A Baha'i who would like to learn about Hinduism.

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Mythos, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Mythos

    Mythos Active Member

    Apr 20, 2009
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    I am a Baha'i who would really like to know more about your Religion, excuse my ignorance...

    I have some questions:

    Who founded your Religion, and where and when?

    What is the main book of the teachings?

    What are some of the teachings?

    Thank you.

  2. Snoopy

    Snoopy Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2006
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    I’m sorry to say that at present I don’t think it’s too overpopulated with Hindus on this forum. In the absence of that have a look here at your own faith, and if you think it looks like a fair and reasonable introduction go to the section on Hinduism. :)


    BBC - Religion & Ethics - Religions

    (I think there’s a Hindu mod here – Agnideva but they seem to have left now?)
  3. lucius

    lucius Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2005
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    Hi - I'm not a Hindu, more a kind of universalist, but I've studied some aspects of Hinduism quite deeply over many years, so here's some amswers to your questions

    'Hinduism' is actually a misnomer. It is a term invented by colonialists to refer to a group of diverse spiritual beliefs and practices native to the Indian sub-continent. The sanskrit tem is 'sanatana dharma', which means 'the eternal teaching or law'.
    Hinduism doesn't have a single founder as in Buddhism or Christianity. The earliest roots of it go back into pre-history. The Rig Veda is the earliset Hindu text. This is not the work of one person, but is the record of the experiences of people known as Rishis, who it is said were seers of the divine, and who preserved their teaching in an oral tradition for long ages until they were written down perhaps 5.000 years ago.

    There are may Hindu scriptures. Some are more imporatant than others.
    Basically, there were four periods during which scriptures were produced.
    Firstly, the vedic period which saw the transcription of the ancient teaching of the rishis as mentioned above.
    Later on, and in a more philosphical and developed form came the Upanishads, of which Katha, Isa, Prsana and Mundaka Upanishads are main examples.
    Still later came the Puranas, which are mainly relations of stories or 'lila' of the various gods and avatars. An avatar is believed to be an incarnation of the divine on earth, similar to Christian beielf about Jesus Christ, but Hinduism teaches there have been several such incarnations such as Rama and Krishna.
    Bhagavata Purana for example contains the stories of Krishna's incarnation.
    The last major phase saw the production of the Tantras, which are mainly concerned with practical methodology.

    There are also works which don't fit any of these categories, but are important, such as the Vedanta Sutra, the wrintings of pantanjali, classics such as Ramayana and Mahbharata.

    Perhps the most famous Hindu scripture however os the Bhagavad Gita, which is actually part of Mahabharata. This text has been traslated more than any other, and is a good general intro to Hindu philosphy and spirituality.

    As for teachings - there is much variation, but basically Hinduism teaches that behind the world of appearances lies a deeper spiritual reality of which we are part.
    Similarly, it is believed that behind the outer layers of our bodies and minds lies a spark of divinity within, the soul or atman. This soul enters the body at conception, and on the death of the body eventually re-incarnates in a new one. This process continues on and on until the soul awakens and attaind liberation which comes through realization of the divine.
    It is a common teaching that 'all is one', and that our present consciousness is based in ignorance, which can only be removed when we come to know this One.
    Various methods are prescribed for attaining to realization - these are generally known collectively as Yogas, and include devotion, meditation, regulation of the life, works etc.

    Some important figures in modern times include Ramakrishna Parhamhansa, Swami Vivekanada, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharishi, Parhamhansa Yoganada.

    Hinduism is a vast subject and I'm afraid this is probably a very inadequate reply, but if you have any more questions feel free to ask.
  4. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Jul 15, 2003
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  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Dec 1, 2003
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  6. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2008
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    The term "Hinduism" is a bit deceptive because it is applied to doctrinally diverse schools of thought. I would probably start with an online search about how these schools differ.

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