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Sunday

Hinduism in a nutshell



Alright this is a crash course in hinduism and just in case you are wondering why? well this is kind of my blog and i kind of feel like writing about it.

But there is a reason, someone in my family told me she had a debate with a muslim guy in her office who was belittling hinduism and trying to put islam as the real religion. She couldnt justify the points he raised and so i told her things about hinduism that she really needed to know.

I mean i care a rats ass about defending my religion, and i wldnt want anyone to defend being hindu or being christian but its good to know about yourself. Obviously this guy needs to do some growing up before he talks about faiths.

So before i start my bit on hinduism i just wanna say this to the guy who was debating religion and all people who point fingers at other faiths, you guys r mental retards with brainwashed poison minds and you wldnt experience real peace unless you change your thinking. And if you cant change your thinking do yourself a favor, keep your crap gob shut.


And on we go.


To start with as people have reiterated over and over, hinduism is not a religion, and thats why it appeals to me. Why would the creator want to have a religion, we could have just been pre programmed to believe in something he wants us to believe!


The origin of Hinduism as we now know cant be traced back in time and we can only speculate. But hinduism can be taken as collection theories, knowledge, culture,  rituals and a way of life through ages and ages.

A lot of these traditions have changed over time and new knowledge was added and followed. But the central beliefs remain the same ober ages. Unfortunately, it seems the very beliefs that form the heart of this belief system have now been over shadowed by a lot of drama. Thanks to the all the religious gurus we have had.


So what is the central belief in hinduism?

The vedas are the source of knowledge which govern most of our beliefs as hindus. But even in vedas there are some beliefs which are essentialy form the very basis of hinduism.


These beliefs also answer a lot of questions by hindus and non hindus regarding the rituals we have.

Beliefs:

1. karma:

Hindus and all faiths stemming from it like jainism, buddhism, skihhism are called karmic faiths.
These are called karmic faiths because they all believe in a souls karma.

By understanding karma and its implications hinduism tries to answer the qestions that most dread us like why are we here? what is the purpose of my existence? what happens after death?

The other stream of faiths like christanity, jewism and islam are called ibrahmic religions(or revealed religions) since they believe ibrahim was the first messenger and god revealed religion to him.

Ibrahmic religions believe in a resurrection day when all dead will be alive and they will have to face the lord who will decide if they will go to heaven or hell.

They believe in one life and based on that you either go to hell or heaven.

Some would ask why do some babies die just after birth and why they arent given enough time to do some good deeds to get into heaven?

Hinduism on the other hand beieves that we are not bodies, we are souls. The soul takes countless forms and we collect the consequence of every action we make.

There is something called cleaning up your karma, which basically means we are free from the cycles of life and death when we do not have to give or take anything from the material world. Kind of like your karma account balance going to zero, since you do not owe anything yiur bank account is closed and you are free.

So when a baby dies, it will take another birth or maybe her balance is lucky enough to be zero and she has become free or achieved nirvana.

This rationaly makes sense to me because it answers some of the most unsolved questiosn whose satisfactory answer i could not find in other faiths.


2. Existence of god

Hinduism believes in the existence of a "brahman" and "atman".


Brahman is the supreme soul(no not brahma). The brahman is probably what ibrahmic faiths call as allah or ilaha or god.

In hinduism brahman and atman are the only thing that exist and everything else is illusion.

The atman unites with brahman when it gets rid of its karma.(think of it as becoming pure again).


So what is atman?

We are atman. We have come from the brahman and destined to go back to him if and only if we clean up our karma.

In other words we think we are something, which is our ego, when ego dies you loose the self you though you were, when you loose self you become one with brahman.

Again reuniting with brahman has nothing to do with being a hindu or christian. You accumulate karma if you exist in the material world, you can reach nirvana even if you are not Hindu, the belief exists and applies to everyone regardless of what you call this belief or even deny it.


3. On achieving nirvana


Hinduism has had many sages through thousands and thousands of years who have shown people how one can achieve nirvana or moksha.

One or all modes can be followed and you can reach moksha. The most important are:

Yoga & Meditation, Mantras & Bhajan, Poojas & yajnas, deity worship.


The one thing common between all ways is that all ways take you on the step towards moksha by helping a person realise its trueself and purifying a person.

In Hinduism a soul can only achieve moksha in human form. Since its the most evolved of all material forms a soul takes.

To move towards moksha one has to realise what one really is. To realise what one really is, one has to let go off the image of self that one has of herself primarily what a person becomes as she grows up.


One has to achieve a mental state, which is tranquil and free from endless desires. Yoga, mantras, pooja, rituals, a vegetarin diet, sacrifice , fasting, deity worship are all ways of bringing your mind and body to a state where it is healthy, pure and tranquil enough to proceed on the path of nirvana.

Some people refer to deity worship as idol worship, which is rediculous. There is huge difference between deity and an idol.

A deity is bhagwan(pronounced as bhug-one) much like angels in other religions. These are higher energies created by brahman to help the world complete one cycle of this shrishti or matrial world there by giving atman a chance to purify itself and become one with brahman.


Idols do not have attributes but in hinduism sages have give each deity plenty of attributes.

Why do deities have attributes? why do hindus worship pray deities and not brahman the supreme self?

Because the purpose of worshipping in hinduism is not to just please god but to focus and concentrate on the god, this is one way of gaining the state of mind and body after which one can achieve moksha.

Confusing? its not.

Since atman that is us have material forms, we cannot meditate on brahman, because it is formless. With the limitaion of our material mind one needs to meditate on something it can imagine and see.


In Hinduism it is believed that when you meditate on something you start to take the attributes of the thing you meditate on, or in someway you will get influenced. Try putting the picture of a satan and if you meditate on him for long period you will take his attributes or be influenced by him negatively.


Each deity has a material form and attributes that lets a atman imagine and easily meditate on the deity he has chosen. Slowly he will embibe the deities qualities and achieve a state of peace in his mind and life.

A lot of people meditate on shri ram chandara, there a books and books written about how he was and how he lived his life and when people do meditate on such deities they embibe their qualities and become noble people and only the noble can truly achieve peace of mind.

By the way without understanding the true attributes and personality of a deity its of no use to meditate on him. This why they read artis, and bhajans and chant mantras. All is done to truly meditate on the deity and achieve a state where one can start on the path to achieve moksha.


Someone once told me ibrahmic religions say the purpose of our existence is to pray to allah or god.

This seems meaningless(sorry but it does) because we all agree the supreme soul has no ego, no attributes, why would he create us just to satisy his ego by worshipping him? It sounds like a surmon coming from a egoistic king.

The fact is we are in essence a part of brahman, we are equal, we do not need to worship anything, we just need to want and try to become one with the brahman again.



Enough gyaan for now, this can be a rather long post but ill end it here for now saying that what i mentioned above is the real crux of our faith. I respect all faiths and people who believe in peace and living and letting others live.


All religions have some rituals that are created to serve a purpose, the purpose can be to achieve unity, have a peaceful society or to gain power. But rituals are not the heart of the religion its the spirituality that is.

Hinduism teaches that all faiths can lead to moksha, and we own no patent on doing so;-) and its important to look inward rather than outward, to look at your own short comings before pointing at others so if i have unitentionaly pointed fingers on any other faith its just that, unintentional.


Peace.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are being diplomatic, just stand up and say muslims create problems all over!

Aditya said...

Hi dont understand islam much neither has it interested me enough to try to understand it, i do know some very good muslims so i cant generalise.

As i said god wldnt care about a religion, if he did, like some of friends would want us to believe, god must be a really slow thinker to take billions of years before he could format and prescribe a religion for us.

This applies more to newer religions specially the one who believe their religion is the only religion(to me thats small thinking and no surprises a lot of such people cant live with harmony with other faiths)

Guess i am not that diplomatic after all.

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