30 September, 2020

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In Pursuit Of The Nature Of Hinduism

By Ayathuray Rajasingam

Ayathuray Rajasingam

The origin of Hinduism is shrouded with mystery. Hinduism was in existence from time immemorial and is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, which has been a breeding ground for spirituality from all directions of the country. While other religions have founders (Jesus Christ for Christianity, Abraham for Judaism, Mohammed for Islam, Guru Nanak for Sikhism, Confucius for Confucianism, Siddartha Gautama for Buddhism), Hinduism is the only religion that has no founder, no central authority, no prescribed text book. Hinduism is referred to as Sanatana Dharma. ‘Sanatana’ means eternal or timeless and ‘Dharma’ is human’s code of conduct. The concept of Dharma has been the key to social and individual ethics of Hinduism. Hinduism is a collection of revelations by the ancient sages at intermittent periods. Hinduism is an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena originating and based on the Vedic traditions. Hence the sages were considered as the revered pioneers of Hinduism. Hinduism has become a religion of revelations. Hinduism is unique because it is based on Righteousness. According to Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, Hinduism is not just a faith, but is related to the union of reason and intuition. Hinduism includes Shaivaism, Vaishnavaism, Sakthism, Smartism, etc. and also includes a wide spectrum of doctrines based on the notion of Karma, Dharma and societal norms. 

Sanatana Dharma teaches that life is a Gift given by God to live on earth in compliance with the concept of righteousness. The nucleus of every religion is to practice tolerance and show love and kindness and respect human rights. However, extremist politicians, religious fanatics, drug dealers and terrorists do not heed to the concept of righteousness.

Hinduism is a collection of revelations by the ancient sages. The Revelations are said to be the Vedas. These Vedas are direct intuitional revelations and are considered super human. The Vedas are the eternal truths revealed by God to the ancient great Rishis. The Vedas are utterances of the Almighty and not the composition of any human being. The spiritual experiences of the sages are reflected in the Vedas. The sages transmitted their intuitional experiences to the people. The revelations are the Truths of the Vedas. In Sanskrit, Veda means knowledge. The Vedas are an embodiment of divine knowledge. Knowledge is eternal and cannot be destroyed. Since it was in a scripture, the Vedas signifies a book of knowledge. Briefly the Vedas are the basic scriptures of Hinduism (through Upanishads, Puranas and Epics) and brought glory to Hinduism. 

Mention should be made that there are two schools of thought regarding the two epics Ramayana and Maha Bharatha. The followers of fact-based school are of the view that the epics are mere fictions. But the faith-based Hindus believe that time is cyclical. There are four Yugas in each cycle. The end of fourth Yuga (Kali Yuga) is the end of the world known as Pralayam, and the only memory that survives is the Vedas. The last age is said to be known as the Ice Age which ended about 10,000 years ago. The faith-based school believes the Ice Age as the last Pralayam which is based on astronomical (such as the position of constellations and time of eclipses). Sage Valmiki had concluded that events, in Ramayana, took place prior to 7,000 years or earlier to reveal how his protagonists Ram and Sita used in Vedic wisdom, to engage in society.  

Science is the struggle of man in the outer world, whereas Religion is the struggle of man in the inner world. Science makes man struggle for Truth in the outside world and Religion makes man struggle for Truth in the inner universe. Both struggles are great, but one ends in success while the other ends up with failure. Religion begins where science ends. The whole scientific method is based upon observation and experiments, but the moment the man realizes that there is something beyond the observation and experiment, he will give up the material science behind. Science will always have to deal with finite bodies. But God is infinite. This is what Hinduism is about.

Since eternal truths revolve round Hinduism, it is natural for anyone to pose the question as to who is behind the eternal truths and makes them work or activate its functions. It is the ‘Cosmic Power’ which is known as Divine Power or God, which is behind the eternal truths and activate its functions.

The Vedas describe that everything is God. That divinity is One without a Second, beyond all forms, names, and qualities. That divinity is an existence that is eternally imperishable and indivisible. Everything is One with God in its essential nature. There is only one field of Absolute Being where all divisions and separations merge into one existence.

In Hinduism, it is important to have a general idea of God (the Supreme Divine existence), Soul (One’s true self), and Maya (the material energy that produced the Universe and one’s body, sense, mind and intellect). God is supreme and the Souls and Maya are his subordinate powers.   

It is also important to know the difference between the Veda and the Vedanta. The Vedas are considered as divine revelations. They are the sacred Sanskrit scriptures of Hinduism. Vedas are immortal and infinite, because they are without the beginning and without the end. But Vedanta is a specific Hindu philosophy. The two main propositions of Vedanta are (a) Humanity is divine, and (b) the purpose of human life is to realize that human nature is divine. Vedanta teaches the main theme of Veda. Vedanta means the essence of the Vedas. 

Vedanta teaches that all religions lead to the same ultimate goal – the experience and realization of God. Hinduism teaches that God has come to earth to answer the needs of the people at intermittent periods in the past and will be present in the future many times. Vedanta is impersonal and universal and gives priority to principles.

Since Vedanta teaches principles and not persons, Swami Vivekananda was of the view that Vedanta is the only universal religion which is already in existence. The eternal principles are found in the Vedanta.

Hinduism is open to interpretation based on reasoning which has the force of divinity. Moreover, Swami Vivekananda analyses two kinds of truths in determining the nature of  Hinduism.

(1) That which is cognizable by the Five ordinary senses of man and by reasons based on them. The knowledge acquired by this means is called Science.

(2) That which is cognizable by the subtle, super-sensuous power of Yoga. The knowledge acquired by this means is called the Veda.

Manifestation of super-sensuous truths, realization of super-sensuous truths, and sages are inter-woven distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view in the determination of the nature of Hinduism. 

Super-sensuous truths are related to the creation of the Universe. Creation and Time are two elements that need a clear analysis. The issue as to who was instrumental for the creation of the Universe and when it was created are matters that are dealt in Hinduism. Creation existed with time. If nothing existed, the issue of time will never arise. If there was time, the question of manifestation of energy arises. If that energy was in God, God becomes potential which would make him mutable. Everything mutable is a compound which in turn undergoes a change, which is called destruction. That means God would die and the description of God becomes meaningless. 

It is the ancient sages with their super-sensuous truth discovered the nature of the Supreme Being, the God. According to Hinduism, God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. (Omnipotent – He is all powerful, the world is created by him and everything happens according to his wishes. He can create this world in zero time and also destroy it in a fraction of a second. Omniscient – He is the perceiver of all things. He knows everything. Nothing can be hidden from him. The past, present and future co-exist in him. Hence everything is governed and directed by him. Omnipresent – He is all pervading. He is present everywhere. Nothing can exist without him.). 

When God activates his energies, creation begins. Similarly when God withdraws his energies and remain in a state of inactivity, destruction begins. As God performs creation, preservation and destruction, it is evident that the past, the present and the future co-exist in God simultaneously. According to Hinduism, God and the Universe are essentially the same. God manifest himself as the Universe at the time of creation. God is timeless, because it is relative and cease to exist in the Absolute.

Then there is a concept of ‘without beginning’ and ‘without end’ in Hinduism. God is the ever active providence, by whose power systems after systems are being evolved out of chaos made to run for a time and again destroyed. Likewise the material body will perish, but the soul will never die as it is a part and parcel of the Supreme Being. The whole body of super sensuous truths, having no beginning or end, and called by the name of Veda, is ever existent. The Creator Himself is creating, preserving and destroying the universe with the help of these Truths. The person in whom this super- sensuous power is manifested is called a Sage, and the super-sensuous truths, which he realizes by this Power are called the Vedas. This Rishihood, this power of super-sensuous perception of the Vedas, is realization. So long as this does not develop in the life of an initiate, so long is religion a mere empty word to him, and it is to be understood that he has not taken yet first step in religion. The authority of the Vedas extends to all ages, climes and persons. Their application is not confined to any particular place, time and persons. 

Accordingly, Hinduism can be described as a mass of separate ideas and practices, collected and formed into one ball of faith. Moreover, Hinduism is characterized by the belief in reincarnation. Hinduism categorically emphasizes God as One Absolute Being of multiple manifestations and always demonstrate non-violence and tolerance. Incarnation means manifestations of divine God by his full presence into human world for specific missions. Lord Krishna mentions in Baghavad Gita ‘Whenever there is a decline in religious practice, O Arjun, I by myself manifest in this world and root out the evil’..  

In other religions, revelations derive from some special messenger of God to a specific group of people. These religions maintain that God can be reached through their own specific paths. This amounts to some implication of someone’s will on others who have their own desired paths. But Hinduism considers a person as a part and parcel of the Almighty. In Hinduism, the authority of the Vedas is unknown. The whole fabric of thought of the Hindus centres in God. Swami Vivekananda says that religion is the idea which raises a brute into a man and man unto God. God can be realized through a tangible, exquisite and intimate personal relationship with Him by way of Bakthi Yoga meditation. 

Hinduism has developed numerous practices meant to help a person to think of divinity in the midst of everyday life. The most unique aspect of Hinduism is that any person can reach God in the path he or she chooses. The central truth in every religion is to evolve a God out of man. Hinduism is based upon eternal principles. The cosmic view of Hinduism transcends the sectarian principle and paves way for the co-existence of all creatures under the Vedic principle known as ‘the Universe is one family’. It is this principle which guides the humankind towards universal harmony through acceptance and tolerance. Sanatana Dharma recognizes that the Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any concept. The potential for human wholeness is present in every human being. All humans are spiritually united like the drops of water in an ocean. Therefore no race or religion is superior, which is a lesson to every petty-minded politician. 

One may pose questions as to the number of deities in Hinduism and therefore it is polytheistic. Rig Veda mentions ‘Ekam sath, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti’ meaning ‘the Truth is One, but the wise call it by many names’. The multiplicity of deities indicates the spiritual hospitality of Hinduism. There are two doctrines in this aspect, namely the doctrine of spiritual competence and the doctrine of the chosen deity. The doctrine of spiritual competence requires that the spiritual practice prescribed to a person should correspond to a person’s competence. The doctrine of chosen deity gives the person the freedom to choose a form of God that satisfies his spiritual cravings and make it the object of worship. Both doctrines are consistent with the assertion of Hinduism that the unchanging reality is present in everything, even the transient.  

The beauty of Hinduism is that it grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship. Hinduism conceives the whole world as a single family that worships the One Truth, and therefore it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity. Despite some criticisms on Hinduism by the Easterners, there were a number of Western philosophers, writers, etc who had great respect for Hinduism and endorsed Hinduism as a harmless and true religion, of which French philosopher Voltaire and Annie Besant were notable. Hence Hinduism is devoid of the concepts of repostacy, heresy and blasphemy. Though ideals and methods may differ, Hinduism endorses that realizing God is the Universal Truth. The real essence of religion is the realization of the truths of the spiritual world. Hence Hinduism appears to be a Universal Religion, besides being a Science and way of living. 

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Latest comments

  • 12
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    What spritualism is there if divide humanity on the basis of cast..super cast enslaves all others .
    Where is spritual merits when cows have more rights thna 200 millions Dalith.
    Shame on you to divide people like this .

    • 4
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      Ayathuray Rajasingam,

      RE: In Pursuit Of The Nature Of Hinduism

      Is God invented by man in Hinduism and other religions?

      The whole article may be summarized, to say that God was invented by man,

      Was there a Nurture’s God, before man evolved, is a different story.

      • 6
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        Amarasiri,
        Have you read what the writer said about the Vedas.
        ‘The Vedas describe that everything is God. That divinity is One without a Second, beyond all forms, names, and qualities. That divinity is an existence that is eternally imperishable and indivisible. Everything is One with God in its essential nature. There is only one field of Absolute Being where all divisions and separations merge into one existence.’
        Moreover, he says God is omni present, omni-scient, and omni-potent. He is all pervading. It is through Bakthi-yoga meditation you can feel the presence of God.

        • 2
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          Ranjit,

          “It is through Balthi -joga meditation you can feel the presence of God”.

          So, humans have 46 Chromosomes, and can feel the presence of God, but our closest evolutionary cousins, the primates with 48 chromosomes, cannot feel the presence of God.

          If so, God is an invention or rather a recognition by the Homo sapiens with 46 chromosomes, for the unknown force or entity responsible for the nature and the universe. Hinduism and it’s offshoots, Abrahamuc religion and it’s offshoots, and other religions are all manifestations of this Nature’s God recognition.

          • 0
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            Amarasiri,
            I think you have not gone through the article properly. First, the writer says all religions have their founders other than Hinduism. In that sense Hinduism becomes a God-centred religion whereas other religions are considered to be Prophet-centred religions. It is easier to criticize God is an invention. Remember God is finite. He also says ‘The whole scientific method is based upon observation and experiments, but the moment the man realizes that there is something beyond the observation and experiment, he will give up the material science behind. Science will always have to deal with finite bodies. But God is infinite. This is what Hinduism is about.’ God is something that is not visible, but visible to a very, very, very few. This article is a challenging task, but he had formulated and articulated well.

    • 1
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      Lankan,
      Didn’t you read it properly. The contents are given below in the article.
      ‘Vedanta teaches that all religions lead to the same ultimate goal – the experience and realization of God. Hinduism teaches that God has come to earth to answer the needs of the people at intermittent periods in the past and will be present in the future many times. Vedanta is impersonal and universal and gives priority to principles’.
      Vedanta is concerned with the basic principles of spiritual life. Spiritual life can only be experienced. Spiritual experiences of sages are found in the Hindu scriptures relating to the search for God and Reality. The foremost principle is that our Self is divine. It is through spiritual practice one can discover that Self is distinct from body and mind and one with Divinity itself. This is the ultimate goal of life. Caste discrimination is unknown in Hinduism in its origin. The writer has already written in the previous article entitled ‘In Pursuit of Ravana’s language & his social status’.

  • 6
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    To me Hinduism was shrouded in mystery until I read this article . Thank you so much Mr. Rajasingam.
    The way I see it there are only two basic religions – Hinduism and Judaism. All other religions are close derivatives of these two. Neither adherents of these two original religions are crazy to convert others. There is a marked difference between the two though. While the history of interrelations between the derivatives
    of Judaism is an ocean of blood Hinduism gracefully accommodates plurality of opinion. Adherents of derivatives of Judaism have been nothing but devils in their desire to convert others. Another interesting observation is idol worship has continued in Hindu tradition while killing for food is detested , but in contrast idol worship is non existent in Jewish tradition but there is no compunction in killing for food.

    In India cow is a family member, in the West dog is a family member.

    Soma

    • 7
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      somass

      “The way I see it there are only two basic religions – Hinduism and Judaism. “

      There is a third religion that you have missed in your observation.
      Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala founded Sinhala/Buddhism a unique brand of fascism, which is being popularised and sold to innocent people as authentic Buddhism by the Sangha, crooks, criminals, academics, …………… war criminals, …..

      • 3
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        One thing lacking in authentic Buddhism is a methodology to tackle terrorism.

        Soma

        • 6
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          somass

          “One thing lacking in authentic Buddhism is a methodology to tackle terrorism.”

          Had you fascists stop being fascists and followed authentic Buddhism there would have been no reason to deal with terrorism at all.

          Please also stop being too smart.

          • 0
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            “If you offered it on a platter as good Buddhists we wouldn’t have tried to snatch it at gun point”.

            Soma

  • 6
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    And if only those from Brahmin cast are permitted to become priests in the temple, such a religion is blatantly and openly discriminatory!
    Poosariya

    • 6
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      Poosaariya

      “And if only those from Brahmin cast are permitted to become priests in the temple, such a religion is blatantly and openly discriminatory!”

      So is Siam Nikaya
      True, it is linked to both the aristocratic and caste politics.
      In order to establish Buddhism in this island Sinhalese should liberate Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhism.

    • 2
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      Kalla Poosari,

      There are many good things in Sanatana Dharma – which you call Hinduism. And yet there are other things one might. arguably consider needs change in the contemporary world. The former has respected these change e.g. the practise of Sati. If those billions of adherents of Hinduism globally are comfortable with having the Brahmin priest caste conduct poojas, rituals and other as they do now – I say why not? They have been doing this from time immemorial – including these post-Parasakthi decades (1950s) where even strident DK/DMK activists want their family weddings and other Hindu rituals performed by priests of the Brahmin caste.
      .
      Kettikaran

      • 4
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        Mr Kettikaran
        Your comment confirms my suspicion that Hindus are totally incapable of understanding the minds of non Hindus in respect of the caste system. IT IS TOTALLY ABHORRENT TO THEM.

        Soma

        • 4
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          somass

          “Your comment confirms my suspicion that Hindus are totally incapable of understanding the minds of non Hindus in respect of the caste system. “

          Well that may very well be the case similar to Sinhala/Buddhism as far as the caste is concerned. Sinhala/Buddhism which not only celebrates the caste within its hierarchy but also encourages and constitutionally discriminates other religious practitioners.

          Its fundamental principles include “Sunday Sil Monday Kill”.

          What is the difference between Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhism?

    • 5
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      In Judaism only people belonging to a certain tribe I think the Levi or Cohen can be priests or rabbis and amongst certain Sinhalese Buddhist sects only people belonging to upper castes can only be Buddhist monks , how fair is this

      • 0
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        The central feature of a novice monk-priest in any religion worth its name should be a sound education. From thence its an upward journey that can produce good men/women
        entitled to teach others. I appreciate the Catholic/Christian churches for this. When you recruit the very young from poor families because they are poor, you end up with undesirable teachers who can create havoc – as we are destined to see to our horror.

        Backlash

    • 3
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      Worse, only Brahmin men can hear the vedas and go to heaven, Others have to wait in line in the cycle till they evolve in a million births into Brahmins. Whoever swallows such stories?

      DNA shows Brahmins came from outside of India. Sanskrit originated in Mittani Turkey. Their soma drink is a psych–active liquor.

      Brahmins divided the Chera chola Pandiya and had first night privileges.

      Keelady Changa times archeology shows no Brahmin/hindu idols.

      You swallowed what the poosari told you rod line and sinker. Sad for all Tamils.

      Vel may be. Muruhu may be. Not his invented parents brother etc. Be a proud Tamil or be a veda follower.

  • 1
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    WITH A VERY LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF HINDUISM, I am inclined to believe.that Hinduism mingles with humanity and earthly beings much more than other religions.
    It has some highly democratic functions. In that power sharing is done in a manner which has a human touch. Minister of creation is Brammah,. destroying is done by lord Shiva. His wife is Parvathi. He is also supposed to have another wife eclipsed by the moon, Saraswathi Minister of Education, Luxmi Minister of Finance, Minister of Love Lord Krisna. and Krisna is supposed to be good flirt. Lord Muruga came down to earth and got a girl from the hunters family in the forest to show all are equal.. Thus he has two wives . Both are given equal recognition by Hindus.Lord Ganesha is a very powerful god, without his blessings nothing will come right. Ganesha and Muruga are supposed to be loving brothers and so on. One of my friends said that he is lucky to be a Hindu, because, if gets angry with one god he can appeal to the other.
    I think explaining Hinduism is not easy unless you are willing to forgo the right to live as a normal Human
    I also understand that there was no cast system originally.Cast system was introduced by Bhramins from North India to show their superiority.
    I am sure some real Hindus can clarify matters better.

    • 2
      1

      Hinduism believes in one god. One creator. One Energy that permeates this universe. The author has aptly mentioned it in his article. The doctrine of spiritual competence and the doctrine of a chosen deity have provided Sanatana Dharma a pantheistic outlook. Many believe that there are 330 million deities, which is a misconception.

      Bhramma , Vishnu and Rudra, along with Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvati are images of the same supernatural being, given numerous names. There is but one truth, the wise call it with many names.

      The caste system is nonexistent in the Vedas. It is a figment of society and culture and arose from the greed of man to impose his will on others.

      • 0
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        The Vedic religion is not Hinduism.

    • 2
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      K.Anaga,
      Thank you for your comments.
      Regarding Lord Shiva’s another wife, the explanation is given below.
      Shiva’s head has a crescent moon next to it. In Hindu imagery, the moon is representative of the mind. We should strive to keep our state of mind like the crescent moon. The crescent moon represents a humble state of mind where the ego is subdued. The full moon on the other hand represents a “know it all” mentality. Whereas the crescent moon continuously grows, a full moon can only get smaller.
      On the other hand a person who is arrogant, overly proud of their knowledge and feels like they have nothing else to learn will diminish, like the full moon. The ideal is to keep humble, and have the understanding that no matter how much we know, there is still more to learn. Keeping our mind in this state is essential for progress on the spiritual path.

      • 0
        0

        Ayathuray!
        Thank you for the attempted clarification. You have Clarified the moon, but still I cannot understand 1/2 moon eclipsing the other ‘wife’
        I do realize this is a very deep subject and with my 1/2 moon brain I may not understand the theory.
        Yes we live to learn and learn to live.

  • 3
    2

    somass

    “Your comment confirms my suspicion that Hindus are totally incapable of understanding the minds of non Hindus in respect of the caste system. “

    Well that may very well be the case similar to Sinhala/Buddhism as far as the caste is concerned. Sinhala/Buddhism which not only celebrates the caste within its hierarchy but also encourages and constitutionally discriminates other religious practitioners.

    Its fundamental principles include “Sunday Sil Monday Kill”.

    What is the difference between Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhism?

  • 4
    2

    When you pay/offer gifts to a god for material reward that is corruption being built into to your basic belief and morals.

    Buddha’s teaching is basically about your conduct to attain Nirvana. Nothing about getting material benefits/curing illness etc.

    The current form of Buddhist Religion does include gods and offerings to gods with the expectation of material benefits.

    In contrast Christianity (and I think Islam) all you have to do is to believe in God and pray to him to get material benefits. As all philosophies/religions human corruption steps in and you have Christian sects that advocate giving money (tithes) etc to the church/priest to get material benefits and miracles.

    • 1
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      sbarr
      If you can pray for favours from God, why not pay?
      God likes to be pleased, so why not tempt him by different means?
      It may work, one never knows.

  • 1
    0

    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 3
    2

    The reasons why Hinduism is the best religion in the world are endless. The ethos of Hinduism is to first become a good human being rather than becoming a good Hindu. Let me enumerate why it is the best religion in the world –
    Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. It existed before any kind of scientific theory could trace the advent of mankind so it is ‘Sanatan’ that is eternal. Basically to say that Hinduism is a way of life not just a religion.
    It is the only religion in the world that is secure in its domain implying that nowhere in the world is Hinduism ‘promoted’ or ‘preached’ to spread it and still it has followers all over the world that are fast growing. We do not believe in bribing people or converting them to come and join our religion.
    The essence of Hinduism is patience and tolerance. It does not talk low of people who do not follow it rather it embraces all religions and proclaims God as The One.
    Hinduism is the only religion in the world that ardently worships the female energy in the form of ‘Shakti’. The female deity is the most revered form that is worshiped by the Hindus.
    Hinduism has gifted this world the ‘4 Vedas’ that are the storehouse of all modern scientific wisdom and knowledge. Extensive research in the west shows that all modern technical knowledge that is available to us today can be found in these Vedas.
    The 6 Upanishads that form a part of Hindu teachings form the core of our philosophy. They focus on the realization of the true self and the ‘Absolute Truth’. Things like Yoga and meditation are a gift of these Upanishads.
    Hinduism teaches the worship of Mother Nature. The ideology behind worshiping nature is that nature should be preserved and protected.

    • 2
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      Hinduism appears to have originated from the time the universe came into existence. It did not depend on some one to be. born to create a religion like Jesus Christ, Mary. Buddha. I am not sure of Islam- may be it came into limelight after Prophet Mohamed. Hindus do not seem to have any hard and fast rules as to how they should worship. It seems to be an ocean of emotions which could be utilized without any serious restrictions. “Then Naddudaya Sivane Potri Ennadavatkum Iraiva Potri”
      a meaningful saying at the end of the prayers. May be a good Hindu unlike me, may throw more light and clarify..

    • 1
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      Dear Kanyasasi

      “The reasons why Hinduism is the best religion in the world are endless..” With all due respect to you, I believe Sanata Dharma/Hinduism does not engage in any form of competition. Temples and places of worship are open to all. Being an ancient entity there have been, periodically, aberrations and erroneous interpretations (e.g. Temple Entry denied to some etc) But these have been duly settled. It is an evolving process and moves with the times. There is no compulsion to join or leave. Their is no central hierarchy at local level or international level.

      Kettikaran

    • 0
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      “Hinduism is the only religion in the world that ardently worships the female energy in the form of’Sakthi’.
      There was a time in history many years ago when the people who populated what is now called the Indian sub-continent were used to living a way of life in accordance with the natural environment which ultimately became a convenient tradition to be perpetually conformed and followed eternally as a Dharma.That dharma is called Santana Dharma,
      No promotional propaganda or violence was involved in the spread and acceptance of that Dharma by people.which was passed down the line to be followed from generation to generation
      The people who abided by that Dharma were referred as Hindus by those who lived outside the sub-continent.

      • 0
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        The Hindus thereafter became regarded as following a religion called Hinduism. There was no GOD or any one who had supposedly founded or instrumental in creating or initiating the said religion, but it soon gave a beginning to other faiths like, Buddhism, Vaisnavam, Zainism,Shiekism,,Saivaism, etc etc. and still proceeding to generate new cults and faiths like Hare Krishna,Hare Rama, Sai Baba versions in the sub-continent and beyond. The process will continue……..

  • 2
    3

    Hinduism is a ‘way of life’. It is a faith, a civilization without dogma. It is unique in its own way. Hinduism has a scientific background and one of the most logical religion in the world. Mathematics was invented after the invention of zero which was invented by a famous mathematician named as Aryabhatta. You may also get to read about the principle of electricity clearly in Vedas. This is the reason why Hinduism is best religion as compared to all other religions. Great article. Proud to be a Hindu.

  • 2
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    Thank you Colombo Telegraph, for posting such article. It was very interesting to read. All doubts which have been raised by critics about Hinduism, have been clarified.

  • 2
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    Perfect piece of work. As a Hindu, now I have a fantastic idea of Hinduism. Hinuism is so deep, but the writer has explained it beautifully. Proud to be a Hindu.

  • 2
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    Sanatana Dharma teaches that life is a Gift given by God. What a beautiful and meaningful explanation espoused by Sanatana Dharma. I am really happy that at last an article of this nature has been posted. Thank you Colombo Telegraph.

  • 1
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    Hi Kallan Kettikaran<
    Your following comment is very amusing and stupid to say the least: "If those billions of adherents of Hinduism globally are comfortable with having the Brahmin priest caste conduct poojas, rituals and other as they do now – I say why not? "

    If majority of the Sinhala Buddhists are comfortable in discriminating the minorities including Tamils and even attacking them (like in 1983, 1957 etc) why not? Sounds a bit like JRJ's logic after 1983 riots. Oh! have some sense, don't complain about discrimination in Sri Lanka based on the ethnicity or religion.

    Poosaariya

    • 3
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      Trying to justify state sponsored Sinhalese racism by equating it to Brahmin priests officiating as priests in Hindu temples. For your information there are many temples that have non Brahmin priests, in India and in Sri Lanka and recently in Kerala a member from the low caste was appointed as temple priest

      • 2
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        Rohan

        “Trying to justify state sponsored Sinhalese racism by equating it to Brahmin priests officiating as priests in Hindu temples.”

        Please read this abstract:

        The Coming of Brahmin Migrants: The Śudra Fate of an Indian Elite in Sri Lanka
        Gananath Obeyesekere

        Society and Culture in South Asia
        Vol 1, Issue 1, 2015

        Abstract
        One must be very humane to say, ‘I don’t know that,’ to afford ignorance.- Friedrich Nietzsche, aphorism 229 in The Will to Power.
        Most Sri Lankans assume that due to the contemporary absence of a Brahmin presence there have been no Brahmins in Sri Lanka at all, particularly among the Sinhalas, except in Jaffna and other Hindu areas where a small number of Brahmin and non-Brahmin kurukkals officiate in major temples. For Sinhala Buddhist areas, there is no record of Brahmins from the nineteenth century onwards although it is evident from historical evidence that Brahmin purhitas were present in most, if not all the kingdoms of Sri Lanka. It is often assumed that Brahmins were not part of the general population, in spite of the fact that there were constant South Indian migrations throughout history. However, palm leaf manuscripts collected over the last 10 years and written from the sixteenth century onwards by village intellectuals not only refer to the mass immigration of South Indian people but also deal with Brahmin movements into Sri Lanka, and list some of the villages they were settled in. Several contain the term Brahmin or bamunu and hence village names such as Bamunugama and Kiribamuna. Texts from an important shrine for god Skanda in the Uva district mention its founding by two Brahmin brothers and their descendants who have non-Brahmin names.

        Part II follows:

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        Rohan

        “Trying to justify state sponsored Sinhalese racism by equating it to Brahmin priests officiating as priests in Hindu temples.”

        Part II
        Please read this abstract:

        The Coming of Brahmin Migrants: The Śudra Fate of an Indian Elite in Sri Lanka
        Gananath Obeyesekere

        Society and Culture in South Asia
        Vol 1, Issue 1, 2015

        Abstract
        Dutch sources mention the existence of Brahmins in the city of Kandy during the reign of King Vimaladharmasuriya (1591–1604). The question then is: where have all the Brahmins gone? A clue is found in two palm leaf manuscripts from the mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries that list the names of important families in the Matale district, north of Kandy. They mention several prominent goyigama/vellala (farmer caste) families with the name ‘Brahmana’ attached to it. The article suggests that given the numerical and political importance of the goyigama caste, various migrant groups, be they merchants or Brahmins, were assimilated into that caste with the more prominent Brahmins often placed in its aristocratic segment (radala). Recent research indicates the constant movement of Brahmins from the north to the very south of India from ancient times, and it is improbable that they did not extend their journeys into Sri Lanka. The article demonstrates their movements into Sri Lanka where they were in a sense ‘demoted’ in terms of the classical varna scheme but ‘promoted’ in terms of Sri Lankan values. The speaker will also briefly discuss the local variations of the varna scheme in relation to Brahmin migratory movements.

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        Yes things are getting better but needs further improvement. Previously all Hindu weddings were officiated by Bhramin priests, uttering something in Sanskrit which no one understood including the priest.. But now so many weddings are officiated by learned people with THIRUKURAL in the forefront.

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    Bloody nonsense article.

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    An excellent presentation on Hinduism that explains the fundamental concepts of the religion. It should be noted that the concept of God is the same in all religion including Judaism and Hinduism. The manifestation of one and only God for the whole mankind is interpreted differently in various religions.
    The confusion between Hindu mythology, religion and philosophy arises because all originate from the same set of scriptural texts. What is pertinent is that the texts do not categorize these disciplines and move from one discipline to another.. Very often people use mythological episodes to explain points of religion or philosophy. The Mahabharata is well known as a mythological epic. It contains a collection of verses known as the Bhagwad Geeta (The Celestial Song), which is perhaps the holiest religious text. In it Krishna (an incarnation of God) delivers a sermon to Arjuna exhorting him to battle against his cousins, explaining how it is his moral duty to do so.
    Philosophically in Hinduism there is only one God who is formless and without characteristic. But theologically it states that this God manifests Himself in many anthropomorphic forms for a variety of reasons. So the distinction between the many Gods that Hindus worship is illusionary. In essence all the Gods are the same.
    The one God manifests Himself in three different forms known as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma carries out the functions associated with Creation, Vishnu with Preservation and Shiva with Destruction.
    Idolatry does not find any support from Vedas. In chapter 32 of Yajurveda it has been said that God is Supreme or Supreme Spirit has no ‘Pratima’ or material shape. He cannot be seen directly by anyone. His name is so great that only the Name is enough to invoke Him. He pervades in all beings and all directions.
    However we find that Hindu temples are filled with images or idols of gods and goddesses.

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    In this modern world of multiculturalism there is no place cast division. Today, low cast Hindu girls are married by Europeans.. Or Brahim boys are married to many nationalities to get European citizenship. while in India people live stone age in the name of cast and religions.Hinduism is based on divide and rule .. How on earth you divide people like this .. It can not be true religion to divide people like this.. It may have been suitable to India but not for all in other countries. Sorry to say religion must be acceptable to all in all places. some low cast people can not enter some temple .. Where is your spiritualism if you do this.. It is sad to note this division .. More and more Hindu people go away from religion due to this discrimination.

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    Hinduism is a collection of revelations by the ancient sages
    When people utter “revelations” from Gods, they say that they “hear” the voice of God, or a vision came to them and told them some thing,.
    We know today from psychiatry and neuroscience that these people are hallucinating because they have problems like Schizophrenia, bipolar or other usually milder mental health problems. Or they have eaten special mushrooms, or வெல்லம்மட்டை (vellum mattai) or some such mind altering stuff.
    That is why the saying found in the Vedas contain such a lot of contradictory nonsense and fancy fairy tales, and even erotic stuff.

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      N
      Don’t be a prig!
      What is wrong with fairy tales? We hear them every hour or more frequently.
      And we are made of erotic stuff.

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    can you divorce hinduism from casteism ( as its been practiced at least for the last 700 years)?

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      sinhalese buddhist

      “can you divorce hinduism from casteism ( as its been practiced at least for the last 700 years)?”

      Can you divorce caste from Sinhala/Buddhism?
      Can you also divorce Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhism (which came to dominance since the advent of Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala)?

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    Excellent article. I think Hinduism open for everybody’s thoughts & beliefs. No hard rules. very flexible religion.. I wonder why Hindus shunned this great religion and embraced Christianity. Cast system might have . dipped into it by so called Bahamians to secure their social status intact. That is classical example of Hinduism flexibility. So called Bahamians exploited it for their gains. Well done writer. Excellent article. keep it up. All Indian great religions should be preserved for continuation of world peace & proprieties. Well done sir. Thank you very much for this excellent article. We expect more like this in future. our future generations need your guidance Sir..

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    Ayathuray:

    I am proud to be a practicing Hindu and it is the most Tolerrant Religion. although Shiv Sena ideology my have tranished it.
    Hinduism is not a Religion it is a WAY OF LIFE.

    Hinduism is more than a religion. It is a culture, a way of life, and a code of behavior. This is reflected in a term Indians use to describe the Hindu religion: Sanatana Dharma, which means eternal faith, or the eternal way things are (truth)

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    When srilankan Hindu community is short of people who could write or speak about Hinduism in English language, a big thank you to Mr Rajasingam for this excellent article. Hope he will continue to write more.

    Anyone interested to know more about Hinduism/ sanstana dharma, caste etc please visit esamskriti website, koenradd Elst blog and Hilda raja blog. Well researched in depth articles are there.

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    Sir thanks so much for the detailed revelation. I am compelled to convert except for some troubling doubts. Please clear them for me. I keep to your points:
    1. “Hinduism was in existence from time immemorial and is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.” “Hinduism is the only religion that has no founder, no central authority, no prescribed text book.” “The beauty of Hinduism is that it grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship. “ ““Hinduism is devoid of concepts of repostacy, heresy and blasphemy.”
    Then what exactly is Hinduism? It is undefined if it is not codified and has no text books and therefore what is not defined cannot have a name. IF anything goes, then why bother to give different names for non brahminical religions?
    2. “Hinduism is revealed others remembered” implying what was revealed to Hinduism.
    Are other people’s religion not given by God to them. Did he refuse direct revelation to the Jews because they are of a different country, caste (asangas) and race then? Who created them? Are Hindus then the chosen race?
    3. Who dated Hinduism to a time that is times immemorial? Who was there to monitor the time date the sages who received Hinduism in times immemorial?
    Ancient sages it says gave the vedas and first among them veda vyasar. But Vedas are dated because avesta an Iranian type language is. and people wrote it. you could give a date to the vedas. If it is composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.etc, So it cannot be immemorial.
    Thank you for your anticipated response.

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    Sir more doubts.

    3. “That divinity is an existence that is .. indivisible.”
    Then why the internal mutiny? Stories of Kali killing Siva and licking his blood, Siva taking human sacrifices stopped by the British? Vishnu removing Siva’s clothing, Internal division or external? The lingam cut off from Siva and worshipped by itsef?…
    4. Hinduism“demonstrate non-violence and tolerance”
    Then why Rama and Krishna doing wars? Karnan and Vaali being treated against the laws of war? Rama asking Vibeeshana Ravana’s secret power and V. telling Rama where to strike his brother’s body and getting rewarded with Ravana’s country?
    3. “Hinduism is open to interpretation based on reasoning which has the force of divinity.”
    So is God’s wisdom fathomed by the human intellect? Open to interpretation? Then many theories will be there for the same question. No need of gurus. I go for Yoga.
    4. God “ in a state of inactivity?” A dormant God?
    5. I have read Swami Vivekananda. He was a western educated well versed in western mysticism like Tagore. He is then reinterpreting Hinduism differently to the traditional like Aurabindo’s Gita. They brought in concepts from other religions. Theirs is not pure “Hinduism”. He even agreed that Jesus was the Son of God. Then did Jesus not “hear” God but remember what others told him?
    5. “endorsed Hinduism as a harmless and true religion,”
    Brahmins say this to the sudras and below when they conquered the South.” with chariots and period weapons and strategies called Raja thanthiram. “Then why the thevadiyaal’s being sold at temple Nallur till the British Governor stopped it? Widows treated badly. No female education not allowed to hear the vedas by women and low castes. such female Discrimination in the religios texts. preventing mey conversion.

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    Mr.Rajasingham your article was Superb. Like rivers converging into an Ocean, your article was so well articulated and factual.
    I salute your depth of knowledge Sir.

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    Wonderful blueprint of philosophy for our otherworldly sensations. Yet, the final result is….India :(

    // The most unique aspect of Hinduism is that any person can reach God in the path he or she chooses.\\ Yet, nobody can really choose their everyday lives can they, because they are in castes.

    // The central truth in every religion is to evolve a God out of man\\
    In Buddhism, we aren’t to walk around full of god-like ego (however humble), but are meant to return to nothingness.

    This is all Ranil’s doing, trying to make us all into mini Hindu gods in the midst of the merger.

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      Mr. Rajasingham

      Am I right in the belief, unlike in Abrahamic religions, in Hinduism/Sanatha Dharma there is no role for a Devil/Satan? Is this because this tradition believes in the divinity of man and his infinite capacities?

      Kettikaran

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        Why then do gods side with the Devas against Aruras and other ‘lower beings’?
        *
        Man’s capacity is very much finite, and hence the need to invent god to explain the unknown.

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          SJ

          “Man’s capacity is very much finite, and hence the need to invent god to explain the unknown.”

          Indeed.
          Hence periodically we see deification of mere mortals such as Stalin, Mao, Siri Mao, VP, Dr Mahinda, Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala, Pol Pot, …………….. Kushpu, MGR, ….

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      RTF
      Your utterances reveal that you are full of nothingness.

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        Wow, and here I was enthralled by your “designer gods” bit. I was the one who put the first “like.”

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    Hinduisms have no common faith, common text, common god, common rituals, customs or culture.
    So each of what is called Hinduism is a designer religion with one or several designer gods, with models to choose from.
    In fairness, if there can be one God why cannot be there two, three…many…many more?
    Polytheism no worse, no better than monotheism.
    The big problem for the ‘Hindu’ is that the Varna system is fully integrated into each faith. How Hindu faiths can extricate themselves from this historical burden is a major issue.
    *
    Hinduism as we know is post Sankara and less than 1500 years old, and far from the early Vedic religion and other native systems of worship that got mixed with it and got Brahminised.
    *
    As a personal faith it can be as good as any other. When politicized it can be as bad as any other.

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    Very valuable article.Further Dance of Siva implies the cosmic vibration .It shows the singularity theory for all the fields. E 8 model for the universe is like a blue print of Chithambara Chakaram.

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    Sir some doubts.

    1. “Hinduism is unique because it is based on Righteousness.”
    What about other religions?

    2. Hinduism“demonstrate non-violence and tolerance”
    Why do the Hindu gods carry weapons? Why does the big god wear a garland of skulls of children sacrificed to him?

    3. “Hinduism is open to interpretation based on reasoning which has the force of divinity.”
    Then No need of gurus.
    .
    4. “endorsed Hinduism as a harmless and true religion,”
    French do not know how the full religion. Only edited.

    Why does it allow temple prostitution, caste, vedas can’t be heard by women.
    Then why the thevadiyaal’s being sold at temple Nallur till the British Governor stopped it and still little girls deflowered in India by temple people? Widows treated like lepers. No female education not allowed to hear the vedas by women and low castes. such female Discrimination in the religios texts cannot be hidden.

    Saying these only because one has to carefully choose his religion.

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