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Ask a Hindu anything!

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posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 07:06 AM
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Silent Thunder,

I am very Vedic, which means means I am more into the philosophical and meditative aspect of Hinduism, so the closest sub-branch I identifty with is Smartism. I do not really have an Ishta devata(chosen form of god) as most Hindus do, I am more into the abstract absolute/Brahman. That said, I do have a personal relationship with the absolute and pray to the absolute.




posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Hey there, just want to say being a Hindu myself, I've been reading your threads and I think they're very informative and amazing.

Anyway to my question. I strongly believe in "stories," probably real life events that are passed down in families. My mum's side [my mum's dad] was the Prince of Indore and I do believe in the things I've heard from there.

One such story is that India had three books or something similar to that number. It had things such as making aeroplanes, cosmology and so on. I can't remember it all but something like the Germans wanted to see it or something and actually stole it and so on.

I do believe that there is truth in it however, I don't know how distorted it is due to it being recited for generations.

Have you heard anything about this? Or can this somehow be related to the Nine Unknown Men?

Thanks.

EDIT: And to the post below, pre-marital sex is something which our religion does not allow - although it has become "westernized" greatly as my parents say haha.

[edit on 11/1/2010 by BlackPoison94]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 01:43 PM
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Hi - thank you for the thread. I have a question for you:

What is the Hindu religion's perspectives towards pre-marital sex. Without being too graphic, I am interested in both (a) what the religion states that people SHOULD do ; and (b) whether this advice is commonly followed in the 'real' world, especially amongst younger generations.

Thanks.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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Blackpoison,

Thank you for your compliments.

It is true that the Germans had a very strong interest in Sanskrit texts and lead many expeditions to India and Tibet. It is even rumoured they may have learned their technology from the Sanskrit texts.

The alleged Sanskrit texts on aeronautics and cosmology that you mention are likely Bharadvaj’s Vymanika Shastra and Ansu Bodhini. You can read the entire Vyamanika Shasta online here: www.hiddenmysteries.org...

The Ansu bodhini is an ancient Sanskrit text on cosmology and describes directions on building a spectrometer. This spectrometer has been built and documented in an Indian scientific journal. I have a thread on this on ATS you will find useful: www.abovetopsecret.com...

The Vymanika Shastra is a controversial text because of its unconventional authorship. It is a channelled text, which means it has been spiritually received. It is claimed to be work of an ancient Vedic Rishi. The Ansu Bodhini on the other hand, attributed to the same Rishi, is suppose to be from a palm leaf manuscript stored at the Oriental Library of Baroda.

I hope this helps answer your question.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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Millions,

Although Hinduism is far more liberal to sex and sexuality than other religions, premarital and casual sex is widely frowned upon by Hindus and nor does it find endorsement in Hinduism. This is because sex before marriage is not considered necessary, because before marriage our priorities should be education, not recreation.

The traditional Hindu way of life has been stipulated by the Ashrama system of life which is divided into 4 stages:

Education stage: From the ages of 5-25 a Hindu is expected to dedicate their life entirely to education and learning. There is no room for any frivolity. One must live an austere and simple life and learn to discipline their senses and their mind. Boys and girls are not allowed to intermingle exactly so that they do not get distracted by sex.

Householder stage: From the ages of 25-50 a Hindu is expected to lead a householders life this include marriage and having children, earning a living and contributing to society. This marriage is most often arranged, but love marriage is also allowed.

Retirement stage. From the age of 50-75 a Hindu is allowed to relax and is looked after by their children and grandchildren. During this time one can get involved in more leisurely activities like writing, painting, music etc.

Renouncement stage. From the ages of 75-100 a Hindu renounces the world and dedicates the rest of their life to spirituality and selfless service. This stage is the only stage which can be entered into at any point in your life. Hindus have great respect for people who want to dedicate their life to spirituality. Even children from a very young age can enter this stage of life if they are ready for it.

The Ashrama system today in Hindu society is much more flexible, but it still has a strong influence on Hindu life. Still today in Hindu society, education is considered very important and parents have very high expectations from their kids to excel and thus children are dissuaded from causal relationships . This is eroding today because Hindu kids are more westernized, but they still regard their education as their top priority and are more conservative in their attitudes to sex than Western people are. Likewise, marriage around the age of 25 is very common amongst Hindus and children face increasing pressure from their parents to settle down around this time.

I hope that answers your question.

[edit on 11-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


Nice thread, sir.

As a multi-decade practicing Buddhist, please accept my bow of gassho and resepct.

I am glad our co-religionists are at peace with each other in Sri Lanka after a brutal 25-year war. I acknowledge abuse of Hindu people that took place there by the Buddhist majority and feel sad about it. Let us live in harmony together, both on that fair isle and off it, for in the end our paths are not so different.



posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 05:14 AM
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Never despise,

Thank you for your good will.

I just wanted to say that Hindusim and Buddhism are not all that different, and many Hindus include Buddhism as one of sub-branches of Hinduism. Even historically, there has not been that significant of a conflict between Hinduism and Buddhism, and they would normally be taught side by side at ancient Indian universities. Buddha is even considered an avatar by Hindus.

The 8 fold path of Buddhism and the 8-limbed path of Yoga are virtually identical.

The only objection a Hindu would have to some forms of Buddhism is the belief in no-self. This is why Hindus have greater affinity with Mahayana Buddhism. The Hindus maintain that Buddha did not really mean that there is no self, but the phenomenal self that we take to be the self is non-existent. However, Buddhists will encounter this truth themselves when they attain Nirvana, and for that reason Hinduism considers Buddha as the deceiver or trickster. He tricks people into a path of spirituality by rejecting self/god, and then the followers themselves discover self/god in the end.



[edit on 12-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 07:11 AM
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Thank you for your help. Another question, do you believe something similar to the Nine Unknown Men existed?



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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Black Poison,

I would not be surprised if such a secret society did in fact exist. It seems odd to me that we lose absolutely everything of our past knowledge. I think it is definitely possible a council of elders exist that look after the planet and guards certain kinds of knowledge. I have very strong reason to belive our ancients had very advanced science and technology, because whenever I look at ancient times I find knowledge and artefacts that is definitely anachoristic for its time. For example an ancient treatise on grammar using computer science(Panini) an ancient treatise on atomic theory talking about atomic bonding(Kanada) a ancient treatise on prosod/music using binary and hashing algoirthms. An ancient medicial system(Ayurveda) using precise scientific classification. Let's not forget finding highly urban cities circa 3000BCE. I definitely think a lot of history is being hidden from us.

You would probably be interested in the legends of Lumaria/Mu. Apparently, Hindu records mention a lost continent in the pacific, from where the Vedic people originated. After it sank, the Vedic people migrated into the Indus valley and set up the Indus valley civilisation. The Lumerians were a highly spiritually developed civilisation(according to most records) and very mystical, a land of Risis's to to speak. This maybe the original home of the Aryans.

[edit on 13-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 01:57 AM
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Hey - thanks for the response - I appreciate the information! Can I ask another?

I'm a little bit confused about the whole caste system. So how are westerners, for example, and others of different backgrounds perceived as fitting in to the caste system?

Thanks,

John.



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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Millions,

You are welcome.

The caste system has existed in different phases throughout the times. Originally it was meritocratic(merit based) then it became birth-based. Later, Western people abused it to their own advantage with the "Aryan race" propoganda. Westerners, or basically white people exploited what is known as the "Aryan invasion theory" which posits that the Indians were invaded in 1500BCE by white people(Aryan race) and they imposed the caste system on the Indians which discriminated on the basis of skin colour, against darker skinned people. The white-skinned Brahmins were the highest caste. However, due to breeding with the dark skinned people, the white Brahmins lost their "colour" The Indian Brahmins were therefore an impure white race. Based on that pure whites saw themselves as a super-caste.

Of course the Aryan invasion theory was nothing more than racist propoganda typical of 19th century European academia and was used as a political tool to justify colonial rule in India and also by social darwinianists to justify white racial supremacy and hence their birth-right to rule, exploit and harm other "races". The truth is there was no white-invaders who invaded India in 1500BCE and the caste system was not a racist system.

The caste system discriminates on the basis of "varna" which means ones merit or quality and organizes society into complex divisions based on the "varna" The four main types of varnas are: teachers, warriors, merchants and labourers. In the original caste system deciding the varna you would belong to is done on the basis of education. The education system access your aptitude and then train you in one vocation which would be your vocation for your entire life. If you had no education you would be a labourer caste by default. The other castes are called "twice born" because you needed to become educated to be assigned to them. In the birth-based caste system, because education was no longer available to the masses due to changing social circumstances, so the masses would gain their education from their family instead. So if you were born into a family of blacksmiths, you would be educated as a blacksmith.

Each caste are assigned a set of duties and has certain entitlements and different rules regulating them. The highest caste being Brahmins, are the only ones entitled to higher education and are exempt from paying any taxes, but they are not entitled to owning capital or earning a living. Whatever they are given is donation from others or the state. As Brahmins are seen as the teachers and therefore advisors to society, the law is much more harsh on them for commiting a crime than other castes. Modern equivalent: Academic class.

The warrior caste, which included government, are entitled to basic education, but are not entitled to owning capital. Their duties are to serve civilians. The warriors duties are to protect civilians, the administrators/superintendents's duties are to supervise the correct functioning of the various industries, the kings duties are to ensure the correct distribution of tax revenues and maintaining social order. Modern equivalent: Civil service class

The merchant caste are entitled to basic education, ownership of capital and the goods they produce, selling and trading. They employ the labourer caste. A portion of their produce must be given to the state.
Modern equivalent: capitalist class.

The labourer caste are not entitled to any formal education and nor are they entitled to owning capital. They are entitled only to wages which they exchange for their labour by working for the other castes. The punishment for commiting crimes for them are the most leniant of all castes. Modern equivalent: working class.

The caste system was therefore a very efficient and rigid social system which maintained order in Hindu society. It is due to this that this system has been able to endure over thousands of years and Hindu society has maintained its values and traditions. For this reason it was seen as a huge threat by Western people and the biggest obstacle against taking control of India, so it became the subject of much derision and demonization.

I hope this helps answer your question and clears some confusions about the caste system.

[edit on 14-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Jan, 14 2010 @ 10:24 PM
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Thanks for the thorough answer, Indigo Child! I'm enjoying the thread. With regards to the whole caste system thing though, I'm kind of interested in how a westerner would 'slot in.' For example, I am from the UK. What if I went to work in India? How would this affect me? Would I be considered as one or the other, depending on education level, etc? I'm kind of interested in the practical implications this would have for a westerner living in India.

Thanks.



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 07:59 AM
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Millions,

If you went to India today you would not really slot into any caste, because the caste system is no longer operational in India. It is outlawed by the state. You may find it still being practiced in some villages, but there your caste would be birth-based. So, as you do not have any birth based caste, you would be seen by the villagers as somebody outside the caste sysem - a foreigner. This is not the same as an "outcaste" by the way. Usually, foreigners in India are respected, even looked up to, and Indians would be very hospitable to you, but obviously they would consider you a "foreigner"

On the other hand, if you go to an Ashram in India, where there is no caste and foreigners are commonly seen, you would fit right in and be treated as an equal.

In the original caste system you would also be considerd outside the caste system - a foreigner. Only a citizen would have a caste. However, if you tried to become a citizen you would obviously have to go through the education system and then your caste would be decided. The other way in ancient India for foreigners was to prove your worth to the teachers. To enrol into ancient Indian universities you would have to pass the tests of the teachers. There were many foreign students at these universities.

The main decision makers in the caste system are the teachers. If you could prove your worth to a teacher you would be even allowed into higher education, even if you were a labourer thereby changing your caste to Brahmin. The same applies to foreingers. In other words social mobility was very possible and did happen in the caste system. To put it into perspective, some of the celebrated teachers in Hindu history came from very low castes families.

I hope that helps answer your question.



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 06:38 AM
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Hello Indigo!

This thread has been very informative, and I've learnt a couple things I didn't really know before. As it is, I've got 2 questions.

First, what is the connection, and the extent of the connection, etc., between the Hindu religion(s), and the historic area if land that is considered "India"?

Also: How do hindus and how does hinduism view Gandhi? I know that most indians have a deep respect for him, so does that extend into anything religious?



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 11:35 AM
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Hello:

Can you tell me more about the background to the ideas of a bride wearing red to her wedding. Also, why white to a funeral?

I am interested in hearing how people who lose a love one are not supposed to grieve or cry at the funeral since that person is believed to be reincarnate.

I've heard that India has one of the largest populations in the world and has the most babies per year. Do you think that the most widespread race will eventually be India or China?

Also, do you have a good recipe for the flat spicy bread that is made by Indian families?

can you tell me more about the Shiva-Nataraj. Thanks



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 07:38 PM
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Babloyi,

The connection between Hinduism and the historical land of India is very intimate. The word “Hindu” is basically the Persian pronunciation of the “Sindhu” river, and means the people who live on the banks of the river Sindhu. In Greek this becomes Indus. It is a term to describe their culture, religion, ways of life. Although, interestingly, Persian religion and culture also has historical links with the Indus and seem to share the same Vedic culture.

The actual geography of ancient Indian civilisation has varied considerably in different time periods. In ancient times, based on information in the Hindu and Buddhist texts, this was the geography of India: upload.wikimedia.org...

There was also “Greater India” which had colonies in South East Asia and the pacific. The main colonies were Indonesia, Bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Java, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

Regarding Gandhi. On the whole Gandhi is respected by Hindus and largely thought to be the father of modern day India. He is also honoured with the title Mahatma(great soul) However he is not considered a religious figure and thus has nothing much to do with Hinduism.

Not all Hindus, however, respect Gandhi. Some are very critical of him. Indeed it was a Hindu that ultimately assassinated Gandhi. These Hindus’s consider Gandhi to be a weak pacifist, a British appeaser and even a Muslim sympathizer. They also consider him to be overrated, as there were other freedom fighters that did more than Gandhi to gain India her independence from Britain, such as “Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekar Azad” that used more violent ways to do it. His interpretation of the Bhagvad Gita(Hindu bible) are also considered more Buddhist/Jain than Hindu. This criticism is probably right, as ironically the Gita is all about Lord Krishna persuading Prince Arjuna to do his duty and fight and kill.

Hinduism in general is not a pacifist religion. It definitely sanctions violence for righteous purposes. This theme can be found throughout Hindu scriptures. But violence is only permissable as a last resort.

I hope that helps answer your question.

[edit on 16-1-2010 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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Bookreader,

Red is worn at weddings by the bride because red is the colour associated with the goddess Lakshmi, which is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The Indian bride is seen as a goddess gracing her husbands home that brings wealth and prosperity to it.

White is worn at funerals because white is considered the purest, calmest and most peaceful colour, so it is worn as symbolic of the deceased passing over peacefully. This mourning is more for the peace of mind of the family and friends. Sure, they know that their soul will pass on and then most likely reincarnate, but they still grieve over the loss of the loved one they knew. That personality is forever lost at its death.

On population of India vs. China. The Indian population is projected to eventually overtake the Chinese population in a few decades. However, anything could happen in the future. It is hard to say.

On Shiva Nataraja. Nataraja, meaning the dancing king, is one of the depictions or forms of the god Shiva. This is one of the most iconic Hindu images. It basically represents Shiva’s dance of creation and destruction which is called the “Tandava” In one hand he holds a drum, this represents the vibrations that create things. In the other hand, he holds a fireball, this represents the destruction of created things. Shiva’s balance on his feet represent the cosmic law that governs creation and destruction. He is surrounded by flames, this represents the whole cosmos. The dwarf demon crushed under his feet represents the ego or ignorance. The snakes represent the “Kundalini” or cosmic energy(Shakti)

The entire Tandava dance in general is signifying the conquest over ignorance. For this reason in Hindu culture the Tandava dance is considered a very masculine and heroic dance.

I hope that answers your question.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 09:08 PM
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Why is Krishna sometimes heard pronounced Krish-uh-nah? Also I hear Arjuna pronounced Ar-june-nah and sometimes just as Arjun without the 'a' at the end.

This is sort of confusing. Do they drop the -a in names sometimes and not at other times?

Like Mahabharata is sometimes pronounced Maha-bha-rat and not -uh at the end.



posted on Feb, 7 2010 @ 12:22 PM
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Shiva is sometimes depicted as being blue in color. What does this mean? Also, is Shiva supposed to be a male or female God? Or can Shiva be either male of female demending on ...???

These may seem like silly questions. But I am helping in a highschool classroom that is currently studying religions, and they are all very curious.

Thank you for posting this thread. It is surprsingly difficult to find information and I appreciate all the time you are putting into the answers here.



posted on Feb, 16 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by beautyfoul
Shiva is sometimes depicted as being blue in color. What does this mean? Also, is Shiva supposed to be a male or female God? Or can Shiva be either male of female demending on ...???

These may seem like silly questions. But I am helping in a highschool classroom that is currently studying religions, and they are all very curious.

Thank you for posting this thread. It is surprsingly difficult to find information and I appreciate all the time you are putting into the answers here.


Actually Shiva is not blue. Krishna is blue. But Lord Shiva's neck is blue. There is a story for that.
When Devas (angels, demigods, gods what ever you call them) and Asuras (demons, devils, etc...) where looking for the nectar of immortality they accidentally stirred up poison along with the nectar of immortality. that poison started affecting both Devas and Asuras so they naturally ran to their lord. Lord Shiva in order to save them ate the poison. His consort Paarvathi got scared that he might become corrupted from the poison held his neck halting the poison in his throat and thus he got the blue neck. Hindus mark this event every month by fasting(the day is called Pradosha Vratha)

As for him being male or female, he is both. Shiva is the lord of destruction (also the primal masculine energy of the universe) His consort Shakthi (also Paarvathi) is the universal energy depicted as feminine. In order show that one doesn't exist with out the other they are depicted as Arthanaari(half male half female). It is also to show that both women and men are equal and one can't be with out the other.



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