Tuesday December 18, 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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Puja for The Spiritualism, Not for Vulgar Entertainment

The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures" and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books" only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!

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Hinduism
he westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"

By Salil Gewali

Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.

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Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.

 But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever.  Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.

What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.

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Sadhu Sanga Retreat, 2016

 One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”

Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong?  One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.

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Hinduism is expected to be observed with a complete purity of action

Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus?  I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.

Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.  It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.

However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.

Twitter:@SGewali.