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Glossary Many proper names are listed under this glossary with the link reference. These include names of places, people, festivals, organisations, and sacred texts. A Adi Shankara – well-known theologian and founder of the advaita school. Also called Adi Shankaracharya. Advaita – non-dualism, the name of the theology equating the soul with God. Advaitin – […]



6. THE TEN AVATARS The ten incarnations of Vishnu are a recurrent theme in Vedic history. Vishnu exists outside the material realm as the creator, and he exists within every being as the Supersoul. He also enters this world as avatar, ‘one who descends’, to restore balance whenever his presence is needed. His descent is […]


Incarnation 07 Rama – The Monarch

Incarnation 7 Rama – The Monarch Millions of years ago in the land of India there lived a king called Dasharath. His capital was Ayodhya and from there he ruled his kingdom with his three queens. At around the same time, all of these queens became pregnant. Two of them each delivered a male child, […]


STO-501 – The Decent of Mother Ganga

STO-501-sec King Sagar, the ruler of Ayodhya was of the Surya dynasty, and an ancestor of Rama. He performed the Asvamedha sacrifice ninety-nine times and each time the horse he sent around the earth returned to his kingdom unchallenged. Indra, the King of the Devas (gods), was jealous and during the hundredth sacrifice, he kidnapped […]


(P) The Story of Rama and Sita

STO-703 A long, long time ago there lived in India a prince called Rama. His kingdom was Koshala and the capital city was called Ayodhya. Rama had three brothers. His favourite was called Lakshman. When he grew up, Rama married the most beautiful princess, named Sita. By trickery, Rama was sent into the forest. Sita […]


(P) the Seventh Avatar; Rama the Monarch

STO-307 Millions of years ago in the land of India there lived a king called Dasharath. His capital was Ayodhya and from there he ruled his kingdom with his three queens. At around the same time, all of these queens became pregnant. Two of them each delivered a male child, and the third gave birth […]


(P) The Golden Deer (from the Ramayana)

STO-216 Rama, Sita and Lakshman were living happily in the forest. The three companions didn’t miss palace life, for they were happy to live close to nature and to have the company of the saints who lived there. However, a wicked king had already heard of Sita’s beauty. His name was Ravana and he was […]



Download PDF: PCT-306 Rama appeared as the seventh of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, and one of the two most important (the other is Krishna) Rama represents the monarchical aspect of the Supreme. He is renowned for his devotion to dharma (duty) even in the face of great adversity. He is considered the perfect son, […]


7. The Temple

Download PDF: PCT-007 The Temple Hindus worship in the temple. They also worship at home. One Indian word for temple is ‘mandir’. The mandir is the home of God. The centre of the mandir is the shrine, which contains the murtis. The murtis are sacred statues of God, or of different gods and goddesses. Some […]


10. Rama, Sita and Hanuman

Download PDF: PCT-010 Rama, Sita & Hanuman King Rama lived a long, long time ago; so long ago its hard to count! Rama lived in India. His kingdom was called Koshala. The capital city was called Ayodhya. Rama had three step-brothers. His favourite was called Lakshman. Rama married the most beautiful princess. She was named […]


ART-1206 The Life of Sahajanand Swami

Word document download: ART-1206 Sahajanand Swami, also known as Swaminarayan, was born in April 1781 in the small village of Chapaiya north of Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh India. In accordance with Indian custom on the sixth day after birth he was given his name, Ghanshyam. The boy’s father was Dharmdeva and his […]


ART-0529 Ujjain: The Gurukula (school) of Lord Krishna

Word document download: ART-0529 Ujjain is one of the main Kumbha Mela sites. See the Teachers’ Book, pages 72, 78 (Sandipani Muni painting) and page 101 (Mathematics). See also STO-320, the story of the turtle incarnation. According to the Aranya Parva of the Mahabharata, Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities (dhamas) known as […]


ART-0525 Shri Rangam: The Temple on the Island

Word document download: ART-0525 Shri Rangam is closely connected with the Shri Vaishnava tradition and Ramanuja. See Teachers’ Books pages 134 (picture of Shri Rangam) and 138. Shri Rangam is on an island on the Kaveri River. This was the capital of Tipu Sultan, the famous ruler of Mysore from 1782 to 1799 C.E. There […]



Word document download: FCT-0403 Diwali is the most widely celebrated festival in India and continues over a five-day period at the conjunction of the months of Ashwin and Kartik. In the Gregorian (Western) calendar this falls in October/November. As the pleasant, mild winter climate sets in, it is generally a time for feasting, visiting relatives, […]



Word document download: FCT-0401 Hinduism almost certainly has a longer list of festivals than any other religion. Everyday of the year, someone somewhere is celebrating a Hindu festival. For this reason, we cannot list them all here, but will concentrate on a few major ones. Pongal (January 14th or one day on either side) In […]


ART-0501 Ayodhya

Download article ‘ART-0501 Ayodhya’ as word document Ayodhya: The Place of Lord Ramachandra This site is especially sacred to devotees of Rama, but has been more recently the focus of political unrest. For more information, see the Teachers’ Book, pages 50-52, 129, 142. According to tradition, Lord Ramachandra appeared in Ayodhya many thousands – some […]


ART-0504 Citrakut

Chitrakut: Lord Rama’s Forest Home This site is especially sacred to the devotees of Rama. After Lord Ramachandra was exiled from his kingdom, he lived in the Chitrakut Forest for twelve years with his wife Sita and his brother Laksman. The story of how they came here and what they did is recounted in the […]


ART-0505 Dwarka

Dwarka: The Capital of Lord Krishna 5000 Years Ago Dwarka is connected to Lord Krishna and is mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavat Purana. It is one of the four holy dhamas (See Teachers’ Book, page 72). Over 5000 years ago, after He left Mathura, Lord Krishna spent one hundred years in his capital, […]