Tuesday October 16, 2018

Pillars of Hinduism: Nine Beliefs which forms Spiritual base of the Religion

Even with all these variations, there is a common thread of belief in a supreme being which revolves around the principles of truth, dharma, and karma

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More than a religious community, Hinduism is a faith or a way of life. There is no particular approach or a prescribed book of rules that governs it. It is greatly influenced by the people, their caste, the region they belong from and community-driven practices. Even with all these variations, there is a common thread of belief in a supreme being which revolves around the principles of truth, dharma, and karma.  It was not started or preached by anyone and has its roots which precede recorded history.

There are nine beliefs which are prevalent among the many other beliefs and are the pillars of Hindu spirituality-

  • One Almighty– Hindus believe in an omnipresent being that is a supreme power whose existence is beyond the understanding of humans- the one who is the creator of this universe.
  • The sacred scriptures– Hindus believe in the four divine Vedas; Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, and Atharvaveda. These texts are ancient and the oldest proof of Hinduism. These Vedas elaborate on the ways of worship, sacrifices and method of meditation. The main essence of these Vedas is to understand the creation of this universe.
  • The three worlds– According to the Hindu beliefs, there are three worlds- Satya Loka ( Heaven), Bhu Loka (Earth) and Patala loka (Hell). The universe undergoes a continuous cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution.
  • The law of Karma– Karma is the law of cause and effect. It is how a person’s life is influenced and moulded because of one’s own deeds. Hindus believe that if you do good, you get good back.
  • The Theory of Reincarnation– In Hinduism, people believe in rebirth until you get liberation. It is closely related to the law of karma. It is believed that you are reborn until you have resolved all your karmas and attain moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth).
  • Temples– Divine beings exist in a world we don’t know about. Hinduism talks about temple worship and rituals. They believe that prayers are a medium of communication with the Gods.
Temples. Image source: www.honeymoonpackagesdeals.com
Temple in South India. Image source: www.honeymoonpackagesdeals.com
  • The Guru– Hindus follow spiritual leaders who practice and teach others the way of life, self-discipline, good behaviour, and meditation.
  • Ahimsa– Everyone is equal and deserves to be loved and respected. They do not harm or hurt any other being by words or action.
  • Equal respect for all– Hinduism believes that all religions have their own rules and practices, but are different facets of God and lead to the same values of Love and Light.

These 9 being the pillars of Hinduism are still just a small part of the entire faith. There is no way you can convert to be a Hindu, you can be born Hindu or simply practice Hinduism. There is no specific scripture which lists downs the codes of conduct or the way of life a Hindu should follow. Hinduism allows an individual to experience life and learn through it. A man who is successful in understanding this achieves enlightenment and becomes one with God.

– by Rasika Aiyer of NewsGram. Twitter: @Rasikaiyer93

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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new -- when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

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At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.

At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”

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Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).

In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”

Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.

The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.

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Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.

The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.

These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”

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The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.

In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.

In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.

“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)