Common misconsceptions about Hinduism

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Senthil, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    You didn't but I did. (obviously) Have you been to forums where all it is is bashing? The anti-Islamists make fun of Muhammed, and the anti Christians refer to Christ as a dead Jew on a stick. That sort of thing. It's not really in the spirit of interfaith to mock other religions.

    Hindus have taken it for centuries, and the insulting parties remain blissfully unaware, or committed to condescending cruelty.

    So be it, I guess.

    For the record, the Sivalingam is not a phallus symbol. Heck, it doesn't even resemble a phallus, unless it's a stretch. (literally and figuratively)

    To mock one of the most sacred images to Hinduism would be akin to saying our sacred rudraksha beads look like dried testicles. It's much more than just rude. I would have expected more here. Sorry. :(
     
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    We are mostly free to say what we want here, it is the intent that is judged. And a lot of what is posted is rude, or more, but that is a freedom a lot of us enjoy and it's always a balance. We all face ignorance, and if we want change, we need to be the change we want to see.
     
  3. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Thanks for your response. Often victims of bullying don't let on. At least in this case on here, it's well known now that religious sentiments were hurt. So if nothing else, perhaps that has been accomplished, and some people may think twice before posting such insulting stuff. I'm not personally all that insulted about the insinuation, as it's just so bizarre, but what I am more insulted by is the sheer ignorance out there.

    I've personally been hassled by evangelical Christians about my faith, and have learned there is no point even responding, it's just not worth it.

    To the writers of that article ...Please read a bit before making such rash statements. Mormon's and JWs face false beliefs about their respective religions all the time. So do many faiths. That's why I started this thread, but of course I didn't expect that particular myth about us to even come up.

    Thanks for sharing the info on this forum as well, and I did see that it does have some moderation, as the 'preacher' was banned. I'm not very familiar with this particular forum, but am active on a couple of others.

    So we can get back to the topic soon. I'd encourage questions form anyone.
     
  4. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Myth: Hindus worship cows. (or snakes, or rats, or any other animal)

    We worship Giod and gods. Not much else.

    The fact of the matter is we don't. We revere life, and the cow is particularly set apart due to that, because it's so useful to society, providing milk, cheap labour, and more. It is a life giving creature.

    Even of the 60% or so Hindus who do eat meat, very few of those would eat beef. I think the best analogy might be of a pet in the west. Westerners don't eat their pets; but they do treat them with dignity, and fun. Otherwise it's called animal abuse.
     
  5. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    We do worship snakes (Naga Panchami). :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Of course. There may be a couple of places. My comments are regarding 99.9 % or higher. This highlights one of the problems with the portrayal of us ... taking the rare and treating it as if it was commonplace.

    The snake temple does not speak for me or millions of others, and it contributes to the "Look at what those silly Hindus are doing now," syndrome. :rolleyes:
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    With a couple billion Hindu's out there.... something that represents less than 1% could be a few million people... which is significant enough not to be called a misrepresentation but just differing beliefs within your religion...

    Nobody in Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Hindu beliefs can say they corner the market on their belief (well that is wrong, they say it all the time, they can say it, but it doesn't make it true)
     
  8. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    As far as I know (I could well be wrong) there is only 1 snake temple in the whole of India, so it would be in the hundreds at best. So saying Hindus worship snakes is like saying Americans are albinos, or Americans are odd, they're all named Justin.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I don't believe anyone is saying all Hindu's are into snakes... I had no clue of this at all. I do believe their are many varieties of denominations/sects/beliefs within Hinduism.
     
  10. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Anyone here, yes indeed. It's mostly the Christian right, and other anti-Hindu types that find the oddities and proclaim it as mainstream. People who come to an interfaith forum would generally be quite tolerant, and have no particular reasons to bash other religions.

    Of course, generally, the only reason to put someone else down is to give the impression that your own faith is wiser than that, so here it's no big deal.

    But this isn't ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Hinduism

    And of course you're accurate in saying Hinduism is vast.
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    That would have been nice...
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    If I recall correctly Pakistan broke off with India because of Hindu's that were anti Muslim?

    Prejudice is everywhere, I'm intolerant of those that are intolerant.
     
  13. taijasi

    taijasi GnĊthi seauton

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    Snake worship is about kundalini, the coiled serpent, or serpent-fire which in one sense is responsible - being the active correlate to and expression of the Principle of Buddhi - for all of Creation.

    Worshipping the reptile in some blind, unthinking sense is as silly as worshipping rocks, dirt or a television. It is like saying that Hindus worship cows, instead of understanding the correlation with the Star Sirius in the heavens, with its relation to the Seven Rishis and Their Wives [Ursa Major, plus the Pleiades]. Notice, however, that `dirt-worshippers' is a derogatory term we have - many of us - heard before. New Age folks often do crystal-gazing, or scrying, yet most are not ignorant or unintelligent enough to bow down to so-called `heathen idols,' whether or not they have a statue of Buddha, or Siva Nataraj, on their altar. However, I do believe that the kind of attention given to widescreen TVs, or even those little things now stuffed into the back of headrests in sub-urbans, pretty much does constitute a primitive form of worship - if unbeknownst or not really, wittingly intended by the worshippers [`viewers'] themselves. Granted, if we time traveled back a few hundred, or thousand years, and showed this technology to the people of that time, we all pretty much know what they'd think, where that'd get us, etc. ;)

    Consider the Maya, or the Egyptians. Also recite the Gayatri, and observe carefully what is being stated, affirmed, Praised. These ancient Peoples did not, and do not, worship a giant, inanimate, magical ball of gas and plasma. Anyone who believes that, is as ignorant as the flesh-worshippers who somehow think that Jesus, flesh and blood, is what Christianity is all about. Even the Sacrifice, the Incarnation, Communion and other Sacraments are utterly, almost entirely misunderstood by a large portion of today's followers ... although I have great Faith and Trust that the current Pope will help to dispel much of this bunk, the stupor-stitous mumbo-jumbo.

    Surya, Helios, Ra, the Aten/Aton, etc. ... is to esotericists, including Esoteric followers within all traditions ... a mighty, living BEING, as well as the Source of ALL LIFE - and even ALL FORM - thus also all Consciousness, within our Solar System. As such, terminologies and references [to `HIM'] include `Solar Logos' - and any person with eyes will notice the correlation between the words solar, Sol and SOUL. Give the blind another few million years, and we might just all be on the same page.

    But give the religionists, the materialist-reductivist, logical-positivist scientific types, and the blind philosophers who wield only Ockham's Razor and excess zeal, a few more whacks at it, and pretty soon, we'll not only have destroyed Earth's own delicate System of symbiotic, cooperative relationships and partnerships [the proof, already, of Brotherhood as a Principle in NATURE] ... we will also stamp out all acknowledgment of the S*N (or S*Ns) as being the HEART of ALL LIFE in a given System, and we will even shun the vitalizing, sustaining, nourishing existence of Prana - and perhaps retreat underground, lose our eyes, and wander aimlessly, like some kind of cave-dwelling fish-people, waiting again through long kalpas for Dagon, Oannes, Poseidon-sent Fish-Savior.

    Alas, the nescience ...
     
  14. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Me too, and yet sometimes you have to have a close look to understand where that intolerance comes from. We haven't (at least I haven't) suffered from generations of berating or being treated like dirt. Generally intolerance comes from ignorance, termed anava in Hinduism.

    As for the partition of India, yes that was one of many factors, it's so complicated that many books have since been written on the subject, and whether or not it was best in the long run ... but yes, at least some Muslims perceived it to be that way.

    Still there is a strong Muslim presence in India ... not so for the Hindus in Pakistan.
     
  15. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Myth: Hindus are vegetarian.

    In fact most Hindus aren't. It's around 40% who are. There is a lot in scripture to support vegetarianism, and the idea is held in high regard, but for a large variety of reasons, we just aren't. Almost all religious gatherings or weddings will be vegetarian though.
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    One of my Hindu friends years ago....whenever we went out, it was pastrami sandwiches, roast beef ajus, sausage subs, burgers... I asked him when we were having afternoon tea, crumpets, and cuban cigars.... I thought Hindu's were vegetarian (90% of those I've ever met are (or were in front of me))...but anyway back to Vishnu... when I inquired of his steady meat diet he told me... "This is not the Indian Cow, this is American cow, completely different. When in India I am a vegetarian, when in Rome.... Also there is an edict against crossing water as well, I have been back and forth across oceans so many times I am coming back as an outhouse fly already. Both of these things come from a need whose time is past...not crossing water (except for untouchables) kept disease epidemics on the other side of the river, and due to overpopulation and eating all the food, they made cows sacred for milk, cheese and to plow the fields...otherwise we would have eaten them all centuries ago..."

    If these are misconceptions they are misconceptions a man born and raised Hindu in India 70 years ago...
     
  17. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    He'd be a bit of an odd duck today, but the world is full of odd ducks. :)

    As with most faiths, there are scriptures that contradict, are outdated, etc. These things make for discussion over chai.

    Tea and crumpets shows the British influence, but Cuban cigars, I have no idea what that says.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    India has a strong British influence eh? Is this mostly in the big cities or where there were bases?

    I don't recall what city he grew up in.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  20. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Yes, and the fact the British ruled India for quite some time. The 'bases' were all over. To curry favor with your masters, its better to become like them. There were other factors besides geography, like class.

    As for vegetarianism, that link didn't show the % who ate beef, but for sure it would be far less than 60%, maybe as low as 10%, even lower. Smaller animals and fish are more common. Fish because of supply, and smaller animals because of the lack of refrigeration. A family can eat a whole bird on the day its killed.
     

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