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Ten Steps to a Hindu Home

 

1. Sanskâra
(संस्कार)
Rites of passage: Hindu tradition has developed rituals for different stages of a person’s life. Having a young child participate in relevant ceremonies, such as the nämakarana sanskära, or the naming ceremony contributes to creating a Hindu atmosphere in the home.
2. Utsava
(उत्सव)
Festivals: The family should celebrate the Hindu festivals traditionally observed. Also, the cross-cultural currents of migrant Hindu population provides an opportunity to participate in Hindu festivals from various regions of Bharat.
3. Püjästhäna
(पूजास्थान)
Altar: Each home should have some place –for example, a small corner in the kitchen or family room – that is designated for meditation or worship. Light a déyä at püjästhäna daily.
4. Kalä
(कला)
Art: The home should expose children to traditional Hindu arts, including music, painting, bhajan and sculpture.
5. Bhojana
(भोजन)
Food: The family should eat together, at least at dinner time, a traditional meal.
6. Sästra
(शास्त्र)
Books: The home should have traditional scriptures. Children have voracious appetites to learn and, if Hindu books are available, will read these as well, without any structure. English-language and children’s editions are readily available for most Hindu scriptures.
7. Acära
(आ्चार)
Customs: All families have certain observances that are part of daily living that promote a Hindu environment in the home. For example, touching the feet of our elders, greeting with a namaskäram rather than a handshake, and not wearing shoes in the house are all examples of these customs.
8. Satsanga
(सत्संग)
Fellowship: A child should know that there are other Hindu families and that what the child observes at home is not unusual. Having other Hindu friends will reinforce having a Hindu identity.
9. Svästhya
(स्वास्थ्य)
Health: A Hindu family should expose the child to traditional concepts of health and wellbeing. This includes not only practices, such as yogäsana or äyurveda, but also to concepts, such as discipline in ahära (food), nidrä (sleep) vihära (Entertainment) and vyäyäma (Exercise).
10. Tirtha
(तीर्थ)
Pilgrimage: The presence of a vibrant Hindu community for several decades has resulted in the construction of numerous temples across the world. Whenever the family plans a vacation, a visit to the local temple should be included.