Presentation based on a book byDavid Frawley (Vamadev Shastri)
World is developing at a rapid pace. Eachand every sort of development is on its top.
• In this world along with technological challenge we have to face challenge of global culture.• For this we have to create a universal tradition that can encompass all the diversities of human culture both religious and secular. But for this do we have to create a new religion?? OR we already have???
To find the universal religion firstwe must answer the question that “What is Religion?”
What is religion• Religion as a whole is not merely a belief system but a way of life, a system of ethical, mental and spiritual culture.• Its main aim is to answer the ultimate question of life and death.• Its ultimate goal is to search the eternal truth.
Searching universal religion…Lets see how many religions we have and how theydiffer from each other• Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma • Zoroastrianism• Buddhism • Pagan Religion• Jainism • Judaism• Sikhism • Christianity• Taoism • Islam
Sanatan Dharma or Eternal Tradition• Sanatana Dharma as eternal tradition has no specific origin in time. It is the oldest tradition.• It is the mother of all religions.• It is not a rigid religion. It is developed with time. It has no set dogmas.• Their was no sudden development like some prophet came and said some words and those words became a religious book and we started following it.• It is not a religion but a way of living.
Buddhism•Buddhism contain much of thegreater Hindu tradition orSanatana Dharma. Like the useof Sanskrit Mantras, Yogatechniques, Vedic fire rituals,Ayurvedic medicines and Vedicastrology, and a commoniconography and temples withHindus.•There is no conflict betweenthese two religions becauseboth emphasizes enlightenmentand self realization.
Jainism•They have similar yogicvalues, emphasize on non-violence, rejection ofpersonal God.•It can be seen as an aspectof Hinduism because there isno conflict between thesetwo religions
Sikhism•Sikhism is originally a sect ofHindus. It was a custom tomake the eldest son into aSikh or a defender of thefaith. This trend was tocounter the Islamic invaders.
Taoism•Taoism is a religion of China.Buddhism and Taoism in Chinainfluenced each otherconsiderably and often mergedinto a single unit.•This religion also havemeditation much like Hindusand Buddhists.
Zoroastrianism•This religion is very similar to •Parsis in India are theVedic in language and followers of this religion.concepts, particularly in its •During the Islamic quest,emphasis on fire worship. they were driven out from•It transferred it ideas to their own country Persia &many western religions. took refuge in India.
Pagan Religions•These religions have alsomany thing common withHinduism. Both hadtemples of Gods andGoddesses many withcommon name orcharacteristics.•Todays theology andphilosophy relies heavilyon Plato, Socrates andAristotle, who were PaganPhilosophers.
Judaism•It is a religion based ontheology.•Judaism is an Abrahmicreligion. It is a theology morethan religion
Christianity•Christianity is against images and idolworship.•It practice forceful conversion and sendmissionaries for this purpose.•It has some set dogmas whicheverybody has to follow.•According to Christian theology, be aChristian or you will go to everlastinghell.
Islam•Islam is entirely based on life ofprophet Mohammed.•Islam is more of a socialpolitical movement than aspiritual teaching.•It emphasize the outer religiousidentity more than the innerquest.•Islam has always practicedforceful conversions.
The nameHinduismThe name Hindu is aforeign invention. Persianswere connected to India inthe part of Indus river. TheSanskrit name of Indus,Sindhu, gave rise to Theterm Hindu. It is merely ageographical term anddoesn’t represent Hindureligion. Its true name isSanatana Dharma. Ourscriptures too do notcontain the term Hindu orHinduism
History of downfall of Hinduism in India• India was under Islamic rule for 500 years.• Then for 200 years, under the rule of British.• During this period, for 700 years continuously Hinduism was actively suppressed.• Hindus were often prevented, or at least discouraged, from practicing their religion.• After independence, Marxist and communist was appreciated.
The result is that the view ofHinduism taught in India is more leftist than Hindu.
Hinduism- appeared on a verge of self-destruction for the last few centuries.Bur it is experiencing a new revival and expanding its influence all over the world with its teachings like Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and Ayurveda.
• The great sages of India have never regarded themselves as limited to a belief that we call Hindu, they have looked upon themselves as followers of Sanatan Dharma, the universal tradition.• Hinduism contains the greatest diversity and freedom in the spiritual life that can be found in any religions on the planet.
• Theological ethics divide humanity into believers & non-believers, which may be Christians & heathens, Muslims & kafirs, or people of God & people of devil.• This division is between holy and unholy, as if only the members of a particular religion can be truly good & those of other beliefs must be evil, however good they may be.
If there is one God or truth thenthere cannot be two humanities, the believers & non-believers.If the reality is one then humanity must also be one.
• Different spiritual tradition have created different cultures.• Yet the world’s richest and most spiritual is probably that of India, which has placed the greatest emphasis on spiritual realization.• It contains art, music, poetry, philosophy, medicine and astrology.
All things in the universe are object of worship once we recognize thesacred presence which pervades all things.
We should note that religions thatuse images and icons of God havenot been more violent or sensual than those who deny it.
• Sanatan Dharma is not troubled by any contradiction between one and many.• It regards Many as various appearance or manifestation of the One.• It is not one in the sense of one thing opposed to others but unity that includes diversity without being limited by it.
• Hinduism does not require that we all have the same view of Divinity but encourages unique and diverse views.• It says that something that is unique about each person, which is their special connection with the Divine. There should be no standardized religion for all.
Christianity, Islam, Judaism or evenBuddhism are based on the lives of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses or Buddha respectively. Their life is the model of entire religion. But Hinduism can not be explained insimplistic manner because it contains the mystery and complexity of life itself.
• Hinduism doesn’t differbetween human and supremepower. It believes in Advaitai.e.. Non Duality. It says that allthe beings are same and thesame power is in all of them.•It doesn’t see nature as acreation of God but it see it asGod itself.•It doesn’t matter whether ucall God he, she ,it or by anyother name or u see God inany form, because TheSupreme power is beyondnames and forms.
•It doesn’t support militancyand spread of religion throughforce. True religion makes itsway by the force of truth.•Advaita philosophy says“Aham Bhramasmi”(I amthat) and one who followsHinduism cannot kill or hurtanyone, not only human beingbut any thing of nature.•It is true that there isviolence in Hindu history butthe violence is defensive. Youwill never find any scripturepromoting violence.
It believes in Karma-phal siddhanth ie. You have to payfor what you do. It can also be related with one of theNewton`s Law of Motion i.e.. Every action gives equal andopposite reaction. The soul must reap fruits of its action. Their is a destiny and Karmic pattern in our lives which is related with our previous physical and mental patterns. But our Consciousness not being a product of time is free.
Hinduism preaches that the truth is universal, but the ways to say thetruth may change. It doesn’t say that you have to believe in truth toldby others, but allows to know the universal truth by yourself, because such truth is so subtle that it cannot be expressed in words.Hinduism provides various methodologies to know the truth likeYoga which is further divided into many categories according to your abilities
Hinduism is not a religion of some presetdogmas. Its universalism not merely acceptsall the things as they appear but has given a right place for every aspect of life.
It shows the place for every spiritual practice along with ways of life.In this regard Hinduism is the religion of both past and future