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Featured Hinduism - What Are the Core Tenets?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    As has been discussed at length and generally agreed upon, as far diversity in belief, philosophy and structure is concerned, Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is one of the most...if not the most, diverse.

    Which begs the question: what makes a Hindu a Hindu? What are the core philosophies, tenets, or beliefs that are common among all Hindus? Sure, a simple web search will spit out some results, but I'm more interested in hearing what our resident Hindus think.
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    We had a very long thread on exactly this, before you joined this forum. I couldn't find it and I have to go somewhere now, so maybe you're a better searcher than I am.
     
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  3. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    While I see many posts about people answering the 20 questions (I'd only be able to answer 'yes' to about a quarter of them since I don't practice bhakti yoga), was there ever a consensus on what philosophies, tenets, or beliefs are common among all Hindus?

    A couple of pages in, all I've really seen are people answering these questions based on their own views, but nothing that really answers that question.
     
  5. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Okay, I a convert to a Hindu fringe group and not so much into philosophy, but I'll give it a try.

    • Definitely reincarnation
    • The concept that in life, you have to fulfill your duty (dharma). In fact, Sanatana Dharma means "eternal dharma"
    • And maybe it's a dead horse trope, but there is this much-narrated story of half a dozen blind men palpating the surface of an elephant, each a different part, and then describing what the elephant is like (everyone has another perspective)
    • Dharmic religions are more based on experience (like, for example, in meditation) than "book religions"
    • The vast majority of Hindus don't proselytize
    As there is a lot of diversity in Hindu religious positions, I think it is more about an approach or a certain attittude, not as much what you believe but "how you believe".
     
    #5 Sirona, Dec 25, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
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  6. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    How about we approach it this way. Rather than a free-for-all of every Hindu here just tossing beliefs or philosophies into the pot, let's start with these from Core Beliefs of Hindus - dummies and add/subtract from there:

    • Truth is eternal.
      Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. According to the Vedas, Truth is One, but the wise express it in a variety of ways.

    • Brahman is Truth and Reality.
      Hindus believe in Brahman as the one true God who is formless, limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. Brahman is not an abstract concept; it is a real entity that encompasses everything (seen and unseen) in the universe.

    • The Vedas are the ultimate authority.
      The Vedas are Hindu scriptures that contain revelations received by ancient saints and sages. Hindus believe that the Vedas are without beginning and without end; when everything else in the universe is destroyed (at the end of a cycle of time), the Vedas remain.

    • Everyone should strive to achieve dharma.
      Understanding the concept of dharma helps you understand the Hindu faith. Unfortunately, no single English word adequately covers its meaning. Dharma can be described as right conduct, righteousness, moral law, and duty. Anyone who makes dharma central to one’s life strives to do the right thing, according to one’s duty and abilities, at all times.

    • Individual souls are immortal.
      A Hindu believes that the individual soul (atman) is neither created nor destroyed; it has been, it is, and it will be. Actions of the soul while residing in a body require that it reap the consequences of those actions in the next life — the same soul in a different body.

      The process of movement of the atman from one body to another is known as transmigration. The kind of body the soul inhabits next is determined by karma (actions accumulated in previous lives). Learn more about Hindu funeral customs.

    • The goal of the individual soul is moksha.
      Moksha is liberation: the soul’s release from the cycle of death and rebirth. It occurs when the soul unites with Brahman by realizing its true nature. Several paths can lead to this realization and unity: the path of duty, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion (unconditional surrender to God).
     
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  7. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Hindu? Anyone west of the (h)Indus river. The British didn't bother with the details of the myriad religions they found there.
     
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  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    It's a tough question.
     
  9. shivsomashekhar

    shivsomashekhar Active Member

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    A Hindu is simply one who was -

    1. Born into a Hindu family and has not explicitly given up the legacy

    2. Not a Hindu by birth, but had adopted the identity.

    That is it. No belief in Brahman, Veda, Atman, reincarnation, fasting on Ekadashi, temple visits, etc., are mandated. Indeed most Hindus never heard of Brahman (Brahma, yes; Brahman, no) and if the concept was presented to them, they would have zero interest in the topic.

    This may not resonate with the people on this forum as there are hardly any Indian born Hindus here. The bulk of Hindus are foreign born people who adopted Hinduism and their view and understanding is far different from the Indian way of things.
     
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  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    @SalixIncendium Here's the 9 basic beliefs summary that my sampradaya came up with many years ago, after a lot of research, and years of writing articles on the many different sects. Note that in the introduction it says 'most' not 'all'. There is no compulsion in Hinduism to believe anything really.

    Basics of Hinduism
     
    #10 Vinayaka, Dec 25, 2019
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  11. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    That, indeed, seems to be a good summary of the core concepts of Hinduism, and probably a better and more comprehensive list than the one I posted above.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on the list @Vinayaka linked or do you agree that this is a pretty accurate assessment?
     
  12. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Well
    Well, I didn't want to do it ... but I disagree. I think the list Basics of Hinduism caters more to people of Christian cultures who can't do without their "Good Lord" regardless of whether such a concept exists in Hinduism. In fact, Hindu "missionaries", in translating Hindu concepts cross-culturally, may resort to such steps in order to string a religious chord in their audience by presenting them something "familiar".
     
  13. Marcion

    Marcion Well-Known Member

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    Can I partake in this discussion if I don't self-identify as a Hindu? Do people who identify as Hindu object to my partaking?

    This I could subscribe to (but not to the ideas that the Vedas are the ultimate authority and that idividual souls are immortal (rather they come from and return to Brahman, so they don't last forever)). Does that make me a Hindu? The Indian High Court thought so, but that is only the legal side for India.

     
    #13 Marcion, Dec 26, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  14. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    I'm not sure I'm seeing what you are in that list. Can you explain which concepts cater to people of Christian cultures and how?
     
  15. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    I have no objection to your participation here, as from what I've read, I don't see your worldview conflicting with Hinduism aside from your reluctance/refusal to identify as such. But I won't speak for everyone.
     
  16. Marcion

    Marcion Well-Known Member

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    If I had started a similar type of thread, I would have asked the question 'Tantra - What Makes Someone a Tantric rather than a Vedic or Religious Person?'. And the question would have been directed at all people of the world, not just people who self-identify as Hindu.
    I don't necessarily feel closer to someone who identifies as Hindu as compared to let's say someone who is a Sufi, a practising Buddhist or a mystic Christian.
    I know that people feel the need to belong to a community, but for me that community is not a religious group.
     
    #16 Marcion, Dec 26, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  17. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    And if I wanted all people of the world's opinion on what the common core concepts of Hinduism, I would would have put this thread in different forum than Same Faith Debates.
     
  18. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    It's certainly true that my sampradaya has a reason/purpose to write in English ... both for westerners interested, and for the immigrants who lose their native tongue, now, and in the future. When you translate into English, sometimes only English words are available, and with religion, that comes with Abrahamism. But like you, I don't see what Sirona saw either.

    As for identifying as Hindu, I just go with what the individual or group says about themselves, and leave it at that. Many 'on the border' groups avoid the term 'Hindu' like the plague. So be it.
     
  19. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चिदानन्द
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    I don't think a sense of community is requisite to self-identification as Hindu. Aside from my participation here, primarily for the purpose of comparing notes with other like-minded individuals, I have no involvement with the Hindu community (except restaurant and grocery visits for the food...I love the food).
     
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  20. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Even people who go to temples aren't often part of any community. There is a 'community' sometimes, that runs the temple, but it won't dominate. Individuals go mostly just for communion with God. They're not interested in the 'people' stuff, just the God stuff. Many people come in silence, and leave in silence.
     
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