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Featured Objections against Hinduism?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by sayak83, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Bhairava

    Bhairava Member

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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    ISCKON organization and its schools have been guilty of rampant child abuse and marginalization of its women disciples (linking evidence below). Through furious push-back from the children when they grew up and due to lawsuits that forced its US wing into bankruptcy.

    Holy abuse

    Authoritarian Culture and Child Abuse in ISKCON - International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA)

    http://surrealist.org/gurukula/timeline/lawsuit.h

    A more scholarly work,
    Hare Krishna Transformed

    While ISCKON has publicly acknowledged responsibility and taken some corrective measures, its unclear how far they have succeeded. According to several ex-members of ISCKON they have proved little other than window dressing.

    The Cost of Silence (About Child Abuse in ISKCON Hare Krishna Gurukul Boarding Schools) - What Happened to the Hare Krishnas? : What Happened to the Hare Krishnas?



    Many Hare Krishna groups today use Prabhupada's books, but no longer have any association with ISCKON. And of course there are many Vaisnava schools that never had any association with ISCKON. The group itself needs to really own up and throw out all the people who are even remotely connnected to such past and continuing abusive practices and bring external scrutiny to future fact finding processes before it can be trusted in any way shape or form.

    Finally, Gaudiya Vaishnavas , founded in 1600 have lived in eastern india as small scattered individuals of ascetic singing mendicants and pious lay-follower villagers who otherwise were fully integrated into Indian society. Prabhupada's books and translations are quite reasonable and he is a talented theologian, but his attempt to create a vast Catholic style hierarchical machinery of infallible (male only) Guru's , his attempt to create an insular and isolated society of disciples that consider the outside world and its culture "evil" and to be shunned and to be depended entirely on the institution for survival and the attempt to teach (i.e. brainwash) and bring up the children of the disciples entirely within this insular fold cannot be but condemned. The last offense is particularly egregious, and child abuse is the inevitable and horrific result. What Prabhupada seems to have forgotten that in the entire Mahabharata, Krishna did not ask a single person to leave the society in order to follow him, and he himself never did, remaining a Pericles like figure in his oligarchic republic and the chief advisor to the emperor of India throughout his life.

    How far the later generations of ISCKON members overcome this legacy and move forward remains to be seen.
    Hare Krishna at 40

    I am happy to attend puja-s in ISCKON temples and participate in other festivals and kirtans, as obviously, there are lots of good people doing sincere work out there. But beyond that, I am not buying what Prabhupada was trying to sell.

    Honest opinions based on what I know till now.
     
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  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I really don't think there's some sort of wall between the divine and the secular, and the Theory of Evolution in no way negates a theistic approach. Some have been taught that there is, and I was one of them, but it's simply not true.
     
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  4. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Not sure this could be said to be an objection, per se, but a major reason why I haven't looked into Hindu religions as live options for a path is because it bears some of the classic trademarks of historical/indigenous Paganism religions that result in it being inaccessible to me. Indigenous Pagan religions are very much the product of the lands and cultures they originate from, and they transpose poorly to other places. I can't connect with it in a meaningful way. The non-transposable nature of indigenous religions is a great strength, but it makes them relatively inaccessible to outsiders. Short of relocating to India, I don't see how I could possibly overcome that.

    Still, I smile inside when I recognize that Hindu religions are the last great bastions of Paganism in the world - they survived the systematic cultural genocide that destroyed the Pagan religions of the Western world. I don't doubt there is a great deal I could learn from the Eastern paths. It's accessing that wisdom that is hard.
     
  5. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Q, I think this is a fairly astute assessment. Since culture and religion are so tied together, it's incredibly difficult, and total immersion is probably the only way to feel 'all in'.

    Still, some of us converts and adoptives have tried, with varying degrees of success. It's all so complicated, with so many wee idiosyncracies and habits that are just there, learned from birth by osmosis, practically. A lot depends on individual circumstances, where you live, to what degree the culture and the faith is available to you, who are the other Hindus you hang out with (other converts or born Hindus) and more.

    I don't think I've overcome it, but we try. Maybe next life time.
     
  6. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Sacredness is added to the land due to the actions and works of people who lived there. Some of it is possibly myth, but others is history. The places where great ascetics or saints lived their lives become sacred by association with them. Buddha with Bodh-gaya or Gandhi with Sabar-mati ashram. In other cases, hidden connections are found between established sacred places of religious significance with new ones. Thus Sindhu and Saraswati of ancient Indus Valley were found equivalent with Ganga and Yamuna of North Indian Hinduism or Krishna and Kaveri rivers of South India and maybe Mississippi and Missouri of America in the future? A network of stories, histories and myth extend through the lands, the rivers, the mountains, the forests and the seas of the land one is in over the generations making the land speak to the Hindus in worship, contemplation and meditation. Most of these stories are not new. They were already being told by the people who lived there which are incorporated into the growing narrative. But this happens over many many generations, but a flavor of this developed form can be seen in the temples that now dot many places in the West, which you can go to, if one is nearby.

    But in general, Hinduism does not begin there. It begins with people being attracted to the ideas presented in the Hindu worldviews and how they are realized through worship and meditation and life of practicing believers and saints of the tradition. These are not tied to the land and can be incorporated without any need to connect to myths of established lands so to speak. Those ideas can be incorporated into any discipline (from worship to workplace) in any way one feels comfortable.

    As far as Hindu scriptures go, friendly translations of Gita and the Upanisads is always a good place to start. There are several online translations, but a beginner friendly version is linked

    GITA
    Upanisads

    A flavor of how a Hindu puja goes can be found in this extremely useful book explaining the worship ceremony of Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, Wisdom and Arts.

    Worshiping Goddess of Wisdom
     
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  7. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    I had to set up my objection by clarifying since I do know much about Hinduism. I should add that I did take advantage of yoga classes when it was offered at work, but the person who taught is gone now (yoga exercise, meditation, incense, chanting all help in the spiritualness of religion). By now we should agree that there is only one truth. That should be fact. So, whichever religion professes it, then only one can be right. I've struggled with this concept myself because how can all religions be right if only one is the truth? Yet, the part that made it difficult in spreading the truth is the political climate, language, culture and attitudes of peoples. Christianity talks about the Towel of Babel. I don't think there will one religion or unification. So, my skepticism with Hinduism is that there are so many schools and they some seem to conflict. I had difficulty just explaining my girl friend's church (Taught by Shiran Shonin who was taught by Sakyamuni Buddha who I think is Gautama Buddha whom I think belongs to one of the Hindu schools) and this may lead to difficulties between us. I can understand old earth vs young earth which are science differences, but monotheism and polytheism is where I would draw the line at in terms of religion.
     
    #67 james bond, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  8. Kirran

    Kirran
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    1) While there are Hindu polytheists, not all Hindus are polytheist by a long stretch. A very long stretch.

    2) What is truth? What part of you is it that apprehends it? Are there truths relative to different things?
     
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  9. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe in polytheistic gods because then there is no limit. People just claim it as part of nature and nature changes. Then you get into arguments of which god is stronger such as wind vs earth or fire vs water.

    The big truth is the afterlife and final judgment. It means that our short lives are transitory. I suppose there isn't any apprehension on my part, but do have questions if I'll be able to control my free will. I don't think that truth is relative, but there can be circumstances that make it so. For example, one dies before being able to comprehend the truth or one doesn't get exposed to it because of their situation.
     
  10. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Well, one major claim of many schools of Hinduism is that God proactively appears in the form that connects most with the worshiper in his/her time, place and history, and that truth is not a singular thing but a variegated entity like the many branches, roots and leaves of a single tree so that a seeker can grasp the tree of truth in any of its multiple forms, modes and actualization through which it appears to him/her. While the immense tree is indeed unified and its hidden interconnections are often revealed to those who reflect deeply on its many branches, the full unified picture will remain elusive due to the limitations of human existence, just as a leaf insect has difficulty in perceiving the entirety of the tree from its little home in one single leaf.
     
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  11. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I can follow that, but prior to this, do you believe that God created the tree first and not the seed? And that humans cannot create the seed nor the tree?
     
  12. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Sure. Nobody's trying to get you to believe anything. I am not a polytheist myself, as it happens.

    In what's the current normative tradition of Hinduism, all transitory phenomena are ultimately temporary forms taken by God - God in His/Her infinite transcendence and immanence, beyond all concepts, beyond time and space, is the true nature of everything, including being who we as people are in reality.
     
  13. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    My position was not meant to come across as defensive, but just stating what it is. So if we disagree, that is it. I am not trying to convince someone of my beliefs either, but just saying. I usually tell people that I say the same things, but what I say comes across differently to one who does not believe in a God, someone who is studying to be a Christian or someone who believes in a different religion. I may change a few words to make communication easier, but the gist of the message is the same. What's different is how people listen to it.

    In my belief, there are no transitory and temporary forms of God. God is in everything and everywhere. He is a moving invisible fabric of the universe.
     
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  14. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    What tree? The tree is being used as a parable to convey to you the complex nature of truth and our awareness of it. Like a tree, truth is both a single thing when viewed as a tree and many many things when viewed as its countless leaves, branches, roots etc. Figuring out all the modes in which truth appears (the leaves and branches and twigs) and figuring out the hidden connections that unify them (to get to the tree so to speak) is an ongoing project of humanity and is nowhere near completion. May take a billion years, or more. In the meantime, many Hindus believe that one should concentrate on the truths (the leaves) that are visible to him/her in their own situation in life and strive to deepen their truth-realization (by worship. meditation, activity in work or sciences, ethics etc.) whereby they can construct both a materially and socially beneficial and spiritually enlightening life and contribute to this ongoing project.

    Hindu-s do not believe in the final judgement by the way. Nor do any Buddhist that I know. Mahayana Buddhism is certainly about universal enlightenment for all eventually.
     
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  15. Kirran

    Kirran
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    That seems to be a majority position in Hinduism, too.
     
  16. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Its somewhat in conflict with the idea of eternal creation cycles. If everybody gains moksha then creation will stop as well. I think its more likely that a consistent cosmology requires that self-realized aspects of Brahman takes up the risk that a part of itself will fall back into ignorance in order to take up the task of creation again. The sacrifice of the Purusa in the Purusa-sukta can be interpreted in that fashion. The greater part of Brahman that do act in the world without forgetting the Self (the gods including God, the purusa in natural phenomena and the laws etc.), but a small portion do forget themselves and become the embodied beings of the world, still continuing the task of creation but suffering from their alienation from themselves. Thus kind of a cyclical steady state forms. :D Unlike Buddhism, Hinduism (in general) do not affirm that creation is entirely dukkha, for otherwise its nonsensical for God and the powers (deva-s) to spend so much effort in creating and maintaining it?

    Sankara has been accused of going the Buddhist route for his maya-vada seems to entirely devalue the world. I have to read Spirit Warrior's posts to figure if this is a simplification or not.
     
  17. Shad

    Shad Veteran Member

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    Hmm toss heart in there and you get Captain Planet, hopefully the Don Cheadle version. Tree, tree, tree
     
  18. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Ah, I see what you mean. Well each Brahma kalpa is a bit of a refresh really, so I think it still applies. Anyway, enough gurus I trust have said all souls attain moksha that I take it as read (and I trust God, as well!).

    That idea of cyclical steady state seems to hold together :) But who knows, huh? Relative truths, I imagine.

    How do we know it takes effort? :D

    Eh, I think yes and no. I'm not convinced the Buddha was quite so pessimistic and dreary about the transient world as some of his detractors, and indeed supporters, portray his teachings to be.
     
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  19. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I totally concur, and fully believe that non-Hindus should disagree with a lot of Hinduism. (Else you'd be apostate to your own faith, nobody wants that.) Sure there may be some points of agreement.
     
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  20. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Last point first. Then this short life of ours is all there is and all there will be? The Buddhism that I am familiar with, Pure Land, talks about reaching the other shore. I think they're talking about consciousness but also about recognizing this as the final state of the practice. Some can reach an altered state such that when they die, their bodies do not decompose. I do not think they believe in reincarnation as I have not heard of it. Rinban Bob seems to believe what Tibetan monk Dalai Lama XIV believes.

    Finally, they also discuss about karma which happens and this is similar to judgment being placed upon one's life.
     
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