New book explains Hindu rituals and customs

Magnanimity of Indo-Fijians acknowledged at launch

Venkat Raman

About two years ago, Yale University of Medicine introduced ‘Super Brain Yoga,’ stating that it is a scientifically validated method to help energise the human brain and enhance its sharpness and clarity.

‘Super Brain Yoga’ is today being taught and practiced as the principle of using subtle energy and ear acupuncture.


Ganesha Prayer

For thousands of years, Hindus have been performing ‘Thoppukaranam,’ as a way of paying obeisance to Lord Ganesha, the Remover of all obstacles. Men, women and children are encouraged to perform this simple exercise chanting a specified Mantra.

While the prayer is simply a matter of concentration and discipline, the physical act energises the brain and activates the body and soul.

‘Thoppukaranam’ means ‘Thwabhyam Karna’ in Sanskrit, meaning, “I listen to your Command, Oh, Lord Ganesha.”

Optimising body energy

Hindu rituals, prayer patterns, body movements and even the direction towards which one  sits or moves are all based on optimising body energy for wellbeing. Individual wellness is glorified into good public health, which in turn breeds new generations of quality. Everything is written and prescribed in our Vedas; except that ordinary people are unaware of their presence and impact.

A new book, written by Auckland based Priest and Scholar Acharya Pandit Ajay Tiwari, unlocks the treasure-house of knowledge covering several Hindu customs, rituals, practices and other invaluable information. It was released at an event held at Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan in Onehunga, Auckland on Monday, December 3, 2017.

Sanatan Dharma

Extending to almost 700 pages including 40 pages of photographs and similar extent of introduction and forewords, the Book is titled, ‘Customs and Rituals of Sanatan Dharma.’

‘Sanatan Dharma,’ which later became the ‘Hindu Dharma,’ is a code of conduct, following which, leads a human being to enlightenment and Nirvana.

Importance of accuracy

As Pandit Tiwari explains, the Hindu Prayer or Ritual, comprising strings of Slokas must be rendered accurately to accrue the full benefit of its utterance and hearing; for, any mispronunciation by the priest or the performer of the ritual and the subsequent repetition by ordinary people would be inaccurate, meaningless and probably counterproductive.

He says in his Preface that he was silent but horrified witness to the wrongful recitation of a Mantra by a priest at a wedding.

“It had nothing to do with a happy occasion like a Marriage but was relevant to a painful and sorrowful occasion like death of a person. Under no circumstance should this Mantra be recited at a marriage ceremony.”

An outstanding aspect of the Book is that apart from covering almost all rituals that are relevant to a Hindu, these are properly arranged and indexed for immediate reference. It also explains the correct pronunciation of many Sanskrit words to covey their true and intended meaning.

Tribute to Indo-Fijians

Pandit Tiwari has paid rich tributes to people of Indo-Fijian origin, whose magnanimity enabled the publication of the Book.

“I acknowledge the help rendered by Indians hailing from Fiji; despite being away from their motherland for decades and centuries, they have maintained securely the sanctity of the religion, just the way an Indian woman dedicated to her husband in totality maintains her dignity and self-respect. Fiji Indians also have high regard for all Brahmins and Pandits and I bow to them in reverence,” he said.

Praveen Deo, Secretary of the Organising Committee and North Shore Satsang Ramayan Mandala was the Master of Ceremonies.

Music and Dance

The event was sanctified by rendition of hymns and songs by the students of the Waitakere Hindi School, a flute recital by Ashwini Vishwanath, Hindustani vocal by Sita, both of which featured Dr Ashok Malur on the Violin and Dr Suresh Ramachandran on the Mridangam. Classical dances by Ratna Venkat, Ambika Krishnamoorthy and students of Anuja Dance School.

Those interested in Hindu rituals would be benefited if Pandit Tiwari conducts regular meetings to explain some of the Hindu rituals with live-demonstration.

About Pandit Ajay Tiwari

Pandit Tiwari is a triple postgraduate in Sanskrit, Astrology and Philosophy from the internationally renowned St Stevens College in Delhi. Following his migration to New Zealand in 2004, he has been associated with Temples and has conducted several religious ceremonies for people of Indian origin.

The Book, a large print edition, comes with hard-bind, making it more expensive. Published by the Manurewa (Auckland) based Sanskrit Yoga & Jyotish Trust, it does not carry a cover price, but we understand that it retails at NZ$ 50 and could be purchased from Pandit Tiwari. His contact details are (09) 2679980, Mobile 021-0347956.


Acharya Pandit Ajay Tiwari (Centre) with from left Dinesh Bhana, Dr Neil Hamil, Bharat Bhana and Mike Naicker (Picture by Ahluwalia, Freelance Photographer)

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