can be traditional unless it is served on a banana leaf.

Bananas are extremely high in vitamins and beneficial enzymes, including the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin–the body's natural anti-depressant. Bananas are also high in iron, helping fight anemia; they provide the B6 vitamins a healthy vegetarian diet needs; and their high levels of potassium replenish the body's resources depleted by stress. Athletes swear by them.

The remarkable banana tree offers us other gifts as well. Its flower, the "banana heart," is eaten raw with dips or cooked in soups and curries, and the tender trunk core is used in the Burmese dish mohinga. Even paper can be produced from this generous plant.



Pilgrimage, tirthayatra, is one of the five duties of every Hindu, along with dharma, worship, samskaras and observing religious festivals. A pilgrimage is an exercise in willpower, humility and faith, when the devotee travels to often difficult locations, leaving his problems at the feet of the Deity and forgetting everything but God. Most Hindus go on pilgrimage from time to time. They journey to one of India's seven holy rivers, or to a few divinely blessed, liberation-giving cities, or maybe to faraway temples legendary in their power and boons. Many are the places where grace manifests on Earth.

A pilgrimage is an intimate experience, a direct connection between the seeker and the sacred. A devout Hindu goes on pilgrimage to see holy men and women, to worship at holy shrines, to have darshan of Deities abiding in ancient sanctums. Ultimately, a pilgrim journeys to see God, to have a life-changing, bliss-engendering, karma-eradicating contact with the Divine. It may happen though a special vision, a particularly deep meditation or the altered consciousness following some grand puja. When the devotee sees God, God also looks at him–and rays of divine light change his karma forever.