Hinduism Beliefs About God

Discussion in 'Hindu Gods and Goddesses' started by Ignorant, May 12, 2015.

  1. Ignorant

    Ignorant New Member

    Comprehending the complex Hindu beliefs and practices

    “Hinduism's basic tenet is that many roads exist by which men have pursued and still pursue their quest for the truth and that none has universal validity.”

    Kenneth Scott Latourette

    Most of the world struggles to understand what Hinduism is all about. Is it a religion or a way of life? What makes Hinduism the oldest surviving faith across continents? It encompasses the basic throes of life, death and after life. There is conviction in God, idol worship, an ancient system of beliefs and values that generations have followed in the footprints of their ancestors. The wisdom belies death; it immortalizes the soul and has an amazing trajectory featuring labyrinths of sprigs like Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Hinduism is no cult but an amalgamation of evolved thought processes of enlightened souls who have transmigrated from one human body to another-in the eternal quest of Truth. Hinduism has a universal validity even today when the world questions other relatively new faiths that are tethering towards violence and straying away form fundamentals of peace, love and harmony.

    Why there is widespread belief in God?

    “Hinduism is the mother of all religions”, Swami Vivekananda thundered at the World Religion Parliament in Chicago. Today it is the quintessential way of life for a billion Hindus in India and a few millions settled in other parts of the world. What makes, the Hindu man so unique is the Hinduism beliefs in God. In no other faith one finds so much emphasis on idol worship other than Hinduism. But at the same time the belief that God exists only in temples is not endorsed. In fact, it is the faith in God that makes the faithful create a structure fit for the supreme Godhead. The Vedic concept of three main Gods-Sustainer, Preserver and Destroyer (namely Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh or better called Shiva) arises from elementary ancient knowledge that humans go through in life once they come to earth. They need to sustain and preserve themselves through the body. Destruction of the body is inevitable but millions of centuries ago it was also discovered that the ‘Atman’ or soul continues to live. It is immortal. Hence it is better to nurture the soul rather than sustain and preserve the body that is only a shell for the eternal soul. Man has been worshipping gods (who have understood the concept of life and death) to get wisdom to understand this Truth.

    Why there are so many Gods that are worshipped? The answer is that these several Gods (Devas) and Goddesses (Devis) which are worshipped are actually God realized souls too who have understood the meaning of life and death. They differ from each other primarily due to their characteristics that have made them unique. For example, Lord Ganesha is specifically worshipped to remove obstacles in life. His life story illustrates how he overcomes the obstacles in his life. Similarly his mother Laxmidevi is worshipped for her Midas touch-wealth. But when it comes to Bhagwan, there is only ONE-Lord Krishna. He is considered the supreme authority because he has all the 16 gunas (qualities) prescribed in Vedic literature for someone to attain Godhead. While the rest of the Devas and Devis have some flaw, character that makes them more vulnerable and weak, it is Lord Krishna who undoubtedly reigns.

    One has to understand more about the concept of idol worship to understand why Hindus throng temples dedicated to Devas and Devis. It is this reason why those who do not understand the system target Hinduism beliefs and practices.

    Exploring Hinduism beliefs and practices

    "From the high spiritual flights of the Vedanta philosophy, of which the latest discoveries of science seem like echoes, to the low ideas of idolatry with its multifarious mythology, the agnosticism of the Buddhists and the atheism of the Jains, each and all have a place in the Hindu's religion.

    Swami Vivekananda

    Since ancient times certain beliefs and practices are parts of life for Hindus even today. They are an integral part of the tradition. This construes the need for rituals and rites right from Vedic times, which are considered the foundation of the Hinduism. The Hinduism beliefs system is rooted in the traditions that originated in the Sat, Dwapar and Treta Yugs (cycles). Each cycle consisting of millions of years developed the system of sacrifices and yagnas and havans to propagate the Gods. These Gods were simply enlightened souls who had the knowledge and the learned sages called Rishis and Munis evoked them to assist them to lead their life on earth keeping in mind that they live for the subtle body and not the physical and mental body. They acknowledged the divinity of the Gods to help them. Each Rishi or Muni also endeavored to meditate and pray to get self-realization for obtaining the Ultimate Truth.

    Based on these beliefs certain exemplary values developed and became beacon of hope for ordinary mortals who struggled to get on with their lives. These ordinary mortals who became rich built temples and set standards for the others to live their lives during their lifetimes. The kings and noble men belonged to the class who made structures to house Gods. The Vedas define the 4 varnas (classes of men) who worship. A few men drifted towards strict worship (like the Brahmins), few donated funds for the upkeep (vanias) and the other classes worked (Shudras). The rulers or the warrior class (Kshatriyas) defended the borders of the sacrosanct buildings. Hinduism beliefs and values today have become skewed as offshoots like Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism defied the very traditions and certain belief systems dominated by the Brahmin class. But the basic tenants of Hinduism are still intact. India still embraces the different thought processes and accepts them. Hindus who still believe in the ancient way of life tolerate the new faiths emerging without severing from their own beliefs. It shows that millions of centuries later also certain belief systems cannot be broken by mere change of faith. The divinity of God resides and life is still a complex system of births and deaths. Hindus reaffirm the soul’s existence even after life.

    Here an attempt is made to explain suffering: the outcaste of traditional Hinduism is held to deserve his fetched fate; it is a punishment for the wrongs he did in a previous life.

    Walter Kaufmann

    Hinduism beliefs about death afterlife and reincarnation are well documented and are now being widely accepted by the rest of the world. Many people who scoffed at the idea now truly believe the possibility of existence of the soul and life after death. All over the world rich and poor nations suffer. This concept of afterlife and soul searching make one understand the Hindu belief system that is way ahead than mere religious faiths that have emerged in the last 700-800 years. One can simply sump up by quoting Sri Aurobindo, “India is the meeting place of the religions and among these Hinduism alone is by itself a vast and complex thing, not so much a religion as a great diversified and yet subtly unified mass of spiritual thought, realization and aspiration.”

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