Hinduism

How To Read Study Understand Hinduism


I received a question as to how to read and understand Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma.

The sender of this question is Professional in IT from IIT .

Vedas.Image.jpg

Vedas.

‘Would that be alright if I begin with the Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Shankaracharya?

It is difficult to understand.

Can you suggest any method’

I thought these some of the questions many are seeking answers for.

Strictly speaking the Vedas have to be studied for Twelve years minimum to have an idea.

Unlike the other Religions, Hinduism is based on Experience and Intuition and it takes time for one to grasp.

So it is difficult to understand the Vedas in the present day unless one decides to spend a lifetime on studying the Vedas, which is not practical now.

Then we have the Ithihasas Puranas Stotras Stuthis and Legends.

Where to begin?

It looks very complex and one is bewildered at the seemingly vast knowledge base and it appears at a first glance each contradict the other.

The one is also confused by the thoughts in Hinduism that the Reality is Not One(Advaita),

Qualified Not Two (Visishtadvaita)

Dualism(Dwaita).

33 Crore Gods mentioned in the Puranas,

You have Trimurthis,

Of the some say Shiva is superior, Others Vishnu and yet others Devi and so many versions.

And Hinduism , in the form of Karma Yoga asks one to forego the results of action.

Bhakthi Yoga says that One has to simply surrender to God and nothing else is needed.

Yet we have the Karmas sanctioned in the Vedas which are to be performed by very one.

We have Raja Yoga, in the form of Yoga where one learns to control the Mind and which says Mind control alone will do, nothing else is required!

Hinduism says that there is Destiny and your Life is prepared and at the same time says that one can raise by one’s effort.

Hinduism says that one should renounce things and be in the world.

Seemingly contradictory.

But they are not.

I have posted a few articles on each of these aspects.

Now to the question of Reading Hinduism.

I recommend the following,

1.Outlines of Indian Philosophy by Professor Hiriyanna. http://amzn.to/1PnBdSz

2. The Collected works of Swami Vivekananda( all the volumes) http://amzn.to/1L6V1Uk

3. The Eighteen Puranas.

These will give one the background

What is required is patience to  form conclusions and answers for the questions that may arise one reads these.

They will be cleared as you go along.

Studying Hinduism.

Now one can read the Pancha Sukthas, Purusha Suktha, Narayana Suktha, Vishnu Suktha, Durga Suktha and Sri Suktha.

And Sri Rudram and Namakam.

Slokas Vishnu Sahasranama and Lalita Sahsranama.

As ou along these lines out shall get links to proceed further.

Hinduism is not text-based but is based on Experience and Divine Guidance.

Once you start in good earnest out shall get all the answers.

To understand Hinduism one has to live as prescribed in the Vedas and engage one self in Sadhana.

This will be facilitated by  studying the Bhasyas of the three Acharyas, Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhwa.

Not to forget the Jewel The Bhagavad Gita!

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Hinduism

Taxila, Takshashila Built By Bharata Brother Of Rama


Lord Rama’s son ,Lava built Lahore now in Pakistan.

Taxila, called as Takshashila in Sanskrit and Takashila was built by Bharata, brother of Lord Rama , for his son Taksha.

Taxila.Image.jpg

Taxila, Takshasila, world’s First University.

Legend has it that Takṣaśilā derived its name from Takṣa, who was the son of Bharata, the brother of the Hindu deity Rama. Takṣa’s kingdom was called Takṣa Khanda and its capital that he founded was named Takṣaśilā.

*According to another theory propounded by DD Kosambi, Takṣaśilā is related to Takṣaka, Sanskrit for “carpenter”, and is an alternative name for the Nāgas of ancient India. In the great Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Kuru heir Parikṣit (grandson of the Arjuna) was enthroned at Takṣaśilā. Traditionally, it is believed that the Mahabharata was first recited at Takṣaśilā by Vaishampayana, student ofVyasa at the behest of the seer Vyasa himself, at the Snake Sacrifice.

* There is no supportive evidence for this.

In “Lalitha Vistara,” we are told of the formation of such institutions for teaching the three R’s and moral stories to the young. Further, a very remarkable achievement of ancient India in the post-Vedic and Buddhist ages was the organisation of higher education in a few of the prominent centres of India. The earliest and the most famous institutions of the kind were those of Benares and Taxila, which were the educational havens for people from all parts of the world, right down at least from the Buddhist age. The one place which acquired a great reputation not only for its mastery over a special branch of knowledge, medicine, but also for its general ideal instruction, perfect discipline and homely training was the University of Taxila…

In the Ramayana, (Vangavasi Edition-Uttarakandam-Chapter XIV) Bharata, Sri Rama’s brother, is said to have built two cities, Takkhasila and Puskalavata, and appointed his sons, Takkha and Puskala, to be their rulers respectively. The cities were described as very prosperous in as much as their citizens were pious and prosperous. There is another reference in the same Uttarakanda of Ramayana that Takkhasila was a centre of learning and that people from different parts of the country resorted to the Institution of Education there to specialise in Law (Vyavahara). The 88th Chapter of Vayupurana refers to Takkhasila, the capital of Takka, a beautiful city.

‘Brihatsamhita’ mentions Takkhasila as a most famous city, implying thereby that it was doubtless a centre of ancient education and culture. Further, in Mahabharata, it is recorded that the King Janamejaya conquered it. It also declares the men Taxila to be matchless and unrivalled in discussions and debates in educational and cultural learning. Lastly, Ksemendra’s ‘Aradanakalpalata’ says that Asoka’s son, Kunala, was sent by Asoka to conquer Takkhasila, which was ruled by Kunjarakarna.

Taxila has been referred to, often, in Pali literature as well, a great centre of learning and as an important University centre in ancient India. According to Dhammapadattahakatha, Pasenadi, King of Kosala, was educated at the University of Taxila. From the Mahavagga, (Vinaya Pitaka), we learn that several princes from various kingdoms, within and without India, went to the University of Taxila for their complete education.

Dhammapadadattahakatha speaks of a student who went to Taxila, all the way from Benares, to study the ‘Silpas’, in the midst of five hundred class-mates. In several places, in the Pali Jatakas, there are references to highly renowned teachers living at Taxila and to the various subjects taught there.
The foreign writers of Greece, Rome and China have left Lind valuable records of accounts of Taxila. Arrian refers it as having been a great and flourishing city in the times Alexander. Strabo comments upon its population. Plutarch dwells upon its fertile soil. Hiuentsang writes of its rich harvests and luxuriant vegetation. There are other foreign Buddhist works which refer to the various arts and sciences, imparted at the University of Taxila, in the Buddhist age.

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Hinduism

Pashupathynath, Shiva Worshiped In Denmark


I have written articles on the presence of Sanatana Dhama, Hinduism throughout the world.

Tara Hill ,Ireland.Image.jpg

Tara Hill ,Ireland.

As a part of that exercise, I posted that the Celts’s ancestors were Brahmins and that there are connections between Goddess Kali of Hinduism and the Celtic Gods.

Depiction of Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron, Denmark c200BC -300AD.Image.jpg

Depiction of Cernunnos on the Gundestrup Cauldron, Denmark c200BC -300AD

Pashupati Seal from Mohenjodaro, Pakistan. c2500BC-2400BC.Image.jpg

Pashupati Seal from Mohenjodaro, Pakistan. c2500BC-2400BC

 

““The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion and were, indeed, a parallel development from their common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. It has been only in recent decades that Celtic scholars have begun to reveal the full extent of the parallels and cognates between ancient Celtic society and Vedic culture.

For more on this Click here.

 

Irish Tribes were the children of Danu, Indian Goddess after whom the River Danube was named.

Read here.

And the Celts and the French worshiped Kali.

““The area around the village of Vix in northern Burgundy, France is the site of an important prehistoric complex from the CelticLate Hallstatt and Early La Tène periods, comprising an important fortified settlement and several burial mounds. The most famous of the latter, the Vix Grave, also known as the grave of the Lady of Vix, dates to circa 500 BC. Her grave had never been looted and contained remarkably rich grave offerings (collectively sometimes known as the Trésor de Vix), including a great deal of jewellery and the Vix krater, the largest known metal vessel from antiquity, being 1.63 m (5’4″) in height.

https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/celts-ancestors-of-french-english-worshiped-kali/

Now there surfaces evidence that Shiva, in the Form of Pasupathynath, Nepal was worshiped in Denmark and Scandinavian Countries.

“For a long time the Gundestrop Cauldron has been hailed as one of the most beautiful examples of Celtic art, made in Thrace but found in Denmark. It is now considered possible that the image of the horned god is that of Pasupati, a Shiva prototype, found in the early Indus Valley civilization. Certainly a seal from the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in the Indus Valley looks remarkably like the scene depicted on the cauldron. Compare the cauldron image below with that of the Pasupati figure from Mohenjodaro, 2300-1750 BC. Always Felt Loved and Connected With Cernunnos! heart emoticon
“Shree Pashupatinath (Nepali /Hindi: श्री पशुपतिनाथ) is an incarnation of the Hindu Lord Shiva as “Lord of animals”. He is revered throughout the Hindu world, but especially in Nepal, where he is unofficially regarded as a national deity.”

. The Druids called their mother goddess Tara; Edain Echraidhe is her Irish name.
2. Her home is the high valley between the Hill of Tara and Skryne in the Royal City of Celtic Ireland.
3. A motorway is being planned to go through the middle of this valley, generating some local opposition.
4. The hill of tara (known as teamhair na Ri or the “hill of kings” in Irish) was once the ancient seat of power in Ireland, reputed to have been the seat of the Árd Rí Éireann or High King of Ireland.
5. In ancient Irish religion and mythology, Tara was the sacred place of dwelling for the gods, and was the entrance to the otherworld
6. The Hill of Tara was the capital of the Tuatha Dé Danann, pre-Celtic dwellers of Ireland.
7. It was the seat of the kings of Ireland until the 6th century, and to a lesser extent this role extended until the 12th century. A grave was found near the hill that is supposedly that of King Lóegaire, who was said to be the last pagan king of Ireland.
8. Atop the hill stands a stone pillar that was the Irish Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) on which the High Kings of Ireland were crowned, the stone was required to roar three times if the chosen one was a true king.
9. At one time, it was a capital offense to make a fire within sight of Tara.
10. Saint Patrick is said to have come to Tara to confront the ancient religion of the pagans at its most powerful site.
11. One interpretation of the name Tara says that it means a “place of great prospect”, it’s claimed that on a clear day half the counties of Ireland can be seen from atop Tara.
12. Early in the 20th century a group of Israelites came to Tara with the conviction that the Arc of the Covenant was buried there.
13. A new theory suggests Tara was the ancient capital of the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
From the ancient Book of Enoch: “And there appear to me two men very tall, such as I have never seen on earth. And their faces shone like the Sun, and their eyes were like burning lamps; and fire came forth from their lips. ” 2En. 1:4-5..

To this day the Sleshmantaka forest remains sacred and is known as ‘Mrigasthali’, ‘the abode of deers’. The name Pashupati means ‘ Lord of Animals’ (Pashu – animal, Pati -Lord) and was later taken to mean (Lord of Souls).

In the Indus Valley many seals have been found which show images of the Horned God with many animals surrounding him. On the seals is what has became known as the Indus script. This is a written language which looks similar to runes and other ancient scripts, however academics have been struggling for many years to correctly decipher it. Although several decipherings have been made in the last 50 years none have gained complete approval by scholars and academics.

 

Citation.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=1533656563569360&story_fbid=1535793633355653

https://globalhinduism.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/link-of-shiva-the-pashupatinath-and-durga-found-in-denmark-and-ireland/

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Hinduism

Why Many Gods In Hinduism


I often encounter questions on Sanatana Dharma, called Hinduism, as to why there are many Gods in it and one is confused by this.

Also  while the other Religions talk of Only One God, why is it that Hinduism talks of many Gods.

I have been receiving a lot of queries on this and I am quoting one.

Vishnu as kaala Purusha.jpg

Lord Vishnu as Kaala Purusha

 

“Usually, we all say God is one but in Hindu Dharma we have Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for Creation, Preservation and Destroy. Why it is so? Why other religion is praying and naming one God. Can you please explain”

As to other Religions , Christianity, Islam, hey talk of God in an Impersonal way.

Christianity talks of God as The Father and there are no descriptions or attributes except the generalities like All merciful and one who would condone your sins if you repent your sins through His Agent, Jesus Christ.

Hinduism does not believe in Agents nor does it absolve you from the results of your actions, simply because you repent.

One has to face the consequences of his actions, this includes the Avatars of Gods as well.

Godhood is a Principle and Impersonal and Laws do not distinguish between people.

In Islam the same generalities.

God is One who lays down the Rules,he punishes you if you do not follow Islam!.

Hinduism is different.

It knows Religion is an experience and it can not be dictated by Logic alone, even if the Logic is impeccable.

The Truth, according to Hinduism, is One.

It is called Brahman, The Reality.( This is different from Brahma , the Creator).

This Brahman is without Attributes, it is a Principle , just as Gravity is.

But it is difficult to know it through the Mind.

Just as we can not know Gravity, we think we know Gravity, but what we really know is because of the feeling of Gravity.

The scientific explanation is only an expression born out  of the feelings of Gravity.

Imagine that we do not feel Gravity.

Would we have tried to form theory on Gravity?

So even if the Reality is an abstract principle,it has to be made understandable to be of use to us.

Hence even though the Reality Brahman is the Truth,Hinduism devised ways to reach/realize it.

The Truth, The Brahman, the Reality is Knowable, to Be Known.

That is the Truth.

This knowledge about Brahman is called ‘Apara Vidya'( beyond this world of names and forms)

The knowledge about Brahman and its attributes are called Apara Vidya.

The general descriptions of Brahman  are Sat, the State of Being, Chit(Consciousness) and Ananda(Bliss)

Apart from this, the Upanishads,a part of The Vedas, the scriptures of Hindus, try to explain the qualities of Brahman by excluding the attributes normally known to us stating that the Brahman is Beyond all this and also this.

For example the Upanishads,describe Brahman as,

‘Neither Tall nor Short, nor of medium height,

Neither Male, Female,nor transgender ,

Neither the Knower nor the Known,

Yet It is All of These’

You would find this is difficult to comprehend even at the intellectual level.

Knowledge if it can not be understood or used is useless.

Therefore Hinduism devised a way.

If we have to Know, it must be easy for us to follow.

The instrument to know is the Mind.

The instrument to feel is the Heart.

For those who want to know a glimpse , Hinduism provides  Gnana Yoga and Raja Yoga.

Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga being practiced by many.

Here one prepares the mind to understand Reality.

Gnana Yoga prepares one to discern the Reality by developing Vairaagya, the discerning capacity to distinguish between practical knowledge,Para Vidya and the Apara Vidya.

There are two more methods.

Bhakti yoga, the path of Loving God.

The other one is karma Yoga, the Path of Action.

For loving God one needs an object to concentrate for the Mind to enable the Heart to feel it.

So Gods have been named In Hinduism.

It is difficult for the Humans to empathize with qualities which are known to them.

The emotional connect is strong in the case relationships.

Father, Mother, Children, Wife, Children and relatives.

And if one attributes Reality/God with the qualities of Humans , it is easy for the Humans to understand.

So the Gods of Hinduism are attributed with Human qualities.

Then why many Gods?

Some love mother, some Father, some Lover, some friends, some a master

God in Hinduism is portrayed with all these qualities.

This makes it easy for Humans to relate to God than being asked to relate to an Impersonal God.

Once people start this step, over a period time, they will be able to feel the Impersonal God and the concept of god with Attributes withers away.

This first step is like LKG, while understanding, feeling Reality is like Phd..

After reaching Phd, the LKG would seem to be of no use.

But without that one could not have reached Phd.

At another level, there are principles that represent the Physical world.

Thus we have Brahma who represents the Potential energy, Vishnu, the Kinetic energy, and Shiva, the Potentio-Kinetic Energy.

Similarly all the Gods present the Principles of Nature as well.

Yet the fact that the Gods Rama ,Krishna, Shiva , Subrahmanya existed, as proved by Historical and astronomical Data, there is an unexplored area.

In short, Hinduism talks of not only Monotheism but Monism as The Truth but devised a way to understand them by Gods with attributes..

Kindly read my post Gods Hinduism, with name and form, Yes and No.

Another point is that even thought Gods with Names and Forms are only a tool to understand Brahman, these Gods, when prayed deliver results, as Lord Krishna explains in the Bhagavad Gita.

‘What ever Form you worship, I deliver you the results in the form you worship”

( This is not a literal translation)

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Hinduism

Hidden Book Of Koran Vedas. Dara Shikoh Shah Jehan’s Son Sirr-e-Akbar


To what extent our History can be hidden, is amazing.

Sirr-i-Akbar by Dara,Image.jpg Sirr-i-Akbar by Dara, Introduction PersianTranslation by Chand Tara.

Though it is a fact that Islamic rulers of India raped women, killed people, destroyed Temples and forcibly converted Hindus to Islam, it is shocking  to know that they could execute their own siblings for translating The Vedas directly from Sanskrit into Persian.

It is not about the common fanatic I am speaking about.

It is about Shah Jehan’s son Muhammad Dara Shikoh, who was also a great Sufi.

He went to the extent of saying that Islam had its roots in Hinduism, more specifically in The Vedas and the Upanishads, and they were revealed to the Rishis by God much before the advent of Prophet Muhammad.

( I am stating facts as I see them; I am not trying to legitimize Islam as many try.

I just point out the similarities between Hinduism and Islam.

That 786 is OM, Mecan is Shiva Temple,Ancestors of Arabians c0uld have been Tamils, Prophet Muhammad’s Uncle wrote a Hymn, Stuthi On Lord Shiva)

Prince Muhammad Dara Shikoh (1627-1658 AD) the favorite Sufi son of Moghul emperor, Shah Jehan. Known the world over for his unorthodox and liberal views. He was a mystic and a free thinker.

Dara Shikoh, wrote in his Persian translation of the Upanishads.

“After gradual research; I have come to the conclusion that long before all heavenly books, God had revealed to the Hindus, through the Rishis of yore, of whom Brahma was the Chief, His four books of knowledge, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda.”

He had learned Sanskrit and studied the Hindu scriptures in the original.

He translated the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga-Vasishta into Persian directly from Sanskrit and called it Sirr-e-Akbar (The Great Mystery). Titled “The Upanishads: God’s Most Perfect Revelation” and then into Latin by Anquetil Duperron (1801 and 1802) under the title Oupnekhat, contained about fifty. The Quran itself, he said, made veiled references to the Upanishads as the “first heavenly book and the fountainhead of the ocean of monotheism.”

In his Majma-al-Bahrain, he sought to reconcile the Sufi theory with the Vedanta.

He was able to affirm that Sufism and Advaita Vedantism (Hinduism) are essentially the same, with a surface difference of terminology.

And in introduction to this work he says that one finds in Upanishads the concept of tawhid (the doctrine of Unity of God, the most fundamental doctrine of Islam) after the Qur’an and perhaps the Qur’an refers to Upanishad when it refers to Kitab al-Maknun (The Hidden Book). His work Majma-al-Bahrain (Mingling of the Two Oceans i.e. Hinduism and Islam) is very seminal work in the history of composite culture of India.

Two years after the completion of the Sirr-i-Akbar, Dara was executed on the orders of his brother.

“Dara subsequently developed a friendship with the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai. Dara devoted much effort towards finding a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism. Towards this goal he completed the translation of 50 Upanishads from its original Sanskrit intoPersian in 1657 so it could be read by Muslim scholars. His translation is often called Sirr-e-Akbar (The Greatest Mystery), where he states boldly, in the Introduction, his speculative hypothesis that the work referred to in the Qur’an as the “Kitab al-maknun” or the hidden book, is none other than the Upanishads.[

 

Sirr-e-Akbar English Translation Download.

Citation.

http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Islam.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dara_Shikoh

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