So whats the deal with Hinduism and Atheism?

Tariki

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Tariki, it is a matter of focus. Monotheistic religions focus on their one God. Indian religions (hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism) focus or responsibilities and righteous action. Either the Gods are absent or they are less important than 'dharma'.

I would see it as focusing on the word of their one God. Which in consequence leads to the confusion between word as text and the Living Word. Following on, true "dharma" can only come by grace via the Living Word.
 

wil

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:). You decide. I give my opinion.

I think I understand monotheism quite well. The Prophets, Son, Messenger saying that follow Me (Prophets, Son, Messenger, Saint, Manifestation, Mahdi), otherwise God has eternal hell for you. It did not stop with the three. In each age there are Saints, Mahdis, Manifestations, who repeat this ad-nauseam, though not as successfully. Yes, I understand Hinduism better than Thomas. I understand Christianity as well as Thomas.

I don't know if Thomas will agree with your assertion but I surely don't.

In my belief system hell is not a place in space or time but a place in mind. And it isn't where G!d 'puts' us it is where we put ourselves, and it isn't follow them, but follow the teachings, it isn't the destination, as we are already here it is the journey to that realization...that free will not only allows us to exlore without, but also within.
 

wil

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I was out of action for a few days (moved to a new house). Yes, I am an orthodox and a strong atheist hindu. The school/philosophy is known as 'advaita' (non-duality), i.e., we believe that the universe and everything in it is constituted by one entity (I personally take it to be 'physical energy', others take it as an impersonal non-interfering divinity). Nothing supernatural, no God, since that would mean a duality, God and us. This is an old philosophy, finds mention in the Vedas. It was vigorously propounded by an eighth century philosopher, Sankara. Presently, it is one of the very popular philosophies among hindus. But we live happily with theists - whatever floats any person's boat.

Quite similar to my belief....except I don't take the one 'entity' but one principle, yes no supernatural....it is all natural.....like the TOE...
 

Aupmanyav

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That One principle is 'dharma' (fulfillment of duties and engaging in righteous action), which sustains the society (and does not allow the sky to fall). :)
 

radarmark

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Aup,

Very good. I do not comprehend what "one Supreme God, inclusive of many other Gods, whereas the western view is generally One God period" even means. Your description seems much more on the mark.

The whole Hinduism versus Christianity thing seems a false choice to me. Should not human beings be able to discuss either within the bounds of something called "theology" (in a classic metaphysical sense)? The experience of the Jew in Auschwitz or the Tutsi in Rwanda may be different (Zyklon B versus Machetes), but in some way they are similar.

Am I out of line? Doesn’t Hinduism accept nearly all theological approaches without judgment?
 

Senthil

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One has to never forget the vastness of theology under the banner of Hinduism. No one person can truly speak for all Hindus. So as far as accepting all theological approaches without judgement, the answer is yes, and no, depending on which Hindu school your answer is coming from.

For many Hindus, it's not a question of judgement at all, but more a question of indifference. Most Hindus aren't that familiar with other schools or faiths, so would have no statement on them.
 

radarmark

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Seems a euro-centric answer to me, Senthil. I believe most Hindus know of Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam (after all, it is the birthplace of the first two, 90% of the next and it is home to the second or third most Muslims).

All I can go by is what most Hindu leaders from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to Vasudha Narayanan have said “all religions lead to the same g!d’. You are free, of course, not to agree.

Aup, the question was really for you, whaddayathink?
 

wil

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In many Hindu temples there along with pictures of various gurus on the wall is a picture of Jesus....

"oh yes, your Chist is one of our gurus, we love your Christ"
 

Senthil

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In many Hindu temples there along with pictures of various gurus on the wall is a picture of Jesus....

"oh yes, your Chist is one of our gurus, we love your Christ"

Wow. News to me. Western universalist style temples, maybe. But of some 100 temple both in North America and India, I've truthfully never seen a picture of Christ. There are a couple of temples near the beltway there near Lanham in DC.
 

Senthil

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Seems a euro-centric answer to me, Senthil. I believe most Hindus know of Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam (after all, it is the birthplace of the first two, 90% of the next and it is home to the second or third most Muslims).

All I can go by is what most Hindu leaders from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to Vasudha Narayanan have said “all religions lead to the same g!d’. You are free, of course, not to agree.

Aup, the question was really for you, whaddayathink?

In America yes. But less than 1% of Hindus live in America. Having heard of them, and feeling that they are at all relevant to daily Hindu life are two different things.
 

Aupmanyav

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I do not comprehend what "one Supreme God, inclusive of many other Gods, whereas the western view is generally One God period" even means.

Doesn’t Hinduism accept nearly all theological approaches without judgment?
Radar, that is the Hindu strategy.

Many times our Gods are at odds. Take the case of Banasura, whose daughter Usha abducted Krishna's grandson to take him as her husband (she was infatuated by a portrait that she saw of Aniruddha). Now, Banasura was a Shiva devotee, so Shiva came to help him and fought against Krishna. Two Gods of equal power, and the skirmish never seemed to end to the detriment of the universe. So the sages came to them, reminded them that whether Hari (Vishnu - Krishna) or Hara (Shiva), they were the same. The Gods agreed and the avatara is known as Harihara (combine the two).

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harihara.jpg

See Shiva's trident and 'khappara' (skull in which he prepares his drinks) on one side, and Vishnu's chakra and conch on the other side, the snakes and the necklace on the two sides.

Similarly combine the three, Aryan Brahma and indigenous Vishnu and Shiva, in Brahman. Combine the Gods in various regions of India in Vishnu (eight avataras and Buddha). Combine the various Mother Goddesses and the spouses of the Hindu trinity (Brahma - Brahmani, Vishnu - Lakshmi, Shiva - Parvati), spouses of avataras (Rama- Sita, Krishna - Rukmani) into one, Shakti.

That is why, we did not have to break any idols.

For your second question, no. Hinduism does not accept all theological approaches without judgment. If we accept monotheism, then we would have to negate our polytheism. No compromise can be reached between these two diametrically opposite positions.
 

Aupmanyav

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All I can go by is what most Hindu leaders from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to Vasudha Narayanan have said “all religions lead to the same g!d’. You are free, of course, not to agree

Aup, the question was really for you, whaddayathink?
I do not know of Vasudha Narayanan. Ramakrishna was a Christian for some time and Muslim for some more. But I do not agree with these large hearted persons when the Muslims engage in terror in India and the missionaries engage in spreading lies about Hinduism (Dalits) to win converts. Of course, I am an advaitist, and I consider even Hitler and Osama also to be none other than Brahman, but that is at a different level of reality, the absolute reality. In the reality in which we exist (Vyavaharika - pragmatic), I think it is not wise to keep the doors that open. You would be routed.

I know of a Hindu Hanuman Temple somewhere in our states of Jharkhand or Chhatisgarh, "Sarvadharma Mandir" (Temple of all religions), which has an image of Jesus also. Perhaps I have posted that in Interfaith. I will search for it. The photograph originally appeared in an article in http://www.indiamike.com/ (a travel site).
 

Senthil

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And there is a picture of Jesus in that very temple...

The Murugan Society of North America? The Siva-Vishnu temple of greater Washington? I've been to both those, and didn't notice anything. There are probably 20 temples in the greater DC area. So 'that very temple' could mean any of 20.

I put this question to Hindus on another forum, and the only ones they'd ever seen were in the universalist style 'Hindu' temples like SRF, Sai Centers, and the like. I don't usually go to those styles. I'm not disagreeing here, just pointing out that the vast majority don't have pictures of J in them.
 

Senthil

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One has to remember that when the likes of Ramakrishna said all religions lead to the same God, that they attained Self-Realisation from within Hinduism first, so when they 'practiced' other faiths, they did it from a Hindu perspective, and from the perspective of one who has already realised Brahman. That's much different than 'out here' in the consciousness most regular folks reside in.
 

Aupmanyav

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SRF and Sai Foundation (and there may be others like them), are predators, looking for adherents and money, Hinduism is not. They are not main-line hindus. Can Christians and Muslim accept Hindu Gods and Goddesses? Then, why should we? Why try to clap with one hand (to put the fact bluntly)?
 

Senthil

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I'm really not wishing to cause trouble, just clarifying that most Hindu temples don't have Jesus in them. On a site with the title Interfaith forums, isn't clarifying misconceptions what one would want to do? Whether or not one chooses to believe me is another matter. I have nothing against Christians, no axe to grind, just stating knowledge gained from my experience.
 
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