Most Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT HINDUISM

Namaste!
Bowing to your Divine Soul

God is not property of any one religion, God is too big to be confined in any one faith. Where is the limit for UNLIMITED? To what shall HE belong? All churches and temples are in Him.He belongs to all, we all are his children. Each one projects his own ideal and worships that. The wicked sees this world as perfect hell: and the good as perfect heaven. The perfect man sees nothing but God.

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Question-1) What is the Hindu definition of God-monotheistic or polytheistic?
Hinduism gives us the freedom to approach God in our own way, without demanding conformity to any dogma. Hindus believe in one supreme God who created the universe and who is worshipped as Light, Love and Consciousness. Hindus believe that there is one all-pervasive God which energizes the entire universe. We can see Him in the life shining out of the eyes of humans and all creatures. Hindus also believe in many devas who perform various kinds of functions, like executives in a large corporation. These should not be confused with God. There is one Supreme God only. What is sometimes confusing to non-Hindus is that we may call this one God by many different names, according to our tradition. Truth for the Hindu has many names, but that does not make for many truths. Hindus believe in one God, one humanity and one world. People with different language, different cultures have understood this one God in their own way.One of the unique understandings in Hinduism is that God is not just far away, living in a remote heaven, but is also inside of each and every soul in the heart and consciousness, waiting for you and me to discover. Knowing the One Great God in this intimate and experiential way is the goal of Hindu spirituality.
Question-2) Could you describe the process of reincarnation?
The word reincarnate means to "reenter the flesh." We Hindus believe the soul is immortal and keeps reentering a fleshy body time and time again in order to resolve experiences and thereby learn all the lessons life in the material world has to offer. Hindus believe in reincarnation. To them, it explains the natural way the soul evolves from immaturity to spiritual illumination.
Question-3) What is karma?
Karma actually means "cause and effect." The process of action and reaction on all levels-physical, mental and spiritual - is karma.God does not give us karma. We create our own. Bad karma is because we have done something bad in the past to someone, and now someone is doing something bad to us. Good karma means that we have done something good in the past and now others are doing something good to us now.
Question-4) Why do Hindus regard the cow as sacred?
The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter and ice cream, ghee, buttermilk, sirloin, ribs, rump, quarterround, porterhouse, beef stew. Its bones are the base for soup broths. It gives us our leather belt, leather seats, leather coats and shoes, beef jerky, cowboy hats, you name it. The cow is the most prominent giving animal in the world today. And now the question: Why do the Hindus regard the cow as sacred? People who ask if cows are considered sacred should understand that Hindus regard all living creatures as sacred-mammals, fishes, birds and more. The cow symbolically represents all other creatures to the Hindu. The cow is a complete ecology, a gentle creature and a symbol of abundance.Yes, the cow is considered very sacred in Hindu religion and for very good reason. It's good qualities are those that we can emulate.
Question-5) Are Hindus idol worshippers?
No Hindus are not idol worshippers.It is about graven images, like the Christian cross with Jesus hanging on it, or statues of Mother Mary and Saint Theresa, or the holy Kabaa in Mecca, or the Adigranth enshrined in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, or the Arc and the Torah of the Jews or the image of a meditating Buddha.
All these graven images are stood before in awe by the followers of these religions.
All religions have their symbols of holiness. The question is, Does this make all the above religions idol-worshippers? The answer is, No. Similarly, Hindus are not idol worshippers in the sense implied. They are intelligent people, and intelligent people do not worship stones or statues. Hindus invoke the presence of great souls living in higher consciousness into stone images so that we can feel the presence of God. Though we may have a stone image of a God, we are invoking the physical presence of the God into the stone image to bless us. In Hinduism one of the ultimate attainments is that the seeker transcends the need of all form and symbol.
There is no religion that is more aware of the transcendent, timeless, formless, causeless Truth. Nor is there any religion which uses more symbols to represent Truth in preparation for that realization. Yoga means to yoke oneself to God within.
You are a Hindu if you believe in karma, reincarnation, the existence of God everywhere in all things, and the existence of beings that are on a greater evolutionary path than ourselves.Karma, reincarnation, invocation of the Deity are pragmatic laws known to Hindus who believe in these eternal Truths.

Question-6) Is there a rule about Hindus eating meat?
Ahimsa means refraining from injuring-physically, mentally or emotionally-anyone or any living creature. The Hindu who wishes to strictly follow the path of non-injury to all creatures naturally adopts a vegetarian diet. As in other matters, Hinduism has very few rigid "do's and don'ts." Rather, its injunctions are called restraints and observances. The ultimate authority for answers to such questions is one's own conscience. Today in America and Europe there are literally millions of vegetarians. This is because they want to live a long time and be healthy. Many feel a certain moral obligation to their own conscience which they wish to fulfill. There are no commandments. Hindu religion gives us the wisdom to make up our own mind on what we put in our body, for it is the only one we have, in this life at least.
Question-7) Why do Hindus wear the dot on the forehead?
The dot has a mystical meaning, for it represents the Third Eye or spiritual sight which Hindus seek to awaken through yoga. Today, only the most traditional men observe this, but women continue to follow these traditions.

Question-8) What is basis of Caste System as mentioned in Hinduism?
Caste System originated in ancient Hindu society as Job Classification. The caste system was born out of a noble intention to form an efficient society through the division of labor. The four main castes of the Hindus are - the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, and the Shudras. The division on the lines of occupation established Brahmins as priests, Kshatriyas as warriors, Vaishyas as businessmen, and Shudras as the employees. This division probably does not hold true any more. In modern, westernized Indian society there is only one occupation - making money.Traditionally, people are born into a caste. However, the scriptures have a different opinion. Sage Parashurama was born into a Brahmin family, but is reverred as one of the mightiest warriors (a Kshatriya) ever known. Sage Valmiki was born in a hunter tribe(Shudra), but he became one of the greatest sages (Brahmin) of Hinduism. Sage Vishwamitra was born a Kshatriya and became one of the most respected sages (Brahmin). Hence, a man's caste in the religion is dictated by his deeds and his merits, not his birth.

Hinduism teaches that different religions are paths to ONE SUPREME GOD. Therefore, Hindus respect all religions and believe in religious tolerance.
****** The above Information is Courtesy of Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami


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