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Hindu Dharma – Questions People Ask

I have made an attempt to give a brief overview of an ancient and philosophical religion. I hope this will help your study, at least to some extent.

What is the Concept of God?
According to Vedanta,(वेदांत) God is both the efficient and the material cause of creation. So God is not separate from the creation itself. Hence absolutely everything is part of God (manifest or unmanifest, known or unknown). This is where the attitude of accepting all forms of religious customs, that is so unique to Hindu Dharma, stems from. It is rooted in the basic principles of अद्वैता  वेदांत .

What is the Final Human Goal?
The final goal of a human life is to attain Moksha or Freedom from a sense of limitation. It is achieved through the realization of the fact that our essence is God and in that sense we are already one with God.

What is the Process to Attain this Goal?
Karma or action performed to the best of one’s ability in keeping with Dharma or righteousness and acceptance of results (karma-phala) with equanimity is one’s duty. If one thinks deeply there is no other choice either! The idea is to have a non-emotional approach to life and what it brings. In this way we can do what is to be done well and objectively, avoiding useless sorrow. If individuals are not sad and angry then most things will go well for most persons.

What is the Concept of Time in this Religion?
Time in Vedanta is an ongoing, never-ending cycle. Time and space exist in God. That is why God is not in Heaven, rather, Heaven is in God. Any concept of ending is only limited within a larger framework of unending perpetual time. सृष्टि or creation goes on eternally.

What is the Position of Women?
Vedanta calls God as without attributes, hence no question about male or female. Deities are both male and female. No religious ceremonies are performed without a woman. Actually, it gives an equal place to all beings. The three major male deities have three major female deities also. Creation needs the female qualities she is the ऑलमाइटी ’ स  शक्ति (creative power). The perfect Murti of the ऑलमाइटी is अर्धनारीश्वर (man/woman in one image).

What is the Attitude Towards other Religions?
All religious traditions are accepted as correct and are seen as different paths to the same goal. Eventually, all will find the same “Truth,” as the absolute truth cannot be different for different people or at different times.
Obviously, the idea of conversion by either force or persuasion does not fit in. However, one may learn through studying or listening or contemplating. A Vedantist(वेदांतिस्त) is one who tries to understand the “self” through a rational process. Vedas offer the means to this knowledge and must be learnt willingly.
One problem I see in our rush to find maximum material success is that, not enough people even know that they will gain by learning. Every school in Bharat must give some education to impart this desire in all children.

What is the Attitude towards Birth and Death?
Vedanta says that whatever is born must die also. But the “self” is neither born nor dies. The created world is only “relatively” real. It is like a secondary level of reality, e.g. a dream is real only until one wakes up. So in absolute terms nothing really comes to an end. Hence death is the opposite of birth, not life. Life is the journey that we all have to go through to achieve the next stage!

Hindu Dharma and Ecology
Hindu Dharma – a Highly Misunderstood Tradition


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Friday, 22 October 2021