Here under is a description of Sanatan (Hinduism) that has been specifically written for this site with just one thing in mind, to keep it simple and give a short basic view of what our great religion is about. It is the feeling among a lot of Hindus (Aryas and Dasuyas who follow Vedas and Puran and are born as Sanatani) and especially the younger generation that Hinduism is complicated and at times difficult to understand. There a re a number of questions that arise in the minds of the young ; like why so many Gods ? On the contrary, here is no simpler religion on earth. Whilst a scholar can go into the depth of various Puranas , Vedas and other great scriptures and learn shlokas , an insignificant devotee can attain salvation by simple Bhakti (devotion). A bhajan singer can also attain the same by singing in love of the Supreme.
Introduction of our religion, is kept simple and understandable. That is our aim at this moment. If there any questions that you may have about Hinduism, please post them on our message and we will answer than immediately.
There are a number of highly learned persons who can and will take their time to answer those.
Who is a Hindu (Sanatani)
A Hindu is one that believes in one God who incarnates, as and when He feels fit, in the shape and form He wants. God has incarnated in many forms as Lord Rama , Lord Shiva , Lord Brahma( in His form as The Creator) and others that were in existence for shorter periods.
Certain incarnations of God have come under criticism from those who have the inbuilt mind concept that God should only be in a certain form. This is totally refuted by Hinduism. Our belief is that God has the infinite capacity and will take forms as and when He so feels. A simple little human has no right to put limitations on God. Also the one who believes that Veda and Purana are divine.
Creation and destruction of the universe
God creates, sustains and destroys everything , when time comes. The Creator form of God is known as Brahma. He breaths out the universe as stated in the Holy book Gita. This is the same as Big Bang Theory only in a different language. Saying it in English does not make our eternal theory obsolete.
Upon creation , the form of Vishnu takes over as the maintainer of the universe . He is the prime enjoyer of the creation and its profound complex beauty and wonders. At the end of the whole creation it is all destroyed or breathed back again, as stated in the Holy book Gita. This is no different from the Back Hole as found recently by the scientists. The Vedas clearly state that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing . The is a clear indication of Hinduism's claim of understanding the "Zero" long before any other cultures.
The whole process from creation to destruction is divided into 4 parts called yugas : Sat Yug, Treta Yug, Dwapar Yug and the Yug of Kali. The universe is now in the era of darkness ( kali Yug ), although the destruction is a long way to go ,the whole process starts all over again after destruction. The progression from the first yug to the last counted as one day of Bhraman - The Supreme Lord, The creation has 427,000 years to go before the destruction , upon which the new cycle will begin.
Names, forms and deities
Many names and forms are given to each incarnation and different powers of God, with the love and affection by each individual devotee. Deities are a part of our worship and whilst a miracle should never be a prerequisite for a true believer , the Milk Miracle by The supreme Grace of Lord Ganesh is a living proof of its powers .No Hindu will allow this Miracle to be forgotten.
Deities are made full use of in Hinduism for the purpose of concentration. We are not apologists for the same. This has been highly maligned by the Islam and Christian beliefs. They fail to see that they themselves have always used deities. The Islamics use the Kabaa ( a black stone which is a Shivalingum) and the Christians the statues of Christ , Mary and the use of Cross .
That God created man in His own image (Christian belief) comes from the Hindus deities being lovingly sculptured in beautiful human forms ages ago before Christ was born.
Dharma, God and soul - Eternal
Sanatan, Our Dharma is eternal, so is God and all the souls. It is our conviction that body dies but not the soul. At death time the soul simply passes out to take another body , be it a human or any other living thing. This unfortunately, is so frightening to some other beliefs that they turn a totally blind eye and bury their ostrich heads in sand over this issue. Next birth is dependent upon the life style one lived in the last one. Known to all, God is always kind will grant unto the devotee what he asks for. Our mind set at death will lead us to the next birth. If food was the passion than the next birth would be such as to facilitate the fulfillment of the
desires. Needless to say a maggot swimming in swill would never desire it any other way because in its physical form its requirements are totally fulfilled.
It has also to be remembered that the nature of desire for worldly things (maya) will lead to desire for more. It is indeed a vicious cycle. The desire for nature will lead to moksha (salvation) a permanent state of bliss and being in service of the Lord Himself, thus the attainment of the true destination of soul. Paradise is the ultimate goal of other beliefs where pleasures that have not been fulfilled during lifetime can be enjoyed. This is an extreme form of self gratification. Hindus ultimate aim is to be in selfless service of God . Is there a higher , deeper and more pure philosophy on earth .
The world is at a loss for turning a blind eye to the tenets of Hinduism but it has to be understood that every human has a capacity of understanding and they will follow what their mental and spiritual levels lead them towards.
Many Paths and one God
The old scriptures are a guide to salvation and an individual can steadily make his way back to God in the speed and path selected. Each soul is at a different stage in the spiritual development and thus, will make his way up as seen fit personally. Hinduism is conservative and liberal at the same time as the previous sentence portrays. It is primarily due to this reason why in a Hindu society, one will find different ways and means of reaching God. The beauty of it all is that each is tolerant of others. As in any religion , diversions and divisions are a must, as seen in Christianity and Islam , although looked down upon by those who call themselves the true believers (Shia/Sunni/Catholics/Protestants etc. Due to the age and maturity of Hinduism we have numerous divisions and learnt to live with each other long ago. Our tolerance demonstrates our age and maturity. Others are just scratching the surface by trying to come to a compromise and making peace as in the case of Catholics and Protestants. Regret, the Islamics have a long way to go , they have not even sat on the table with their Shiite brothers to
make peace. War , killing and subjugation are the blue print of the day , most unfortunately.
Karma & Dharma
Karma (deeds) and results of Karma are the basis of our lives. Knowing that good karma will bring good results and vice versa, our lives can be guided towards fruition of Salvation termed as Moksha. Karmas are of various levels and will effect a soul for short or long time depending upon its gravity. A simple act will bring a simple and short term reward , whether it be good or bad. More serious karma can bring a longer lasting reward and yet still some karmas are so good or bad that they last for some lifetimes. The result or the fruit of a karma cannot be escaped. This is hard and fast. As for bad karma when one gets realized, begins to do good deeds and takes the path towards God then fortunately the punishment of any past bad deeds only helps one reroute to God. That is the best part of it. Never is a soul condemned to eternal hell as in Christianity or Islam. There is always a chance to come back to God and He is more than willing to give even the worst sinner a chance at every corner, so much so that if a total sinner thinks of God at death, moksha is not denied to him. Although , it is hard to think of God on death bed, when the whole life has been in sin. One cannot go to a doctor's exam and pass without studying for it. When asked by Larry King on the CNN, Rev. Jerry Fallwel had no answer as to why a 2 year old Somali child dies of hunger when he has had no time even to sin against God , all Jerry had to say was that he did not know. He went on to say that, if and when he died and met God he may find the answer. My six year old son could have answered that question without thought - carried over karma from past life.... period.
The results of karma (deeds) cannot be obliterated just by accepting Jesus or Mohammed / Allah . One has to work towards personal salvation .
Who a guru is
A Guru is a teacher/guide, who will recognize the aptitude of a student and take him from there.
Guru plays a very important part in molding our lives and whilst the Holy book Gita can be accepted as Guru, so can the word of Guru Nanak , Mahavir , Swami Narayan, Buddha and numerous other thinkers and philosophers that India is proud to have contributed to the world heritage.
What is heaven
The description of heaven is simply a place where all the mayavic ( materialistic) fantasies are fulfilled. It may be right here on earth or what can be termed as heaven A person who has done good deeds like helping the poor , disabled persons in need, amount to something like a bank account that one can spend and enjoy but it does not necessarily deliver a human at the feet of God. At the time when one enjoys activities of materialistic nature as in heaven , God is the last thing in mind. If the human has accepted the true meaning of this life, as one that ends in moksha, then even if he does good deeds, the results of such deeds are offered to God and all turns into bahkti, devotion and love for Him.
What is sin
In very simple words, sin is an act that takes one away from God even if it is for a short period or for longer in relation to the seriousness of the deed. So the true devotee , even if he is a family man, will know and accept that all his karma is for God. His spiritual life is number one, without which all the zeros written on a page mean nothing. His number one is God and his life is bhakti in the truest sense. He sees God in all, the clouds, rain, heat , mountains, flowers, seasons etc. He brings up his family in the awareness of God. Due to the karma so done, his children will obviously be of good character and lead the life in love for God. A good soul also has the privilege of taking birth in such a family to continue towards the final truth. Very rewarding indeed.
Does God punish Eternally ?
No . Unlike the Christian and Islamic beliefs, God is kind and will always give a chance to a lost soul to come on the right path. In fact at every stop in this life there is a chance to go back. So much so that , even if one has lived his life in total sin, if thinks of God at the time of death , He will accept the soul . Permanent and eternal punishments are always stressed in beliefs that have huge gaps in their philosophies. Brainwashing is the base of instilling fear and keeping the "flock together". One cannot question any tenets of other beliefs just out of fear of severe punishment from God .
Hinduism is different , one is encouraged to meditate (think) many answers out for one's self. This in fact develops the mind to much higher understanding than just reading and accepting what is offered in a book or a scripture.
Mantras & Shlokas
Mantras and shlokas are used by devotees to divert their minds towards God. It brings the whole mind frame diverted to God and at the same time live a normal life as termed by humans. A Guru will prescribe a mantra in relation to the capacity and spirituality a person has reached. Just as there is no single drug for all diseases there is no single mantra for all. In the
absence of a Guru , the chanting of OM will no doubt lead one to the correct direction. A natural , inborn attraction to a mantra is a good one to start with.
The Shlokas (verses) and beautiful names of God have a spiritual vibrations
that leads one to higher levels of thought and understanding.
What is evil
All creation is the work of God and so is evil. The decision for a human is which path he wants to select the good or the bad? The path via evil is full of self destruction and killing one's conscience , the path from good is allowing that hidden voice of God within us to flourish. This is termed as Mahabharat, the war against what is one's own - lust, greed, pride, anger and jealousy. They are as much a part of us as Bhishmapita was to Arjun.
The Caste System
This is the most misrepresented, misunderstood and misused aspect of Sanatan (Hinduism). For some it was to retain their authority and for some it is a point by which Sanatan (Hinduism) can be demeaned and make the Hindus demoralized. Sinister persons and organizations have used and misused this theme for their benefit and divided the Hindu community into fractions for the purpose of converting them to other religions.
What is the caste system as prescribed in the Gita ? It is a division of community into four different classes in relation to their trade. This is all the enemies of Sanatan (Hinduism) will say ; if they read the Gita further , it says, one is not of a particular caste by birth, it is by his karma. This last bit is purposely ignored. A simple fact sinisterly ignored and our enemies have been successful in dividing us without much effort. This is where this website comes in and will unite and undo the damage done by these foreigners.
The whole concept of vegetarianism is based on respect of God and his creation , whereby the animals are also considered as a great part of His wonderful universe .
Vegetarianism is strictly recommended in Sanatan (Hinduism), for the simple fact that to harm an animal , a creation of God, for taste and self gratification only brings bad results. It is naive to think that because one kills in the name of God/Allah the fruits of such an act is forgiven. If Allah or Jesus were co kind would they slaughter a cow for consumption ? The rule is steadfast, one must suffer the consequence of it. Just think of the basis on which a Muslim will not eat pork and a Hindu will not eat beef. One , Islam's refusal of pork is based on hate for the animal and a Hindu's avoidance of beef is based on kindness and respect for an animal. The basic difference is hate versus love and respect. Yes, there are numerous Hindus (Aryas and Dasuyas) who eat meat but the results of such a karma is their own and nobody else's. The suffering that such deeds bring are visible all over the world. Immorality, cruelty , lack of ethical behavior etc are the results of it. In these times, incest , teen pregnancy, abortions, premarital sex , lack of respect for parents, Gurus and Saints is rampant. It is indeed in these times when it is the easiest and hardest to get moksha. Simple bhakti (devotion) and good karma are the shortest road to God but it is also hard due to the presence of the lustful activities all around you. If life is surrendered to God then the atmosphere has no effect on the devotee. Simple living and high thinking should be the basis of life. This is why the faces of most Hindus(Aryas and Dasuyas) reflect a humility that the west finds hard to apprehend. For a Hindu, pain and pleasure have no meaning, these are considered just two ordinary states that are temporary. Life itself is temporary.
Sanatan - no loose ends
This is a very bold statement to make indeed. Sanatan(Hinduism) is a complete religion with no loose ends and all questions have answers within its concept. There is no denying. There are other beliefs that have huge gaps and are explained away by simply saying that God is impossible to understand fully. If anything God is indeed very easy to understand by simply loving Him, the rest just follows.
What is a cult?
A cult is something that a person starts, attracts people to it with rewards, even kills fellow humans to convert, has hard and fast rules, if not followed, permanent punishment like eternity in hell etc are advocated to keep the followers in the flock. Any diversion is scorned. All free thinking is banished. The flock is ordered not to discuss other faiths. Even the love and respect of your land's rivers, mountains and Holy places suddenly become simple water and dust and at the same time be replaced by Mecca or some city in the Middle east. Total hypocrisy. Non believers are called names in derogatory terms to keep the flock under the cult leader. Animals are sacrificed in the name of God, but for the selfish purpose of consumption and self gratification. I will leave the reader to decide which beliefs fit the mold of a cult.