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Stradlater

Why is Hinduism even classified as a Religion?

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Let's be straight about it, it's simply a set of many indic cultural beliefs put under a one umbrella term by the lazy British EIC who couldn't be bothered to research more on the subject.

There are no fixed set of beliefs or religious scriptures.

Every region has its own sort of variations in the common cultural practices.

There's no one single authority.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. In fact it's the best thing ever which shows we aren't tied to a fix no of stone age beliefs like the desert religions. It gives a plenty of scope to evolve which in the philosophy of human evolution makes perfect sense.

 

My only issue with it is calling these practices as a religion. 

We are a Dharma which is very different from your usual religion as understood by the Abrahamics.

 

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8 minutes ago, velu said:

all beliefs are closely related and overlap ..

shiva is the main deity of shaivism and acknowledge the existence  of vishnu..

vishnu is the main deity of vaishnavism and acknowledge the existence  of shiva..

 

and this applies to all the other sects in hindusim as well .. 

In that sense many beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism intersect each other as well.

Heck I know Jains who worship hindu idols and Sikhs who visit Vaishnodevi.

Why consider them as a separate religion then?

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2 minutes ago, Stradlater said:

In that sense many beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism intersect each other as well.

Heck I know Jains who worship hindu idols and Sikhs who visit Vaishnodevi.

Why consider them as a separate religion then?

 

all are vedic religions :dontknow: 

i consider jainism as subset of Hinduism ..  

Edited by velu

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19 minutes ago, Stradlater said:

I know all indic beliefs are basically rooted in a same philosophy. That's why use of Dharma is more appropriate.

 

dharma or vedic .. again someone like you will create a thread in ICF and question why it is called as dharmic religion instead of hinduism ? :p: 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, velu said:

 

all are vedic religions :dontknow: 

i consider jainism as subset of Hinduism ..  

Jainism is certainly not a subset of Hinduism. Jina dharma does not accept the infallibility of the Vedas and that is essential to all branches of Hinduism.  Neither do the Sikhs, Carvakas, Buddhists etc. 

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11 minutes ago, Nikhil_cric said:

Jainism is certainly not a subset of Hinduism. Jina dharma does not accept the infallibility of the Vedas and that is essential to all branches of Hinduism.  Neither do the Sikhs, Carvakas, Buddhists etc. 

 

infact we study religion in tamil language class ..  under hindiusm tab we study shiva , vishnu , jain , murugan , buddism etc..

the Hinduism i follow is heavily influenced by jainism or they got converted to hinduism gradually ..

western tamilnadu and southern Karnataka have this influence .. google sharavanabelgola

 

 

hindusim is just an  umberla term ..

Edited by velu

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23 minutes ago, Nikhil_cric said:

Jainism is certainly not a subset of Hinduism. Jina dharma does not accept the infallibility of the Vedas and that is essential to all branches of Hinduism.  Neither do the Sikhs, Carvakas, Buddhists etc. 

Many Hindu philosophies do not accept the infallibility of Vedas including Samkhya.

Believing in Supremacy of Vedas is not a pre condition to be a Hindu.

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1 hour ago, Stradlater said:

Many Hindu philosophies do not accept the infallibility of Vedas including Samkhya.

Believing in Supremacy of Vedas is not a pre condition to be a Hindu.

Regardless , I think we can safely draw the line between Jainism, with regards to their ideas of karma, moksha etc, and Hinduism. Far too many differences. They were always considered heterodox even if the practices of Jains and Hindus do resemble each other to some superficial extent. 

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19 minutes ago, Nikhil_cric said:

Regardless , I think we can safely draw the line between Jainism, with regards to their ideas of karma, moksha etc, and Hinduism. Far too many differences. They were always considered heterodox even if the practices of Jains and Hindus do resemble each other to some superficial extent. 

Heterodox doesn't mean out of Sanatana fold. It simply meant rejecting Vedas as superior scriptures.

There are many such schools which are different from mainstream Hinduism in that regard and yet considered part of it in modern times.

How does Tantric Hinduism fits in your regular Hinduism?

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4 hours ago, Stradlater said:

In that sense many beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism intersect each other as well.

Heck I know Jains who worship hindu idols and Sikhs who visit Vaishnodevi.

Why consider them as a separate religion then?

You are making ample demonstration of your ignorance in this thread.  Your premise itself is totally flawed, and this post baited me into responding.  Buddhism does not accept hindu dieties as Godhead.  It does share the fundamental belief in re-incarnation and nirvana as a structural basis for faith.  

 

Jainism does not share Hindu Gods either - Orthodox Jains and their temples actually claim that their faith is more ancient than Hindu Gods, and has a completely different nomenclature for the Gods - so that the idols are same, but names are different. In fact, in Jainism, 'Gods' are not to be worshipped, but their idols are present in their temples due to popularity, and if you ever find yourself in one, you would note that each "Hindu" idol has a disclaimer printed below it, that the Idols are not to be prayed to.  

 

If a Hindu says a prayer and bows his head at a Churh, or expresses respect at a dargah, it doesn't make him a Christian or a muslim.  And if a Jain adherent chooses to worship Ganesh, doesn't make him Hindu.  

 

 

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1 minute ago, sandeep said:

You are making ample demonstration of your ignorance in this thread.  Your premise itself is totally flawed, and this post baited me into responding.  Buddhism does not accept hindu dieties as Godhead.  It does share the fundamental belief in re-incarnation and nirvana as a structural basis for faith.  

 

Jainism does not share Hindu Gods either - Orthodox Jains and their temples actually claim that their faith is more ancient than Hindu Gods, and has a completely different nomenclature for the Gods - so that the idols are same, but names are different. In fact, in Jainism, 'Gods' are not to be worshipped, but their idols are present in their temples due to popularity, and if you ever find yourself in one, you would note that each "Hindu" idol has a disclaimer printed below it, that the Idols are not to be prayed to.  

 

If a Hindu says a prayer and bows his head at a Churh, or expresses respect at a dargah, it doesn't make him a Christian or a muslim.  And if a Jain adherent chooses to worship Ganesh, doesn't make him Hindu.  

 

 

Umm many sects in Hinduism such as Bishnois etc do not believe in Hindu deities either and yet are considered as part of Hinduism. 

 

You are basing your argument on the mainstream Hinduism as it evolved after the Gupta period and practiced by the modern Hindus now a days.

 

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1 hour ago, beetle said:

Dharam is translated as religion.

Should it be translated as faith...or is there another term that can be used.

Dharma is the  moral law or a code of duty for individual conduct to follow to a path of righteousness. There are different levels of dharma for eg raj dharma, pathi dharma etc. It is not bound to faith or religion. If you don't follow your dharma, god will not punish you, but you wont attain enough karma for your atma to attain sadgati. You will be reborn as another person or even an animal.

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14 hours ago, Stradlater said:

In that sense many beliefs of Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism intersect each other as well.

Heck I know Jains who worship hindu idols and Sikhs who visit Vaishnodevi.

 Why consider them as a separate religion then?

I m not completely sure of other two, but Buddha has explicitly denounced the authority of Vedas and the varna vyavastha (i.e. what turned out to be today's caste system). 

Buddha's path is completely independent of any worship of any deity and his philosophy does not agree with any creator/sustainer/destroyer concepts. 

Buddha was somehow incorporated into Hinduism by some Hindu philosophers such as Adi Sankara by calling him as one of the 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu but the Buddhist schools explicitly reject any such claims. 

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12 hours ago, coffee_rules said:

Dharma is the  moral law or a code of duty for individual conduct to follow to a path of righteousness. There are different levels of dharma for eg raj dharma, pathi dharma etc. It is not bound to faith or religion. If you don't follow your dharma, god will not punish you, but you wont attain enough karma for your atma to attain sadgati. You will be reborn as another person or even an animal.

So dharma has nothing to do with  faith?

I thought the moral code of duty was ' karm'.

What is the difference then between ' dharma ' and ' karm'?

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3 hours ago, beetle said:

So dharma has nothing to do with  faith?

I thought the moral code of duty was ' karm'.

What is the difference then between ' dharma ' and ' karm'?

Dharma comes from Sanskrit word 'dhri' which means 'that which upholds' or 'that without which nothing can stand' or ''that which maintains stability and 
harmony of universe''. Dharma is conduct, duty, justice, morality, virtue, right and much more. 
Animals, Plants, Electrons have dharma  but no Religion.  One follows Dharma and gain Karma. Karma is the  collective good work of your this life and all previous lives that is needed for the atma to attain moksha.

 

Faith/Belief/Religion  constitutes worship of  the divine. There  are religious institutions that formulate the worship and they are the custodians of the worship and have a say in the religious rituals. In a way, followers of Shankaracharya and belief in Shaivism is a religion. The word Hinduism is popular only in the last 200 years in the  post colonial period. Hindustan refers to a geographical area around the river sindhu more than  the  religion. People in this  region  were Hindustani.

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11 hours ago, sarcastic said:

I m not completely sure of other two, but Buddha has explicitly denounced the authority of Vedas and the varna vyavastha (i.e. what turned out to be today's caste system). 

 

Wikipedia says something different

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Hinduism#Vedas

Quote

Vedas[edit]

Buddhism does not deny that the Vedas in their true origin were sacred although it maintains that the Vedas have been amended repeatedly by certain Brahmins to secure their positions in society. The Buddha declared that the Veda in its true form was declared by Kashyapa to certain rishis, who by severe penances had acquired the power to see by divine eyes.[55] In the Buddhist Vinaya Pitaka of the Mahavagga (I.245)[56] section the Buddha names these rishis. The names of the Vedic rishis were "Atthako, Vâmako, Vâmadevo, Vessâmitto, Yamataggi, Angiraso, Bhâradvâjo, Vâsettho, Kassapo, and Bhagu"[57] but that it was altered by a few Brahmins who introduced animal sacrifices. The Vinaya Pitaka's section Anguttara Nikaya: Panchaka Nipata says that it was on this alteration of the true Veda that the Buddha refused to pay respect to the Vedas of his time.[58]

It seems it was more that he thought the Vedas were corrupted from their true form.

 

@Tibarn posted something in another thread that showed Buddha didn't reject Varna either. I will look through his posts to find it.

Edit:

Here it is

On 6/23/2018 at 7:25 PM, Tibarn said:

Are you sure the Buddha worked to abolish the "Caste system"? Here is something which suggests otherwise!

https://www.jstor.org/stable/29757366?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

buddha1.jpg

buddha2.jpg

 

and

buddha3.jpg

 

 

 

Here also something that suggests that wasn't a concern of Buddhists

https://www.docdroid.net/ymyp/india-in-japanese-literature-a-case-study-of-hirata-atsutane.pdf

buddhist social struct

 

Edited by Moochad

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On 8/27/2018 at 3:57 PM, velu said:

all beliefs are closely related and overlap ..

shiva is the main deity of shaivism and acknowledge the existence  of vishnu..

vishnu is the main deity of vaishnavism and acknowledge the existence  of shiva..

 

and this applies to all the other sects in hindusim as well .. 

No. It doesn't. That's rather over generalized, It is certainly not defined by any text.

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Religion as we understand it today is very different from what it used to be, people were not too attached to religious identities then. For example a Buddhist person maybe 500 years ago never saw himself as a Buddhist or wore maroon garments with a head bun. An Afghan Buddhist would follow the teachings of Buddha yet wear traditional Persian clothes and follow lifestyle/culture of the place he lived in just like other Afghans who were Muslims/Zoroastrians/Christians at that time. The cult like mindset in religion is a very recent thing.

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1 hour ago, Muloghonto said:

because Hinduism appeals to divine authority and passes off morals from divine authority. Hence it is a religion. 
Its not a monotheistic or polytheistic religion, but it is one, nonetheless.

 

Yes, Hinduism as coined by the west is a religion, but Dharma can't be translated  as religion is the crux of the argument.  There is no passing of morals from divinity in dharma. There is no divine messenger in hinduism, like jesus or mohammed.

Edited by coffee_rules

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29 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

Yes, Hinduism as coined by the west is a religion, but Dharma can't be translated  as religion is the crux of the argument.

stop this western-eastern nonsense. 

Dharma or no dharma, a religion, by the language's definition of the word, is belief in unseen(personally or collectively) of a higher being and its diktats to us. 

Use the urdu word 'mazhab' if you wish. 
Dharma being religion or not, is irrelevant to Hinduism being a religion. 
Also, not ALL dharma is religion, but Dharma CAN also be religion and in this case,Sanatan Dharma is definitively religion because of its appeal to divine creation and divine authority. The Gita is appeal to divine authority, so is the Vedas. 
Its just that simple. 

 

29 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

 There is no passing of morals from divinity in dharma. There is no divine messenger in hinduism, like jesus or mohammed.

There are no divine messengers, but there are divine avatars that drive hindu morality - Krishna, Ram, etc. The effect, is essentially the same as divine code of conduct being imposed on us, simply because some God said 'this is how you get mokshya/this is dharma/adharma'. 
That hinduism isn't as codified as Abrahamic religions, doesn't change the fact that it is a religion because it believes in Godly creation of the universe and explanation of its consequences from 'divine source'. 

 

Makes no difference if God says 'this is my law. Obey and you get reward/break it, I will send you to hell' vs ' hey, i am God- i figured out this law of the universe - if you break it, universe will screw you over/if you follow it, universe will reward you', simply because it is an UNVERIFIABLE CLAIM SCIENTIFICALLY - your rebirth/mokshya is just as bakwaas 'take it on faith' as heaven and hell/eternal bliss vs eternal damnation. 



Pointing out the differences between Hinduism and Abrahamics does not relieve Hinduism of a RELIGION tag in this language and exactly the same word in many other languages. ( i already gave you an example of an Urdu word that is HIGHLY PREVALENT in Hindi - mazhab). 
 

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15 hours ago, Moochad said:

Wikipedia says something different

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Hinduism#Vedas

It seems it was more that he thought the Vedas were corrupted from their true form.

 

@Tibarn posted something in another thread that showed Buddha didn't reject Varna either. I will look through his posts to find it.

Edit:

Here it is

 

Well, I have not delved into the specific details but at a high level I don't think there is not much doubt that Buddhism is never considered part of Vedic religion. That is the reason even during the time of Buddha and later, Brahmins wanted to disprove Buddha/Buddhists and many debates. This opposition to Buddhism was very much prevalent even during the medieval times of Adi Sankara, Madava etc. and went into 17th century Hindu scholars/gurus ( even Sada Siva Brahmendra expresses it in works such as Atma Vidhya Vilasam). Most modern Hindu teachers also do not disagree that Buddha did not accept Vedas/Varna Vyavastha but give reasons as to why he has to do that. 

 

My point is Buddhism is never considered as part of orthodox Vedic schools and Buddha is never spoken in the same line as Upanishad Rishis even if both of them seem to have expounded the same ( or very similar ) truth albeit in different language.

Buddha has directly focused on the path of salvation for an individual and did denounce whatever he perceived as Dogma, superstition, unnecessary violence (during animal sacrifices done during Yagnas) and discrimination in the existing society (based on the Varna vyavastha) around him. 

 

It is these characteristics that make Buddha different from most other scholars of his time or times before him or after him. If Buddha has not denounced the Varna Vyavastha as we know it, he would not be different from one of the Vedic Rishis. There would not be that explicit need to classify his philosophy differently and debate and defeat that. 

 

IMHO, we should appreciate those important changes that Buddha wanted to bring at the level of individual as well as societal level and try to understand his philosophy/path and attain salvation. (Trying to not see the important things he explicitly brought will only lessen the special purpose of his noble birth.)

 

 

 

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On 8/28/2018 at 9:26 AM, Moochad said:

Wikipedia says something different

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Hinduism#Vedas

It seems it was more that he thought the Vedas were corrupted from their true form.

 

@Tibarn posted something in another thread that showed Buddha didn't reject Varna either. I will look through his posts to find it.

Edit:

Here it is

 

Right, Buddha has been appropriated by many people for forwarding whatever agendas they want to push. One of the wonders of Rajiv Gandhi inventing the internet is that one can read what is actually written by people and wade through the drivel peddled by charlatans.  

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On 8/28/2018 at 11:29 PM, Muloghonto said:

stop this western-eastern nonsense. 

Dharma or no dharma, a religion, by the language's definition of the word, is belief in unseen(personally or collectively) of a higher being and its diktats to us. 

Use the urdu word 'mazhab' if you wish. 
Dharma being religion or not, is irrelevant to Hinduism being a religion. 
Also, not ALL dharma is religion, but Dharma CAN also be religion and in this case,Sanatan Dharma is definitively religion because of its appeal to divine creation and divine authority. The Gita is appeal to divine authority, so is the Vedas. 
Its just that simple. 

 

There are no divine messengers, but there are divine avatars that drive hindu morality - Krishna, Ram, etc. The effect, is essentially the same as divine code of conduct being imposed on us, simply because some God said 'this is how you get mokshya/this is dharma/adharma'. 
That hinduism isn't as codified as Abrahamic religions, doesn't change the fact that it is a religion because it believes in Godly creation of the universe and explanation of its consequences from 'divine source'. 

 

Makes no difference if God says 'this is my law. Obey and you get reward/break it, I will send you to hell' vs ' hey, i am God- i figured out this law of the universe - if you break it, universe will screw you over/if you follow it, universe will reward you', simply because it is an UNVERIFIABLE CLAIM SCIENTIFICALLY - your rebirth/mokshya is just as bakwaas 'take it on faith' as heaven and hell/eternal bliss vs eternal damnation. 



Pointing out the differences between Hinduism and Abrahamics does not relieve Hinduism of a RELIGION tag in this language and exactly the same word in many other languages. ( i already gave you an example of an Urdu word that is HIGHLY PREVALENT in Hindi - mazhab). 
 

I never said Hinduism as defined by British and followed in MSM is not a religion. In Vedic times, it was all about Dharma. You now that Gita/Mahabharata where divinity is defined is after Vedas and Buddha is in between Vedas and Gita/Mahabharata.  I have tried to differentiate Dharma with religion. Hinduism as a way of life is not correct definition. Hinduism is a religion in classical sense. But Dharma is not religion is the crux of the argument. 

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On topic, it is the result of mental colonization of the "intellectual" class and those in charge of teaching. The deracinated, anglicized lot can't be expected to accurately represent something which they themselves don't understand. All they can do is make vacuous references to "Sanatan Dharma" as cover for their chicanery. 

 

When one learns about themselves from another's eyes, eyes jaundiced with their own interpretations/values/histories, one can hardly expect oneself to be accurately portrayed.     

 

The concept of religion is itself an Abrahamic one(as is secularism but I digress :phehe:) as has been shown by researchers on Egypt, Roman, Japanese, Hindu, etc "religion."   

 

An interesting book which can serve as further reading for the OP's topic, although on a different country, is this:

The Invention of Religion in Japan by Jason Ananda Josephson.  

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6 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

I never said Hinduism as defined by British and followed in MSM is not a religion.

 

The concept of a religion, is not a 'western' or an 'eastern' defined concept, its a global concept.  You simply cannot wish away a concept because you deem it foreign. 

 

We have the same concept too, Astika and Nastik. Literally it means those who hold the vedas as divine origin and those who don't.  The concept exists in technicality in Hinduism as well. 

 

6 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

 

In Vedic times, it was all about Dharma.

I call BS to that. There is no such evidence present. 

6 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

You now that Gita/Mahabharata where divinity is defined is after Vedas and Buddha is in between Vedas and Gita/Mahabharata. 

So what ? They are fundamental to Hinduism and therefore Hinduism decisively falls into category of religion. 

6 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

 I have tried to differentiate Dharma with religion.

Dharma and religion are different in the sense that all religions are dharmas but not all dharmas are religion. (Venn diagram if you must). However, Hinduism falls under the category of Dharma that *is* religion. Period. 

6 minutes ago, coffee_rules said:

Hinduism as a way of life is not correct definition. Hinduism is a religion in classical sense. But Dharma is not religion is the crux of the argument. 

Um, the title to the thread is, is Hinduism a religion. I think that is the crux of the discussion here, no ?

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On 8/29/2018 at 7:01 AM, Muloghonto said:

because Hinduism appeals to divine authority and passes off morals from divine authority. Hence it is a religion. 
Its not a monotheistic or polytheistic religion, but it is one, nonetheless.

 

Under which text of this so called religion of Hinduism has this been stated. 

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:49 AM, ravishingravi said:

Under which text of this so called religion of Hinduism has this been stated. 

Have you ever even read the Vedas, Gita etc. directly ?

Those books are replete with statements such as ' And then Krishna said blahblahblah, as the divine truth, because I am vishnu, i am blahblahblah'/ " invoking the 'dev-gyan mantra' blahblahblah for 'Surya Pranam' in the upanishads, some of the vedas etc ?

 

These are direct appeals to divine authority. Anyone who says the Gita is not written as direct appeal to divine authority, either:

a)has not read the Gita

b) do not understand what divine authority means. 

 

If Krishna really was Vishnu, it'd be far convincing of him to leave mathematical/empirical clues to divinity that we'd realistically be able to confirm sequentially. But no, religion doesn't work in a sane, logical way because all these are man-made bakwaas made to control people by a certain set of necessary (back then) morals. 

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6 hours ago, Muloghonto said:

Have you ever even read the Vedas, Gita etc. directly ?

Those books are replete with statements such as ' And then Krishna said blahblahblah, as the divine truth, because I am vishnu, i am blahblahblah'/ " invoking the 'dev-gyan mantra' blahblahblah for 'Surya Pranam' in the upanishads, some of the vedas etc ?

 

These are direct appeals to divine authority. Anyone who says the Gita is not written as direct appeal to divine authority, either:

a)has not read the Gita

b) do not understand what divine authority means. 

 

If Krishna really was Vishnu, it'd be far convincing of him to leave mathematical/empirical clues to divinity that we'd realistically be able to confirm sequentially. But no, religion doesn't work in a sane, logical way because all these are man-made bakwaas made to control people by a certain set of necessary (back then) morals. 

Actually from what you have stated, it is not clear whether you have read them. Be that as it may, Yes, there are some books written. So what ? More people in a India have read Harry potter than those books. So, how does this matter ? 

 

You have still not answered the question. Under which text is word Hinduism quoted with clear set of codes to be followed ? 

 

Another trivia. What is the origin of term Hinduism ? 

Please 

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3 minutes ago, ravishingravi said:

Actually from what you have stated, it is not clear whether you have read them. Be that as it may, Yes, there are some books written. So what ? More people in a India have read Harry potter than those books. So, how does this matter ? 

 

You have still not answered the question. Under which text is word Hinduism quoted with clear set of codes to be followed ? 

 

Another trivia. What is the origin of term Hinduism ? 

Please 

@ravishingravi ji,

 

I agree that in Hinduism, there are no commandments like in Christianity or ayah's in Islam where there are rigid rules that are hard coded and SHOULD be followed. 

 

However, in practice, vast majority of the common Hindus are not as flexible in the understanding of dharma. I know of parents who will chide his child of an inter-caste marriage because that is "varna samkraman" and against the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. So, this idea of flexibility is somehow forgotten and overtaken by casteism or dogmatism in general. The parents are more concerned from the backlash of the other Hindus in their own community who might disown them or chastise them for letting an intercaste marriage happen. But they will cover it up as if that is the teachings of the holy book. There is no verse in Bhagavad Gita that dissuades intercaste marriages but they will interpret it that way to suit their societal needs.

 

I wish Hindus are all understanding and have the adaptibility in their day to day life and practice of "Advaita" in their real life. But that is far from today's Hindus.


And finally, let us not cover this up saying Hinduism is good but some Hindus do not understand it and practice it incorrectly. Firstly, it is not some but many Hindus even in towns/small cities etc are not open-minded enough ( the feature that should be characteristic of ideal Hindus ).
Secondly, the argument will be similar to muslims saying "Islam is good. It is some muslims who are misinterpreting Quran and becoming terrorists".

 

Ultimately my point is, it is what happens in practice that matters and not what the so called "holy books" or "scriptures" talk about. 

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33 minutes ago, sarcastic said:

@ravishingravi ji,

 

I agree that in Hinduism, there are no commandments like in Christianity or ayah's in Islam where there are rigid rules that are hard coded and SHOULD be followed. 

 

However, in practice, vast majority of the common Hindus are not as flexible in the understanding of dharma. I know of parents who will chide his child of an inter-caste marriage because that is "varna samkraman" and against the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. So, this idea of flexibility is somehow forgotten and overtaken by casteism or dogmatism in general. The parents are more concerned from the backlash of the other Hindus in their own community who might disown them or chastise them for letting an intercaste marriage happen. But they will cover it up as if that is the teachings of the holy book. There is no verse in Bhagavad Gita that dissuades intercaste marriages but they will interpret it that way to suit their societal needs.

 

I wish Hindus are all understanding and have the adaptibility in their day to day life and practice of "Advaita" in their real life. But that is far from today's Hindus.


And finally, let us not cover this up saying Hinduism is good but some Hindus do not understand it and practice it incorrectly. Firstly, it is not some but many Hindus even in towns/small cities etc are not open-minded enough ( the feature that should be characteristic of ideal Hindus ).
Secondly, the argument will be similar to muslims saying "Islam is good. It is some muslims who are misinterpreting Quran and becoming terrorists".

 

Ultimately my point is, it is what happens in practice that matters and not what the so called "holy books" or "scriptures" talk about. 

What happens in practice is "cultural", not religious. The word "Hindu" comes from "Indu". Indu comes indus valley civilization. When invader came here, they couldn't pronounce indu and started calling it hindu. So, your observations as true and otherwise it may be, it has little do with a book or text and prescribed path. It is cultural identity. Like any culture, it suffers from some defects. There is no common thread binding a hindu from Meghalaya to ones from Tamil Nadu or Punjab or Maharashtra.

 

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9 minutes ago, ravishingravi said:

What happens in practice is "cultural", not religious. The word "Hindu" comes from "Indu". Indu comes indus valley civilization. When invader came here, they couldn't pronounce indu and started calling it hindu. So, your observations as true and otherwise it may be, it has little do with a book or text and prescribed path. It is cultural identity. Like any culture, it suffers from some defects. There is no common thread binding a hindu from Meghalaya to ones from Tamil Nadu or Punjab or Maharashtra.

 

I agree. The word "Hindu" (I believe 'Hindu' is a persian variant of Sindhu and 'Indus' is the greek variant) certainly is given by outsiders and it refers to a cultural identity of people living in Indian subcontinent (before Muslims were here). 

 

I also agree that there is no such thing as "Hinduism" in a way like those of Abrahamic faiths. It is just the Mughals and later the EIC/British Raj found it convenient to classify the cultural group as a religious one since they need one to keep their records. 

 

Today's "Hindus" themselves started self-identifying themselves as Hindus only in late 19th century or 20th century onwards. 

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3 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

Actually from what you have stated, it is not clear whether you have read them. Be that as it may, Yes, there are some books written. So what ? More people in a India have read Harry potter than those books. So, how does this matter ? 

This is true for all religions - there are more christians who've read harry potter than the bible itself. 
As for me reading them- do you want me to quote specific passages from the Gitas, Vedas, etc that are directly crediting the 'knowledge' to the Gods ?

 

3 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

You have still not answered the question. Under which text is word Hinduism quoted with clear set of codes to be followed ? 

That is largely an irrelevant point, because the word 'hinduism' is not an Indian creation. However, brahminism (where Brahmin-lead rituals to the Gods under vedic auspicies prevail) most definitely has clear appeal to divine authority.

 

As for clear set of codes- a clear set of codes is NOT required for an idea to be considered a religion. Religion simply means appeal to divine authority. period. Does not matter if its super-codified like Islam or relatively uncodified like Hinduism.

3 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

 

Another trivia. What is the origin of term Hinduism ? 

Please 

Irrelevant. Nomenclature of whether its Hinduism, bahminism, anastika, sanatan dharma, etc. they are all the same thing. 

Judaism wasn't always called Judaism either, so there is another example of changing names does not matter a jot if the core tenets, Gods and rituals remain more or less the same.

 

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2 hours ago, ravishingravi said:

What happens in practice is "cultural", not religious. The word "Hindu" comes from "Indu". Indu comes indus valley civilization. When invader came here, they couldn't pronounce indu and started calling it hindu. So, your observations as true and otherwise it may be, it has little do with a book or text and prescribed path. It is cultural identity. Like any culture, it suffers from some defects. There is no common thread binding a hindu from Meghalaya to ones from Tamil Nadu or Punjab or Maharashtra.

 

Yes, there is. The thread is Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara + Kali/Durga. More than 1 of the 5 major deities are followed, along with the same concept of rebirth (if orthodox hindu) applied.

Hindu can be a cultural identity, but it is also clearly a religious identity as well. 

 

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2 hours ago, sarcastic said:

I agree. The word "Hindu" (I believe 'Hindu' is a persian variant of Sindhu and 'Indus' is the greek variant) certainly is given by outsiders and it refers to a cultural identity of people living in Indian subcontinent (before Muslims were here). 

 

I also agree that there is no such thing as "Hinduism" in a way like those of Abrahamic faiths. It is just the Mughals and later the EIC/British Raj found it convenient to classify the cultural group as a religious one since they need one to keep their records. 

 

Today's "Hindus" themselves started self-identifying themselves as Hindus only in late 19th century or 20th century onwards. 

With the word 'hindu', you are correct.

However, history CLEARLY proves that the major tenets of hinduism - the creations of Brahma, the 'management of Vishnu' and the 'final say' of Shiva, along with belief in rebirth as a higher/lower/same being based on karmic merit, is a common binding thread to hinduism that has existed from atleast the Gupta Empire period.


Of this, we are more or less certain, based on textual and cross-referenced evidence. Hindiusm the religion transitioned from vedic 'old pantheon worship' to a more Christian/Islam-esque ' one God with many facets' aspect during the Bhakti/Mahabali movement periods but the framework remains more or less the same for the past 1700 years at the very least.

 

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On 8/28/2018 at 5:25 PM, coffee_rules said:

Dharma comes from Sanskrit word 'dhri' which means 'that which upholds' or 'that without which nothing can stand' or ''that which maintains stability and 
harmony of universe''. Dharma is conduct, duty, justice, morality, virtue, right and much more. 
Animals, Plants, Electrons have dharma  but no Religion.  One follows Dharma and gain Karma. Karma is the  collective good work of your this life and all previous lives that is needed for the atma to attain moksha.

 

Faith/Belief/Religion  constitutes worship of  the divine. There  are religious institutions that formulate the worship and they are the custodians of the worship and have a say in the religious rituals. In a way, followers of Shankaracharya and belief in Shaivism is a religion. The word Hinduism is popular only in the last 200 years in the  post colonial period. Hindustan refers to a geographical area around the river sindhu more than  the  religion. People in this  region  were Hindustani.

yes, Hindu refers to the people living across Indus river or Sindhu River.  Later, people termed Hindu as religion.  

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On 8/28/2018 at 7:10 AM, sarcastic said:

I m not completely sure of other two, but Buddha has explicitly denounced the authority of Vedas and the varna vyavastha (i.e. what turned out to be today's caste system). 

Buddha's path is completely independent of any worship of any deity and his philosophy does not agree with any creator/sustainer/destroyer concepts. 

Buddha was somehow incorporated into Hinduism by some Hindu philosophers such as Adi Sankara by calling him as one of the 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu but the Buddhist schools explicitly reject any such claims. 

This is the problem with defining Hinduism imo. It has always had a tendency to sublimate local cults and deities and even synthesising elements of other faiths that were literally its antithesis to the point that we have extreme contradictions that really shouldn't be reconciled but somehow, through the ingenuity of various brahmanical narratives have all been accepted as part of one tradition. 

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1 hour ago, Cricketics said:

Hinduism isn’t a religion, it is a culture. 

It is a religion first, culture second. Having rituals and belief in a supernatural creationism, is by defnition, a religion. 

Pointing out that its different class of religion than western religions does not make it bereft of theism- which is the bedrock of qualifying as a religion.

 

Does your religion espouse God/Gods and some sort of moral code associated with these God/Gods ? If yes, then religion. Hinduism qualifies.

 

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