Monday, October 1, 2007


There is so much about Hinduism that is confusing me. Some of it I was able to grasp after many questions during last class, when we first began discussing it. I went into that class already with the belief that there were things about Hinduism that didnt make sense and contradicted itself. For example, one of Hinduism's beliefs is the belief in reincarnation. It is more complicated than just reincarnating, but this already is contradicted by the belief that once a person reaches the highest caste and dies, he/she goes on to heaven. There is the belief that many paths lead to heaven, but if we reincarnate, then there is no heaven.

Then there are things called castes, where, if you are born Hindu, you are born into a certain caste. If you recieve good karma through out that life, then you will be reborn into a higher caste, or ranking. But going back to the belief that all paths lead to heaven, what if that path involves being reborn as a Christian? What happens to the caste system then? This was a question I asked in class, and it was the answer I recieved that inspired this blog. I was told that it was the context, the perception of the various Hindu ways that allows Hinduism to make sense. To people who practice Hinduism, then it is easy to grasp that all paths lead to heaven and that all people have caste. The Christian perception, however, is that they have no caste. Come to think of it, it made sense then, but now going over it and trying to write about it a week later, it doesn't make sense anymore. It was the concept of this "context" of various Hindu ideas that intrigued me when it was told to me. One has to see through the eyes of a Hindu to understand it.

That shouldn't be the case. One should be able to understand these seemingly contradicting beliefs without being a Hindu. And why aren't there more Hindus who question these beliefs? That was a hypothetical question, because the answer is that some Hindus do question them. Gandhi questioned the concept of the "Untouchables" and also fought for the rights of Hindu widows.

Maybe I just need more time to learn the right way about Hinduism. Maybe I need to listen better to my Professor when he explains reasons behind things what I've been describing. I plan to pay much more attention to detail about whatever else I learn about Hinduism, because I know that somewhere there is a little fact, a little loophole or something that will suddenly make the religion click in my brain and answer all my questions. I haven't found it yet, but I think it will happen soon.

If anybody who reads this knows something about Hinduism that I don't, and feels they can explain it to me without being to angry at my ignorance, please, I invite them to leave a comment.

1 comment:

Ed Vis said...

Namasthe: I fully agree with you, Hinduism is very complex and even most of the Hindus have no idea about their beliefs.

To begin with, Hinduism is a CULTURE. It is not an organized religion like Christianity or Islam. It has no founder. It has no Pope. It has no hierarchy. Just a lot of scriptures.

Hinduism does NOT profess monopoly on GOD, TRUTH or SALVATION.

You do not have to be a Hindu to attain salvation.

Hindu salvation is known as SELF REALIZATION.

In Hindu salvation a person realizes that HE IS NOT THE BODY, BUT THE IMMORTAL SOUL [ATMAN] WITHIN.

That is the reason why Hindu salvation is known as SELF REALIZATION or "Realizing that he is the IMMORTAL SELF and NOT THE PERISHABLE BODY.