One hundred thoughts on Hinduism
Foreword and About this Site
- Universal Prayer
Introduction and Basics
- What and Why of Religion
- My religion and God
- who is a hindu?
- Hindu/Indian History - Indianness
- Why God (any Purpose?)
- God is love
- Cosmic Dance
- is God a concept?
- Communicating with Almighty
Why and What of living
- Purpose of Living
- Life and Death
- Why our lives are different? Fate Luck
- Karma and Rebirth
- Swarga: Blissful Living
How to live? Code of living
- Life a journey or drama
- Four stages of life
- Dharma Common To All
- Ahimsa - Peace
- Wealth for our Needs
- Kama or Desires
- Fear (Ratnakaram)
- Wisdom: accepting contradictions reality
- Living in present
Many Paths for Living (Moksha?)
- Many paths
- Yoga, Meditation
- Bakthi or Surrender to Almighty
- Bhagavad Gita Essence or Summary of Indian scriptures
- Purananuru, Tamil words of wisdom (Tamil Gita)
- Tirukkural, life and soul of culture
- Vedas and Vedic terms
God and Self
- Who am I?
- Reasoning and Logic
- God and Me (Metaphors)
- Sunyavada Advaitha Dvaitha
Formeless to Form
- Nature Worship
- Why idols and Images
- ONE GOD - many names and forms
- Vedic and earlier Gods
- Trinity and Many Deities
- Avataras - Divinities in Life forms
Deities - Shanmadha: Different Sects
- Smartha Shanmadha
- Shiva - saivam
- Shakthi or Devi worship
- Places and Pilgrimage
Ancient Gurus and Reformers
- Selfguru ex. Dattatreya
- Vyasa a title and ancient rishis
- Ajivika Sramana Jains etc
- Buddha and Buddhists
- Auvaiyar & her Writings
Rejunevation and revival
- Shankara: An Institution
- Tamil Saiva saints
- Ramanuja Madhva Vallabha ...
- Alwars: Vaishnava saints
- North Indian Bakthi Movement
- Recenta times and Modern Saints
Spirituality Saints Godmen
- God and Godmen
- Sanyasa - Detachment
Great Kings and empires
- Ancient Empires
- Northern Kings: Kanishka Maurya guptas Harsha
- Bhartrihari Vikrama Bhoja
- Salivahana: New era
- Southern empires: Pallava Chola Pandya
- Vijayanagar Maratha
- Time or kala
- Ancient Astronomy
- Calendars - panchang
- Zodiac - Nakshatra
- Numbers and Mathematics
- Ancient Science and Technology
Language and arts
- Ancient Northern Literature
- Thamizh or Tamil Literature
- Scriptures in other languages
Puranas - Epics
- About stories of Murugan
- Kannan - Krishna Literature
- Local Folk Tales
- ancestor worship
- Festivals and other social events
- Puja and Rituals
- social class system
- Faith is powerful social force
- Miracles: Unexplained or to be explained phenomena
- astrology (based on astronomy)
- Christians Jesus
- Islam in India
- Sikhs, Parsi, Jews etc.
- Tribals Faiths
- Achieving Nippana (ultimate truth/knowledge)
- bliss joy
- Shanthi (Peace) – final goal
Hinduism is a huge library with scriptures on all possible topics. Hinduism is a great ocean and what is presented here may be a drop. Life is about learning and we are all trying to understand some basics. The contents below cover diverse topics on Hindusim ranging from cosmos to daily life.
Many topics have to be further developed and updated.
Prayer, poems, songs.. page links
Prayer is like talking to god or creator or ultimate reality. The goal of Hinduism is to realize our connection with the absolute reality.
Prayer is communicating with intelligence within you.
It has offered many, the courage to withstand any problem. A prayer full of belief is an antidote to a pain full of sorrow. Believe - Trust - Have complete faith in God/Nature/Higher power, then all your wounds will heal and pains shall go.
Time will heal and Everything will be fine
Hinduism is not a religion, but a set of beliefs, rites, ceremonies, customs, traditions and cultures. Hinduism is an Indian way of life. Hinduism is based on eternal principles/philosophies. Hinduism would call any scientist seeking truth or a person of wisdom a great Rishi. Such seers of truth are not confined to any one age or place. "Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions"- Rig Veda.
(1) We believe in so many unknown things. Let us include God too in the list. If there is a God, we will benefit. We do not loose much if there is no God.|
(2) How agnostic win!
When an agnostic/atheist meets people of many faiths, to say, God does not exist, every one joined and he was forced to run away to save his life.
After becoming wiser, same agnostic met people of many faiths, and asked them to say, which God is to be believed. All believers fought among themselves and destroyed each other. Finally agnostic won
(3) Agnostic's Prayer:
"God if there is one, save my soul if there is a soul!"
There are many persons, who are indifferent or do not feel any need for GOD concept.
They show others by their own example, how to be honest, helpfull, respectful and good persons.
They do no harm to any one or anything.
They just do their duty/work very well. For them work/karma is ultimate. They understood Universal Eternal Law (Sanathana Dharma). They prov one's belief is more a personal matter (or individual choice).
If people, try to open up their mind a little….life would be much better then.
In Hinduism, shastras are made for us; We are not made for the shastras. That is why some parts should be updated. Only the fundamentals and basics, will be unchanging and eternal. These scriptures and rituals should be understood, and viewed from a broader perspective. They should be in harmony with the way we we live. That is how shastras are relevant to differing times, places and circumstances. This flexibility to encompass a wide variety of practices, beliefs and traditions while still retaining a universal principles and values, is the HINDU WAY.
One can be proud to be Hindu:|
(1) Dharma (cosmic order or duty) is the main theme. In simple terms, "doing right things"
(2) Hinuism has a rich heritage evolved over time, enriched with new concepts/literature/stories over time. It has maintained its identity, though it has absorbed best ideas from native tribes, immigrants and other faiths
(3) Stresses on all powerful, limitless, all-inclusive and eternal Almighty or Ultimate Reality or God or Brahman. Free to define one's own Almighty. Need not be a thing, but can be a concept like Nature, Universal laws, Compassion etc. Supports all forms and methods of worship (formless, symbols, idols..)
(4) Excellent ideas like freedom, unity in diversity, tolerance, compassion. But includes some traditions/rituals/practices, which needs to be changed/modified/updated
(5) No central authority or aggressive conversion to any sect/group. But welcomes every one to benefit from rich heritage, knowledge, history and content.
Hinduism is good for us. But, there is no need to claim it as the best one and unnecessarily compare with other faiths. "Live and Let Live"
Core Beliefs of Hindus
Hinduism is not an organized religion and has no single, systematic approach to teaching its value system. Hinduism is an Indian way of life based upon teachings of many sages/wise men. Local, regional, tribal or caste, and community-driven practices influence the interpretation and practice of beliefs throughout the Hindu world. Yet a common thread among all these variations is belief in a Supreme Being and adherence to certain concepts such as Truth, dharma, and karma.
All believe that there is a great power (God or Brahman), who is ultimate of every thing (logical as some thing should be there responsible for starting everything or for things happening around). Individual is left to define or develop further details.
All believe in the authority of the sacred scriptures (Vedas and many variants). Here are some of the key beliefs shared among Hindus:
- Truth is eternal.Truth is One, but the wise express it in a variety of ways.
- God is Universal, beyond religion/race/language. God/Brahman/The Great force is is formless, limitless, all-inclusive, and eternal. It is the Truth and Reality. It encompasses everything (seen and unseen, known and unknown) in the universe.
- Despite having the abstract concept of Brahman, Hindus worship the God in personal forms (deities) every day. Each deity is a manifestation of Brahman and symbolizes one particular aspect of Brahman. Plurality is encouraged. One can have kuladeivam (family deity), local deity, state deity, and Ishta devada (personal deity).
- One understands and feels the Supreme Being through Devas (natural forces and objects like mountains and rivers and super beings); Rishis (teachers, heroes, great personalities and prophets); and pithrus (ancestors).
- Respecting and Understanding Scriptures or Vedas or Marai, which embody the regulations, the laws of the universe as perceived by gifted prophets, or seers, the rishis. Vedas can be used to denote all sacred texts.
- Scriptures contain: Morality/Ethics; Right means for obtaining basic needs, wealth and power; Healthy Enjoyment/pleasures/joy; and Salvation/liberation. (அறம் பொருள் இன்பம் வீடு or தர்மம் அர்த்தம் காமம் மோக்ஷம்). These 4 terms are difficult to describe in few words.
- Aram or dharma is doing right things and avoiding wrong things. Not doing rightOne should make dharma central to one’s life strives to do the right thing, according to one’s duty and abilities, at all times.
- "Karma" means work or action. When you perform a work or action, it is bound to produce an effect, a reaction or a result. Good karma will get you good effects and bad karma will get you bad consequences. Karma and fruits of Karma are interwoven with time and divine will. This is supposed to answer many observations in life.
- Real You/soul/atman can neither be created nor destroyed. The process of movement of the atman from one body to another is known as transmigration. The kind of body the soul inhabits next is determined by karma (actions accumulated in previous lives).
- The goal of the individual soul is moksha or liberation. Moksha refers to atman or soul uniting or staying close with Universal/Brahman or realizing its true divine nature. Several paths can lead to this realization and unity: the path of duty, the path of knowledge, and the path of devotion (unconditional surrender to God).