Welcome to Makara Jyothi!
Makara Jyothi is the celestial start that is visible in the sky from the Sabarimala hills between Jan 13 and 15, every year. It is believed that Swamy Ayyappan or Sri Dharma Shasta reveals himself as the Light of the star to bless his devotees.
This website, is an humble attempt on my part to shed light on Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism and it precepts, concepts and philosophy, as I have come to understand the Dharma.
When there are so many authoritative websites on Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism
Why another website?
Since my early childhood, I have had many questions about Sanatana Dharma and its practices. However, when I asked questions to my elders about the practices, I was admonished. Questions can be of two types. The first type of questions are posed with a genuine interest to understand. The second type of questions are posed to ridicule and intimidate the oter person. Unfortunately, the elders thought that my questions belong of the second type, even though my intention was to understand the practices better. And when I speak with many youngsters today, most of them have had a similar experience.
When there were no proper answers provided by the elders to my questions, I tried to discover these answers on my own, I met with dead-end. In my early teens, I was so fed-up with the lack of answers to my questions that I decided to be agnostic – neither believing in God nor disbelieving – till I have a direct experience with the divine. Till 1994, nothing significant happened. From 1994, a series of incidents turned my world view upside down and provided me with a direct experience with the divine. You can find these Experiences documented in the experiences section of this website. Specifically an experience on wee hours of 22nd March 1998 gave me an insight and answers to many of my questions. And many answers I discovered subsequently over the years of study, meditation and discussions with Vedic pandits. I think this journey has given me a different perspective and approach in understanding and appreciating Sanatana Dharma. I am hopeful that this difference will be both engaging and useful to the many young minds that are seeking answers. This is the first reason for this website.
As a person practising Sanatana Dharma, with it’s innumerable denominations, there are as many practices and pre-conditions attached to each denomination. Some insist on celibacy and yet others prescribe indulgence in sensual pleasures. So which one are we to follow? This is a question that many practicing Sanatanis face. Eventually, they either practice every ritual the is prescribed or become so overwhelmed that they decide they are better off not practicing anything at all. This is another issue that I personally face when choosing my path within the Sanatana framework and I am sure many of us face the same issue. In this website, I will try to help you understand the different paths and how we can make an informed choice.
My early schooling was in a Christian school and as per the rules of the school, we were not to sport our Sanatani identity and if we did, were ridiculed for doing so. Subconsciously, this led me to believe that Sanatana Dharma was full of superstitions and deserved to be treated with contempt. I am sure many of my class mates and other youngsters will share this experience with me. As I started to learn more and more about Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism, I started understanding the beauty and the depth of this ancient practice and I still continue to be in awe and my love for this Dharma has increased manifold since then. This website is a humble attempt to impress upon those who condescend this Dharma (for various reasons) to understand this Dharma correctly and see the beauty of this age-old Dharma.
As practising Sanatanis (Hindus), many a times we are ridiculed by those people who have converted to the Abrahamic religions – Islam and Christians. I remember a brother’s friend who being a pastor’s son, has attempted many times to convert us to Christianity. Most often those who attempt to convert, often mock our Devatas and show Satana Dharma (Hinduism) in poor light. I still remember two muslim men, who mocked at the theory of karma, during a train travel. I am sure that many of practising Hindus have faced such subtle bullying by those who have converted to other religions. This website is an attempt to address the questions that are thrown at practicing Sanatanis (Hindus) by those who attempt at converting by using subtle bullying tactics and questions. I do not have ay objections to either Christians or Muslims attempting to highlight the salient features of their religion and attempting to convert, but I am surely against the attempt to convert by belittiling / ridiculing other faiths.
There is a concerted effort to convert many countries to Christianity. You can google “The Joshua Project” in google and access the official website of the Joshua project to understand the thoroughness with which these conversion efforts are being made. It is all the more important now that people are made aware of the beauty of the Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and assist them be prepared when attacks are made on their religion with the objective to convert. This website is a humble effort on my part to share the beauty I have come to see in Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)
How Makara Jyothi is different?
Having said this, how will Makara Jyothi be different from other website that promote The Sanatana Dharma a.k.a Hinduism.
Firstly, I will approach the entire subject with the curiosity of a seeker, who is attempting to understand the deeper nuances of the Dharma. We will quote from scriptures where required, but mostly present it simple easily understandable language.
Secondly, I will approach the subject in a logically coherent manner, starting with the purpose of human life as enunciated in Sanatana Dharma, the ways to achieve these objectives, the scriptures, the hierarchy of scriptures, the different schools of philosophy and how to choose a specific path, etc.
Thirdly, I will present as many information in plain english, without relying on the Sanskirt terms. Though we will use certain Sanskrit words in presenting the information, instead of using a translation, we will present the etymology of the Sanskrit word and arrive at the meaning of the word in a specific context.
Fourthly, I will present answers to only the questions I have found answers to. I am not attempting to make this website an encyclopedia of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism), for which I am not qualified enough. But it is my attempt to present the information that I have studied and assimilated in a manner that will kindle the interest in you to explore further about this Dharma.
Finally, I will attempt to present what I have understood without glorification or edification of the Dharma, though it is difficult. My love for this Dharma has been increasing over time as I understand the Dharma more in detail. I am conscious that my love for this Dharma may subconsciously tempt me to glorify or edify the Dharma, which I will resist. But I am confident that at no point of time will I dis-respect / demean other religions or belief systems, especially when I present a comparative analysis.
I sincerely hope that the information presented in this website, helps you look at Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) in a new light and perspective.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me through the contact form in the website.