Anived, that was SO informative, and REALLY useful. thank you so much! i'll add you to my rep list.
Hinduism is a very interesting religion. so many questions remain in my head - i'll come back to them another time.
Right the Hindu idea of God.
Hinduism isn't isn't a superficial religion, there can be some really deep philosophy and this idea extends into the idea of God.
1. God as a personality with form and attributes (Saguna and Sakara) ie Ganesh and Vishnu etc.
These are manifestations of the attributes of God (as a personality) if he has attributes e.g love peace. Eg Vishnu manifests love. The Lotus flower which he stands on represents the tenderness of Love. With Ganesh the elephant head represents grace. If you have ever seen an elephant you will realise how graceful they are.
Here are some more examples:
Vishnu- Love, preservation. God takes on humanoid forms to help humanity, eg Krishna, Buddha.
Shiva- Ending of a cycle, therefore technically the one who starts a new cycle. Shiva has both a preserving side, and a more destructive side, which we see in the wild world today.
These first three basically represent the cycle of birth life and death, an important idea in Hindu philosophy. These 3 are kind of like the holy triniti in Christianity. These three Gods are called the Trimutri.
Shiva and Parvati- God and its manifesting power are inseparable.
Durga- Invoking strength to over come adversities
Lakshmi-Beauty personified as a Goddess
Saraswati- Personification of intelligence.
Rama and Sita- The ideal man and women
Radha and Krishna- Idealised love between soul and God
Hanuman Personification of strength and celibacy
Ganesh- God can remove obstacles within our lives
You actually did get the jist of it in your first post! These manifestations all come back to Brahman. That is why it is technically acceptable to call these physical manifestaions God.
The reason why Hindus show animals with deitied is to promote the idea of sacradness for all living beings. You see, Hindus knew about evolution long before Darwin and so when we worship Hanuman, Ganesh we accept that we have evolved from animals and so we are giving our respect back to them. Reverence for life should be extended to animals, not just humans.
Hindus do not worship cows, as the western world poorly depicts
I mentioned above about how respect for animals is important, that is why Hindus don't usually eat meat.
However extreme care is shown to cows because Krishna was a cowherd, and he showed extreme care and tenderness to the animal. Hence Hindus follow in his example and show great care to cows.
Abrahamic religions prmote a god of omniscience, omnipotence etc, yet resist giving form to God. They insist that the infinate God cannot become finate. Hindus disagree. They say that God having infinate power can become finate to a devotee so that it is easier to worship the attributes of God rather then God itself. In fact Hindus INSIST that as long as we live in a finite world we need finite tools to worship God. It cannot be otherwise. EVERY RELIGION does this wether it be through a cross a Kirpan, the Quran, candles etc. The term used for this is unconscious idolatry as the party may not be aware that they are actually using finite tools themselves. Remember Hinduism is a pluralistic religion ( many paths to one God)
2. God with attributes and NO form (Saguna and Nirakara)
This is similar to the Abrahamic approach. God has love, peace etc but is not given approcah. This idea was promoted in the early 1800's in India, but the idea failed to take off because Hindus insist on using finate tools and objects to get closer to God and its attributes. How is one to carry out ceremonies and give offerings if we cannot relate to God in a physical manner? Christians do this as well. I saw a show where a women was lighting candles and giving offerings to a 10 ft high statue of the Virgin Mary. Of course the media never picks on this sort of stuff...
3. God not as a personality but as a fundamental principle -Brahman
This is the more philosophical view. God with attributes such as omnipotence and love are human limitations imposed on the concept of God. Some people recognise the limitations of this approach and so prefer this 3rd approach. This approach says that the universe is made up of a principle underlying absolutely everythuing. Its kind of like how God is manifested through everything in the Universe. Hindus do not say that the universe is God that idea is called pantheism. The Hindu concept of God is a combo of panentheism, monism, monotheism and pluralism. Hindus say that we are effectively the highest manifistation of God. God is inside us. The reason why we do not act like God is because we are trapped in our bodies and bound by our minds. We are spiritual beings caught in a material world. The only way to release our soul is to die. The essence of God inside us is called Atman. The closest translation is soul. As God is in everything. Atman is in everything HOWEVER the Atman is more in living creatures then non living things. All we need to do is detach from the cycle of Birth life death and the Atman will reveal itself, and we will be one with God. This idea is very philosophical. The prophet Vivekenada emphasised moving away from a personality God.
This could in a way be worshippiong God. There is an Abrahamic verse which says 'To show love to the poor is to show love to God' Hindus would exactly agree with this. We should be as selfless as we can and help other people. Ghandi ji said ' I am endevouring to see God through service to mankind. ' One who dedicates to the poor is bound to bound to escape the cycle and be one with God.- DO GOOD KARMA
Someone mentioned the caste system- its NOT heriditary. Ill follow up on this later, ive got a bit of work to do though .
Their are some innacuracies on the article. India is at least 80% Hindu. I have a theory about culture. Its kind of like a negative feedback system.
If their is a sharp decrease in a certain culture, then the population will realise this. After all its human nature to only appreciate things once we realise how little we have or how precious something is. Therefore the government will realise that the culture is in danger and try to rejuvinate it. Once the culture has become the norm again, there will be a certain apathy towards it, and so the culture will become less popular, government puts money in to it..and therefore the cycle starts again. Its like an up-down affect. With that Christian Sonia Gandhi in parliament we're not going to get very far though. She pours millions in to conversion schemes, and so the BJP are fighting fire with fire and going around converting tribes. Its a common misunderstanding that Hinduism doesn't convert others. People think that just because all religions are a viable path to God, then theres no need for conversion. This is incorrect. Krishna said that those who spread his message are close to him. Although all religions are a viable path to God, that doesn't mean that they are equal. Sorry to burst the bubble, but Western religions are considered 'Mellecha' ( i think that how u spell it?)which basically means that they are not spiritually in tune. Sonia Gandhi needs to be given the boot and the BJP needs to come back, and promote Vedic culture.
Well I think a discussion should liven things up - what are the views on those who call themselves Hindu but eat meat, drink alcohol and have unrestricted premarital sex? I am sure we all know several people who do exactly this but has anyone got particularly strong views on the subject?
as ma ferst eva post as a member of d Hindu society ill start by wishin pps a happy holi
hat are the views on those who call themselves Hindu but eat meat, drink alcohol and have unrestricted premarital sex? I am sure we all know several people who do exactly this
ur rite i do knw a number of ppl who do this...but it isnt exaclty tht these ppl are goin against their religion. Its not stated newher tht hindus shldnt eat meat or shldnt have premarital sex or tht they shldnt drink alcohol...infact thts one of the beauties of teh hindu religion...it gives a lot of freedom to its followers and seems to have adopted a live in peace and let others live in peace policy ...all the other stuff like eating meat....drinking and premarital sex are bascially traditions that are inherited and have remained since years in India...but it is in not really linked traditionally..so yea mayb thse ppl are deviating from their culture ...but definitely not abandoning the teachings of their religion...
I agree with prettyp- what I love about hinduism is that it gives each individual a choice about whether they follow all the precise teachings within our scriptures, or they abandon dogmatic practises, and focus on their own core beliefs, it allows each indivdual to find what they need and they can believe in.
Ever heard of Ahisma??????
We discussed that alcohol isn't good, as we are INTENTIONALLY placing it into our body which alters our consciousness and we are helpless to it. Also in a day and age where we know that it is detremental to our health we shouldn't. As for pre marital sex, this should be a big no no. This is because we are in the first stage of our life- Brahmacharya. It specifically states that we focus on studies and celibacy.