Narasimhaye’s Blog

Some Hindu Customs

Posted on: November 1, 2008

Some Hindu Customs


"Namaskaram" is the proper Hindu way to greet someone. The greeting
is said with both hands clasped together.
The translation for "Namaskaram" is 'The God in me greets the God in
you. The Spirit in me meets the same Spirit in you'.

Touching feet in respect

Feet of holy men, teachers and elders are touched as a mark of
respect. Respect for elders is a keystone in Hinduism.

Footwear is not worn in the home and temple

Footwear is considered impure. It is also important to apologize when
one touches someone with his or her shoe or sandal. The ultimate
insult is to be hit with a shoe.

Giving and receiving with both hands

Hindus are required to give and receive gifts with both hands. This
is especially so when presenting offerings to a deity. The reason for
this is that with the gift, prana (life force/ vital energy) is
passed through the hands to the gift. The recipient receives it with
both hands along with the prana from the gracious giver.

Flower offerings

One does not sniff flowers picked for deity worship; even the scent
is reserved for the Gods. Flowers which have fallen to the ground are
not offered.

Care in sitting

It is considered improper to sit with one's legs outstretched in
front of a temple, shrine or altar, or even toward another person.
This is considered disrespectful.


Conversations are not held inside or through doorways. This is
considered inauspicious. Likewise to exchange, give or lend an
object, one steps inside the room first, or the recipient steps out
of the room so that both persons are in the same room.


Offerings of food should not be tasted before placing in front of a
deity. Only vegetarian foods, sweets, flowers, gold or silver, and
prayer items are offered to deities.


The devout Hindu sets aside a small portion of food as a thanksgiving
offering to God before beginning to eat. Food is traditionally served
on a banana leaf. Food is consumed with fingers of the right hand.
Cutlery is generally not used for eating food from a banana leaf.
While eating, fingers are neither soiled above the second knuckle nor
put into the mouth.

There are clear-cut restrictions and rule son what food to serve for
weddings, birth and death ceremonies. Hindu customs also specify
various fasting days so that health restrictions can be easily
imposed through tradition and religion. Many people observe fast on
selected days of the week as a prayer to their favourite deity.

Hindu marriage symbols

Married Hindu women can be identified by marriage symbols they wear.
These include a thali (usually a gold pendant worn with a yellow
string or gold chain), sindoor dot (red powder dot) they apply on
their forehead, and / or toe ring worn on the second toe of both
feet. Some married women apply the red sindoor powder along the
parting of their hair.

Cows are revered

Ancient Hindus took into account various factors concerning the
commodity men used for consumption. First in order are vegetables:
then fish, then the other animals. They prohibited slaughtering of
cows for consumption. The reason is not far to seek. The cows are
more useful alive than dead. It provides milk for babies and grown-
ups alike: it ploughs fields for cultivating food: its urine has
medicinal properties and the dung is used as manure for our crop as
well as to light village fires. The smoke that emanates from it kills
mosquitoes and other disease-carrying germs. It is small wonder then
that the cow is worshipped by Hindus.

1 Response to "Some Hindu Customs"

Grateful for the information provided.Can u pl let us know the correct procedure in lighting lamp
in the pooja room at home with appropriate references? We understand that a lamp cannot be lit directly with
a match stick and lighting a lamp with another lamp is not proper.The use of different oils( such as ghee) for lighting lamp may pl be amplified for our information and observance.
Looking forward to ur kind advices.
murty aditham

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  • Narasimhaye: If you are able to talk to your or sister and your girl cousins, you will be able to speak to any girl you like. Don't be shy. Try to be confident in
  • arjun: sir please help me I cannot talk to any girl I'm not frank and I am very afraid of doing things I think what the world will think I don't have confide
  • Narasimhaye: I meant do Puja , not pika sorry.
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