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Hindu Hinduism around the world.

August 14, 2014 Edited

What is Hinduism. by Ed Viswanathan


It is the true culture of Indians in India. Many call it "A way of life." It is not an organized religion like
Christianity or Islam. It has no founder. It has no Pope. It has no hierarchy. Just a lot of scriptures. In Hindu
scriptures, you are actually studying about the history and culture of India, like in 66 books of the Holy Bible
you are actually studying about the culture and history of the Jews.
Hinduism and Judaism are mothers of all modern religions in the world. Buddhism, Sikhism and to some
extent Jainism and Zoroastrianism came from Hinduism. Of course, Jainism existed during Rig Vedic Period.
Statues of Rishabha, the first Thirthankara and founder of Jainism was found in the Mohenjadaro, Harappa
excavations. Islam and Christianity came from Judaism. Judaism, Islam and Christianity have Abraham as the
common father figure. All three have many common prophets. There is even mention about Jesus Christ many
times in the Holy Koran.
Coming back to Hinduism, C.S. Lewis, the great author and theologist wrote, finally it will come to two
religions. Hinduism and Christianity. The first [Hinduism] will grow absorbing ideas and concepts from
everywhere and later [Christianity] will keep away from everything that is foreign to it. What C.S. Lewis wrote
is very true.
Hinduism cannot be destroyed, even if we burn every Hindu scripture and kill every Hindu theologian on
earth. Hinduism or Hindu Culture is a very dynamic living, breathing Reality. Strength of Hinduism lies in its
most amazing ability to adapt to different circumstances and different ages while maintaining its very strong
continuity with the past. How does it do that? That is a billion dollar question.
Who is the founder of Hinduism?
No body in particular. It is the research output of countless learned men called Rishis who were Christ like
masters, through centuries.
Who is a Hindu?
I believe anyone who search after truth is a Hindu. There is One and only God and One Truth. The very first
book of Hindus named Rig Veda proclaim, "Ekam Sat, Viprah Bahudha Vadanti". (There is only one truth, only
men describe it in different ways). So a Jew or a Christian or a Moslem who is in search after truth is
automatically a Hindu. There are about 800 million Hindus in the world. There are more than 800,000 Hindus
in the U.S., and about 160,000 in Canada.
What Attracts One to Hinduism?
The concepts of utmost freedom of thoughts and actions. That's what attracts many to Hinduism. Hinduism
never forbids any one to question its fundamentals. On one side, in Hinduism, you may come across people
worshiping pests like rats, and still on other side you will come across concepts parallel to Quantum Physics
and Neil's Bohr Theory of nuclear structure and reactions. On one side Advaita (There is only one) philosophy
is discussed and promoted, still on other side Dvaita (Two - duality) philosophy is discussed and promoted.
Hinduism never ever banished any one, since he or she wrote a wrong scripture or did not observe a particular

ritual.
There was never a Salman Rushdie (author of Satanic Verses) in Hinduism and never will be there one.
Mahatma Gandhi wrote, even atheists can call themselves as Hindus. That is very true. 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 symbol of what
Voltaire wrote.
When did Hinduism Take Birth?
Nobody knows. If you go by Hindu mythological stories, Hinduism is trillions of years old. If you go by Max
Muller, the German philosopher, it is at least 8000 to 9000 years old. Hinduism might have started as
Dravidian civilization and later merged with Aryan civilization. Of course, my friend David Frawley has
written a wonderful book, explaining that Aryan Invasion of India never happened and it is a myth.
However studying the relics of Mohenjadaro and Harappa excavations, I conclude, relics of the Indus
civilization shows merging of many cultures and concepts. The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the
four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Harappa and Mohenjodaro were
cities in the Indus Valley civilization that flourished around 2,500 B.C. in the western part of South Asia. The
roots of Hinduism can be traced to this civilization. The language spoken here is believed to be from Dravidian
family, which includes Tamil. Hinduism has the strange capability to absorb and grow from all quarters and
that is why in it you can see relics of all other civilizations like Egyptian, Celtic, Mayan, Greek, Roman etc. To
me it does not matter the exact date it was born, since nobody can prove or disprove the exact date. I am more
concerned about what it has to give to the world.
What was the original name of Hinduism?
Sanatana Dharma or Righteousness Forever was the original name of Hinduism. It was Persians who invaded
India during 6th century B.C. who gave the name Hinduism meaning the religion of people living near the
Indus river. In Persian the letter H and S are pronounced almost the same so they mistook the word Sindhu
(Sanskrit name for Indus) to H and then started calling Hindus and Hinduism.
What is the language in which the Hindu scriptures were written?
Sanskrit older than Hebrew and Latin. The first words in English language came from Sanskrit. The word
mother came from Sanskrit word mata and father came from Sanskrit word pita as per the PBS video "The
Story of English". Believe it or not the word geometry came from a Sanskrit word named Gyaamiti meaning
'measuring the earth'. The word trigonometry came from the word Trikonamiti meaning 'measuring triangular
forms'. Sanskrit, which literally means "cultured or refined" was the classical language of India and is the
oldest and the most systematic language in the world. Forbes Magazine, (July, 1987) wrote: "Sanskrit is the
mother of all the European languages and is the most suitable language for the computer software."
How was Hinduism Started?
According to Hindu scriptures it started as Shruti - that which is heard. The great seers of ancient times called
Rishis who had perfected themselves have heard in their hearts, eternal truths and they taught those truths to
disciples by telepathy and later they wrote them in books. Vedas and Upanishads are known as Shruti literature
rest is called Smriti - that which is remembered - literature.

All Hindu scriptures were considered as revealed truths of God. In fact Hindu scriptures say that all Hindu
Scriptures were written by God. According Christian theologians Holy Bible is considered to be Holy Spirit
inspired book. According to Mimamsa school of thought, all Shruti literature existed all through eternity in the
form of sounds. Therefore those sounds of words of Vedas and Upanishads are very important to Hindus.
What are the Sacred Books of Hinduism?
The very first sacred books of Hinduism are called Vedas. Vedas means knowledge. There are four Vedas and
they claim to teach men the highest aspects of truths which can lead them to God. Vedas and Upanishads are
Shruti scriptures. The word Veda came from the root word "vid" meaning "to know". Vedas are the very first
scriptures of Hinduism. Vedas as per scriptures was written by God. Vedas state "Self Ralization" is one and
the goal of human life. Vedas also discuss in detail rituals and ceremonies to attain self-realization. There are 4
Vedas. They are:
Rig Veda - Knowledge of Hymns - 10589 verses
The Hindu Rig Veda is the foremost book of Hindus. It is the oldest book in the world. Nobody knows when
Rig Veda was written. According to Bal Gangadhar Tilak it was written in 5000 BC. German philosopher Max
Muller dates 1500 BC. According to some it took centuries to write this book from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C. Rig
Veda is older than Gilgamesh (2500 B.C) and the Old Testament.
The very first Veda, Rig Veda very clearly shows that it was written, when nomad man first settled down on the
banks of rivers like Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus etc. That is the reason why, in Rig Veda, you see, people are
worshiping natural powers like lighting, rain, Sun, fire (Agni); water; air, that effects cultivation. It consists of
1028 hymns, comprising of 10,589 verses in 10 chapters known as Mandalas. 33 gods are worshiped in Rig
Veda. There are 100 hymns addressed to Soma; 250 addressed to Indra; 200 hymns addressed to Agni; Many
addressed to Surya. Few addressed to Ushas, Aditi, Saraswati, Varuna and Asvins. Lord Vishnu is a minor god
in Rig Veda.
One of the most important statement came from the Rig Veda is "Ekam Sat, Viprah Bahudha Vadanti" meaning "Truth is one but men describe it differently". Lord Vishnu has minor importance in Rig Veda. Name
of Lord Siva is mentioned asRudra. Soma in Rig Veda is intoxicating drink to gods. The word Sura came those
who drink an intoxicating drink which I think is Soma. The word Asura came from those who do not drink that
drink. Another word that caught my attention in Rig Veda is the word Rta which means some kind of cosmic
order. I think the word Dharmaoriginated from the word Rta.
One of the most prominent hymns of Rig Veda "Purusa-Sukta - Purusha (man) and the Primordial sacrifice of
Purusha for the betterment of man and the world". Another one is "Creation Hymn.
Caste system started in Rig Vedic period. The Rig Vedic Hymn, known as Purusha-Sukta (Mandala-x, 19th
hymn, 12th verse) states: "The Brahmin was Purusha's (cosmic man - the first principle of Sankhya Philosophy
in Hinduism) mouth, theKshatriya his arms, the Vaisya his thighs and Shudra his feet.
Yajur Veda - Knowledge of Liturgy - 3988 verses
Yajur Veda deals with knowledge of rites. This Veda is based on Rig Veda. It contains rules and regulations
explaining how to conduct rituals. It consists of prose as well verse. This Veda is indeed a priestly handbook,
even describing the details of how to make an alter. Sacrifice is one of the most important aspect of this Veda.

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Maladevi Shukla Sharma, Om Aum Ohm and 31 others like this.


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Shiva Sookhai Nataraj-Allen the peace of mind it gives me
August 21, 2014 at 2:52am Like 1

Pundit Vishal Sharma I UNITES ALL RELIGIONS. HARI OM.See Translation


October 29, 2014 at 3:47am Like 1

Prano Devi Budhram i unite all religions


October 29, 2014 at 4:21am Like 1

Om Aum Ohm Om Shanti Shanti Shanti OmSee Translation


October 29, 2014 at 3:00pm Like

Devkumar Ramkisoon It spreads the Universal message of Peace & Love


October 30, 2014 at 5:06am Like 1

Om Aum Ohm om
March 15, 2015 at 5:14pm Like

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