Monday, June 18, 2007

The Beauty of Hinduism - If there is any

Being an atheist, writing about beauty of a religion sounds ridiculous and quite hypocritical. Having known its deficiencies and flaws, I am ready, for once, to appreciate its beauty. This is only to get these extremely annoying drones off my back that keep telling me why I am not a true Hindu. And this is to slam my front doors on those supposed upholders of faith who keep entering my home to tell me how I need to live, how I need to 'understand Hinduism correctly' and how 'glorious' it can be only if I were to attain the same knowledge they have attained through their rigorous study, dhyana, meditation, and after deciphering complex algebra.

I think I am quite OK being a Hindu only for one reason - that it allows atheism. And the second best reason is that I am born into it. For me being Hindu is another association, another label, like I am a Telugu, that I am of certain caste, that I am an Indian, that I am a man, that I am human, etc. Some of these labels I am proud of, and some don't matter - like caste. Being Hindu is one of those labels. I don't see a need to shed any of these labels - as long as those labels do not bother my lifestyle and me. I am proud of my roots - but that doesn't mean I consider my labels to be the best while some others are not. I don't go preaching how great it is to be Telugu or to be an Indian. I don't know if a Telugu is superior to Kannadiga or not. I do not deal with such questions and I don't need to answer them. While I am a proud Telugu, I will not die fighting for such a stupid cause as proving 'Telugu is superior to Kannadiga'. Such fights are for fools. I am no fool. When I say I like being a Telugu, it does not necessarily mean I hate Kannadiga. In the same way, being Hindu doesn't mean that I hate other religions.

I see beauty in Hinduism for various reasons. [In my attempt to eulogize a religion I am going to be very generous in giving these accolades. Remember, that for everything that is true for Hinduism, you will find exactly opposite somewhere else within Hinduism.]

These are some of the reasons:

1. There was no such a thing as 'true Hindu'. There are no sets of rules to be followed to prove that you are a true Hindu (till recently). As far as I am concerned, I could be an atheist and still be a Hindu. And someone out there could be praying to Ravana and still be a Hindu.

2. It did not have any single holy text (till recently). There are so many of them- you could pick and choose. It's like Starbucks - many varieties of coffee (and tea) are served.

3. It was not monotheistic (till recently), and that also meant, it was polytheistic. Any one living in this land could come up with their definition for a god and pray to it. No questions asked. They could pray to a widow, or a tree, a snake or a stone. One could even pray to an alien or a film actress (and I think both are the same).

4. It was evolutionary - it changed its form and shape and evolved with time (till recently). Different gods were popular at different times. It is like popularity ratings - sometimes it is David Letterman, and then sometimes it is Jay Leno. The TV shows keep changing. Brahma is now completely faded away. Ganesha is now more popular than his father. Few others, like Indra are completely not welcome back on the show.

5. It allowed for many interpretations of its mythologies. While Ram was good in one version, Ravan was good in another one. Good and bad were treated as something possible in a single human being. Bad does not mean Satan. And being evil does not mean a direct ticket to Hell. Even good people had to struggle hard to get into Heaven. Even the concept of Hell and Heaven change from one book to another!

6. It allowed for atheism. While there could be many gods, it was also possible not to have any god.

And what do I find these days? The very reasons why I like Hinduism are being discarded away by few posers who seem to champion the cause of Hinduism. Without taking my permission they want to represent Hinduism to me, telling me how wrong I am in my interpretations, and why I need to correct it. I say, 'Who the hell are you to tell me how I should live my life?'

The beauty that I see in Hinduism is not found in the holy books, scriptures, or its mythology. It is not found in Vedic Sciences or Vedic Mathematics, its purported achievements of having built nuclear bombs or an airplane. I do not see beauty in its purported complexity of stanzas, slokas, hierarchies of castes, and detailed description of rituals such as ablution.

I think it is found in its simplicity and diversity. It could be taken up by anyone at any time (of course, some of the Hindus were kept out of temples forever). It could be anything to anyone living anywhere. What was true in Hinduism was also false in Hinduism. For some Amavasya (New Moon) is not auspicious while it is auspicious to some others, and they are all Hindus. For some cow is sacred and therefore it is not eaten and for few others it a source of protein for many centuries, and they are all Hindus.

And I don't think Hinduism is so fragile that it needs protection from goons such as Bajrang Dal, fanatics such as VHP, or sympathizers and protectors such as those seen on many elite forums. It has withstood onslaught of many monotheistic, authoritarian and dogmatic religions and has remained vibrant - continuously swelling in its ranks. It has retained its fabric and has continued to be a strong religion. Why should it need soldiers to defend it? And from whom?

What good is it if it can be understood by only those very few elite individuals who can unravel and solve the arcane and obscure conundrums and puzzles? If it can be understood by only few, then how come it is such a mainstream religion?

Hinduism belonged to the people of this land. It will evolve, and it better evolve. It will mean differently to different people. We don't need your Vedas to be Hindus nor do we need to pray to your prescribed gods to be Hindus. I am a Hindu in spite of every rule you impose; and that identity you cannot take it away from me. That's what I like about Hinduism!

46 comments:

  1. My friend,
    I am not sure why you are so confused in your life. Be careful when you use the words atheist and telugu and proud and other similar words.
    When you said you are an atheist that means you dont believe in god. but did you notice that even the word and existence of god is still in your life and thoughts too.
    take all the scriptures of the world no matter what religion they belong to. Yet you wont be able to define god. its like reading all the books on wine and trying to find the taste of wine.
    when you Identify yourself as proud telugu that means all other who are not telugu are different from you. As long as you will have this vision of discrimination you will be in the charka of samsaram and will not be entitled to knowledge.
    Visualize a situation and ask this question to yourself. If rama, krishna, shiva, jesus, mohammad or any other god. lets assume they all met at some place, whom do u think would be superior.
    you may name someone superior because of ignorance but in reality they are all same. its like clay being manifested in different shapes of pots. that does not mean one pot is superior than other, essentially they are equal and realizing this fact is the purpose of any religion. And thats what they emphasize in Upanishads and Geeta.
    enjoy the pursuit

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  2. Your honesty is the source of your convictions. Very admirable.

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  3. anonymous:
    when you Identify yourself as proud telugu that means all other who are not telugu are different from you.

    How can one be so dumb? Did you not read what I said in my article. Read up the entire article before starting to comment. You will unnecessarily make a fool of yourself by being haste.

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  4. You echo'd my thoughts. For ages I argued with my parents, and now they accept my 'form of hinduism'.

    I didn't believe in the 'ritualistic hindu marriage' because somewhere down the road it was polluted by the 'crooked brahmnicals patriarchs' who believed only brahmans, that too Males were the most superior. I still don't get it why in a hindu marriage the 'boy still walks around with a stick to kashi and the girls parents need to stop him to give off their daughter to boy'. I told my dad that was 'bullshit'. How can anyone give away their daughter ? We are not some properties that are to be exchanged.
    Next - why should the boy tie a 'mangalsutra' around a girls neck to prove that she is now married. And thanks to our Bollywood/Tollywood/...rest of the indian movie/tele-industry, they use the mangalsutra to create big stories to sell ! ...Well, I said, I refuse to tie anything around my neck to prove marriage hood untill the men are ready to tie something around their neck too ! . ...
    There are ofcourse many more stories I can write about and depending on which caste/langauge/state hindu you are, the rituals could become even more interesting.

    But does my disbelief in these rituals make me a bad Hindu ! No way. !
    The beauty of hinduism is that it still allows me to practise my form for hinduism which is a belief in my favourite god, my way of praying ....

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  5. Sujai,

    I'll believe that you are an atheist when you criticize all religions for their deficiencies, and not single out one of them while being an apologist for the other.

    Cheers,
    -Amit

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  6. If you have any Muslim friends, please ask them a hypothetical question - where would they prefer to live if they had a choice:

    a. Pakistan
    b. Iran
    c. India

    The first two, as you know, are majority Muslim countries where Islamic laws prevail. (Not sure about Pakistan.) If Muslims really love their religion, the answer should be a resounding "Yes" to a. or b. If they pick c., please ask them why.

    I grew up as a Hindu too and my parents had no answers to my numerous questions about different rituals and traditions. And, it was pretty easy to see the hypocrisy in religion, or understand the logic/reasoning behind them. I'm not a practicing Hindu, nor have I studied Vedas etc., but I still think that Hinduism is much more tolerant religion than many others out there. You only have to look at the history.

    You know, there are many rituals like not eating food with one's left hand etc., but nowhere does Hinduism say that all those who eat with their left hand are "unbelievers" and need to be converted/taught better. You are free to use whatever hand you want to use. And to me, that (and many other similar things) is the contradiction and beauty of Hinduism.

    Cheers,
    -Amit

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  7. Amit:
    Yes, in relative measures, I think Hinduism is much more tolerant than some of the Abrahamic religions we see on the planet.

    However, of late, in an attempt to compete with these other religions, Hinduism is donning a new form, which is intolerance. So, according to me, this intolerance is growing.

    Being ultrasensitive and hypersenstive to every ridicule has become the fashionable statement- saying- 'look! we are only defending it'

    Hence my criticism.

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  8. Amit, even though I am atheist, I represent Hindus here, being born into it. Even though I do not really go by nationalist attitudes, I hold Indian passport, making me an Indian. Though I am not a regional chauvinist, I am born a Telugu, so on. These are my identities, in addition to being an atheist.

    I find all religions ridiculous. Having said that, I am not preaching atheism right now. I am trying to work with what we already given- the religions that we have, the identities which we carry.

    May be, there will be a time in near future, where I would like to ridicule all religions (combined) as an atheist.

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  9. Sujai, I am impressed by your blog. In fact, I want to say..."Thank God for people like you."

    I am also impressed by Savitha’s statements about “ritualistic marriage.”

    You wrote: “I think I am quite OK being a Hindu only for one reason - that it allows atheism.”

    What you wrote is very true. As a Hindu you have every right on earth to define Hinduism as you like. You do not have to adhere to any ritual or listen to any guru. You can go or NOT go to a temple.

    Hinduism came out of the thinking of thousands of scientists we like to call Rishis. They contemplated and debated about every conceivable concepts and wrote all these scriptures. They never stated any where, Hinduism has monopoly on truth or God. Instead they wrote, Salvation is for all, whether one is a Hindu or not.

    One and only thing, scriptures ask us do is “To find out the real “I” in all of us and obey its commands. That real “I” is immortal soul – Atman and all the four yogas , Jnana, Karma, Bhakti and Raja are in search of the real “I” within us. “

    WHY we have to find the real “I” ? Until and unless we realize the real “I”, we will think the perishable body is the real “I” and we will be tormented by duality perception of things such as HOT & COLD, GOOD & BAD etc.

    The concepts of UTMOST FREEDOM OF THOUGHTS And ACTIONS are the cardinal principles of Hinduism.

    Even atheists can call themselves as Hindus. In fact the CHARVAKA philosophy or NASTIKA philosophy, [existed during the Vedic period] founded by CHARVAKA rejected the existence of God and considered religion as an aberration.

    Voltaire in Essay on Tolerance wrote:

    I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.

    Hinduism is the symbolic representation of what Voltaire wrote.

    Thanks for reading this.

    http://www.amiahindu.com/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8925064@N03/

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  10. Atheism is a faith just like Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity.

    Hold on to your faith as dearly as you could :) I hope you will not start fighting like those radicals for "your" faith :)

    You are gifted with the ability to articulate and write. Use it to foster good :) and not spread poop with your asshole opinions.

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  11. Hi Sujai,
    Very bold write up.Nevetheless, how can you belong to Hindu religion & still be atheist ? BTW Hindu/any religion says few things on worship, ways of worship, place of worship.
    Being atheist, what do you worship and there by to which religion do u belong to?
    Your 10th class TC does say that your religion is Hindu and it seems to me that you have duped Intermediate admission with a false certificate or by giving false data. You are in this level, because of your education.
    If you have conscience , you should realise that you are highly educated hyprocrat.
    You are not truthful to your self! How can you be truthful to your family, your work, Society, Nation?

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  12. well it's common sense...!!! isn't it ?
    i was first exposed to teachings in the vedas and the philosophy involved,(mostly from wikipedia) when i was in my 3rd year in college(was born into a christian family hence).

    Was Very impressed by the philosophy and the ideas...even the ancient caste system(the original system not the current one) which was just a way to run a society...
    Its sad almost all of the indians are not aware of the beauty of it... but are more concerned with the superstitions and stupidity involved like everyother stupid religion involved.

    i dont think hinduism in a way can be described as a religion..its way too complex and the different ideas expressed are vast...one shouldn't put in under a single term...that would be a shame to the intelligence of the people who wrote all those texts.

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  13. Just reject the negative coemments .. To be honest, I am almost completely in agreement with you ... I say almost, as some aspects are not clear in interpretation or rather lend themselves to multiple interpretations ..

    But that said, its one of the more refreshing articles written on hinduism than the jingoism that one gets to read about from the extreme right wing ..

    Keep it up man,

    Rahul

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  14. Sujai K. has said it well. You have a right to be a Atheist or non-Believer and still be a Hindu. This is one of the Heterodox Philosophy. Even among the ortodox Hindu Philosphies, some schools ignore or do not attach much of a roke for a Supreme. Even Poorva Mimamsa says that following Karma Kanda, the Adhrishta [un-seen forces] will beget the results. Atheistic Hinduism is ot the same as the Atheism of the West as Anonymous points out. In Hindu Dharma, Dharma is the main path of life for the seeker. At first, you do not see or understand. As you seek, It comes to you. Then the level of the Tamasika Devotion of fear or Bhaya Bhakthi comes, goes on to Jnana at the end. Even at the level of Jnana, one may nat reaslize the supreme until one realizes one's inner Self the true "I". If your parents do not understand the rituals or did not teach you the meaning or purpose of rituals is no reason for you to discard them, rather you try to get the meaning. If you are sick, to get a cure you may be given a medicine by your doctore and you get cured, even if you don't understand the sickeness or how the medicine works. You can follow the traditions while you try to understand the traditions. [visit: www.us-hindus.com ]. For, marriage, many are local traditions and Mangalasutra is not a Hindu religion or Veda sanctioned order but just a symbol that came in the later period. If you undertand the meaning of original Sapthapayhi which is a promise for both the man and women - That is the true Hindu Dharma marriage. Thanks for reading all this.
    Bala N. Aiyer,
    www.us-hindus.com

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  15. "And I don't think Hinduism is so fragile that it needs protection from goons such as Bajrang Dal, fanatics such as VHP, or sympathizers and protectors such as those seen on many elite forums. It has withstood onslaught of many monotheistic, authoritarian and dogmatic religions and has remained vibrant - continuously swelling in its ranks. "

    Now the question you forgot to answer here is, "how did it withstand those onslaughts?" It did, by defending itself from those, physically, militarily - when "goons" of yore fought for it. And that is what follows from commonsense - something will survive when it has warriors to defend it.

    Hinduism did not survive JLT, while monks kept closing their nostrils. It survived because of its warriors who defended its "fabric" by the strength of their swords.

    And even today, as commonsense suggests, it will survive only when it is defended. The difference today, however, is that it does not have a military to defend it. There are only "goons"!! So you either leave it to those "goons", or try to do it yourself.

    "It has retained its fabric and has continued to be a strong religion. Why should it need soldiers to defend it? "

    It retained by the strength of its warrior class, if you have any idea of history. It survived by the blood of millions of its warriors, its soldiers. It is a naive and/or hypocritical to ask this question. None in history survived without armies.

    "And from whom?"

    This again, is a pretension - as if it is not known from whom Hinduism is trying to defend itself, for the past thousand years, continuously losing its people, its land, its culture, its fabric.

    "What good is it if it can be understood by only those very few elite individuals who can unravel and solve the arcane and obscure conundrums and puzzles? "

    Let us raise an equivalent question. What good is science, when it is understood only by a few researchers, and when people by and large are not aware of its complex theories? The answer is simple too: because most people use it, benefit by it, though they do not know its intricacies. Scientists bring science into the hands of technologists, and the way technologists develop socially useful contrivances based on that science. Similarly seers bring religion into the hands of practitioners and teachers, who in turn package it for the practice/belief of a common man. Just the way a scientist questions and existing scientific theory, a seer questions a spiritual philosophy. Just the way a technologist uses different theories to different ends, a teacher/practitioner develops different methods/practices to suit different people and different situations.

    "If it can be understood by only few, then how come it is such a mainstream religion?"

    Just the way a science understood only by a few became mainstream knowledge.

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  16. Despite self importance and self indulgence - you are a confused individual who, like millions in India, doesn't have an idea what Hinduism is all about - thanks to a faulty education system that shies away from teaching Indian philosophy and religion in the name of Nehruvian secularism.



    For your information unlike other religions - mode of worshipping or not worshipping has nothing to do with the definition Hinduism. If you have no trust in Veda's and thereby, their core message of soul's reincarnation - you can't be called Hindu. period.



    This myth that you can be any thing and do any thing still be Hindu is the most stupid idea and its genesis is nothing but utter ignorance of Hinduism. Belief in re-incarnation is very fundamental to Hinduism and then you can be what you want to be (an athiest, poly-theist or monotheist.). But if you have no belief in re-incarnation of soul - you aren't really a Hindu but just a person who was born to Hindu parents and still "calls himself Hindu" since he was born with that label, and hence can benefit of this label.


    Also, it is a big falacy and stupid idea to suggest that Hinduism survived by itself from onslaught of other religions over last 1000 years. Nothing can be far from Truth. It is a lie perpetuated by Indian secularist brigade. Hinduism survived because a lot of determined people made an effort to make it survive over last 1000 years- they died for the cause, many of them gave up life of comforts and continue to preach for Hinduism (like Swami Dayanand, Vivekanand, Swami Ram Teerath, Mahakavi Tulsidas and many many more etc.)


    I suggest before you write on such a weighty matter that you have no understanding of - I suggest please read and enhance your knowdledge. If you really want to acquire some knowledge go and study Hinduism at Rishikesh or Banares with a knowledgeble Guru - but like aquiring any knowledge you have to first admmit that you know nothing or very little of subject.



    Prof Kumar.

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  17. This article expreesed his innocense about the details of his knowledge of scriptures.This can be understood from some teacher His statement that he is still a Hindu.That belief will provide further way to salvation when he comes in contact with a realized soul of his choice When ignorance is removed then comes self realization May almighty god enlighten him to follow the right conduct of life which is a part of religion.Love is God and God is love
    My best wishes

    Truly yours

    Shankerprasad S Bhatt
    Author of Prayers of all religions of the world
    web site worldprayers.googlepages.com
    my email ssbhatt79@Gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Sujai,

    I am not a very big thinker to talk about religion but your post raised some questions in my mind: First I see one contradiction: You say that Hinduism allowes everybody in every way. So why Hinduism will not allow "the goons" you are talking about. Also do you know those goons also have some medicinal patents? You know some of these goons (VHP) brought many hindu religious leaders together in one manch to say “that all hindus are equal and things like untouchability should be abolished”.

    If they are preaching one way of Hinduism, you are also doing the same thing by telling us to look other good or bad way.

    Do you know about Shivaji, Guru Govind Singh even Gandhiji. They fought for something, why? Why they could not think that the place they live in is anyway supports all kinds of things (inclusive in Hinduism)? Why Mughals, Britishers needed to go away? If it was only the religion which protected itself why Bharat is shrinking? Why in last 2000-3000 years and old historical India's part are not with Bharat and also do not follow the beautiful religion or way of life you follow? Why India needs to be progressive and need army? Why we need to fight with a different ideology in Kashmir?

    Dear Savitaji,

    I agree with you to some extent, my grandfather was a priest himself who conducted marriage. How we have lived in our childhood I know. I know how much 'crooked brahmnicals patriarchs' he was. I also do not like so many rituals but I try to understand why we do certain things. During my marriage I asked panditji, meaning of what he has been saying. And what I used to thinks was true to some extent. The sloka’s they do to some extents just describe some process, some agreements.

    Do you know how a court marriage is done, some agreements right? These are also rithuals. Acharya Sharma who started Gayatri parivar, they teach anybody how to do our puja vidhi irrespective of caste. There are time to time bad people but concept was not bad. Another rithual is janampatri? Do you know what information a birth certificate has? If you look at the janam patri the same (and more) you will find in it.

    I can not say that all rituals are good or bad but mostly they are some process and agreements to do things. Some are good and some are probably bad.

    Thanks
    Harish

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  19. @Prof Kumar,
    "If you have no trust in Veda's and thereby, their core message of soul's reincarnation - you can't be called Hindu. period. "

    Says Who?
    In Vedic age sudras and untouchables were not allowed to listen to the vedas.
    were they not hindus?

    "If you really want to acquire some knowledge go and study Hinduism at Rishikesh or Banares with a knowledgeble Guru "

    Do you know that Swami Ram Teertha was ridiculed by your so called
    "knowledgable gurus" of Benaras because he had no knowledge of sanskrit?To be a hindu it is not necessary that you have knowledge of scriptures.God is
    something to be experienced, not to be studied.

    PARTHA

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  20. Dear Friend,
    What you have written is true. But let me tell you one thing which I could'nt agree with. You had provided some 5-6 reasons why you feel comfortable with Hinduism. In the fifth point, you had written that there are so many versions of Ramayana, some consider Rama as good and some hold Ravana to be good character. Let me tell you, there are some three primary versions (Valmiki's-the original, Kamban's and Tulasidas') and many in different languages also. Nowhere it is said Ravana was a completely useless fellow. While all hold Rama as God, they say Ravana was a great warrior, a good king, an emphatic scholar (who had written commentary for the Vedas), etc. The only thing which pulled all of them down was his weakness towards ladies, which is also the reason for his demise. So none of the versions say Rama as a bad character, and none say Ravana as a good-for-nothing character.
    Anyway nice article!

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  21. Dear Anonymous,

    ""If you have no trust in Veda's and thereby, their core message of soul's reincarnation - you can't be called Hindu. period. "

    Says Who?"

    Anyone who has a reasonable understanding of Hinduism.

    Basically, belief in God is not what makes one a Hindu - agreed. Hinduism is not God-centered, it is truth-centered. And typically what is classified as "Astika" is the acceptance of Sabda pramana (holding that the Sruti, Smriti and the words of wise men are sources of true knowledge in the same order of authority). The schools that do not subscribe to sabda pramana, do not call themselves Hindu (for instance the Bauddhas and Jainas).

    However, though they do not call themselves Hindus, they very much belong to the same social fabric. But that is a different thing.

    We should understand that there is a philosophical and a social level classification. The definition at philosophical level differs from the social classification, and the latter is intended for more practical purposes - and therefore the line is a bit hazy.

    "In Vedic age sudras and untouchables were not allowed to listen to the vedas.
    were they not hindus?"

    It is a different topic who was allowed to do what, but the point is that your subscription to Veda as a source of valid knowledge does not have to do with your listening to or understanding Veda. Just the way your belief in science does not have to do with the depth of your understanding of the same. Refer my previous comment on how knowledge translates and applies to the common man.

    "To be a hindu it is not necessary that you have knowledge of scriptures."

    Yes. But it is necessary that you have respect for that knowledge. Otherwise, you remain in the social structure, but not in the philosophical one.

    "God is
    something to be experienced, not to be studied."

    Reducing the whole knowledge system to "experience of God" is simplistic. The Hindu knowledge system is vast, and consists of many worldviews, spiritual philosophies, religious traditions. There are schools whose goal can be devotion, truth, beauty or righteousness, and there are schools that do not even affirm God and are still very much Hindu. However, all these schools still accept Veda as the source of their knowledge.

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  22. You are saying all this because you are Hindu. Thanks to God that you didnt get convertecd to Islam by force or for any reason...otherwise you know, how you would have been ;)

    So, Im writing here just to tell you that Hinduism need protection, Hinduism is like harmless baby and must be protected. You are protected so you are still Hindu hahaha... otherwise you could be Muslim as other Muslims in India.

    Jaspal

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  23. There is Hinduism, the religion as practiced by the billions of people, and there is Hinduism, the philosophy propounded by the early Hindu intellectuals who were uniquely great in asking very profound questions.

    I think the Hinduism as practiced by most Indians is not a thing of beauty from an intellectual point of view. Even if they tolerate many other ways of being a Hindu, these people do not really present an appealing picture of the religion what with the superstitious and ritualistic practices that one sees everywhere in India.

    Hinduism, the philosophy, by its very nature is quite liberal, and allows multitudes of interpretations of the world to coexist. There is definitely some beauty in such a system, especially when contrasted with the very rigid nature of other religions. It is this aspect of Hinduism that is quite appealing to more rational people, including atheists.

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  24. There is just one Hinduism, philosophy, culture, religions are only different aspects of it. And Hinduism is evolving, synthetic, accommodating and flexible in all these aspects.

    Whatever customs one sees, one should understand that they are specific to the tradition that follows those. And there are several traditions - following different customs, rituals, practices and philosophies. And a common Hindu follows any of those traditions or even remains outside those. One still very much remains a part of the Hindu society. This flexibility is not because of the "philosophy", but a flexibility that comes by drawing the line between religion governance and society, and minimizing the interference of one on the other. This is the uniqueness of Hinduism - to have a comprehensive system of life and still being able to keep the various aspects of life in proper context.

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  25. Dear Friend,

    You have titled your write up: "The Beauty of Hinduism, if there is any." There are two ways by which this title can be interpreted: whether you mean 'if there is any beauty in it' or whether there is anything called Hinduism'. Anyway, the later interpretation seems more appropriate according to me.

    The word 'Hinduism'is normally referred as a religion like Christianity, Islam etc. which is misnomer because Hinduism merely refers to the practice being followed by a set of people who were living in the region called 'Indus'.

    The doctrine that has come to be recognised as the ultimate truth as revealed by vedic scriptures like Vedas and Upanishads is called: Sanatana Dharma. It is universal in concept and it is a way of life for all, beyond all regions and religions. It is a doctrine where God manifests not beyond mountains, not above the sky, not even at temples but right within, the Supreme Self.

    V.S.Krishnan,
    www.thiruppugazh.org

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  26. @Savitha:
    I have found this blog only recently, so could comment only now! I completely (word by word) agree with you. The mangalsutra is one of the ultimate demonstrations of Indian chauvinisms. The same can eb said of ANY symbol of marriage worn by a girl
    @ Sujai:
    Great blog!!!

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  27. being a hindu i guess you are also proud of the caste system, worshipping money, enjoying sex and all types of pleasure (Kama - goal of a Hindus life) and artha (making money).

    With such great ideals(I am being sarcastic here), I am sure u are proud being a Hindu.

    Unfortunately this land has faced the curse of this barbaric religion keeping it poor and uncivilized for Sanatan(eternity)

    ReplyDelete
  28. One of the most irritating features of Hinduism are it’s plethora of rituals. I strongly believe that these rituals were deliberately created by the ancient Brahmanas – in the name God - to perpetuate their higher status in the caste system & also to gain materially too by asking the lower caste to donate rice, fruits, livestock, clothings, etc.

    In particular, there is this Shradh (in the name of one’s father) ritual. The purpose of this ritual is supposed to be to ensure that his soul lives in peace. It allays the sufferings of your departed father. I’ve 2 main objections to this:
    1.It’s sexist! Shradh is dedicate to one’s father – but what about mother. Whyn’t a Shradh for her?

    2.It’s downright illogical! As per Hindu believe, you’ll be treated in the “other world” as per your Karma. If that be so why the hell do Hindus perform Shradh? Just leave it to the gods to decide the fate of the Atma of the father - & which will be as per his Karma when he lived. Simple.

    To me Shradh looks like an unwarranted solicitation at the feet of the God…actually at the feet of the Pundit who will perform the ritual, since he will be getting a lot of gifts & launch too, for a better treatment of the Atma.

    Maybe a few rituals here & there wouldn’t have mattered. In this age, it’s natural to feel irritated by these stupid rituals.

    And anyone who disagrees with me, please do not parade fanciful religious arguments to justify these rituals. Reread the first paragraph & you’ll know why these rituals exists.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Sujai K: Hinduism is so fragile that it needs protection from goons such as Bajrang Dal, fanatics such as VHP, or sympathizers and protectors… It has withstood onslaught of many monotheistic, authoritarian and dogmatic religions and has remained vibrant

    Sambhu’s reaction to Sujai K: Now the question you forgot to answer here is, "how did it withstand those onslaughts?" It did, by defending itself from those, physically, militarily - when "goons" of yore fought for it. And that is what follows from commonsense - something will survive when it has warriors to defend it.

    Dear Sambhu, are you a symphatiser of Bajrang Dal & VHP? Your argument is complete in the wrong line! You’ve hopelessly failed to understand the real character of these outfits.

    Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, Ram Sena & VHP are “lunatic fringes” of society! They represent the worst of Indian Culture! They’re rabid rabble-rousers! How can we forget the violence & anti-social behaviors that these outfits had exhibited in many parts of India? The characters of these outfits are basically that of mad street dogs who bark at & attack anything that they come across.

    A simple question: Have these outfits ever raised their voices against perverse cultural practices & believes & attitudes?

    THE ANSWER IS A RESOUDING, NO!

    These are basically communal elements which are used by the BJP in order to score political goals.

    Lastly, I suspect, these crude elements exist as a retaliation to the minority appeasement policy of pseudo-secular parties like, Congress & RJD, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Raz,

    I do not know whether you follow or understand Hindu practices. If not better keep quiet. Shradha is dedicated to mother also. Even husband perform Shradha to thier late wife, in case.

    Better you stop here and do not simplify other aspects.
    Instead take a 10th grade math book and solve some 2nd degree polynomial. I doubt if you can.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Raz,

    half-knowledged people like you irritate everybody.

    Shradh is performed for women also.

    Widowers perform shradh departed wife.

    Learning a few big words in English is not knowledge or thought.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Anonymous, thanks for educating me on the fact that Shradha is also performed for ladies!

    >>Instead take a 10th grade math book and solve some 2nd degree polynomial

    What kind of a joke is this?

    I advise you to instead ask people who practice Shradh to solve "2nd degree polynomial". Let's see how many can do that!

    Anonymous, for your kind info there’re crores of HIGHLY-EDUCATED CULTURAL MORONS performing meaningless rituals & worshipping some stupid Gods! Please ask them to solve "2nd degree polynomial". Let's see how many can do that!

    More importantly, I give a damn to these stupid & irritating Hindu rituals. I’ve already stated the background of these rituals. Please go & read it.

    And you stupid Anonymous (I do not know why the hell are you hiding behind a “Anonymous” name) just because I was ignorant of a particular aspect of Shradh ritual doesn’t mean that I should read “10th grade math book and solve some 2nd degree polynomial”

    Mr. Anonymous, just get this straight - To perform rituals you do not need brains! Even if your brain is filled with Cowdung you still can believe in & perform rituals of all kinds. And this is what we’re witnessing for the last 5000 years.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Raz,

    you are not ignorant of anything. You are yet another crooked elite bent on belittling Hindu practices.

    You give a damn about rituals. But why you were bothered about discrimination in it? You sound like there exists nothing but it smells foul.

    Why do you need my name? Cannot get gist of what I wrote? This is just another variable in 2nd degree polynomial and you are confused.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous, I was actually too quick to thank you for educating me about Shradha ritual. Fact is - Not all communities perform Shradha for the departed mother (or for that matter any other lady) as you seem to suggest.

    I really wonsder how many people follow what you'd suggested.

    Shradha is primarily a sexist ritual performed in the name of the departed father. Period.

    ReplyDelete
  35. you can either be a hindu or be an atheist.. you cant be both!!! atheists deny the existence of god... hinduism has so many gods... and you want tolerance in religion so u can do what u want and it can be considered as okay?? thats compromise to me!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Mr. Anonymous, you’re thinking like a person who has not passed 10th grade.

    I do not know why you’ve taken on the responsibility of asking me to shut up, directly or indirectly! Who the hell gave you the right?

    I’ve every right to pass judgement on “stupidities” around me! Hindu culture is replete with vulgarities, stupidities & nonsense of all kinds that has been handed down from centuries! And for this I do not have to be some “elite” as your peanut-sized brain seems to suggest.

    Besides, why’re you so disturbed & intolerant about my criticism. Facts are hard to face, isn’t?

    >> You give a damn about rituals. But why you were bothered about discrimination in it? You sound like there exists nothing but it smells foul.

    “…there exists nothing but it smells foul”???!!!

    This is clear proof that you’ve not passed 10th grade which explains such stupid statements!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Raz,

    you questions and comments to me are the answers to your questions.

    I will be a little more clear.
    First you say no Shradh performed for women. Then you say only some communities do it.
    Conclusion 1: you are too fast to react to something regardless you know it or not.

    I told you to shut up because you are half-knowledged. It was like RMP performing a by-pass surgery.

    >>> I do not know why you took the responsibility....

    That is what exactly I wanted to know. Why you and people like you and Sujai take responsibility of correcting 'stupidities' which you
    do not know nor you believe in. More over bring the discrimination angle in it.

    >> there exists nothing but it smells foul.

    Cool. In case you did not get it and need complete set of sentences.
    You, Raz, said you do not believe in these stupid practices. But you, again Raz, worried about discrimination of women in these stupid practices.

    "So sir initially there was nothing. But this big-bang happened and everything formed" - student to his professor - from Reader Digest

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous, you’re acting smarter than you think you’re!

    >> I told you to shut up because you are half-knowledged.

    Half-knowledged? The fact is Shradha is performed only for the departed father in most communities – with a few exceptions for the departed mother. THAT IS THE MAIN POINT! And another main point is that it’s a SEXIST ritual!

    So what nonsense is this “Half-knowledged” thing you’re so excited about? Just because I didn’t mention the exceptions in my first comment I therefore became “Half-knowledged”? Even taking for granted your perception, that doesn’t in any way take away from the main point – It’s a SEXIST ritual.

    So why are you indulging in nit-picking?

    >> You, Raz, said you do not believe in these stupid practices. But you, again Raz, worried about discrimination of women in these stupid practices.

    So what’s wrong with stating both? It’s a SEXIST ritual…& I MUST state this fact…even though I do not believe in these rituals. Why the hell are you losing your sleep because of that?

    Instead of being so irritated by Half-knowledged people like me & Sujai, please go and ask practitioners of Hinduism (or for that matter any religion) whether they’ve EVER seen those religious scriptures (of their respective religions) in their lives, leave alone having ever READ them.

    >> "So sir initially there was nothing. But this big-bang happened and everything formed" - student to his professor - from Reader Digest

    Contextually, it seems to be a feverish product of your thinking! Sorry, doesn’t make any sense to me! This is just another proof of your “acting smarter than you think you’re”.

    ReplyDelete
  39. >> So why are you indulging in nit-picking?

    This is what exactly I want you to stop.

    Why you are bothered whether it is sexist or not when you do not believe in it?

    It is like saying Americans are SEXISTS that they did not elect a single WOMAN president in 200 years of democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  40. >> Sorry, doesn’t make any sense to me!

    Well! That is why I asked to learn 2nd degree polynomial.

    ReplyDelete
  41. For sure you are a Brahmin.

    I like your blog. You have put it well. No, you are not confused, at least not about religion...but you are angry with Hindus in general for being so stuck up and painfully parochial. I suspect it is the Brahmins who infuriate you the most.

    You write about Hindu fundamentalism and your anger with Hindu fanaticism. Yet you say you try to understand Islamic fundamentalism. Have you read Godse's speech? Godse was a Chitpavan Brahmin. Did you read that when Sardar Patel sent in forces to crush the Razakar movement, in the very same Telangana which you now claim needs separate statehood, Godse said: Had Gandhi been alive, he would never have allowed Patel to attack Hyderabad.

    Godse grew up admiring Gandhi, but the facts were too consistent and too brutal for him to ignore the cruelties being inflicted by Gandhi's policies on Hindus. Read up about that side of the story also.

    Don't be too angry with the Brahmins. They are in a very helpless state -- their knowledge has been forcibly taken away from them and they have been humiliated repeatedly. The VHP and RSS are outcomes of such injustices. Don't say no injustice occurs against Hindus. Horrendous injustices have been committed against them. In a way, we need to be grateful that they are not a gun toting community, unlike the Islamic folk you wish to comprehend.

    Your blog is good. You are obviously of high intelligence and angry with the pace of activity of India...but your solutions are flawed, your focus and analysis is flawed...because you are not covering the complete picture.

    As far as astrology and superstitions are concerned, yes there needs a rethink, but this is not to say that the stars have no influence on us. Maybe the science has been lost...calling for a new beginning....

    ReplyDelete
  42. Name: Softy

    Think, Think and Think!

    In general an atheist doesn't physically attack with a weapon, unlike some people belonging to a particular religion. What the theory of atheism has given to the world is rational thinking. So far so good.

    But this theory: "God doesn't exist/show me God, then I will believe/God is to be doubted" doesn't hold water, when it comes to creativity, experience, etc. A vehicle such as a car or a train can move with a high speed, but cannot EXPERIENCE the movement; WE can! A machine such as a robot cannot hear a melodious song and enjoy. It can't write a poem or think on its own...

    The big bang story of creation of the Universe is a big 'scientific LIE' because what we get as a result of a point-based explosion is simply a bubble of gas (not galaxies/planets/stars!)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Beautiful! Your words are admirable! I am an Atheist and I am a Hindu (Happy to be born as a Hindu). I have been researching about religions for about 7 years and happy to see someone now who is exactly like me. Before starting my research, even I hated my religion (just as all other atheists do). But after an extensive research for years, I learnt & understood all those beautiful things in it. Lovely! :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. For all atheists please visit by blog theancientindia.blogspot and give your valuable feedback. Sujai if possible plz chat with me.

    ReplyDelete

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