Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
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-HR 201.01
A Comprehensive Study of the Ancient Tradition and the Perennial Philosophy
The Principles of Hindu Faith - an Overview of Chapters II to VII
-~ Level - 2 ~
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Lesson - 01 :
An Introduction to the Principles of the Hindu Faith
What is the basic faith in the Hindu Religion?
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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Hinduism is unique among the great Religions of the world in that it had no single founder or Messiah nor a single book as a source but grew gradually over a period of several thousand years. The Hindu society is the product of many races and many cultures with several forms of practice. It evolved out of the varying faiths in different groups of the ancient community as it was absorbing and assimilating all the diversified social movements and cultural practices of India. Consequently, it does not have a single Holy book as a source to guide all, like a Bible or Koran or Dhammapadam. Most of their beliefs and practices are based on the teachings of the Vedas, Agamas, Upanishads and several books written, based on these texts. Large portions of these texts are lost.

Hindus believe that their religion is without beginning, even preceding the creation of human race and the creation of the universe. They believe that creation of the universe and its lives are without beginning or end and is a continuous process, a cycle of creation and dissolution. The Vedas are the very breath of this process with which Lord Brahma, the creator, creates the universe and all its lives.

The name "Hindu" is said to have been derived from the name given by the Western and Persian scholars to the people settled on the River Sindhu.Some believe the name has a much older origin in the scriptures. Scholars often referred to this as the Brahmanical faith. Hindus called it "Vaideeha Dharma" or "Sanathana Dharma". Philosophers often do not want to refer to it as a mere religion, as that will narrow it down to a blind faith of prayers to God. It permits free thinking, questioning and reasoning. It allows both philosophy and rituals. It accepts even atheists and agnostics as much as it accepts various forms of worship of the Divine.

 

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Lesson - 02 :
The Basic Principles of the Religion and its Practice
The Simple Teachings of the Faith that is without a Dogma
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The greatness of Hindu Religion is its simplicity and its complexity at the same time. It permeates totally the life of every Hindu from the moment of his birth, throughout his life, whether he is a believer or not, whether a scholar or an illiterate. It is followed more as a way of life. However, Hindu Religion is a rare faith with very few "dogmas, do's and don'ts."

It accepts the reality that all people, with the variations in their intellectual maturity, cannot understand and accept to follow the same path though the goal will be the same. It has many teachings showing the different spiritual paths available to various types of people. It permits the greatest freedom of worship, as each person is guided by his or her own spiritual experience.

Hindu Religion does not accept a single dogma or a dictatorial religious guidance. It has tremendous tolerance for other religious faiths and beliefs. Lord Krishna in Bhagavat Geetha says, "Who-so-ever follows any faith and worships Me in what-so-ever form with steadfastness and with devotion, his faith in that form shall I indeed reinforce". The religion permits worship and rituals in various forms for several Deities, though, every worshipper knows that he or she is offering the prayers only to the one great Almighty who will come to them in every form they pray.

Very few religions of the world have such a tolerant approach. Hinduism has attracted thinkers from all over the world through the ages. However, even educated Hindus are often unaware of what this religion really stands for or teaches, though many may do some prayers blindly following the traditions left by their family. Few hundred years of subjugation by alien rulers of Islamic and Christian faiths was only one of the several causes of this decline.

 
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One Supreme Divine Truth known by many Forms!
One Supreme Faith also known by many Names !!

 

The Supreme Divinity, known to us all and referred to as God; It is without a form and is without a color, gender, race, caste or a family tree. He [It] is referred to the various forms of manifestation taken as Avatharas by the various names. Every devotee knows that they are reaching the same Supreme Truth by Its various Forms in Its several names.

 
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Chapter - 1 : An Introduction and Overview of Hinduism - Lessons 1 & 2
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Go to Lessons: - :~: 01 & 02 :~: 03 & 04 :~: 05 & 06 :~: 07 & 08 :~: 09 & 10 :~: 11 & 12 :~: 13 & 14 :~: 15 & 16 .
 
 
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