Religion Thread 1

Jaylal
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Religion Thread 1

Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 08:09

shiv wrote:The bleat that "everyone else is doing it" and India is the land of Hindus and therefore Bharat-Rakshak should allow criticism of other faiths and protect Hinduism is a call for "reservation" that only protects the boring Hindu bleaters who in my opinion are doing nothing other than cry at their misfortune or curse those whom they feel are bringing that misfortune on them.


As a young NRI who sees that far too often, I concur wholeheartedly. Many of the most fanatical RSS/VHP types dabble in the same sort of "headless chicken, top 10 things great about Hinduism" gibberish that fanatical Evangelicals, who look like complete and close-minded fools claim as their mainstay. These are some of the people that taught a generation of young Indians far, far away from India (including myself) that Hinduism promotes the caste system and that we worship cows. Now tell, me... is it Christianity or Islam that is responsible for the rot within? I can only imagine that the weak blame others; especially when they don't come up with strategies of significance to counter it.

I can't help but laugh when I hear of these mid-aged men in the US or India (that have no regard for their health though extol the values of Yoga, have no understanding of tolerance though cite the immense acceptance that Hinduism has built into its core principals that they never follow, and have no real compulsion to donate their time and energy to worthy causes though they they on and on about how Hinduism will die out without it) going out and setting up little conferences on Hindutva and sharing ideas of how India can purge itself of Islamic influences or how everyone else is stupid in the world because India had flying machines and atomic bombs in the 4 Millenia BC. Its the most bizarre knee-jerk reaction to the West I have seen.

The success of Hinduism to survive all these years is because we have maintained a philosophy that is all inclusive... in a sort of assimilative way. We have absorbed countless cultures throughout the ages, and they have become a part of the Hindu pantheon. Which is one of the main reasons why we have oodles of "Gods." There is a mysterious beauty to Hindu thought but a concrete universalism that enables it to transcend from theory into practice, and that is made a mockery of by the hard-line elements who have an idea of Hinduism that only a 3 year old can appreciate.

When we should idealize a Swami Vivekanada, who awed people of all races and creeds with the power of his words and the greatness of his thoughts, what bothers me most is that some forumers here and enough Hindus in India place simple-minded Missionaries that treat religion as a matter of War, on that said pedestal.

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Postby shiv » 14 Mar 2007 08:38

Will change the name to just "religion thread" if need be.

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Postby Alok_N » 14 Mar 2007 08:41

Jaylal,

i am not necessarily disagreeing with you on the broad points, the quoted part below is unjustified:

Jaylal wrote: We have absorbed countless cultures throughout the ages, and they have become a part of the Hindu pantheon. Which is one of the main reasons why we have oodles of "Gods."


I doubt that you can present a case for how "absorption" has led to "oodles" ... this is your own accord with yourself to try and understand something that is difficult ...

There is a mysterious beauty to Hindu thought but a concrete universalism that enables it to transcend from theory into practice, and that is made a mockery of by the hard-line elements who have an idea of Hinduism that only a 3 year old can appreciate.


this is true by and large ... however, the ones that follow the diversity of the "pantheon" are just as ignorant as the mockers ... in fact, the word "pantheon" itself is inapplicable ... it implies a connection between natural forces and "gods" ... this is a major misconception propagated by those who try and understand Hindu thought in the Greek paradigm ...

Hindu gods are allegorical, i.e., they represent the translation of a concept into a story ...

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Postby Alok_N » 14 Mar 2007 08:46

paging S. Valkan ...

I can hold the fort here for a while ... but we need true scholars ... I ain't gonna quote Sanskrit at the drop of a hat, so the effort needs help ...

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Postby kgoan » 14 Mar 2007 08:50

Alok, you playing resident atheist here? If so, I'll join you . . . later. . . after the sound and fury dies out and the usual clutch of intemperate folk are disappeared by Bradmins. Looking forward to your version of the Tao of Physics!

ps: I suggest letting the thread flow for awhile before coming in boots and all. First find out the way the river flows before trying to change it's path.

Man is that last sentence all Zen or what . . . and is that allowed?

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Postby Alok_N » 14 Mar 2007 08:54

kgoan wrote:Alok, you playing resident atheist here?


atheist is presumptuous ... agnostic onlee ... :)

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 08:59

Alok_N wrote:Jaylal,

i am not necessarily disagreeing with you on the broad points, the quoted part below is unjustified:

Jaylal wrote: We have absorbed countless cultures throughout the ages, and they have become a part of the Hindu pantheon. Which is one of the main reasons why we have oodles of "Gods."


I doubt that you can present a case for how "absorption" has led to "oodles" ... this is your own accord with yourself to try and understand something that is difficult ...

There is a mysterious beauty to Hindu thought but a concrete universalism that enables it to transcend from theory into practice, and that is made a mockery of by the hard-line elements who have an idea of Hinduism that only a 3 year old can appreciate.


this is true by and large ... however, the ones that follow the diversity of the "pantheon" are just as ignorant as the mockers ... in fact, the word "pantheon" itself is inapplicable ... it implies a connection between natural forces and "gods" ... this is a major misconception propagated by those who try and understand Hindu thought in the Greek paradigm ...

Hindu gods are allegorical, i.e., they represent the translation of a concept into a story ...


I agree with you completely. That is exactly what I tell other NRIs my age about Hinduism. That our religion, which is hardly a religion, gives weight to the view that God is not Gods nor is it God, but rather, more of a concept... a unifying theory than it is something of shape and form.

I merely said the above because the lines of the page and the time of day restrict me from lauching into deep polemics about the nature of God.

BTW, I don't know if you agree with this, but when Hindus have traditionally said that God is within us and is one with the universe, that has major connections with String Theory. What if that oh so elusive unifying theory, that Einstein and others spent their lives looking for, was already discovered, written about and elaborated upon? That is Hinduism to me. In a nutshell.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 09:10

Jaylal, as a fellow NRI and as an atheist and rationalist, please spare me the rumour-mongering -- "some of these people" indeed!

The caste system is not the result of any theology, and predates any organized religion on the subcontinent. Prove to me which scripture references any "Patel Caste", or "Nair Caste" or "Iyengar Caste", etc.

There's nothing there.

What happened is that our clannish, tribalistic village-minded Indians have maintained their tribalism down through the ages, and have sought to rationalize their tribal clannishness with whatever prevailing wind blew their way.

You'll still see communists, christians and muslims using the caste phraseology whenever it suits them, meanwhile seeking to palm off the blame for it on those "Evil Hindoos"(tm) whose 'original sin' they apparently can't remove.

As a rationalist, I see no purpose to the Shylock-baiting (aka "Evil Brahmins made us this way") other than to find a scapegoat.

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 09:11

my worries about aethists and agnostics are that they accept the hyphenation of God and Religion relationships all in a union. God as a concept (or as expressed by human language) exists only in human brains (or at least onlee well known in human brains, unless humans want to use Science to prove that is not). Religion ordains people by birth and makes them associated with God concepts as percieved by these N religions of the world. Most religions are derivates, and all of them are damn old concepts., where Science never was seen the way present day sees science.

There was then, somewhere in the 50 years back, that Religion and Science was totally separated so much.. and there is a dark region that is holding it together meaning, they agree there exists some force, that is yet to be understood. not there yet, and hence we can't expect emphatic answers from agnostics nor expect aethists to agree that there exists no prove in science that God does not exists. we may be there, but not there yet.. might take another century or may be not.

Hence, it is very important for the modern societies to know these issues, and hence make a foundation for the future by deriving a better religious model. Current religions should evolve into modern religions, and marry science., proving every little religious concepts with science (statistics plays the spoil sport, hiding and bending truth).

For the start, at least modern evolved religions should prove that "God (conceptually) did not create Relgion", given as is by heriditary, obtained information and evolved and by discoveries, that its all social aspects, that is all that makes Religion and not God.

if we break the God-Religion hyphen, we can get more things working for solid future.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 09:13

SaiK, man came up with religion when his technical understanding was weak, and so religion was made up to span the gap. But now as our technical understand has grown, religion is no longer needed, and is in fact obsolete.

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 09:18

Sanjay M wrote:Jaylal, as a fellow NRI and as an atheist and rationalist, please spare me the rumour-mongering -- "some of these people" indeed!

The caste system is not the result of any theology, and predates any organized religion on the subcontinent. Prove to me which scripture references any "Patel Caste", or "Nair Caste" or "Iyengar Caste", etc.

There's nothing there.

What happened is that our clannish, tribalistic village-minded Indians have maintained their tribalism down through the ages, and have sought to rationalize their tribal clannishness with whatever prevailing wind blew their way.

You'll still see communists, christians and muslims using the caste phraseology whenever it suits them, meanwhile seeking to palm off the blame for it on those "Evil Hindoos"(tm) whose 'original sin' they apparently can't remove.

As a rationalist, I see no purpose to the Shylock-baiting (aka "Evil Brahmins made us this way") other than to find a scapegoat.


I don't think its particularly fair to create a strawman here. In no way did I implicate that the Caste System is a part of Hinduism. And I do agree that a veritable "gang mentality" or as you put it, tribalist, is what sustains the Caste system... much as that phenomenon has existed the world over for eons. Its more human nature than prescribed practice.

And as for "evil Brahmins", I could care less who is a Brahmin or not. Heck, being born in the US, I have yet to figure what these "Brahmins" (or Bradmins?) look like. I hear they have sharp teeth and eat little children, especially from lower castes. ;)

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 09:19

not really technical.. its all about unknowns. btw, for the health of aethists, anti-believers are part of a religion in itself. they just live by the anti-thesis of God.

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Mar 2007 09:30

Sanjay M is right in my humble opinion. Discussing abstract concepts might not help the situation on the ground. Only if these concepts have serious resonance with ground reality, should they be pursued further. Else again we will go around in circles estolling the virtues of hinduism yet leaving a lot of people still harboring the same insecurities that they have.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 09:31

Jaylal, the fact is that other societies -- eg. Western society, Japanese society -- used to be very feudally stratified too, but they came out of it through industrialization, which shifted social power away from feudal land-owners to those with skills. Much more upward mobility from meritocracy, as compared to hereditary property inheritance, wouldn't you agree?

I have never heard any Hindu or conservative activist promote the caste system. That's just a socialist Shylock-baiting lie.

SaiK, the fact is that science and technology are now able to explain and affect our universe much more reliably than faith or prayer can. Well, the latter can't do squat, but the faithful don't like to admit it. So faith really has no purpose anymore, other than as a refuge for the psychologically weak and the rationally-disinclined.

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 09:40

Raju -> Sanjay M, perhaps you did not read me correct (it could be my way of writing/idioms). thats fine.. lets get to the brasstacks : lets list out the problems on the ground, with a rational thinking.
Sanjay M wrote:So faith really has no purpose anymore, other than as a refuge for the psychologically weak and the rationally-disinclined.


And believe me, we have a lot in an illiterate society. so brasstacks #1. don't spoil faith, but give it a better foundation, by making them understand, that there exists a better understanding without defying and killing their existing faith.

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Mar 2007 09:59

don't spoil faith, but give it a better foundation, by making them understand, ..without defying and killing their existing faith.


that is undebatable.

But the larger question is how to face today's challenges of terrorism, psy-war launched from a foreign entity through religion etc without going all out paranoid/loonie.

How can we build up the necessary confidence in larger society and equip them to zero in on the actual perpetrator and help in solving a problem with minimum fuss and social turmoil, rather than getting all paranoid and quoting past instances to bolster the paranoia.

When there is an obvious religious angle to Jehad/Evanjehad, can the solutions to these issues be found inside the faith or should one look outside ?? If one chooses the former how does Hinduism equip oneself to face such challenges ?

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 10:06

SaiK, sorry but faith easily degenerates into ethnicity("caste"), since it's not solidly grounded in reality the way that rationalism is. Therefore, faith will always lead to sectarianism. Besides, we're rapidly entering into the information age anyway, so what's the excuse for carting along that old baggage?

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 10:07

well thanks Raju, to putting in concrete terms.. jee I was good at extracting what was in your mind. i feel good now. regarding the undebatability, yes.. you saw my thanks for that, bringing it down from 30k ft.

jihad and other terrorisms made by religionists, in the name of religion (cause thats the only thing they know), is a faith characteristic. without faith, jihad would never happen. and without making the misunderstood believer class realize that there is a better understanding that does not lead to terrorism, and fundementalisms, thats where the driver needs to screw.

strategists need to sit on those jihadic versus, and recoin better interpretations of those religious commandments. i am not one.

well.. thats all i got, in my 2 c.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 10:12

Raju wrote:But the larger question is how to face today's challenges of terrorism, psy-war launched from a foreign entity through religion etc without going all out paranoid/loonie.

How can we build up the necessary confidence in larger society and equip them to zero in on the actual perpetrator and help in solving a problem with minimum fuss and social turmoil, rather than getting all paranoid and quoting past instances to bolster the paranoia.

When there is an obvious religious angle to Jehad/Evanjehad, can the solutions to these issues be found inside the faith or should one look outside ?? If one chooses the former how does Hinduism equip oneself to face such challenges ?


Raju, basically you're trying to impose The Mindreader Dilemma on us.

Sorry, but I am not a mindreader, and therefore I refuse to accept a Mindreader's Burden.
If I had the power to read minds, then yes, I would be able to do as you say, and individually pick out the bad people from the good, rather than having to guesstimate or generalize. But given my obvious lack of mindreading powers, I find imposition of Mindreader's Burden to be unfair.

I don't see any minority groups willing to assume a Mindreader's Burden, in selectively forgiving those who riot with justification and those who riot without. Therefore why should I selectively be imprisoned under the Burden?

Nope, forget it. It's everybody's job to earn credibility with society, rather than demanding it. Don't have enough credibility? Then work a little harder at it. Don't harangue me into a Mindreader's Burden just to get some.

Then we have to let everybody get on the plane without security checks, on the grounds that these might cause offense to some. Too bad, but pragmatism demands a tougher standard. If it sounds paranoid, then recognize that the paranoid survive.

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 10:17

Sanjay M wrote:we're rapidly entering into the information age

i am reading you, that you have a small population in that "we". the bigger but(t)s are sitting outside your "we".

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Mar 2007 10:25

That's why I've said "entering" and not "entered"

The fact is that technological growth and spread in the future will happen faster than religion can keep up. There's no Moore's Law for religion.

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Postby ramana » 14 Mar 2007 10:28

I submit that there is a world of difference between Islam and Islamism. To discuss Islamism the doctrine of political power based on Islam in this thread is not correct. Islamism needs its own thread. Islam and its followers can be discussed here.

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Postby SaiK » 14 Mar 2007 10:32

Sanjay M, perhaps we need to collect details of all those jihadists, and list their qualifications., and how well they are informed about science and technology. I have heard most of the top terrorisms are conducted by men of real intelligence and have excellent education at bright schools.

of course you have some low paid terrorirsts who does the bomb throwing kind also, educated from paki madrassas.

now, where do you think, the argument should go? "remove faith" totally? i hope you have a better solution.

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Mar 2007 11:13

Sanjay, I was not trying to consciously impose any dilemma. But there needs to be a credible social response to specific challenges arising out of religious activism/Jehad other than going completely nuts.

that is why I alluded on the other thread about a variation of the 'martial race' theory, in such that individual inadequacies cannot be compensated through religion alone, 'outsourcing' of certain security aspects to a third party is only a temporary solution at best. Probably one can be guided by religion, but ultimately the steps to be taken and the pain to be born need to be born by oneself if a certain way of life has to be upheld. From what I see today a lot of people are not even willing to undertake a mental challenge to think through the situation far lesser a physical one. There is a certain confidence that arises out of self-belief that "I" am able to resist the challenge and "I" am able to defeat the one with evil intentions...that can't be compensated through any other means. In that this is as much a 'personal challenge' as that of a social one. In the philosophy of 'saama', 'daana', 'dand', 'bhed' one needs to be personally equipped to have the self-belief that individually one is capable of delivering any one of the four esp 'dand'.

I would take the example of Sikhs in here, out of all the communities in Northern India, they are the most relaxed about Islamism. A major part of that arises from the fact that they have been able to deliver the 'dand' aspect even at the individual level whenever the need arised. That itself gives a lot of social comfort when everyone in a society feels 'been there..done that' at both individual/social levels. It is such confidence that puts even core Islamists like the pakjabis at peace with the sikhs. There is nothing that can shake the confidence of such a society and no challenge that can rattle it. This is the message that needs to be replicated all across, esp among those who feel insecure.

I don't see any minority groups willing to assume a Mindreader's Burden, in selectively forgiving those who riot with justification and those who riot without. Therefore why should I selectively be imprisoned under the Burden?


We have to get into the psyche of the minority to get a better understanding of how that mind works ? For instance, we can't assume that all muslims think alike. The religious activist needs to be seperated from the aam-admi/commoner.

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Postby negi » 14 Mar 2007 11:41

Sanjay M wrote:SaiK, man came up with religion when his technical understanding was weak, and so religion was made up to span the gap.

And what makes you think that our understanding has grown or we have stumbled upon some Divya Gyaan.Imho man's curiosity and quest for the unexplained has only made him realise that there is still much more to learn .Infact there have been instances when new discoveries have only proved that the earlier theories or postulates were incorrect.


But now as our technical understand has grown, religion is no longer needed, and is in fact obsolete.


I did not get you ,are you trying to say religion and technical understanding are interchageable ? Religion is just a guideline for the humans to live a righteous life.The problem arises when person refuses to follow the guidelines and it is one among these rebels who comes up with new set of rules and a new religion is born.That is why one would find all religion seek god however their paths/methods are different.

Technology has only changed materialistic perception, but when it comes to mental piece every one seeeks divine intervention .

"Dukh mein sumiran sab karein sukh mein karen na koy ,jo sukh mein sumiran karein use dukh kahe ka hoy"

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 12:00

I'm going to X-post what I had put up earlier in the proto-religion thread.

-----
When I was flying to my brother's wedding a month back, I sat next to an South Indian NRI from Oman who was returning from the States after having sat for his CPA exams. He was a good 20 years older than I, had two children, and was amply interested in the lifestyle in America, after coming to know that I was born in the US.

Instead of sticking to a rudimentary discussion on how the schools were in New York or how the university system works in America, I ended up going into a discussion, among many other things, touched on how String Theory mirrored the fundamental aspects of Hinduism. I was talking with a lot of passion, because I truly believe that there is a strong STRONG connection between Modern Physics and Vedic philosophy(one that some of the foremost scientists in the West have acknowledged)... with perhaps one of the most important implications for the future of Humanity. Hinduism, in spite of being extremely old, is an extremely progressive way of thought.

You should have seen that man's face... the whole time, he was floored that an Indian who was COMPLETELY raised in America would be able to know as much about Hinduism as I did, regardless of the fact that he may not agree with what I said (but he did javascript:emoticon(':)') ). He told me, in his own words, that "meeting someone like [me] gives him hope that his children may be able to be raised in a Hindu household where rituals are secondary to the quality of their thoughts." He was one happy man because he personally believed that the identity of being Hindu was secondary to living as a Hindu, and that he saw in me what he felt inside of himself but never conciously realized. I never expected a plane flight to become some sort of life changing event for the obht of us, but it was, as strange as the circumstances surrounding it were.

Now that is a power that no conversion could replicate. In my heart, after that encounter, I know that man is going to be a stronger, more vibrant "Hindu" than ever before and the same will most likely go for his young, impressionable children, that without direction might have ended up who-knows-where. Where we go wrong is in trying to look at the whole situation on a scale that is too large, while when we have the opportunity to act in our day to day lives, we let that chance slip away.

----

Sanjay,

Now we can endlessly debate whether it is more important to have faith in God or in science, but either way, it is a matter of faith. You have the utmost faith in what you call science, though it continually proves itself wrong and rebuilds itself in the wake of that rubble. While I on the other hand, have faith in the scientific process... one that has led me to, by way of my personal education, to an understanding that Vedic Philosophy is less art than it is based in sound scientific principles. Principles that have developed over 1000's of years, in what would constitute some of the largest sample sizes known to man. That is the reason why Ayurveda is largely effective, and at times... very effective. Its based in scientific principles man. Of all people, Indians should at least recognize that (not that you have to accept them). I'm not afraid to think outside the box and I'm of the belief that all we see and all we measure is not the end of the scientific process, but only one dimension to it. Using all our senses, all our powers of observation, and all our collective understandings of the universe and its amorphous self, is more of a science than to stick a thermometer in a guy's butt and read his temperature. Thats the only way for humans to make big discoveries, as history has shown time and time again.

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Postby abhischekcc » 14 Mar 2007 12:02

Alok_N wrote:Hindu gods are allegorical, i.e., they represent the translation of a concept into a story ...


Jaylal wrote:That our religion, which is hardly a religion, gives weight to the view that God is not Gods nor is it God, but rather, more of a concept... a unifying theory than it is something of shape and form.


IOW, bullshit.

Not only are you guys saying that Hinduism is bullshit, the words you express it in are bullshit also.

Look, if you don't believe that the gods are real, at least say so. Rather than trying to feel apologetic for Hinduism's apparent 'irrationality'. By saying that the Hindu gods are metaphorical only, you have unconciously surrendered to western materialism philosophy.

So why not accept it conciously, and not try to make excuses for it?

I have seen the same fumbling Deepak Chopra also when he tries to explain transmigration to western audiences. Its hilarious the way he tries to not step on any religious sensitivities of the largely christian mindset wallas. :roll:

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 12:11

Man, what is it with this forum and people that attack you like you've stepped on their foot or something? You're obviously older than 12, so lets keep the language from getting hot for absolutely no reason at all.

You have your way of thinking about it and I have my own, but do you really think that Hindus believe in those 5 million (?) Gods? Do you really think that the Purana's were literal? Do you realize that our scriptures are highly poetic?

Furthermore, you think someone of the ability of lets say, a Shakespeare, was completely literal in his works? Thats presuming that our ancestors were not capable of writing great philosophical literature.

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Postby Arun_S » 14 Mar 2007 12:12

What has NRI or not being an NRI has got to do with merit of discussion or topic? We are all Indians no matter we live.

Let "Satya" (Truth) express itself.
Last edited by Arun_S on 14 Mar 2007 12:51, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 12:20

Arun_S wrote:What has NRI or not being an NRI has gotto do with merit of discussion or topic? We are all Indians no matter we live.

Let "Satya" (Truth) express itself.


It was more of an incidental mention. But we're Indians by blood or by soul.

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Postby Jaylal » 14 Mar 2007 12:21

abhischekcc wrote:
Alok_N wrote:Hindu gods are allegorical, i.e., they represent the translation of a concept into a story ...


Jaylal wrote:That our religion, which is hardly a religion, gives weight to the view that God is not Gods nor is it God, but rather, more of a concept... a unifying theory than it is something of shape and form.


IOW, bullshit.

Not only are you guys saying that Hinduism is bullshit, the words you express it in are bullshit also.

Look, if you don't believe that the gods are real, at least say so. Rather than trying to feel apologetic for Hinduism's apparent 'irrationality'. By saying that the Hindu gods are metaphorical only, you have unconciously surrendered to western materialism philosophy.

So why not accept it conciously, and not try to make excuses for it?

I have seen the same fumbling Deepak Chopra also when he tries to explain transmigration to western audiences. Its hilarious the way he tries to not step on any religious sensitivities of the largely christian mindset wallas. :roll:


And I'm not being apologetic towards anyone. Most of my friends (outside of family friends) are white, asian or other. I have had to confront my beliefs on what seems to be a daily basis, especially growing up. Being insulated gives a false sense of security in one's beliefs, so I know I'm in the right frame of mind here. So take your assumptions about my motivations and place them in a more appropriate forum. You obviously have nothing to prove in your accusation, so I'll just ignore it all together.

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Postby Murugan » 14 Mar 2007 12:25

cross posted from Xenophobia thread

***

We may start with discussing "What is Religion?"

I reproduce two definitions:

1) Dharayati itee Dharma

(A Thing) that holds you is Relgion

2) Yato Abhyuday Nishreyas Siddhi Sa Dharma
Achieving Material and Spiritual Upliftment is Dharma

All other definitions are welcome!

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Postby negi » 14 Mar 2007 12:25

So much for your science....

Acc. to Darwin our fourfathers were monkeys.Now I know what to make of the athiests :lol:

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Postby Murugan » 14 Mar 2007 12:45

He who knows one (soul), also knows all; he who knows all, knows the one.

When one talks of religion, the question may arise, :Why do we bother about religion? Could we not be happy in this life without worrying about religion? One may be healthy, have a lovable spouse and children that they love, may have enough earning from job or profession and possess all the amenities that one needs. What more is religion going to offer?

These are legitimate questions. Let us therefore examine them. The concept underlying these questions revolves round our body. Its health, its relations, its well being, comforts and luxuries it can indulge into, are supposed to bring forth happiness. Accordingly, when such situations are to our liking, we happen to consider ourselves happy. Unfortunately however the body with which we identify ourselves and also everything around it happen to be transitory. All the situations are ephemeral. The happiness that we might be experiencing from such situations, can disappear at any time. We do not know what is going to happen the next moment. As such our so called happiness happens to be unstable and short lived.

Even if situations conducive to our interest were likely to continue indefinitely, peace and happiness may not result therefrom.

As poet Shelley put it in one of his poems, we are prone to :look before and after and pine for what is nought. Hardly any one feels satisfied with what he has. We have the tendency to desire what we dont have. Our desires are endless and as long as desires remain unsatisfied, no one can ever feel happy and experience real peace that can lead to blissful pleasure. We may strive hard for achieving that pleasure but hardly any one attains it any time during the life.

This is because we hardly try to explore who we are and what is our true nature. Nothing against our nature is going to give us lasting happiness or real satisfaction.

Without knowing ourselves and without realizing our own nature, we have been trying to gain happiness. No wonder that it eludes us, because we have been trying to gain it from extraneous circumstances. In a way, w e have been dwelling, all the time, in a state of delusion about ourselves. We can as well say that we have been pursuing a mirage.

Herein comes the role of religion. A generally accepted definition of religion is :Dharayati Iti Dharmah It means that what holds (from falling) is religion.

Our remaining in the deluded state constitutes a fall and religion tends to protect us therefrom . It teaches us that the physical body with which we identify ourselves is live on account of the soul that abides within it. That soul is our real self.

We are the consciousness pervading the body and our association with body terminates at the end of l ife. The true nature of consciousness is to know whatever happens without any sense of craving or aversion. It is therefore futile to be pleased or displeased with different situations. Thus by revealing our true nature, the religion helps in extricating ourselves from the deluded state in which we have been entangled since the time without beginning.

Religion teaches us to know ourselves.



Gods Come Later.

****

To Find out the ultimate truth, our sages tried different channels. Keeping Vedas in centrespot, Upanishads (vedant) as reference, the efforts were compiled, discussed, debated and accepted or still being debated in the following darshans (philosophies):

1) Sankhya by Kapil
2) Vaisheshik
3) Nyaya
4) Yog Darshan by Patanjali
5) Uttar and Purva Mimmasa by Gemini
6) Charvak Mat (Rinam Kritva Ghritam pibet fame)

"Daily Hinduism", ritually or spiritually is revolving around this darshans and their findings, teachings and philosophy.

Charvak Mat even being totally materialistic, accepted as one of the darshanas! This is I believe start of Hinduism. Accepting everyone's view point, all inclusive, tolerant way of life.

***

I recommend everyone who is interested in indian darshanas to read about Nyaya Shastra. It is ultimate.

***

No darshanas, vedas, upanishads have tried to invent any religious God!!!

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Postby Swaroop » 14 Mar 2007 12:50

western materialism philosophy


There is nothing western about materialism. However, India has largely accorded more respect to spiritual pursuits. Charvakas, anybody?

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Postby Arun_S » 14 Mar 2007 12:55

To begin with I invite you to define and differentiate the concept of "Dharma" from "Religion" and that will set the pieces into correct slot ;)

"Sanatan Dharma" is now days known as Hinduism describes the "Reality of That Is", the cause of creation, the soul the experiencer, the manifested world the karma kshatra, the illusory Maya the energy and prime-mover of manifested world, the souls and subtle body weaving through cycles of birth and death to evolve through the experience to discover its True Nature and Identity (which is same as "That Is"). Dharma is the what is beneficial and right. The experience field of manifested world (including heavens and other manifest stratum s) inhabited by various concencious beings including the divine (angle), human & demonic, are relative context for the experiencing soul. The creation of time and cycle of Kalp & Mahayugs in the manifested world. Yet the manifest and the unmanifested is but part of "That Is". And there is no reality of "Devil".

See: http://voiceofdharma.org/

In the broad field of Dharma the concept of Religion as understood in Abramanic tradition is very narrow, and its scope temporal.

Also see: http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/
Last edited by Arun_S on 14 Mar 2007 13:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby abhischekcc » 14 Mar 2007 12:59

Swaroop wrote:
western materialism philosophy


There is nothing western about materialism. However, India has largely accorded more respect to spiritual pursuits. Charvakas, anybody?


Materialism is different, and western materialism is different.

I referred to western materialism.

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Postby abhischekcc » 14 Mar 2007 13:03

And I'm not being apologetic towards anyone. Most of my friends (outside of family friends) are white, asian or other. I have had to confront my beliefs on what seems to be a daily basis, especially growing up. Being insulated gives a false sense of security in one's beliefs, so I know I'm in the right frame of mind here. So take your assumptions about my motivations and place them in a more appropriate forum. You obviously have nothing to prove in your accusation, so I'll just ignore it all together.


Every religion needs to believe that their gods are real, not chimera of the mind.

If a westerner or non-Hindu is uncomfortable with what Hindu gods are, why go out of the way to make them feel comfortable? Its not as if we owe them anything.

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Postby Murugan » 14 Mar 2007 13:03

It is – as from a lighted fire, kindled with damp fuel, various clouds of smoke arise, even so, my dear, from this Great Being have issued forth what we have as Rg Veda, yajur-veda, sAma-veda, AtharvAngirasa, history, legends, arts, Upanishads, verses, aphorisms, glosses and commentaries. From Him indeed are all these breathed forth.

It is – as of all waters the ocean is the centre , as of all kinds of touch the skin is the centre, as of all smells the nose is the centre, as of all tastes the tongue is the centre, as of all sounds the ear is the centre, as of all intentions the mind is the centre, as of all arts the heart is the centre, as of all actions the hands are the centre, as of all movements the feet are the centre, as of all the vedas the speech is the centre.

It is – as a lump of salt thrown into water becomes dissolved into water and could not be seized again, but wherever one takes the water one tastes salt, even so, my dear, this great Being, infinite and boundless, is only a mass of consciousness. It emerges from these elements and vanishes again with them. When it is gone, there is no more (individual) consciousness. This is what I say, my dear. Thus spoke Yajnavalkya.

Then Maitreyi said: ‘Here you have bewildered me, Sir, by saying that when he is gone there is no more consciousness’.

Yajnavalkya replied, ‘Surely, I am not saying anything bewildering. It is wisdom enough, my dear. For when there is duality, as it were, then one smells another, one sees another, one hears another, one speaks to another, one thinks of another, one understands another. But when everything has become the Self, then by what and whom should one hear, by what and to whom should one speak, by what and of whom should one think, and by what and whom should one understand? By what should one know that by which all this is known? By what, my dear, should one know the knower?’


It is necessary here to record the flexibility and frankness exhibited by the Upanishadic seers.

The knowledge of brahman-Atman elucidated in these ancient texts is of course a declaration of the great sages who ‘saw it all’. But they never say it as a dogma. Nor are we supposed to receive them as dogmatic assertions.

The beauty of their teaching is that they ask you to enquire within yourself and arrive at your own conclusions, step by step, checking with the Upanishadic revelations at each step.

To help you in this search after truth they give you their intermediate conclusions also. The final conclusion, according to them, is a realisable truth, which forms therefore an axiom – a single axiom from which the entire science of vedanta and metaphysics is built up by accepted forms of logic. This single axiom is enunciated in four different ways in the vedas.

These are the four Grand Pronouncements ( = mahA-vAkyas):

praJAnaM Brahma – Rgveda, aitareyopanishad, 5.3

aham Brahma asmi – yajurveda, bRhadAraNyaka Upanishad, 1.4.10

tat tvam asi – sAmaveda, cAndogya Upanishad, 6.9.4

ayam AtmA Brahma – atharva veda, mANDukya Upanishad,

meaning, respectively

Absolute Consciousness is brahman;

I am brahman;

Thou art That;

This Atman is brahman.



Each of these pronouncements is subjected to an intensive analysis by the commentators belonging to each school of philosophy. However the differences in the interpretations by the different AcAryas should not matter in one’s daily life. It is as if there exists a multidimensional Reality of which each individual perception has only an one-dimensional projection of the Reality before it, and, perhaps, each in a dimensional axis. You are free to choose that one which is appropriate to your taste, evolution, training and tradition. this is why i feel Hinduism is ALSO Great

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Re: Religion thread I

Postby SRoy » 14 Mar 2007 13:20

Jaylal wrote:As a young NRI who sees that far too often, I concur wholeheartedly. Many of the most fanatical RSS/VHP types dabble in the same sort of "headless chicken, top 10 things great about Hinduism" gibberish that fanatical Evangelicals, who look like complete and close-minded fools claim as their mainstay. These are some of the people that taught a generation of young Indians far, far away from India (including myself) that Hinduism promotes the caste system and that we worship cows. Now tell, me... is it Christianity or Islam that is responsible for the rot within? I can only imagine that the weak blame others; especially when they don't come up with strategies of significance to counter it.

I can't help but laugh when I hear of these mid-aged men in the US or India (that have no regard for their health though extol the values of Yoga, have no understanding of tolerance though cite the immense acceptance that Hinduism has built into its core principals that they never follow, and have no real compulsion to donate their time and energy to worthy causes though they they on and on about how Hinduism will die out without it) going out and setting up little conferences on Hindutva and sharing ideas of how India can purge itself of Islamic influences or how everyone else is stupid in the world because India had flying machines and atomic bombs in the 4 Millenia BC. Its the most bizarre knee-jerk reaction to the West I have seen.

The success of Hinduism to survive all these years is because we have maintained a philosophy that is all inclusive... in a sort of assimilative way. We have absorbed countless cultures throughout the ages, and they have become a part of the Hindu pantheon. Which is one of the main reasons why we have oodles of "Gods." There is a mysterious beauty to Hindu thought but a concrete universalism that enables it to transcend from theory into practice, and that is made a mockery of by the hard-line elements who have an idea of Hinduism that only a 3 year old can appreciate.

When we should idealize a Swami Vivekanada, who awed people of all races and creeds with the power of his words and the greatness of his thoughts, what bothers me most is that some forumers here and enough Hindus in India place simple-minded Missionaries that treat religion as a matter of War, on that said pedestal.


You are convinced that VHP/SS/BD can be clubbed in the same bracket as the RSS. Are you sure you know everything about the RSS? What they do for citizens of this country (India)?

I'll not touch upon the standard boilerplate stuff copy pasted in your post, but please get your facts right atleast.
Last edited by SRoy on 14 Mar 2007 14:14, edited 1 time in total.


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