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Featured Why are we over-complicating Hinduism?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by ronki23, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    People say Hinduism refers to a wide variety of religions and before the British it was a variety of religions that originated thousands of years ago.

    But Hinduism IS POLYTHEISTIC- how else can the various Gods have dialogue with, fight or marry one another?

    Hindus are not supposed to sacrifice animals because the Vedas says not to but the fools still do this. Buddha brought vegetarianism into Hinduism, asserting what the Vedas say (I eat meat but I'm not a conventional Hindu and I don't eat Bovine. I certainly wouldn't sacrifice them to appease God)

    Ramayan, Mahabharata, etc. are not Vedas- hence Arya Samaj not bothering with these stories
     
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  2. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Hinduism is monotheistic in the sense that all Gods are just pieces of the same being.

    Ramayan and the Mahabharata is up to interpretation. No one claims they’re part of the Vedas (at least not that I’ve heard/seen) but why would that be enough to ignore them?
     
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  3. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Animal sacrfice is there everywhere in Vedas. Ashwamedha and Indra's liking for roasted bull. If you eat meat, then what is the problem with beef? 'All food is Brahman' as our books said - 'Brahmārpañam Brahmahavir
 Brahmāgnau Brahmañāhutaṃ' (Offering Brahman to Brahman in the fire that is Brahman, given to Brahman). .. What a section of Hindus says may not be relevant to other sections of Hinduism, they are welcome to their views.
    In whatever sense, it is incorrect to generalize anything about Hinduism (except, of course, 'Dharma'). That is the only constant.
     
    #3 Aupmanyav, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I don't see that we're over-complicating it purposefully, but rather that it simply is incredibly diverse. If anything, some folks tend to oversimplify it, believing their particular POV or sect/sampradaya is representative of all of Hinduism.
     
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  5. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    Why does the Indian government and Hindus think Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism are types of Hinduism if they're not polytheistic and don't follow the Vedas?
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu pagan and a strong atheist.
    Indian Government accepts them as separate religions, though with a common culture. As for Hindu individuals, they will have different personal views about things. For example, I do not consider Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism as separate religions. They are 'matas' (opinions), 'panthas' (ways, roads) of Hinduism.
     
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  7. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ SacchidAnanda ~
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    If you scratch the surface even just a little, beyond the "Hinduism is polytheistic" upanishads can show you a common ground where all those Devi-DevatA , (while typically fight is between Gods (sura) and Asura (daitya, asur, demons etc.) not each other), are from the same Single Source who has become all this spiritual , celestial , material and mortal world, pervades it and exists as the innermost Self and Spirit in all beings.

    Maha-NArAyaN Upanishad, Chapter 1, 2.7
    Through the power of Whom the great causal waters, that hold the power to unfold and capacity to generate fire, transformed Itself into the world and from Whom the ONE Breath of all gods came into existence.

    MahA-NArAyaNa Upanishad is one among many such treatise that describe the transcendental Supreme Reality in such a way that it makes a single Source undeniable, and makes any form-formlessness argument moot, any argument to call the Supreme Reality NArAyaNa or SadAshiv or Rudra or anything else moot, and make the Person-Impersonal, nirvishesha Vs infinite kalyAN guNa argument moot.

    It is closely aligned with the non-sectarian Purusha SUkta of the Rg Veda, where the Purusha (which means Person really), is not specifically named, but can be easily called the infinite NArAyaNa.
     
    #7 ameyAtmA, Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  8. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ SacchidAnanda ~
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    Government aside, it is obvious that Sikh , Jaina and Baudhha dharma sprung from the sanAtana (eternal) Hindu dharma with its roots in dharma, karma, if not Vedanta.
    We all have a base in the wisdom passed on by the Rshis and Munis although Jain and Bauddha dharma do not speak of the One Brahman'.

    Ik Onkar , the Omkar --
    transmigration until moksha (salvation, freedom from birth-death cycles)
    multiple eternal jivatma (common to Jain and some Hindu parampara), one atma, One Brahman, all co-exist.
    SanskAr, values, cultural paramparA
    Sikh Gurus and Guru Nanak held bhakti of Rama, KrishNa, Mata rani, and reverence to the indescribable Brahman' together. Why is the grantha full of these and why do they sing bhajans rooted in Hindu deities?
    Because that was the purpose of the avatArs. The Divine performed such a great sacrifice by descending here in human form and living a difficult human life full of challenges -- far beyond life of ordinary humans. Why ?

    Hindu is more poetic, more detailed, more kaleidoscopic. Don't say it is "ultimately polytheistic" , please see my post above.

    All those Vaidic invocations to Agni, Indra Aryaman Varun, Pushan... are showing respect, honor, which is the underlying thread of our dharma. It leads to simple things like "atithi devo bhava" (Guest is like God / Godly)
     
    #8 ameyAtmA, Sep 6, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  9. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ SacchidAnanda ~
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    ONE Breath of all gods. Wow. That is the most beautiful statement of Oneness.

    Section 1, shloka 1 - Describes ParamAtmA (God, Brahman, the One), and how He makes the living forms sentient..
    Shloka 2 That from which this universe emerges and into which it all dissolves, THAT in which/Whom all Gods remain, reside, enjoying their respective powers, that has always been there in the past and will in future, that One cause of the universe by manifesting as PrajApati (i.e. NArAyaN => BramhA) , is supported by His own imperishable nature as absolute ether. (ether is secondary (BramhA), Supreme Brahman / ParamAtmA is primary (NArAyaNa)).
     
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  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    'Neti, neti' neither supports positive attributes, nor negative ones.
    Is God Good? Neti. No. He is not. Is God evil? Neti. No. He is not.
    You are monotheist, that does not mean that all Hindus are monotheistic.
    Can you even count the number of Gods that have temples dedicated to them?
    MahaNarayana upanishad is a minor upanishad and not one of the old (Principal, Mukhya) upanishads. It is a sectarian upanishad.
    It is an adoption from Taittiriya Upanishad.
     
    #10 Aupmanyav, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  11. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ SacchidAnanda ~
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    The intention was to help Ronki23 get a wider perspective - this is why I said "If you scratch the surface"
    What appears on the surface need not be what you have to take home.
    Obviously this was not targeted to all readers, but whoever it helps.

    That second part was not related to the upanishad, but I removed it - please take a look.

    I would not call Maha-Narayana Up. very sectarian because a) Those verses are not naming the Supreme Reality at all, not even calling it Brahman' (THAT, One, etc.) b) it has a lot of hymns to Rudra and Aditya that Shaivas like to chant.

    I was showing him what is common to so many upanishads, without naming THAT (Brahman') , the Ultimate Reality.

    It is a common thread in the mukhya upanishads as well, that a Supreme Reality gave rise to the spiritual and material worlds, many Gods.
    ...and from Whom the ONE Breath of all gods came into existence.
    THAT in which/Whom all Gods remain, reside, enjoying their respective powers...

    For instance, if someone counts the temples and say there are N Gods, someone has to point them to what is written in the Upanishads, the principle, tattva , behind those forms giving a clue of an ultimate Source..

    If sharing a philosophical understanding of where they came from is forbidden, then what is this DIR for?
    Take the Veda and throw the anta of the Vedas (VedAnta - Upanishads) - will never give a full perspective. Like the blind men and the elephant.


    Final conclusion is up to each listener.
     
    #11 ameyAtmA, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  12. ameyAtmA

    ameyAtmA ~ SacchidAnanda ~
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    Just because the OP said "Hinduism IS POLYTHEISTIC" in CAPS does not make it universally so. But you did not say a word to the OP. Instead you objected to SomeRandom and me who were trying to show the One Brahman' (ParamAtmA) that OP is really looking for.
     
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  13. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I do not know who the OP is? He/She identifies him/herself as Dharmic, but does not say that he/she is Hindu. What he/she says is not important. He/She does not have full understanding of Hinduism, that is why he/she has asked these questions.

    My reply to him/her is the same as to you. Hinduism ranges from atheism to polytheism, and Brahman can be a considered a God or not considered a God. All permutations and combinations are possible in Hinduism. Dvaita, Dvaita-Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, Suddhadvaita, Bhedabhedadvaita, Acintya Bhedabheda or Gaudapada's and Sankara's Advaita. No one view holds for all of Hinduism except for the concept of 'dharma'. All the rest is open to personal views.
     
    #13 Aupmanyav, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    - For a wider perspective, don't insist on 'one God'. Include those who believe in many or even none. Those who believe in many will not accept Brahman, and there are some who say Brahman (Tattva) has no God-like characteristics (creation, destruction and otherwise interfering in this world which they consider make-believe).
    - Advatists surely believe that what appears on the surface is certainly not the truth.
    - b) that means that the MahaNarayana upanishad is just attempting to satisfy diverse views.
    - Some believe in what is commonly mentioned, some don't.
    - Upanishads are people's opinion (of course, they were wise people), but then they are not the word of any God. People will differ about the characteristics of the ultimate source, final conclusion is up for each enquirer.
    - Sure, share views, but also accept the existence of many views in Hinduism. It would be an unfortunate day if Hinduism is tied down to one view like in Abrahamic religions.
     
    #14 Aupmanyav, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  15. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are monotheistic versions of the Sanatana Dharma as shown by the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, Lingayats and Prajapita Brahmakumaris.

    Polytheism cannot be accounted for in Hinduism, imho, due to the Vedic saying...

    "Great indeed are the devas who have sprung out of Brahman." ~ Atharva Veda

    All the gods and goddesses thus have a unitary origin in Brahman which totally credits any theory that Hinduism is polytheistic.
     
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  16. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    A critical examination of Hindu scriptures is required in order to distill the truths from falsehood.

    There are fraudsters who have claimed that they are God and went on to commit all sorts of outrageous acts taking advantage of gullible people. This has greatly damaged Hinduism in modern times.

    Kabir's exhortation on critical examination to distinguish between the true and falsehood should be learnt and applied to distinguish between genuine teachings of Hinduism and fraudulent, imaginary teachings.

    Kabir on the need for critical examination to weed out the false and fraudulent...
     
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  17. atanu

    atanu Member
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    I will say that Hinduism spans many layers. But Veda is very emphatic in saying ‘Truth is One. Names are many’.
     
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  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Yeah, in one or two richas, they said that. But there are a thousand more. You pick up what you like, I pick up what I like. :)
     
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  19. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    Truth is one. Names are many indeed.

    But the potential for fraud is also infinite and varied as well. Likes of Virochana, Paundraka, comes to mind in this regard.
     
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  20. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Hinduism can be pantheistic, polytheistic, panentheistic, monotheistic or atheistic. It can even be all of these, simultaneously, depending on what level you're talking about.

    Hinduism loves complicated. It loves breaking things down into innumerable categories with innumerable features. If anything, it's generally simplified.
     
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