Shrinathji is the form of Lord Krishna enshrined at the great temple of the Pushti Marga tradition at Nathdvara in Rajasthan. Shrinathji is beloved especially as the divine child Krishna, but is also understood as the Supreme Lord who has entrusted himself to human care in the palace households, called havelis, which are the temples of this tradition.


Vishnu is one of the great Gods of the Hindu tradition. He is known in the Vedas and comes to be famous as the Lord who pervades the entire universe. He is Supreme but wholly auspicious, only occasionally displaying the dark side that is embraced by Shiva. Through his divine “descents” or avataras, Vishnu rescues the world again and again from the rise of powerful counter-forces sometimes called demons. Krishna is the most widely worshipped of the avataras, assuming the role of Supreme Lord as well. Vishnu also has many specific localized manifestations, such as Sri Venkateshvara at Tirupati... Read more about Vishnu


Vallabha or Vallabhacharya (1479-1531) was the Hindu philosopher and devotee of Krishna who is seen as the founder of Pushti Marga movement, the path of grace.


Sarasvati is the Goddess of learning, arts, and music, often depicted seated on a white swan and holding a vina, a stringed musical instrument. She is honored by many Hindus during the days of Navaratri, the “Nine Nights” of the Goddess. Students will bring school books to her altar for her blessings.


Both Hindus and Jains honor sacred images called murtis. The term murti means form or likeness, referring to the material form of a deity or divine being as a focus for worship. These images may be temporary or permanently installed, as in a temple. Through rites of consecration, Hindus understand the image as a dwelling of the Divine, whom worshippers honor with a daily round of hospitality rites. Jains understand their images of the Tirthankaras quite differently: the Tirthankaras are not gods and do not dwell in the image. By worshipping the murti of the Tirthankara, Jains emulate his... Read more about murti


In the Hindu tradition, darshan is the “auspicious sight” of a deity or even a holy person. Darshan includes both beholding the deity and receiving the gaze of the deity.


The Mahabharata is the great epic of India, comprising some 18 sections. It tells the tale of the great battle between the Pandavas, understood to be sons of the gods, and the Kauravas, their cousins, who conspire to deprive the Pandavas of their kingdom. Within the epic of family rivalry and battle are included countless myths, legends, and teachings about Dharma, such as the Bhagavad Gita, which is told by the incarnate Krishna to the warrior Arjuna just as the battle is about to begin. The Mahabharata is a treasury of the culture and lore of Hindu India. Emerging over the centuries from... Read more about Mahabharata

Chinmayananda, Swami

Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993) was a Vedanta teacher and disciple of the influential guru Swami Sivananda. He founded the Chinmaya Mission in India in 1953 and the Chinmaya Mission West in 1975 to teach the wisdom of the Vedanta tradition in the context of Western culture. Today there are some twenty-five Chinmaya Mission centers in the United States and Canada.
Vivekananda, Swami. Raja Yoga. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1973.