What truly Hinduism is?
Hinduism is one of the major religions of the world, well respected and practiced by many non-Hindus. It is highly regarded in the hearts and minds of more than a billion of pious and spiritual people around the world.
For most of the people and especially for the non-Hindus the truth about Hinduism has always been far from reach, because of so many factors. First of all, in this modern world of materialism and scarcity of time who, in general, has time to know others perspective of God when we do not have time to remember even our God? We all have to rely on whatever is being told to us by Hindus and non-Hindus. Another reason is, who, when and why we remember God? When all the sources of help in the frustration and unhappiness run out and when the person becomes lonely, then the thought of God comes in our mind. For most of us God is a valuable possession. It is an entity to be remembered or discussed once in a weak, once in a while, or to be kept in the treasury for the future need in our old age. Most of the time, we have no place in our heart and mind to keep God and His remembrance for every breath of our life, because we have so many so-called important things to do and achieve in our life. We haven’t made God – any God, not just this particular God or that particular God, as a part of our life. An important hindrance in knowing others perspective of God is our own predetermined faith or prefixed belief in God. We are almost always disinterested in knowing others perspectives probably because of the fear of losing our perspective or the fear of hurting our own ego. Some of the factors may be competitive in nature, bias oriented, or selfishness driven which are not advisable to be discussed and are better to be left on God’s discretion.
One of the important factors not to know much and truly about Hinduism is its thousands of year old voluminous treasure of scriptures, and that also, in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages, if not the oldest language, of the world, whose scholars are very few. Second factor is the vastness of its literature. Thousands and thousands of shloks (texts in verse) and short phrases (prose) in Sanskrit are there to be read and retranslated individually in its true sense without changing its meaning. Just to read them only may require even few years individually. Not all universities and colleges offer courses and research opportunities on Hinduism, various Hindu philosophies (darshans), Sanskrit language. Sanskrit literatures, and many other related subjects. Moreover, truly knowledgeable teachers or gurus of all the scriptures who also have achieved spiritually highest status are also not many and easily recognizable.
Hinduism is based on Vedas. Vedas are considered to be God’s words directly revealed to ancient rishis which were passed from generations to generations by learned people initially verbally and later on in book forms when writing was developed. Many of the books were lost, but the main texts are still available in their original authentic forms. Old translations and interpretations, both in Sanskrit and English, by non-Hindus and Hindus alike, are still lacking its true meaning. The real or intended meaning of them is found altered or somewhat distorted in translating to other languages. Although true translations are difficult to achieve keeping their original meanings and words intact, they really need to be revised by young, impartial, and knowledgeable scholars of modern time to understand true Hinduism.
Hinduism has two major parts or aspects to study: Religious (Theological) and Philosophical. For understanding its philosophical aspect one must study Prasthantrya or Prasthantryi – a trio of authentic scriptures, namely, Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, and Brahm Sutra. Also one must study some of the authentic scriptures called Darshan Shastras on six major philosophies of Hinduism, namely, Samkhya, Yoga, Vaisheshika, Nyaya, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. Though, the English translations are available, one should bear in mind that not a single one can replace the original Sanskrit texts and thorough knowledge of Prasthantrayi.
One of the good things about Hinduism is its universality or global application for the betterment of life, society, and world. It is open for the whole human race. Its environment friendly, nature friendly, animal rights friendly, human rights friendly, freedom friendly, and peace loving nature would appeal to the whole human race. Anyone can study and follow major universe friendly principles of Hinduism and its message of universal brotherhood keeping one’s own faith, freedom, and religious practices. Irrespective of one’s race, creed, religious belief, faith, gender, nationality, social, economical, educational, or political status, and level of understanding one can enjoy Hinduism and its effect on one’s inner-self – the peace and stability of mind and eternal bliss of God in this very life under any circumstances. Hinduism teaches how to live a good life within one’s abilities and one’s own resources anywhere in the world. Hinduism provides guideline of perfection and, at the same time, freedom of worshiping.
Let’s try to understand and explore Hinduism by this tiny attempt of blogging.