By S.P. Attri (USA)
1. In material reality, Hinduism is Hindu Dharma or Sanatan Dharma, the Everlasting Eternal Dharma. In popular parlance, Hinduism is familiar to most people as Hindu Religion. In substantiality, Hinduism is not a religion at all, but is a Dharma. Simply stated, Hinduism is a way of life underlain by profound philosophies that were discovered by our brilliant sages, seers, and rishis long long ago. These brilliant rishis discovered the truths and realities that lie behind our existence and explained them with radiant and reflective theories.
Our brilliant rishis also formulated a set of rules for good, honorable, and righteous living on this earth---a set of DO's and DON't's , identified as Dharma and Anti-Dharma or Adharma. These rules, which are components and ingredients of Hinduism are eternal and everlasting, they are embodied in the body of the Vedas, and because they are time-independent, they never become obsolete with the passage of time.
2. The most notable symbol of Hinduism is OM, which means "that which has no beginning nor any end."
The ignoramuses mock at Hinduism, reviling and vilifying it as idolatrous and polytheistic. The Authentic Truth, however, is that Hinduism is Mono-theistic as well as Poly-theistic, and the Hindu sees no confutation or contradiction in this dynamic duality. The rationale for this absence of confutation comes from the fact that the One Supreme Being of the Hindu (The Almighty God) has an infintie number of personalities, manifestations, expressions, and forms, that twine around us and inside of us perpetually. Hindu God, therefore, is All-Pervading, girdles around, inside of, and round about everything, exists in every atom, molecule, cell, and sub-atomic particles. It is because of this besieging divine circumstance that we see so much intelligence in every atom and sub-atomic particles, that we have observed.
Hindus adore and exalt the multiple forms of One God who resides over, inside, and round about the Universe, that exists in every particle and fragment, known or imaginable. When it comes to the worship of the idols, Hindus do not revere the mud that makes up the idols but the power that these idols represent, and what they represent as the Multi-Splendor forms and expressions of the Almighty God. Such veneration of the Almighty God is a true honor and accolade to the sublimity and grandeur of the Almighty God.
The above description explodes the fallacy of the ignoramuses, who assail with ridicule that Hindus worship Multiple Gods. Hindus do not worship Multiple Gods but adore and exalt the Multiple Forms of Only One God. Hindus do not worship idols but worship God in the form of idols. Idols are only to facilitate the visualization of the Infinite with our finite faculties. Through the instrumentality of the idol, the devotee comprehends divinity. Period.
3. Those ignoramuses who mock and ridicule the worship of the idols by the Hindus, fail to grasp that Hinduism permits the worship, veneration, or exaltation of God in any of his myriad forms and expressions. In fact, a Hindu can worship the formless aspect of the Almighty God. There is no confutation or contradiction in this and the permitted adoration and veneration of these myriads forms of the Almighty God, is the key facet and feature of the hospitality and pluralism of the Hindu Dharma.
Contrasting with the hospitality and congeniality of the Hindu Dharma are the extra-ordinarily violent beliefs and edicts of the Religions Of Exclusivity (Islam and Christianity). Christianity rests on the statements of only one person, Jesus Christ, whether proved or unproved, on the claim that truth can exist only as revealed by the Christian God (the Christian God who is not the All-Pervading God like the God of the Hindu, but is a localized God and exists only in a place called the Heaven, whose location no Christian knows) through his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Anything considered as conflicting with this revealed truth is mocked as falsehood, to be suppressed with violent means.
Islam is virtually the same way, where the truth has been revealed by God to his chosen Apostle, Hazrat Mohammad, and Mohammad's statements are held beyond reason or questioning and anything in conflict with these beliefs is to be suppressed violently. Moslem God (Allah) is also a localized God, existing only in a place called the Moslem Heaven, whose location is known to no Moslem.
Both Islam and Christianity reject all paths, other than their own, any departure from which is a passport to Hell because it is the works of the Devil. Both Islam and Christianity have each murdered hundreds of millions of innocent Non-Moslems and Non-Christians, whom they regard as Only the Works Of The Devil and who are headed only towards Hell, and hence are considered fit only to be slaughtered by the Moslem and Christian Faithfulls, for being sent to Hell, in this very life-time, to save unnecessary delay and wastage of time later on. The intolerance, brutality, and barbarism perpetrated by the Religions Of Exclusivity, is unspeakable and beyond any parallel. Both Islam and Christianity are prisons without walls and neither of them does or can permit their followers to explore alternate paths. In fact, both Islam and Christianity maintain a truth-monitoring police within their religious systems, which goes by the name of Clergy. The Clergy watches for any blasphemy and any appearance or semblance of blasphemy hits the Clergy like a tornado, requiring immediate corrective and punitive action by them. Blasphemy is a high crime in both Islam and Christianity. There is nothing like the hospitality or congeniality of Hinduism in either Islam or Christianity.
4. According to Hinduism, the entire cosmos is created (Srishti) and dissolved (Pralaya) according to cycles of time. Only the Almighty God is beyond time and who is beginningless and endless. These cycles of Hindu time are four in number and have been named Yugas as Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga, and Kali Yuga. These Yugas have varied durations and all four of them, collectively constituting as one Maha Yuga, total 4.3 million years. A total of 1000 Mahayugas total one Cosmic Day and equal 4.3 billion earthly years.
All human beings come into existence at the beginning of the Cosmic Day and are reborn countless number of times and this seemingly endless cycle of births and rebirths continues until we achieve the transcendental state called the "Moksha." All souls experience this countless/endless cycle of births and re-births (called Transmigration) except the One Absolute Truth, which is beyond creation or destruction/dissolution. This Absolute Truth is the Almighty God.
There are many and varied ways to transcend this process/cycle of transmigration and these varied ways are narrated in the different systems of philosophies that lie within the all-embracing, all-inclusive body of Hindu Dharma.
5. Hinduism believes in transmigration/re-incarnation and in the Karma Theory. This Karmic Theory co-exists and goes hand-in-hand with the Re-incarnation Principle.
It is a matter of common observation that all life forms (and there are billions of them around) do not undergo the same experiences. Even amongst us Humans, we notice differences in the modes of existence. Some of us are billionaires, some are paupers, some are healthy, and some are disease-prone. Some religions preach love, some preach hatred, violence, slaughter. There has got to be a reason for all these divergences and differences. Hinduism answers this question and explains these differences that we commonly notice amongst the myriad life forms, via its theories of Karma and Re-Incarnation and both these theories are inter-related principles.
6. Karma and Re-Incarnation Principles are uniquely Hindu Dharma Systems. There is nothing like it or even remotely similar to these two principles anywhere within in either Islam or Christianity. That is why there is no reliable or convincing explanation, in either Islam or Christianity, for the divergences and the differences, that we commonly observe amongst the myriad life forms of this world.
Each spoke in the Re-Incarnation Cycle is a predecessor to the next spoke. In this way, as we move through the cycle of births and re-births, we are simply experiencing the results of our own actions in our journey through this life cycle. Thus according to Hindu Dharma, even though our actions are bound by and controlled by the theories of Karma and Re-Incarnation, one can rise through his actions during his life-time or in more than one life-time. He is not pre-ordained or pre-elected to a set-state of Eternal Heaven or Eternal Hell, as in Islam or Christianity. According to Hindu Dharma, one can rise or fall according to his own actions ( his own unique Karma) in one life-time or in more than one life-time. One is not condemned to an Eternal Hell or rewarded to an Eternal Heaven as a results of actions in one life-time only, an idea that is believed by both Islam and Christianity, an idea that is highly illogical, irrational, and headstrong immoral to contemplate.
7. The Karma Principle has been bad-mouthed as "Fatalism" by fools and ignoramuses, especially by those amongst the American and European Christian Missionaries, who are unable to comprehend the profound thoughts and knowledge that underlie this very momentous and imperative principle. Our brilliant sages, seers, and rishis, who described and immortalized this potent principle in the Vedas, put this knowledge into practice and discovered that actions could determine destiny. Thus Karma has come to be the fundamental principle of Hinduism, of its culture, and of its Dharma.
Because the workings of the Karmic Principle explained the details of the Cosmic Law, our Rishis accepted these experiences and established Karma as the fundamental principle of Hinduism. In this way, the valuation of actions, as good or bad, based on righteousness or lack of it, came into being in the Hindu consciousness. Thus Karma has reference, relation, and tie-in with individual actions, with respect to questions of morality, reward, and retribution. Hinduism clearly expects the Hindu to safeguard his moral Karma through the performance of Righteous Actions and through the removal of bad deeds and bad thoughts...one becomes good by doing good actions and becomes bad by the doing of bad actions, it is just that simple and these are the fruits of the actions, which are either good or bad and these are the actions that set the wheel of life in motion.
8. Our Rishis who tested the Karma Principle to profound levels of scrutiny, stressed the profound nature of the Karmic influence and bearing on the soul of man, which moves and persists from life to life and carries with it the details of all past actions and thoughts.
The popular saying "what goes around, comes around" means that you get what you give out or put in. This saying is a confirmation of the Hindu Principle of Karma and is based on the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect. It fixes the responsibility where it belongs, on the individual himself and within himself.
As opposed to this, the Semitic Religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, preach that an individual's life is decided by agencies outside of the individual. "Allah knows and decides what to do with the individual," says Islam. Christianity is virtually the same. These semitic religions, which are belief-based, are fatalistic, illogical, and immoral. Why? Because these semitic religions really do not face the problem of good and evil at all. They altogether avoid it, they do not even ask the individual to take responsibility for his actions (they do what is called "Pass The Buck"), instead they enable their followers to pass this responsibility on to external agencies such as Allah, Jehova, Mohammad or Jesus Christ. The consequences of these irresponsible and immoral beliefs and procedures, are disastrous and crime statistics validate the truths of these analyses.
9. Hinduism, on the other hand, boldly faces this problem and states that man makes his own destiny, based on his actions and on his decisions of "good or bad." Hinduism Principle of Karma, because it is based on the Cosmic Laws of Cause and Effect, is completely scientific. Semitic Systems of Religions (Islam and Christianity), which have no such scientific basis, and which are based only on beliefs, beliefs which are completely unproved, are totally unscientific, fatalistic, and superstitious.
Because Hinduism does not pass the responsibility for individual actions to any external agency, does not have any God or any Intermediary between the Act and its Effect (Reward or Punishment). Hinduism dauntlessly preaches that "you are what you are because of what you did in the past and you can determine your future with the actions of your present, you are the master of your future and your future will be inseparable from your present actions. Hinduism thus supports Free Will and Individual Action in the most moral and ethical sense.
The principle of "As you sow, so shall you reap" which is a universal axiom, is the one that Hinduism takes to the plane of moral excellence, the excellence which controls the individual and the cosmos, through the principle of Cause and Effect (Karma).
10. Because of the Karmic Principle and its sequel, the Hindu regards his life on this planet as simply a passage to a reality, not only beyond our planetary home, but beyond the manifested universe ( the material creation). Hinduism, therefore, is the highest spiritual poise, well beyond the material realm of the universe. The Hindu's objective is said to be "to escape from this material universe" to move onto spiritual domains, never more to return to the gross material universe. Thus a Hindu's life is an evolutionary phase, always intended to advance towards spirituality, towards a new realm or a state of consciousness. It is because of concepts and convictions like these that Hindu is regarded as "Other-Worldly" by Non-Hindus.
11. Many absurd superstitions and mendacities have been imagined and invented by the religions of exclusivity, with inevitable wicked and immoral consequences. For instance, Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ suffered for the sins of others. Because the Christians believe this hocus-pocus, they use their belief in this mumbo-jumbo, for their own purposes by "letting Christ suffer while they (the Christians) go on committing sin and crime." The Christians go on slaughtering the Non-Christians with a clean conscience and with total freedom from worry, because Christ will take care of their sins and crimes. The Christians, because they are brain-washed to believe the teachings of Christianity, do not even bother to ask themselves a Common-Sense question that if a person commits a murder and then tells the court that his Father will suffer in his place, will the courts accept the substitute to suffer the sentence? Of course not. If any court allowed this kind of substitution, the justice system of the world would be totally destroyed and demolished. Is God's justice system duller and dumber than the justice system of man's courts?
Disregardful of commonsense and ordinary rules of decency, the Christians keep on believing these absurdities, failing to realize that this Christian belief is a despicable principle to begin with and its perverted usage by the Christians, compounds its disgraceful outrage.
Regardless of the absurdities, the Christians keep on swallowing the belief notions that are offered to them, beliefs that take responsibility away from the individual, in a "Pass The Buck" procedure. Again, because of this willingness to swallow, the Christians readily imbibe creation of a creature of nullity which they name as the Satan or the Devil, who is supposedly always at war with their jealous God and who is supposedly responsible for everything that goes wrong in this world. It does not occur to the Believing Christians that the real purpose in creating this creature of non-existence, is to avoid responsibility for their actions, to pass the buck, and to find a scape goat to blame for things that always go wrong in the world. This creature of non- existence (the Satan or the Devil) also helps the Islamic and Christian Clergies to scare their faithfulls and to fill their hearts with absolute terror and to snare them into their net.
12. Hinduism neither uses nor has any need for an imaginary creature like the Devil. Hinduism boldly faces goods and evils of life, accepts them as normal occurrences in life, and deals with them through the principles of Karma and Re-Incarnation. Hinduism puts the individual in the Driver's Seat, dauntlessly asks him to act and take responsibility for his actions. There is absolutely no reason nor any need to Pass the Buck in Hinduism.
For more articles check out: