December , 2019
14:58 pm

Anup K. Gupta

Hinduism is referred by some practitioners and scholars as Sanātana Dharma or as the ‘the eternal law’. They also regard Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no individual founder. This   ‘Hindu synthesis’ is believed to have started between 500 BCE and 300 BCE, following the Vedic period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE).

Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies. It is the world's third most popular religion, with around 75 million followers, found most notably in India and Nepal.

The process of self-discovery is spirituality and for this, one has to become one with everything as Hinduism has this oneness at its core. Hinduism not only believes in oneness but the followers of this religion practice it by worshipping deities, stones, rivers, forests, mountains, humans, and of course, Gods.

Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life. These are  Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom). It also includes karma (action, intent and  consequences), samsara (cycle of rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain Moksha).

Hindu practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals and occasional pilgrimages. Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions and then engage in lifelong  monastic practices  (Sannyasa) to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and compassion among others.

It includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions. Hinduism preaches sense of unity, beliefs and action.

Sense of unity - Despite the differences, there is also a sense of unity.

Beliefs - Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include (but are not restricted to) ethics/duties (Dharma), the continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.

Action (Samsāra) – It is related to intent and consequences (Karma), liberation from samsara or liberation in this life  (Moksha), and the various paths or practices (Yogas).

According to Hindu beliefs, Brahman is the principle source of the universe. This divine intelligence exists in all beings. Accordingly, all Hindu gods and goddesses are manifestations of the one Brahman. Hinduism is based on the concept of reincarnation, in which all living beings, from plants to gods, live in a cycle of living and dying.  The Brahman of the Upanishads is the only supreme reality and according to Hinduism, the individual soul (Jiva) is identical with the Brahman.

The gods of the Hindu faith represent different forms of Brahman. Most Hindus pray regularly to gods or goddesses and the three most important Hindu gods (all forms of Brahman) are Brahma, Vishnu,andMaheswar.

Swami Vivekananda says religion is realisation; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories - however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing, or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming what it believes.

The most ancient and sacred texts of the Hindu religion are written in Sanskrit and called the Vedas. The Vedic scriptures guide Hindus in their daily life. Hindus have developed their system of worship and beliefs from the scriptures. The most important aspects of Hinduism are related to be full of humanity, love and exist without any  hatred.

The Vedas are the oldest religious texts in Hinduism. The word Veda means knowledge. It is believed that the Vedas were orally revealed by Brahma to certain sages, who heard them and passed them down in an oral tradition. They cover various subjects, from nature to everyday life and behaviour and form the basis of all other Hindu religious writings. According to Swami Vivekananda, “The three essentials of Hinduism are belief in God, in the Vedas as revelation, in the doctrine of Karma and in transmigration.”

Hindu religion is suited to all grades of religious aspiration and progress. It contains all the ideals in their perfect form. For example, the ideal of Shanta or blessedness is to be found in Vasishta; that of love in Krishna; that of duty in Rama and Sita; and that of intellect in Shukadeva. Study the characters of these and of other ideal men as depicted in Hindu religious texts. Adopt one which suits you the best.

Swami Vivekananda had stated, “One point of difference between Hinduism and other religions is that in Hinduism we pass from truth to truth - from a lower truth to a higher truth - and never from error to truth.” Hinduism   has   broadness to accommodate all. It does not divide but unites. It refrains from hatred but spread love. In essence, it believes what Shri Ramakrishna had put so simply. “All religions are true. God can be reached by different religions. Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the sea. They all are one.”


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