Best Hindu Apps of 2015

I wrote a long time ago about smart phone apps that can support your spirituality but a lot has changed since then so I thought it was time to do it again!

Last night I searched for Hindu apps and downloaded a bunch to try. Here is what I found…

Wallpapers

It started with Shiva Wallpapers by Peaksel (It says 99 cents on Amazon but I’m pretty sure it was free when I went through Google Play Store). As the reviews say there are a lot of ads in this app. They are quite invasive. But it doesn’t matter too much because once you pick your wallpaper image you don’t have to go back in and see them. The ads don’t show up on your homescreen or anything like that. The quality of the images wasn’t terrific but the variety was nice.

Then I discovered “living” wallpapers where there are moving elements. I downloaded SHIVA Shivling Live Wallpaper by Hobbypoint.in (again, free at Play Store) and that’s what I have on my phone now. It’s beautiful. There’s an image that spans the three homescreens of the phone and there are gently falling flowers and other things. The only weird part is that it doesn’t quite go all the way to the bottom of my phone so there’s a tiny gap where the falling pictures get weird looking. But that’s super minor and I love this app.

Sorry it's so blurry. The image in person is actually very crisp and beautiful

Sorry it’s so blurry. The image in person is actually very crisp and beautiful

Virtual Japa Mala

Next I looked at some Mala apps. It’s kind of a neat idea but it felt too removed from the real japa mala experience to me to be doing it on a phone screen. Still I like the concept. Both apps I downloaded show images of real mala beads moving when you touch the screen and they count for you. Mala by Pranav Davda has a timer and I’m not sure what that means exactly. Whether it times how long you meditate or reminds you to meditate. I’d love for it to be a little alarm that goes off through the day to remind you to pray. The other one I downloaded is Rudraksh Japa Mala by Sanketik Technologies, which is a little slicker but still had the problem for me of not capturing the real essence of using a japa mala.

Puja

I started with Hindu Aarti by D Rising Stars. I liked that it specified a God for each day of the week and you just click the day of the week. But after that it was too simple. It’s just an image of a God with some music.

The real winner in this category was PUJA: Virtual Temple for Gods by PANAGOLA. I thought that doing a virtual puja wouldn’t feel real enough just like the japa mala, but actually looking at the image of Shiva while I touched different icons to bathe him, toss flowers, light incense, ring a bell, etc. gave me close to the same feelings of peace and joy as when I do a real puja. Definitely something nice to have for when I’m out of the house. It’s even better than my travel altars!

Sadly I still can’t try PoojaMyself because I have an Android phone not an iPhone.

Gita

I haven’t tried a variety in this category yet. Shrimad Bhagavad Gita in Hindi by Prateek Arora Naraincom is pretty nice. It does have an English option and for each verse you can see the Sanskrit and the translation. However the font is kind of big and goofy, which make sit hard for me to enjoy reading. I will probably look for another one.

Bhajan

My favorite app of all is Bhajans – Devotional Songs by Keyideas Infotech Private Limited. It gives you samples of tons of bhajans divided into category by God and you can download whichever ones you like and put them into a playlist (potentially multiple playlists if you have a pay version, I think). There’s also a calendar on the home screen with important Hindu dates in it. The songs are gorgeous and I felt so uplifted last night as I listened to them. I highly recommend this one. The only thing I would love to see added is lyrics for following along with the songs.

 


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About Ambaa Choate

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Hidimbi Hidimbaa

    Ambaa, this is awesome! I literally just got my very first smart-phone last night!

    A while back someone told me that there was a good Hanuman Chalisa app, but the information was useless to me at the time, because I didn’t have a smart-phone.

    You’ve just made me realize the whole new realm of possibilities that’s opened up. Thank you for the great info!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I’ve had Naraincom’s Gita and Chalisa on my phone for a long time. Only issue I have with these and some others is that it would be helpful to me to know the identity of the translator… Knowing that allows me to know from which viewpoint the translator is coming… Not a judgemental thing at all, but an advaita Vedantist translates from a different hilltop than an Kashmir Shaivite, who stands on another from a Gaudiya Vaishnava, and so forth… Getting the ideas from all the different lenses gives me a lot larger picture of that which can’t really be comprehended in full.

    Well-shared, friend Ambaa! I use a few of these apps quite regularly.

    • Ambaa

      A great point! There are so many different translations and it does help to know where the translator is coming from.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        Thank you! One, I found in a used bookstore a few weeks ago on our vacation… Swami Chidbhavananda’s translation and commentary – The Swami was a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, and I’ve found that it’s more in-depth and more explanatory (and a lot more pages! LOL) than the Prabhavananda/Isherwood earlier Vedanta Society volume… Seems very non-sectarian, yet very scholarly. Enjoying it a lot!

  • HARRY

    I love it, when you introduce a short cuts to sanatan dharma, but then the question is this, is it even possible to make the pure water any purest, maybe it’s possible, but then does it remain water?

    • Ambaa

      My philosophy has always been that baby steps are good. Little things can start us out and we build and grow from there. Maybe in this lifetime someone doesn’t go beyond the “short cut” but it sets them up for success in the next lifetime.

      • Paul Julian Gould

        Reminds me of back in the day when MIDI and other recording software came out… an former friend of mine refused to try any, as he was a composer and considered computer music software as a crutch… It does make things easier, and can be a crutch (as witnessed by all the cheesy Christmas carols that get trotted out every year… software you can type the chords in, such as “Band In A Box” and call it done). But if used wisely, it’s a tool to make better music than ever before, and in the right hands, no creativity is lost.

        To me, the Dharma tools can be short-cuts or crutches (I prefer a physical mala to a smart-phone mala, for example), but in the right circumstance, they can be useful tools in the box!

  • daksatech

    Ambaa, thanks for this great list of apps.
    I have developed an app called DharmaTV that aims to bring forth the best of Sanatana Dharma in an easy to watch format. Its available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Would really appreciate if you can review it and give me some feedback.

    The iPhone app is available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dharmatv/id1036083173?mt=8
    and the Android is at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.daksatech.dharmatv

    Thanks much!

    • Ambaa

      I’ll take a look! Thank you!

  • Bayern

    Try Shubh Kaal, i use it to determine rahu kaal, yama gandam in current location.

  • harish

    Have you checked out the app that teaches (kids and adults) alike about the various Hindu gods in a fun way..

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turn-and-learn-cards-hinduism/id835527683

  • Astik

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