What is Hinduism? Are we all wrong about it?
‘Hinduism’, A religion started in the south of Asia, mainly the land known as ‘INDIA’ or ‘Hindustan’ because of its major population’s believes and thousands of years old norms by the followers of Hinduism. Followers of other religions and Hinduism itself (including atheists) are majorly in the belief that Hinduism is a religion of thousands of Gods, all of them having some supernatural power and are able to perform all kinds of miracles. But, is it really the truth of Hinduism all along? Well, let’s delve into the debate and find some answers.
In this article, I am going to blow some winds on the myths and truths of the Hinduism, why it is believed to be the oldest and most spiritual religion and why it is supposed to be important, to read about it and knowing its reality. I have been to many countries and have been mostly inquired about my beliefs on religion and god (by the foreigners or the countryman of that specific country). And for my answers to them is always that I am an ‘atheist’. It majorly shakes their senses about the understanding of Indians. They think that Indians have many religions, majorly Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism and Christianity, but all the people of this country are religious only. Well, I must say, they are somewhat wrong if they consider Indians as religious only, not all of them are religious but, I must say that they are surely cultural. Culture is something which makes them Indian not their religion.
Sometimes it is even like, if you belong from Hindu family background and still doesn’t believe in religion, it is more of like a curse on being Indian, “How can you be an atheist? Being from a Hindu family” (commenting foreigners). Albeit, they do not understand that it is more of like self-belief, choice and understanding, not a compulsion/necessity of following the religion. I will say, if you are from India and specifically from a Hindu family, then you must be more of trying to reluctantly stick to your culture. And, nowadays even the Indian culture is dwindling too, majorly due to western influence. A culture rich of ‘respect for parents and elders’, ‘deep faith in karma’ and also the love and care for your family, believing in society and respecting the girls/ladies at its core. All these cultural aspects are majorly influenced and have been tampered within the last few decades with the fast pace in globalization. These cultural aspects are considerably common all over India except in modern and more connected cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, where the western influence is dictating the faith, dressing, language and even the cultural believes of Indian people.
Now let’s discuss about the Hinduism in detail. For sure Hinduism is not about thousands or lakhs of gods (Which is a common belief). There are only 3 major gods in Hinduism namely “Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh”.
Brahma – Being the controller of the humanity on earth, keeping records of sins and kindly acts, as well as maintaining the destiny of human’s afterlife settlement in hell, heaven or even for reincarnation.
Vishnu – Being the maker or developer of earth and all the humanity in it. He is also considered as the one who keeps the balance between sins and kindness on earth. Making people follow the path of religious activities.
Mahesh – Also known as ‘Shiva’ the destroyer. He is considered as the most powerful and softhearted, giving blessings and boon very easily. He only does/takes action for something when he is very angry and can destroy anything which is creating imbalance either on earth, heaven or hell. He is considered as the short-tempered and feeble-minded (Bhola).
These three are the only main gods according to the Hinduism. All the other remaining are demi-gods or sub gods, controlling or having the duty of maintaining the balance between all the elements of life and living on earth. Such as ‘Agnideva’ - A demi-god of fire, ‘Vayudeva’ – A demigod of winds, ‘Prithvi-ma’ – A demi-god of earth (land), ‘Suryadeva’ – A demi-god of sun, ‘Somadeva’ - A demi-god of the moon and similarly many more. There are also some incarnations of major gods on earth, considered as the gods (incarnated) and being worshipped all over INDIA, based on the stories (of why they incarnated and what they did). There are thousands and thousands of stories related to reincarnations of gods and their coming on earth either for some miracle to perform or to live among human to teach them the path of humane and religious activities. Rama, Krishna and Narsimha are some of the incarnations of Lord Krishna and similarly, there are many other Avatars of the major gods which are worshipped all over India with full of zest and zeal.
Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion on earth having the most advanced language of communication known as ‘Sanskrit’. Sanskrit is not used anymore in India to communicate (Replaced by Hindi and Tamil majorly), but all the religious books have a manuscript in the very same language. The Sanskrit is even taught in each and every school as of today as one of the compulsory subjects in school studies. It is a language having all the music nodes in it (even the most difficult). Just because of having such an advanced language in their genes, the Indians are able to learn any accent all over the world, as their tongue is trained to speak or pronounce all the music nodes.
Now, let’s talk about the books of Hinduism. There are 3 major books - Ramayana, Mahabharata and Geeta, which are said to be exemplary books of Hinduism, teaching the faith, trust, self believe, self-balance and ways of connecting to god. They contain the information/knowledge about the life of every man on this earth facing problems with their day to day life, country, community, family, friends and most importantly with faith in god. It teaches about taking right decisions and self belief as a must, which will not hurt others. But they are not thoroughly teaching what Hinduism really is, i.e. they are not related to teaching about Hinduism while they are all about how to follow it and admire. With the examples of stories where one has strictly followed the Hinduism and came to salvation and emancipation.
The Vedas and Puranas are actually the major patrons of Hinduism. There are in total 4 Vedas, which are considered as the 4 main pillars of Hinduism. Each of them teaching about the different elements of living life at its best, blissfully.
Rigveda – It entails about issues of morality and the right societal behaviour, shared both as a religious and moral guide.
Yajurveda – it is devoted to the ways in which religious rituals and sacred ceremonies should be performed.
Samaveda – a collection of melodies and chants, and is also said to be a “book of the song”, closely related to the Rigveda.
Atharvaveda – It is a book of knowledge related to the daily life of humans, majorly address the everyday problems of Vedic people.
Then we have Puranas (Building bricks of Hinduism) which contains narratives about the history of the universe from creation to destruction and the genealogies of kings, heroes, sagas and deities. There are mainly 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, which includes the stories and history of the deities and their sayings/teachings.
It is considered that one cannot easily master all of these Vedas and Puranas. So, how can one be a proper Hindu? Well, our books make our religion, but if we don’t know what they contain, then how does one can be religious? Amidst, I must say we can be cultural as we all follow Indian culture taught by every parent and gets teaches in school, the environment of respect and hard work created by the people near us (This is exactly what i.e. taught in three major books of Hinduism- Ramayana, Mahabharat and Geeta). This is what we are following, not the religion. Even there is no teaching in any of the Hindu books about making the religion superpower or killing and beating the followers of other religion. Hence, I deeply feel shame for those who call them Hindus and still does cruelty with others.
Hinduism is a sacred and the oldest form of religion on earth with its roots going back to thousands of years old proofs and religious activities, non-violence being one of the major and most important parts of the Hinduism which was also taught and exampled by the Gandhi Ji, (who had also read these Vedas and Puranas) adopted and adhered them in his life. I believe one day we all start seeing the religious books of Hinduism as great teaching and then we all will be ready to understand it more clearly and sensibly. A religion which is based on faith, truth, family and logical understanding. A religion which also teaches about kingdoms, economics, self-belief, the teaching of life essence, medicine, culture, trust and learning. Where the teacher is respected prime and gets treated with love.
I myself being an atheist, (do not believe in supernatural god) still believes in all its teachings of living a better life. Being vegetarian and eating only as much as required, where yoga is sacred which not only helps to stay healthy while also helps to get inner balance. Ayurveda a study of medicine helps to stay healthy and far from the disease. Study of atoms (Anu) and molecules (Kan) (started before the western world), counting of days and knowledge of other planets and stars was there even thousands of years ago (known as Indian Astrology). Where the number system is developed and Zero is introduced, these are all the parts of Hinduism. I really feel blessed to born where such an illuminated religion is a part.
I am an atheist, not because I do not believe in religion. Though, I actually do believe on the majority of teachings of nearly all the religious books. But, believing them blindly and faith in a supernatural saviour (with his/her incarnations and miracles) is a little extra for me. Just like magical school in harry potter and calling humans (not following magics) as ‘Muggle’. It is similar to me as differentiating between gods with super-powers and humans as powerless (Muggles) not knowing about what is going on in cosmos.
Humans are not forced to pray or worship by any superpower. They are not even forced to believe in any god as well. Only respect for others and the self-awareness is necessary. Where ‘violence’ is never a suggested option instead, violence is what that is emotionally or forcefully taught by brainwashers. There is a very interesting show on discovery and History channel related to Hinduism, where gods have been portrayed as the ancient Aliens. Well, it seems quite amusing to me as scientists have started relating 21st-century science to the ancient scriptures of India, which is full of supernatural gods and their use of tools and knowledge, which we have started comparing just now to examine or understand clearly and logically. I take this new way of understanding as a chance to perceive the religion from the eyes of a scientist, who is trying to discover/interpret the thousands of years old books, myths and evidences relating to a race superior to us, came on earth only to guide humanity. Just like an advanced civilization visiting an Adivasi/tribal colony and showcasing their gadgets. We will be like gods to them and will try to teach them as much as they are able to understand, then we will try to leave a guidance book (religious) for them so they can live their lives happily by following the advice and understanding them.
I feel Indians (Hindus) were enlightened by some advanced civilization instead of creators. Which was according to the level of understanding of the people of that time, were said to be gods controlling hell and heaven. They were so-so advanced that they were able to take birth from an embryo (incarnations), saving their real memories in DNA. They were just like humans but more advanced and superiors, able to manipulate nature with their gadgets, having the skill of telepathy, solar-powered planes, deep knowledge of economics and tool making. Especially, having highly developed genes with a lot of muscle power as well as deep understanding and control on atomic power too.
It is more like ‘Star-Trek’, where the U.S.S is trying to maintain galactic peace and saving all those species which are still in the early stage of development and having no contact with outer space. They save them and provides them with the clues to have a steady development and finally becoming an advanced race like any other race in this universe. Well, it may all sounds hypothetical, but it can be equally true as much as believing on gods (super-naturals). Nevertheless, both of these theories have only a few logical differences of understanding based on human development and assimilation of the universe at its core.
I feel deeply obliged to share my thoughts about Hinduism and I will be deeply glad to connect with others having some reviews (maybe negative but not abusive). To have a debate (logically) on the Hinduism and its teachings.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to read my other articles on the topics below.