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Hinduism Primer May 4, 2009

Posted by eods in Reviews and Readings.
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A debate continues within the Hinduism itself of the character of the religion. Hinduism is not simply a living thing, it is also a lively thing, a wide variety of beliefs and practices co-exist within it. After almost 40 centuries Hinduism is still in the making. No single version of it has completely dictated Hindu doctrine and values. Perhaps most remarkable of all, is the continuous religious tradition has survived and adapted over this long period. It is one of the oldest religion in the world. Despite the stresses and strains it has endured , nearly one billion individuals , in one way or another identify themsevels as Hindus.

This is how the five part documentary on Hinduism concludes. 50 minutes is hardly a time to explain anything in much depth but I must say that its a very good job done. The background music just takes you deep into trans. Unlike very few commentators on Hinduism, this documentary has brilliantly captured Gandhi’s influence on Hinduism and vice versa. A must watch for all students of comparative religion who want to begin exploring Hinduism.

The ultimate truth May 3, 2009

Posted by eods in The Journey.
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What is the ultimate truth of life?

Many say it death some say its love. I think the ultimate truth in human life is the pain and sorrows. What provoked Muhammad or Gautama Buddha to search that eternal truth? It is something that everyone has to go through. A king who has the power to get everything, a destitute who has nothing to lose, or anyone between these to extremes is equally sad and has sorrows of equal magnitude.

In Gita, Shri Krishna says that often a person develops a desire, that desire when not fulfilled causes anger, anger makes him lose his capability for rational thinking which eventually make him do things which he should not be doing and causes sorrows.What if he fulfills the desire? Then I guess there are more desires, of still higher incentives which are still difficult to fulfill and the chain continues which we call greed.

Then one argues, that the scriptures tell us to be happy with what we have do not aspire for more. Isnt that life dening we are asked. Shouldnt we work to make this world a better place, to do the best of our abilites, think and dream big? Einstein’s research and contribution to field of science has been massive, if he had believed in those scripture he probably would have done all that ?

The feeling of desire is more complex. It is a state where in the person attaches an undue importance to the “destination” and doesnt bother about the path he takes. Most of the people in life has a sole aim of making money, there is nothing wrong in having this sort of objective but, they dont bother about how they will earn it. They dont bother about provind value to the world and then getting money in return. They dont bother to improve the service they provide and earn more money. They will cheat, they will take bribe and earn more money. That is because they “just want money” which is their desire and when they dont get money they get angry. A government servant refuses to do you work and gets angry if you refuse to give him a bribe.

Einstein never worked to invent E=mc2. He merely worked to demystify the relationship between mass and energy. He would not have got angry if he had not reached any conclusion, he would have become restless at the most and worked still harder.  That is what Krishna means when he says dont bother about consequences but do your “Karma”.  He never said that dont dream big, in fact salvation is the highest possible dream that one can have and he stressed on it, everything else is it’s sub set.

There are many philophies which claim to have found answer to the problem of human sorrows and pain. Christianity says that bow before the God, pray for mercy and he is merciful to everyone and will mitigate your sins and make your sorrows dissapear. Islam says that believe in Allah Subhanawatalah and he will take care of you. Buddha had much complex answer about the pain and sorrows and he also denied the concept of god but the four noble truths he professed are not really different from the advice of Krishna

“that suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.”–Buddha (Taken from Wikipedia)

I think when we think about suffering, we should first analyze if there is any desire at the root cause. Our mind might tell us that the desire is inevitable. If a father is feeling the sorrow of the death of his young son, isnt the desire in his mind that his son should have been with him a just one ? Why should he just drop that desire?

I dont know? I have not yet studied the scriptures in that depth. But I will one day, may be from the personal experiences I will find an answer to the caueses of sorrows and pain!