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    (Original post by ssshah2)
    He sounds like one of those racist facebook uncles that all of a sudden got a PhD in Hinduism whilst afflicting his unwarranted (and frankly outrageously incorrect) facts and opinions on the world.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Omg dare you to post that on his thread! :toofunny:
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    (Original post by nucdev)
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    Omg dare you to post that on his thread! :toofunny:
    Lol watch me :rofl:
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    (Original post by nucdev)
    Actually Hindu scriptures do not explicitly ban people from using images and finite objects, but what they do say is that they become worthless to the Self-realised individual.
    For those who have not yet achieved Self-realisation, images and objects act as a mere support which can then be rejected as a person evolves spiritually. The scriptures say "Material worship is the lowest stage; mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realised."

    As someone who used to use images for worship (but who does not any more), let me tell you that Hindus do not say "Oh piece of marble, I love you! You have infinite powers so please help me overcome my issues!" :lol:

    Images and objects act merely as tools and/or as a focal points for the Hindu to worship the Absolute or remind them of It.

    As we are finite beings with finite minds, the majority of us cannot think of the Infinite without using something finite, be it a symbol, book, object, image or whatever.

    Think about it. In a maths or physics lesson, if I asked you to put infinity of the board, you would put this:
    But that is not infinity, is it? It's just the number 8 that had too much to drink last night and has fallen over!

    See what you have done? You've used a mere finite symbol to represent the infinite. And without this symbol you cannot even conceptualise infinity. So much of your calculus, geometric progressions, summations etc. would not be possible without this mere finite symbol.

    You might be interested to read this incident between Swami Vivekananda and the Maharaja of Alwar in 1891 [it's in the spoiler]
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Maharaja Mangal Singh told Vivekananda — “The idols you worship are nothing but piece of clay, stones or metals. I find this idol-worship “meaningless””.

    Vivekananda started explaining to the king that Hindus worship God alone, using the idol as a symbol. But his reply failed to convince the King.

    Thereupon, Vivekananda saw a portrait hanging in the wall of the court. Vivekananda approached the painting, looked at it, and asked the dewan (prime minister) of the court to take it down from the wall. It was a painting of Singh’s deceased father.

    When the dewan took the picture down from the wall, Vivekananda asked him to spit on it. All were taken back, The dewan was horrified. The king was furious, “How dare you ask him to spit on my father?”, he cried, in a tone of demanding an explanation.

    Vivekananda saw the king was gripped. He smiled and quietly replied, “Your father, where is he? It is a just a painting— a piece of paper, not your father.”

    Vivekananda’s reply followed the logic of the king’s previous comment on Hindu idols. So, he was perplexed and speechless and did not know what to say.

    Vivekananda once again started explaining to him, “Look Maharaja, this is a painting of your father, but when you look at it, it reminds you about him, here the painting is a “symbol”.

    Similarly when a Hindu worshipper uses an idol, the idol reminds him about his beloved God and he feels the presence of that God. Here too it is a “symbol”. Maharaja, it is all about anubhuti (feelings and realization)."


    If you point out that the Hindu usage of images is bad, I would present to you something even worse - idolatry of the book (by this I am not referring at all to the elevated status you give to the SGGS).

    By idolatry of the book, I mean when you say "it is written in my book, it is the word of God and therefore it is fixed, you cannot question it. Everything, be it religion, philosophy, science etc has to conform to the book" as certain other religions do, it means that you are stopped from thinking for yourself!

    A Hindu can still think for himself/herself and discard those images when they have no need of them, but the tyranny of the book is far worse because it kills someone's ability to think for themselves.

    It is true that aspects of Hinduism have been corrupted - it has a natural tendency to get so, but it also has the ability to be reformed many times (by non-Brahmins in perhaps far greater measure than Brahmins), it is being reformed and will continue to do so.



    And yes, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism should be recognised as separate religions in India's constitution.
    However, I disagree with personal laws in India being different according to religious community (i.e.: separate laws for Hindus, separate ones for Muslims or Sikhs, or Christians etc.).
    There should be a Uniform Civil Code i.e.: one set of secular laws which are applicable to everybody regardless of religious community (like there is here or in the USA).
    OK, I've read it all with an open mind although non of it is a revelation to me, as I said the trouble causing RSS etc have placed blinkers on me, I should not let this influence my perception of Hinduism.

    I'm sure the Lord prioritises between those who commit heinous acts and those who sit and worship a stone.

    Too many denominations of Hinduism. Agoris, smearing ashes upon the body of the dead, Shivites and so on. Is this all accepted by God you think?

    Sikhi frowns upon such idiotic pointless rituals. They achieve nothing.
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    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    OK, I've read it all with an open mind although non of it is a revelation to me, as I said the trouble causing RSS etc have placed blinkers on me, I should not let this influence my perception of Hinduism.

    I'm sure the Lord prioritises between those who commit heinous acts and those who sit and worship a stone.

    Too many denominations of Hinduism. Agoris, smearing ashes upon the body of the dead, Shivites and so on. Is this all accepted by God you think?

    Sikhi frowns upon such idiotic pointless rituals. They achieve nothing.
    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Does anyone else want to take this? Like please?!

    I am all for an unbiased and diplomatic debate on religion and faith, but if people wish to talk with an air of superiority it ticks me off as though they are being hypocrites who fail to follow the tenets of their own faith, but yet want to lecture us on ours.
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    Can someone explain what shivling is and the purpose?
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    (Original post by AppleB)
    Can someone explain what shivling is and the purpose?
    you know the black stone that people pour milk over in the Mandir, that is a Shivling. It is considered as a mark of god.

    Am i correct nucdev
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    (Original post by raman_17)
    you know the black stone that people pour milk over in the Mandir, that is a Shivling. It is considered as a mark of god.

    Am i correct nucdev
    Why pour milk?
    Why is it shaped the way it is?
    What's does it signifying?
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    (Original post by AppleB)
    Why pour milk?
    Why is it shaped the way it is?
    What's does it signifying?
    milk is seen as pure
    ???
    ???
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    (Original post by ssshah2)
    Yep I remember this story,
    I particularly enjoyed swamiji's speech at Chicago at the congress of world religions.

    It is a shame when our sikh brothers begin hating us, its the first time I have ever heard or seen something like this. Even the khalistan movement's leaders simply wanted a Sikh majority country, they recognised that most of their ancestors were Hindu, and beginning to target the Hindus (as a religion) would be against both their heritage, and the teachings of their Gurus. After all, they did give up their lives to protect the Hindus and Sikhs against Muslim rule.
    Sikhs were not against Muslims or Islam. If It was the other way round and Hindus persecuted Muslims Guru Ji would have defend them too. Sikhs are not Hindus because the Gurus were born into Hindu families. That's like saying all Christians are Jews because Jesus was a Jew.

    Hindus don't acknowledged the sacrifices Sikhs gave for them.

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    (Original post by raman_17)
    milk is seen as pure
    ???
    ???
    Tried google
    It's all so confusing

    Alright thanks!
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    (Original post by AppleB)
    Tried google
    It's all so confusing

    Alright thanks!
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    (Original post by ssshah2)
    Does anyone else want to take this? Like please?!

    I am all for an unbiased and diplomatic debate on religion and faith, but if people wish to talk with an air of superiority it ticks me off as though they are being hypocrites who fail to follow the tenets of their own faith, but yet want to lecture us on ours.
    You can say that again. Even though Sikhism talks about controlling desires and is against pre-marital sex, take a look at his posts:

    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    What about anal?
    If yes then I'd be fine as need a hole to bang other than the mouth. Or if it was an open relationship, I'd love her but bang many many others.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    Just feels so.much better without.

    Flesh in flesh :sexface:Posted from TSR Mobile
    (talking about sex with condoms)
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    (Original post by IndianMuslim)
    You can say that again. Even though Sikhism talks about controlling desires and is against pre-marital sex, take a look at his posts:




    (talking about sex with condoms)
    :facepalm:
    Did you have to resort to personal attacks?
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    (Original post by nucdev)
    :facepalm:
    Did you have to resort to personal attacks?
    Yes because if he wants to point fingers at the beliefs of others he will find 10 fingers pointing back at his own conduct which doesn't befit the teachings of his faith.
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    (Original post by nucdev)
    Actually Hindu scriptures do not explicitly ban people from using images and finite objects, but what they do say is that they become worthless to the Self-realised individual.
    For those who have not yet achieved Self-realisation, images and objects act as a mere support which can then be rejected as a person evolves spiritually. The scriptures say "Material worship is the lowest stage; mental prayer is the next stage, but the highest stage is when the Lord has been realised."

    As someone who used to use images for worship (but who does not any more), let me tell you that Hindus do not say "Oh piece of marble, I love you! You have infinite powers so please help me overcome my issues!" :lol:

    Images and objects act merely as tools and/or as a focal points for the Hindu to worship the Absolute or remind them of It.

    As we are finite beings with finite minds, the majority of us cannot think of the Infinite without using something finite, be it a symbol, book, object, image or whatever.

    Think about it. In a maths or physics lesson, if I asked you to put infinity of the board, you would put this:
    But that is not infinity, is it? It's just the number 8 that had too much to drink last night and has fallen over!

    See what you have done? You've used a mere finite symbol to represent the infinite. And without this symbol you cannot even conceptualise infinity. So much of your calculus, geometric progressions, summations etc. would not be possible without this mere finite symbol.

    You might be interested to read this incident between Swami Vivekananda and the Maharaja of Alwar in 1891 [it's in the spoiler]
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Maharaja Mangal Singh told Vivekananda — “The idols you worship are nothing but piece of clay, stones or metals. I find this idol-worship “meaningless””.

    Vivekananda started explaining to the king that Hindus worship God alone, using the idol as a symbol. But his reply failed to convince the King.

    Thereupon, Vivekananda saw a portrait hanging in the wall of the court. Vivekananda approached the painting, looked at it, and asked the dewan (prime minister) of the court to take it down from the wall. It was a painting of Singh’s deceased father.

    When the dewan took the picture down from the wall, Vivekananda asked him to spit on it. All were taken back, The dewan was horrified. The king was furious, “How dare you ask him to spit on my father?”, he cried, in a tone of demanding an explanation.

    Vivekananda saw the king was gripped. He smiled and quietly replied, “Your father, where is he? It is a just a painting— a piece of paper, not your father.”

    Vivekananda’s reply followed the logic of the king’s previous comment on Hindu idols. So, he was perplexed and speechless and did not know what to say.

    Vivekananda once again started explaining to him, “Look Maharaja, this is a painting of your father, but when you look at it, it reminds you about him, here the painting is a “symbol”.

    Similarly when a Hindu worshipper uses an idol, the idol reminds him about his beloved God and he feels the presence of that God. Here too it is a “symbol”. Maharaja, it is all about anubhuti (feelings and realization)."


    If you point out that the Hindu usage of images is bad, I would present to you something even worse - idolatry of the book (by this I am not referring at all to the elevated status you give to the SGGS).

    By idolatry of the book, I mean when you say "it is written in my book, it is the word of God and therefore it is fixed, you cannot question it. Everything, be it religion, philosophy, science etc has to conform to the book" as certain other religions do, it means that you are stopped from thinking for yourself!

    A Hindu can still think for himself/herself and discard those images when they have no need of them, but the tyranny of the book is far worse because it kills someone's ability to think for themselves.

    It is true that aspects of Hinduism have been corrupted - it has a natural tendency to get so, but it also has the ability to be reformed many times (by non-Brahmins in perhaps far greater measure than Brahmins), it is being reformed and will continue to do so.



    And yes, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism should be recognised as separate religions in India's constitution.
    However, I disagree with personal laws in India being different according to religious community (i.e.: separate laws for Hindus, separate ones for Muslims or Sikhs, or Christians etc.).
    There should be a Uniform Civil Code i.e.: one set of secular laws which are applicable to everybody regardless of religious community (like there is here or in the USA).
    Really great post Mind if I use it? People ask me about worshipping idols all the time and I don't think I've seen it explained better!
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    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    It's the phallus of Shiva. I'll say no more on it.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    You're seriously crossing the line here!

    DON'T BELIEVE IN IDOL WORSHIP IF YOU WON'T, BUT IF YOU FOR ONE MINUTE FEEL, FOR EVEN ONE MINUTE, THAT IT'S OKAY TO INSULT MY RELIGION, YOU'RE MISTAKEN YOU SPOILT SCUM OF A SIKH.
    Guru Nanak would have wept if he saw that you are one of his followers! Hell he'd have stopped believing in Sikhi himself if he thought that this is what his teachings led to!
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    (Original post by ssshah2)
    You're seriously crossing the line here!

    DON'T BELIEVE IN IDOL WORSHIP IF YOU WON'T, BUT IF YOU FOR ONE MINUTE FEEL, FOR EVEN ONE MINUTE, FEEL THAT IT'S OKAY TO INSULT MY RELIGION, YOU'RE MISTAKEN YOU SPOILT SCUM OF A SIKH.
    Guru Nanak would have wept if he saw that you are one of his followers! Hell he'd have stopped believing in Sikhi himself if he thought that this is what his teachings led to!
    And the great Guru Gobind Singh would have probably taken his head off for that!
    Smegggy's I mean, not Guru Nanak's
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    (Original post by ssshah2)
    You're seriously crossing the line here!

    DON'T BELIEVE IN IDOL WORSHIP IF YOU WON'T, BUT IF YOU FOR ONE MINUTE FEEL, FOR EVEN ONE MINUTE, THAT IT'S OKAY TO INSULT MY RELIGION, YOU'RE MISTAKEN YOU SPOILT SCUM OF A SIKH.
    Guru Nanak would have wept if he saw that you are one of his followers! Hell he'd have stopped believing in Sikhi himself if he thought that this is what his teachings led to!
    You don't know much about your own religion do you? I wasn't being facetious.

    Shivalingam ...

    To test the devotion of the sages in the forest of Daaruk, Lord Shiva came in the form of an Avadhooth (a naked man) holding his penis. The wives of some sages were bewildered who ran away at the sight and the other wives were rather excited and approached the Lord. When the great sages saw the Avadhooth engrossed in perverse activities with their wives, they were infuriated and cursed that his phallus should fall on the ground. As per the curse, the Lingam fell down and began burning every place it went to, which included the Earth, the Paathaalam/Paathaal (underworld) and the Swargam/Swarg(heaven)
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    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    You don't know much about your own religion do you? I wasn't being facetious.

    Shivalingam ...

    To test the devotion of the sages in the forest of Daaruk, Lord Shiva came in the form of an Avadhooth (a naked man) holding his penis. The wives of some sages were bewildered who ran away at the sight and the other wives were rather excited and approached the Lord. When the great sages saw the Avadhooth engrossed in perverse activities with their wives, they were infuriated and cursed that his phallus should fall on the ground. As per the curse, the Lingam fell down and began burning every place it went to, which included the Earth, the Paathaalam/Paathaal (underworld) and the Swargam/Swarg(heaven)

    It is popular belief that the Shiva Linga represents the phallus, probably some perverse mind (like yours) may have made such a blunder in judgement.

    In Sanskrit, Linga means a 'mark' or a symbol. Thus the Shiva Linga is a symbol of Lord Shiva - a mark that reminds us of the Omnipotent Lord, who is formless.

    According to Swami Sivananda:
    The Linga is like an egg, and represents the 'Brahmanda' or the cosmic egg. Linga signifies that the creation is effected by the union of 'Prakriti' and 'Purusha,' the male and the female powers of Nature. Linga also signifies 'Satya,' 'Jnana' and 'Ananta' - Truth, knowledge and Infinity.

    So yes I know what a Shivling is, and I do have a knowledge of my faith, however, I also know that senselessly mocking others and having an air of superiority in such an argument will only lead to my own downfall.

    Also the tone in which you made the comment made it far more offensive, as it seemed as though you made the comment out of spite.
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    (Original post by AppleB)
    Can someone explain what shivling is and the purpose?
    (Original post by raman_17)
    you know the black stone that people pour milk over in the Mandir, that is a Shivling. It is considered as a mark of god.

    Am i correct nucdev
    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    You don't know much about your own religion do you? I wasn't being facetious.

    Shivalingam ...

    To test the devotion of the sages in the forest of Daaruk, Lord Shiva came in the form of an Avadhooth (a naked man) holding his penis. The wives of some sages were bewildered who ran away at the sight and the other wives were rather excited and approached the Lord. When the great sages saw the Avadhooth engrossed in perverse activities with their wives, they were infuriated and cursed that his phallus should fall on the ground. As per the curse, the Lingam fell down and began burning every place it went to, which included the Earth, the Paathaalam/Paathaal (underworld) and the Swargam/Swarg(heaven)
    That story is according to the Shiva Purana. Puranas deliberately use mythology and narratives either to explain prevailing practices or to simplify abstract concepts into a form that's easier for the average person to come to terms with.

    Whilst the story in the Shiva Purana and the answer that ssshah2 gave are various interpretations of why a Shivling is used; this is how it originated:

    The word "linga" in Sanskrit generally means "symbol". The practice originates due to a hymn in the Atharva Veda which is sung praising something called the Yupa Stambha (a column dedicated to sacrifice) and due to the fact that the Stambha appeared to be without beginning or end, it was considered to be a symbol of the Eternal Absolute/God/whatevernameyouwanttogive.

    In the same way that Buddhists used to establish huge statues of the Buddha to honour and remember him, but the poorer Buddhists used to express that reverence by using small statues, similarly the poorer Hindus would reduce that massive Stambha down to a miniature version instead which is the modern Shivling.

    It's not that Hindus worship such inanimate objects, but they act as mere symbols and nothing else. As I said previously, a Hindu has the freedom to reject that symbolism if he/she wants to.

    As Hinduism has undergone many changes with ups and downs, this symbol probably was later interpreted to be something erotic/phallic during a specific period in Hindu history when erotic symbols became incorporated in temples e.g.: the Sun temple.

    (Original post by Poooky)
    Really great post Mind if I use it? People ask me about worshipping idols all the time and I don't think I've seen it explained better!

    Sure! Take it! It's not as if I hold any copyright on this knowledge! :rofl:

    (Original post by SMEGGGY)
    Too many denominations of Hinduism. Agoris, smearing ashes upon the body of the dead, Shivites and so on. Is this all accepted by God you think?

    The reason for so many denominations and philosophies is because Hinduism is inherently a pluralistic tradition which does not place any restriction that "this is the only way to achieve Self-realisation/enlightenment/moksha".
    It's not a "my way or the highway" / "my way or burn in hell" type of tradition.

    It is a recognition that every human being will have different temperaments, characteristics, upbringings and outlooks, so there will naturally be a diverse number of ways that they approach the Ultimate Reality. And the Ultimate Reality cannot be bound by only one pathway. No single pathway can claim any monopoly on the Truth.


    I will end with 3 quotes which show this pluralism within Hindu thought:

    "Whosoever approaches Me, through whatever form, I receive them. Every being is struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me." (Gita)

    and

    "The many paths based on the different philosophies are but alternative ways (to reach the Greatest Truth). People, on account of their different aptitudes, choose from them whatever they think best and deserved to be accepted.
    But just as the sea is the final resting place for all types of streams, You alone are the only destination for all people whichever path, straight or zigzag, they may accept" (Hindu prayer)

    "There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same destination, so it doesn't matter which path you take.
    The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong." (Hindu saying)
 
 
 
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