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A primer on Hinduism

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A primer on Hinduism Empty A primer on Hinduism

Post by Seva Lamberdar Mon May 15, 2023 7:04 am

Who is a Hindu (Ref. 1):

(1) A Hindu is a follower of Hinduism which is rooted in the Vedas (Sruti) and Vedic philosophy, and the word Hindu originally might have signified a person partaking and benefiting from Indu (Vedic libation, Soma);

(2) Hinduism admits a three-fold Reality (Satya or Truth) comprising one Brahman (or God, having many names and forms), Atman (soul or souls), and Samsaara (the material world of five elements -- including Sharira or the human body comprising of Pinda or corpse, Manas or mind, Buddhi or intellect, and Ahamkar or ego);

(3) Hinduism considers equality of everyone, irrespective of one’s race (color and language), caste (occupation) or gender (sex);

(4) Hinduism believes in absolution of sins through prayer, and transformations in life according to the karmic law (cause and the corresponding effect) which also upholds that after death the soul transmigrates into a new body according to the accumulated effect of one's actions in previous life; and

(5) The ultimate goal of a Hindu is to achieve Salvation, through good deeds toward mankind and devotion and prayer to God, resulting in no more rebirths after death and the soul resting in peace and harmony with God.

Incidentally, the stories, tales and parables in the Epics etc. are usually meant as examples on the basics and not the basics themselves and can appear very much involved and long. Conversely, there is also useful information available directly and quickly in other sources, e.g. the Bhagavad Gita (Ref. 2). 

References

(1): "How old are the Vedas and who can read them?", Aug. 23, 2006,   
http://web.archive.org/web/20090415193442/http://www.geocities.com/lamberdar/vedas.html            

(2): "Gita as the multifaceted text," Sept. 4, 2005,   http://web.archive.org/web/20090809230813/http://geocities.com/lamberdar/gita.html
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu May 18, 2023 7:30 am

"Whatever a person does, good or bad, in deed, word or thought comes from the body, citta (intellect, ego and mind), means of perception, means of action and fate." ... the Bhagavad Gita (Ch. 18 : V. 14 & 15)
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Sat May 20, 2023 7:21 am

The Bhagavad Gita message applicable to everyone and in all situations, "Carry out your duty (responsibility / work, no matter how humble, unappealing and difficult) sincerely and steadfastly, lest you fail to meet life's needs and might starve etc.." BG (Ch. 3 - V. 8 )
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Jun 08, 2023 10:24 am

Rig Veda advocates equality of man and woman and favors the woman taking charge and exercising authority in family. In addition, woman's (wife's) family members (kinfolk) should be treated well and like man's (husband's) according to the Rig Veda. Here, a hymn from the Rig Veda during marriage union between man and woman:

"Let God lead us, let there be a stable union of the wife and husband... May authority be ever yours (i.e., wife's) in speech. Happy be you and prosper with your children, and be ever watchful to rule the household. Unite yourself with this man your husband. So authority will be yours in speech.. May the kinsman of the bride thrive well.." Rig Veda (Book 10, Hymn 85.26, 27, 28 )


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Post by Seva Lamberdar Thu Jun 08, 2023 10:34 am

Question from a reader: Can you please explain if Shiva and Vishnu are parallel Gods or if One, then why are their forms and worship so diverse?

My response:  

One!

Post-Vedic Siva has the attributes of Vedic Agni and is worshiped as Siva-linga, whereas Visnu, the name also occurring in the Rig Veda and also possessing the attributes of Vedic Indra and Savitar, is worshiped in Chatur-bhuj form. You can read more on this in "Saivite and Vaisnava interpretations of Brahman," (Jan. 14, 2013):
https://such.forumotion.com/t9955-an-old-post-about-siva-and-visnu
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Post by Seva Lamberdar Sat Jun 10, 2023 7:11 am

भगवान (ईश्वर, महादेव, गणेश, माता, बजरंगबली, ......) की कृपा के लिए जीवन में
(१) मेहनत और ईमानदारी से काम करना और रहना पड़ेगा,
(२) अपने लालच और इच्छा पर काबू रखना होगा,
(३) औरों पर भरोसा कम और खुद पर ज्यादा।

Nature of the Good and the Bad (Vedic ethics summary -- Bhagavad Gita: Ch. 16):

1. Freedom from fear, purity of heart, constancy in sacred learning and contemplation, generosity, self-harmony, adoration, study of the scriptures, austerity, righteousness;
2. Non-violence, truth, freedom from anger, lack of over-attachment, serenity, aversion to fault-finding, sympathy for all beings, peace from greedy cravings, gentleness, modesty, steadiness;
3. Energy, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, a good will, freedom from pride. These are the treasures of the person who is born for heaven.
4. Deceitfulness, insolence and self-conceit, anger and harshness and ignorance - these belong to a person who is born for hell.
5. The virtues of heaven are for liberation (of the soul) but the sins of hell are the chains (captivity) of the soul. Grieve not, Arjuna, for heaven is your final end.
6. There are two natures in this world: the one (good) is of heaven, the other (bad) is of hell. The heavenly nature has been explained; hear now of the evil of hell.
7. Evil persons know not what should be done or what should not be done. Cleanliness or purity (internal and external) is not in them, nor good conduct, nor truth.
8. They say: ‘This world has no truth, no moral foundation, no God. There is no law of creation: what is the cause of birth but lust?’
9. Firm in this belief, these persons of dead souls, of truly little intelligence, undertake their work of evil: they are the enemies of this fair world, working for its destruction.
10. They torture their soul with insatiable desires and full of deceit, insolence, and pride, they hold fast their dark ideas, and they carry on their impure work.
11. Thus they are beset with innumerable cares (worries) which last long, all their life, until death. Their highest aim is sensual (material) enjoyment (fulfillment), and they firmly think that this is all.
12. They are bound by hundreds of vain hopes. Anger and lust is their refuge; and they strive by unjust means to amass wealth for their own cravings.
13. They say: ‘I have gained this today, and I shall attain this desire. This wealth is mine, and that shall also be mine.’
14. They say: ‘I have slain that enemy, and others also shall I slay. I am a lord, I enjoy life, I am successful, powerful and happy.’
15. ‘I am wealthy and of noble birth (class or caste): who else is there like me? I shall pay for religious rituals, I shall make benefactions (charitable contributions), I shall enjoy myself.’ Thus they say in their darkness of delusion.
16. Led astray by many wrong thoughts, entangled in the net of delusion, enchained to the pleasures of their cravings, they fall down into a foul hell.
17. In their haughtiness of vainglory, drunk with the pride of their wealth, they offer their wrong sacrifices for ostentation (public display), against divine law.
18. In their chains of selfishness and arrogance, of violence and anger and lust, these malignant persons hate God: they hate God in themselves and in others.
19. In the vast cycles of life and death, because of their bad Karma or actions, God inexorably hurls them down to destruction: these the lowest of human, cruel and evil, whose soul (nature) is hate.
20. Reborn in a lower life, in darkness birth after birth, they come not to me, Arjuna; but they go down the path of hell.
21. Three are the gates to this hell, the death of the soul: the gate of lust, the gate of wrath, and the gate of greed. Let a person shun the three (lust, wrath and greed).
22. When a person is free from these three doors of darkness (lust, wrath and greed), he does what is good for his soul, and then he enters the Path Supreme.
23. But the person who rejects the words of the Scriptures and follows the impulse of desire attains neither his perfection, nor joy, nor the Path Supreme to God.
24. Let the Scriptures (the Gita / Sruti) be therefore your authority as to what is right and what is not right. Know the words of the Scriptures, and do in this life the work to be done.
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