Introducing Vinayaka

Apr 2019
14
Canada
#31
Great to see you Vinayaka.

This forum has little moderation, especially for your dislike of proselytizing. As such, as Adrian has done above, we will try to moderate those that may want to take that path.

My question would be how vast is Hinduisim.

I see that it needed to be made clear as to how vast Hinduism is and that it is not all based on Krishna. We have been fortunate that you have made that clear on RF and this thread would be a good place to record the vastness of the Hindu Faith and the many schools of thought.

I hope we do not scare you off. 😊

Regards Tony
Hi Tony. That's actually a really difficult task, but I can give a brief summary. The short answer would be that it's incredibly vast.
Concerning God, within Hinduism, you'll find polytheism, henotheism, monotheism, even atheism, and combinations of those, all with a healthy does of agnosticism about it. Individuals, however, generally do know what they think.
Concerning the culture associated with it, India compared to Europe is fair. India itself has some 20 languages that have at least 20 million speakers. And that doesn't include the 10 million or so people who were part of the British sugar diaspora. So things like temples, music, food, all vary from place to place.
There are also hundreds of subsects that follow a particular teaching, or teacher lineage, some where the lineages have disappeared, but the teaching continues, some where there is still a living teacher. Some of these subsects number in the millions, some may be limited to a very small group, but each with some variance.
There is also a vast scriptural library, and each subsect would use a variation of books, or see differing importance on them.

But through all that, there are some main commonalities, mainly accepting the authority of the Vedas, karma, reincarnation, and moksha. There is also a general flow of Hindu Solidarity, or tolerance of all the variances.
 
Apr 2019
14
Canada
#32
hi, thank you for being here and inviting us to this great opportunity.:)

please , in your own words, how would you describe Hinduism? and what vision does it give to you personally, for the future of mankind?
Thank you. Another good question, and it could also have a huge answer. I can't do justice describing it, as that would be like describing New York City. Where to start, what to tell?
For me personally, Hinduism just makes sense. The vision is a path leading to moksha, (release from the cycle of reincarnation). As for the future of mankind, I think that Hinduism will play a part, as it has such a long history already. It hasn't yet disappeared unlike some great civilisations that hve come before us. It has a history of great durability, surviving some 4000 years or more (number varies depending on who you ask) . For the future, I see ahimsa (the concept of non-violence) as playing a role. Ahimsa is an ingrained core concept for Hindus, and if anything, I see that strengthening over time.
 
Apr 2019
14
Canada
#33
Greetings Vinayaka,

It is very interesting to learn how you adopted Hinduism from your previous experience. It certainly helps me to understand why Adrian and Tony, both well established Bahá’ís, will find you so inspiring to talk with.

Bahá’ís are often fascinated with how people adopt different belief systems. This is out of genuine interest, not a desire to convert people. So anything further you would wish to add towards your own adoption of Hinduism would be more than welcoming to read.

Earth
Hello and thank you for the question.
I was born and raised on a mixed farm in rural Canada, so was in nature a lot. My parents were agnostic/atheist, (soft atheists) so I had no religion at all. For a long time I didn't realise there was such a thing as religion. Then, at about age 14, I had a mystical experience while driving a farm machine. Still didn't know anything about religion.
Then, a few years later, I came upon a statue of Siva Nataraja (google it if you're unsure) in a store. It attracted me like nothing else ever had before. I bought it and set up a small simple shrine.
At age 20 I went with a couple of friends to see a Hindu Guru, and he turned out to be my Guru. His name was Sivaya Subramuniyswami, (passed in 2001, but His successor is now my Guru) and then that got the ball really rolling, so to speak. Over the next 5 years, I learned about Saivite Hinduism, (specifically monistic Saiva Siddhanta) and discovered that there was an explanation to all those previous experiences I'd had, and to life in general. Since then, to use a common phrase, it's been a work in progress.
 
Jun 2014
1,061
Wisconsin
#34
Why is Krishna depicted with blue skin? I recently read an interesting article about this here.
I've heard from my college religion class that it is because blue is the color of the sky, and thus ties the figure depicted in blue with the celestial artistically, to thus differentiate them from depictions of terrestrial men. Similar to how the halo works in Western art, or the veil of light in Middle Eastern art, which both equate the sanctified figure with the celestial sun.
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Sep 2010
4,461
Normanton Far North Queensland
#35
Hi Tony. That's actually a really difficult task, but I can give a brief summary. The short answer would be that it's incredibly vast.
Concerning God, within Hinduism, you'll find polytheism, henotheism, monotheism, even atheism, and combinations of those, all with a healthy does of agnosticism about it. Individuals, however, generally do know what they think.
Concerning the culture associated with it, India compared to Europe is fair. India itself has some 20 languages that have at least 20 million speakers. And that doesn't include the 10 million or so people who were part of the British sugar diaspora. So things like temples, music, food, all vary from place to place.
There are also hundreds of subsects that follow a particular teaching, or teacher lineage, some where the lineages have disappeared, but the teaching continues, some where there is still a living teacher. Some of these subsects number in the millions, some may be limited to a very small group, but each with some variance.
There is also a vast scriptural library, and each subsect would use a variation of books, or see differing importance on them.

But through all that, there are some main commonalities, mainly accepting the authority of the Vedas, karma, reincarnation, and moksha. There is also a general flow of Hindu Solidarity, or tolerance of all the variances.
To me you have described quite a harmonious unity, in an obvious very diverse community.

Are you aware of how this great diversity of groups may address and initiate any required change, does it tie into the political decision making?

Regards Tony
 
Likes: Vinayaka
Feb 2019
70
Chicago
#37
Hi Tony. That's actually a really difficult task, but I can give a brief summary. The short answer would be that it's incredibly vast.
Concerning God, within Hinduism, you'll find polytheism, henotheism, monotheism, even atheism, and combinations of those, all with a healthy does of agnosticism about it. Individuals, however, generally do know what they think.
Concerning the culture associated with it, India compared to Europe is fair. India itself has some 20 languages that have at least 20 million speakers. And that doesn't include the 10 million or so people who were part of the British sugar diaspora. So things like temples, music, food, all vary from place to place.
There are also hundreds of subsects that follow a particular teaching, or teacher lineage, some where the lineages have disappeared, but the teaching continues, some where there is still a living teacher. Some of these subsects number in the millions, some may be limited to a very small group, but each with some variance.
There is also a vast scriptural library, and each subsect would use a variation of books, or see differing importance on them.

But through all that, there are some main commonalities, mainly accepting the authority of the Vedas, karma, reincarnation, and moksha. There is also a general flow of Hindu Solidarity, or tolerance of all the variances.
The Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita are the final authority on Hinduism. The Vedas declare that there is only one God but it can take many forms to function in the cosmos. Each of these forms can be called a form of God or simply god but it does not mean there are many Gods. Yes, many Hindus worship the forms of God instead of God because such a form could be endearing to the individual but it is not technically correct to say Hinduism is polytheistic. Vedas clearly say there is in fact nothing besides God. That is all of creation, including human beings, is part of God but we don't know it out of spiritual ignorance. God essentially is Unmanifested Absolute (Spirit) but God uses a small portion of it's energy and intelligence to manifest creation and that energy form is connected to God. Since the energy came out of God, it is nothing but God. Just like an ocean has become iceberg and is in the iceberg but the iceberg is in the ocean, God is in creation and creation is in God. There is nothing besides God.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2019
14
Canada
#38
To me you have described quite a harmonious unity, in an obvious very diverse community.

Are you aware of how this great diversity of groups may address and initiate any required change, does it tie into the political decision making?

Regards Tony
Personally, I view social change as a result of the individuals working together. But collectively as a group, no. We're just way too diverse to have a really effective political side. There are smaller groups who get political. Individuals, of course, are free to join any political party or movement. But I do think there are undercurrents, like ahimsa, going on.
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Apr 2019
14
Canada
#39
Hi @Vinayaka,

Any thoughts on who founded Hinduism or where it originated?

How important are beliefs in moksha and reincarnation to you?
As to any founder, I just agree with the mainstream thoughts on it, which is that there are no known founders. It goes back way too far beyond recorded history. Personally, I don't find history all that useful. But I've never read anywhere that I can remember in any Hindu scriptures of any founders. Supposedly the Vedas came throguh to 7 great rishis, but that doesn't indicate any founder.

As to the second question, I'm personally heavily influenced by the concept of reincarnation. It makes you think of yourself as a soul with a body, a soul with a temporary ego. So it actually influences how I think. Moksha, well, not so much. It's the goal, sure, but it's so far away, that it's not all that related to day to day living.
 
Likes: tonyfish58
Apr 2019
14
Canada
#40
The Vedas, Upanishads and the Gita are the final authority on Hinduism. The Vedas declare that there is only one God but it can take many forms to function in the cosmos. Each of these forms can be called a form of God or simply god but it does not mean there are many Gods. Yes, many Hindus worship the forms of God instead of God because such a form could be endearing to the individual but it is not technically correct to say Hinduism is polytheistic. Vedas clearly say there is in fact nothing besides God. That is all of creation, including human beings, is part of God but we don't know it out of spiritual ignorance. God essentially is Unmanifested Absolute (Spirit) but God uses a small portion of it's energy and intelligence to manifest creation and that energy form is connected to God. Since the energy came out of God, it is nothing but God. Just like an ocean has become iceberg and is in the iceberg but the iceberg is in the ocean, God is in creation and creation is in God. There is nothing besides God.
As I indicated in the other thread, and in this one, there are many views within Hinduism, and some folks feel their view is the only view. I'm certainly not about to enter some debate with another Hindu on a Baha'i forum. It;s simply not the reason I came here.
 

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