h i n d u i s m - 1 0 1|
HINDU LEGACY ---- The Saints of India.
Perhaps no other country on Earth has left behind the spiritual legacy that India has. The very epitomy of spirituality and transcendental philosophy, India has given rise to a stupendous pantheon of figures who have breached the walls of Third Dimensional Reality, and punctured into the Beyond. This site is a tribute to them. As Hindu Saints points out: "If Hinduism is alive and vibrant today, it is mainly because of the contribution made by these venerable souls." Call them Indian Holy men, hindu monks, saints, babas, siddhars or saddhus, they are at the center of Indian spirituality. But these have contributed not just to Hinduism, vast as that religion is. Their contribution spills forth outside of India for all the world to share, for all to enrich themselves. As my knowledge of Hindu spirituality and philosophy deepens, this website will grow to record the color and breadth of this great religion. I will also suggest ways you can become a saint yourself, and breach the walls of Third Dimensional thought. So, first, learn from the examples of the saints listed below. Learn their wisdom, synthesise your own approach, and break the walls of the Third Dimension all by yourself. Let's begin the joyride!
INDIAN STYLE ---- Surrender to the Absolute.
According to the Advaita site about the saints and holy men and women of India, from time immemorial: "Writing about the saints who have graced Bharat (India) is difficult because they are innumerable. Even though some are more famous than the others, that does not, in any way, reflect their knowledge [of God] or devotion [to God] they expressed. Compounded by this is that most of the saints hardly mentioned about their lives, their families etc because they had already surrendered to God. Thus, they were indifferent to the grossly material events in life and were more concerned in singing God's glory, establishing a way to get out of life's misery and attain eternal happiness. Further, they were extremely humble. For example, one of the best poets of the Hindi literature, Shri Tulasidas considered himself a childish babbler and his composition clumsy.
"If there are lessons to be learnt from the lives of the saints (and there are indeed many lessons), it is that they lived a simple life, conquering the six `enemies` (lust, jealousy, anger etc..), surrendering attachments to `tan, man, dhan` (body, mind, riches) and being established in Brahman."
HINDUISM ---- A Brief Introduction.
For a more complete explanation of Hinduism, visit this worthy site. Outside of India, Hinduism is famous for its dizzying array of gods and goddesses. At heart, however, Hindu's believe in one God in much the same way that Christians, Jews and Moslems (the People of the Book) do. This is important for spiritual seekers from the West to remember -- it is possible to retain your belief in One God, and still get something out of Hinduism. The many lesser gods of Hinduism can be compared to the many saints of the Catholic Church, or the many saints of Islam, or the great Rabbi's of Judaism. They are in other words merely manifestations of the Great Central God which can never manifest directly, because He/She is too vast. According to Hinduism, three Lords rule the world: Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Shiva (the Destroyer). It is interesting that in Christianity the Godhead is divided into three distinct entities: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. It is a little bit different from the Hindu Trinity, but it is a Trinity nonetheless. If you start to think about things this way, you will see that Hinduism is not that different from Christianity, deep down. With that realisation, the possibility opens for cross-demoninational fertilization. This site will show you can incorporate Hindu wisdom into your life, so it can work for you!
As quoted on the Hindu Resources Online page: "Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the realization of the truth that the number of gods to be worshiped is large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of the Hindu religion." I think in some ways Hinduism is the perfect religion, in that it allows multiple truths and multiple believes to flourish together. Jesus Christ is Himself considered a god in the Hindu pantheon, as is Buddha.
FESTIVALS ---- A Riot of Colour.
India is well known for its dazzling calendar of festivals, most of them of a religious nature, and some constituting the largest regular assembly of people anywhere on the planet. Amongst the most beloved are Deepawali, Ganesha Chaturthi, and Chhath Puja, in Bihar. As the excellent Hindu Temples and Prayers website writes: "The Chhath Festival is one of the most important festivals of Bihar. It is devoted to the Sun God and its rituals entail a rigorous regimen. As it is celebrated over a period of four days around Kaartik Shukla Paksha Shashthi (the sixth day of the waxing moon fortnight during the lunar month Kaartik), it is also known as Surya Shashthi. Though it originated from Bihar, but now it is a national phenomenon and even beyond the borders of India, as it has closely followed the Bihari Diaspora in every corner of the world. The next Chhath is scheduled for 19 November 2012."
Contact the author Rob Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright November 2012.
f e e d b a c k
says: "What a comprehensive view of the gods of india..really enjoyed it. I thank u for the clarity this article has given me in my seeking.
"I used to be a die hard atheist since childhood-praying to Shiva, vishnu, krishna, ganesha, saraswati, hanuman etc. I beleived in ONE omnipotent,omniscient, omnipresent God.
"But my recent experience with a spiritual master and organization took me towards Advaita philosophy-which makes possible the existence of many gods and the god inherent in every one of us. With the possibility of man becoming GOD one day, it has obviated my belief in 'one GOD for all'.
"So my allegiance shifted from Dvaita(dualistic) to the Advaita(non dualistic) shcheme of things, where there is no radical difference between man and god as man is god's low frequency existence,capable of reaching godhood by various means(bhakti,gyan,karma,meditation,etc).
"All this was fine till i realized that this advaita concept of GOD is effectively atheism in the eyes of a monotheist.
"Nevermind, 'reailty is relative'-I said to myself and continued my journey inwards.("One should have the courage of following truth to wherever it takes").
"WIth my beleif in God shaken, I decided to test my second most prized belief-the concept of Atman through the Advaitic Lens...."
JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
What are your thoughts on Hindu gods? Who is your favourite god (the One you worship?) Or are you losing your religion, as the old REM song went?