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Why Am I A Hindu ?

Hinduism – A Dialogue Between Travelers: Four years ago, I was flying from JFK NY Airport to SFO to attend a meeting at Monterrey, CA. An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window seat. It indeed was a long journey – it would take nearly seven hours.I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible unusual of young Americans. After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk.I told her that I am from India

Then suddenly the girl asked: ‘What’s your faith?’ ‘What?’ I didn’t understand the question.

‘I mean, what’s your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?’

‘No!’ I replied, ‘I am neither Christian nor Muslim’.

Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. ‘Then who are you?’

I am a Hindu’, I said.

She looked at me as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not understand what I was talking about.

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The core tenets of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism)

Yama & Niyama are the first 2-stages of Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali

The 10 Yamas – Restraints or Proper Conduct

  1. Ahimsa …………………or Non-injury
  2. Satya ……….. …………or Truthfulness
  3. Asteya ……….. ………..or Nonstealing
  4. Brahmacharya ……….. or Sexual Purity
  5. Kshama ……………….. or Patience
  6. Dhriti ……….. …………or Steadfastness
  7. Daya ……….. ………….or Compassion
  8. Arjava ……….. ………..or Honesty
  9. Mitahara ……….. ……..or Moderate Diet
  10. Saucha ……….. ………..or Purity (Hygiene)

The 10 Niyamas – Observances or Practices

  1. Hri ……….. …………….or Modesty
  2. Santosha ……….. ………or Contentment
  3. Dana ……….. …………..or Charity
  4. Astikya ……….. ………..or Faith
  5. Ishvarapujana ………….or Worship of the Lord
  6. Siddhanta Sravana …….or Scriptural Listening
  7. Mati ……….. ……………or Cognition
  8. Vrata ……….. ………….or Sacred Vows
  9. Japa ……….. ……………or Incantation
  10. Tapas ……….. ………….or Austerity

How simple they sound and how difficult they are! Are they truly difficult? Anything you are not accustomed to – appears difficult. For a person who has not even seen a swimming pool or pond before – swimming appears difficult. Familiarity removes the fear and makes it easy. Then, once a person starts familiarizing with the above – they progressively become easy and practicable.

MSR Ayyangar

Why Religions failed..???

What is Religion:

A system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe. Usually, religion concerns itself with that which transcends the known, the natural, or the expected; it is an acknowledgment of the extraordinary, the mysterious, and the supernatural. The religious consciousness generally recognizes a transcendent, sacred order and elaborates a technique to deal with the inexplicable or unpredictable elements of human experience in the world or beyond it.

Types of Religious Systems

The evolution of religion cannot be precisely determined owing to the lack of clearly distinguishable stages, but anthropological and historical studies of isolated cultures in various periods of development have suggested a typology but not a chronology. One type is found among some Australian aborigines who practice magic and fetishism but consider the powers therein to be not supernatural but an aspect of the natural world. Inability or refusal to divide real from preternatural and acceptance of the idea that inanimate objects may work human good or evil are sometimes said to mark a prereligious phase of thought. This is sometimes labeled naturism or animatism. It is characterized by a belief in a life force that itself has no definite characterization.

A second type of religion, represented by many Oceanic and African tribal beliefs, includes momentary deities (a tree suddenly falling on or in front of a person is malignant, although it was not considered “possessed” before or after the incident) and special deities (a particular tree is inhabited by a malignant spirit, or the spirits of dead villagers inhabit a certain grove or particular animals). In this category one must distinguish between natural and supernatural forces. This development is related to the emergence of objects of devotion, to rituals of propitiation, to priests and shamans, and to an individual sense of group participation in which the individual or the group is protected by, or against, supernatural beings and is expected to act singly or collectively in specific ways when in the presence of these forces.

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The essence of Vedas

Veda literally means “Truth” or “Knowledge” or “Awareness”. Sanskrit is the language in which Veda was scripted. Sanskrit – means culturally evolved. Veda is the spiritual & social foundation of Indian ethos – and Sanskrit is the mother of all Indian languages. Veda was not originally a book authored by a single individual, as was often misinterpreted or misunderstood by many western scholars.  Vedas were the cumulative compilations by different exalted sages & seers at different times in the history. Read the rest of this entry

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